Normally Mikah was the sort of boy who prided himself on his unflinching honesty, but with the cold hard edge of a gun barrel pressed against the thin skin of his temple, he opted instead for discretion.
"I would be delighted to help you," he said, stretching his mouth into a toothy grin.
"Thought so," grunted the girl, but the gun didn't waver.
"Perhaps we can put the... weapon away, and discuss your needs?"
"Gun's not goin' anywhere," said the girl, although she did take a step back so it was no longer directly touching his flesh. She held it the way other girls might hold a cell phone- like an extension of her body over which she had perfect control. Mikah briefly considered trying to wrestle it away from her, looked again at the carved muscle of her shoulder, and decided against it.
"Ms, thank you very much," she snapped. "This ain't the fifties."
"Of course not, Ms. Ms...?" he tried again.
"Ms. is fine. You ain't got any more need for my name than I have for yours. All you need is to believe that I will pistol-whip the shit out of you if you try to take my gun."
"I wouldn't-" he protested, but she snorted.
"You're a shit liar. Saw you considerin' it not thirty seconds back."
"Yes, well, you'll notice I didn't do more than consider," he said, dryly. "Physical altercations don't tend to end in my favor."
"Now that I believe. Stand up."