“Explain to me how you managed to get a civilian involved in
this?” Godwin demanded angrily.
“It wasn’t on purpose,” Arianna defended herself, “Logan was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The blue stone was used on him and despite trying to blank his memory, he saw me again so it broke the spell.”
Godwin frowned but said nothing else on the subject, “You said that these men were using a device to track your new friend with.”
Arianna held up the gold baton, “It’s a tracer wand. This thing normally shouldn’t have done anything other than glow nicely but it led them directly to Logan.”
“The magic levels are rising,” Godwin mused, “If this continues even if we find the new rift there will be no way back.”
“Before we go for the worst case scenario,” Davin noted, “Can we work out what we can do now?”
“I’m sending you a list of possibilities of who could have given these people the wand,” Godwin said, “I think there is one you might find interesting, Arianna.”
Davin and Arianna shared a confused look as they waited for the list to appear before them. Once it had solidified Arianna scanned down the list, stopping with a noise of annoyance.
Turning to Davin she handed him the list, “Marcus Holston.”
“And he is?” Davin asked.
Arianna sat down, “Holston was a dealer in magical items. I was part of the team that caught him and he was sentenced to live on Earth. It looks like he’s been up to his old tricks of hoarding magical items but considering these things would only work once a century then this also makes him a logical suspect in the theft of the stones.”
“Arianna, I want you to go and speak with Holston,” Godwin ordered, “Make sure it looks just like you’re doing a routine check on him.”
“That’ll be easy,” Arianna frowned.
“You’ve just been elevated,” Davin reminded her, “One of the jobs for the recently made peacekeeper sorcerers is parole checks. I can give you the routine things to say.”
“You also know Holston and his background,” Godwin reminded her, “You should be able to spot anything that is out of place.”
“I’ll report back the moment I can,” Arianna promised before she cut the connection.
“You look worried,” Davin noted as Arianna paced.
“This is the first time I’ve had to do anything like this,” she told him, “Davin, I have no backup. I have no way to get help if this goes wrong.”
Davin caught her by her shoulders, “Look at me. You are good at this, you always have been. There are reasons you were kept as an Apprentice that you don’t know but I know you are good at this. Trust your instincts, trust yourself and you’ll do fine.”
A shy smile crossed her face and Arianna hugged him, “Thanks. I’ll be back soon.”
“Actually,” Davin called her back and tossed a small black box to her, “use this to call me.”
Arianna looked down at the small device with a confused frown, “What is it?”
“It’s a mobile phone,” Davin laughed, “I’ve set it so you only have to hit the green button to call me.”
Arianna looked at the phone with slight distaste, “You know there are easier ways.”
“Not here,” Davin shook his head, “Do as you’re told.”
She grinned at him before leaving the shop.
Logan grimaced in annoyance as he paced his living room for the hundredth time. He couldn’t sit here and do nothing until he was told it was safe, he’d go insane.
Grabbing his wallet, phone and keys he headed out the door and straight to the bookstore. As he reached the block he saw Arianna leave looking worried.
Knowing he shouldn’t Logan decided to follow her. It was easier than he thought as she seemed to walk rather than take any of the transport available. One problem was the fact he’d not used his legs that much in the past six months and the sudden exercise had his muscles as well as his feet protesting.
Rounding the corner Arianna had just turned in a residential area Logan stopped to find Arianna standing there with her arms folded across her chest.
“What are you doing here?” Arianna demanded sharply.
Logan shrugged, “Out for a walk?”
“So you decided to risk your life for a stroll?” she demanded, “I’ll take that answer now how about telling me why you’re following me?”
“Okay, I thought you looked a little worried,” he confessed, “And I decided to see if you wanted someone to talk to.”
“That was a terrible lie,” Arianna laughed at him.
“Fine, I wanted to know what you were doing,” he snapped.
Arianna sighed, “Okay, thanks for the honesty but I can handle this myself.”
He could see her curse herself silently that she had only managed to pique his curiosity instead of mute it.
“I’m going to see someone who was banished from my world to this one,” she explained, “I think he may be the one who gave our friends the wand they used to find you.”
“Want some company?” Logan asked with a smile.
“Logan, if this is the same man who sent those guys after you then we’re delivering you into his hands,” Arianna said, “And if it’s not then you’re still out in the open when you’re meant to be hidden in your home.”
“But I’m not as safe there as I am with you,” Logan reminded her.
“Fine,” Arianna sighed, “Come on. The only thing I need you to do for me is stay out of my way. Say absolutely nothing no matter what happens. Agreed?”
Logan nodded, “Agreed.”
Arianna would never admit this but she felt slightly better
that Logan was with her as they headed towards the house she’d been told
Holston was living in.
“Looks like there’s a party going on,” Logan noted as they saw balloons and streamers attached to the door.
“Not my problem,” Arianna said taking a deep breath, “Let’s go.”
They walked to the door and Logan hit the doorbell, as they waited he noted Arianna trying to relax.
“No matter what I do or say,” she reminded him, “Do nothing.”
Logan nodded just before the door opened. A tall thin man with thinning hair and a rat like appearance opened it, the moment he saw Arianna the surprise became evident on his face.
“Hello, Holston,” Arianna said evenly, “I would say it’s good to see you but there’s no point in lying to you. We’re coming in.”
Holston held his arm across the door, “I’m in the middle of something.”
“I noticed,” Arianna replied evenly, “A party. What’s the special event?”
“My wedding anniversary,” Holston snapped, “And I have several guests in this house.”
