a mountain

“That is a lot of paperwork, what happened?” He looks the mountain of papers sitting on my desk a moment, as if he has no idea where it came from. I suppose I don’t blame him, it did sort of seem to happen overnight, even I’m not sure where it all really came from. I shrug and sigh, almost tempted to throw it all out the window though I know I can’t.

“Someone I know in the field, she’s like us, we’ve worked on a couple of cases together before and she knows I can pretty much see through most folks when I read my way through their files so she thought she’d ask my help.” I let my forehead lightly thud to the desk with another sigh. I had not expected a folder of this size, it’s insane. It’s like the guy spent his whole life doing harm to others it’s so thick. I don’t know what she’s trying to prove by claiming he’s innocent.

“Anjali?” He tests the name from his memory. I think I might have mentioned it once. Though if I skim the papers briefly it might be written somewhere or he’s picked it up off the top of my head. I don’t really care honestly how he’s done it. I nod and rub the bridge of my nose. Eoghan knows this is one of those things where he can’t help me, even though he might want to.

There are specific things I’m looking for in these papers and it would take too long to explain those to him. One of these days I might just start explaining it all away though, it might help me when I accept to help Anjali. I offer him a wry sort of smile and he shakes his head at the files and folders scattered over the desk.

“I’ll leave you to your detective-ish work. I’ll just make sure you’re fed and that you don’t fall asleep in here. Did you need to feed Adela today?” I shake my head but murmur a soft thank you. Leave it to him to think of those small details that might slip my mind. I love Adela, I’d do anything to keep her safe but I’ve been known to forget the world exist when cases like these land in my lap and rather unexpectedly.

“I’ll check on you around noon to bring you something to eat.”

“Thank you, love.”

He leaves the room and partly closes the door, leaving it open just enough so that I can hear the faint sounds of him wandering around the apartment when he’s not too far from my office. It’s good enough for me.

By noon, though it only feels like a little while has gone by, he knocks on the door with a platter of finger foods. Things that I can eat without leaving much of a stain on anything. Nothing greasy and nothing with bits that might threaten to fall out.

He looks at the scattered files once more and shakes his head with a low note. “I bet she didn’t tell you it would be this big a file when she asked you for help. When exactly are you supposed to get back to her on this one?”

I shrug as I stuff a bit of food into my mouth. I try to recall as I look another paper over. As far as I’ve read, the guy is good for the bin and he never should have been let out. I suppose he might not be there enough in the head to be considered guilty for his last crime. “Tomorrow morning but I’ll get this done tonight.”

“You better, else I might just find it in myself to be very cross with you.”

His warning is loud and clear though his voice is soft and worried. I know he’s only looking out for my well-being and I’m thankful for that.

“I don’t know what else you want me to tell you, Anjali. They never should have let him out of that establishment. Don’t try to tell me he got out on his own, he couldn’t have managed that much of a feat.”

There is the soft knock on the door of dinner warning and I briefly mute my phone to let him in. He sees the bluetooth headset as he steps in and stays quiet. I mouth him a thank you as he sets the platter down as I unmute my call again. “Don’t push your luck, Anjali. This guy has the thought process of a five years old. He might be able to open doors and maybe fiddle with keypads until he figures out a code but he can’t go as far as plan an escape from the bin and get out by himself, someone helped him.”

Eoghan listens from the doorway for a moment before he closes the door again, nearly completely this time and I know it’s just his way of giving me my privacy. This is one of those things I don’t really miss from working the law. The long hours, the mountains of paperwork, the reading through everything ten times to make sure I didn’t miss out on any detail. I haven’t seen a case this big in some years and while I know I could do miracles with it, or could have if I’d had more than a day to read through it, right now I just want to give her my findings so I can go on living my life.

“You asked me to help you along. You didn’t say what I was supposed to look for. Now I’m telling you what his files are telling me. He might fit the ‘insane’ criteria but he didn’t get out on his own. Someone wanted him loose so I’d suggest looking in on that. I’ll be sending you these files back by courier come morn- No, I am not coming in to help you. This is your case, I’ve stepped down and I’m staying stepped down for the next couple of decades at least.”

I hang up the call and I turn the cellphone off. I told her all I could at this point and there’s nothing more I can do. This isn’t my case, there’s only so much I can do and so much I want to do. I’ve done it all. In the morning I’ll box this all up and send it back to her by courier. That’s all there is to it.

I take my untouched platter of food after taking the headset off and I step out of the office. I rub my eyes lightly and wince as something pops in my back. I didn’t much move today and I’m going to pay the price for that tomorrow, I know. I step into the kitchen and smile at Eoghan sitting at the table with his own food.

His eyes brighten up at the sight of me and I know I can’t do this often. I can’t stay away from him the way I used to, it might very well be the end of us both if I do.

“Note to self,” I murmur as I sit down next to him, “if Anjali calls, leave it be, she’s a big girl and she can take care of her own cases. I’m pretty sure I didn’t tell her anything new about her client today.” He laughs softly and I bump my shoulder lightly into his.

“I’m sorry about today. I know we didn’t really have anything planned but I wanted to spend my time with you, not locked in the office with more papers than I’ve ever wanted to see in my life.”

He shrugs and picks up a bit of food, offering it to me. I take it more than willingly, nipping at his fingers gently as I do. “It’s work. Doesn’t mean I like it when you-“

“But it’s not work, Eoghan. I don’t do the attorney thing anymore, at least not at this point and more than likely not for another couple of decades at the very least. It won’t happen again.”

“I forgive you if it does because I know you can’t help yourself. It’s part of who you are, it’s part of your very complex nature.”

I shake my head at his words but leave them be. As a chaotic-born demon, it actually is mostly against my nature to want to help others but I know I go against my nature most of the time. I don’t really care for the idea of being chaotic, in the long run.

“I love you.”

He smiles and simply offers me another bite of food. I know I’ll cherish him to the end of our lives.


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