Bliss showed up with four sisters in two SUVs. At six fourteen they were alone in front of the adobe building. At six fifteen there was a sixth person.
Bliss was the first one to approach the body on the blanket. It was Lex. He was naked and unconscious.
There was the raised bump of a spider bite on the side of his neck. In a few days that would be gone like it had never been, even though it had been red and raised for a long time.
Bliss rolled him over. Along the skin over his spine was a red tattoo. To Bliss it meant nothing, but she knew what to do with it.
They rolled him up in the blanket and lay him in the back of the SUV on a foam mattress that they’d just bought at Target.
Justina Bybreak sat by the boy’s side in the SUV. She’d been Maiden in her coven near San Francisco, but had given up that position after her mother died and moved home to Las Vegas. Her father had been outraged, first to find out that Bybreak’s will excluded him and that his daughter was dropping out of medical school to join his mother’s business.
Bliss smiled at the girl as the car started to move. She was in her early twenties and everything that a good witch usually wasn’t: tall, blond and stunningly beautiful.
Bliss had told her how her mother had died. And then forbid her from hurting the boy.
Justina was already stroking the side of his face with a sharp fingernail.
As soon as Lia penciled in the last answer to her homework she stood up and changed into some comfortable clothes.
At first it had been very nice to wear beautiful dresses all the time. They were such beautiful clothes that wearing them made her feel like a movie star and they’d only gotten nicer in the last few years. Annabelle’s selections had been nice for a girl that looked eight but it turned out that Miss Chi-Wong had a surprisingly sophisticated sense of fashion and one of the few ways that she was willing to spend time with Lia was to buy her clothes.
But the dresses were limiting. They were made to stand out and she realized after a while that they were not much more than prison uniforms.
Even the “regular” clothes that Miss Chi-Wong bought her though were very nice. The jeans that she was wearing were from a private label and up each side were embroidered flowers. Her white fuzzy blouse was one of the softest fabrics that she’d ever felt and over that she’d pulled a sweatshirt with a brilliant flower on it.
There were werewolf guards at the doors to her rooms, not to mention throughout the building. Ever since she’d been escaping Mohan had been putting a guard on the roof too although that was the easiest guard to evade.
She went to the door and put her hand up on it and concentrated.
Most of the wolves were just normal humans when they hadn’t shifted. A few had improved senses, or could shift part way between wolf and human, but most of them were just ordinary people.
Mohan wasn’t. Michael wasn’t. Lia suspected that Chi-Wong wasn’t. Neither was Lia.
She thought of bubbles and fuzz and fog and anything else that came into her head and pushed them through the door and into the guards on the other side. They wouldn’t see the images, or understand exactly what was happening, but it worked.
After thirty seconds of concentration she opened the door and slipped through the oblivious guards. She still had to move slowly and quietly while the guards daydreamed.
The elevator had a camera and so did the stairs. Mohan was serious about his security.
She had a couple of routes out of the building but the easiest by far was the kitchen window.
There was a much larger and more impressive kitchen down on the main floor of the building that could cater to large groups and meetings that Mr. Mohan sometimes held in the conference rooms on the first floor but the little kitchen up on this floor was what normally fed Lia and provided snacks and lunches for the guards.
Usually the evening guy was a jerk and Lia would have had to fuzz him out as well but today was a Sunday and the weekend guy was a thin Hispanic werewolf named Jaime. He was wearing a white apron and looked up in surprise as she came in.
She nodded to him. “Hola Jaime. ¿Como esta ustedes?” she said. Spanish wasn’t one of her lessons, but even among the servants of the werewolves Spanish seemed to dominate. She’d learned a few words out of self defense.
“Bien, Senorita,” he replied and then said something quickly and sighed.
“Yeah, afraid I need to use the window again,” she said.
She moved toward it, and he moved between her.
“No, Senorita. Senor Mohan no quiere que te vayas.” He doesn’t want you to go, he was telling her.
“Yo quiero.” I want to go.
Jaime looked at her, as though he couldn’t believe that she had desires other than what Mohan wanted. Yeah, Mr. Mohan was scary, but he wasn’t that scary.
“I’m sorry, Jaime,” she murmured and then remembered how to say it in Spanish. “Lo siento, Jaime.”
He bared his teeth for a moment, but she didn’t flinch. She tensed her muscles and things slowed down a bit, and she reached out her hand and touched his face, along his jawline. There was a spark and he was hers.
He was trying to change, and she told him not to. There was a growl in his throat but it was just a human growl.
She relaxed and time went back to the way that it was supposed to be. Jaime flinched at her hand on his face. He looked confused for a moment, then surprised and then scared.
“Lo siento, Jaime,” she said. Go over and stand by the wall for a moment, she said in her animal voice. It was easy to command something like that, it wasn’t even words or language she just had to picture it. Jaime moved back, suddenly aghast and she continued. If they ask you, I never came into the kitchen. She frowned. That was a more complicated image and she couldn’t say that in Spanish.
Well, if she had to hope that he’d understood. She shifted into the raven and fluttered the counter before she realized that she’d forgotten to open the window.
Well, there was Jaime now. She sent and image and he came over, unlatched the window and she flew out into the daylight.
Continued next week . . .