Emiliana’s breath caught, and she turned to Chergoa.
‘Hey, don’t look at me,’ the reaper said privately. ‘I didn’t tell him. Your boyfriend here obviously did.’
“So what’s all this about?” said Cisco. His reaper still wasn’t with him. Dennex was always rather dutiful about going out and reaping souls while Cisco was occupied with school.
Everyone’s attention was on Alex now, and he shrunk a little, seemingly under Cisco’s gaze the most. “I wanted to ask you... well, I wanted to ask her if she would go on a date with me--”
“Excuse me?” said Cisco, while Emiliana’s eyes lit up.
“--but I want her brother’s blessing as well,” said Alex. He rummaged through his pocket and pulled out a silver locket, holding it up for them both to see. “A token of my sincerity. So you know that I’m not--”
Cisco grabbed the boy’s wrist. Alex flinched.
“Cisco, don’t!” said Emiliana.
Cisco eyed the locket. He opened it with his other hand but didn’t take it from Alex. There was no picture inside. Not yet, at least. He cocked an eyebrow at his sister. “You like this guy?”
She nodded furiously and with gritted teeth, said, “Don’t hurt him!”
Cisco released him and then stared at the both of them with those steely eyes of his. That face owed so much to their father, more so than any of the other Elroy children. His hair, on the other hand, had been taken from both parents. It had their mother’s waves and their father’s jet blackness. If Cisco ever bothered to run a brush through it, his hair might have been quite appealing, but apparently, he preferred looking like an unkempt beast.
“No,” said Cisco.
“What?” said Emiliana.
He stared at her. “No. He’s not even brave enough to date you without seeking my permission first. I bet the only reason he asked us both to come is because he was worried I would beat his ass and wanted you here to stop me.”
“That’s not true!” she said. “Right?”
Alex’s face scrunched up, and he just kind of shrugged.