Quarter 'til Midnight
Midnight, Mississippi, Book Two
Copyright © 2017 by Kelex
“My wingman, Garret, wasn’t so lucky,” Cannon said, slapping Garret on the shoulder and bringing him back to the present. “I’m starting to wonder if his cock’s gonna fall off.”
“It’s in perfect working order, I can assure you,” Garret murmured before taking another sip. The warmth from the whiskey washed down his throat. He scanned the interior of the bar for the millionth time since he’d sat at the bar.
Off-duty wasn’t in his vocabulary.
“How long has it been since you’ve had a piece of ass?” Rye, one of the firefighters, asked.
“Not as long as Cannon’s trying to make it out to be,” Garret answered.
“So… how long has it been?” Cannon asked. “I can’t even remember the last time there was a bounce to your step after a wild night in some guy’s bed.”
Garret opened his mouth to answer and realized he wasn’t sure. He thought about it for a minute before growling at Cannon. “Long enough.”
“My warlock has a friend,” Cannon said, his voice a singsong as he leaned on Garret’s shoulder.
“You mean you haven’t moved on to the next piece already?” Garret asked Cannon.
“He hasn’t caused me any grief and aggravation… yet. I can give him a call and ask him and his friend to head over here. You can scratch that itch and clear the mind.”
“My mind’s perfectly clear.” He chuckled. “And if you’ve got an itch, you should get that shit checked out.”
“Oh, he has jokes, guys,” Cannon said, laughing.
“Good evening, fine fellows! The next round is on me!” a voice boomed from the entrance.
A round of cheers went up from the nearly packed bar. Garret turned toward the familiar voice and snarled in contempt.
The dragon shifter was followed in by a trio of men who quickly made their way over to the only empty table in the bar. Solomon and those three had been the men who’d entered the king’s building as he’d exited. The dragon always did seem to show up when he wasn’t in the mood to play nice.
And, of course, the man was heading his way.
“Solomon! You old bastard! How have you been?” Cannon called out as the dragon approached.
Solomon’s head turned slightly and his gaze met Garret’s for one split second—and in that tiny space of time—Garret felt his ire rising to monumental levels. The man’s dark skin shone in the low light of the bar and made his golden eyes stand out all the more. The dragon’s face was made up of sharp angles that just barely hinted of the dragon within.
Shoulders tight, Garret turned back to the TV, ignoring the approaching man.
Yet completely failed.
“Who are you calling old, panther? As I recall, you’re only a few years younger than I,” Solomon said, a smile to his tone.
“A few decades is more like it if I recall correctly… but I know how years can just merge together after a few eons,” Cannon said before taking the beer the bartender was offering him. Cannon lifted his bottle to salute Solomon. “And a mighty thanks for the drink.”
The bartender set another whiskey in front of Garret. He placed a hand out to stop it. “No thank you.”
“Not accepting my gracious gift?” Solomon asked as he leaned in close to Garret.
Garret looked to the right and saw the flashing of the dragon’s eyes. “Two’s enough for me tonight.”
“Two? You sound like a human,” Cannon said. “It’s not like you can get drunk. Take the man’s drink.”
“No,” Garret spat before taking a breath to calm his nerves. He felt several sets of stares on him. “No… thank you,” he said a little more softly to mask the irritation they’d likely heard in his tone.
“Spoilsport,” Cannon said to Garret as Solomon took the glass of whiskey he’d rejected. Turning to the dragon, Cannon asked, “What’re we celebrating tonight?”
“The human,” Solomon said as he pointed down the bar. “You two missed the good news—I saw you leaving as we arrived.” Garret could feel Solomon’s stare on him for a moment. “His Majesty has allowed the human to remain in Midnight with Theis and Colm.”
Garret peered through the crowd at the trio of males celebrating at a table in the corner. They looked happy. Very happy. He turned to Solomon. “And what’s your part in this? Fourth wheel?”
Solomon stared down at him, his lips twisting in a cruel smile. “And where’s your date? You riding that unicycle again tonight?”
Cannon and the firefighters burst out laughing around him. That didn’t help Garret’s mood one bit. He glared at the dragon. “Why don’t you go celebrate elsewhere so I can finish my drink in peace?”
“I didn’t know my presence caused you so much distress,” Solomon said, the last word ending on a slight hiss, a reminder he was just a big lizard wearing a human suit.
“It doesn’t!” Garret snapped, a little louder than he’d intended.
“Are you sure about that?” the dragon asked.
“You two go get a room already and get it out of your system,” Cannon interjected.
Garret whipped his head to glare at Cannon. “Not. Happening.” He turned to cast a glare at Solomon before returning silently to the last of his whiskey.