Ruby leaned forward almost spilling her whisky in the process, intent on getting her point across.
“So something is happening that is shaping spirit into its own image and giving it unimaginable power in the process. That means they’re remaining here and evolving into beings that are much darker. You’ve just seen it yourself. That doppelganger was much more powerful than it had any right to be.”
“Let me get this straight-” I said, just as a tall, muscular man with long black hair and dressed in nothing but jeans, denim waistcoat and biker boots strode over to the table and plonked himself down, grinning expectantly at us. Brown skin and high cheek-bones suggested Native American somewhere in the family tree. There was nothing under the unbuttoned waistcoat but smooth, brown chest against which a turquoise beaded necklace with a silver dragon’s head gleamed as though it had a life of its own. A black tattoo with a complicated design I didn’t recognise encircled the top of his arm and finished just shy of his collar-bone. Slanting dark eyes simmered under black brows and if I had been prone to such things, I would’ve been afraid. The only people who don’t wear clothes in a Scottish winter are either impervious to pain, mentally ill, or both.
“Ladies,” he said leaning back in his chair while crossing long, jean clad legs at the ankles. And that was all it took. One word in that low-down-dirty voice with its west coast gloss before I knew this man was trouble: capital letters; twenty feet high in screaming pillar-box red. It wasn’t just the assurance with which he moved, or the sheer physical impact of his presence indicating a man who not just didn’t know the meaning of the word no, but had never actually heard it spoken. No, I could actually see what he’d done, what he was capable of and it was no wonder most people just did his bidding without having to be asked twice. Violent death, past, present and the promise of future clung to him like a second skin and I knew that because his aura was thick enough to choke an elephant, black shot with dark reds and purples so dense it had its own gravity and I found it difficult to breathe. He grinned revealing sharp white teeth.
“Can I buy you a drink? The polite request was belied by a hard, knowing look from obsidian eyes. And they were all for me even though he addressed both of us. I wondered who I had pissed off lately. Silly really, because that was a never-ending list.
“No, thank you. We’re absolutely fine,” Ruby said smiling sweetly.
“I absolutely insist,” he said never taking his eyes off me. “It would be my… pleasure…” The suggestive tone was thick enough to cut with a knife and then balance your drinks on.
I rarely had any trouble with men in bars or at least not the type I didn’t invite. That’s probably because I’m five ten, stronger than most men and not averse to extreme physical violence when the mood takes me. Sometimes though you came across someone who wouldn’t take off you fuck for an answer and then you were in a whole brave, new world of pain.
“Well,” he said, “How about a little more conversation and we can keep the action on ice for later?”