Elena is still disgruntled as the three of them walk out to Jaime’s car. Movement to her left causes her to turn her head, and she sees two men with Steel Knight patches on their jackets “escorting” a woman who is clearly out of her senses and only semi-conscious. The man with the firmer hold on the woman is a scruffy looking slender man with a ratty mustache (Ratface!), about 5’10 and maybe 150. The other man is a larger-framed man standing about 6’2 with short brown hair.
She nudges Conor with her elbow. “Hey, Conor, those Steel Knight guys are about to put that lady in a van! They prolly roofied her, too!!”
Elena points and starts striding over to them, Conor beside her. Conor tugs his cap down over his eyes and rolls up his sleeves as he starts jogging toward them. Elena swings into a flanking position.
Jaime shakes his head, exasperated and annoyed, but unsurprised.
Elena runs toward the front of the van as Conor moves to the other two men. She sees two bikers sitting in the front seats.
Conor reaches them and as he slugs Ratface, who is holding the woman, Elena hears Conor say, “You’ll be letting her go!” Out of her peripheral vision, she sees Ratface fall like a sack of potatoes, and so does the woman he had been dragging, unfortunately.
She also notes Jaime as he moves closer, he looks around. She sees that he seems to be moving into position for back up.
The Big Guy takes a swing at Conor. Conor grabs Big Guy’s fist and glares. “No, son. Not today.”
Elena moves to the driver’s side. She can’t let the van leave, but is reluctant to draw her firearm in such a public place. The windows are down, probably due to the abnormally beautiful weather. The driver has shoulder length blond hair and a slightly darker blond goatee. The patch on his shoulder says ‘sergeant at arms.’ He turns to look at Elena, mouth opening to say something. However, Elena hears the engine running, so she reaches in her coat and pulls out her pepper spray, and hoses the driver. He manages to jerk out of the stream just in time. Missed! Grr!
Sarge opens the van door with force, slamming Elena in the knee with it, and she stumbles with an “oof.” She winces as her knee shoots a knifing pain through her leg. Sarge gets out, holding a tire iron.
Suddenly the water sprinklers burst on and a wave of water washes towards Elena, which she deftly avoids in spite of the knee. Her opponent, however, gets soaked.
Elena sees a slender athletic man with spiky mouse-brown hair and heavily tattooed arms kneeling next to the fallen woman. The sunlight glints off the small silver earrings as he looks up at Conor. She hears him say, “Cops are coming,” just as he winks out. Matthew?? she wonders briefly. Dude, that veil stuff is so handy. And talk about a timely disappearance. Of course.
Conor swings at Big Guy, landing a solid punch to his stomach. Big Guy doubles over and starts coughing up blood.
Passenger guy hops out of the van and comes around to punch Elena. Elena deftly sidesteps the punch, then hoofs it back over to Conor. She isn’t hanging around for a fist fight, and with cops everywhere, she’s not pulling a gun.
“There’s two more,” she calls out to Conor as she darts behind him.
Conor sees Sarge just as he rounds the back of the van. Sarge takes a swing at Conor with the tire iron. Conor steps away, but the tire iron clips Conor on the shoulder. Sarge is stronger than is natural…
Conor feints a punch, then hammers Sarge on the jaw.
Passenger also comes around the back of the van and swings at Conor, who easily blocks his swing.
Elena hoses Sarge with the pepper spray again, hitting him full in the face this time, since he was so distracted by Conor’s punch. She greets his howl of pain with a fierce grin.
Suddenly, the mud turns into slick ice under Sarge’s feet, and he totters for a brief second then falls. Elena is instantly uneasy and skips lightly away from the ice toward the back of the van. She knows there’s some unknown element responsible.
As she nears the back doors of the van, Elena hears a voice call out, “What happened to that girl?!”
That is when she becomes aware of the two cops in-bound. One stops at the woman, the other cop continues to the fight, but gets distracted briefly by something and stands there, confused.
