BE AWARE, this scene will have spoilers if you haven’t read Dinner at Dawn yet!

Here is one of my favorite scenes in which Eclipse takes Silas out to go shopping for clothes. You might recognize the scene from the book, but only a small portion actually made it into the novel. The rest is here for you to enjoy!

When they stepped out of the house, Silas was surprised to find Eclipse making his way to the garage. As they stepped into the huge space his jaw dropped and he completely forgot to play it cool.

Mon Dieu, how many cars do you have?”

“Between Raenef, Feilon and me, fourteen cars. Six of them classic cars in top condition we have bought ourselves when they first came out, and seven motorcycles. We have more cars scattered over various houses over the world, but these are our most cherished ones.”

Silas stepped further into the garage, nodding to Evan who was polishing a sleek white sports car.

“This one is awesome!”

“You should see it with the lights on, young master Silas,” Evan said while turning the key in the ignition. The car purred to life like a big cat and a light blue hue came out of nowhere on both the inside and outside, giving it a futuristic look. “It has a quad turbo eight-liter V16 engine and this baby can reach top speeds of 250 miles per hour, pushed by the 1,000 horsepower,” Evan said proudly. “Master Raenef even let me take her for a spin on the property,” he added as if remembering the best day of his life.

“That’s Raenef’s baby. She’s a finalized prototype, and won’t be on the market till the end of this year. Only five hundred of them will be produced, all are commissioned and tailor-made,” Eclipse said having come up to them.

“She’s beautiful. I mean I don’t care much about cars, but this one is just, wow,” Silas said.

Eclipse smiled. “Good to see you can get impressed by something,” he teased. “Want to see mine?”

Silas flushed at the double entendre. Cars, Silas, focus on the cars!

Eclipse walked them past several cars, one even more beautiful than the next, to a sleek, black sports car. It had artistically red painting details on it, as well as flashy red and matte black hubcaps in the same color as the paint details.

“Custom made, of course,” Eclipse said. “As is the interior design and paintwork. I had an actual artist do the paintwork.”

Silas whistled, too impressed to come up with a snarky remark. “How much did she costs?”

“Two point four. And another million for the extras. A lot of money, but worth every penny.”

Silas rolled his eyes. “You do realize that you could have fed a small country with that amount of money right?”

“I’ll make a nice donation to the World Food Program if that would make you feel better. I thought we could drive this one today, but if it goes against your ethics, we could take the Town Car if you insist.”

Non, I’m good,” Silas was quick to answer. His ethics could wait.

It was as if he stepped into a spaceship. There were led lights everywhere, yet tastefully hidden, and the details on the interior were simply amazing. His fingers itched to touch everything. Yet was afraid to do so at the same time out of respect for the artist who had worked his magic on this piece of art. For the first time, he had to admit he could appreciate the show of over the top wealth.

“Buckle up and we’ll take her for a spin.” He hadn’t even noticed Eclipse getting into the car.

“If you want, I can teach you how to drive,” Eclipse offered.

“In this one?” Silas asked before he could stop himself. Couillon, you’re not here long enough to learn how to drive a car.

“I thought we’d start with something a little smaller and a lot slower, but once you’ve got the hang of it, sure, why not? I can even buy you your own.”

“Just because you’re a zillionaire doesn’t mean you can win my trust by buying me presents. Besides, what would I need a car for in the bayou?”

If his goal had been to shut The Bastard up, he had succeeded; The man’s jaw tightened and he suddenly seemed very focused on the road ahead. If he had hoped to feel good about putting him in his place, he was wrong. Which was odd, because he had every right to be pissed at The Bastard; He had killed him, turned him into a bloodsucking monster, and thought he could bribe him with fancy rich people’s stuff into making him forget all that.

But he gave you a family in return and stopped you from killing those puppies. His treacherous mind put in its two cents. Great, my mind is already caving to the smell of leather and money.

Luckily it was only a short drive into town, and though part of him was sorry to leave the comfy car, his relieve to get out of the small confinement of the car—which had gotten a bit oppressive after his little, if not one-sided, verbal warfare won out. Or perhaps it was his own guilty conscious because Eclipse didn’t seem perturbed at all and he was starting to wonder if anything actually could.


