Turns out having your father nearly beat a Sword to death makes the moving process a lot smoother and exponentially quieter. Of course that leaves everyone looking at everyone else like they have a gun in their back pocket and their finger on the trigger, but what are you going to do?

The girl with a slupee in a Big Gulp cup nodded for the the other two Swords to take care of the rest as she knelt down to see if Conan was seriously injured. She was a normal enough looking girl with brown hair tied back and tucked into her helmet, although she looked less concerned and more inconvienced as she talked quietly between the two of them. There was a young boy and girl pulling out black metal objects from behind them and talking between themselves. The boy's armor hung loosely on his body even though the straps were pulled as tight as they could and the girl's looked ill-fitted as the armor tried to curve to the female form. Her soft featured face tried to bargain with his scared ache face.

Raith had bent down to check on Conan a young girl with soft features approached me. She wasn't any older then eighteen as she handed me a pair of large black metal cuffs that looked like they would cover me from my wrists to my elbows. She avoided looking me in any sort of capacity as she took a deep breath.

"They're for are for your magic." She said quietly as I took them. She didn't look at me in the eyes and just stared at the ground. They felt far lighter then they looked and were engraved runes of every kind on the head on the head of a pin. They left these thin spiral lines that circled the cuffs. "The Myrrin has declared a ceasefire at the safehouses and everyone must wear them to prevent potential harm."

"All my magic?" I asked looking down at the cuffs and then back at her. She didn't look up to meet my gaze but intently looked at the floor.

"Just your offensive and elemental manipulation. " She gulped before continued talking. "Your regenerative abilities and other non-combative abilities will be fine."

She looked over her shoulder at my father leaning against the wall and I rolled my eyes.

Wizards. We'll fight over anything. Last thing the big guys need is to be fighting during lockdown with anyone who looks like they can file a complaint.

I nodded as she opened one of the cuffs with a black metal key. I put my left arm in there and it snapped closed around it. She unlocked the chain attaching it to the other cuff and opened the other one. It snapped on and I nodded to her as I flexed my arm to see what they did. She nodded back and unlocked the chain on my right arm before looking me over and shoving the chain into her pocket. She put her hands on both my cuffs and pulled gently on them to make sure they couldn't come off before locking them with a key. She quietly moved on to Dirk without a word.

I moved past both of them and up to Raith. He was whispering something quietly with Conan as Slupee Girl stood up to look straight at me.

"Sorry, about him." I whispered to her and nodded over to Dad. Dad's eyes narrowed and I turned away quickly to avoided looking at him.

"Not a big a problem as you think. If he wouldn't do it, I was going to, eventually." She said taking a drink and shrugging it off. I blinked for second as she shrugged and smiled brightly. "I'm Ava, by the way."

"Piper." I shook her hand and she smiled while having the straw in her mouth. "You his partner?"

"Yup." She nodded as she looked down at him and nudged him. "He's not the easiest to work with."

"I figured as much." I sighed, crossed my arms, and tried to wrap my head around just brushing off a beating like that. Raith looked up at me and I just shrugged a little before he looked back down to whisper something to Conan. Ava just smiled at us with her mouth never leaving the straw as I scratched my forehead. "What do you put up with from him?"

"About as much as you did about five minutes ago."

My face paled a bit as I stared at her. Her expression or her tone didn't change. She just waited for me to say something as though she told me her favorite type of lunch meat. "Grace and Gods, I'm sorry. You don't have to live with him, do you?"

"No, this is my day job. Why? Do Exocists really live together?" I nodded and she tilted her head in surprise. She leaned over and looked around the room briefly. She looked down at Raith and then back up at me. "Did you get him?"

I nodded again and she smiled mischievously as she chewed on her straw a little bit before smiling at Raith. "Lucky. He's cute."

"Hey, I'm Shaun, how's it goin'?" Raith grinned at her as I groaned and hung my head. He extended his blistered hand and she gently shook it as she suppressed a laugh.

"Not too bad." Ava nodded a little bit as I felt sick and looked over my shoulder. Dirk seemed to have borrowed someone else's far nicer phone and Riot was staring down Tessa occasionally making huffing sounds in her general direction. I looked back to front to see the Charm coming off of Raith in waves.

"Hate you." I rubbed my forehead and looked down at the ground.

"No you don't." Raith said happily. I looked up from my hand and watched the cuffs on my arms let off a faint red glow. I looked over my arm and nodded as I brushed it off. You don't need to say anything if there is every rune in the book attached to your skin looking for the remotest part you trying to latch on to magic.