Sarge stands up, rubbing his eyes and takes a wild swing at Conor, slamming Conor in the shoulder again with the tire iron.
Passenger swings at Conor, too, but Conor blocks it.
Elena flings the van doors open. The doors weren’t locked, since they were about to put that girl in there. Another girl lies in the back of the van, unconscious.
Matthew is suddenly there beside Conor, ready to help. He is facing Passenger and Sarge, his hands up peacefully.
Jaime stands a short distance behind the cop, who pulls his gun and shouts, “Drop it and freeze!”
Sarge drops the tire iron and raises his hands. Elena drops the pepper spray, and she, Conor, and Passenger raise their hands, too.
Elena says in a clear, distinct voice. “I’d like to press charges, officer.” Elena’s hands are still held up near her shoulders and she is calm and motionless, and as unthreatening as only a 5’1" woman can be. Regardless of how many personal firearms she may be carrying.
The cop picks up the tire iron and points at Conor, Sarge, and Passenger. “Hands against the van!”
“Yes, sir.” Conor’s voice is polite and respectful. The other two men are sullen and silent. Ratface is slowly regaining consciousness, and he and Big Guy are both moaning.
Elena looks at Conor with wonder when his face turns back away from the van, looking like maybe a distant relation of the man she knows. Okay, she thinks. Better avoid mentioning him by name. She sees a crowd is starting to gather and a few more officers arrive at the scene.
Matthew steps up. “I saw the whole thing, officer.” One of the officers moves over to him to take his statement, as Conor, Sarge and Passenger get cuffed and have their rights read by other officers.
The first officer on the scene moves to Elena. “Can I see some ID?”
Elena passes him her driver’s license and her CHL. He studies them, and looks at Elena with alert eyes. “Are you armed?”
He nods. “You seem to know what is happening here.”
Elena points at Ratface and Big Guy as they’re getting treated. “These two guys were dragging off an unconscious woman. I saw a guy from their gang slip another lady a roofie about thirty minutes ago, and confronted him about it. She took it to the police nearby.” Elena shakes her head in disgust and looks back at the officer. “When I saw these guys from the same gang dragging another lady, that man and I came to her aid, and,” she gestures at the second unconscious lady being treated in the back of the van, “apparently to the aid of their other victim, as well.”
Elena cites the law that protects people who fight in defense of others, and describes the crime scene, in detail, to the officer. The officer takes her statement. She also mentions the other “old ladies” who have gone missing, and suggests that there may be a connection. Other cops start taking statements from witnesses.
The five men are taken to separate squad cars.
“You’re arresting the man that was helping me?”
The officer grimaces. “It sounds like you’re probably in the right, but we have to take him down to the station.”
Elena is clearly disappointed. “Well, may I follow?”
The officer nods. “Absolutely. He’s going to want someone to bail him out of jail.”
“What?” Elena is briefly alarmed. “I have to bail him out? Won’t he be released? He wasn’t at fault. He shouldn’t have to be bailed out! He should be released.”
The officer shrugs at that. “We’ll work on it down at the station.”
Elena notes a blond woman claiming to be “Sean’s” sister approach the officer escorting him. She seems to be in semi-hysterical tears, and after a few words from the police officer, she starts wailing in despair.
The officer near Conor seems sympathetic and Elena overhears him say, “I can’t release him. You can follow us to the station and bail him out. I’m sorry.”
Jaime is behind the squad car in his ancient BMW, and he sticks his head out the window and impatiently says to the crying woman, “Just get in the car! We’ll go bail him out.” Still sobbing, the woman climbs into the front seat next to Jaime.
Elena finishes her statement with the officer, shakes his hand and thanks him for his assistance, and then also climbs into Jaime’s car. Matthew is in the back seat, too. Jaime follows the squad cars to the station. Elena sees that several bikes are also following.
