A Tale of Two Sirens
Author's Note: Donjo here. Look! Ashley's picture changed! That's probably bad. On the upside, the sizes match now :)
Friday, December 23rd
For once in the week, I actually felt like going to my class at the Harper Dojo. I had plenty of pent up anger to get rid of, and a few good sparring matches might help with that. Mom was more than happy to take me there, but she didn’t seem to want to look at me. I wondered if it was because I dyed my hair yesterday. I didn’t care what she thought about it; jet black looked far better on me than golden brown ever did. Mom did seem happy that I was going back to the dojo, though… almost as if me not going for two classes was really so bad.
“Have a good time, honey,” Mom said as we stopped by. Her smile seemed forced. She thought I was being different, wasn’t she? Or was it just my hair she was reacting to? I didn’t feel like thinking about it too much.
“Thanks. Make sure to be here when I get out,” I told her. I didn’t hear her response as I moved to walk into the dojo.
I smiled as some people gave me double takes as I walked past them. I eventually made my way to Cindy, since she didn’t seem to be doing anything important.
“Hey Cindy,” I told her.
“Hey Ash… ley?” she asked.
I laughed. “I see you noticed my hair.”
She nodded. “I don’t think that quite fits you,” she said.
“I think it fits me perfectly,” I retorted.
“Anyway, where have you been all week?” she asked.
“I’ve been busy,” I said.
“None of your business,” I said.
“Fair enough, I guess. I’m glad you’re back either way,” she paused, “I don’t know why you went and changed your look like this, but I do know you look royally pissed about something. Just don’t cause a ruckus, okay?”
“Now why would I do that?” I asked.
She glared at me. “You’re doing it now.”
“Am I now? And how would you propose I stop?” I asked.
“Just don’t do anything stupid,” Cindy said.
I smiled. “I can try.”
“Don’t try. Just do it,” she said. I scoffed at that. She had no business telling me what to do.
“I can only guarantee that I will try,” I told her.
“I’m only going to tell you this once, Ashley. Cause trouble here and you won’t be coming back,” she warned me.
“Duly noted,” I said passively.
Cindy sighed. “Well, I have to go meet someone tonight. Carly will teach your class instead of me.”
“That’s too bad,” I said.
“I’m sure you can survive one week without me tossing you at the ground all night,” she said with a corny smile.
“Did I say that I would let you toss me around?” I asked.
Cindy seemed to stop and think for a moment. “Doesn’t matter now. I’ll see you around, Seaweed.”
I just harrumphed at her use of my old nickname as she left the room. Looking at the time, I figured that Carly would be starting class soon, so I headed to that room. I smiled at the odd look Carly gave me as I walked in, but she didn’t have time to question my fashion choices. She just launched straight into the class with her usual gusto.
The class itself went just fine until Carly started pairing us up for some small sparring matches. Since Friday was Jujutsu day, our way of sparring was to be the person who doesn’t end up on their back. Cindy loved to jump into this little competition herself, but Carly stood back and left us alone. I ended up being paired with one of the shorter guys. Despite his stature, he was one of the better students in the class, making up for his lack of strength with high finesse. It was an oddly fair pairing, since I was able to make up for my inferior finesse by being strong enough to perform a throw even if I screw up the form. Because of that strength, I would easily be able to use his size against him. This would be so easy.
As soon as Carly signaled for us to start, I was on the guy. He made no move to avoid me, surprisingly enough. He was just making this easier and easier. Yet, when I reached him, he shifted slightly to the side, grabbed me, and flipped me over. How the fuck did he do that so easily? I moved to stand up, but Carly gently pushed me back down.
“Woah there, Ashley. You’re out, remember? Stay seated,” she sighed, “You should know better than rush someone like that.”
“I won’t stand for this!” I growled, “I demand a rematch!”
“That’s not the way this works, and you know it. Put that attitude away,” she lectured me.
“Or what?” I asked.
“Why don’t you come outside with me and find out?”
“Fine,” I huffed, standing up with her. She told the rest of the class to carry on before leading me to the outside hallway.
“Okay. What’s going on with you today?” she asked.
“That match was stupidly one sided,” I said.