"I'm not that lucky. Conan learned all his cues from Raith." I smiled down at Raith. He wasn't pleased as I just smiled in his general direction.

"Bullshit." She gasped as she covered her mouth. "Sorry, I'm not suppose to swear while on the job. Please don't tell."

"It's okay, you should hear half the things our Reaper says regularly." I tried not laugh as I stared at her. "Makes a sailor sound like a girl scout. It's kind of funny actually."

"Is your Reaper Tony? I met him once. He's pretty funny." She nodded as we looked down at Conan and Raith. She tapped Raith with her foot. "But this guy seems a lot nicer then Ryan."

I stared at her as she just waited for one of us to say something. Raith's voice cut though my stream of consciousness. "See? She thinks I'm nice."

"She's probably Charmed." I looked her over as she tilted her head as I looked her over. "Jailbait at the pizza place thought you were 'nice' too."

"Charmed? Is he's a vampire or something?" She looked at Raith, who nodded, and then back at me, who was also nodding. "That's...not possible."

"Tell me you're not, like, you and Conan." I nodded towards Conan and her eyes went wide. She stopped drinking and nearly choked as she shook her head. "Careful."

"God no." She shook her head as she remembered to breathe. "He's not my type."

"He's no one's type." I joked as she kinda thought about it. Conan glared at me from the floor and then nodded at me. I looked at Ava, pointed at myself, and she shook her head as I shrugged. Had to ask. "Have you not seen a vampire before?"

"Yeah, I have, we've seen dozens of them today." Ava said drinking from her straw again. "I'm just bad at IDing."

I frowned as Raith smiled wide. I guess some people never get the ID-ing part of the job right. To be fair, when they all look human, it's harder then I should be. At a certain point, we all must just blend together. Doesn't help that it seems that I know a lot of tall blonde people. It's like it's a uniform.

"Ha! See? Neutral third party thinks I'm nice and cute." Raith said happily as I rolled my eyes.

I glared at Raith. I turned looked at Ava as I frowned and she just dropped her shoulders and shrugged. "I'm not blind."

The younger two Swords came up to her and whispered something as she nodded accordingly.

"Let's go." Ava nodded towards the door. "Everyone, if you could follow us, we'll lead you to the safe house." She moved towards the door and waited for Conan to follow. I looked over at Raith, who was helping Conan up by offering him a hand up. Conan shook off the water, said his thanks, then looked over at me.

I crossed my arms and he just kept walking off towards the door as Raith watched him go.

"How's your hands?" I asked as Raith looked himself over. He looked out the door with me as Conan straightened up and moved to stand next to Ava. He cracked his neck and put on a cocky expression as Ava looked over some paperwork that the younger two Swords had produced. She rolled up the paperwork and stuffed it under her armor before moving out with Conan.

"Been worse."

"And his face?"

"Nothing a little water doesn't fix." Raith turned his head towards me as Dirk and Chuck moved past us with Eliana. I tilted my head as I waited for him to say something. "Did you just ask if we were okay?"

"I asked if his face had shrapnel in it." I corrected him.

"The word shrapnel was so not used."

"Shut up." I said grabbing him by the arm and pulled him towards the door. He grabbed on to the door frame before we left as I turned on my heels to look at him.

"Dead Waters Williams, you're growing a heart in that cavern you call a chest. Time has done you all sorts of wonders."

"Forgetting to use the word shrapnel isn't proof of anything." I said flatly.

"Then what do you call this?" He held up his pale hands as I looked him over. He grinned as I looked confused. All I could see was his stupid pale hands.

"A surrender?" I asked as I tugged on him again. He groaned as we moved out of the panic room.

"So what we're going to do is open a portal out here because there isn't enough room in 1C8. We'll post these two fine Nephilim to watch it from each side to make sure it stays open, as our resident wizard Exorcist is indisposed." Ava said holding the cup at her side. "We highly recommend that you not leave the basement level or have any contact with mortals until we have this whole thing settled. Doing so will be done at your own risk with both the mortal threat and the subsequent laws associated with the discovery of the supernatural among mortals, which will be used against you in the court of your government. You have the right to a trial, should it come to that. Understood?"

We all nodded as Ava looked around. She nodded as she tapped Conan to pay attention. She then took some chalk off the desk and drew a large rectangle on the ground.

