Author’s Note: This chapter was written with a nod to today’s Daily Post challenge. There is some language and a small graphic description at the end. Proceed with caution.
“Thanks for the wise advice – very ‘useful’ indeed,” Lenny replied.
“Anytime Miss Raincloud,” Baine said. “Good luck finding this mystery guy.”
“Yeah thanks,” Lenny muttered as she hung up. She tossed her phone into her messenger bag after the call and drummed her fingers on her knee. So much for having another lazy summer start.
She checked her watch and glanced over at the cafe, silently debating whether she wanted to grab a muffin before meeting Val or wait it out. Before she could make up her mind, her phone buzzed again.
Just finished – yay! lunch soem place?
Sent 11:48 AM
“God I am SO glad that this semester is O.V.E.R!” Val declared as she stirred sweetener into her iced tea.
“Final hard?” Lenny asked.
Val shook her head and crumpled the sweetener packet into a little ball. She placed it on the table and the waitress stopped by to grab it and the crumpled straw wrappers. “Thanks!” Val said to the waitress before she left. She took a sip of her iced tea and continued.
“No there’s this girl who was in 3 of my GE classes who was a total, ugh…even bitch isn’t good enough to describe her!” Val said.
“Erm how so?”
Val pursed her lips together and took on a haughty persona, eyes rolled toward the sky. “Well this material’s a breeze for me, I mean, I learned it at my old high school! After all I was, the best, in my school! This school should be thanking me for even choosing them over Yale and Stanford!”
“Wow sounds like a real charmer,” Lenny said as she tried to suppress her laughter.
“Oh it gets better,” Val warned her. “She one time took a look at my paper topic for Self-Discovery in Writing and started editing it without asking! Fiona was supposed to be proofing it and somehow this chick weaseled her way over to her and told Fiona that she was supposed to be editing my paper! And might I say that this was all during class?”
“Didn’t your professor say something?”
“Nope, she didn’t notice – too busy helping Mr. Worrywart with the Tiger Aunt problems try to perfect his already perfect essay,” Val replied. “So I come back from the bathroom to find her reading my paper and it’s covered in red ink. Like really, I swear there was no freaking white space left on the page!”
Val paused to sip more iced tea before continuing. “So I’m really pissed but I’m trying not to let it show when I take my seat and she slides the paper over without looking at me. She then caps her pen, sticks her nose in the air, and says, “You’ve got a lot of work to do to make that better. I’d take all of my suggestions if you want an A, by the way.” I mean, seriously? Did she really have to say that?!”
Lenny winced before breaking off a piece of bread and eating it. The waitress returned with their food and placed the plates in front of them.
“Anything else?” the waitress asked.
“No we’re good,” Lenny replied. “Thank you.”
Val stabbed a piece of romaine with her fork and shoved it into her mouth. “You know what I said to her?”
“Thanks for the wise advice – very ‘useful’ indeed,” Val said. She picked up the pepper and added it to her side salad.
“How did she react?” Lenny asked as she cut her burger in half.
Val rolled her eyes as she began cutting her chicken. “Oh she said that it was ‘very useful’ and that I should be very grateful that she offered to help. Help? Ha! Fiona was supposed to be helping me, not you!”
“Well what’s her major?” Lenny asked.
Val scrunched her nose and paused, fork mid-air as she thought about it. “Ummmm…I think its some Civil/Peace major with Comm. She said she was in the writing class to find a distinct voice for her writing. As for the other classes, yeah I’m sure she probably flunked the AP versions in high school and just doesn’t wanna admit it.”
“Well you’ll never have to see her again, unless you absolutely wanted to,” Lenny joked.
“Oh sure Lenny, I wanna take her clubbing and hey, maybe we can get matching outfits!” Val shot back.
“Gonna go help your grandmama in the shop today?” Val asked as they drove back.
“Yeah probably,” Lenny replied.
“You want me to drop you there?”
“Nah it’s cool,” Lenny said. “Can you just drop me at home so I can get rid of my book bag? I’ll probably walk there.”
“Positive,” Lenny said. She glanced out the window as Val entered her neighborhood and turned into the cul-de-sac. “Thanks again Val.”
“Of course,” Val said. “See you soon?”
