Magic in the Blood

Read Magic in the Blood for Free Online

Book: Read Magic in the Blood for Free Online
Authors: Devon Monk
either.”
    She nodded and went back to writing. News of my coma had been all the rage while I’d been sleeping it off. There probably wasn’t anyone in Portland who wasn’t up on the latest disaster in the Beckstrom family.
    “Okay, then,” Love said. “That’s it. Thank you, Ms. Beckstrom.” He turned off the tape recorder and made another note on his paper. “So. You seen Zayvion Jones since then?” he asked without looking up at me.
    “From what I can remember, I’ve talked to him once since I’ve been back.”
    “How long ago?” He still wasn’t looking at me, still had his pen on the paper, and I was pretty sure he wasn’t actually writing anything, just going through the motions. No more sunshine and sandy beaches. Makani Love was nothing but rain-cold police procedure now.
    My personal life was none of the police’s business. Except, of course, when it was.
    Zayvion had been noticeably absent. It was possible he didn’t want to see me anymore. Possible he had changed his mind about us. I wouldn’t blame him. My life was full of complications. And so far, it didn’t look like it was getting less complicated anytime soon.
    I had seen him this morning—on the street, watching the bus go by. Or at least I thought it was him. But maybe I was just seeing something, someone, I wanted to see in the rain and darkness.
    “The last time I spoke to him was about two weeks ago, when I first got back to town.”
    Love looked up from his paperwork. No smile this time. “If you do see Zayvion Jones, we’d appreciate knowing about it.”
    “Why? Is he in trouble?”
    “No. We just need him for some paperwork. Nothing serious.”
    Right. It didn’t take a Hound to know he was lying.
    “Okay,” I said. “Is that it? Can I leave now?”
    Love looked over at Payne, and she closed the pad she’d been writing on.
    “How much do you know about the Magical Enforcement Response Corps?” she asked.
    I knew nothing—didn’t even know the police had a separate department to deal with magical crimes. I just thought some of the police officers were cross-trained to deal with magic, like Love and Payne. “Have we talked about it before?”
    “No.”
    “Then I don’t think I’ve heard of it.”
    Love grunted and took another slurp of his coffee. “We don’t go out of the way to make the MERC public, yah?”
    “So why tell me?”
    They didn’t say anything. I looked between them, at Love’s wide, usually happy face, at Payne’s thin, perpetually scowling one.
    “Is there a case you need my help with? A Hounding job or something?”
    Love sat back a little, his chair groaning. “You’ve had some problems with magic, yah?”
    Besides blowing my brains out with magic and doing a three-week coma? I thought. Besides these lovely colorful tattoos down my right arm and bands across my left? Besides carrying magic in me instead of just drawing on it from the stores beneath the city like sane people? Besides Trager stabbing my leg for a syringe full of my blood and the magic it contained, and of course, that freaky visit from my dad’s ghost this morning? No, no problems at all.
    “Define problems ,” I said.
    “We want you to know you can call us—any of us—if something goes wrong again,” Love said. “The law is here to protect you.”
    “What makes you think I need protection?”
    “In this city, everybody needs protection.” He smiled, but it was the grim look of a man who had seen the worst of what people could do—with and without magic.
    Here was where I should lay my cards on the table and tell them about Lon Trager on the bus. I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. And it wasn’t some sort of Silence or Choke spell.
    I hesitated because if I told them Lon Trager wanted Pike, I’d end up whisked out of town under police custody, thus killing any chance of me convincing Pike he should come to the police to make sure they could take care of Trager aboveboard and legally. I did not want

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