Shared Connection

Snippet. Jean-Pierre Delacroix and Theophilus Essex have a shared link.

Johannes T. Evans


Just a mini piece. 450w, Jean-Pierre and Theophilus Essex discuss Tholo Dufresne.

Theophilus had left Henry’s office as he talked with the gentleman who’d come to see him — they’d met Asmodeus countless times before, of course, but something about the man always unsettled Theophilus, and he preferred not to spend time in a room with him.

The young man who’d accompanied him lingered in the waiting area, and Theophilus watched him for a moment, taking him in. His skin was paler than they painted it in the portraits — ordinarily, the angel of death was depicted with more warmth in his complexion.

Jean-Pierre was as pale as porcelain, and beautiful in the same fragile way: he looked delicate, and innocent beyond measure. If Theophilus didn’t know precisely what sort of person he was, perhaps he might have been fooled by the oversized jumper, the naive expression.

“May I get you something to drink?” Theophilus asked softly.

“No, thank you,“ he said softly: his voice was soft, his accent thick. It reminded Theophilus… He was looking at the portraits on the wall, and Theophilus watched as he stepped forward, examining one sketch.

“Tholo Dufresne,” Jean-Pierre said softly, and Theophilus inhaled quietly. “You knew him?”

“Very well,” Theophilus murmured. “He was a close friend of ours.”

“I am sorry for your loss,” the angel said: perhaps he even meant it. His expression was serious, his lips downturned.

“You knew him?”

“I met him, a few times,” Jean-Pierre said. “He was very handsome. Very charming. I went to medical school with his father, in Paris, but I did not meet him until he was a young man.“

“He threw himself at you, I presume?” Theophilus asked, and Jean-Pierre laughed. It was an impossibly beautiful sound — frighteningly beautiful.

Theophilus didn’t like to think of himself as prejudiced, but angels did unnerve him.

“Yes,” Jean-Pierre murmured. “But he was very good-natured, when I took up with his friend instead.”

“Yes,” Theophilus said, surprised at the smile that tugged at his own lips, however subtly. “That– That would be him.”

“It is not easy, seeing our friends grow old.”

“Easier to kill them, I take it?”

Jean-Pierre did not flinch away — his eyebrows rose very slightly, but he kept Theophilus’ gaze, and then inclined his head, as if ceding to a man who had scored a point against him.

“Alas, no,” he said. “That is hard as well.”

When Henry came out into the waiting room, he glanced between them, aware of the tension he’d walked into.

“I like your secretary very much, Mr Coffey,“ said Jean-Pierre.

“I’m afraid his services are not for hire,” said Henry, and the angels chuckled as they left.

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Johannes T. Evans

Gay trans man writing fantasy fiction, romance, and erotica. Big on LGBTQ and disability themes, plus occasional essays and analysis. He/him.