Denial Ain't Only A River in Egypt…

"So let me get this straight…..your favorite little freshy shows up, hot to trot, and you said no?" Josef grinned and shook his head, "Mick, my boy, you're slipping."

Mick shuffled thru several pages of the final police report on the fire, checking for some specific residue test results. "She was under the influence of the Black Crystal. I don't consider an offer made under those circumstances valid. Besides, she trusts me."

"Still," pressed the older vamp, "weren't you even a little tempted? I mean, you missed your chance to get a little frisky. You could have at least kissed her."

Paying little attention to Josef, Mick located the page he was looking for. "I've already kissed her….where did I put that folder.."

"WAIT a minute", crowed Josef. "You ALREADY kissed her? When did this happen? You rather skipped that little bit of information. So you kissed her?"

Mick shrugged and gave Josef a small grin. "Well, actually she kissed me. Twice. Well, the second time was kinda mutual."

"Well, well, well…our little vampire's growing up" Josef teased. "So what happened to 'we're just friends and partners on a case'? Sounds more like you're getting in too deep, my friend. Next thing you know, you'll be picking out china and she'll be asking you to turn her."

Mick went still and looked down at the papers in his hands. "She's asked. But she didn't really mean it…she was under the influence of the drug." Mick shook his head and looked Josef in the eye. "Even if she asked, you know my feelings about turning anyone. I won't do it."

Josef held Mick's gaze. "Just how serious is this…relationship? I mean, you know you'll eventually either have to either turn her or let her go. After meeting her, I can see her entertainment value, but you seem to have become attached to her on a very human level." Josef pressed his point. "Don't forget what you are and what she is."

"I haven't forgotten," Mick shot back. "And we don't have that kind of relationship…she's involved with someone…a boyfriend she's been seeing for a year now."

"And yet," mused Josef, "she drove three hours into the desert to let you feed from her, she seeks you out when she's feeling a bit frisky, and…let's not forget…you killed your wife to protect her. Maybe I'm a little rusty on what constitutes a relationship…"

Mick shot him a warning look. "Drop it, Josef. I can handle things. Beth and I are friends…nothing more. It wouldn't work out and she knows that. I've told her that those kind of things are inadvisable. She's happily involved with this guy named Josh and I just happen to run into her on some of my cases. So….just friends and coworkers," he explained as he gathered up the police report. "Gotta go…I have to talk with a couple witnesses for a new case I just took on. Talk to you later, Josef."

Josef watched as Mick swept out of the room and shook his head. "I think thou doest protest too much, my friend," he sighed. "Just friends, my ass!"