Magic on the Line
Author: Devon Monk
November 1, 2011
We drove to Get Mugged and parked around the back side of the buildings. It was early enough that the morning coffee crowd was still in full swing and street parking was scarce. That was okay with me. I wanted a walk in the cool air, in the sunlight. Even though the magic I could see everywhere was still pretty distracting.
“What are you doing?” Zayvion asked me as we passed by another window with an Unbreakable Ward so strong I could almost feel the prickly heat snapping off it.
“Really?” He stopped and I stopped too. “I think that’s called weaving.”
“I’m not weaving.”
“Yes, you are. I almost ran into you three times already.”
“Well, then let me walk on the outside of the sidewalk.” I stepped in front of him, but hadn’t realized there was a Lure spell on a piece of statuary just ahead. As we headed that way, I corrected my course so as not to get caught by it.
“That,” Zayvion said as I bumped into his arm.
He put his arm around me, and I could tell he wasn’t angry, just sort of frustrated and curious. “That drunken stagger you’ve got going.”
I slapped his chest, which didn’t do anything since I wasn’t trying to hurt him, and his ski coat was too damn fluffy.
“I’m not staggering. Or drunk,” I added.
“So?” he asked.
“I can see magic. Everywhere. All the time. It’s just . . . distracting.”
“Are you using Sight?”
Oh, right. I hadn’t told Zayvion about this yet. “No. Ever since I tried to use magic, passed out, and gave myself a light concussion, I’ve been seeing magic. All the time.”
Zayvion stopped again. We were on the corner now, the front door to the coffee shop in sight, just a few steps away.
“Coffee?” I pointed at the door.
Zay moved to stand in front of me and put both arms around my waist. “When,” he asked quietly as if we were lovers sharing secrets, “did you pass out and get a concussion?”
Ah. Apparently I hadn’t been doing a very good job keeping him in the loop. “Yesterday. After coming back from the meeting with Bartholomew. I saw a Veiled step out of a woman on the street. And when I tried to cast Hold so I could maybe get a better look at the Veiled, I passed out. I woke up to people calling 911, but told them I was fine. Jack Quinn took over from there.”
“Do you think casting magic made you pass out or was it something else?”
“I don’t know.”
He got that look on his face that told me he’d made up both our minds. I hated that look.
Then he swung his arm around my waist and started us walking back the way we’d come.
“No,” I whined. “Coffee was right there. I could smell it. Can’t you smell it? C’mon, Jones. We’ll do all the magic talking you want over coffee. Please?”
He didn’t answer and didn’t stop walking. The worry radiating from him was the only reason I didn’t trip him so I could get my way. He rounded the corner to the back of the building and I sighed. So close to coffee, and yet so far. I pulled out of his arms.
“Just for that, you are paying for breakfast,” I said.
“Cast magic,” he said.