“She is adorable.” Mala watched the kitten bouncing along and swiping at Vikarr’s fingers almost jealous that Donovan couldn’t keep the cat. “Donovan may have over done it, but you should have plenty for a while.”
“Where are you running off to?” Vikarr watched the kitten bounce off the desk to his lap then the floor and wander off crying. After circling pathetically in the corner she crouched and her little tail twitched as she peed on the floor. “Damn mortals. Remind me to scold your lover.”
“My what?” Mala had been laughing over the kitten’s mess and stopped to stammer over what he hoped he had misheard.
“Donovan.” Vikarr laughed as he used a bit of magic to correct Doma’s mistake. “Did you really think I didn’t know?”
“Vikarr, you’re mistaken.” Mala hated the lie on his tongue but Donovan had so desperately wanted to keep things hidden.
“That is why Raziel’s presence had you so stiff.” Vikarr poked through the bags Donovan had filled with everything but a solution to the current problem. Doma squirmed at his feet when he held one of the long fuzzy toys. He leaned over and teased her with it. “You want this?”
“Vikarr…” Mala clutched the back of the chair. “Don’t tell him you know. If it is a problem, I’ll end it kindly.”
“Why would it be a problem?” Vikarr sat on the floor with his kitten and pulled out the rest of the toys. “It has been a hilariously delicious show to see the two of you torture yourselves to hide it, but I don’t plan on meddling in your personal lives.”
“How long have you known?” Mala hung his head. He had never enjoyed hiding it to begin with, but he wondered how many long years they had been playing a pointless game.
“Probably since before the two of you realized it.” Vikarr laughed as the kitten scurried across the floor with a crinkly ball that rang when she smacked it. “When Donovan’s pitiful pining was replaced with stolen glances from both of you I knew one of you had finally…”
“The whole time, Vikarr?” Mala scolded him. They had hid things for nearly two centuries. “You could have told me.”
“As I said.” Vikarr smiled up at him. “It was amusing. What made you think I would ask you to end it?”
“Donovan thought you would find it inappropriate.” Mala admitted sadly that he had let Donovan’s worries make the decision. “Because we are colleagues and are supposed to stay unbiased.”
“I’m afraid that I haven’t made much of an effort to befriend either of you, but I am not very adept at that sort of thing. Others tend to find me difficult. Mala, I trust the both of you to be smarter than to base important decisions on selfish desires.” Vikarr explained his disinterest in their affair. “Besides, I have the final say regardless of what you two bicker over. So enjoy yourselves and tell Donovan I told him to relax.”
“I’m not sure I know how to tell him any of this.” Mala should have been relieved but sometimes the truth has a way of burdening joy with reality. “Or if I even want to.”
“Don’t care.” Vikarr heard his phone on the desk. “Toss me that.”
“It’s Donovan.” Mala pouted and held the phone with shaking fingers. “Lord Vikarr…”
“I said I wouldn’t meddle.” Vikarr laughed and held out his hand until Mala gave him his phone. He answered the call and grinned at Mala. “Trouble?”
“Not really.” Donovan sighed. “I just remembered I didn’t get a few things for the kitten.”
“A little late for that.” Vikarr laughed. “What will keep her from making a mess of my office?”
“Shit, I’m sorry Vikarr.” Donovan laughed. “I’m close enough, I’ll be back.”
“I hope he’s quick about it.” Vikarr slid his phone into his jacket. “I was hoping to have some fun this evening.”
“I can just look after Doma.” Mala offered to let Vikarr head off on what he was sure was a lecherous adventure. He was afraid the Jester was going to be tempted to meddle despite his claim and would rather not have the conversation for his amusement. He was worried about having it at all.
“It’s still early.” Vikarr crawled after the kitten as she chased after another of her toys. “Find her something to eat.”
“Vikarr.” Mala pulled through the bags for a dish and her food. He thought of their strange beginnings and wondered how long he had been blind to his friend’s desire. “How long did I make him wait?”
“When I said I wouldn’t meddle, I meant in any direction.” Vikarr laughed as the kitten batted at his hair. “After this long I would have thought you would have discussed his long unrewarded crush by now. Unless of course you want to swap secrets. You give me dirty little details and I’ll tell you about all those adorably pathetic moments Donovan tried to hide.”
“I think I prefer to keep my details private.” Mala smiled as the mighty Watcher crawled along the floor after his pet and disappeared behind the desk. “I’m sure they would bore someone with your… experience.”
“Are you trying to question my spotless character?” Vikarr popped up next to his chair on his knees and leaned across the desk to playfully challenge Mala’s accusation. “I’ll have you know, sweet Mala that my experience is driven by only the purest of intent.”
“And what intent is that, Lord Vikarr?” Mala laughed.
“The intent to enjoy the fuck out of it.” Vikarr picked up Doma and laid her back on his arm to rub the soft fur on her stomach. “I don’t regret a minute of the things I’ve done, Mala. You angels may have had high ideals about what should and should not be done, but I lived as I wanted then and couldn’t have been happier to join Lucifer in a realm free of such ridiculous judgment.”
“I was not judging you.” Mala shouted at him. “And I may not have leapt at Lucifer’s first offer but fought with his army when it mattered. I have slain angels that would cast those judgments.”
“So, you do scream. Calm down, Mala.” Vikarr rubbed the edge of Mala’s eye as he started to tear. “I was not trying to start a fight with you. We all lost much, but we are all demons now.”
“Everything alright?” Donovan wanted to run to Mala when he saw him so upset but swallowed his urge and played at the friendly concern that was expected. He sat everything beside Vikarr’s desk and looked over at Mala to wait for an answer. “Kitten make another mess?”
“Doma.” Vikarr corrected and turned to smile at Donovan. “And no. We were discussing ancient history. Set that up, would you?”
“You okay?” Donovan pushed a box into the corner as Mala held the box of litter beside him. “I can put off work a few hours.”
“No. You can’t.” Vikarr corrected as he cuddled Doma to his neck. “But if you’ll come and check on Doma, Mala can go with you.”
“Where are you going?” Donovan filled the box that Mala had already changed to a much more fitting squared edged black.
“To make Eliza angry.” Vikarr laughed and lifted one of Doma’s tiny paws to point at Donovan. “You are going to get your work done and stay out of it.”