"I don't think you want her after you. Or, I mean--" Vlad looped an arm around Luu's shoulders, pointing back and forth between them and himself, both giving toothy smiles that did not quite reach their eyes, "--us either, right? Especially now that we know where you live."
"--Because by then they'd walked me home," Teige concluded. Parker had sat back on her haunches and was staring at him.
"What the hell, is this person in the mob?" she asked. Teige rolled his trunk up around the paintbrush he was holding.
"I dunno what he's about," he said honestly. "But the other one is an Aetherian soldier. Said they'd teach me to fight, if I teach the kid."
"Oh my god," Parker said, "you're not actually gonna go, are you??"
Parker stood, her long arms akimbo. "None of this sounds suspicious as shit to you??" she wanted to know. Teige resumed his usual shape just then, ears flat against his horns.
"What's the alternative, Parker?" he asked. "I don't learn to fight, I don't make the cut for R.I.T., I get deported?"
"Why are you so stuck on fighting??" Parker snapped.