Fuck it. It's bad enough I'm going to lose sleep over knowing that I'm helping the Devil. The least I can do is warn Avery in person that his life may be in danger. Besides, if his powers can only manifest in my presence... well it's probably better if I try to control the event rather than have it happen when I'm not expecting it to.
Nathan grabbed his coat (in case it started raining again) and headed out for the Golden Frog.
"Shit, I totally forgot." Nathan wanted to bang his head against the wall when the waiter told him that Avery had gone home early a couple of hours ago, remembering that he had mentioned that when he'd caught up to him. "This is turning into one dozy of a day..." He rubbed the back of his neck. "So, uh, while I'm here, can I speak to the manager? I was in here earlier and I sort of ran off without paying my bill..."
"Yeah, I know," the waiter said, rolling his eyes with a smirk. "Been the subject of the day. Xiao-ping very embarrassed his mother was brought out and you run. I go get them for you."
Nathan nodded and clasped his hands in front of him while he watched the waiter head into the back. He needed to find Avery. He should have asked him if he knew where he could find him, but the more he thought about it, the more awkward that request seemed. Total stranger walks in and asks where he can find one of their employees, knowing he's not working: yeah, that doesn't sound suspicious.
"Right here, sir," the waiter said when he returned, gesturing to the other waiter and his mother before he went back to work. Xiao-ping looked like he really didn't want to be there, but it was practically impossible to read the expression on the tiny woman's face at all as she looked at Nathan. She said something to him in Chinese and paused, waiting for his answer. Her son rolled his eyes and translated.
"She said she wants to know why you ran," he explained with a huff, blowing the dyed portion of his hair out of his face. "She didn't believe me when I said you were following some man in white..." His mother smacked him upside the head and chattered at him, to which he responded with an exasperated drawl. She snarled at him and he sighed, looking back at Nathan. "Can I just tell her that you went out to get that guy's license plate number and call the police and forgot to come back in?"
Nathan gave him a perplexed look and nodded. "Sure. That works for me. Hey, this is going to sound odd, but do you know where I could find Avery? Or at least know a place I could reach him? There's something really, really important I have to tell him."
"Sure, after she goes away." Xiao-ping made a quick glance at his mother before he turned to her again to pretend to translate what Nathan had said. When he finished she nodded thoughtfully, turning to the young man with a bright smile before she hugged his waist, saying what Nathan thought was probably "Thank you!"
"You're... welcome?" he said in return, a little uncomfortable with the hug. She eventually released him, all smiles as she continued to ramble on merrily, patting her son on the shoulder before she headed back into the back of the restaurant. Nathan watched her leave, then looked back at Xiao-ping, eyebrow still raised. "Do I want to know half of what she said?"
"It's not important," the waiter told him with a shrug. "She's happy now, which means she won't yell at me anymore for being an idiot and lying about the man in white." He looked back to make sure she was gone, but still lowered his voice. "She didn't like me insisting I saw a man in white at our restaurant, especially since it was four o'clock in the afternoon."
Four o'clock? Nathan didn't remember it being that late when he went to lunch, but he brushed the thought aside. It wasn't important. "Right, okay." He took a deep breath. "I need to find Avery..."
"Yeah, you said that. You know, he works tomorrow from three until seven. You could come in then..."
"No, he... I have to see him now."
Xiao-ping shifted from one foot to the other, rubbing his arm. "Mind if I ask why?"
Well, I should have expected this. He's not going to believe me if I tell him the truth: that Avery is the manifestation of some unknown evil and that the angel Michael is going to try to kill him. Maybe if I precede it with, "You're not going to believe this, but..."
Or I could just make something up.
Ugh, maybe I should just wait until tomorrow and come back when Avery's working. This is becoming absurd...