almost two whole days, Donovan honored Molly's command not to
look at Grimoire 17. He tucked the briefcase next to the
bookshelf in the dark room on Monday and went about his business
of thinking he scared people. The successful implementation of
this illusion was crucial to Donovan surviving high school. When
shattered, bad things happen.
she knew it or not, Kamila had too short a temper to care. She
and Donovan shared a study hall together and for an entire
semester she was just another unenlightened fool for him to
ignore. He would go to the dark room and she would do whatever
she called studying.
Unfortunately, the closing weeks of the year spawned a hellish
term paper assignment that kept Donovan in the room. He would
still supervise Blaine and Bryce as they did the actual research
and writing- that was how he did all his homework. But the dark
room's lack of useful references, a computer and light in
general weren't conducive to such an undertaking.
Donovan stood at a table, arms folded, watching his minions
gather book after book on his thesis about the collective works
of the Brontë sisters (making a post-modernist argument that
they are a blight on humanity and must be destroyed). This
required a lot of table space and made him the room's
most of the other students ignored him. But after listening to
Donovan constantly command Blaine to skim Wuthering Heights
faster, Kamila had heard enough.
give it a rest, will you?” she shouted. As the sole occupant of
the adjacent table, she could only tolerate so much before it
became an honest distraction to her work. Kamila threw her book
down, pulled off the headphones she been using to covertly
listen to a baseball game, and stood up. Now other students took
notice- watching someone tell off Donovan was always quality
entertainment, especially with the faculty supervisor asleep.
narrowed his eyes at her. “Do not tell me how to do my research.
There must be a way to remove these accursed books from
“Actually, this isn't bad,” Blaine mumbled. “Nice body count.”
huffed. “Do it however you want. Just shut up. I got stuff to do
and the Pirates have the bases loaded.”
work is inconsequential to my plan.”
raised his eyebrows and leaned towards her. “Working on it.”
shook her head and sat back down. “Work harder... just do it
spectators murmured their approval, which led to discussion of
other subjects, growing in number and volume. Before long, the
once-quiet study period had become an loud afternoon social. All
the additional noise agitated Donovan, and there was only one
person he could blame. And she needed to be punished.
afternoon, in the dark room, he struggled to find a nice, easy
way to curse
Kamila. At least with the normal collection of books on his
These books are useless.”
actually said 'blast.'
know, maybe if you returned those to the library, they'd let you
check out new ones,” Bryce offered. Donovan ignored the
suggestion and reached for the briefcase.
these desperate times, we must turn to the Tome of Vincent
set the case on the table and unsnapped it. Bryce's mouth fell
open. Blaine's would have if he hadn't been engrossed in Emily
isn't that overkill?” Bryce asked. It was all he could say to
deter Donovan that didn't constitute insubordination. Of course,
Donovan didn't know the meaning of the word and started paging
through the grimoire.
“Nonsense. There must be something in here that doesn't destroy
her.” Not that Donovan was that picky. If he accidentally killed
Kamila, he accidentally killed Kamila.
were, thankfully, two major deterrents built into the book.
First, Class A grimoires were serious, high-end documents that
would make enlightening bathroom reading for even the strongest
of magi. Thus, it was above elementary trifles like minor
cursing spells. Furthermore, anything that did seem reasonable
to Donovan required a piece of Kamila's hair or clothing and
Bryce was far too scared of her to try to attain it.
One page caught his eye, but not because of its ability to harm
his enemies. In fact, he forgot all about Kamila the moment he
saw the invisibility circle and realized that this was a
conceivable spell for him to pull off.
back,” he declared, rising to his feet and retrieving a can of
salt. With it, he carefully created a circle in the corner of
the room and stood in the center. Donovan read the page, tweaked
the circle as per the spell's instructions, and set the book
down so he could concentrate.
sir?” Bryce mumbled, but there was no getting through to
Donovan. He focused his mind around what the book told him to
focus his mind around and executed his trigger. Grimoire 17
glowed a bright orange as it obeyed.
very good, sir.” Bryce was surprised at his genuine respect for
Donovan's handiwork. Donovan chuckled to himself and picked up
the book. To Bryce's eyes, the grimoire levitated and fell onto
this newfound power, I shall torment the masses!”