“Only because you’ve seemed to forget everything you know about Jujutsu. I never thought I’d see you make a rookie mistake like that. Not after this long,” Carly said.
“Oh, so this is all my fault then?” I demanded.
“Yes, it is. Dylan is one of our best students. I paired him with you because, until today, so were you,” she said, “so what is your problem?”
“What is my problem? The way I see it, I’m looking at my problem!” I snapped.
“Is that a threat?” Carly asked, a new edge to her voice.
“What if it is?” I asked.
“Then I just might have to answer it. You have no idea who you’re dealing with, threatening a Harper,” she calmly told me. “I’m going to give you only one chance. Get that stick out of your ass, put away that attitude, and finish the class.”
“You have no idea who you’re dealing with, either,” I told her, matching her calm anger.
“So this is the way it’s going to be, huh?” she asked, “If you can’t control yourself, then I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
“I’m not leaving,” I said resolutely.
“That’s not up to you to decide,” Carly said, the edge returning to her voice.
I crossed my arms. “I don’t take orders from you.”
“When you’re here, you will take orders from any Harper,” she said sternly.
I yawned. This conversation was starting to annoy me, especially since I just wanted to get my vengeance on that idiot.
“I don’t care what your last name is. I’m going back, and you can’t stop me,” I huffed, walking past Carly. She grabbed my arm with a strong grip.
“You’re not going back in there until you calm down. Got it?”
I practically growled at her as I tried to get out of her grip.
“You aren’t being yourself, Ashley. You need to calm down!” she said, her voice rising again. Hearing that stupid excuse again just snapped something inside me. With a scream of rage, I ripped my arm out of Carly’s grip and turned to face her.
“Now you’re doing it too? Everybody and their mother seems to think that I’m acting different, and I am tired of it! The only thing I’ve changed about myself is my hair. Why can’t you people fucking see that!?” I yelled, swinging a punch at Carly in my rage. Long before my fist could have possibly reached her, I found myself on my back… with a very angry Carly crouching over me.
“I don’t know who the hell you think you are, but there is absolutely no way you’re getting away with these kinds of antics. Not here,” she almost growled.
I just smiled at her. “Are you sure about that? It looks like I just did.”
Carly just sighed. “I tried to give you a chance to turn this situation around… but no more. Get out of here,” she ordered, pulling me up. I scoffed at her.
“You’re kicking me out, too? Biiig surprise. Fine, I’ll play your game. It’s not like I need this place, anyway.”
Carly looked like she was about to comment for a moment, but she shopped. I gave her one last glare before turning to walk away, leaving the dojo angrier than I came in.
Carly couldn’t believe what she was seeing as the once friendly Ashley left the dojo in a fit of rage. Cindy did warn her that something was off about Ashley, but this was far worse than she could have possibly expected. For a moment, she wondered what could possibly cause Ashley to act like this… and if just kicking her out was the right thing to do to a girl who so obviously needed help. She’d need to talk to Cindy when she got back from her get together with Dani, as well as Ashley’s mother when she came around to pick her daughter up. After all, it seemed like Ashley would be walking home tonight, and the sunset would soon make way for night…
While I despised the Sun like any normal vampire would, I must admit that I loved looking at how it shone on the snow. There was just something about watching the Sun sink below the horizon in the west as it casts its rose- and fire-hued lights on the crystalline surface of the snow. That is something I can only describe as a fatal kind of beauty. On the surface, it is very pleasing to look at. Under that surface, however, it is cold and very unforgiving and about to become even more so. I guess it’s that duality that strikes at my imagination so much. That and how pretty the trees look when they’re wearing the snow in their branches like a flower in a woman’s hair. I also did a bit of people watching as I sat in took in the beauty around me, not that there were many people out and about on a day like today, mind you.
I had just finished that little lunch date with Cindy about twenty minutes before. I wanted to be sure about my hunch that the seemingly too rapid changes in Ashley were caused by some negative influence on her. I also asked about that little one she had received from those dragons and learned that she was doing just fine. Leave it to a coyote to draw that kind of attention, seriously. After some light shopping (of only the window kind for me) we went and took a break at the little coffee shop I was now sitting at. After having a latte, Cindy went on and I stayed behind. I was planning to watch the sun set then go home. While I was at it, I decided to take a look at the real estate brochure I had gotten for a little town called Skogshaven.
