The decorative trio strutted across the tree-choked park. Fabion slowed down to examine the trees. Too many dead branches allowed the weak sun to leak past their skeletal shapes. The park looked worse than last month. How disturbing.
A few yards away, a large cluster of grubby humans stopped eating their picnic lunch and stared in open awe. Today’s relatively mild pollution allowed the frail humans to remove their breathers. How rare. Fabion performed his number two wave and smile combo. They waved back. Smart of them to acknowledge his legendary beauty.
Lanaro sniffed in disgust. “Talk about slumming! Why do you want to acknowledge those scruffy breeders? It’s bad enough they keep popping out their ugly brats. At least elves understand control.”
More like male elves were close to sterile and the female elves had almost vanished. “Lanaro, your nasty attitude is why the humans hate us. I don’t care if they enjoy the park. As long as they don’t bother me, I don’t bother them. Let them enjoy the trees.” Or what was left of the blighted growths. Fabion shivered in distress. The dying foliage worried him.
He needed to set that problem aside for later. A more important issue harassed Fabion’s nerves. The supermodel needed to urge Hestran to not hang around Lanaro anymore. The bigoted elf emitted toxic vibes worse than the poisoned sea. Even now his ill temper probably contributed to each tree’s sad demise.
Fabion turned away from Lanaro’s downer attitude and resumed walking. A small human girl, her pale, freckled face showing more dirt than flesh, raced up to him. Her filthy fingers tugged at his trouser leg. Hey! Her grip almost made Fabion yank free. Watch the dirt, child, these wheat-hued, hand-spun silk trousers cost plenty!
Fabion calmed down and recovered from his near recoil. He needed to stop fretting and act benevolent. Good promotional work helped maintain his smokin’ hot image. Never let a scandal-mag asshole using a long-range-laser digital camera capture nonsense. Snap, click, boom, reputation as a sweet, generous elf shot to smithereens. Scandal rags loved ripping down pure elves. To date, Fabion had conquered the silly mess, but then again, bribes always solved a few ugly, drunken problems.
Behind him Lanaro gagged in fresh disgust. “Gross. I’d kick that foul thing back into last century.”
What a supreme asshole. Despite his annoyance, a radiant smile brighter than the dim sun shone forth on Fabion’s face. He pitched his melodic voice into a wise, sincere tone. He imagined the ancients had sounded fuckin’ similar. “Yes, my little one?”
The walking dirtball smiled and clapped in glee. “Pretty elf, please touch my head!”
How quaint. Before he bent over, his fingers discovered a few hundred credits hidden in his vest pocket. Whoops, he must have skimped on Matt’s tip. No, his fingers had unearthed his emergency cash stash. Good.
Why did some human children regard an elf’s touch as a spiritual blessing? Aside from his incredible beauty and superior strength, Fabion owned no magical powers. Still, making a human happy appealed to him.
His blinding smile shone down on the unclean waif. Fabion leaned over and gingerly patted her snarled hair. What felt sticky? Did something squirm against his fingers? Fuck-a-yuck! His free hand slipped the child the credits.
“There, my dear girl, is this what you want from me?”
An excited squeal rang free. The dirty child curtsied and adoringly kissed Fabion’s clean fingers before she scampered off to where her less bold, yet equally soiled, friends huddled under a struggling magnolia tree. Delighted squeals and adoring exclamations drifted toward him along with curtseys. How cute.
Those wise children understood the kicky score. Fabion blew the happy tykes many sweet kisses. His act caused a tremendous giggling fit. He smiled and bowed.
Whispering occurred until the girls stood in a line and curtseyed in solemn unison.
Fine style. Fabion snickered in delight and waved goodbye. Okay, ego boy needed to move along.
“You touched that walking germ factory! She looked like she hadn’t bathed in months.” The shuddering Hestran almost hyperventilated in distress. “Fabion, why? Why do you do such rash things? Aren’t you going to de-germ yourself?”
Could his boyfriend sound a little more snotty? Fabion didn’t appreciate how Hestran slathered de-germer over his thin fingers.
“No, because we can’t catch human diseases! I ain’t fucking worried about it.” Fabion exhaled and forced himself to smile. “Please, Hestran, today I enjoy my glittering king of the advertising world status even if our world is a filthy, polluted armpit. Think, my killer new contract with Celebrant Sparkling Herbal Drink tucks another primo feather in my crowded cap. I feel fucking wonderful. Don’t you feel happy for me?”
Hestran pouted again. “I can’t believe you agreed to work with a Walmontech-owned company.”