stepped out of the circle. All Bryce saw was... Donovan stepping
out of the circle. Apparently the spell only applied when
standing inside the salt ring.
sir?” Bryce called out, but Donovan ignored him. He opened the
door, not noticing his visible hand turning the knob, and walked
out of the room to unleash whatever havoc he could... regardless
of whether he actually went unseen.chapter32.ht
newfound (and no longer existent) powers of invisibility,
Donovan looked for anyone he had a vendetta against. Yes, he had
a vendetta against half the school, but now that he thought he
was going sight unseen he wanted to strike someone high on the
list. Like Troy Monroe.
his girlfriend, who seemed innocent and harmless enough for
Donovan to revile. Marie passed him in the hallway, not noticing
Donovan, thus reassuring him that the spell was working. He
followed her closely, keeping his eye on her at all times. Even
without knowing he was there, she was bound to feel
uncomfortable under his watch.
she did, and she stopped to look over her shoulder. Marie saw
him, but like most students did not want to make eye contact.
She looked away from his face, shuddering at the sadistic grin
on his face. All she could do was face forward and keep walking.
This process repeated itself several times. Donovan lived it up
while Marie grew increasingly terrified.
from the side, someone jumped on her and grabbed her shoulders.
“Heya, 'rie! What's up?” Kamila shouted. Marie almost fainted.
a few deep breaths, then replied, “My blood pressure.”
seem a bit antsy. You okay?”
shook her head. “Just a little... confused.” she tilted her head
back towards Donovan. Kamila stole a peak; Donovan glared at her
as well, thrilled to be able to haunt the girl he was trying to
get revenge on in the first place.
turning back to Marie, Kamila whispered, “Why's that idiot
know,” Marie mumbled. “Should I be worried?”
to take him out?” Kamila pounded a fist into her hand.
You'll get in trouble! Let's just go in here...” Marie led
Kamila into the girls' bathroom.
Donovan followed them in.
girls only had a second or two to regroup before Marie caught
sight of him crossing the threshold of decency. She dashed into
a stall, grabbing Kamila's arm and dragging her in too. Marie
locked the door and huddled down to peer from below the door.
his hips, Donovan looked around the bathroom. He had never been
in a girls' bathroom before and was a little disappointed. It
looked pretty much the same as the boys' bathroom with more
stalls, a lack of urinals and a dispenser on the wall that he
shied away from once he realized what it dispensed. Very
ordinary, in his opinion, which made him question why entry was
with his back to the mirror (and his reflection against it), he
deduced that his prey was hiding in the stalls. Two footsteps
helped clue him in to one of the correct commodes. He inched
closer to it, but stopped in front of the stall when he realized
that he had no idea what he was planning on doing. Proper
revenge is a tricky thing, you see, especially when Marie
herself had never actually wronged him. Marie, of course, ran
through several possibilities in her head and struggled to
control her breathing.
possibilities proved to be academic when Kamila threw the door
open, striking Donovan's head and knocking him flat.
over his unconscious body, Kamila calmly walked over to the sink
and washed her hands.
looked him over. “Well, I guess that works. So what now?”
air dryer she was using, Kamila replied, “Now? I gotta get to
practice. Let's bolt.” She finished drying her hands and
strolled out like nothing had happened. Marie followed, hesitant
about leaving an unconscious (and likely injured) boy alone on
the floor of the girls' bathroom.
Kamila reassured her that Donovan did not warrant a second
thought now that he was out of their hair, Marie was relieved to
see Molly walking down the hallway. “Moll...” she caught
herself. “President Pearson!”
stopped, willing to give the girls her attention, Kamila bowed
her head. “Ma'am,” she said in deference.
explained the entire situation. Somehow, Molly didn't flinch,
nodding once or twice as if this sort of thing happened every
still in there?” Molly asked.
be. I got him pretty good,” Kamila answered.
take care of it.” Molly normally left such matters to Claude,
but he had stubbornly refused to enter the girls' restroom ever
since the locker room incident back in chapter one. You wouldn't
believe how often it came up.
you,” Marie said. Both she and Kamila bowed again.
time Molly reached the bathroom, Bryce was already inside,
trying to revive his master. He had trailed Donovan, eager to
see what kind of mess would ensue and certain that he'd have to
save the day.