"Reaper Williams, will you do the honors?" Ava asked pleasantly as she took a drink.

Dad nodded, said a few words, and slammed his staff into the ground, causing the rectangle to pop out of the ground. He pointed his staff at the slab and the silver bullet shot out, spreading and leaving a silver door frame to a bustling hallway.

"Thank you." Ava nodded towards him before stepping though and drawing some things in chalk in the hallway. "Give me one minute. Ryan, would you get them a door and some paint?"

Conan nodded, stepped though and vanished as Ava wrote rune after rune on the concrete on our side that trailed on to the carpet on their side. She stood up and walked to our side repeatedly reading it and then walking to that side again. She frowned as she tapped her foot while drinking her drink.

"Face it Williams, you have heart." Raith whispered as we waited. "It's not a bad thing."

"How is that not a bad thing?" I whispered back.

Dad pushed past us and asked for the chalk from her. She handed over the chalk and he changed something in the lines that changed the silver liquid creating a doorway to solidify into hard silver.

"It means you care."

"It means I can get hurt." I corrected him.

Conan came back with the door and propped it across the hall. Ava took a vial of black paint from him and pulled the cork out. She closed her eyes and focused as the paint came out of the vial in the ribbon as she opened her eyes. The ribbon danced around the floor following the chalk marks as she watched it and then brought it back into the vial and put the cork back on. She waved her hand to the left and the room instantly smelled of paint.

Conan put a door in and Ava opened it from the other side.

"Tada!" Ava said as she stepped though. "A little privacy and some paint and you're all situated." Ava's eyes widened for a second before turning to Dad. "Wait, Reaper Williams, do you have the keys for this door? We need to make sure it all matches up."

Dad stamped his staff and produced a box in his hand. Ava gingerly walked over and took them to test on the door, testing each key to make sure they can open the door.

"Cut the crap Williams, are you really that scared of getting hurt?" Raith asked as we stood there.

"I'm that scared of losing something I care about." I looked at him though the corner of my eye. "Ask Claire or Mark or Brook if you want."

He held my corner stare for a few seconds with his eye softening before Ava's voice cut in with all the cheer in the world. He looked away and I sighed. It's weird that he knew what I was talking about.

"Okay, awesome! They all work." Ava said as she walked right up to me. "23 A, here's your key. Don't lose it."

"Aye aye cap'n." I said taking the key in my hand and putting in my pocket. She passed one to Raith and moved around the room passing out keys.

"Now, if you don't mind us, we have a busy schedule." Ava said picking up her drink and resuming drinking. "See you around!"

"Later dude." Conan waved off to Raith and Raith waved as Conan walked though the door and down the hallway with Ava. The two nameless Swords stood on both sides of the door smiling awkwardly at us.

"Right, might as well go make some new friends." Chuck said as I saw Tessa and Riot rush past us towards the door. Riot took a moment to sniff it as Tessa waited for Dirk to follow. "Love making new friends. They're all so squishy and curvy and awesome."

"Watch him." I frowned as Dirk and Tessa walked though the door in Chuck's general direction.

Eliana came up to me with her key and put on the best bright smile she could.

Right.

"Well, time to explore the Starship Enterprise." Raith said walking towards the door as I followed him with Eliana. He stopped to look at Eliana from the door. "Ready for a whole new world?"

She paused for a moment to think about it before finally speaking. "Yes, I'd like that." She said following closely behind Raith as we stepped though the door with a cheaply painted '42' on it.

It was about as busy as an airport on the cusp of holiday season in there. People were walking up and down, some rushing, others just taking there time as they headed to places. Except all the people were mythical beasts you've never seen before, like centuars and gnomes.

Eliana's face lit up like it was Christmas beneath her broken smile. It was forced, to say the least, as she looked around.

"Wanna come too baby?" He winked at me as I rolled my eyes. "Given' the grand tour."

"Meet me in the cafateria, mess hall, whatever when you're done showing her around." I looked around. "I wanna talk to you about something." I looked behind me at the Swords. "Also stop calling me that."

"Not gonna happen." He looked at them too before grinning. "You wanna go somewhere?"

"You'll have to come find me to find out." I smiled one side of my mouth that Raith mimicked. I turned around. "See ya."

"See ya around baby."

If it's one thing all architecture that houses people has in common regardless of purpose, there is always a place to eat, and it's usually on the first floor. Which was a little bit of an issue when you have to drop down four floors and then figure out where on the first floor it was. After about ten wrong turns, I finally found the cafeteria.