“Try this one,” Eclipse suggested holding up a printed t-shirt made of a nice silk blend.

At first, Silas seemed to like it and even agreed to try it on in one of the large fitting rooms. “Mon Dieu!” Silas hissed from behind the curtain. Rustling sounds followed the exclamation, and before Eclipse could figure out what was wrong, his fledgling stormed out, throwing the shirt towards the clerk and dragged Eclipse behind him.

“What’s wrong? If you don’t like it, we c—”

“—HUNDRED AND TEN DOLLARS! Hundred and ten! For a fucking t-shirt! Are they crazy? Who’d buy that stuff?!”

“But th—”

“NON! That’s ridiculous!”

“What happened to me being a ‘rich bastard’? You know I can afford it.”

Silas glared at him. “Just because you’re filthy rich, doesn’t mean you can buy my affection!”

“I wasn’t trying to buy your affection, I was trying to buy you a shirt,” Eclipse pointed out. “We’ve gone over this before, you need clothes. Proper ones, ones that actually fit you.”

“I agreed to new clothes, oui, not to some rich people stuff I don’t need.”

Eclipse sighed, something he seemed to do a lot around his new fledgling. “Okay, so where would you suggest we go shopping for clothes then?”

Silas looked around, not recognizing any of the stores. “Isn’t there a Walmart or something?”

1, 2, 3 Keep breathing… 4, 5, 6 He doesn’t know any better yet. You’ll need to educate him. 7, 8, 9, 10.

“Okay, let’s go this way. It’s not a Walmart, but the closest thing,” Eclipse said when his eye fell on another store further down the street.

Silas followed a little apprehensive, and a lot annoyed, and was dragging his feet on the pavement. He perked up a little when the store they entered turned out to be bustling with kids his age and music pumping through the speakers. The music distracted him like Eclipse expected it to do. After all, music had a hypnotic effect on vampires, especially the young ones.

The store-clerks were all too busy to notice them and Silas relaxed a little. He even went over some stacks of clothes and after checking the price tags he pulled out several to try on.

“You might want to try something else instead,” Eclipse warned when he noticed the shirt was made of a synthesized nylon blend.

“Why? You don’t like it? You said I could pick whatever I wanted.”

“I did, but you‘ll want to avoid certain textiles. Your skin has become highly sensitive, and this fabric will not be comfortable.”

But Silas wouldn’t be Silas if he wasn’t stubborn, and he took the shirt with him to the fitting rooms. He checked out some other racks before rather inconspicuously making for the door, all the while keeping tabs on the cameras placed in the corners.

Eclipse was curious as to what his fledgling was doing, so he followed him silently. His curiosity turned into incredulity as the boy casually walked out of the store, still wearing the new t-shirt under his old one. As soon as he stepped over the threshold, he made a run for it. A smile tugged at his lips at the brat’s guts.

“What on earth did you do that for? I told you I’ve got money, there‘s no need for stealing anymore. You will get into trouble.”

Silas looked a bit put off. “I forgot I guess. But, it’s their own fault, they hardly pay attention, and their security is a joke. They wouldn’t have caught me in a million years!”

“That’s not the point. Please promise me you won‘t ever do that again. You don’t have to anymore.”

Silas hauled his shoulders but otherwise seemed too distracted to take notice of Eclipse at all. His nostrils were flaring and his breathing was fast and shallow. Eclipse doubted it had anything to do with the thrill of shoplifting but everything with the number of humans in the store. When he saw a foreboding red glow pulse in the boy’s eyes, he quickly guided his fledgling to a small deli nearby where he knew it would be quiet around this time of day.

They sat down at a table in the back, putting a good distance between the only other occupied table and themselves. They ordered coffee while going for all intents and purpose over the menu. “Take a deep breath. You’re doing great,” Eclipse said once the waiter had left.

Silas looked at him while gnawing on his bottom lip. “I thought I was going crazy in there.”

“But you kept it together. I’m really proud of you. Here, take this and you’ll feel better.” Eclipse gave him a vial Ambrosia—which looked absurdly innocent in the nondescript looking vial.

For a moment the brat looked like he was about to refuse, but his hunger won out and he snatched up the vial, downed it in one go, and washed it away with a large gulp of coffee. Almost at once his breathing returned to normal and his eyes to their original brown color.

