Perry swished his drink of rum and coke around lazily. He mutely enjoyed the sound of the ice clinking together and when his hand got cold, he would take a small swing and switch hands.
He often did this, at these types of parties. People watching. When he was younger he did it to improve his drawing abilities. Nowadays he did to get a reading on people. Their mannerisms told him all he needed to know about their personalities.
Like that busty blonde woman in the corner, talking to that brown haired guy; The way she tossed her hair and wiggled her hips at the brown haired guy. She was trying too hard, Perry could tell. Either she needed to get laid really badly, or she was trying to get something else from this guy by using sex as bait.
Or that black guy who was by himself, keeping near the buffet table. Judging by the ring on his finger, he came here with his wife and was abandoned sometime during the night. Instead of feeling bored and rejected, he took it upon himself to raid the table. Smart man.
Then there was that kid- the actor he was suppose to train. Perry knew as soon as Dabney had his fill mingling with some of the cute actresses here, he would introduce Perry to the kid.
So at that moment, the Detective was contented to watch this young man from far away. Harry was his name. Good looking kid, bad taste in clothes though. He also stuck out like a sore thumb. He awkwardly moved around the party, only smiling in apology when he'd accidentally bump into someone.
Perry couldn't get a read on him other than the kid was obviously not from L.A. He didn't look bored, just out of place. Like a straight man on a gay cruise, Perry thought amusingly.
He watched as Harry hung around the heated pool, playing with the water by tapping his foot on the surface. It was almost like watching a child- all Perry had to do was wait for this kid to fall in and scream for someone to save him.
Then Harry did something that made Perry blink. The kid kneeled down and scooped something out of the pool. From where Perry stood, it looked like a leaf.
The kid carefully maneuvered to a nearby tree and placed this leaf on a limb.
Curious now, Perry waited for Harry to walk away to see what was so important about this leaf.
It was a moth. A small gray moth. Harry saved an insect from drowning.
Perry chuckled. So the kid had a heart. Interesting.
He kept a closer eye on the kid for the rest of the night. Perry kept his distance however, lest he be called a stalker. So when the kid went into the house Perry decided that was it for the night and wait till they were formally introduced later.
A few minutes later, Perry heard some kind of fight taking place near the pool. A few people who knew who he was gave him a pointed look that basically said, "Aren't you going to do anything?"
Let's get one thing clear: Perry is a detective, he's not a fucking police officer. He is not under any obligation to put his neck on the line to help anyone else, let alone stop a fight that was probably between two drunken idiots.
Curiosity got the better of him and he decided to check it out.
He only saw the end of the fight. The party goer gave his unknown victim a sucker kick to the back, spat out an insult and left. As Perry noticed nobody was going to move to help the guy, he sighed dramatically and walked over. Imagine his surprise when he realized the poor schmuck was the actor, Harry Lockhart. The kid had a bloody nose and a small cut over his eye.
"Hey," Perry said, holding out a hand. "You okay?"
Harry blinked at him and nodded quickly. "Yeah," He said, taking his hand. "One of these days I'll actually learn to fight."
Perry had to smirk at that. Kid just got the shit kicked out of him and still had enough balls to make fun of himself.
"Here," Perry handed out a handkerchief. "Harry Lockhart, right? I'm Perry Von Shrike."
Realization dawns upon the kid's face. "Oh yeah, you're…you're the whatchmacallit…"
"The consultant," He finishes.
Second time he's impressed him tonight. Perry was just waiting for him to say 'gay' and then look upon him with either disgust, acceptance, or something in between.
"So wait," Harry continued after dabbing away most of the blood from his nose. "That would make you g-…uh…"
Perry gave an internal groan. At least the kid tried. "Gay Perry?"
"Ah…" Uncomfortable silence. "Still gay?"
Oh god. Perry hadn't heard a comment that idiotic since high school. "Me? Oh no, I'm knee deep in pussy. I just like the name so much, I can't get rid of it."
Harry paused and Perry could see the kid couldn't tell if he was kidding or not. Seriously, he couldn't tell?
Grabbing the little first aid kit from underneath the kitchen sink, Perry had the kid sit down on the counter. Harry had already wiped away most of the blood from his bleeding nose, all Perry had to do was clean the cuts.
As he disinfected the wounds, Perry took the moment to get a really good look at the kid.
His first impressions were correct: The kid was cute. Not handsome, but something about his features were unique and memorable. Big brown eyes, short dark curly hair, and thin lips that took on a pouting look as Perry wiped the cut above his eyebrow with alcohol. "So tell me," Perry said as he moved to the cut on his cheek. "What did you do to get that guy to beat the shit out of you?"
"Oh, you know," Harry sighed. "He's a little bit country, I'm a little bit rock-n-roll. I told him Garth Brooks sucks and he slugged me across the face."
So the kid was funny. How nice. "Seriously, how?"
He sighed again. "He was groping some drunk girl and I told him to stop. He didn't like that very much."
"Were you hoping you'd get laid?"
"By whom, the guy?"
Perry snorted. "The girl, you idiot."
"Considering she was unconscious at the moment, no. Just FYI, I don't stop guys from groping unconscious girls then do it myself. That would be hypocritical," The kid rolled his eyes.
Perry had to smirk again. He liked this kid.