It wasn’t a surprise they’d sent something after me. The person it chose to inhabit wasn’t a surprise, either, just annoying. As Luther pinned me to the wall, one hand around my throat, his dark eyes flaming with whatever it was that was inside him, I knew I didn’t have many options if I wanted to survive the next few minutes. Unfortunately I knew whatever I did to him was going to affect him even after I managed to get the thing out of him, so I found myself thinking too hard about what the best thing to do would be. While he was trying to strangle me. Sometimes I’m too thoughtful, because I knew he wouldn’t care what I did as long as I survived.
Moments after I made my decision Luther dropped to the ground and I found myself gasping for air. Spectre stared at me, still holding the bottle of cough medicine he’d used to whack Luther over the head, as though he was wondering where I’d left my brain. “He’s an old friend,” I said, my voice hoarse. “I didn’t want to hurt him.”
Knowing that Luther might wake up at any moment I should have focused on banishing whatever was inside him, but instead I found myself checking his head to make sure the damage wasn’t too bad. Stupidly I knew I still had feelings for him, even after everything that had happened, so I found myself doing things I wouldn’t normally have done. I wouldn’t even have thought that long about Spectre and Spectre had saved my life.
“You’re an idiot.”
“I never said I wasn’t.”
The bleeding wasn’t too bad, so I gathered together everything I needed to do a banishing. Spectre watched, because he had no magic, passing me things when I asked him too. When I looked at him I knew he had questions that I was going to have to answer, but that was going to have to wait until I’d banished whatever it was that had taken over Luther, although I had one question that I could ask while I began drawing a circle with white chalk around the, thankfully, still unconscious man.
“What are you even doing here?”
“I have a job for you and I knew you were going to be home tonight, so I though I’d stop off here on the way home. The door had been almost ripped off its hinges and that made me think you might be in trouble. Which you were.”
“Thank you for helping, but I would have been able to get things under control.”
I didn’t have to look at Spectre to know he was raising an eyebrow. “From my point of view it looked like you could do with a hand. Normal people don’t stand there staring thoughtfully at someone who’s trying to kill them.”
“I never said I was normal either.” I glanced up at Spectre and then back at the symbol I was working on. “I kind of thought you’d realised that by now.”
A smile filled Spectre’s voice as he said, “Sometimes I forget. Generally when I’ve been at work all day around people who are, mostly, normal. You’re nothing like any of them and it’s refreshing.”
“Normal is underrated.” I sighed as I drew another symbol. “I’d like to be normal and not have to deal with things like…” Gesturing at Luther I let his still prone body speak for itself. “What’s this job you mentioned?”
“My boss was impressed with the work you did before. She’d like to hire you.” The hesitancy in Spectre’s voice made me look at him again. “As a permanent member of staff at our company, with a job title that won’t give away what you actually do for us, and a wage that will mean you don’t have to live here any longer.”
“I like living here.” Shaking my head I focused on what I needed to be doing. “I’m not comfortable with accepting the offer, Spectre, so…”
“You should take it.” Hearing Luther speak made me jump, as I hadn’t expected him to be strong enough to fight whatever was possessing him. “Getting out of here, away from the past, would be good for you.”
“Getting away from the past isn’t that simple.” With the last of the symbols finished I gathered together the candles I needed and placed one between each of the symbols. “Working for the lawyers of the fae would just gain me more enemies, which is something I really don’t need.”
“Lawyers…” Interest filled Luther’s eyes as he looked at Spectre. “He’s a lawyer.”
“I’m one of the senior partners at the best law firm.”
“Can we talk about this after I remove whatever’s possessing you, Luther?” I asked, trying not to let the frustration I was feeling enter my voice and failing. “Do you know what it is?”
“No, sorry. I fought it for a couple of days because I knew what it was here for, but in the end it was stronger than me.”
“Why didn’t you go to see an exorcist?”
“You’re the only one I trust and I didn’t want to get too close to you, just in case I couldn’t control it when I got here. At the moment it seems to be sleeping, probably thanks to whatever it was that knocked me out, so as long as it stays that way it should be easy enough to get it out.”
“Don’t say stupid things, Luther, please.”
Our eyes met and he smiled sheepishly. “It’s good to see you again. I just wish it was under better circumstances.”
Part of me wanted to reach out and give him a hug, but I’d walked away from him for a good reason. The two of us were better off apart, even though that didn’t stop someone who wanted to get at me from using him, and I felt so guilty about that. I glanced at Spectre, knowing the main reason I couldn’t accept the job was because I didn’t want anyone else in danger. Especially not Spectre.
“I was already in danger,” Spectre said, seeing my thoughts in my eyes, which was something he had a terrible habit of doing. “Being friends with you isn’t going to make anything worse.”
Laughing at him probably wasn’t a nice thing to do, but I couldn’t stop myself. “So you expect to be possessed on a regular basis, then?”
“Jetta…” As he trailed off I realised he did actually expect that, and worse, due to the cases he took on. “I have been, twice. Of course it wasn’t because they wanted me to kill someone else, but they were trying to make it so that I wouldn’t be in charge of my body at certain times, and the second time they nearly succeeded.”
“Oh.” I turned back to make certain that I hadn’t done anything stupid when I was drawing the circle because I had no idea when Luther might be taken over again. “That was…”
Spectre nodded. “If you hadn’t realised I might have walked into court a very different person to who I normally am, which would have seen the man I was trying to get jailed walk away.” He sighed. “Of course having you drag me over here to fix the problem is the exact reason my boss now wants to hire you.”
“All I did was what needed to be done.”
“She knows. Yet you’re the only person who would have freed a lawyer.”
“That doesn’t matter. It mattered that you were possessed and I knew how to fix that.”
“Nothing you say or do will convince Jetta that she’s different,” Luther said, sounding amused.
“How do you know her?”
Luther looked at me, not knowing what to say, and I just shrugged. “We were together for a while, until she decided that we were better off apart and left me. I still don’t know why she made that decision, because she’s been avoiding me for the last six months, so I actually would have tried to rip the door off its hinges even if I wasn’t possessed. Unfortunately I don’t think it would have had much of an effect.”
“No, you’re not. If you were sorry you would have talked to me. You didn’t talk to me because you were certain that you were right and there’s a chance you might have been, but that doesn’t change anything. I still love you, Jetta. I think you still love me. We could try again, once you remove whatever’s possessing me.”
“That’s not going to happen.”
“Why haven’t you exorcised it yet?” Spectre asked, sounding as though he was desperate to change the subject, which wasn’t a surprise.
“She wants to talk to it. Eventually it will wake up and then she wants to find out who it was that had me possessed.”
“Once I know I’m going to kill whoever it was, because this is not something I want to happen again, and then I’m going to fix my door.”
“Girl’s got her priorities straight.” Luther sighed, staring at Spectre. “You love her too, don’t you?”<<< The Fae World: Earth: Tamara: Talking to Quentin***The Fae World: Earth: Gareth: Faking It >>>