Yes, I’m planning on flying the coop now that I’m able to. Things are getting too dicey around here in Ravencrest for my liking. I’ve had a sense of big things happening for a while now and I don’t like it. Big things tend to squash little people and at only five-foot-three, I wasn’t exactly a big person. I heard that Skogshaven is a pretty nice town, about as small as Ravencrest and had a low crime rate. It seemed almost too perfect but I couldn’t think of any way to go check without giving my plan away to anyone.
Well now, what do we have here? I do believe that is Ashley right over there. I thought to myself as I was people watching. I waited a second or two and decided to go say hi. After all, twenty minutes of sitting by myself without buying anything was starting to get on the employee’s nerves.
Dear Lord, girl! I know teenagers can get kind of angsty, but going goth? Really? Cindy said she died her hair but I wasn’t expecting it to look blacker than mine. I thought as I continued my mental monolog. As I left the coffee shop, I saw her turn down a small alley, probably hoping to take a shortcut to where she was going. Geeze, kid. Haven’t you seen any horror movies? The young girl goes into the alley and almost always gets into trouble and ends up dead or raped or something.
I then noticed that two men wearing black, hooded trench coats followed her into the alley way after nothing more than a few seconds. “Oh Hell naw...” I muttered under my breath as I picked up my pace to a quick walk, then to a jog as I crossed the street at an angle. In my mind, it was Cindy being stalked by people dressed suspiciously like Hunters, not Ashley and whoever the hell these little asshat Hunter wannabes were. This turn of events, even though I knew it really wasn’t Cindy, would not... Could not, be tolerated. Nor could the fact that my sight betrayed me like that. I would have to speak with Mama about that when I got back home. But first things first. “That’s one bird that just ain’t gonna fly.”
“Excuse me miss. I don’t think that it would be a good idea for you to be here.” I heard a voice behind me as I got closer to the alley. “It is dangerous for young women to go wandering around by themselves at night. One never knows just who is out there.”
“Let’s try a little less ‘who’ there numbnuts and a little more on the ‘what’.” I said as I made my way back across the street and started sizing up my opponent. He was on the tall side, I would have guessed around six feet, six inches. The hood of the trench-coat-cum-monk’s-habit thing he wore kept his face from sight. Past that, all I could tell was that he was fairly broad shouldered as his coat thingy hid what kind of physique he had. “And it isn’t just young women that need to worry.”
“So then young men need to worry as well?” The figure said with what sounded like a sneer. At this, my eyes narrowed a bit. I didn’t know who Dude was, nor did I care. If he tried to stop me, he was going to learn a painful lesson on the things that may or may not go “bump” in the night and why they need to be feared. “They can usually handle themselves just fine in my experience.”
“Oh? Is that right?” Apparently, he wanted to play games. The thing about games, though, is that the one you’re playing with can turn the tables if you’re not careful enough. “I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to play with you.”
“That’s just too bad, then. I was really hoping to get a chance to play...” was as far as he got before he realized that my nose was about two inches out and about one foot down from his. This meant that my fist was in a perfect position to be brought up into something very important to him, which is exactly what I did. And pretty hard, too, for a human woman at least. I wasn’t trying to kill him or anything like that.
“Ya know...” I said to him as he doubled over in pain. “This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten promises of a good time only to be disappointed. I’d kill you right here and now if it wouldn’t be such a bother to dispose of the body. Count yourself lucky, you sanctimonious prick.”
With that, I grabbed him by one ankle and threw him into a light pole. By the time he hit the ground, I was already standing next to him. Grabbing him by the arm, I bent it backwards at the elbow until I heard a juicy snap. That was all it took for him to pass out from the pain. With that taken care of, I made my way into the alley to check on Ashley. I would say that I felt like the stereotypical cavewoman from the old cartoons getting dragged back to the caveman’s house, but the roles were reversed. I had him by the ankle instead of the hair and this twat nugget was sure as hell NOT going home with me.