It was about as busy as you'd expect an packed airport to be. People at every table eating while pouring over paperwork and checking their clocks as though we had places to be as the food service tried their best to keep up. It was a pretty big dining hall with a million little round metal table bolted to the ground and matching loose metal chairs.

"Piper!" I looked around for the voice in the sea of faces. "Piper! Piper! Over here!"

There was a strawberry blonde with her long hair tied back in a fashionable high ponytail sitting across from a girl with short black hair with olive skin waving at me. I smiled as I walked in that direction.

"Sophie!" I walked up to a small table. "Emma! Hey guys!"

Sophie reached over to the table next to her and pulled the spare chair to the table. "Here, sit. How's it going?"

"Awesome. You know, murder and stuff. No big deal." I said sitting down. "How's it going for you guys?"

The two people sitting at this table with big smiles were Sophie Ashton and Emma Younes, two of a handful of people that I never regretted meeting. When I woke up this morning, I doubted that I would be having lunch with them in a large windowless room in some unknown location. But you take what you can get and just kind of roll with it.

"Same. I didn't know you became an Exorcist." Sophie said with a big smile.

"I didn't know you joined either." I said looking at the two of them. Emma shrugged before Sophie started talking with great enthusiasm.

"They put a contract out while I was on vacation in Hokkaido and told me to kill some centaur that wanted to one with nature. I told them to go fuck themselves. Now I'm here." Sophie nodded along with her story as she sort of frowned comically that made Emma and I laugh a little. "It was total bullshit. It was suppose to be quick and now I'm locked in a hundred contract. Oh but the food and the fashion in Hokkaido was so awesome. Did you know that even the convenient store food is really good? There is drink called The Pungency that's really good."

Sophie reached into a brown purse hanging off her chair and pulled out a half empty bottle with a light brown mixture in. It had a pretty blue label with the words "The Pungency" scrawled across in beautiful italics. I flipped it around in my hand trying to deduce anything from the Japanese label. Having being far outside me language skills, all I could deduce from the label was the random bouts of English on it.

"It had like four shots worth of caffeine per gulp." She said as she nodded to the stuff. "Go ahead and try some."

I opened the bottle and took a small sip. It tasted like strong vanilla coffee with more then enough milk and sugar mixed in, but in this weird nice way. It had certainly earned it's name as I felt like my clothes were going to smell like vanilla for a few days. It was a little too warm from sitting in bag, but it was good none the less.

"It's not bad." I said closing the bottle and handing it back to her. "Pick up anything else?"

"Some cups, a few notebooks, and these wedge Nikes that I'm in love with. Hidden wedge and super comfortable." Sophie nodded and then turned to me. " I'd show you but the bastards took my phone. What about you? Do any traveling? How was school? And, most importantly, how'd you get into this mess?"

"School was good. I graduated with more debt then education. No real traveling other then coming home and living in New Mexico. I set a forest on fire." I frowned at Sophie before pointing at myself. "Not cellphone friendly."

Sophie paused as Emma looked a little distraught. Sophie's voice dropped as she leaned back a little bit. "How much forest?"

"Hard to say. The news reports were sketchy. Did you see the news reports of a forest last August in Portland?" I asked looked away and down at the table.

"No, but it rains too much for there to be a fire." Sophie pointed out as I played with sugar packet.

"Yeah, they weren't pleased about that either." I shrugged as I shook the sugar packet like I was going to open it. I looked up at Emma. "What about you?"

"Government asked me to make enough opium and cocaine to supply everyone in New York. I...said no." Emma said quietly as I played with the sugar packet.

"What the hell do they need that much opium and cocaine for?" I asked as Emma sighed with the facial expression of someone who had been asked this question a thousand times.

"My parents have been dragged in the drug market lately because the government has been making a significant profit out of both morphine and opium and anything people can get high off of." Emma grabbed the sugar packet out of my hand placed it back in the little holder. I smiled at her as she straight in her chair. It probably didn't help that her parents run an holistic herbal shop."I backed out at the last minute. I didn't want to be apart of it. They were selling it to mortals. I ended up donating anything I could turn into medicine and destroying the rest. Turns out that was the wrong answer."

"Now you're here?" I asked I brought my arms under me.

"Now I'm here."

"Your parents must be thrilled."

"They're about as happy as you expect them to be. But my Reaper lets me stay behind a lot to create medicine and care for animals, so it works out."