While they enjoyed the rest of their coffee, Eclipse noticed Silas was getting antsier. “Are you okay?” he asked having a good idea what was bothering him this time.


But before they had finished their coffee Silas was scratching his chest and shoulders and even twisted into weird postures to scratch his back in places his hands were unable to reach. Eclipse had to exercise quite some constraint to keep his face neutral.

“It hurts and itches, doesn’t it?” he asked.

Silas attempted to glare at him, but he was too miserable to make it stick, instead, he nodded and Eclipse actually felt for him.

“Why don’t you go to the bathroom and change back into your old shirt for now, hm?” Eclipse suggested and was surprised to see his fledgling do just that. No fights, no insults, no accusations. Simply got up and walked straight to the bathroom. I guess there’s a first for everything.

Minutes later Silas came back wearing his old shirt again.

“How bad is it?” Eclipse asked.

“I look like a lobster with chickenpox and feel like I’ve been marinated in nettles.”

Eclipse had to stifle a laugh at his fledgling’s colorful description. “I—”

“—If you dare say ‘I told you so’,  I’ll kill you!”

This time Eclipse did laugh. “I wouldn’t dare.”

The waiter served their lunch and it looked as if Silas was hungry for more than blood. He dug into the sandwich Eclipse had ordered for him when he had been changing. Two bites in though, he froze and spat out the food in his paper towel.

“What’s wrong?” Eclipse asked puzzled, the boy had never rejected or even disliked any kind of food.

“You ordered this for me?!” Silas hissed. “Are you trying to kill me? Is that it? You fucking connard, I knew I should never have trusted you!”

Eclipse stared in confusion, yet couldn‘t help but be happy about the last part. He trusts me?

“It’s laced with garlic. Garlic! If you want to get rid of me so badly, let me leave already. I never asked for any of this!”

Only then did Eclipse realize what Silas was talking about, or rather accusing him of. I really should make that list.

“Silas, you won’t perish from garlic. Yes, I ordered this one, and yes, I even asked them to put some extra on it. But not to poison you, why would I? You really believe I‘d spend money on new clothes only to kill you before ever wearing them?” The money wouldn’t be an incentive for him, but he figured it would mean something to the boy. He could see the gears turning in the boy’s head.

“Okay, perhaps that doesn’t make much sense,” Silas admitted.

“Humans aren’t wrong about garlic, just not in the way the stories make you think. Garlic doesn’t harm us, but it does suppress our Methuselan nature a little. Most changelings use garlic to help control their Methuselan nature, that’s why I ordered it for you. Try it, you‘ll feel better.”

Silas frowned and stared at the innocent sandwich as if he expected it to melt into neon green slime any second. A sudden loud rumbling coming from his stomach ended the standoff between him and the sandwich, and he hesitatingly took another bite. When nothing happened, he took another few before devouring the rest faster than was probably healthy.

“So, what was wrong with the shirt? Am I now allergic to cheap clothes?” Silas said in an effort to break the silence between them.

“Not cheap clothes, cheap textiles. Our skin is profoundly sensitive and some textiles, especially the synthetic blends are too rough on our skin and will make you want to crawl out of it. Unfortunately, most cheap clothes are made from these textiles as they are cheaper to manufacture. More expensive clothes generally are softer for the skin. Such as silks, angora or cashmere.”

“Great, yet another prerogative,” Silas snarled while still rubbing across his chest.

“It’s not all bad, it can have some very pleasurable advantages in certain, shall we say, other ‘activities’” Eclipse said thinking back on said activities with a suggestive smile.

Silas’ head started to match the color of his chest in a rapid flush and his eyes almost bulged out. “YOU PERV!” he yelled before realizing they were still in the deli and people were now watching them with interest.

Eclipse chuckled at his fledgling’s innocent reaction. And darn, did he love to rile him up.

“You have no idea, my innocent little urchin. Hopefully, one day you’ll let me show you just how much of a pervert I can be,” he teased. “For now though, let’s  finish our shopping in more upscale shops so we don’t get a repeat performance shall we?”

Silas glared at him, his face now a nice deep color of burgundy. “Show me, and I’ll kill you!”

Eclipse grinned. Hmm, I wonder how far that blush is going.