Up until this point, everyone in the car has been silent, but Elena breaks the silence briefly. “Hey, Jaime, can you do something to change the appearance of your car? There are some bikers following us and I don’t think you want them to recognize your car.”
However, the bikers pass Jaime, not seeming to care, and fall in behind the cop cars that have their guys.
When they get to the station, Jaime goes in and sometime later comes back out with Conor.
They all pile into Jaime’s car, and after a moment of sitting there in silence, Matthew asks, “So what was that all about?”
“Drugs and rape.” Conor’s voice seems still a little angry.
“Did we win?” asks Matthew.
Conor nods. “The girls are in the hospital, right? I think that’s a win.”
“The battle or the war?”
“The battle,” Elena replies. She pauses a moment, thinking, then continues, “I don’t know if yall noticed, but at the bike rally, there are a lot of posters of girls who have been going missing from among their ‘old ladies’? The female hangers on?”
Matthew nods. “Uh-huh.”
“I am forced to question if this isn’t part of that,” she says quietly. “Because they were pretty efficient and they looked like they had done it more than once.”
Conor looks over at Elena. “Oh, in the future, if he’s armed with a tire iron, could you, you know, not send him my way?”
Elena is surprised, then apologetic. “Sorry. I didn’t know.”
Everyone is quiet for a little while. Then Jaime looks over at the Wailing Woman, who has been notably silent. “So, I have a peculiar question. Why are you here?”
The woman no longer looks anything like Conor. Or Caucasian, even, for that matter. Instead, she’s a petite Asian girl with long black hair with blue streaks running through it. Her eyes are a distinct and surprising aqua blue, and wide with feigned innocence. “Me?”
Elena studies her with narrowed eyes, then looks at Jaime. “Who is she, anyway?”
“White Council go-fer. Her name is Ren,” Jaime says expressionlessly.
Elena and Matthew both grunt, almost in unison. “Huh.”
Jaime’s voice is cynical. “In my experience, neither of you two,” he points at Ren and Matthew, “never just ‘turn up’ anywhere.”
The woman called Ren shrugs with studied nonchalance. “Oh, I was just looking for something for Uncle. I was out running an errand and I saw you guys, so I stopped to see what you were doing.”
While Jaime and Ren bicker, Conor looks over at Elena “Do you have a bandage?”
Elena nods. “Yeah, in my car.”
“This isn’t going away any time soon.” Conor rubs his shoulder carefully.
Elena hisses sympathetically. “Ouch. That bad, huh?”
Conor nods wryly. “Yeah, it’s my Kryptonite.”
Elena nods and grimaces apologetically.
Meanwhile, Ren asks Jaime, “By any chance did you see Sarah Tyler today?”
“Yes,” replies Jaime tersely.
Ren smiles. “I was supposed to go talk to her today.”
“That’s really a big coincidence,” says Jaime dryly.
Matthew shakes his head and says, “In my experience, there’s no such thing.”
Jaime studies each person in his car. Conor in the front passenger seat, Elena, Ren and Matthew in the back seat. “Anyone hungry? Let’s go to IHOP and talk this out.”
Everyone agrees. Elena checks to see if they’re being followed, especially by bikers, just in case. Nope. They get to IHOP and get a table.
Once at the table, Matthew looks around, then says quietly, “I assume there’s more to this than just roofies at the motorcycle show?”
Conor shakes his head. “Not to me.”
“As far as I know, no, but I’m starting to think so,” replies Jaime.
Ren is all wide-eyed innocence again. “Why would there be anything more to this?”
“I’m here,” says Matthew, and he points at each person at the table. “You’re here. You’re here. You’re here. You’re here. There’s something bigger going on.”
Elena shrugs. “Originally, we were at the rally tracking a serial killer rapist. This roofie drunk girl disappearing thing is a separate issue.”
“I was just up there to….,” Ren pauses. “Wait a minute.” She is silent for a second and then laughs.
Jaime eyes Ren skeptically.
