“But sometimes,” Jamal continued, “I’d worry about her. She’s a very... self-conscious person. And... lonely. She has an unfortunate tendency to attract certain types of men. Ones who try to take advantage of her. I knew all of this, but even still, I never imagined she would encounter that type of man...”
Hector scratched his cheek. “Uh... I’m sorry. I’m not sure I follow--”
Jamal held up a hand. “When she told me she’d nearly been the victim of a serial killer, I thought she was joking. But she wasn’t. And then she told me about the person who’d saved her.” The man’s smile was a faint thing, and it almost seemed like it didn’t belong on his face. “She actually said that, at first, she thought it was me. And in fairness, she hadn’t seen me in years, and she doesn’t know very many black people. And being mistaken for a hero--certainly not the worst kind of racial profiling I’ve ever experienced. But when she got a good look at you, she realized that you were too young to be me. And apparently, you also had a knife in your chest which didn’t seem to be bothering you very much.”
‘Holy shit,’ said Garovel. ‘He’s talking about the woman you saved on your very first night as a servant, isn’t he?’
Hector blinked at Jamal, unsure of what to say.
“And not long after that, the media started talking about a vigilante with remarkable power. The coincidence did not escape my friend’s notice. It was a traumatizing experience for her, but I think knowing that someone like you was out there helped her cope. She isn’t the same person that she used to be.”
“W-what... um. Oh... well, I’m glad she’s doing okay...”
“You remember her?”
“Y-yeah. But... uh, I never learned her name.”
“Jessica Paulson,” said Jamal.
“She’s a big fan of yours, by the way. She was really upset when they started calling you a murderer and a criminal.”
Garovel was laughing his ass off. ‘A fan! Oh, I would pay good money to watch you have a conversation with a fan. You should invite her to Warrenhold. Oh! Maybe Jamal is about to ask you that! Say yes, Hector. As your reaper, I command it.’