“Definitely,” Lenny replied as she unclipped her seat belt and grabbed her book bag. “See you!”
Lenny closed the passenger door and jogged up the steps of her grandma’s house, fishing out her keys from a pocket in her bag. She inserted the key into the lock and turned it, opening the door and closing it behind her.
“Gran! You here?” Lenny called out. She walked into the kitchen and saw that the faucet was spewing a thin line of water into the sink. She shook her head and quickly turned the knob all the way to the left to turn it off. Gran was starting to deal with arthritis so Lenny could forgive her for not being able to turn the faucet off all the way. She paused when she noticed 2 small blobs of red in the sink and she looked closer to see what they were.
Her blood ran cold and she quickly made her way upstairs. “Gran! Everything okay?”
She reached the top of the stairs and ran to her grandma’s bedroom, yanking open the door. Nothing, except the neat comforter and fluffy pillows leaning against the headboard. Everything looked to be in order but something was off. She heard a noise coming from her room and her spine stiffened.
She quietly closed the door to Gran’s room and headed in the other direction to her room across the hall. She gripped the strap of her empty book bag as she walked cautiously towards her room. Maybe she was overreacting – Gran was probably fine and just tidying up her room to keep busy, like she would do sometimes.
Lenny hesitated at her door and bit her lip. She could feel something electric in the air, not light and pure like the magic she was learning but something sharp and cold. She gripped the knob in her hand and turned it.
She pushed the door open slowly, only to have coffee-colored fingers pull it open quickly from the other side. A face appeared around the other side of the door and met her gaze with moss green eyes. His short dark hair stuck up at different angles and his red-pink lips curled into a smirk.
“Hello Millennia,” the stranger greeted her. “About time we met – heard a lot about you.”
Lenny straightened up and dug her fingers into her palm. No one called her by her real name – the stupid name her mom gave her because she thought it sounded so new age. This stranger appearing in her house while her Gran was gone was no coincidence. Judging from his appearance that Baine gave her, it was clear who was standing before her.
“Are you the incubus that the bartender told me about?” she asked.
The stranger made a mock bow as he threw his arms out in a grand gesture. “You found me. Now, we have some unfinished business we need to deal with.”
“Frankly, this business was finished a few seconds ago,” Lenny said. She threw her book bag at him and zeroed her gaze on the doorknob, pulling it shut towards her and locking it. She wasted no time dashing down the stairs to grab her keys to book it out of there as quickly as possible. She yanked the front door open to see the stranger standing in front of her with his arms crossed over his chest.
“Didn’t your mother tell you it was rude to slam doors in strangers’ faces?” he asked with a raised brow.
“Not when it comes to demons,” Lenny shot back. “Get the Hell out of here before I use the entire knife block against you.”
The stranger started laughing, doubling over at her statement. Lenny ignored him and ran to the knife block to grab the biggest knife out, only to find it was sticking in its slot in the block. The stranger appeared before her, guiding her hand away from the block.
“For the record, steel blades don’t do much damage to us,” the stranger said as he let go of her hand. “We just heal very quickly without a scratch. Now if we’re talking blades forged by light or angel-made weapons, then yes we would take some damage.”
“Thanks for the wise advice – very ‘useful’ indeed,” Lenny retorted.”I’ll try to remember that as you try to kill me.”
The stranger held his hands up in defense. “Who said anything about killing you? Actually wanted to thank you.”
“Oh that’s rich,” Lenny said. “A demon is thanking me – what for?”
The stranger smirked, “Well get a clue Warlock Girl. My sister is dead and its all thanks to you.”
Lenny blinked and stared up at the stranger with raised brows. “What?”
“She was, as the humans say, a total bitch, but hey I think we’re all a little better off without her in the world,” he said with a shrug of his shoulders.
“Don’t give me this ‘Thanks for killing my sister’ spiel – what do you mean she’s dead?” Lenny demanded. “I only stopped her from charging at me with an invisible wall. She was supposed to be just knocked out, not dead.”
The stranger leaned against the counter and blinked. “That’s not how I found her. Long after you left, I went out looking for her to clean up the mess she probably made and I found her with one eye swollen, a blood pool by her mouth, and bruising on her body.”