“So, kidnappings lately?” Ren asks.
“Well,” replies Elena, “the biker forums talked about missing girls, plus there were missing persons signs all over the rally, so yeah.”
“Quite a few, all of the sudden?”
Ren laughs again.
“This can’t be good,” Jaime murmurs.
Elena feels her temper flare and chokes it down. “I don’t think this is funny.” Elena can’t even joke about missing women right now, if ever. The memory of that pond in east Texas filled with barrels is still blazingly fresh in her memory.
“No, no,” Ren’s voice is placating.
Jaime’s cold blue eyes pierce Ren, and prompts her. “Ren, please share with the class.”
Ren shrugs. “I guess they have the sphere after all.”
“I’m sorry. The what?” asks Matthew.
Jaime raises his eyebrow. “Sphere?”
Ren looks at Jaime. “We have to find Sarah.”
“Okay,” replies Jaime impatiently, “there’s something off with her and this is the second time you’ve mentioned her.”
“She was supposed to have some information about a sphere for me.”
“A ‘sphere,’” Jaime prompts again.
Ren nods. “A Shadesphere. They need souls to make the puzzle work.”
Suddenly, the table bursts with chatter. Elena listens carefully.
“Who’s ‘they’?” asks Conor, “Don Diablo?”
“What happens when the puzzle works?” asks Matthew.
“They get special powers,” Ren replies.
Conor throws a look at Elena, then asks Ren, “Oh, like being shot in the back of the head and just walking through it?”
“Say what?” Matthew asks.
“I don’t know anything about that,” says Elena flatly. “Are we really talking about this in an IHOP??” She is incredulous.
“A Shadesphere is more for the demon itself,” says Jaime. “It’s not for mortals. It’s a demon puzzle box.”
Conor, after nodding at Elena, says, “Elena just brought up a valid point. We’re in an IHOP.”
There is silence as they all look around. The waitress is off and they’re in an isolated corner of the restaurant.
“Could you make sure that nobody can hear us?” Elena asks Conor.
“Yeah,” Conor replies. “I’ll do an audio veil.”
After a moment, Jaime breaks the silence. “Could you actually tell us exactly what you know?” he asks Ren. “Instead of pulling your usual ambiguities?”
“And for those of us who are simple country boys, could you actually start somewhere in the bleeding beginning?” asks Conor. “Progress in a logical fashion through the middle, and then go to the end?”
“She does work for the White Council, so that’s very unlikely,” says Jaime sarcastically.
Ren wrinkles her nose at Jaime and pulls out a piece of paper and a pen. With a deft twist of her wrist, she starts drawing.
“Ah, diagrams! That’s great!” says Conor enthusiastically.
“A Shadesphere is a demonic puzzle,” Ren says as she is illustrating. Her voice has gotten a bit distant as her aqua blue eyes seem to lose focus even as her hand gracefully and quickly moves across the paper. “It needs souls to make the puzzle pieces work, to open it. It gives demons something. We don’t know what, but something. Sarah Tyler was supposed to know something about the location of one.”
“Who?” asks Conor.
Elena says, “The Steel Knights witch, wife of their pres.”
“I was to get it away from whoever is trying to use it,” Ren adds.
“Sarah Tyler? I felt something odd off of her, but she’s….,” Jaime’s tone is almost apologetic. “I’m being very honest. She’s a nothing in terms of the spell casting world.”
Elena shrugs. “Maybe that’s why she made a deal with the devil.”
“I don’t know. That’s why I was trying to find her,” says Ren. “To find out how she is involved with it. I was just looking for information.”
The table is silent.
“What do you guys want to do?” asks Jaime.
“Okay, well, you brilliant sorts let me know what we’re going to do,” Conor says. “You want me to wreck someone’s meathouse, I’ll wreck it. Until then, I’m going to eat my pancakes.”
“So how do we find her?” Matthew asks.
