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Gabriel had had no luck tonight picking up someone for dinner, but since he wasn't particularly hungry yet, he just treated himself to a cappuchino to unwind. It would have been better without one of the few other guests wearing penetrant after shave, but you couldn't have everything.
What he could have, after all, was company. The young woman making a beeline to his table did not look familar, but the feel of her presence told him what she was, and a quirk of her smile tipped him off as to who she was. Not that he knew that many nymphs, anyway. Her current guise was new to him, petite, white-blonde, decidedly elfin.
"Ah, Gabriel. On the prowl, too?"
"Taking a break, actually."
"No luck, either, eh?" She leaned back and sighed.
Gabriel decided she'd laid on the self-depreciation in her tone thickly enough so he didn't have to take offense. Considering that she was probably the least idiotic person who knew him, she deserved a bit of help. "Do you follow the news? I didn't think so. Some guy getting locked up up for raping a 13yearold girl was all over the papers. I'd think the kind of people attracted by your looks are a bit... inhibited just now. Unless you start prowling schoolyards earlier in the day, that is."
After a thoughtful pause and look around, she whispered, "All right, then."
Her her body wavered like a mirage, and flowed into a somewhat bigger shape. Her hair grew from a pixie cut to well over shoulder length, and turned auburn, her clothes changing to match it. None of the other guests took notice. Gabriel envied the ease with which fae could mess with other people's minds, all without biting them first.
When she was finished, he would have estimated her age closer to thirty than thirteen.
"Much better." Particularly the curves.
"You sure it's not just your taste you're pushing here?" she teased. When he only shrugged, she suggested, "Well, if we find no-one else, the two of us could hook up."
Gabriel gave a sort of dismissive chuckle. "Neither of us would get anything out of it."
"Maybe you just don't value fun enough."
"Maybe some people don't have as much time as you do."
He found that he could waste a surprising amount of time on chatting.