She was doing her damnedest not to be miserable.
Mélanie bit her lip. “It’s going to be dangerous,” she offered carefully. The kitchen seemed too small, too tight; Jasper was getting ready to go out and she wanted to wrap herself around him and make him stay.
“I think it’s worth the risk.” Jasper’s smile was still bright; he wasn’t looking at her right now, so she could look as worried as she wanted without bothering him. “Besides, it’s not going to be that dangerous.”
“They specialize in enslaving fae!” Oops. She wasn’t supposed to get loud. “I mean,” she tried, a little more calmly, “they’re going to have a better idea what you can do than an average mook. Maybe they’ll be expecting you.”
“They won’t be expecting me,” he offered. “And they won’t be expecting Kearney.”
Mélanie swallowed a sigh. “You don’t have to do this.”
“They hurt you. They hurt a lot of people. And they make me angry. Besides.” He finally turned to look at her. He took her face in both of his hands and kissed her forehead. “This is what I do. I’ve done a couple runs since you came here, you know.”
“I know.” She smiled at him, because how could she not know. “I’ve sorted the loot.”
“And you’re amazing at it, I must say. My loot has never been better cataloged. The house has never been happier. I have never been happier.”
The feelings of praise washed over her. Melanie studiously looked away from Jasper and tried not to let it sway her, not to let it sidetrack her. “I know you’ve handled a lot of really dangerous situations without getting yourself in danger or getting hurt. But I can worry. And I do! And I don’t—” She huffed. “You’re doing this because of me and with my information. If you get caught—”
He scooped up her hands and kissed them. “I won’t get hurt, my beautiful darling. I won’t get caught. I’ll be careful.”
“But you’d be safer if you just didn’t, didn’t do it at all. You can do things that don’t make dangerous people upset. I mean, when those thugs caught you, when they had you…”
“And you rescued me.” He kissed her hands again and then kissed her cheeks, one after another, hand-hand-cheek-cheek. “Which was amazing.”
“You know, I can tell you’re trying to get me drunk.” She ducked her head and tried to look firm. It wasn’t working, she knew it wasn’t working. She felt way too good for that.
“My darling Mélanie, I’m just trying to reassure you.” He gave her a look she had never seen before — no, that wasn’t true. She’d never seen it aimed at her before. It was his I’m very charming expression.
She flushed. “I’m going to worry, and I’m going to feel guilty, you know, no matter how reassured I am. You’re going into danger! Without me!”
“Would it make me feel better if I took you?” The idea seemed completely foreign to him.
She thought perhaps she had gotten through to him when a dishtowel hit him in the back of the head.
“Yes,” she repeated, a little less loudly this time. “I would feel better if I came with you. I have Workings, too, and I know how to use them.”
“But wouldn’t you be at risk then?”
“Well, if it’s perfectly safe,” she teased, already feeling a little more relaxed, “then I’d be fine. If not — no more than you. Assuming you’re not going to fight a dragon, I’ll be okay. I’ve done pretty well against normal threats.”
“No dragons,” he assured her. “If you want to come with me, Mélanie, I won’t stop you. I’m going to ask you to play back-up and not get directly involved, but that’s because I only have a small idea of your capabilities at the moment and I want to know more before we do any major heists together.”
“Heists.” She wrinkled her nose. “All right. Thank you. Give me two minutes to change and I will go with you.”
She ran upstairs before he could say no and changed the quickest she had ever done. There was a very big chance, she knew, that he might decide to leave her behind while she was changing and she didn’t want to risk that.
She was back downstairs while he was still putting on his jacket. “That was amazingly quick.”
“I didn’t want you to run off,” she admitted.
“I – all right, yes, there’s a chance I would have done that. ready to go?”
“Ready to go. What’s the plan?”
“Well, you see, some of it involves the concept of ‘winging it,’ but for the broad strokes…”Want more?