As I rounded the corner, I found Ashley exactly in the predicament that I didn’t want her in: surrounded. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb were still behind her and the third, I decided to call him Tweedle Dunce, was in front of her. After taking stock of the situation, I made my way forward to give her a hand.
“I don’t have time for this crap!” I heard Ashley almost snarl and she suddenly went on the offensive. Tweedle Dunce fell to the ground in a heap from a well-placed chop or whatever it was to the shoulder area. I almost winced when I heard the snapping of bone from the force of impact. This girl was obviously a fair amount stronger than she looked and apparently Tweedles Dee and Dumb didn’t expect it either, as she was able to get the jump on them.
She planted a powerful looking kick to Tweedle Dumb’s side and when his arm came up to his stomach in a knee jerk reaction, she grabbed it with one hand at the wrist and the other at the elbow. Pulling sharply on it, she dug her own elbow into his armpit to support his weight as she threw him over her shoulder and right into the oncoming path of Tweedle Dee. This earned her a small laugh from me at her antics. I will freely admit until the day I cease to exist that her combo move looked impressive, but I was willing to bet it was nothing more than a “happy accident” and that she couldn’t have timed it like that again even if she tried. That’s when I noticed two things at almost the same time. Not only was Tweedle Dunce was awake again and starting to pull a knife, Tweedle Douchebag (the one I fought with) was starting to come around.
“You’re more resilient than I thought you would be.” I said to him, then I smiled savagely. “I won’t make that mistake again you sub-human pissant.”
I reversed my grip on his ankle as I cocked my arm back and flung Tweedle D-bag at Tweedle Dunce; and none too gently either. The moan of confusion that issued from Tweedle Douchebag feeling the sensations of flight caught Ashley’s attention as he went sailing through the air, his hair just inches away from her face and right into Tweedle Dunce. I gave myself a few bonus points for style and flair when I noticed that Tweedle D-bag landed chest first on the point of the dagger. The force of the impact caused Tweedle Dunce to topple over like a house of cards and they rolled together until they hit the wall by a dumpster after which they stopped moving.
Only the ever-so faint whistle of air through the wound in Tweedle D-bag’s chest indicated that he was alive, while I could see Tweedle Dunce’s chest rise and fall with his breath. Satisfied that they weren’t going to bother us any further, I turned my gaze back to Ashley, only to find her staring at me with a mix of fear and a small amount of anger.
“You!” She said loudly enough for me to clearly hear her from where I now stood. Her mouth simply worked up and down for a second or two after that, as words had apparently failed her.
“Me!” I agreed as I walked over to her. I mean, seriously. What am I supposed to say to that?
“So you’re stalking me now?” She said more as a statement than a question. There was something in her eyes this time that wasn’t sitting right with me, so I used a bit of caution with what I said to her next.
“I wouldn’t go that far with it, kiddo. I just happened to notice you duck into this alley from that coffee shop across the street, followed shortly by these jackholes. And speaking of these guys, I’ve got a few things I’m wanting to ask you about.” I answered, but stopped when I noticed something out of my peripheral vision. “But if you’ll excuse me just a moment here...”
I let my words die off as I side-stepped Tweedle D-bag’s attempt to stab me with that dagger.
“Why, bless your stupid little heart! Ya had the right idea there.” I said as I smiled big and let my fangs extend for all present and awake to see. “But ya picked the wrong material, sugar.”
I brought my knuckles down on the hand holding the dagger and I was rewarded with the satisfying crunch of bones shattering and a frantic scream of pain. Not taking any more chances with this idjit who didn’t know how to stay down, and deciding to show off a bit for Ashley, I hopped up and landed with my feet on his shoulders. I curled backward to carry my momentum, sliding my right leg down his back as I did.
Once my hands were close enough, I thrust them out and caught myself Making sure that Tweedle D-bag stayed pinned to my leg, I brought his body up over mine with the strength of my legs and, using my right leg as a guide, slung him into the wall above the open dumpster. The moved looked something like a cross between a back hand spring and a soccer-style bicycle kick, and very cool if I do say so myself.
“And stay there, bitch!” I exclaimed as I stood with a hand on my hip. Then I turned back to Ashley. “So, you wanna tell me just what the shit is going on here?”