“Sarah has a store in downtown Grapevine that I’ve been to,” says Jaime. “We know where she’s going to go. Back to her store-slash-house.”
“Assuming she hasn’t been abducted,” adds Matthew.
“She’s the president’s wife. Why would they abduct her?” Jaime asks.
Matthew shakes his head. “I’m lost. She’s…. what?”
“Wait, isn’t that a different club?” Ren is confused, too.
Conor looks up from his pancakes. “Nope, same club.”
“The club that normally does only good deeds??” Ren clarifies.
Jaime nods. “Yeah, the club that he got in a fight with. Those were Steel Knights.”
Ren is incredulous. “Those were Steel Knights??”
“That means better than even odds that it’s the Steel Knights that have the Shadesphere,” observes Matthew.
“So what does the puzzle do?” Elena is still curious.
Conor mumbles, “Nobody knows.”
“Something demonic. We don’t know,” Ren agrees.
“Like cure cancer?” Elena suggests.
Jaime shakes his head. “It’s beyond mortal comprehension.”
“Demons. Nothing good,” adds Conor, his mouth full of pancake.
“People can’t just play with it,” Ren says.
“I’m pretty sure somebody is playing with it,” replies Elena pointedly. “Whether or not they’re mortal, I’m not sure.”
Ren nods. “That’s what I’m here to find out.”
There is a thoughtful silence as everyone tucks in to their meal. After a while, Matthew looks over at Elena. “So what was this about a bullet to the back of the head?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” replies Elena dryly.
“It’s not a judgment,” says Matthew, his green eyes are calm, his demeanor peaceful.
Elena studies Matthew for a second, then says, “Someone got shot in the back of the head last night, and he was at the rally today, in the peak of health.”
“Well, then you didn’t kill him,” replies Matthew.
Elena states emphatically “He was shot in the head.”
Jaime almost grins. “Is that not a sin, father?”
“I daresay the judgment of the Lord will be softer on me than on him. I’m not the one with the raped, dead girls in barrels.” Her voice is reduced to almost a growl.
“He’s a murderer,” Conor chimes in.
“I’m not judging.” Matthew’s voice is undisturbed.
“Anyway, I didn’t miss.” Elena is disgruntled all over again, just thinking about it. “And he showed up today like nothing happened.”
Conor’s fork clatters to his plate as he suddenly stares at Matthew. “Oh! Can you bless bullets?”
Elena visibly perks up. “If you could bless bullets, that would be awesome!”
They chat a bit, discussing the possibility and possible benefits of getting the Lord’s blessing on various items.
After fantasizing about blessed sniper rounds, Elena suddenly recalls something from the rally fight. “Oh, and what was with the water spraying everywhere and the ice on the ground?”
Conor shrugs. “I dunno, I must have missed it. I was a bit focused.”
“It must have been dumb luck,” says Jaime as he stares at Ren significantly.
Ren casually looks out the window. “Oh, probably.” After a long silence, she shrugs and looks back at the group at the table. “Alright, it was me.”
“You do water stuff?” Elena asks.
“Yeah. I have water origins.”
Elena nods. “Alright.” She looks out the window and watches a car pass on the service road. Duly noted, she thinks briefly. Water magic is ice magic, too. Something to be very careful about. And important to not show any worry about it, either.
Conor is curious. “Just water, by itself?”
“I can do fun stuff with ink, too.”
Elena refocuses on Ren. “You mean like tattoos?” she asks.
“I haven’t tried tattoos.”
Elena leans forward, resting her elbows on the table. “What about magic tattoos?”
Ren grins and muses the possibilities. “That could be fun!”
Matthew surreptitiously tugs his sleeves down.
Elena notices the movement and looks over at Matthew. “So, can you bless bullets? Let’s go back to that! I wouldn’t mind having bullets blessed by the Lord God Almighty.”
“I imagine the Power of God depends upon the purity of purpose,” Matthew replies.
“I would say my purpose is very pure.”
