“What do you mean the demon took Andrew?” Helena screamed at Alexander, unable to contain her outrage any longer.
“I am no happier about this turn of events than you are, so tone it down. Your screeching is giving me a headache,” he snapped, collapsing into his office chair.
Maya, standing next to her, took Helena’s hand and ran her thumb over the back of it in a circular motion which did nothing but make Helena more agitated. She marched to the desk where Alexander was already typing something on his laptop.
“We have to get him back!”
He didn’t bother looking up. “Yes, we should. But until we know how, we can do nothing but wait.”
The door to the office opened, and Nadine peered at them with interest.
Alexander closed the lid on his laptop and intertwined his fingers over its smooth, black surface. “Am I to expect you have summoned another demon into my abode?”
Nadine ignored him and made her way into the office.
“I have found one of the gates,” Nadine said in a bored tone as if it was dust she had discovered on a shelf.
Helena’s heart jumped at the news, and she was at Nadine’s side a second later, grabbing her by the shoulders. “Where is it?”
“West…Norwood, in London. Has something happened?”
“A lot,” Maya replied.
Full of determination, Helena faced Alexander. “How soon can we get there?”
“Don’t you believe it to be a foolish move to dive into this head first? The demon has done this to lure you there. Also, we do not know if Andrew is alive or not. He may already be de—”
“Stop it!” Helena snapped. “Don’t say it…”
Alexander scowled and let out a drawn out breath. “Alright, I won’t. But, I urge you to stop and think about everyone around you. How many lives are you willing to stake to get that gate open and how many may die during this operation?”
Her heart sank into the abyss. Looking over her shoulder, she saw two young women in their prime. Granted, one was a hunter and the other a saint, yet both of them were important friends to her—as was Andrew. She couldn’t abandon him to Lazarus. Who knows what that demon could be doing to him!
“Nadine, what do you know about the Demon Gate and how to open it?” Helena asked.
Nadine bobbed her head as she seemingly listened to her angel’s words. When she finished, her eyes met Helena’s. “I have never been through the gate, nor has my guardian. Horus believes that once the gate is open, demons may flood into this realm without restraint. Those with silver souls will be in imminent danger of possession. Therefore, once you cross, I must close the gate.”
“How are we supposed to get back?” Maya asked.
“Viator bijous,” Nadine replied.
Helena stared at Nadine, awaiting further explanation of what the hell she was talking about. When Nadine remained quiet, Alexander grunted.
“For all that is sacred in this world, explain to us, non-demon lovers, what it is you are talking about,” he grumbled.
Nadine glared at him and the air in the room warmed. “How dare you!”
“Nadine,” Helena said, drawing the saint’s attention back to her. “What are via…whatever you’ve said earlier?”
“Viator bijous are just that, messenger gems. They let people who possess a pair to communicate over large distances—old Wiccan magic.”
“And where do we find such things?”
“I don’t have a clue. What I do know is that they are popular with the blood Circles and warlocks.”
“And where do you expect us to find a willing warlock who’ll jump at the idea to help us?” Alexander asked.
Helena cringed. There was only one person who came to mind, and the idea made her doubt her sanity. “Reaver.”
Alexander snorted. “Are you telling me Reaver is at your beck and call?”
“No, but Reaver may help us,” Helena explained.
“Why?” Maya asked.
Helena swallowed the knot forming in her throat. There were many unknowns with Nora and what had happened in Vienna, yet the siren and her father may be their only chance of getting Andrew back from Lazarus. “She owes me a favour.”
Alexander stared at her, incredulous. “If you have managed to get a favour out of Reaver, perhaps I should hire you as a negotiator for my toughest business deals.”
“This is not the time to joke,” Nadine chided. “I can’t believe you have managed such a feat, especially while you were captured by that person.”
“I can’t tell you how it happened. I don’t know the answer to that…” Helena replied.
“What makes you believe Reaver will come?” Alexander asked.
“Because Nora said she will, if I ask for help.”
The room fell silent. All eyes were on Helena as if they were trying to make sure she was real and not an apparition of some kind.
Alexander cleared his throat and took out a bottle of scotch and a single glass from his drinks drawer. He studied the lone glass on his desk before putting it back. Then, he uncorked the bottle and took a swig.
“This is madness,” he finally said as he set the bottle down.
Helena shrugged. “It’s the only way we can do this.”
“I don’t know if we can trust Reaver with this,” Nadine said.
Maya nodded. “I, too, am not convinced it’s the best choice.”
Helena pursed her lips. She looked at Alexander. He was the last person in the room who had any say in the matter. She hated relying on him for help. If he was opposed to the notion as well, Andrew may be well and truly lost, and she had no idea how she would cope with that.
Alexander reclined in his seat, his eyes never leaving Helena’s. “I cannot stake my life or my business on this, yet I find myself mystified that Reaver may come to your summons. I say, why not? It is a gamble, yes, but few investments are risk-free.”
Knee-bending relief flooded through her, and she hit the ground with a smile tugging at her lips. They were given a chance. They could save Andrew and rid themselves of the demon.
While Maya knelt next to Helena with a concerned expression on her face, Alexander took out his phone and called someone.
After a short exchange in German, he walked around his desk and handed her the mobile phone. “It is the time you showed us how well connected with Reaver you are.”
Gingerly, she took the phone from him and pressed it to her ear. “Hello?”
“If it isn’t my dear friend, Helena! Did you miss me? Alexander told me you need my help. Do tell, what can Papa and I do you for?” Nora’s childish voice slithered out of the speaker, and Helena gave Maya a nervous glance.
Apprehension seeped into Helena’s words. “We need via…”
“Viator bijous,” Nadine said from where she stood.
Helena nodded. “Viator bijous, do you have any of those?”
“Ah, yes, I have over a dozen bijous in my vault. Why do you need something that has been replaced by phones?” Nora asked.
“We need them to communicate from the Demon Realm.”
On the other end of the line, the silence grew. Out of the blue, a giggle erupted from Nora. “That sounds like a great adventure. I want in. Niko, demons inbound!” More laughter escaped from the speaker. Helena had to move the phone away from her ear to avoid going deaf.
Maya eyed her with worry and whispered, “Are you sure you want to deal with that girl?”
Even Helena was no longer certain about this deal. Nora was a wild card. She could kill them without batting an eye and would enjoy it. Helena gripped the phone in her hand. This is the only way.
“Will you help us?” Helena asked between bursts of giggles on the other end.
Nora’s voice became deeper. “I have promised my aid to you, young lady, and I will do my best to keep my word.”
Helena guessed she was speaking to the real Reaver—Nora’s father—who resided in the siren’s body. “Thank you. We are heading to West Norwood…”
“Ah, the Demon Gate at the cemetery. I have visited it a few times,” Reaver said with glee. “I will meet you there tomorrow evening. I must prepare for the journey and take care of some errands here. Would that suffice?”
“Yes, yes of course.”
“Then, with great pleasure, I await the time we will meet again…” Reaver ended the call.
Helena handed the phone back to Alexander, and he rested his hip against his desk with a mixed look of surprise and confusion.
“I cannot believe it…” he said.
“You don’t need to believe it. Can we get going already?”