Crime Fantasy Urban Fantasy


Gerald looked confident; it was a look that did not often cross his coarse features. Teague told him; “I told you before that I would handle Vittorio if needs be, and that’s exactly what I aim to do.”

Gerald spoke to the troubled, troubleshooter; “I seem to recall that Mr. Penrose had certain thoughts about that.” The bruiser moved closer to Teague and said, “don’t get me wrong Teague, that Italian devil deserves whatever you dish out.” He looked the troubled man in the eye; held his gaze and said,”but I think you should wait for Mr. Penrose.”

“Well I’m not going to do that Gerald.” It was at this point that the bruiser realized he was standing between Teague and the door. Teague took a step toward the big bruiser and softly said; “are you going to try and stop me Gerald?”

He visibly braced himself; managed not to gulp, and said, “I just don’t think Mr. Penrose would want you going off half-cocked Teague.”

Again, in a soft voice Teague spoke, “you know I don’t like hurting my friends Gerald; so you best move out of the way.”

Gerald knew on his best day; in a fair fight, he stood no chance against the other man. He considered his options for a moment; and took a step aside.

Teague laid a hand gently on the bruiser’s shoulder as he passed by; then he was gone.

Gerald was considering what to do; and decided that he would eat while he considered.

There was quite a spread on the sideboard. There were eggs, biscuits, strong coffee, and mounds of bacon; breakfast of champions if you will. There was even a fancy tea service.

Gerald had been the one to pick up the spilled teacup when they arrived at the office after their caper at Ottimo Cibo.

He had been as surprised as the other two men when they came into the office and Teague’s lovely cousin Nellie hopped up off the settee, upsetting her cup of tea. Gerald was again at least as surprised as the other two men, when he found out that Vittorio had taken Teague’s mother. In truth he would have been as anxious to take action as his friend had been. Gerald was not surprised though, that Teague had waited till Mr. Penrose had left his main office before departing.

Their employer had insisted on showing Miss Nellie to one of the private chambers so she could rest properly while they figured out what to do. This was after the enterprise leader had dispatched Fitz to send some men back to the office and then to get some rest. The big man had been instructed to return in the early afternoon.

Teague’s cousin had protested briefly; she had said that she should return to their home above the shoppe, but Teague had told her that he didn’t want to be worrying about her while he went after her aunt; his mother.

Mr. Penrose had assured her that there were half a dozen men that would be guarding the offices; and her resting place, so she would be much safer here than at their home above the shoppe.

She had quickly relented, and the head of Penrose enterprise left with Teague’s cousin through one of the elaborate doors near the rear of his office. He was leading her to a luxurious room that Penrose himself used on occasion to sleep or otherwise relax. There were actually more rooms than you would expect; connected to Mr. Penrose’s office.

Gerald recalled all of this while he piled two plates high with eggs, biscuits, and lots of bacon. As he loaded his plate, Gerald mumbled under his breath while slightly shaking his head back and forth; “so you best move out of the way.”

He took his food over to the settee and settled his plates on a small table next to it. He always felt somewhat dainty, sitting on the fine piece of furniture. He secretly worried that the thing would collapse under his weight. He was a big man; sure, not near as large as Fitz, but he was still a big fella.

As Gerald was about to cram a heaping spoonful of eggs into his hungry mouth, he heard a soft, high voice to his side ask; “is that other plate for me?”

The big fella jumped in his seat on the settee; and deposited most of his spoonful of eggs onto his lap. He turned to the Pixie and exclaimed; “Mr. Pecht, you near scared the life out of me sir!” Gerald was marveling at the fact that the small figure had seemingly appeared out of nowhere, to be seated, next to him on the fancy piece of furniture.

“We can’t have that Gerald;” the small figure said. Pecht eyed the plate of breakfast on the other side of Gerald, and not so subtly pointed with his little chin at the food. The big bruiser handed over his own plate to the Pixie; “of course Mr. Pecht, here you go.”

