After Crystal stopped yelling and I promised I’d come right over, I stood on my roof staring at the now dead phone. What the heck just happened, I didn’t know. I mean, yes, I’d yelled but she was half a block away – I couldn’t fathom what she was so upset about.
I wasn’t gonna figure it out standing there so I shoved the phone back in my pocket and headed down the fire escape. I got to my own window without waking the neighbors and climbed back in.
Tim was still in the living room. Wolff had joined him. I looked at them both. I guess I looked like I was confused because Wolff started talking.
“I heard you a few minutes ago. Your brother tells me you had a conversation. Is it permissible to talk now?”
‘Permissible?’ That was weird. Since when did anyone need my permission for anything? But I let it drop, “Yeah, may as well. Make it quick, I gotta go see Crystal. Evidently, I’m in the doghouse.”
His eyes narrowed, “The… doghouse?”
Tim chuckled, “He’s in trouble with his girlfriend.”
I shot him a dirty look, “We’re not official or anything. And you got nowhere to talk.”
“Mistress Crystal is angry?”
I nodded, “Yeah, beats me as to why. I apologized for shouting. Anyway, what did you need?”
His jaw literally dropped. This was getting weirder – Wolff was usually quick on the uptake. “Do you not know what you did just now?”
I felt like the kid who got to class late and was looking at the wrong chapter. “I yelled at her.”
Wolff shook his head emphatically, “You commanded her.”
I shook my head while scratching an errant itch up there, “No, I just… Well, I did kinda tell her what to do but it’s not like an order or anything…”
“You ordered her around?” Tim asked incredulously, “No wonder she’s ticked. You better get over there and apologize before you end up looking for a new girl.”
I glared at my brother, “I did not. And we are not, I mean, not yet… You are really ticking me off now.”
Tim struggled to keep from laughing, “You are too…”
Wolff intervened, “No, no, you misunderstand. You commanded her – not a mere order but with the power of command.”
It was my turn to gape, “I what?” I had read those confusing books even if I didn’t get all of it. The power he was talking about was for the True Born – a master or mistress – not a slayer like me.
“You commanded her. I felt it myself, Lad.”
“But she’s a slayer…” I protested.
“Aye. But it can be done. I’ve just never heard of another slayer doing it.”
“Um, she’s gonna be even more mad if you guys waste much more time.” Tim interjected.
Tim can be a jerk sometimes but he was right. I nodded, “Yeah, I gotta go get her. I guess I’ll go get the whatever it was…”
“Werewolf.” Wolff offered.
“Okay.” I filed that under ‘yet another thing I need to learn how to do’. “I’ll go after it if its still close enough once I talk to Crystal.”
“You don’t want me to go?” Wolff asked.
It honestly hadn’t occurred to me. But I saw an immediate problem, “No, I want to take it alive if we can. I want Crystal and you here for security.”
“I can take it alive if you wish. Far easier for me than you, if I may be so bold.”
The sudden deference was unnerving but I didn’t have time for that. I felt like an idiot having never thought to ask him such an obvious thing. Now wasn’t the time for recrimination, either. “If you can get it, yes, go on. I’ll go talk to Crystal and we’ll meet back on her roof.”
Wolff bowed respectfully and left.
I stood there longer than I should have. Tim poked me in the ribs, “Girlfriend, you idiot. Straighten out the girl trouble then wonder about the other junk.”
I grinned. My brother had a knack for prioritizing things. “Yeah, you’re right. You gonna be here?”
Tim grew serious and shook his head, “I’ll be at home. You got your phone?”
I nodded somberly, “Yeah. I won’t be far.”
“Good, I’m fresh out of silver bullets. And here I was worried you were doing something crazy like drugs.” Tim grabbed the knob and headed out.
I sighed as I followed, “You expected something that normal in this family?”