“Why should you care? It’s not like it’s any of your business anyway. That bitch Carly kicked me out of her dojo and she doesn’t speak to me. Cindy doesn’t trust me anymore either. They’ve all abandoned me just like everyone else .“
“Whoa, whoa there girl. What in the world gave you the impression that I was ever at Cindy’s beck and call? I am a servant to only one person and one person alone.” I cut in once she had paused to take a breath. She had a bad attitude over the stuff that she had done to herself and I wasn’t about to just let her take all of that out on me. I did not, however, give her any sass about her attitude as I didn’t want to add more fuel to that particular fire. “Never forget that. I am willing to help you, but you do not get to chide, scold, or cop a bad attitude at me for things I had nothing to do with. Have I made myself clear?”
“And who decided that you get to order me around? Huh? Who?! Just leave-“ Was as far as she got before I knocked her out as gently as I could manage.
“I’m the one that decided that I could order you around and I made that call right here and now. You’re not as alone as you seem to think, kiddo.” I told her after I caught her mid fall, not that she heard me. “I may only be one person in a world of billions of people, but I am still one person. That means you still have at least one person in your corner and I haven’t given up on you.”
I looked around for a minute or two to make sure that no one else was going to show up that I would need to take care of, then I went straight to the Guardian. I figured that Mama would be there to “visit” with Terry before the evening rush. I lightly hopped up to the roof of a building in the alley then quickly made my way across town from rooftop to rooftop. All the while, short as it was, I was trying to figure out what was to be done about this little problem.
Later that night…
“Hey little sis.” Carly found Cindy playing with Linda which was no surprise. That Cindy had only been female for a few months though still made her taking on the baby as something of a shock – especially when the sixteen year old breast fed the little tyke.
“Hi Carly.” Cindy answered over her shoulder. “What's up?”
“I, uhh,” The older girl hesitated for a moment then just got what was bothering her out into the open. “threw Ashley out of the Dojo today.”
“I was worried about that coming up.” Cindy let out a sigh and gently set the baby back in her crib, not without a tickle to the little one's chin, then turned to look at her sister. “What happened?”
“First off, I paired her up with the usual as an opponent and she just charged in, then looked almost enraged when Dylan planted her butt on the mat. Then she was getting up to go at him again even though she knows that once down you're out.
“I pulled her aside and she was really nasty about me doing that.” Carly shook her head. “So I took her out of the classroom to see what the problem was because that just isn't like her, you know how we all have bad days, so I was giving her the benefit of the doubt.”
“But she tried to attack me instead of just talking things through.” The older girl really looked troubled. “And didn't flinch when I put on my 'Second-to-the-Alpha face even after I'd put her on her butt. When I kicked her out of the Dojo, she nodded and snarled something about why should we be different than anyone else.”
“Damn.” Cindy nodded unhappily. “It fits with what's been happening with her over the past little while. She's driven off her boyfriend, most if not all of her friends, and seems to be about the complete opposite of the girl we first met.
“I mean instead of friendly and open, she's confrontational, angry, and so closed up it hurts just to look at her sometimes.” Cindy shook her head. “And this new 'Nasty Goth' look she's taken up just seems to make the problems worse. She isn't the same person she was a few weeks ago, and almost goes into a rage when someone points that out to her, or even just mentions it.
“I'm really worried about her, for her, Carly.” Cindy said quietly. “But I don't know what to do for her right now.”
“Yeah, me too, little sis.” The older girl agreed. “Her Mother is worried and scared. I talked with her when she came to pick Ashley up but the girl was already gone and had been since I kicked her out of the dojo. We talked for a bit, her Mom and I, and she came home with me. Cindy, the poor woman is barely holding back the tears right now. We have to figure out what's going on for more than Ashely's sake.”
“Yeah.” Cindy nodded. “I think it's time for a run tonight and see if Lady Moon can tell me anything.”
“Okay, but didn't you have a date with hunky wolf jock tonight?”
“Oh, Carson will be okay with it.” Cindy grinned in spite of the serious subject they had been discussing. “He thinks chasing coyotes in the woods is fun.”
