I fidgeted with the napkin in my lap as I studied my sister’s face. Getting her to stay quiet while I gave her the full timeline of events of the past two years was not easy and she only stared at me. The story I had to tell was too important for any eavesdropping so we drove to one of our favorite cafés and got a private booth. The dim lighting and smell of coffee gave a very mysterious vibe to the story I was telling and made things a bit more dramatic than it felt. To me anyway. Stephanie pushed away her cup and waved down the waitress causing me to raise an eyebrow.
“We need something stronger than coffee,” was all she said as she ordered two bottles of Moscato. I rubbed my forehead as she opened it and begun to pour out glasses.
“So you are a Lieutenant to some underground secret society, you are ‘mated’ to a man who is hotter than human laws allow, his family may or may not have tried to kill you,” She listed off quietly. “And you have powers?”
Well...yes. I nodded which made her take a gulp from her glass. “You do realize I would check you into an institution if I didn’t believe you even a sliver?”
“I am aware.” I leaned forward. “Why do you believe me?”
Stephanie looked at me for a heartbeat before looking away. Chasing Andrew wasn’t the only thing I was doing this past year. There was a lot of mysteries about my family that also started to pop up in my investigations. Starting with Valentine’s obsession with me and my blood. “I don’t believe that the thing they injected you with gave you powers,” Stephanie mumbled. “Weird things have happened here too.”
“Crystal,” I frowned but Steph gave me a look that told me to let her finish. “She is able to know things before the happen. Like she predicts them but she tells me she saw the things she knows. I thought it was just a normal 15-year old telling stories but now that you are telling me all this-”
“You think there’s more to it.” This was a fear I’ve had for the last few months but I didn’t want to confirm it. Until I catch Andrew I can put my family in the line of fire. But if what Stephanie says is true someone would notice. I reached for my glass and started to pour which made her chuckle. “How attached are you to your life here now?” I asked.
Steph didn’t answer right away. She didn’t need to ask me what I meant either. My real question was in there and she knew it. It was the main reason she sent me to London in the first place. She shifted in her seat, looking at everything but me. Someone got on the mic and started singing to the live jazz band. “I sent you to London for a better life and you come back with a secret one,” she stated finally meeting my gaze.
“I came back because I have business to handle here,” I said coldly. “I’m giving you an option, Stephanie. Is that man still there?”
“The twins deserve better.”
“You leave with me when I’m done here and they will have better. The three of you,” I promised. A small smile appeared on my older sister’s face and I remembered the look. The look of hopelessness when our foster father drank and lashed out. When he would say things to us. The feeling of not believing there was a light at the end. When she drove me to the airport and let me go. I reached forward and gripped her hand. “You’ve changed, Jus. You made a way,” she said softly.
“I did. You don’t have to go back there. You can come home with me,” I begged. Stephanie looked at the table before squeezing my hand and nodding. I let out the breath I was holding. My phone started vibrating. “How soon can you and the twins get packed?”
“Without alarming asshole? I’ll need two days.”
“Done,” I answered my phone. “Ryder.”
“Composi wants to speak to you.”
“I’ll be there in twenty minutes,” I said hanging up, not waiting for a response. I looked back at my sister but she just held up a hand. “Go. I have your number I will let you know when we are ready to go,” she told me smiling. I smiled leaning down to kiss my sister’s cheek before turning and walking out of the restaurant.
I’ve never thought of myself as intimidating. I left that kind of thing up to my mate. However you would think by the way Composi was fidgeting across the table I would slit his throat if he so much as sneezed. We might if he doesn’t answer properly, the ever present voice chimes into my thoughts. I needed him alive. We sat in the studio apartment I had been renting for my stay in New York. I thought of it more as a base. Used to track Andrew and to make sure they were no where near close to finding me. I leaned forward causing Composi to lean back. “For someone who wanted to speak to me,” I started with a hint of irritation in my voice. “You are making it quite difficult to not want to just kill you.”
“I have a right to be nervous. I have a lot of information-”
“So I’ve heard.”
“And the second you have what you want you can kill me,” he finished. “I am being cautious, Lieutenant.”
I looked back at Thomas and Devlin who narrowed their eyes at the warlock. He was smart. Smarter than the man he was paid by. And he has information. Business with warlocks Thomas told me always came with a price. They always wanted something in return. Didn’t matter how small you had to always be careful with one. On the outside, Composi looked like a very well dressed Italian. His hair was slicked back and he was wearing the same three piece suit I saw him in earlier with Andrew. He was a man of tastes. “You have information about Andrew,” I stated.
“I have information about his whereabouts and what he’s planning because I told him what to do,” Composi replied. “You want him dead, sì?”
I smirked, “I thought you knew the answer to that.”
“Let’s not play coy, Lieutenant. You have something I want and I have something you want. I can make your revenge quicker if you give me what I want.”
“And what do you want, Composi?” I asked.
He didn’t respond for a moment. It was irritating waiting for this answer. When he finally said it his eyes turned white with slits like a snake’s. As if he was excited with his proposition. “I want you to make a blood pact with me.”
Mitchie pushed herself off the wall, glaring at the back of his head, “And what the fuck is a blood pact?”
“Warlocks only make blood pacts with powerful beings. It is the equivalent of a servant pledging their loyalty to a master,” Thomas explained looking at me. “A life for a life.”
“Why would that benefit me?” I asked Composi.
“I know more about you than you know about yourself. Again I would rather keep certain information to myself for now in the event you attempt to kill me,” his smile widened. “For now I’m giving you Andrew.”
“If she becomes your master she could just order you to tell her everything and then just kill you anyway,” Judith scoffed.
Composi rolled his eyes then snapped his fingers as a long piece of paper appeared between us. It was a contract. He leaned forward and handed me a quill pen. “Forgive me but I’m not foolish and there are rules. One being you can’t just kill me when it suits you. Think of it as workers insurance,” he explained. I smiled. “Tell me where Andrew is first.”
“Again that’s not-”
“If what you say is true about having more information for me you wouldn’t be of use to me dead. Where is he?”
Composi stared at me for a moment before leaning back in his chair nodding slowly. “He’s in a rented apartment off 113th in Manhattan.”
“And the magicks you have protecting him?”
Composi motioned towards the contract. I lifted the quill pen signing my name and looking directly at him. “You cross me and I’ll kill you. Contract or not.”
“I don’t doubt you, mistress,” he responded bowing his head and taking the contract. “The magicks are gone. And from the buzzing in my ear we may want to turn on the news. You don’t have much time left.”