Fledglings and slaves were expected to be docile, submissive—mere slaves to serve and protect their masters. The Himura Clan was rather famous, or in some circles infamous for their modern take on millennia-old traditions though. Silas was the icing on the cake as far as Eclipse was concerned; The little brat behaved nothing like a fledgling ought to behave. He was loud, rude, disrespectful and went out of his way to make his life as difficult as he possibly could. He loved him all the more for it. If he had wanted a docile and submissive fledgling, he would have gotten himself a pet lamb. No, Silas was a welcome addition to his life, and he had a strong impression he would never tire of the brat’s mercurial character. His only fear was that Silas wouldn’t come to think of him the same way.

The rest of the afternoon passed smooth enough, and even though Silas wasn‘t too engaged with finding new clothes, he also didn’t put up any more fights.

“All that’s left are shoes.”

“I’ve got shoes,” Silas said while wiggling his foot demonstratively.

It only proved Eclipse’s point though as it showed the holes in the soles. “Yeah, those are not shoes, Silas. Those are—I don’t even know what they are, but they should have been laid to rest a million miles ago. So please, don’t fight me on this one. But I’ll buy you an ice cream cone if you’re good?” he added with a wink.

Silas glared for good measure. “I’m not a kid!” he huffed. “But, four scoops of triple chocolate might put me in a better mood,” he added good-naturally.

Eclipse smiled. “Deal.”

Six of the city’s most expensive shoe stores later and Eclipse despaired they would ever find the brat new shoes, let alone enough pairs to last him a while. Not only was it driving him to despair; the two clerks who had been running back and forth with boxes of shoes almost had steam coming from their ears. Even Silas looked about ready to rip his own hair out.

“These are old man’s shoes! I’m not going to wear those. Don’t you have something at least a little cool?!” Silas scolded one of the clerks.

When the man came hurrying back with yet another box under his arms and an even higher level of annoyance written on his face, Silas had reached his limits.

“For crying out loud, for this amount of money you’d expect shoes that are at least comfortable! That’s it, Eclipse, we’re out of here!”

Eclipse blinked, for a second stunned by the sound of his name falling from his fledglings lips. It was the first time his fledgling had called him by his given name and a wave of warmth swept through him. He couldn’t stop himself from grinning like the proverbial cat that caught the canary. “Okay, let’s go!”  

Silas gave him a quizzical look, and for a moment Eclipse wondered if his fledgling had sensed his emotions through their bond. Their bond wasn’t very strong yet as the Change wasn’t complete yet, but he should be able to sense stronger emotions coming through by now.

The moment was gone the next second as Silas was already marching towards the exit, dragging him along. As they were leaving the store, the youngest of the two clerks stepped up to them.

“Hm, excuse me?” he spoke softly while inconspicuously checking to see if his boss was within earshot.

Intrigued by the young man’s secretive behavior, Eclipse halted and turned to the man.

“I probably shouldn’t say anything, but you seem like nice people, so—” Another weary glance over his shoulder to where his boss was watching them closely. Not happy a wealthy customer left their shop empty-handed. The clerk turned his body just so, ensuring his boss didn’t see him handing Eclipse a rumpled business card. “You might want to check this guy out. He makes amazing footwear that might appeal more to him than what you would find here on Fifth Avenue. Tell him Maurice send you.”

Eclipse looked over the business card that was nothing more than a plain piece of packaging paper with a name and address scribbled on it. “Okay, thank you, we’ll check it out.”

“What do you think? Want to have a go?” Eclipse asked.

Silas hauled his shoulders, “Fine, but if it’s yet another one of those posh shops, I’m out. Fucking bastards all think they’re so much better than me. Did you see the look on that guy‘s face when I asked for sneakers?”

Eclipse nodded. He had noticed. Usually when he stepped into a shop clerks would bend over backward to cater to his every need. Their false servitude and politeness irritated him, but he had gotten used to the fact that humans could smell money from miles away and that it made most of them behave like idiots. Silas though had gotten nothing but cold shoulders and disapproving looks, and he was sure that if he hadn’t been around, they would have kicked him out of their precious stores. It had surprised him at first and then amused him. But it hadn’t been the same for his fledgling. He had lived with this kind of rejections and discrimination his whole life, and Eclipse started to get an inkling about where his hostile demeanor originated from. It couldn’t have been easy for him, especially not at such a vulnerable age.