Conor nods. “Yeah, the Old Testament sense of the word pure.”
Matthew smiles wryly. “Ah, the reformed Catholic.”
“I’m still Catholic, on Easter and Christmas!” protests Conor.
Laughter. Elena nods.
Jaime rolls his eyes and looks over at Ren. “We’ll wait til they’re done talking about God, then get back to the business at hand.”
“Technically,” Conor grins, “we were trying to ascertain whether or not he can bless bullets, so it’s kind of tangentially related. Strictly speaking.”
“Especially since my guy made a deal with the devil,” Elena adds. She looks over at Matthew. “So are you going to try to bless my bullets?”
Matthew nods. “I’ll try. I’ll try.”
Conor & Matthew discuss the possibility of blessing brass knuckles, too. Jaime listens.
Ren steps outside to make a phone call.
Ren walks back up to the table and sits down with a sigh. “Uncle was as much help as usual.”
“You work for the White Council. They’re not exactly in the business of being helpful,” says Jaime sarcastically.
Ren smiles, and says casually, “He did mention you might want to summon a demon…”
Jaime narrows his eyes. “Summoning a demon is not against the Rules. Please admit it, White Council.”
Ren just blinks at him innocently.
Matthew is shocked. “Wait. What?”
Jaime is staring at Ren, a hard expression in his eyes. “So, first let’s just admit that this is not against the rules.”
“It’s not against the Rules,” Ren shrugs, smirking. “So there’s nothing to report. The White Council might be a bit strict, but my definitions are a little more fluid.” She pauses for a minute, then adds, “We don’t know what we’re up against, and we don’t want to go in there blind. Summoning a demon to ask about another demon could be helpful.”
Conor looks at Matthew. “You alright with that? We could step over to the Wendy’s and buy a Frosty…”
Jaime snorts. “We are not summoning a demon in the IHOP. We will wait until we’re at my house, where I can do it safely.”
Conor grins. “Well, the pancake’s a circle.”
Jaime just shakes his head.
“You’re just not as much fun as you used to be,” mourns Conor.
“I am so sorry,” Jaime says sarcastically and glares at Conor. “I don’t remember ever summoning a demon at an IHOP anyway.”
Conor laughs. “Well, you were pretty dr-”
Jaime interrupts. “It was a Denny’s.”
Conor laughs. Jaime smiles at Conor, his expression losing that cold, haunted look for a brief moment. He then turns to eye Ren skeptically.
“I don’t know why you hate me so much,” Ren protests. “I didn’t report you last time.”
“That’s because I never do anything wrong. I play by your Rules. What I am doing is not illegal.”
“So you’re having a debate on the legality of a point of law?” asks Conor.
Jaime nods. “Normally, this wouldn’t bother me, but with White Council sitting here, I have to make sure I play by all the rules.”
“So she’s for real White Council?”
“Close,” says Jaime. “She works for them.”
Conor looks at Ren. “Ah, you’re a snitch, then!”
“Actually, that’s a very good way of describing her,” agrees Jaime blandly.
Elena is concerned. “Wait, she’s a snitch?! Why is she with us?”
“I don’t snitch,” protests Ren. “If you hire me to do something, I look it up.”
Elena raises a skeptical eyebrow. “And tell them?”
“If it suits my purposes,” Ren shrugs.
“Ok, so you’re not a snitch, you’re an informant?” asks Conor sarcastically.
Jaime shakes his head. “Ok, that’s making it pretty fine there.” He pauses for a moment, then continues. “So I’m going to my house to summon a demon,” he says deliberately, “to find out more about the demon that might be doing this.”
Conor nods. “Any way I can help?”
“Actually, I might need you,” Jaime says to Ren, “but the rest of you are welcome to come to my house.”
Conor rubs his struck-by-cold-iron shoulder. “I’m not 100%, but I’ll do what I can.”
