The man whose friends called him Dev stepped into the room, a puzzled look on his face at her question. "Friend, I think. Would you rather be enemies?" he asked her, leaving her to decide.
"I don't go out of my way to make enemies," she said, hugging herself warily. "But then, most people I meet aren't armed with the means to kill me with one shot. I don't mean to be unfriendly, but ... silver terrifies me."
"As it should," he replied, drawing his sidearm from the holster, but not to point it at her. Instead, he unloaded it and set it aside, so that there would be no doubt in her mind that he meant her no harm.
She tensed visibly as he drew the gun, but relaxed as he set it to one side. "Thank you." Amaris considered him for a long moment. "I guess this is where we introduce ourselves properly, huh?" She held up a hand, wriggling her fingers in a wave. "Hi, I'm Amaris Shaw. I don't usually tackle women to the ground and try to tear out their throats, but she'd earned it."
"I know who you are," he said, with a hint of a smirk. What kind of agent would he be if he didn't, after all? "Duncan Devereux," he said, exchanging her introduction with one of his own. "My friends call me Dev. I should probably explain."
"Yeah, you should," she agreed with a faint smile. "Because carrying a gun around toddlers and infants? That's a big no in my daycare." Her expression made it clear that she wasn't mad about this, but only because his gun had saved her life. She was more annoyed that he hadn't made himself known to her when he'd taken the job.
"Sorry, but being undercover means being undercover," he explained, moving to pour himself a cup of coffee, just as the man before him had, only there wasn't any left, so he set about making a fresh pot. "I hate to sound clichÃ©d, but what I'm about to tell you is Top Secret."
"Yeah," Amaris drawled in amusement. "I'm not supposed to exist, so I think you can trust me to understand about secrecy." She smirked, watching him move around the little kitchenette.
"Yeah, well, I know all about secrets," Dev replied, turning to face her, while he waited for the coffee to brew, arms crossed against his chest. "You've probably already figured out that I'm a Federal Agent. I'm part of a special task force that deals with the supernatural. Sort of like the X-Files, but without the aliens."
"It makes sense," she said thoughtfully, absentmindedly brushing her fingertips against the hot, bruised feeling beneath the bandage at her neck. "Why are you undercover here, though? Am I being watched?"
"No, not you," he replied. "Well, I mean, we knew there was a lycan working at the daycare center, but we weren't sure who, and we weren't sure if they were friend or foe. I was here to find out ... and to keep an eye on the boy. We knew there was a threat, but that's all we knew. Personally, I would have preferred not to involve the boy at all, but it all happened too fast." He glanced at the bandage on her neck, knowing how close she had come to being another casualty. "You did a good thing, Amaris. It's very possible you saved that boy's life."
"You thought the threat might be the wolf working here," she extrapolated, rolling her eyes at the obvious conclusion, however wrong it was. "No, I did save Micah's life. And you saved mine. So, thank you, Dev. I owe you a beer."
Dev shrugged, smiling. "How about I take you to dinner instead, and we can call it even?" he asked, that smile turning into a smirk. Was he asking her on a date? Absolutely. Why not? So what if she was lycan? She had been willing to put her life on the line for the sake of a human child. In his book, that made her a hero.
Amaris' smile rose automatically in response, her eyes lighting up with surprised pleasure. "Well now, I wasn't expecting that," she confessed cheerfully. "Even knowing what I am? You're pretty ballsy." And rather handsome too, in his own way. It was certainly a way that appealed to her, anyway. "So when are we going out?"
He gave her a one-shouldered shrug. "I might work with a unit that investigates supernatural events, but that doesn't mean I'm prejudiced against preternaturals. There are a lot of things in this world that we don't understand. Learning to understand each other helps us all get along." He turned to check on the coffee. "As for your other question, how about we contemplate that while I drive you home?"
"Well, I think we're both here until your team are finished with the place," she pointed out. "I'd rather stay to lock up than be called back in, and I'm pretty sure you're on a break right now. If you want to take me home ... sure, why not?"
"I'll take that as a yes," Dev said, that smirk on his face again. "This is liable to take a while though. Are you sure you want to stay?" he asked, knowing it would be at least a few more hours before they wrapped everything up. He didn't even want to start thinking about the amount of paperwork he wasn't going to have to finish once that was done.
She sighed. "I've got work of my own I have to do," she admitted. "A lot of parents to call and apologize to, for a start. The joys of being the owner no one actually realised was there."
Dev's expression turned serious. "None of this was your fault or your doing. They'll understand that, eventually. Actually ..." He couldn't help but smirk a little again. "As far as they're all concerned, a fire broke out in the break room. Nothing serious, but enough to close the place for repairs for a few days." The smile faded as he sobered, once again. "Seriously, Amaris. No one has to know what really happened here." The only flaw in his plan was Nora, who'd already been sent to the hospital for evaluation, but so long as she hadn't seen anything, he was sure they could convince her of just about anything.
"I'm hardly going to tell them that a child was attacked by werewolves on my watch," she pointed out in a drawl. "No, I was just going to give them the schpiel about safety first, and recommend a few friends who should be able to take on extra kids for a couple of days without notice."
"Someone might have heard gunshots, but we can explain that away, too. It's kind of what we do," Dev promised, glad she was willing to do this his way. There was no reason anyone needed to know what had really happened here. "I'd like to say it's over, but it's not," he added, turning grim. "I'm assuming there are more where those two came from," he said as he poured himself a cup of coffee.
"Yeah, there are." There was no need to keep that a secret, after all; he'd worked out that there was more going on here than an opportunistic attempt to kidnap a child. "But there's already plans in place to start dealing with that."