Being one of two early risers in a house of night owls, Jack didn’t get many early morning calls. Almost none, since his mother, the other morning person, was usually busy with breakfast by now. The only way to find out was open it. Jack sighed as he slipped off the chair and went to the door.
The intruder was Tresmayne. He had news for Thompkins about the kidnapping – Tresmayne having watched Thompkins at work from the shadows. Tresmayne had made a much more thorough search of the area after everyone had left. What he found, he relayed to the faodahl. Tomorrow, they would hunt together to make sure there were no others involved.
Jack had only listened to the highlights – he had no reason to think this was related and every reason to think it wasn’t. The crime scene was nearly a mile away. Tresmayne’s inhuman nose found evidence that it had been used previously, five times over the last two years. Thompkins had been the only one called out – it was nothing a slayer would detect – and he hadn’t been interfered with. No vampires had jumped out at him or any such nonsense. Tresmayne had been there so there was no doubt. Finally, Thompkins knew his job better than Jack did – and Jack wasn’t going to cause problems for something so important. It was best to leave this to him.
No, this sad bit of weirdness wasn’t part of Jack’s concern – and he had the feeling that the less he knew right now, the better. A big brother has certain feelings about kids younger than himself – and what to do to those who would harm them. Jack went to the shower, for more than one reason.
It was reassuring, in a strange way, Jack realized as he turned up the hot water a notch. With all the craziness it was easy to lose sight of the fact that slayers have a job to do – and a reason to do it. Creatures like the faodahl would be easy prey for their more powerful were-cousins, and would quickly be overwhelmed in a world were there were no slayers to dispatch the creatures that refused to stay inside the lines. Sometimes, just sometimes, humans needed a little help here and there – slayers helped to make it possible for that to happen, as it had last night.
Heart officially warmed and properly attired, Jack let himself out. He whistled to himself as he headed for the bus stop, wondering if he ever wrote a book, would anyone believe he’d left two werewolves in his apartment this morning?
Crystal also woke earlier than usual. She glanced out the window – no one she knew was yet on the street. Thanks to the possession, she’d sensed Thompkins leaving last night and had seen the shadow that was Tresmayne following. She might have wondered about it, had her radio station not interrupted for an amber alert earlier. Having a faodahl around was a good thing, she decided.
Mississippi being in Central time, Crystal couldn’t yet call even the earliest rising of her friends. Four am was too early even for Teri, Crystal realized a split second before hitting the speed dial. She settled for grabbing her computer and starting on the zillions of emails she owed various friends and acquaintances. She finally had time to catch up with everyone – assuming she could manage in the two weeks before fall semester started.
The day went slowly. For Jack, it was to be expected. The summer almost over, people were bringing in odd jobs that were parts of their as yet undone summer projects. Today, the project was offsite – a wrought iron fence in need of repair that was too big to bring into the shop. Jack and Gino spent the day going up and down ladders as they welded the repaired finials back onto the main posts – all sixty of them. The finials weighed nearly ten pounds each – both men were sore before lunch.
For Crystal, once email and a few calls had been dealt with, there just wasn’t as much to do. She’d decide on her classes later this week, although she was pretty sure she’d be taking the Metal in Art class. She wanted to meet that instructor beforehand – and find out just how heavy this stuff was going to be. But that appointment was two days away. She and Kagome were talking about taking Trigonometry and English 102 together – Kagome was a math wiz and Crystal was pretty good at tutoring in English – so the team up made sense. Not yet sure of her major, Crystal wasn’t sure she needed trig – but who needed Intro to Logic, for that matter? And she, Monica and Jessica were considering taking Intro to Track and Field together. The result was Crystal had nothing more to do than decide – which left her nothing to really do today. Boring!
Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop, Jack would tease her later. But it occurred to Crystal that they had not sorted out who was and was not a slayer and that it might be a good idea to find out. Granted, most were in a sanctuary because they were retiring and beginning to lose their powers, but Jack’s mom had already demonstrated, they could still know things and help in ways no one might think of. And, it would give her something to do…
Jack was under a tree, fiddling with his thermos and trying to pretend this was cooler than the fence line. Cool green grass nothing – everything was hot now. He and Gino were not at all sure they’d be able to finish today – the black iron was getting much too hot for handling even before the torches were lit. Having to handle everything with gloves slowed them down – and the extra heat complicated the welding somewhat. Jack had just convinced his thermos to open when his phone rang.
Closing the thermos and assuring it silently that the battle was not done, Jack fished the phone out of his pocket and answered. It was a marketer. Jack politely convinced the young man on the other end that no, he didn’t want a time share in Cancun and no, he wasn’t interested in whatever special was being offered. he had just hung up when it rang again.
“No, I don’t need a trip anywhere.” Jack informed the phone rather more forcefully than necessary.
“I thought I told you to get registered on the Do Not Call list.” Crystal replied.
Embarrassment and apologies followed, although Crystal seemed to be having much too much fun with the thing.