Elena looks apologetically over at Conor, then asks, “Can we swing by Conor’s so I can pick up my car and my med kit?”
“Yeah,” replies Jaime.
“Here’re the keys.” Conor tosses a set of keys to Elena, who catches them deftly.
“Oh, I’ll take the bus, then,” she says with a laugh.
Matthew says casually, “I’ll go with Elena.”
Ren laughs knowingly.
“Do you want us to come back by your place after I get my car?” Elena asks Jaime.
“Sure, come on over!”
Elena deliberately takes her time, because she knows that Matthew is uncomfortable with the demon summoning thing.
At Conor’s, they decide to go to Miranda’s and make use of her library to look up stuff on the Shadesphere. Elena looks for information on how to kill the Shadesphere, and Matthew looks for general information on the Shadesphere.
Elena doesn’t find much, but Matthew finds everything the library has.
Shadespheres come in various shapes and sizes, but generally they are in fact spherical. They can be cubes or pyramids, among other things. The larger the physical size, the more powerful it is and the more souls it takes to power. Additionally, the demon must be intelligent enough to figure it out – they take the soul, make the puzzle piece, and need to make sure it fits in correctly. It’s not just “13 souls and done! Woot!” The demon, additionally, must be present in the physical world to actually use the sphere.
It isn’t known exactly what the sphere gives demons. It has been postulated that it makes them more powerful, but exactly how is not known. Some sources say that it’s a type of demon ‘wish,’ other sources say that it enhances some of their aspects.
The way to stop the Shadesphere is to get it away from the demon before it gets completed and give the sphere to the White Council.
She suggests they stop for a drink at a bar on their way to Jaime’s place, too.
Elena and Matthew show up at Jaime’s. Conor has spent most of the time playing with Kaylee and Jake. They have pizza. Matthew & Elena share what they learned about the Shadesphere.
As they are discussing plans, Matthew says, “I have to be in McKinney in the morning.”
“What for?” asks Conor.
Matthew smiles. “I’m preaching.”
“Oh, right. Sunday.” Conor smiles, and gets back to eating his pizza.
Elena looks at Jaime. “So, what did yall find out?”
“It’s a cancer demon called Malzen,” replies Jaime.
“What do cancer demons do? Cause cancer?” asks Elena. “Cuz you know the leader of the Steel Knights has terminal cancer.”
Jaime nods. “Why do I think that’s not a coincidence?”
“So is it riding him or it is him? Which one is it?” Conor asks.
“Impossible to say.” Jaime shrugs. “We don’t have enough evidence. However, there’s a decent shot that they’re at Sarah’s store.”
“Where does Sarah do her rituals?” Elena asks.
“Probably at her store,” Jaime replies. “It’s her house, too.”
Matthew nods. “Let’s start there. It’s as good a place as any.”
“So do we have any other options?” asks Jaime. “We have a lead. Her shop is a decent place to start, I think.”
“Do we go now, or do we wait until morning?” asks Matthew.
“Im going to vote morning,” replies Jaime.
Matthew looks concerned. “I guess you’re pretty wiped out after the ritual?”
“Well, there’s that,” agrees Jaime. “But more importantly, at sunrise spells go away. It’s a demon.”
“Where is it?” asks Conor.
Jaime looks through the phone book. “I don’t do the internet. I know where it is. It’s just a couple of blocks away from down town Grapevine. A bunch of houses that are now boutique shops.”
Matthew arranges for a substitute for his sermon Sunday morning.
Elena looks at Jaime. “So what kind of business does she run?”
Jaime shrugs dismissively. “Mostly potions. She’s kind of a minor talent. She makes potions for people. They sell weed. Little fluffs of magic here and there. It’s really a kind of nothing store.”
“Okay, cool.” Elena nods.
Elena patches Conor up with her med kit.
They all crash there at Jaime’s house. Elena picks a couch and gets comfortable. For the first time in a long time, she thinks that maybe she’ll actually sleep well.