“I'll bet.” Carly giggled in spite of her worry. “Especially if it's one particular coyote.”
“What can I say?” Cindy lifted an eyebrow and grinned. “He keeps hoping I'll let him catch me.”
“Well, you want to bring Linda or will she be okay for a while?” Carly asked. “Ash's Mom is downstairs talking to Mom now.”
Looking at the sleeping child, Cindy smiled softly and turned to the door. “She should sleep for a few hours now since I just fed her.”
“Then let's get going with this.” The older girl answered.
“Yeah.” Turning serious again, Cindy nodded. “Someone needs to figure out what's happening to Ashley, and fast I think.”
“You got that right, little sister.”
“Although it bothers me greatly to say this, I have no idea what that mark is. If it’s magical in nature, I don’t know the spell to detect it and I’d doubt that she...” Mama said with a gesture toward Terry’s bedroom, where I had laid Ashley on Terry’s bed. “Would want to deal with Wisteria.”
“I think that the best course of action would be to go to the Coven with this. Make no mistake Danielle, this is the Coven’s business, not ours. It is unfortunate that you were dragged in the way you were.” She finished.
‘Well, them’s the breaks, as we said back home in Kentucky. That aside, we could use this as a means of getting the Coven to dislike us a bit less if the cards are played right.” I offered.
“There is that.” She said as she looked at the room where Ashley lay in forced slumber, courtesy of a well-placed strike on my part. She then rose and glided over to where she had placed her purse. “Let me make a phone call and see what I can do for you, love.”
I shivered at her words and relaxed, but only a little bit. When Mama decides to get involved in something, things get done. Period. As she stepped into the stairwell, I went to check on Ashley. She was still out cold, but she looked frightened and fatigued. Almost as though she were locked in the depths of some horrid nightmare. Stranger still, there seemed to be some kind of light coming from under the blankets. I barely noticed it, so that should be saying something to ya right there, but I did. Pealing back the blanket, I discovered that she had some kind of tattoo on her right palm that was glowing. Now I may not be the smartest when it comes to magic and all that, but I knew it when I saw it, and hoo boy was I seeing it.
“Terry...” I said, my concern clearing in my voice. “Get Mama in here. Now!”
Almost an instant later, and Mama was by my side, the phone still in her hand.
“I don’t know too much about Nereids and all, but I don’t think they’re supposed to do that.” I said, pointing to the obvious problem with Ashley’s hand. When Mama looked at it, her expression hardened and she returned to the phone.
“Something is happening with her. I’m sending Danielle to bring her to you... If I had the means to know what was happening and to do something about it, then I would... Of course I did. Did you really think I was going to ignore someone that one of my daughters is trying to protect?... Look, allow Danielle to stay with her. Even if the girl doesn’t trust her, Danielle is technically a doctor.... No, I’m not trying to trick you. What do you think we do with all our time? Seriously? We take classes until we go bored out of our minds and then we fail a few to break up the monotony of it all... Now you know... Psychology, why else would I have even brought it up if I didn’t think it might just be relevant?... Look, We’ll talk more once I arrive there myself.... Yes, actually, I am very much involved now. Some cult members have attacked one of mine in an attempt to keep her from rescuing Ashley from them. That makes it my business damnit. That aside, you and the rest of your silly Coven still owe me from ’75 and I’m calling it in. Or do you mean to tell me that you had forgotten that bit of business with those rogue weres?... That’s what I thought. We are on our way and before you say anything more, I am not trying to coerce you into anything. I am only ensuring the continued safety of one of mine. In order to do that, I need information that you just happen to have. That’s all... We will be seeing you shortly.”
“Take the girl and go to Dr. Marissa Holden’s clinic as quickly as you possibly can. Agatha Crawford will be meeting us there about all of this.” She said to me as she hung up the phone. “I’ll be leaving right behind you. Go!”
Wasting no time, I laid Ashley over my shoulder like a sack of flour and made my way the door. Once out in the alley behind the Guardian, I made sure the coast was clear then took off running as fast as I could possibly go. Which is insanely fast, I assure you. It was no more than twenty seconds later that I found myself at the clinic across town, a place I was intimately familiar with considering how many frat boys I’ve put in here with my antics over the years. Agatha was waiting for me outside the main door and seemed a little surprised that I made it as quickly as I did.
