"How much does it pay?" Emily asked.
"Pay? Miss Adams, it's a sacred calling." Andrew leaned closer to her from his seat on her couch; she smiled slightly and edged away. Weird; the kid sounded like he had some kind of an accent, but damned if Emily recognized it. Fake, maybe? He just screamed little boy dressed up in Daddy's clothes, from his way too shiny shoes to the careful part of his blond hair, and something about the way he said sacred calling was giving her flashbacks to Ryan after he'd found Jesus.
She'd kind of expected this guy to start in on the God talk too, but he hadn't yet. Just apologies that it'd taken him so long to find her--which was creepy to begin with, really--and a blithe assumption that he could trade information for her trust. Emily appreciated the information; finding herself ten times stronger overnight had been very, very weird, weird enough that she'd considered seeing a doctor about it, insurance or no insurance. But she failed to see how that meant she was somehow morally obligated to run off with some random guy to England.
Besides, she didn't believe in vampires.
"Sacred calling. Right. You know, I'm pretty sure priests get paid. And I have credit card debt."
Andrew ran one hand through his hair. Oh, yeah, he'd definitely overdone it with the gel there. "All basic expenses, which includes lodging in this really cool manor house." The accent was definitely getting wobbly; California underneath it, maybe? "I mean, it's got a secret passage and... never mind." He straightened up again. "Food and health care included, and a hundred pounds a week for spending money."
"How much is that in real money?" Emily asked, genuinely curious.
"Um... a hundred and fifty dollars, give or take?"
Emily snorted. "Chump change. I'm supposed to live in a dorm and eat cafeteria food for six hundred bucks a month? Get real. I do better than that working at the call center."
"But the work you'd be doing..." Andrew reached out and took her hands with an earnest smile; she started planning how best to break him in half if he leaned in any farther. "It's so amazing. You're a warrior, for... for..."
"Truth, justice, and the American way?"
"For the very preservation of mankind! Um, humankind. I mean, you would preserve womankind too, I wouldn't want you to be confused about that..." He paused, then squeezed her hands. "Do you like your job, Miss Adams?"
Emily looked down at their linked hands and considered how really nice it would be to watch something big and evil bite her boss' head off. "I wouldn't say that, no."
Andrew leaned in even further. Emily did not break him in half. "Once you've completed your training, you could work almost completely independently if you preferred. Of course there's a different pay rate for that and you'd have to provide receipts for expenses, but that's--"
His hands were warm and a little sweaty, and he was kind of a freaky little guy, but Emily was thinking about purpose and travel and never having to talk a grandmother in Buffalo through a virus removal ever, ever again. That sounded... nice. "Andrew," she said, stopping him in mid-stream.
"Yes, Miss Adams?" His whole body was a study in hope.
"Listen. If I go in and quit tomorrow, would it be a betrayal of my sacred calling to accidentally break down a door or two on the way out?"
Happy Shrift Day, darlin'.