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The night was still. Too still for Dieter's taste, as he preferred a light breeze, one that carried the scents of the night to him. There was much less work to it that way. They were much easier to find.
Tonight he was in one of the worst parts of the city, searching for someone who might have spice. Someone who might fight. Dieter was bored.
So very bored.
So far he had passed up a stocky older man who wandered down the street past him singing El Rey, and a woman who was probably quite strong, as young as she seemed, both rejected because of their scents.
He had enough despair of his own.
Just when he thought he would give up, go home, Dieter caught something on the air. A man. Young, feral, full of heat; someone composed of pepper and lime and sweat. Perfect.
Dieter stepped out from the doorway he stood in, flicking his cane out and immediately dropping it, standing frozen, as if lost without it.
"Dios mio! You dropped you stick, man." The clack of his cane sounded, then it was pressed into his hand. "You gotta be careful, yeah? Bad dudes out here after dark."
Oh, yes. Young enough to still think he was invincible, Dieter could tell by the voice.
"Oh. Thank you. I ... I appear to be hopelessly lost."
"Where you trying to be? You're at Gonzales and 3rd." Cocky, self-sure.
In return, Dieter gave uncertain, almost panicked. "I was to meet someone. A friend. Is there a station nearby?"
"Like a bus? Sure, man. Two blocks down and one over, by the little taqueria." A warm, callused hand touched his shoulder. "What time's your bud supposed to show?"
Smiling just enough to look wry, Dieter turned toward the touch, handreaching out. "Perhaps an hour ago?"
"Oh. You been stood up. Come on, Guapo. I'll take you to the bus stop." His hand was taken. "You gotta be careful."
Groping, Dieter took the young man's arm. "Thank you so much. What is your name?"
"Eh? My homies call me Mago, the magician. You?" Oh, strong, warm, male.
Stroking absently at the warm skin, Dieter breathed deep, feeling his hunger stir at the musk and tequila scent the breath brought to him. "I am Dieter. Why Mago?"
"Mamma says she couldn't keep me in my crib, in the house. She says I'm always disappearing and reappearing."
"Ah. How intrepid of you." They were nearing the bus stop far too quickly, and it was the main exchange he'd guess from the diesel fumes. That would never do.
"Okay. Thanks, I think." The chuckle was low, sexy, deep, unaffected.
He chuckled as well, fingers moving, testing the resilience of muscle and bone. "Did I offend? My English sometimes is poor." Certainly his accent made it sound so; though faint it was still strong enough to mark his speech.
"Oh, my spanglish is wicked, so we're cool, man." The kid moved faster, moving him toward the bus stop. "Almost there, Guapo."