We all looked at each other before laughing a bit. I looked up at Sophie and she shrugged. "Well this is a screwy situation we got ourselves into."

"Tell me about it. I was doing just fine, you know. The odd contract on a murderer here and there and I got to vacation in really nice places. The money is good, mortals pay stupid well to take out other mortals. No one asked questions, barely anyone to talk to, and there wasn't a shred of paperwork. I miss it already." Sophie dazed off before popping back into reality. "That reminds me, this is yours."

She pulled out a necklace from her pocket and giving it to me. It was a silver chain with a little crown hanging from it. The crown had some tiny writing on it with a pink gem in the middle.

"This is really cool," I said taking it and putting it on. " Thanks. It's really cute."

"Thought you might like it. Not only is it classy, it can put up a shield that can stop one of my bullets on instinct alone." Sophie looked me up and down as I clipped the necklace on. "Micro-engraving is so useful. Expensive as all hell, but damn. What happened to your wand? I can get it engraved."

"I sort of shattered it into a million little pieces." I shrugged as I straightened the necklace out. Sophie shot me a look that didn't surprise her in the least. Emma tilted her head and shaking it at me. "Your bullets? You can hit a target though a wall in a tornado across ten football fields."

"Yes I can. And I can do it ten times in a row. But this little guy can stop me once, which is more then I can say for a lot of things." She sniffled as she thought about it. "Lifted it off this bastard harpie with a rap sheet the size of this room and wouldn't say die. Took me a month to track down where she got it. Figured you could use it, baby."

I bit the inner lining of my cheek and stared her down as she tried to laugh. "No one is going to let me live that down, are they?"

"Not on your life." Sophie enunciated as she nodded to Emma. "I gave one to Emma and I got a few to protect me."

Emma pulled out a necklace with the same crown but with a yellow gem. I nodded as I checked mine and then at her's. "Mine hold's a charge so I don't get tired after a dozen or so wishes." She clarified as I nodded with approval.

"So where you staying? Who'd you paired up with?" Sophie tapped me on the arm as I looked her way.

"Raith and random door number 42. Four flights up and it still was busy as all hell." I pointed directly up. "You?"

"You got Shaun? Oh, someone hates you. I got Kelvin and door number 4. First floor's suck so much worse." Sophie crossed her arms and looked me over. "All the stuff is down here. Never calms down."

I turned my head. "Emma?"

"I got Will. Door number 23. Second floor."

"Why do they insist on putting us with people we hate?" I asked turning to Sophie.

"I don't hate him." Sophie said as I raised an eyebrow.

"He's your ex, Sophie." I pointed out as she nodded.

"Yeah, but, like, a good ex. The kind of ex you look fondly on and think they need hit with a baseball bat rather then a semi truck."

"You were his beard for over a year." I pointed again and she nodded again.

"A baseball bat covered in gasoline. And barbed wire."

That still seemed pretty tame what the rest of the story was. I stared down Sophie and she stared out into open space away from the table. She looked hurt as we sat silently for a moment as I could see the panic in Emma's eyes.

"I'm more of a claw hammer to Will." Emma piped up as both Sophie and I nodded our heads. It that it sounded about right.

"I see your claw hammer and raise you a C4 for Raith." I smiled as Emma curled her lip as she thought about.

"Calling him by his last name probably isn't helping anything." Sophie said flatly.

"Being in proximity doesn't help." I snarked as I turned back to Emma. "Speaking of which, have you killed Will yet?"

"No, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about it." Emma sighed. "I know I'm a wish granting factory, but if he doesn't learn some self control sometime soon, I think I'm going to go old school on him and make them all backfire."

Sophie and I blinked and looked at each other for a bit before talking in unison. "You mean you haven't already?"

"They're just little things like dinner and stuff." Emma shrugged as we pressed forward.

"You get him dinner?" Sophie asked in almost disgusted way.

"I tele-wish it sometimes. It's for everyone, so it's okay." We both frowned as Emma sort of just sat there. "I just want to be helpful. I stay home nine times out of ten and just grow stuff, make medicine, and feed the animals."

"Who's your Reaper? He okay with this?" I asked.

"She threatens to feed him to dragons once in a while for it. Lots of yelling." Emma shrugged as she ducked down into her seat. Sophie and I looked at each other. "It's Hannah Lynsey." She clarified.

