“You’re mighty jumpy for someone who called us here for help,” Borjas says, motioning for Victor to put the spell away.
“You’re quick on the draw for someone who’s supposed to be healers,” Victor responds.
“You think people care if you’re a healer or not? You can still be robbed pretty easily.” Salib says, charging her weapon with spirit energy.
“My love, they have a point. Put the gun down. We don’t want to fight near Isabelle,” Rosa reasons, with Isabelle hugging her leg. Victor lowers the spell and backs away.
“I’m going to walk over to Isabelle and release the magic in her. Are you okay with that?” Both parents nod. Salib walks over to Isabelle and holder her hand out for her. Isabelle takes her hand, and Salib siphons the magic out of her and makes a ball of spirit magic. Then, absorbing it back to herself, she moves back to her spot behind Borjas.
“Forgive my skepticism, but we’ve tried everything, and for it to be such a simple thing, it’s hard to believe,” Rosa says, trying to ease the mood.
“I completely understand. It’s not a simple thing to find, however. Without all the wars that plagued us and the need for all types of warriors in our armies, these things get missed. Especially when you have a health care system that won’t properly treat you if you don’t have enough money, clerics who don’t believe in changing people, and spirit users who don’t always learn all the skills they need the correct way.”
“I’m so happy you understand,” Rosa says, placing her hand over her heart.
“I’ve met my competition. I know that there are good and bad out there in every profession, but the bad is a little more popular than the good.”
“You’re a Godsend. I’m sorry, is that offensive?” Rosa tries to correct.
“The Dragons and the Gods are equals, not enemies like they used to be. You’re fine.” Salib says, de-escalating.
“Thank the Gods and the Dragons for you, Farah. But, tell you what, why don’t I let you do a little pre-shopping in my closet. Just to make up for any misunderstanding.”
“Of course, as long as the prettiest girl in the room will join us.”
“Yay! Dress up!” Isabelle says, finally feeling safe enough to come from behind Rosa’s leg. The women run off to the back of the home, get better acquainted, and Victor and Borjas look at each other, and their minds go to the same thing simultaneously.
“Cerveza?” Victor says, more a formality at this point.
“I thought you would never ask,” Borjas says, taking a seat at the dinner table. Victor throws one over, and Borjas catches it with ease.
“Nice catch, Miguel. I didn’t take you for a Finesse user,” Victor says, using his power to size up Borjas. Borjas realizes that he used Finesse to catch the bottle. He didn’t mean to. Hopefully, he could still pull this off.
“Yeah, I learned a little. I like to stay in shape, and as long as I stay that way, I can use it.”
“So, you just use it for party tricks?”
“And the police issued firearm?”
“This old thing? My dad was a cop. He just gave me his when he retired.” Only half a lie. Borjas takes a sip of the beer and watches Victor closely. Borjas held all the cards. He knew that.
Close proximity means he could get to Victor before he could cast a spell. Salib is with Rosa and Isabelle. There is no way he would take that chance. Not to mention, killing a cop without a really good plan was a bad idea for anyone, but worse for a husband and a father—especially one with a sick child.
While Borjas is reading the situation, he notices that Victor’s eyes keep flashing black. Borjas could only imagine what that meant. More than likely talking to his Patron. If he’s getting back up from the other side, that wasn’t good. Borjas needed to call for backup too, but he didn’t know-how.
Taking his phone out would be too suspicious. The only thing he could rely on now is, thinking it. Hopefully, Salib would pick up on his messages. She usually checked his thoughts when they were apart, just in case. Let’s hope to the Gods she is doing it now.
“So tell me this, Miguel, what was the real reason you were at the bar last night?”
“I wanted a drink, just like you.”
“Then why did you end the night without getting a single drink? You were as sober as I was.” Victor’s eyes go black once more, and Borjas reaches for his sidearm.
It didn’t take long for Salib to figure out why Isabelle came down with an instant case of drowsiness. Her mother wanted her alone. But, her good heart getting the better of her, Salib still placed a small spell that would alleviate her magic build-up, cutting her magic pool in half. She hoped this would ease tension, but she couldn’t be sure. This is a play that she learned from Borjas, and she was never as good at his moves as he was.
