“No, she’s more than that. She’s my soulmate!”
Then the first sigh. “She’s human, sixteen years old, and you’re three-hundred and twelve.”
“But I look sixteen.”
“You think?” Sarcasm dripped, unnoticed. Sixteen had been so old three hundred years ago.
“I was taken at sixteen. My body is sixteen!”
“Was. Nearly three hundred years ago. And sixteen then is not the same as sixteen now. Certainly not after three hundred years of experience. It doesn’t start off nearly equal enough when you say you’re looking for a partner.”
“You’re just jealous because we’re not together anymore.”
“Right, that’s why I left.”
“You didn’t leave. I left. Me.”
“No matter how petty you are, I’m still not going to agree that dating a child, still in her parent’s home, is a good idea.”
“She’s not a child!”
“Breasts alone do not a woman make.”
“What do you even know about it? Can you remember how it feels to be sixteen?”
“Not really. That’s why I don’t think this is a good idea. She needs to grow up some.”
“That’s…. I…. Why do I even call you?”
“Because I always tell you the truth, and sometimes you think you want to hear it.”
“You’re wrong. This time you’re wrong.”
“I hope so. Tell you what, I’ll believe all your soulmate claims if you can leave her alone until she’s lived on her own for six months. If she graduates at seventeen like most human’s these days, that’s not even until they consider her legal. Not even two years. That’s nothing for a three-hundred and twelve year old.”
“But she needs me. I have to take care of her.”
Another sigh, heavier this time. “She needs to be independent for a few days before pledging eternity to someone. Can you try to be the adult here?”
“But we’re soulmates!” The last word was nearly howled. “You’ve never understood me. You’ll never understand!”
“No, probably not.” She sounded tired.
“She loves me!”
“Of course she does.”
“More than you ever could.”
“I’m not arguing that.” Her voice was resigned, and tired.
“I don’t know why I even try to talk to you.”
“Me either.” The answer was soft, almost lost behind the sound of the other phone hitting plastic as it disconnected. Seconds later, she was gone as well. George looked up at his supervisor as the recording ended, his expression hesitant and worried.
“Should I call someone? Homeland security? FBI? Police?”
Michael’s eyes were a little pinched but he was shaking his head. His fingers came together, putting pressure on the bridge of his nose before he answered.
“No, of course not. Obviously they’ve figured out we were listening and they put on a little play for our benefit. We’d look ridiculous if we took it anywhere, like we couldn’t take a joke.”
“You sure? A call from Ocala, Florida to Toronto for a joke?”
“Yes,” Michael said, but he was shaking his head. “What else could it be? Vampires don’t exist.”
“They didn’t say vampire, just that….” George stopped talking, realizing he had nowhere to go from there. Just that they were immortal, that they were more than three hundred years old? That had to be a joke, and if that was a joke, the whole thing probably was. There wouldn’t be a sixteen year old somewhere that needed their protection or concern.
Michael’s hand landed on his shoulder. It was a supportive gesture. The call had sounded so real, would have sounded so real if vampires existed.
“Delete it.” Michael said finally, walking away. George nodded, reaching for the button. He felt better once it was gone.
He laughed. What a joke that had been. Too bad there wasn’t a way for him to applaud their effort, but he’d already deleted the record and there were a lot more international calls that needed listening to. He switched to the next one, fitting himself back into his safe normal world where terrorists were his job and his only worry.