Bryce heard the door swing open, however, it was every minion
for himself. Kamila had knocked Donovan hard; he wasn't going
anywhere until Bryce could come up with a decent spell. That
would take time- unavailable with another girl coming in. So
Bryce reached for his crystal for a quick teleport out of there.
the hell is he up to?” Molly shouted, interrupting Bryce before
he could complete the spell. Startled, he lost control of his
crystal and it flew into the toilet.
Bryce went back and forth between Molly and his submerged magic
crystal. “Botched invisibility spell.”
scoffed. “Is that all?”
of...” He didn't want to elaborate on the whole 'opening
forbidden book and succeeding with fixed invisibility circle'
part. He did want to get his focus item out of the toilet and
managed to evade Molly enough to do so.
Molly pieced it together. “So he opened the book?”
yeah,” Bryce replied, reaching in and pulling the wet crystal
out. He tried to dry it with a square of toilet paper.
sighed, but didn't seem so hellbent on destroying him as she had
promised at the party. In fact, she was conciliatory about it
all. “At least it was just invisibility,” she said. While she
didn't get too much of a glimpse into the book, as a Class A
grimoire there had to be some seriously potent stuff in there.
Donovan causing mischief with an invisibility spell was the
least of their worries. She was afraid he'd try something that
tapped so much energy from both himself and the book that every
power-thirsty demon in the district would be lured into town.
she had to get him out of this bathroom. Molly uncapped her
magic marker and started to draw a circle around Donovan. As
Bryce gave up on the toilet paper and resorted to the air dryer,
he said, “You want to use my crystal instead?”
remember what happened last time I used that thing?” Molly
asked, continuing her drawing.
heard it was pretty sweet.” Molly narrowed an eye at him. He
shut up and let her finish.
circle was complete, Molly stood back to make sure it was round
enough to suffice. In that time, Donovan snapped back to reality
and sat up.
exclaimed, “Oh, good, you're-” But Donovan put a finger to his
lips, beckoning silence from his minion. There was a grin on his
face, and a knowing smile towards Molly. Despite the technical
knockout, he still thought he was invisible.
executed her trigger anyway. The floor around Donovan lit up,
flashed brightly and vanished, taking him with.
uh... where did you send him?”
know,” Molly replied, capping her marker. “Don't care.” She spun
around on her heels and walked out. “Wherever he is, he'll
probably need you to get him out.”
Every year, seniors at
high schools around the country succumb to the senioritis bug.
Marred by a lethargic attitude towards classes and daily life in
general, these students just want it to be over with so they can
get out and do the same thing in college. Upperclassmen at L. B.
Gould didn't fall victim to senioritis as often since Molly took
charge. She had a way of keeping kids on their toes, so seniors
generally remained attentive and aware of their behavior, for
fear of accidentally wronging the council and suddenly finding
themselves juniors again. The senior class's motto was 'we're
almost clear- for the love of God, don't screw up now!'
Senioritis was not a
foreign concept, however, and everybody just assumed that Kurt
had caught it without pondering his increased melancholy. Just
as well, as Kurt had trouble explaining that his anxiety was due
to his uncertain fate with the secret magic organization he had
spent his life training to serve.
His friends were under
no such spell. In fact, with only a couple more weeks until
summer vacation, they were downright giddy. Besides the
wonderful notion of no school, Troy and Yuki were stoked for the
next session at Central, particularly the thought of making it
there without needing to survive a demon attack first. And while
Kathryn generally enjoyed the party at Kurt's, she was looking
forward to having Reggie show her how it was done. She didn't
give a flip about the rest of her education there.
So while everyone else
at the lunch table excitedly discussed their plans for the
summer, with three of them ignoring a certain three-week stretch
in July, Kurt sat back quietly and took it in. He was only two
years older than Troy and Kathryn, yet his outlook on life was
already different. Honestly, he wouldn't have minded one more
year here. Another chance for Marlowe to find him some recruits,
and more opportunities to train Troy and score with Kathryn.
Speaking of which, they
both glanced at him casually, but stopped and looked harder when
they saw his earlobe wiggle. Kurt felt it and tensed up. Good or
bad, contact from the MST was a big deal. Kurt excused himself
while Troy and Kathryn played dumb when Marie asked them what
In a corner of the
cafeteria, where he was unlikely to be disturbed but in a loud
enough spot to prevent anyone from overhearing his conversation,
Kurt pulled out his cell phone, held it up and pretended to use
it as he pinched his ear to take a different wireless call.
