I left the warehouse as quickly as possible, only stopping to change my clothes and fix my hair just enough that it didn’t look like a bird’s nest. I wanted to talk to Abby, just to spend some time with her.
I headed back out, smoothing out my clothes as I walked along the streets. The sounds of the city and the familiar streets calmed my nerves. The encounter with Klaus had left me perturbed, but it was nice to be back out in my domain. I had power out here, so it was no wonder that I felt more at home.
I swiftly covered the distance to The Friendly Bean, ready for some girl time. Abby was always able to sense my deepest emotions, but she wouldn’t generally pry. This meant I would most likely just receive a huge, bone crushing hug. Abby was like a life sized, squishy teddy bear. She was made to be hugged. Or at least, that was what she liked to say. I was also in dire need of something with caffeine in it.
I pushed open the door with a flourish, making an entrance.
“Hello, my dearest Abby, it is I” I announced, “I have come back to relieve you of your extreme loneliness and boredom.”
Abby looked up at me, rolling her eyes as she heard my announcement.
“Please,” she retorted, “The only thing you’re relieving me of is my peace and quiet.”
I laughed, glad she still had a sense of humor. I took a seat on the bar stools, waiting patiently for my coffee.
“Hey,” I said softly, “Sorry about sending Courtney in here. I just figured the best place for her was here.”
Abby didn’t look up from the coffee maker, only making a face.
“It’s okay, hun,” she answered, “But what the hell happened to her? Did she get kicked out for a night or something?”
I didn’t say anything, only making an uncomfortable noise in the back of my throat.
Abby came over with my coffee, the sweet aroma of freshly ground beans filling my nose.
I took it from her gratefully, sipping at it to savor the flavor.
“Are you okay?” Abby asked suddenly, looking extremely concerned, “Courtney said she saw you coming back from the city. Did that bastard kick you out too? And why the hell didn’t you call me?”
Ah, Abby. The infamous worrier of the century. That was the only part that really made her like my mother. She worried like crazy. I told her I could take care of myself, but it never stopped her from being concerned all the time.
“I’m fine,” I reassured, “I didn’t sleep outside yesterday. I’m surprised you just didn’t know. I would look a lot more distressed if I had, silly. Let me tell you though, I sure was pissed to see Courtney outside the warehouse. I gave Klaus a piece of my mind on that one.”
Abby came around the bar, practically tackling me in a hug. I knew she would. Unfortunately, Abby hugs a bit too tight.
“Abby,” I choked out, “Abby I can’t breathe!”
She held on for a moment longer, and then let go. I gasped melodramatically. She lightly pushed my head. It made me feel a lot better.
She went back around, leaning forward on her elbows across the bar.
“So,” she said innocently, “Why, exactly, were you coming from the city? I have a hunch that says you aren’t telling me something.”
“What on earth could you possibly mean?” I asked, equally as innocent, “I tell you everything.”
She smirked, looking slightly devious. Then, quick as lightning, she reached across the bar. She pinched my ear between her thumb and forefinger, pulling with enough force to cause pain.
“Ow! Ow! Ow!” I exclaimed, “Abby, lay off! That hurts you know!”
“Well,” she replied, “If you just tell me then I’ll let go.”
“Okay, okay,” I said desperately, “I will, just stop! Abby, I said okay!”
She let go, looking wholeheartedly satisfied with herself. I knew she was ready to do it again if I withheld information. Abby was a master at interrogation. She fancied herself a professional.
“Look,” I started, “I was further along in the city doing some special ‘errands’ if you will. That’s why.”
She looked thoroughly unimpressed.
“And?” she asked, “That explains why you were in the city, not why you were still there late. It would make sense if you got locked out, but you’re right. You’d be more frazzled if that was the case. So where did you stay? Did you pay for a hotel room with some ‘assets?’ That what you call them at least.”
She was really going to make me say this. I didn’t want to explain the whole story, because the truth only makes more questions. But Abby wasn’t going to take some half-assed explanation. I wished she didn’t know me so well.
“Well,” I explained hesitantly, “I met someone new while I was there, and I stayed there. Before you freak out nothing happened he wasn’t like a freak or anything. He was my new friend.”
I waited anxiously for the shockwave of Abby’s anger, her panic that I had stayed in the same house as a stranger. I squinted, only keeping one eye on her.
“Lucy,” she said amusedly, “You look like you’re waiting to get hit by a truck.”
“I thought you were going to be all worried,” I replied.
She looked around attentively, making sure no customers needed her. She wanted to have time to listen to the whole story.
“I’ll decide if I’m going to be worried or not after you tell me this story,” she proclaimed, “So who exactly is this ‘friend’ of yours?”
But right as I was about to start my tale, I heard a familiar voice behind me.
“Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.”