An hour later Eclipse pulled over at the address they had given him, looking around as if to double check the address. “Hmm, it should be the building on the left,” he said while looking dismayed at the nondescript, rundown warehouse.

The address turned out to be in a rather deserted part of town that housed long since abandoned warehouses and old factories. Eclipse knew it was a favorite hangout place for squatters and drug-addicts as the police rarely ventured this far out of town.

After checking several steel doors, one opened—albeit with a screeching that could raise the dead. After taking a quick glance around Eclipse stepped into the dark building first. He didn’t expect any problems, but he wasn’t taking any risks with his fledgling there with him.

The space was huge and was divided into smaller sections by tarps hanging from overhead beams. Loud noises coming from what looked like welding machines and other industrial machinery, and several people were at work in the space.

“At least it‘s not like any of the posh shops we’ve seen so far,” Silas deadpanned while stepping past Eclipse.

“That’s for sure.” Eclipse checked the slip of paper for any hints on where to find this ‘Sanchez’. Not finding any, he tried to ask the person closest to them.

The man looked like he had been living on the streets his whole life; Hands oily and blackened with soot and who knew what else. He was wearing an overall that had burn marks and holes competing for fabric. Before Eclipse could open his mouth, the man shooed him away like he was the filthy one in the room, while shouting about sharks in suits and how they weren’t going to get him.

Eclipse backed off, hands up in what he hoped to be a peaceful gesture.

“Nicely done, Mr.-smooth-businessman-slash-shark,” Silas said, clearly pleased to see him fail. “Here, I’ve got this,” he added while motioning Eclipse to stay back.

He looked around before sauntering over to a kid about his own age who was absorbed in spray painting a huge mural on the corrugated back wall, which—Eclipse had to admit—was stunning. Its bright colors and whimsical design at odds with its surroundings, making it stand out.

“Yo, brother, Whaz up?” Silas’ whole posture and tone of voice had changed to a bored drawl as if he couldn’t care less if they found the guy or not—He didn‘t need to be a great actor to pull it off.

The kid gave Silas a quick once-over. Apparently, Silas passed whatever test was going on because the kid nodded in greeting. “You with him?” he asked motioning to Eclipse as if he wasn‘t even worth a glance.

“Long story, bro. But he’s kinda cool,” Silas said.

‘Kinda cool’, hm? Eclipse smiled.

“Aniwayz, we’re looking for a Sanchez? Heard of him?” Silas continued.

“Maybe. Who wants to know?

Silas smirked and walked back to Eclipse. “Give me a twenty.”

Eclipse lifted his brow but got out his wallet and handed over the money.

Silas sauntered back over to the kid. “Jackson wants to know.”

The kid looked to see if any of the others were watching before putting away the money in his jeans pocket before picking up another can of paint and returned to working on his mural. “Upstairs, second office to the right.”

Silas grinned victoriously at Eclipse while mouthing the word ‘loser’.

Eclipse rolled his eyes.

They made their way to the stairs passing many sorts of pop-up workstations, most of the artsy kind. Upstairs, the space was divided into rooms, probably offices from when the warehouse had still been in operation. Once they entered the second office to the right, the smell of leather hit their noses.

Looks like we‘re at the right place. Eclipse doubted they would find the kind of shoes he had in mind though. The workplace was dark and cramped and hides in various colors hung from the rafters, some of them still wet with dyes. In the back of the tiny space stood an old wooden table that was piled high with more skins and stacks of papers. The back wall was covered in rough sketches pinned alongside swatches of leather.

Seated on the hind legs of a rickety-looking chair in a precarious act of balance was a lanky kid in his mid-twenties. He was chewing on a pencil while staring intently at the wall before him.

Eclipse and Silas shared a look before Eclipse cleared his throat. The soft sound sent a wave of motion through the workspace as the kid flew up, lost his balance and sent papers and textiles sailing through the air. “Sorry about that,” Eclipse said. “Sanchez, I suppose?”

The kid’s laid-back attitude morphed into one of suspicion. “Who wants to know?”

