I dig through the cupboard of the kitchen of the house we ‘acquired’. Hiding from the police takes some work, more than it does in movies and TV shows. “Jay?”
“You’re looking for food in cupboards but I kind of got you a LOT of chocolate,” he says.
I turn, and the kitchen table is filled with chocolates. Bars, collections, boxes. “You bought all that?”
“I didn’t want you to be sad,” he says, as if that explains everything.
“Not getting into altercations with the police might make me less sad as well,” I say as patiently as I can. From what Jay said a ‘really meany’ police officer had been threatening another kid and since Jay can sense bindings with inhuman skill I don’t disagree the kid was probably in danger and Jay did save their life. By assaulting a police office with hugs and getting shot at. That he’s tough and faster than humans means he got away. That we’re hiding in a house two towns away means he wasn’t as good at it as he thought.
“I didn’t mean to,” the kid pouts, and I sigh.
“I know that, Jay. You ‘don’t mean to’ a lot of things. And this is a lot of chocolate, even for you.”
He squirms. Jay’s eyes are broken things hidden behind dark glasses, but he’s holding his cane a bit too tightly, not quite looking in my direction, teeth gnawing a little on his lower lip.
Jay gapes that I saw through him so easily; it would be funny on other days. “Okay, and maybe I promised someone a story about indulgence on tumblr and I might have forgot because I was trying to learn about Valentine’s Day and then we’ve been busy doing favours for the fae and the police stuff happened and how they’ll need to be indulgent to me because I’m all late with the story and sad about that and I was hoping we could eat lots of chocolate because that is totally an indulgence right?!”
Jay’s grin is huge and hopeful. I shake my head a little. “Wait, both of us eating all this?”
“Well, of course. I said you were my valentine Charlie and! I am clearly yours.”
I blink. “Why?”
“Because you totally put up with me when things get weird and bad and I screw stuff up and I don’t think most humans would. So! that means I’m your valentine, right?”
“Jay.” I take a deep breath, and grin. “I’m not putting up with you. I’m tolerating you, and you have to do more than just tolerate someone to be their valentine.”
“Oh!” He senses the grin and returns it. “We could start by eating lots of chocolate!”
“We could. Would it help if I said this is definitely an indulgence?”
“It would a lot!” He moves in a blur, hugging me tight.
I return the hug, pressing a finger to his lips before he can speak. “It’s okay. I said it was going to be okay, didn’t I?”
Jay nods, then grabs chocolates off the table and hands them to me.
I stare at the groaning table, then sit and begin eating as he opens up others and eats them as well. I’m almost hoping the police find us now, if only for the headlines that might result.