The Fae Worlds


Waking Up

Jared watched the window. “We shouldn’t be doing this.”
I shook my head. “We’ve been through this before, Jared. Beth is the one who called Lou to tell her Max was here in the first place. Lou and Jen would be here if they weren’t in the middle of something, and they aren’t going to be best pleased if you kill their cousin.”
“She’s a necromancer, Sam. All necromancers are better off dead.”
Sighing, I tried to think of a way to get through to him without bringing Raina’s name into things. The moment I did things would go from bad to worse. Even mentioning her would send him into a sulk for the next three days, because she’d left when he wanted her to stay, and it didn’t matter to him she had a job to do. It mattered she was gone. At times all I wanted to do was force him to see the truth. If it hadn’t been for her he would have been dead.
By following her magic she’d done what needed to be done, and then, in the way it always did, her magic pulled her somewhere else. Emotions didn’t come into it. I could tell she wanted to stay, but she couldn’t. To him that had been the biggest betrayal. He’d let someone with magic into his life, and when he felt he needed her most she left him, so he was even worse than he was before we met her.
“Why can’t you give her a chance? She’s the cousin of two hunters we know well, and they trust us to keep Beth safe. You stepping into her motel room and killing her in cold blood will probably lead to the same thing happening to us. I’m not sure about you, but I like being alive.”
“One wrong move, and I’m not going to let her live.”
“You’re not going to be able to stop me if she proves to be someone who’s willing to hurt us.”
Not for the first time I wondered why Lou called us. She knew what Jared was like. Letting him anywhere near Beth was always going to be a mistake, but then if Beth was anything like her cousins she was going to be able to protect herself. All I could really do was hope she didn’t hurt Jared too much. Feeling like all I wanted to do was get the meeting over and done with I looked down at my watch. He’d insisted on being there early, to check things out, and that meant we still had an hour to kill before we were scheduled to meet for the first time.
“How about we get something to eat, a coffee, and take some time to chill out?”
“Leave a necromancer?” Jared shook his head. “How do we know she isn’t going to raise the dead herself? I know she said Max was here, but Max hasn’t been seen in months. Last I heard someone took his head off.”
“I’ve heard three rumours about Max being dead, but nothing more, and rumours aren’t enough when it comes to him. If Beth says he’s here then he is. She’d know better than anyone else.” That was one of the reasons I’d agreed to go. If Beth was telling us one of the most dangerous necromancers I’d ever come across was planning on raising a small army then I believed her. From what I knew of her she wasn’t the sort of person to cry wolf. “Being Max’s sister doesn’t make her the enemy. Being Andre’s daughter doesn’t make her the enemy either.”
“You’re too soft on these people. Putting them all down where they stand in the best thing we could do, but for some reason you can’t see that.”
“Even Raina?”
“Don’t go there.”
“Too late. I already have.” I shook my head. “You’re being an idiot, Jared. People are people. There are good and bad whether they have magic or not. Being a necromancer doesn’t make Beth evil.”
“No one who isn’t evil learns necromancy.”
Laughing probably wasn’t the best response, but I couldn’t stop myself. “She grew up with two necromancers, Jared, and if I was in that position I would have learnt necromancy too. As she knew what her family was capable of I think it was a way of protecting others from them. We can put the dead down, in time. She’s the one who can stop them in an instant. She’s the one we need by our side if we’re going to be able to stop this without anyone getting hurt.”
When Jared’s eyes met with mine I could see I was beginning to get through to him. “Okay, maybe you’re right, but I don’t trust her.”
“You don’t have to. We both trust Lou, and that’s enough for me. When we go in there I want you to let me do the talking. If you so much as open your mouth I can see there being big problems.”
“If she has any sense she’ll work out who I am when I walk through the door, and she won’t do anything stupid to cause problems herself.”
Trying not to make a face I brushed a hand through my hair. Had Jared not been my cousin I would have walked away, but he was family. The fact his dad raised me after my own dad died on a hunting trip was reason enough to do everything I could to look after his son. I could understand Jared’s anger. At times I felt it myself. He was just much more black and white than I was. He’d been getting better when he was with Raina, but then she’d left and he was a hundred times worse. Keeping him from running into trouble was far harder than it had ever been before.
“She won’t.” I wished again for Beth’s phone number, but Lou hadn’t given it to me. “I’m going to get some coffee. Do not enter that motel room without me.”