Arianna smiled at him, “Well I don’t need to meet them. All I need is a quick check of your house for any items that you shouldn’t have.”
Holston glared at her, “What authority do you have?”
Arianna laughed, “I’m a Peacekeeper, Holston. You’re still one of us and the terms of your release here on Earth are that you submit to a check by a Peacekeeper at any time or you go to jail.”
“Fine,” Holston snapped, “I want this to be as fast as possible I have guests. Come in.”
Arianna smiled at Logan before motioning him to follow her as she followed Holston.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Logan murmured.
“Trust me,” Arianna whispered back as they climbed the stairs past the people enjoying the party.
“In here,” Holston opened the door to a room at the end of the corridor.
“After you,” Arianna told him, “Not that I don’t trust you.”
He grunted and walked into the room, Arianna and Logan followed. Logan let out a low whistle at the piles of sculptures and strange looking works of art.
“Holston,” Arianna shook her head theatrically, “Look at all this. How much of it is magical?”
“None here,” he retorted, “You know the only person in this room who can do magic is you. So do what checks you need to do and get out.”
Arianna laughed again, “You really don’t get this, do you. I know that you’ve been dealing in magical items and I know that you’re hoarding more as more and more magic leaks into this world.”
“Holston, you were useless back home,” Arianna reminded him, “And you’re just as useless here. Is it any wonder I found you without any problems? It just worries me that you seem to think you have any chance of succeeding when you’ve never succeeded in anything in your entire life.”
Holston’s eyes narrowed as he moved around the room, “I have guests, Skylar. I don’t want anything to do with that place. So get out.”
“Tell me who is really behind this,” Arianna said, “Because there’s no way you’re smart enough to have pulled this off.”
Logan watched Holston snarl before grabbing a pyramid and turning on the woman standing there.
“Arianna,” Logan cried as he darted forward to help her.
“Don’t,” Arianna cried as the portal opened pulling them towards it.
Logan reached out and grabbed a hold of a curtain but the power of the vortex was too much for it and he heard a ripping sound as he and Arianna were pulled out of the room.
Logan grunted as he landed in sand, looking around he stared in astonishment that he was nowhere near the room they’d been in. In fact he was pretty sure they’d left the UK.
“You idiot,” Arianna snapped, “We’re trapped.”
Davin sat worrying.
Arianna was good at her job, she was smart and she could handle anything that was thrown at her. Unfortunately it didn’t stop him worrying about her. Davin had known Arianna from the moment she was born; he’d been present in the delivery room along with his wife Hendi as Melinda brought her daughter into the world. He’d caught Melinda’s tear and Arianna’s first cry solidifying it into the small pendant that Arianna had worn for many years now.
Turning in confusion he found Laurie standing there looking hopeful.
“Hi,” he said, “What can I do for you?”
Laurie grimaced, “There’s some weird noises coming from the basement. I’m trying to get some stuff cleaned out and since none of the guys are available I was hoping I could persuade you to give me a hand to check this out.”
Davin chuckled, “Not a problem. I need a distraction just now anyway. Let’s go.”
Davin grabbed his phone in case Arianna called and followed Laurie out the door, making sure the shop was closed.
As Davin entered the Labyrinth bar he felt something, it was
just a small touch of energy against his skin. The moment he entered the
basement the energy nearly bowled him over. Davin wasn’t like Arianna, he
couldn’t use the small amount of background magic that existed on Earth, most
of the time he couldn’t even feel it. He’d spent years without that sense and
the fact he could feel it now worried him.
“Laurie, who comes down here?” Davin asked.
Laurie shrugged, “Just me and the bar staff.”
“Do any of them...” Davin trailed off not sure where to go with that question, “Forget that. Have you had any temps or people who worked here for a few weeks then left suddenly?”
“Why do you want to know?” Laurie demanded annoyed.
“Because I have a feeling that behind that door is something you’re not going to believe,” Davin told her, “But since this is your place you’re going to need to know this.”
Laurie looked at him as though he was absolutely insane but Davin didn’t say anything else before he pushed open the door in front of them and Laurie gasped.
In front of them was a hole in the middle of the room, edged with lightning it pulsated and rippled.
“What the hell is that?” Laurie demanded.
Davin sighed, “An answer.”
Laurie grimaced as she watched Davin pace the main room of
the bar. She was completely confused as to why there was a strange hole in the
centre of her basement that was surrounded by lightning.
“Are you going to tell me what’s going on?” Laurie demanded.
Davin sighed, “It’s going to sound crazy.”
“Have you seen that thing?” Laurie cried, “Crazy sounds about right.”
“It’s a rift,” Davin explained, “Between here and my world. Someone ripped through the fabric between our worlds to get here.”
Davin moved Laurie to a seat and took one across from her, “What I’m about to tell you is very strange and pretty unbelievable but unfortunately I can’t blank your memory of what you saw.”
Laurie stared at him, “That’s making me feel safe.”
“You’re safe,” Davin promised, “Listen to me though; you can’t go back into that room. Not without me and definitely not without Arianna.”
“Your friend who Logan went running after,” Laurie noted before something occurred to her, “Does this have anything to do with how he can walk again?”
Davin nodded, “We’re trying not to interfere with people but Logan was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“I’d disagree with that,” Laurie said, “You have no idea what he was like when he was in that wheelchair. Whatever you did to him, it’s turned him back to who he was before his accident.”
“We just have to hope he doesn’t get himself in trouble being in the wrong place again,” Davin sighed, “And hope he and Arianna don’t try to kill each other.”