The small fae gentleman accepted the food and immediately set about devouring it. Gerald watched as Pecht attacked his breakfast: he did this while doing his best to collect the eggs spilled on his lap. Since he had forgotten to gather a napkin from the sideboard, Gerald did the expedient thing with his spilled eggs: he popped them into his mouth. They were quite good.

The mismatched pair ate their breakfast in silence for a minute before Pecht spoke up: “I wasn’t jesting before when I said we can’t have that Gerald.” The big bruiser looked at the small figure expectantly; “I won’t be able to help you return, if you’re careless enough to get yourself killed again big fella.” Pecht watched the big man shiver as he was reminded of what had occurred to him not more than a dozen hours earlier. The Pixie told this to Gerald; and then offered an empty plate to him. “I could use some more if you please.”

Gerald was a very healthy eater; but the small figure had finished off an impressive amount of breakfast in an impressive amount of time.

After he had filled the Pixie’s plate with a prodigious pile of food; he returned, and after sitting back down on the settee, Gerald reached into his borrowed shirt.

“I’ve got the amphorae here Mr. Pecht,” he told the small figure as he offered the cloth bag to the Pixie.

Pecht opened the bag and held the translucent green glass container in his palm. Of course, it appeared much larger in his small hands than it had in Gerald’s large ones. The small fae lifted it to his face and gently sniffed: “it smells of the sea, does it not?”

Gerald nodded in agreement, as he had just been thinking the exact same thing. The Pixie made a flourish with the amphorae and it disappeared. Gerald’s eyes looked like they were going to pop out of his head, and he exclaimed; “magic!”

Pecht smiled, shook his head slightly in the negative, and said, “just a bit of sleight of hand lad.” The small nimble hands of the Pixie made another flourish, and the glass vessel appeared, only to disappear once more, with another pass of graceful fingers.

A few things popped into the bruiser’s head, as abruptly as the amphorae had disappeared and reappeared. “I talked with a mouse!” Gerald blurted. The Pixie smiled and the big man continued. “Well I didn’t rightly speak to it Mr. Pecht, but I knew what it wanted me to know.”

Pecht nodded in agreement.

The Pixie told him;”it’s another aspect of what went on between us lad.” Gerald looked equal parts amazed, and confused and asked; “what else is there Mr. Pecht?”

The small figure on the other side of the settee smiled and said, “I don’t want to ruin any surprises Gerald.”

The other important thing made the big man say, “what about Teague?” The small fae didn’t answer right away; he took a moment to take apart a biscuit and build a sandwich with lots of eggs and even more bacon. The big bruiser fidgeted in his chair while Pecht built his ridiculously large breakfast biscuit.

“Gerald,”the Pixie told him, “I need Teague to handle this.” Gerald looked concerned, and Pecht continued;” I can’t have you going off after Vittorio.” Gerald was slowly building a biscuit sandwich himself as he listened. The small figure could see; and actually feel, what the big fella was feeling. “Look Gerald; you can’t handle that other fellow: maybe Fitz could,” Pecht paused to take a bite of his sandwich. “Teague is the one that needs to handle Vittorio; just as he told you he would.”

“Isn’t that right Penrose old boy?” the Pixie said in the direction of the doorway that the enterprise leader used to reenter his main office.

Penrose didn’t hesitate to answer; “I would wager on Jowan against any one man, that’s true enough.” As he said this, the slight enterprise leader looked about his office and asked aloud: “and where is he?”

Gerald put his plate down as he stood; “sorry Mr. Penrose sir, I tried to get him to wait for you, but he wasn’t having it.”

Penrose appeared upset for a moment; then said, “I’m sure you did your best Gerald.”

The enterprise leader silently regarded the two mismatched figures for a few moments; then offered, “it’s best if you get some rest Gerald.” Penrose could see the Pixie nodding in agreement. “I’d like you back here by three.” Gerald had his mouth full with the last of his second plate; so he said nothing, he simply nodded in agreement.

“There’s to be a meeting not long after that with the Italians, and I want you at your best.”

May 19, 2021 18:21

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