Snippet: Snark and Spice

An argument from the Dresden Files piece I’m currently writing. I may have been grinning slightly while writing it…

“So, how long have you been with the Winter Court?” [Warden] asks me conversationally.

“Longer than I’d like,” I respond, leaning back in the diner’s padded booth. I can smell bacon and coffee, both tempting even though I only just ate. “What’s your area?”

“I’m based in Philadelphia. I knew the Knight anyway, so the Council volunteered me when he asked for someone to help.”

I’m grinning. “Wow, you pissed someone off real good to make you help him.”

“I’d say the same for you,” [Warden] responds with a smile in return.

“So how are you tracking the wizard?” Marta asks me. Well, it’s more of a demand.

I raise an eyebrow at her. If I was following my instincts, I’d be playing nice right now. But today, I’m being Winter – and there’s also no sodding way I’m admitting I somehow got hold of the wizard’s Name. It’d be opening a can of questions I’m not going to answer. “That’s a need-to-know basis.”

“We need to know.”

“No, you don’t.” I grin at her. “You just need to know that I can track him.”

“I don’t think you’re trustworthy,” she spits.

“That’s not your call, lady. It’s the Knight’s. And I have him,” I kiss my fingers and waggle them at her, “wrapped around my little finger.”

She scowls. I wonder how long it’s been since she had to deal with anyone quite as snarky and defiant as the Winter Court tend to be.

“So what did the Knight use to bribe you here, then?” I add. “What’s your stake in this?”

“I’m a hunter,” she snaps, but it looks like I’ve hit a nerve. She’s going to tell me things because she’s determined to prove her point. “I can kill anything.”

“Oh, so you’re just ghoul fodder.” I really should be getting her on-side, but this is too much fun.

“I’ll do better than you will, bitch,” she spits at me. “I’m your protection. I’ll leave you to the monsters on the Ways if you don’t respect my skills-”

“Not unless you want to be lacking a guide.”

“You wait.” She’s glowering. “When you’re screaming because a ghoul’s got your leg-”

“You wish! Winter ain’t weak.”

“You’re a weedy, powerless airhead without any idea of what you signed up to.”

Well, that’d hurt if I was the Changeling I look like. As it is, I grin. “Well, if we’re talking looks, let’s start with yours. Thuggish, stupid and prone to smashing things?”

She proves my point by grabbing [Warden]’s coffee mug, I assume aiming to throw it at me. [Warden] puts a firm hand on her arm and extends the other hand at me. “Enough! We are a team. We have a common goal, and this is not assisted by squabbles.”

Marta’s still glowering at me, and I give her a sweet smile. She looks like she wants to spit at me, but luckily the Winter Knight saunters back in from making his phone call at that point. “We’re all set. Ready to go?”

“Where are we going?” the quiet man at the end of the table asks. He’s been silent throughout the squabbles, although I did catch an amused smile lingering on his lips for most of it.

The Winter Knight grins broadly. “Where else? New York.”