“What's up?” he asked,
It was Alistar Marlowe
himself. “Kurt! Took you long enough to answer! I was afraid you
weren't home,” he said in his usual overbearing manner.
“Mr. Marlowe? What's
going on?” Getting a psychic message from Marlowe was very
unusual. Unlike Uriel, Marlowe was up with modern technology and
normally communicated through e-mail.
“Got some great news! I
think we've found something for you.”
Naturally, Kurt was
thrilled to hear it. Yes, Marlowe had dodged, delayed and danced
around Kurt's problem for almost a year, but it sounded like he
came through in the end and Kurt loved the guy for it. The
surprise telepathic conference now seemed totally appropriate.
“Oh, that's great. What
did you find?”
“Meet me at Central this
Saturday and I'll explain everything and give you all the
Kurt paused. As great
and as overdue as the news was, he wouldn't have minded waiting
another week. “Saturday? Why Saturday?”
“Well, we're on a
schedule here, Kurt. Obviously, this took a lot longer than we
had hoped for, so we've got a lot of work to do in a very short
time. You can stay at the residence hall for the time being.”
“But I graduate Sunday!”
He knew how this worked: once he left for Central, there would
be no reason for him to return to L. B. Gould.
Marlowe dismissed the
argument. “For that high school? So what? You're not from around
there anyway. If you'll be missed at the ceremony, just have
Pearson do a cloning spell.”
“Molly doesn't know a
“Oh. Remind me to have
Melrose teach her one sometime.”
With a sigh, Kurt tried
to rephrase his argument. In the long run, no, his graduation
ceremony wasn't a big deal. Molly would take care of things on
that end, cloning spell or not. But he had spent two good years
in town and saying goodbye in two days was going to be
Before Kurt could come
up with a way to speak his mind without getting too sentimental,
Marlowe added, “Look, we're taking care of the apartment, so you
should have plenty of time to tie up loose ends and say your
“I got a lot of friends
to say goodbye to.”
“Great! They can help
It was foolish to try to
convince Marlowe to spare a week. And the more Kurt thought
about it, the more he saw the folly in stalling his future by
dwelling on the present. Marlowe was right: he wasn't from L. B.
Gould and his time there was just a brief chapter of his life.
He was lucky to have this opportunity to begin with and had no
reason to jeopardize it.
Marlowe was also right
in that his friends would help him pack. Kurt ended his
conversation and pulled Troy, Kathryn and Yuki from the table to
deliver the news.
“That's great! Way to
go!” Yuki chirped.
Kathryn wasn't as
excited. “So wait... Saturday?”
“I'm not thrilled about
it either, but I've waited long enough for this,” Kurt replied.
Troy needed a moment to
let it sink in. Kurt had been one of his biggest mentors and
confidantes, both in the MST and in regular high school affairs.
While him leaving was inevitable, Troy had written it off as
something for the future, not this weekend. All he could
determine in that moment was that he needed a little more time
to figure it out. So he shook Kurt's hand, forced a smile and
Kathryn didn't. “I don't
get why you have to go now.”
“Neither do I, but
Marlowe's never gone out of his way to make our lives easier. I
mean, he did throw Yuki at you guys.” He looked down at Yuki.
Rather than letting Yuki
get a rebuttal in, Kathryn said, “Did he say anything about what
“No, I figure that's
what I find out Saturday. Probably just introducing me to my
recruits and figuring out the best way to drop the bomb on them.
It usually doesn't involve a hell hound.”
“Great, get more kids
into this,” Kathryn mumbled unhappily. She turned away and
walked back to the table.
Despite Troy continuing
his attempt to handle the news maturely, Kurt was fixated on
Kathryn and her failure to do so. She sat down, arms folded and
head to the ground. The normal energy that he loved to see from
her was lost.
In time, she lifted her
head and looked back at him from over her shoulder. Their eyes
met, and she caught him as he was reminded why leaving like this
was so difficult. Kurt knew that Kathryn did not care much for
the MST, but did care deeply for just about everything else. It
meant so much that she still found room to care about him, even
as she turned away again in protest.
