Nobody was home, which was just to my liking. Although I had hoped for translation, but I couldn’t be sure he wouldn’t try anything now that he knew, whom I planned to use the gargoyle against.
I sat behind the kitchen table and started with a prayer and small knife I settled next to my pen and a wipe to cover the wound up later.
I chuckled, wondering if he was perhaps standing behind the window somewhere, filming all this to show it in hidden camera, to show how gullible humans can be. I was surprised he hadn’t asked me to pull a protective circle around myself and the contract in white chalk. I still could? And then face Mya’s wailing over ruined kitchen floor?
I began by filling out the empty places marked out on the contract. It wasn’t much – my name, dates and times. Exactly week from now, I checked the watch. I wasn’t sure if they even used the same time system, but at this point the end time wasn’t needed anyway. It would probably be over before that.
I took a deep breath. I took my time calculating out, which finger I would be using the least in the next week and thus would be the less inconvenient to sacrifice for this. I asked for it, I reminded myself, taking the sharpened ivory knife and quickly pulled it over my little finger.
“It better be worth it!” The drops landed on the signing line and just as he had instructed I wrote the signature over it.
Then I waited.
What knocked on the door an hour later was far different site from Thorwald or Celik. The dark haired tall man looked about third the age of Thorwald and despite the heat outside he was dressed in velvet suit with what looked like woolen turtleneck underneath that matched the hair style – half of it that was braided from right to left while the right side was completely shaved off and replaced with milky looking plastic with similar styled strips running vertically to his cheek. Large sunglasses and horizontally shaved well kept beard. Including the Swish watch and white belt that would get dirty in less than five minutes if he’d step outside. I would have found it comical, if it wasn’t covering the injuries I was sure he sported under all that overly modern look. Differently from Thorwald’s all business look that included the harness to hide his wings, he had none and as if extra rebellious he puffed them a bit, showing off a large tattoo snaking down the left side of his right wing.
He greeted me, eyeing me with interest and then sat behind the kitchen table, where the yeti had sat the day before. He looked serious, but there was the lingering humor that shined underneath the cockiness which I couldn’t decide was part of his play or really part of his entire being. In which case I felt sorry whoever was truly related with the youth.
I suppressed the desire to ask for his age and joke if he was even legal to buy alcohol, although, I oddly guessed that even their toddlers were probably older than I was, so I resisted the urge and turned back to business after he sat down.
“I am Bascun Bishop.” He said, leaning closer over the table, which made me pull back instead to get as far away from him as I could manage. He didn’t look dangerous, but oddly I didn’t wanted personal space between us.
“My name is Selen Fergusson.” I introduced myself.
“You’re not from around here?”
“How observant.” I dismissed him. “I have bought the rights over you for one week and…”
“Bought the rights?”
I really wasn’t up to any political arguments right now. I wanted him to assume his position as soon as possible and get this business over with. “Bought your rights, hired you, leashed you in my service, charter, commission – your choice.”
“Aren’t you snippy?” he pulled his hands back.
“I’m sorry, I’m a bit in a hurry with this and I’m not familiar with the terms used by the othersiders.”
“We’re not othersiders.” Bascun whispered, listening my term with goose bumps on his neck. “It’s Hatangy. Calling us othersiders is like walking among dead. Very well.” The grin returned and for the time being I actually considered if Celik or Thorwald would kick me back if I would destroy this one’s nose. It looked offensively straight. The only thing that kept his nose was that I knew I wasn’t really angry at him, but angry at something else I couldn’t fathom yet.
I lost my string of thought. I searched for it from the kitchen sink, where I heard the water dropping against the metal washbasin. This was an odd world – on one side they were as modern, if not more advanced while on the other side their daily lives looked like something from steampunk fantasy.
“Miss?” He snapped his fingers in front of me and I responded with a frown, which widened his grin more.
“Ok, here’s the thing. You’re Bishop, so you probably have been informed by Celik about your current situation regarding Griffin –”
“I haven’t?” By his sudden change of mood I knew he wasn’t lying.
“Doesn’t matter. You see I have a bit of a predicament here, more like in a form of one of you.” I paused, studying his face. “I need you to watch over Thorwald Warwick Bishop.”
The gargoyle’s eyes widened and his irises diminished in tiny pins. “Who?”
“Thorwald W…” I repeated.
“Bwahahahaa!” He blasted.
Not even a tiny smile lightened my face when I waited him to calm down. Until now it had seemed rather solid plan, but his reaction would undermine even the hardest laid plans. Or annoy the hell out of the other. “You know him?”
“Oh, Thorwald’s gonna love that when he wakes up! His little brother watching over the hardest granite in the warehouse!”
My face fell and I felt irritation pile up. I didn’t even know he had family there. “I don’t care about your family tree! I order you keep an eye on his grotesque arsh for few days!”
“You’re paranoid! The safest place for us is that warehouse! He is already organizing for the bastard to be brought home! Besides, Celik’s got us covered!”
“Not after tonight,” I muttered under my breath. The gargoyle’s ears twitched and he turned serious. “Do you always argue back to those, who higher you?” I asked instead, hoping to lose at least some of my anguish by picking fight with him.
“Where did you get the money to hire me?” he inquired, curious. “We’re not cheap you know!”
“Not your business!” I reminded him, rolling the contract up.
He chuckled. “That will be hard for his pride to swallow – his younger brother watching his ass!” It seemed to humor him beyond reason. “Alright, girl, I’ll be by Thorwald!”
“All the time, not even one moment away – you hear?”
“I need to pee!”
I nearly gasped. “Then you go and pee! You know where the throne is!”
“The thr… Oh! You mean the crapper? Bwahahahahahahaaa!”
“The toilet! A crap – what?”
He kept laughing, but I was still in the middle of deciding if to let him go or kick some sense into him.
He is young, I decided then, reminding myself that he was not the reason I was so wind up right now. The upcoming hell was what got me edgy.
“You really think we’d use throne for toilet!”
“OH MY GOD! GET TO YOUR POST AND SHUT UP! DID YOUR BROTHER NOT TEACH YOU NOT TO IRRITATE FEMALES?”
He pulled back, still chuckling like hell. “Do you mind if I let Celik know?”
“No, call him if you want.” He already knew, where Thorwald was so I saw no point of hiding it.
Bascun prepared himself for the talk, like child, who knows he will be yelled at. Well, I couldn’t promise he wouldn’t get yelled at. He walked up and down few times, relaxed his shoulders, his neck muscles.
Celik was dead silent for ten seconds, before he asked, baffled. I know, because I was standing leaning on the post, chewing my cheek. I almost felt sorry for this guy, wondering if perhaps he was the youngest of them. “She hired you to protect Thorwald?” Bascun agreed. “That bitch! What is going through that frizzy hair of hers?”
“Griffin with a sledgehammer?”
There was a long pause and I knew he was thinking what to say. Instead the phone died and Barscun hid it in his pocket.
“I need to speak with your clan leader.” I pointed out. “I guess we need to organize his move in case the plan fails and then the entire clan.” The silence was deafening. “What?”
“Our leader just fell asleep in your bedroom!” Bascun announced, baffled and ready to crack another joke I wasn’t willing to put up with anymore.
Well, that killed the plan of going upstairs to kiss that statue of his. I was not willing to add any more ammo to this younger brother’s vocabulary. I doubted Thorwald was willing to put up with it and I wasn’t sure I would too, when he finally woke up.
Instead I turned around trying to keep the last of my dignity, slamming the door shot behind me, sure he’d find him soon enough himself or at least ask girls for help, when they got back. I had a feeling he was quite familiar with them considering all the fancy gadgets he had.