She waited just outside the elevator. She stood taller than most Chinese women I had come across, nearly five eight and in silk slippers instead of the heels my more usual female companionship wore. She pulled blue-black hair over one ear to reveal a dangling earring.
As far as I knew, my office building didn’t have any new tenants, and I had a reasonable knowledge of every kind of firm in the building; her traditional Chinese dress—in purple with gold edging and a dragon winding up her body—certainly didn’t belong to any business here.
I stopped well short of the elevator and adjusted my jacket. I felt the comfortable weight of my pistol there.
“You look out of place, miss.” I left it at that. I didn’t feel chatty or want to speculate on why she might be here. That’s her job to bring up, otherwise I’m taking the stairs. I had been attacked in my office building too often to blindly walk up to someone new.
“Mr. Allen?” Her voice seemed to tinkle, almost musically.
I made a show of patting myself down, reaching into pockets inside my jacket, taking the distraction to unsnap the strap holding my gun in its holster. I found a small red leather sheath holding business cards and pulled them out, again making a show of checking the card.
“According to this, yeah. What do you need?” I should have been nicer. She might be a client, but I didn’t like this particular approach. If she’s a client, she comes to the office. The only reason to stay out here is because she can’t cross the consecration, and she knows about the consecration.
“I need . . . asylum. I’m being hunted by,” her voice fell a little more, “Yaoguai.”
I didn’t know Chinese pronunciation, so it took me a moment to wrap my head around the word.