"She does have a thing about feeding people to animals." Sophie offered as I thought about. The first time I met her she had offered to turn Raith into animal feed. "I heard she tried to feed her partner to a dragon."

"She loses one leg to a griffin and everyone has to be eaten?" I asked as Sophie nodded. I suppose if you have a method you stick to it. "Well, as long as Will get eaten, everything will be fine I guess. Think they take vampires?"

Just them my stomach made an extraordinary amount of sound in protest of my recently food-less diet of today.

"Piper, when's the last time you've eaten?" Sophie asked suspiciously.

"This morning?" I hazard a guess as leaned forward and sucked in my stomach to make the sound stop. "Raith bought pizza but then we were hauled here before I got a slice."

"He bought pizza? For you to eat?" Sophie emphasized as she stared at me.

"Seeing as I ordered it, yeah." I nodded and as Sophie's head tilted a little bit.

"You two went out to have a meal together and he paid?" Emma asked as I looked at her. She sat back in her chair and I nodded.

I thought about for a second before speaking again. "Not like that, but yeah, I guess."

"Jesus, you've made progress." Sophie smiled wide as she held her head up with her hand. "How long has the clock been running for you?"

Progress?

"Uh, four months? Why? How long has it been running for you?"

"About two. Emma has ten."

I stared at Emma for second and she shrugged. I suppose it would be a little too convenient if we had all started our clocks at the same time.

"But progress! I don't know what happened in that forest fire of yours, but I'll bet everything I own it had something to do with Shaun. And in four months! Miracles do exist!" She said excitedly.

"We kinda have to be civil to each other or Tony will rip our heads off." I said flatly as Sophie's expression didn't change.

"Sometimes miracles need a little push. But hey, if that is what it takes, I'll take it any day of the week. It's about time we got rid of Yel'nya."

I groaned and banged my head on my hands on the table. "Can we not bring that up?"

"Good, because time is finally going away and I can have a decent conversation with both of you."

"What could you possibly want to talk to him about?"

"Like why he's hovering over you."

Emma pointed to behind me. I looked up and turned around to see Raith grinned as he hovered over me. I elbowed him in the leg and he pretended to be hurt.

"How long have you been standing there?" I asked as he leaned on the back of my chair.

"Long enough to know that all you three talk about is boys." He nodded to Sophie and Emma. "Sophie, Emma. How's it goin'?"

They said small hellos as I stared Raith down. "That's not true. Emma nearly sold millions of dollars of hardcore drugs to the government."

Emma nodded. "Just nearly."

"And Sophie went to Hokkaido."

Sophie smiled dreamily. "It was nice."

"Sure, sure." Raith nodded as thought about various ways to break his stupid nose.

"Where's Eliana?" I asked looking around.

"She was about enthusiastic as a person who just lost her friend and witnessed your father beat a man could be. I sent her back to the bunker and talked her into getting some rest. The Swords are giving her space while Riot and Tessa are keeping her company."

There was a certain sensation that you get when you feel like being watched. Maybe it was paranioa, but somehow a person always knows when you or someone around you is looking directly at you.

I looked behind him and there was a blonde staring dreamily directly at him. Her eyes didn't waiver as I looked directly at her and I felt a chill. She had a strangely slightly smaller head then the rest of her body, which I think was transferred to her forty inch bust line that threatened to bust of her shirt. I would say that was pretty creepy if I hadn't just seen a herd of shapeshifters desperately trying to look like two dimensional while I was wandering around.

"Who's the groupie?" I nodded to behind him.

Raith turned around as the blonde waved at him before he turned back. He paused for a moment before speaking. "Dunno."

"Sure, sure." I nodded as he glared at me. "Gods and Grace, you didn't Charm someone one, did you?"

"No." He grimaced as he checked his cuffs. "Thought that was what was theses were for."

I frowned. I don't know what vampire cuffs suppress, but if I had to design them, that's what I'd program them for. But who knows what they actually do? I'd need a magnifying glass and someone from the vampire counsel to tell me what could even possibly be one these things.

"That's not a Sword is it?" I leaned over again as she just stared in him as though she was going to burn a hole into his skull.

"Nah, they're all dressed like SWAT and running around trying to get everyone settle. Ryan said they'll be lucky if they can finish in the next two days." I stared at him as his face stared down at me. "She's been following me since I got here. A bad shadow and haven't said two words to her."

"Uh huh." I nodded as his soured as I turned to Sophie and Emma. "Hey, guys, you know her?"

