“What’s going on with you and Brigid?”
Ioan’s question caught him by surprise as they walked through the woods, scenting for deer. Carwyn blinked and almost stumbled over a log.
“What are you talking about?”
Ioan narrowed his eyes and smiled, just a little. “You kept looking at her during dinner. Then afterward, as well.”
“I wasn’t. Really. Not really. I mean, she’s looking well. I’ve worried. Of course. I know how concerned you and Deirdre were over the girl, and she’s…” He paused and cleared his throat. “She’s looking well, isn’t she? It’s nice to see, that’s all.”
Ioan nodded, but Carwyn caught the subtle smirk on his son’s face and had to fight back the urge to hit him.
“She is. Security work is a good fit for her. Dublin is having increasing drug problems, and she’s quite passionate about it, as I’m sure you can imagine.”
“Heroin, for the most part. Rumors of others, of course. It’s bad, and it’s becoming more pervasive. Ireland has four times the usage as the rest of Europe now. Murphy’s been pleased to have a human on staff who’s more in touch with the current environment, and Brigid seems very happy with Murphy.”
“With Murphy?” The thought brought him up short, and his heart gave another quick beat. He felt his fangs in his mouth. They were partly descended; he must have smelled deer. He kept walking behind Ioan.
“Working with him, I mean. Murphy says she’s very good.”
“Oh, does he now?” Carwyn muttered.
“Apparently she’s blending in to his organization quite well, and has been a huge help on a number of levels. And she loves it. I’ve never seen her so happy.”
Then why isn’t she laughing?
He frowned and continued stalking deer. There weren’t many of them around during the middle of the winter months. They tended to wander in the lower hills, and there were usually at least some around. That night, there were none. They might have to wander farther. Though Ioan might occasionally drink the donated human blood they kept at the house, Carwyn would not.
The act of drinking human blood triggered too many other hungers he’d struggled for years to conquer. For some reason, the memory of Brigid’s blood came to his mind. The hot, sweet smell of it with the faint chemical tinge. The tinge that wouldn’t be there anymore. He banished the thought from his mind and continued walking.
“Father, did you want to try further up the valley?”
Carwyn decided that a run might be just what he needed to clear his head. “I’ll race you.”