Eclipse rolled his eyes. Why can’t kids these days answer a question without turning it into some kind of interrogation? He was getting tired of this fast and he was starting to regret following up on the tip. Even if the kid did sell footwear, chances were Silas would hate them or the quality would be so poor that he himself would dislike them. Not only would they be back to square one, but he would also have the added bonus of a headache to go with it.

“Maurice send us. He said you may have what we’re looking for. So, do you? Or are we wasting our time here?”

“Maurice? Hm okay, depends what you’re looking for then. I don’t make fancy rich man’s shoes if that’s what you’re after,” Sanchez said looking pointedly at Eclipse’s patent leather, six hundred dollar shoes.

What’s wrong with my shoes?! “It’s not for me, it’s for… him,” Eclipse said after locating Silas in front of the back wall.

“So what are you looking for?” Sanchez asked Silas.

Silas hauled his shoulders, “Shoes?”

Eclipse grinned, glad to see someone else rolling his eyes at one of his fledgling’s witty remarks for a change.

“Duh, what style dude?”

“I don’t know. What about these? They‘re pretty cool,” Silas said while pointing at a sketch pinned to the wall.

“You like that one? Hm, looks like you might have some taste after all. I’m still working on those though, but I can show you some finished products that have a similar style.”

He looked closely at Silas’s sneakers, or what had been sneakers in a past lifetime. “Size five?”

Silas looked around for a place to sit and hopped on the workbench while kicking off his sneakers, having been to enough shoe stores to know the drill by now.

Instead of the regular shoeboxes, Sanchez came back with a large crate. He put it down and rummaged around until he had found what he was looking for. He held up a knee-high combat boot with a side zipper and straps wrapped all around the leg.

Silas’ eyes lit up. “Now, we’re talking!”

As if by a miracle they fit him like a glove and Silas was happily parading around the small workshop. Once he had hopped back onto the workbench Eclipse took a closer inspection of the boot, expecting it to be a poor quality. With the way things have been going all day, there must be something wrong here.

But he found it to be quite the opposite. The boot looked rough and edgy, but it was made from a rather soft, black leather and the stitching was one of the best he had seen. They looked durable and exquisitely tailored. It seemed he had misjudged the kid; He may not be the politest salesperson, but he was damn good at making shoes. He also appreciated the way he was engaging Silas into the conversation.

“You like ‘em?” Silas asked him enthused.

“I do, they are really nice, and the quality is superb. Are they comfortable?”

“Yeah, almost as comfy as my sneakers.” Since Silas loved his sneakers Eclipse took that to be a compliment.

“Did you make these yourself?” he asked Sanchez.

“Yeah, I design and make everything by hand. I do my own tanning and dyeing, so it’s exactly how I envision it. Every pair is unique that way,” the kid explained.

Eclipse nodded in agreement, impressed by the young man’s expertise and creativity.

Looks like it wasn‘t a waste of time to come here after all. “Do you have anything else to show us?” Eclipse asked, a lot friendlier than before.

Sanchez rummaged around in the crate and held up a deep brown boot. This one reminded Eclipse of a modern take on the seven-league boots and were made of a suede-like leather that hugged Silas’s leg like a glove. He absolutely loved them on his fledgling. He wasn‘t the only one it seemed, as Silas kept stroking the soft leather as if it was a lover. Which, in turn, did funny things to Eclipse’s anatomy.

Down boy, focus on the shoes.  “We‘ll definitely take those. Do you also have something a little lower?” Eclipse asked Sanchez.

“Sure, hang on,” Sanchez said enthused by their sincere interest in his products.

“These are great! And they’ll probably be cheap too since he’s making them by hand,” Silas whispered when Sanchez was in the back looking for more shoes.

Eclipse smiled, happy to see his fledgling so enthusiastic. He doubted the shoes would come cheap though, knowing that handmade, one-of-a-kind products, never did. “Let me worry about the money. You simply make sure they‘re to your liking.”

Sanchez showed them several more pairs that were lower, but still had the same edgy touch to them. All had the same excellent quality that set them miles apart from the uniform, machine-made footwear you could find in retail stores. Silas loved all of them and was now arranging and rearranging them in order of how much he loved them.

“So, are you actually going to buy a pair?” Sanchez said when he had nothing more to show them.

