“Ivy, have you seen Jenks this morning?”
Ivy looked up from her katana, carefully balanced on her knees as she sharpened the blade and watched her latest reality TV show as we sat in the sanctuary and had a little dinner. “Who?”
Pausing in my bowl of Captin Krunch, I hesitated. “Jenks,” I said. “Glenn wants me to come down to the FIB and look at something, and I could use his help.”
Shaking her head, she returned to her work, the slow, snick snick of the stone and blade comforting almost. “No, is he some new client you’ve been helping out?”
The sweet milk and cereal went tasteless, and I set down the bowl. “Jenks! Four inches tall, wings, silver sparkles, attitude, able to give you a lobotomy and skates around on an ice cube? Where are his kids, anyway? God, it’s quiet in here.”
Ivy looked at me like I had slugs for eyebrows, moving with her vampiric speed as she stood. I jerked back into my chair, startled, but she was only going to the door.
“How’s my girls!” Kisten exclaimed as the heavy oak door slammed into the wall. “Ivy, take this, will you? I’ve got your orange juice and butterscotch pudding.”
“Bout time you got back,” the tall, svelt vampire said, giving Kisten a little nip on the neck as she took the bag. “Curse my coffin. You got the wrong brand.”
I stood up. Something was wrong. “Jenks,” I insisted. “Where the Turn is he? We’ve been working together for three years!”
“A pixy?” Ivy said, and Kisten eased close, smelling of magic and mayhem. He’d been dabbling in charms again.
“Honestly Rachel. You have got to stay away from those demons.” He said. “Leave them to me.”
Ivy gave Kisten a worried look, her hand trailing reluctantly off him as she went down the long hall to the kitchen, grocery bags in arm. It was about then that I noticed the suitcase. Moving in or moving out? I wondered, horribly disturbed.
“He’s got 54 kids and he owns the damned church!” I said, and Ivy turned, a black, scary silhouette in the darker hall.
But then the front door burst open again.
I spun, shocked. “Trent?” At least I thought it was Trent. And he had a gun.
“If I can’t have you, no one can!” he screamed, and I stood, shocked as he pulled the rifle to his shoulder and then . . . shot at me!
It was as if everything cycled down to that one moment, the entire three years of my existence, of leaving the I.S. to go out on my own, and the world I’d built, scratching everything out from nothing. The bullet was too close. I wasn’t going to make it!
“Look out, Rache!” a high pitched voice shouted, and I stumbled, silver sparkles blinding my eyes as I fell, tripping on the rug and hitting my head on the church’s old oak floor. The bullet pinged into a different direction, burring itself into the solid oak framework, inches from Ivy.
Flat on the floor, I coughed, waving my hand in front of my face as Jenks hovered inches over it.
“Tink’s little pink dildo, Rache, what the hell are you doing? Laying on the floor like a troll at a construction site drunk on cement.”
“Jenks!” I sat up, confused. Ivy was coming in from the back kitchen, her latest vamp vixen in her had open to “fifty ways to eat your lover.” Where’ve you been?”
“Right here.” Looking like a cross between an inner city gang member and a theater guy, he landed on my knee, his dust shifting to a warming gold.
“Where’s Kisten? He was just here.”
Ivy’s expression fell. “Rachel, Kisten is dead.”
“I know!” Slowly I stood. Kisten was here, and he smelled like magic. Jenks was not. And Trent? I looked at the church’s door, closed tight against the soft rain. It was raining, and somehow that felt good.
Ivy set her hand on my shoulder, and my eyes jerked to her. “You sure you’re okay? You hit your head pretty hard.”
“Yeah.” I looked at where the suitcases had been, but it was just my old oak desk. There were pixy kids playing in it. I’d told them not to, but somehow, I didn’t care right now.
“Yes. Everything is okay.”