“Wow, you sure got here quickly.” I said in response to the look of disdain she gave me. I’m a firm believer in the phrase: ‘Be nice to your enemies, it messes with their heads.’
“But then again, I’d bet you cheated and teleported to get here. I’m still faster.” I said as I blew a raspberry at her and started to make my way to the parking lot from the street.
“Yes, I’m aware of that. Well, come on. Bring her inside. Anything I don’t like from you in here and you the only way you will leave is as a pile of ashes. Of that, I can assure you. Your mother may have magic, but I have far more. Threaten-”
“Spend any more time threatening me and I’m not too sure if Ashley here is going to make it.” I told her through narrowed eyes as I moved from where I was by the street, up to about an inch away from her face before her brain could process something had even happened. “Priorities woman, seriously.”
“Very well. Come may in.” She didn’t say much after that, but she did let us in. I sat Ashley down on a chair in the waiting room and took a seat out of the way while Mrs. Crawford and Dr. Holden started doing some kind of magic on Ashley.
“Crawford, I’d like to talk to you about something once you’re done there with Ashley.” I said as she looked the girl over and did things I had no idea about. I had never really bothered to understand magic because I can’t use it. “In private, if you don’t mind. It’s nothing bad, just something I don’t want everyone knowing is all.”
“And you think I’m just going to help you because of that?”
“Not at all, I think you’re going to help me with this as payment for looking after someone who has helped you all out of a pretty serious shit hole, unless I’ve missed my mark. Why else would the head councilwoman of the Coven here in town be personally working on healing someone who ‘only just’ moved in?” I paused and was proven right by the look on her face. “You’re also going to do this for me because I’m going to make you an offer on these assholes that attacked her and I in that alley way. I have a few friends that I can call in from out of town that specialize in this sort of thing. You won’t even have to lift a finger to take care of it. Just give the word.”
“I know you don’t trust us, and I don’t blame you considering that psycho-bitch Wisteria is in charge at Delta Beta Zeta. You might actually like what I want help with. I just need this kept secret from everyone. And I do mean everyone.” I said before she could come up with a reason to refuse me.”
She looked like she was about to reply when Carmilla knocked on the door.
“We’ll talk later.” Was her only reply as she went and let Mama in the Clinic. I sat off to one side while the magic users wiggled their fingers and did whatever other magic-y things magic users do. With nothing better to do, I got back up and began pacing around the room. I wasn’t really looking anywhere in particular, but something caught my attention from the corner of my eye. I could have sworn I had seen someone standing outside one of the windows, but by the time I had gotten out there, (s)he/it was gone. There was the lingering sent of a dog though and it was still fresh, too. After one last look around, I cursed that I was so late in getting out there.
“What was that all about?” Mama asked once I came back inside.
“Thought I saw someone out there, but it was just a dog.”
“Are you sure it was ‘just’ a dog?” Mama retorted.
“Yeah, I’m dead sure it was just a dog. I know the difference between wolf, werewolf and dog, Mama. I am your daughter and I have met your boyfriend.” She didn’t say anything to that one, which actually made me kind of nervous. Apparently that was also the break in the conversation that Agatha was looking for because her voice popped into my head.
If you really want to talk, I’ll be waiting for you at the entrance of the University’s Library once we are done here. Meet me there. She magically thought into my brain without missing a beat of what she was doing with Ashley.
I’ll be there. And thank you. I responded in kind. And as for a daughter of Carmilla being polite and such? Good manners never hurt anyone and that, as they say, is that.
“Hey Mama, I’m gonna go check up on those guys we thrashed in the alley. See if I can get any information from them or anything.”
“Very well, but take care that you are not ambushed again. That was very unlike you to allow that to happen to you.”
“Yeah, that’s why I’m keen on chatting with these guys. I want to know how they did that, amongst other things.” I replied and it was the truth, too. It’s not often that I’m snuck up on like that and I don’t like the fact that I had no idea who these jokers were that did it. But in the end, it wouldn’t matter who they were because they had just bought themselves front row seats to their worst nightmare.
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