Silas looked up hopefully at Eclipse. “Can I? Pretty please?” He added a puppy-dog-eyed smile for good measure, making Eclipse laugh and only a tad weak at the knees.

“Of course you can, we came here to get you some shoes, didn’t we? Which ones do you like?”

Silas made a fist pump “Yes! I like them all, but I guess I like the tall brown ones the best—wait, or perhaps the black ones with the straps? You liked those too, didn’t you?” Silas’ attention was back on the shoes, trying hard to decide which ones he liked best.

“We’ll take them all,” Eclipse decided for him.

It was hard to say who was more surprised, Silas or Sanchez, as both were staring at him wide-eyed. Before any of them could say anything he continued. “You can’t have merely one pair of shoes or boots, it’s good to have variety.”

“Are you sure?” both Silas as Sanchez said at the same time making Eclipse smile.

“Yes. Also, the ones from the sketch Silas liked? If you have them finished, could we buy those as well?”

“Eh, sure!” a stunned Sanchez said and went in search of some boxes for them to carry them in.

“Are you sure? I mean, they are great and all, but that’s like seven pairs!” Silas whispered.

“Please let me do this for you. Besides, it’s not as if we go shopping like this every week. This way you’ll be set for a while.”

Once Sanchez had everything packed and rang up the total, Silas gasped in shock. “Two THOUSAND dollars?!” His whole demeanor fell, and he looked sadly at the stacked boxes.

“The materials alone—” Sanchez started.

“—It’s okay. I understand. In fact, you probably hardly made any money on the sale at all, did you?” Eclipse said already guessing the kid had probably never sold anything and wasn’t quite sure how much to charge for his products. This wasn’t some shrewd businessman trying to get rich in retail. No, he actually cared for the craftsmanship and Eclipse could admire that. And would gladly support it.

Sanchez looked away. “Yeah well, If I don’t sell something soon, I’ll have no money to buy supplies and I need to eat too, you see.”

Eclipse nodded and wrote a check. “Here, it was nice doing business with you. Also, if I might be so bold, my business card. I know someone who knows a thing or two about branding and marketing. He could help you if you want. Send me an email, and I’ll tell him to contact you.”

Sanchez took the business card and cheque and smiled a little overwhelmed. “Eh, thanks?”

Eclipse nodded and followed Silas out of the workshop.

“OY!” Sanchez called after them, having run out off his little workshop. “This check says ten thousand dollars!”

“That’s likely what I would have paid if we had bought shoes on Fifth Avenue. I’m sure you have better use for it than they do. Thanks again for your time and effort,” Eclipse said before following his fledgling down the stairs, leaving a stunned craftsman behind at the top of the stairs.

Eclipse was checking the dozens of messages from his PA when arms suddenly hugged him tight. He almost froze at the unexpected contact and looked in surprise at his fledgling. Silas looked uncomfortable and quickly stepped back.

“Not that I’m complaining, but what was that for?” Eclipse asked.

Silas looked away. “To thank you. You know, for the boots and such.”

“And such?” Eclipse asked confused.

“Giving Sanchez the money. You didn’t have to do that, but it was nice that you did. Most rich bastards would have tried to haggle the price or be all arrogant about it, but you didn’t. I appreciate that, so merci.”

For a moment Eclipse was speechless. His fledgling had never been this open, let alone grateful for anything he had done for him, to hear him say this now, touched him deeply.

“You’re welcome. And thank you for enabling me to buy them for you. I‘m starting to see it makes you uncomfortable, but I just want to spoil you a little now and then.”

“Don’t think you can win me over by buying me fancy stuff!” Silas huffed, clearly uncomfortable with the moment they had shared.

“I wouldn’t dare.”

“Now all that‘s left is a haircut,” Eclipse said when they were driving back into the center.

Silas groaned dramatically. “My hair’s fine.”

“If you’re a rat looking for nesting material, sure, but I will not have a slave of mine walking around like that.”

“Do you have them wear uniforms as well to go with their hair?” Sarcasm dripping from every word.

Eclipse pretended to give it some serious thought. “Hmm, that’s not a bad idea. How do you feel about a sailor themed uniform? With really short shorts and—-”

Silas stomped him in the arm. Hard. “Connard.”