Jack, once he finally stopped snickering, motioned to me. It wasn’t hard to guess – someone might as well go talk to his mom and it couldn’t be him. I left while Mr McKenzie was asking Jack if this was some kind of a joke. Jack was telling him, no, but it should be, as I closed the door.
Not sure why Jack bothered – I mean, he had to have known it was useless. Mrs Scarlotti very politely but firmly shooed me away as she listened to whomever was on the other end of the phone. Mr. McKenzie was reading again as I returned to Jack’s apartment and my seat.
"The business with the cats makes no sense. Werewolves kill for animals for food only unless under specific command. Now, a modern might vary from that but it’s doubtful and if he has a modern under his command he’s a total idiot wasting his time that way. There is one other possibility, especially in a sanctuary – are you sure they were cats?"
Jack looked skeptical as Mr McKenzie paused, "She wants an answer?"
"Yes, she gave a couple possible responses depending on your answer." Mr McKenzie’s voice told us.
"What the heck else could they be?" Jack asked.
"Familiars." Tresmayne answered. "That makes a great deal more sense." He stood, "I’ll be back shortly."
Jack looked at me. "Should I ask or should I just give up now?"
I smiled, I hoped sympathetically. "Familiars are animals with special abilities that assist slayers. They’re very rare and only a fever see one, let alone have one." I explained.
"Why would the Myers have them?" Jack looked even more skeptical. "Besides, those were the laziest cats I ever saw…"
I shrugged, "I dunno…"
"Myers? The people on the third floor, yes?" Nyota asked.
Jack nodded, "That’s right."
"The man is a slayer. Did you not know that?"
We both goggled at her. Jack isn’t used to sensing slayers but I didn’t think I was that bad at it.
Nyota shrugged, "This is a sanctuary – why are you so surprised that other slayers are here? Really, Children, have you understood so little? This fool who would slay you – do you really think he would avoid direct confrontation merely because touching you might hurt? What kind of a slayer is so afraid of pain? he fears taking on a house full of slayers, that is why he sends creatures that only you can sense and refuses to show himself."
Jack pounded his forehead, "Just great – I would dearly love it if just once I wasn’t totally clueless."
Nyota shrugged, "I am sorry if I’ve offended…"
I shook my head, "He doesn’t know that much yet and it never occurred to me that so many could hide their presence like that."
"Oh, but that is the nature of a sanctuary – it can permit total concealment when a slayer is inactive. Many retiring or recovering slayers will seek sanctuary for that reason. Child, why haven’t you taught him better?"
"Me? I’m not his mentor, Mr Colin is." I replied.
Nyota shook her head, "No, Child, he is not. You are. You were the first, were you not? It matters little – the bond is plain enough. You are his mentor."
Jack and I exchanged bewildered glances. I looked at Nyota. "Say what? But, but I thought you had to be an experienced slayer and all?"
"You are an experienced slayer, Child" She sighed, "Colin said he thought the boy was progressing slowly. Now I see why. Colin said you had sought his assistance for the strange occurrences – he obviously never realized you thought him a mentor. Well, it’s done now. I will help you and we’ll get him up to speed, as you say."