“What sort of man—well, person—needs five hundred dictionaries?”

Godfrey tried to bite the words back, but he just could not help himself. “Six hundred and eleven, actually.” He flushed as Shelby just looked at him. “I find reference books far more useful than your idiotic novels,” he said defensively.

“Dictionaries, though?”

“Some of them are a good deal more than that,” Godfrey said. “They’re also quite valuable, most of them. I’ll have you know—”

Shelby held up his hands in defeat. “I’m well aware that your library costs three times as much as my house. I just didn’t know it was half full of dictionaries. How often do you really need to pull down—what is that, Greek?

“Cyrillic,” Godfrey corrected, and when Shelby gave him a blank look, said, “Russian.”

“This is what comes of living forever,” Shelby said. “You go stark raving mad.”

Godfrey snapped, “I’m not stark raving mad! I’ll have you know I’ve moved along with the times much better than most vampires. I will also have you know that having so many volumes of reference, even just dictionaries, helps a great deal with that. You’ve no idea how much language changes in just a few years, never mind a couple of centuries. But thanks to all these, I can read the old and the new with the same ease. Are we done mocking me?”

He was better than most, damn it. Just look at Tomas, who refused to leave his moldy castle in France. Or Paisley, who was practically afraid of electricity for crying out loud.

Shelby smiled at him and walked toward him. Godfrey folded his arms across his chest, refusing to be mollified, no matter how prettily Shelby smiled at him. Lords above, he still could not believe he had taken up with a human—and a police detective, at that. The worst possible thing his kind could do was draw attention, and the body that had turned up in his backyard had been bad enough.

Nine months and a good deal of drama later, he was in trouble with the council because he’d had the temerity to go and fall in love with Shelby.

Still smiling in that way that got him out of far too much trouble, Shelby kissed Godfrey’s nose. “I didn’t mean to ruffle your feathers, Godly.”

“Stop butchering my name,” Godfrey muttered, even though he knew it was useless. After asking all the usual official questions, the first real personal question Shelby had asked him was What the hell kind of poncy name is Godfrey? After that, he’d constantly accused Godfrey of being a snob, a brat, and other such things. ‘Godly’ was all Shelby had called him, back during the investigation.

Shelby kissed his nose again. “But I like when you pout, Mr. Solicitor.”

Godfrey rolled his eyes. “I haven’t been one of those in a long time. I just—”

“Live like a prince,” Shelby cut in, grinning. “Which, speaking of that, I came over here with a purpose other than making fun of you.”

“That would be a first,” Godfrey retorted, but let Shelby unfold his arms and draw them up around Shelby’s neck. He nuzzled against the faint scar on Shelby’s neck, where a werewolf had started to bite him. Godfrey had saved him just in time; he’d never forget the fear he’d felt in that moment. Shelby was his, damn it. “What did you want then, Detective?”

“Shakespeare. They’re doing one of his plays at the local theatre. Opens next Friday. Did you want to go? It’s a fancy, poncy place, even I’d have to wear a suit. Thought you’d have fun.”

Godfrey smiled. “Yes, that sounds like a great deal of fun. I would love to attend.”

Shelby grinned, and kissed him in a way that promised Godfrey would not be getting any more work done that afternoon. “Cool. You’ll have to translate for me, though. I never understood that stuff.”

Laughing, Godfrey pushed up and kissed him again, then said, “I have a dictionary for that.”

“Of course you do,” Shelby said, rolling his eyes. Then he pushed Godfrey against his desk, and no more words were needed.