True Slayers: Reckoning, Part Eighteen

 

 

Tresmayne made sure to caution Mr. Chambers and there was a bit of discussion about all of that. He still wanted to help any way he could. He and James shared a wicked grin over their theory of how to help.

We got back on track finally, bringing Mr. Chambers up to speed on the new witch theory. But he didn’t seem to share it.

“An arcane only uses the spell book, right? Forgive me, I learned most of this from Vinnie so I don’t know all that much.” He was saying to me.

I nodded, “That’s right.”

He shook his head, “Okay, I get the command thing – but if you’ve got a contract with the devil himself, shouldn’t you get a little more mileage than that? Why would a real witch or warlock let Vinnie within a mile of themselves? Wouldn’t they have set up protections from you guys like that sanctuary thing?”

“Not like a sanctuary, that’s different but yes, they have more options – depending on their spells, of course.” I was realizing he had a very good point.

“M-bay.” James offered.

Mr. Chambers nodded, “Yeah, that would make more sense. Vinnie’d prefer face to face – but no real witch would give him that. But if he had enough money…”

Jack caught on before I did, “You think he bought the concealment charms?”

Both Mr. Chambers and James nodded. James answered, “Sure, you can even do special orders on M-bay shops just like on E-bay. Pay your money, get the thing in the mail a few days later.”

Jack considered, “I’ll bet that’s how… When Vinnie first showed up, what did he want you to do?”

Mr. Chambers responded, “He didn’t say – but he asked about every spell in my book.”

“So he knew you couldn’t do that. I’ll bet that was the original plan – get someone to make the charms just like he got other creatures to do his dirty work. But all he could reach was you and you couldn’t do charms. So he used you for something else – intel is always an asset.” Jack explained. He turned to James, “Can you…”

“Already on it.” James answered, getting up to leave, “I’ll need my other computers.”

“If you don’t need me, I’ll go help.” Mr. Chambers offered, “That IP is going to become an issue…”

Jack nodded and the two men went.

Mama came in as they departed. “How does everyone feel about pizza?”

“I’m in!” Pizza is second only to black eyed peas in my book.

Everyone else consented, except Tresmayne who was making noise about eating alone. That wasn’t going to happen – don’t know why he even tried. I sent a text to James and they were good with pizza, too. Since James was busy, I texted Lisa with the evening’s dinner plans and told her to come on when she was ready.

Mrs. Scarlotti and Mama had been debating building a dining room in the middle of the street just so they wouldn’t have to keep straight who was eating with who. I was in favor of a bridge between the two buildings with kitchens on either end. Mike took it too seriously and was actually starting a garden on the rooftop.

Dinner arranged, I went to the kitchen to help Mama with setting up. Normally, Mama would cook with guests in the house but Daddy had been craving pizza for several days and at this rate there was no telling when, if ever, we’d have dinner without a guest – not counting Jack.

Once we had the dining room arranged, I went back to the parlor. Jack was looking a little red faced, “I didn’t think before – are we intruding? We can go to…”

“Stop right there – Mama hears you and she’ll have a fit. Of course not, Mama knows perfectly good and well how to handle unwanted guests.” I told him, taking my seat again.

“Would she let me…” he began.

“NO.” I glared at him.

“Southerners.” He shook his head.

“Yankees.” I retorted, holding back the urge to grin.

Lisa saved her brother by ringing the bell right then. I gave her the grand tour – she’d been in the house only a couple times before. Truth was, I needed the time away.

I was having a hard time sorting my feelings – well, more like handling them. Most of the afternoon we’d been busy but even then, I’d been fighting with myself. It wasn’t a crush anymore but it was way way too soon for me to say anything. At the same time, desperately wanted to – to tell him right now how I felt. Suddenly being a slayer was a lot easier than being a girlfriend.

Lisa asked to use my restroom to freshen up. I showed her up and sat on my bed playing with Eddie, my one eyed stuffed dog that I’d had literally since the day I was born. I didn’t even notice Lisa was finished until she sat beside me.

“Okay, spill. What did my idiot brother do?” Lisa demanded.

“Nothing… It’s really nothing like that.”

“What is it like? You showed me the china cabinet twice – something is going on in that little red head.”

“I did?” I asked skeptically.

“Yep, and when we go back down it will still be you grandmother’s on your father’s side.”

“I did.” I admitted sheepishly.

“And?”

“Do you know how good your brother is?” I asked.

“At Risk, sure. Makes a fair omelet, too.”

“That’s not what I mean.” I told her part of the story and how Jack had handled it.

“Okay, so he’s still an idiot but he’s not a lout. I could have told you that.” Lisa eyed me strangely, “Oh, I get it.”

“Well stop – it doesn’t need getting. I mean, it’s too soon and…”

Lisa gave me a hug, “Chill, Sis. He’s crazy about you. Just keep it together until you are ready to talk to someone – preferably him. But he has two sisters with decent shoulders – that would be Donna and me.”

I chuckled, “Oh come now – I could save a lot of time by telling Tina.”

“Sure, if you want the neighborhood to know before Jack does.” Lisa agreed with a laugh. “Go get straightened up – I’m pretty sure the pizza will be here any …”

The bell rang. We both laughed.