Every day Kitty worked Seth came to take her to lunch. He always asked her questions about her job or her former studies, which she answered gamely enough. But when Kitty tried to ask him about his life he shut up tighter than a clam. Apart from his last name she knew very little of Seth or his past.
“Come on, it can’t be that bad,” she prodded one day as they nursed cups of hot chocolate and stared at the snow.
Seth only grunted in reply. He hissed as he burned his tongue on the drink.
“Don’t grunt at me! You always grunt at me when you don’t want to answer…how’s your tongue?” Kitty held back a giggle as his eyes warned her not to make a sound.
“I’ll live,” he frowned, pushing the mug away.
“Good, now I really want to know, what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?” She propped her chin on her hands and stared at him.
He sighed, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
“Try me,” she grinned.
“Okay…I once killed five men in one sitting and was never tried for it.” Seth fixed her with a cold-eyed stare of his own.
“Fine, keep your secrets,” Kitty huffed, folding her arms.
“You don’t think I did it?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.
“No, of course not! You can be weird sometimes, Seth but I don’t think you’re a killer. Not even you can convince me of that.” Kitty glanced out the window as she spoke. “I’ve never seen it snow in Ravenswood this early.”
“Well, there’s a first time for everything,” he observed, a smile ghosting over his lips and vanishing so quickly Kitty wondered if it had really been there at all.
“I suppose,” she replied, shrugging into her coat and gloves. “Thank you for lunch.”
“You don’t have to keep thanking me. We do this every day you work,” Seth shook his head.
“And every day you take me to lunch I’ll thank you. Mom always taught me to be polite so, thank you and I’ll see you later this afternoon.” Kitty stood and donned a cream colored beret.
He watched the young woman walk out of the café and disappear behind the fog-covered windows.
“Well, isn’t she special?” snarked a singsong voice.
“Go crawl back under your rock, Shireen,” growled Seth; swiftly binding his hair and jamming his sunglasses back onto his face.
“Hey, be nice,” she admonished, slapping his cheek hard enough to sting and sitting down.
“Never if I can help it,” he muttered, suppressing the urge to unleash his other side and claw her in two.
“You know you love me…you haven’t killed me,” said Shireen, taking a swallow of his half finished drink and making a face. “Too sweet!”
“I tolerate you as long as your trouble is kept to a minimum,” Seth corrected, yanking the mug away from the demon. “But, if you go near Katherine again my patience will run out.”
“I don’t know what you mean. I’m a perfect little angel,” she snickered, the laugh dying in her throat as Seth lowered his glasses revealing pure silver eyes with a mist of red around the edges.
“Leave, before I decide to lose control,” he warned, his voice deepening at least three octaves.
“You wouldn’t dare…this is a public place,” whispered the demon, finally looking scared.
“Wanna find out?” asked the half-angel, leaning forward threateningly.
Shireen disappeared with a squeak and a whiff of sulfur.
Seth leaned back, closing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose. His entire body became tense with the effort of holding something inside. When he finally opened his eyes again they were their ‘normal’ green and silver flecked color.
After replacing his sunglasses Seth rose and left a generous tip before departing the restaurant.
* * * *
“So kiddo, what do you think about it?” asked Kitty, addressing the plain white marble cross in front of her. She placed a rose on the ground and sighed, “I wish I could still talk to you, Sierra. Seth is so closed off and remote, most of the time he doesn’t seem human.”
The girl paused and cocked her head, certain she heard a quiet sob close by. She struggled to her feet, the cold having made her stiff, and moved to investigate.
Two rows over, Kitty found Seth kneeling in front of a tombstone with his head bowed. She walked forward and knelt beside him silently reading the name on the stone:
Anna Martine Lee
May She Find Peace At Last
“Was she a relative?” asked Kitty.
Seth nodded, “My mo- great grandmother.”
“She died very young,” she observed, tracing the numbers with a gloved finger.
“Yes, she did and it was senseless. She was so gentle and beautiful.”
“You talk as if you knew her.”
“I feel as if I did and as for her being beautiful…” Seth pulled the silver chain Kitty had always wondered about out of the collar of his shirt. Hanging from it was an old fashioned oval locket engraved with the initials ‘AML’.
Inside the locket were two pictures, one was entirely scratched out and the other was of a stunning woman holding a small baby.
“You look like her,” smiled Kitty. “The baby was your grandfather?”
He nodded again.
“Who was in the other picture?”
“I don’t know.” Seth snapped the locket shut and hid it under his shirt once more. And just like that it was over. He was closed to her again.
Kitty knew he was lying to her about the picture but she could hardly say so. She never mentioned the traces of tears on his cheeks or the fact she’d heard him crying.
“It’s getting late. We should go,” he said, fitting action to words.
Kitty followed him out, wondering if he would ever open up to her again.