Thief of Hearts (with bonus illo!)

On timeline: shortly before Double Down
Spoilers for: extremely mild spoilers for The Morning Star
Warnings: bad art

A Shadow of the Templar Valentine's Day story! I was inspired.


      Simon couldn't decide whether he wanted to laugh or—no, really, he just wanted to laugh. So he did, not bothering to cover the mouthpiece. "Come on, you owe me, I want to hear this from you all personal-like. You stole what now?"

      Jeremy's voice, when it came again, sounded resigned. "A great ugly overdone clot of a Faberge' jewel in the shape of a heart, as well you know."

      "I have seen the pictures," Simon informed him with some glee, letting go of the steering wheel long enough to smack the turn signal and shift over a lane. "Christ. If that's not the ugliest hunk of platinum in the world—"

      "In my experience," Jeremy said dryly, "people from truly rich families never have any damned taste at all. They hire taste, if they need it. Something about growing up cushioned on a couple of billion dollars in a trust fund seems to rob one of all one's aesthetic sensibilities."

      "Suppose you'd know," Simon said. "I'm amazed you could bring yourself to touch the thing. Thought you had better taste."

      "I do, I do!" There was a (lightly crackling) pause while Jeremy took a long drink of something. Ice cubes clattered lightly in Simon's ear. "I'm positively traumatized. I've holed up to lick my wounds. Er, metaphorically speaking."

      "And I suppose you've got a million dollars or so to help you with this... licking of yours?"

      "Oh, quite. One million two plus expenses, actually, as long as I'm informing on myself."

      "Wow. That's a hell of a lot of help."

      "I won't deny it." Jeremy laughed, faintly. The skin on the back of Simon's neck immediately prickled. "Although I suppose I could always use a little more help, if you were so inclined...?"

      Simon snorted and took the off-ramp instead of dignifying that with an answer. On the other end of the line Jeremy waited patiently.

      "Faberge' heart," Simon said as soon as he was safely stopped at the light. "Christ, and I thought the ballerina statues were faggy of you. I'm gonna have to start calling you the thief of hearts or something—" He realized what he was saying just a second too late, and bit down on the end of the sentence.

      Jeremy's silence on the other end of the line was every bit as thoughtful as Simon had feared it would be. "Am I?" he finally asked, purring far too much for Simon's peace of mind. "The thief of hearts?"

      "What was that?" Simon asked. "Sorry, couldn't hear a word you just said, got some interference on the line or someth—" and he hit the disconnect button with his thumb.



Those two; for all that they change, they never really change.