Here is a revised dialogue from Clean Sweep to hold you over. The Clean Sweep has gone to the editor for the revisions.
Sean studied me, his amber eyes completely lucid. “So it’s not the broom.”
“No.” It was me.
His eyes narrowed. “But you didn’t use any of your awesome powers to grab that corpse off the road. Whatever it is, it’s limited to the house.”
Sean Evans might have been crazy, but he wasn’t stupid.
“You’re not the first werewolf I met,” I told him.
“Meaning I’m not buying your growly act. You’re designed to maintain calm while under heavy fire and you haven’t once lost your temper. Even when I threw you against the tree. Which was accidental, by the way. I would never do that to one of my trees on purpose.”
He flashed his teeth at me. “See, you shouldn’t give away targets like that. Next time I want to piss you off, I’ll just have to cut down a couple of your saplings.”
“You haven’t shifted into wetworks shape. Also, you’re methodically testing the restraints while showing me your big teeth and pretending to snarl at me.”
“I haven’t really tested them yet,” Sean said.
That I could believe. “Good, because I haven’t used any of my power to hold you yet. Right now all that’s restraining you is the house and the broom. I can get involved, but I would much rather talk.”
Sean considered it. “Fine. Let’s talk. Whatever powers you have are limited to the house, and I can tell by looking at you that you’re a civilian. You don’t have the right muscle tone and you don’t move like someone who has experience cutting at living bodies in close quarters. You aren’t one hundred percent sure what you’re dealing with or you know exactly what you’re dealing with but either way you’re scared.”
“And how did you figure that out?”
“Yesterday you left early in the morning and didn’t come back until late. I saw your face when you went to your car. You stopped and looked at the house. You looked worried. The old lady, who normally sits on that balcony for hours, spent the entire day inside.”
“You were watching my house.”
“Yes. Those things out there, whatever the hell they are, aren’t playing around. You expected them to attack the house, which is why you warned your tenant to hide. There is only one reason why someone in your position would leave for a long trip. You went for help. Doesn’t look to me like you got it.”
Underestimating him was a really bad idea. “And how did you deduce that, Mr. Holmes?”
He smiled. “Elementary, Watson. If you found help, you’d be more upbeat. Instead when you got out of your car, you looked like you were dragging an anchor behind you. I’ve seen that look before. It’s the look that says, ‘I radioed for air support and they told me none will be coming and another enemy battalion is heading my way.’” He tilted his head. “You may not have the air support, but you have me.”
“Wait a minute. Just yesterday some man barged into my house and ranted about handling everything himself. Was that you?”
“Yesterday I thought you were just a normal person and I didn’t want to see your hurt. Dina, you’re forcing me to split my attention. I’m reasonably certain you’re safe in your house, but you keep leaving that safety. I can’t patrol the neighborhood and babysit you at the same time, and since you haven’t been forthcoming with information, I never know when you’re going on another expedition into the subdivision. I have to sit here on my hands like a little kid and watch your house. I don’t like sitting on my hands.”
“I didn’t ask for your protection.”
“You did ask me to do something about the dead dogs.”
He had me there.
“I’ve spent years being dragged hallway around the world and fighting because someone told me to do it. I chose this place to settle down. This is my territory as your house is your territory. This is home. I will fight for it. And for the record, I never intended to let the dog killings slide.”
“And if I don’t want your protection?”
Sean looked at me like I wasn’t right in the head. “As I said, your house in my territory. I will keep you safe.”
Right. He was genetically engineered to withstand sieges and guard things against overwhelming odds. He probably couldn’t overcome the protective impulse even if he wanted to, and he definitely didn’t want to.