Sophie and Emma looked up and leaned to the side to see her before shaking their heads.

"No, doesn't seem familiar."

"Nope."

"Well, that's an issue." I sighed before putting on a half smile. "Wanna go investigate a murder? There is a fiance that needs a talking to."

"Are you openly asking me to go into a massacre to find a murderer?" Raith asked plainly as he let go of the chair and crossed his arms.

"Only if we're doing it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I will use you as a meat shield when it comes down to it if we screw up. Also I need to talk to Locke." I said in the same tone of voice that he used.

"Yeah, not letting you talk to him alone." He smacked his lips as I glared at him.

"I don't think he likes me much."

"You are contemplating killing him."

"Just a little bit." I sniffled and then nodded over to the blonde behind him. "What are you going to do about your shadow?"

"No idea." He shook his head while looking over his shoulder. "I could try talking to her."

"Sure, throw gas on the fire. What's the worst that could happen?" I said as he looked at me with a scowl.

Raith's eyes narrowed as he spoke. "You got a better idea?"

"Maybe." I turned back to Sophie and Emma, who were sitting intently and watching us. "Hey, guys, I want to leave with him, can you make sure she doesn't follow?"

"On it." Sophie said standing up and grabbing her bag. Emma looked distressed as she remained seated.

"Sophie!"

"What? This ship has to sail." Sophie said with a mischievous smile. She stared at Emma and nodded to the girl at the other table. "C'mon. It'll be fun."

Emma just stared at Sophie for a moment before getting up. She huffed before following Sophie to the girl. "You suck."

"I owe you one guys." I said as they walked past us.

"Damn straight you do." Emma grunted as she followed Sophie.

"Sailing ships?" Raith asked as we watch Sophie and Emma chat her up. "Does that means what I think it means?"

"I choose not to ask questions." I said getting up. We walked out of the cafeteria and disappeared into the crowd as I watched the girl follow me with her eyes. Our eyes locked for half a second before Sophie brought her attention back. "I just know those of are the magical key words to keep Tessa off my case. Now tell me you lifted the key for these things while putting Eliana back."

"Anything for you baby." He pulled out a black metal key for a second before putting it back in his pocket. "But I'm driving and we're taking the Impala."

I paused to process it and looked at him. "Why?"

"Brain damage." He glared at me as we walked back to the room. I glared back as he broke into a grin as he looked away. "And the Charger is the last car that Eliana was seen getting into. On top of that, the Impala is just all around better." I punched him in the arm and he shrugged it off as he pretend to be pain. "You want the cuffs off or not?"

I decided that his comment about my Charger was too stupid to acknowledge as I kept my eyes locked on him. "Fine, but I'm stealing a gun."

"Got you covered for that too." He said opening his jacket. I saw a glock holstered to his hip for a moment before closing his jacket.

"Gods and Grace, what's got into you?" I asked as we kept walking. I could hear the shock in my own voice as he seemed pleased with my reaction. The jerkass.

"Guy can't do something nice for his partner?" He watched me out of the corner of his eyes. We walked quietly for a little bit as I just stared at him as he waited for an answer. His eyebrows went up as he waited for me to say something. I shook my head and kept walking with my eyes forward.

I could feel his presence drill into the side of my skull as he waited for answer as he bumped me.

"You want me to interrogate him like Dad did to Eliana, don't you?" I asked as he rolled his eyes and groaned. I smiled.

"Also not to hurt the Swords in the basement."

"Knew it." I hissed reaching into his jacket and taking his gun as we stopped in front of the door. "Make me take the hard way, why don't you?"

"But it's so worth it." He winked at me and I removed the clip and looked at the bullets. I snapped it back in place, checked to see if there was a bullet in the chamber, and pulled back the hammer for the very purpose make the 'click' sound. He rolled his eyes.

I ran my hand over the runes engraved into the metal that were so broad and thin that if you didn't know what you were looking at, you'd think they were just scratches. The serial number on the side had been removed with extreme prejudice with combination of acid, a nail file, and magic. The metal in the area had been melted and filled in to look as smooth as the rest of the gun, only having a lot of tiny scratches of concealment.

"Hate you." I said reaching for my key in my pocket as I held the gun in one hand. What no one in the movies ever tells you is that guns are heavy and carrying on with one hand in a pain in the ass just because it's heavy as all hell.

"No you don't." He handed me a hip holster. "Now wanna hear a plan or not?"