Total word count: 49,395
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In the Russell’s kitchen, I prepare a pot of orange pekoe tea and give Moira some water, while making a mental tally of all the things I’d have to resupply the Russells with.
“Why do these people want to kill us? I thought a witch and witch slayer could only produce one Light Union. What’s the point?” I ask.
“I’ve been considering that.”
I wait, expecting him to continue, to share all of his thoughts so far. Nada. Not without prompting, I guess. “And?”
“If we presume that the loss of the Light Union—”
“Is he forgetting it was a child? Yeah, Light Union, very important, but it was a baby,” Moira chimes in. I decide not to share her observations with him.
“—was due to magic from your mother, that might provide some kind of loophole.”
“Okay. Meaning that if I was stupid enough to have sex with you again…”
“Oof. Your stupidity had nothing to do with it. It was decidedly your lack of self-control when you’re around me.”
“Oh, because you’re just all that?”
“Because you couldn’t keep your hands to yourself. When I’m near, you are constantly jumping on my body.”
“You’re a witch.”
“Children,” Moira says nudging me with her nose. “This is not the time to be playing patty cake before you two have sex. No sex right now. We’ve got problems. We’ve got people wanting to kill us. Keep your zippers zipped that includes your mouth ones.”
“I’ve just been chastised by a dog.”
“Familiar, witch,” Moira says.
My cell chimes with a message.
Rose: We’ve got your sister. Guess which one. We will kill your sister unless you and the slayer go to Rosemead town square in thirty minutes.
Crap. My stomach whirls nauseously.
“What is it?” Anton asks.
I show him the message. He grunts.
“Is Rose trustworthy? Would she be leading you into some type of trap pretending she’s been kidnapped?”
“No, yes. I mean yes, no. She is trustworthy. She and Nikki are my best friends in the world besides her being my sister. She would never do anything on purpose to hurt me.”
Anton shakes his head. “Our cars are still in front of your … what’s left of your cottage. We have no way to get there unless we go back and no way of knowing if the cars survived the damage, which I seriously doubt. And no way of knowing if it is a trap to catch us trying to pick up our cars”
“But they have Rose’s phone.”
I bow my head in my arms. I would sacrifice myself for my sister, but I can’t ask Anton to do that. It’s a moot point without transportation. And then I remember Bob Russell’s favorite form of transportation in the mountains.
“The Russells have an electric scooter.”
“Bully for the Russells.”
“This house belongs to the Russells.”
“Do you know how small a scooter is? Men my size don’t ride on scooters and there’s a reason for that.”
“Just because you’d look silly—”
I nod. He nods. “It doesn’t matter anyway, because I’m going alone.”
“You’re not going alone.”
Moira sounds loudly in frustration. “Did you two get married and I wasn’t aware?”
“As if,” I say.
“What did the familiar say?”
“She asked if we got married.”
“Ha. As if.”
My eyes narrow at him, but then I shake my head before giving in to another childish retort. Rose is in danger. These idiots, whoever they are, might kill her. I couldn’t live with myself knowing that I did not do anything to keep her safe.
I lower myself to my haunches and grab the Moira’s ruff. I am careful not to speak the words out loud. “I’m knocking him out and then going alone. You stay here and keep him safe.”
“I don’t like this plan,” she says.
“I don’t have any other, do you?”
“You two are conversing, tell me what you’re saying.”
As I am straightening up, I fling my hand, sending him flying against the wall with hopefully just enough power to knock him out and not hurt him. I’m pretty sure that his head is hard enough to withstand another bump. Hard-headed funny Swede.
“Keep an eye on him, Moira. Keep him safe.” I cross the room and kiss Anton on the lips.
It might have been fun in a different life to get to know him. That life just doesn’t happen to be this one.
end of day 30 (a)