“My husband may be a complete idiota, but I’m not. I also know that you spirit users are super sensitive to demonic energy, so let’s not mince words.” Rosa says after the child leaves the room.
“I know we are about to get into a thing, but these pearl-colored heels are too cute,” Salib says, turning from Rosa’s closet. When she faces Rosa, she already has a ball of demonic energy equipped and ready to fire. Salib just starts to think – what would Raphael do? “What do you know?”
“You’re a police officer.”
“Go on,” Salib says, keeping her hands at her side.
“You suspect Victor of something, and your partner used his weakness to get here to investigate.
“Well, that’s illegal. We’d need a warrant for that. And since We’re here less than twelve hours after they met, we couldn’t possibly have that.” No, but they did have probable cause now, and she knows that Rosa would know that.
“So you are cops?”
“No, just watch a lot of crime TV, but I’ve learned not to argue with a person with a loaded gun or spell on you.”
“Thanks,” Salib says, reaching for as many tricks as she could. She looks back and runs her hand down one of the dresses. “Could we possibly do this somewhere else? It’s hard to feel threatened, surrounded by gorgeous outfits.”
“Sure. Your partner is already captured in the kitchen, Follow me, and no funny business. I don’t doubt you’re strong, but this is enough power to put even an S-rank hunter down.” Salib just nods and lets her believe that. She knows a couple of S-ranks, and they would laugh at her spell. Salib couldn’t handle a direct hit, however.
Taking the slow paces to the kitchen, Rosa walks backward, and Salib is impressed at how well she can manage this without looking. Salib starts thinking of a plan, but it’s only a short walk to the kitchen. She usually doesn’t have to. Borjas always has the plan.
When they reach the end of the hallway, and Borjas is on his knees with his hands tied behind his back, Salib comes close to swearing for the first time.
“I can’t believe I was so stupid as to let you come here,” Victor says, holding the spell up to Borjas. Rosa’s smile starts to return, and that makes him feel a little better.
“You were angry, Mi Amor, and Rogues are masters at manipulating emotions.”
“Thanks,” Miguel speaks up. “Nice to see our work doesn’t go unnoticed.”
“Stop talking before I lose my patience,” Victor says.
“Or what?” Borjas says dryly. “You’ll kill a cop with your little girl in the other room? Not likely. You are smart enough to throw the police off the trail and frame a couple of dumb humans. So that means you’re smart enough to know that killing cops means Isabelle has to either live her life on the run or go into the system. Do you think either of those options is good enough for her? And what of her condition? How will she get help then?”
“Enough!” Victor slaps Miguel. “Enough of your words Rogue.”
“I’ve heard that you casters were pansies, but jeez. Can’t you hit with a little more power than that?” Miguel says slyly. Victor draws back and punches Miguel. The hit doesn’t even knock him over.
“Wow, if that’s all you got, I’m starting to wonder how you keep your wife happy.” Before Victor can fire the spell, Rosa touches his shoulder.
“Mi Amor, this is just him trying to get under your skin. Don’t let him.”
“Yeah, because you hitting like that, the only thing you need to worry about is someone else getting into your wife.” Borjas gets a knee this time. This attack lays him on his back, and Rosa grabs Victor to make him look her in the eyes.
“Stop it! You know I’m not going anywhere. Stop letting this Rogue get the best of you.” Rosa releases a little power into him, and his anger is fighting her domination.
“When did you learn this spell?”
“Don’t worry about it. Stop fighting it.”
“You useless, Mortal! You will be the undoing of you and your wife.” Walpurga intervenes.
“You stay out of this!” They both yell, and this is when Victor realizes that Walpurga was the Patron of his wife and she had never told him.
“I mean, sure if you want me to.” Miguel’s voice cuts through. Victor turns to face Miguel to see that he was standing next to him. A quick jab to the chin, and Victor was down, and his spell fades from his grasp. Victor can hear Rosa and Miguel fighting, but before he can get back up, he feels the pressure of force wrap his body and a slight tingling. Trying to move against the force sends a shocking sensation through his body. When he tries to move his head, all he can see is Farah moving her hands to cast spells. A moment later, Rosa lands belly first on top of him. What has he done?”