The days slid by faster than she thought possible, when she was so worried about Roger. Darcy thought she would hate continuing her lessons with Vincent, both because he didn't know how she worked, what Roger had told her about swordplay and self-defense, and because she knew she would be constantly comparing him to Roger. It was easier going to the dojo than she anticipated. Part of it was because Vincent made sure to update her on what he knew of the search for Roger. Anything Saundra told him, he passed on to her.
She liked Vincent. He presented an appearance of being big and dangerous and lethal, but she saw him with some of the children who came with their mothers for exercise classes. He would do simple magic tricks for them, or walk them through seemingly complicated martial arts maneuvers, sometimes flipping them up in the air so for a few seconds it seemed as if they flew. By the end of the first week at the dojo, some of the bolder children would sneak up on him with squirt guns or to shout "boo!' and run away, squealing with delight when he pretended rage and then chased after them. He always caught them, turning the chase into a wrestling match, but the children always ended up on top, bouncing on his chest or his back. The mothers loved him. Darcy sometimes thought several of them would quite gladly fall in love with him if he ever showed any interest.
Twice when she arrived a little early for lessons, she found him sitting on the steps out front, reading his Bible. Once Saundra asked her to come to the dojo to fill in for Vincent. When Darcy got there, the other women in the class told her that an ex-boyfriend who refused to be ex had followed one of the women to the dojo. He had a gun. Vincent disarmed him, tied him up, called the police, and then took the woman and her children to a women's shelter where they could go to vanish.It was the most natural thing in the world to vent to Vincent when she showed up for a lesson, still fuming about a problem that had struck the Center the evening before. Darcy hadn't meant to tell him about it -- she had learned early that discretion was necessary in the kind of work her parents did -- but Vincent noticed right away that her thoughts were elsewhere and asked her what was wrong. Before she knew it, she was sitting on a stack of mats with her borrowed katana resting on her knees, spilling the details of yet another casualty of the slander hitting the Spike Center.