He was going to miss her
Kurt still attended
school Thursday and Friday. That is to say, he was present in
the building during designated hours. His actual attendance in
his classes was negligible. He had accumulated several friends
in his years there and had to systematically say goodbye to any
that did not know magic. Those that did were going to help him
pack. That's what magic powers are for, after all.
His process was simple-
show up at the classes his friends were in and chat them up
until he got what he wanted. Occasionally, he would stay for the
entire period out of respect for a teacher he liked. More often,
however, he would leave a few minutes after the bell. Especially
those involving a class he was not actually taking. His peers
were very surprised Molly permitted such blatant truancy. Some
even tried it themselves, to disastrous consequences.
By doing this, Kurt
handled his mundane affairs with no hassle. When it came time to
leave Saturday morning, he had help from Troy, Kathryn and
Molly. Nobody had seen Donovan since Monday and it would be
another week until Bryce could get him out of the void Molly had
sent him to. Renee and Yuki didn't have any magic useful for
moving, so they were off the hook.
Not that Kathryn or Troy
did either, but the former had muscles and the latter had no
place to decline. They did the grunt work while Molly
supervised. Strong as Kathryn was, after lugging boxes outside
for an hour, she was tired and set a chair down just after
getting out the door.
“Jeez, he's got a lot of
crap,” she moaned.
Molly, supervising the
pile of said crap already outside, telekinetically lifted the
chair and took it the rest of the way.
“Wait, you can use the
Force? That's no fair,” Kathryn complained. To make matters
worse, Troy teleported in with an empty bookshelf in one hand,
adding it to the pile before walking back for more.
“Go to hell, Troy,”
Troy simply smiled at
her, turning to Kurt as he walked out with a box. “Hey, how do
you want me to pack your race track?”
“I dunno, use your
imagination. Just don't break it,” Kurt replied. He finished his
delivery and looked over at Molly.
Besides delegating the
workload, Molly was also filling out orange tags and attaching
them to everything on the pile. Tedious, yes, but at least it
didn't involve heavy lifting.
Kurt apologized anyway.
“Sorry about that. They didn't get the pre-printed ones done in
Molly shook her head.
Normally the magic transport sent luggage to a designated dorm
easily enough, but as Kurt's future residence was in limbo, so
too were his belongings. The identification tags kept them all
in place while they floated around nothingness waiting to be
“So if you aren't
staying in Hall D, where will they put you?” Molly asked.
“Marlowe said they'd put
me up in A.”
“Aw, A?” Kathryn said,
stretching her arms. “With all the preppies? Least they could do
is stick you in B. Fun times there.”
Kurt furrowed his
eyebrows and looked at Kathryn. “B's full of druggies and
“Like I said, fun
times.” Kathryn headed in, leaving Kurt and Molly to scratch
Once everything was
packed up and on the pavement outside, Troy drew a circle with
sidewalk chalk. Kurt locked his apartment door for the last
time, pausing a moment to let the finality of it sink in. Even
though he had had three days to come to terms with this, the
actual act of leaving was still difficult. The whole experience
seemed unresolved, as if he had yet to do everything he was
supposed to here.
His waxing on about this
made him miss Molly activate the circle and send everything he
owned into the great beyond. When Kurt turned around, all that
was left was his car, his three friends, and the stick of chalk
in Troy's hand.
“All set,” Molly said,
“You sure you don't want
to get breakfast with us or something?” Kathryn asked, obviously
more moved than Molly.
Kurt shook his head. He
was supposed to meet with Marlowe at four, and already needed to
drive like a maniac to make it on time.
“Well, I guess that's
that then,” Troy said, not as wistful as he was trying to be.
Kurt approached him and put a hand on his shoulder.
“Yep. Maybe I'll see you
at Central. I'll give you a call sometime. Keep up the good work
Troy nodded, taking in
the final words from his mentor. Not that they were that
profound, but let the boy enjoy the moment.
Kurt moved on to Molly,
deliberately not making eye contact with him. “Thank you,” she
“It's been fun,” he said
with a smile.
“No it hasn't,” she spat
“Well, maybe it will be
When Molly looked up to
argue, he leaned in and hugged her. Even as he felt her body
tense up, he squeezed her tighter, waiting for the inevitable
moment where she'd sigh and relax. At that moment, he whispered,
“You're going to be fine.” Her hands found their way to his
back. For a second, she almost believed him.
In hindsight, giving
Molly Pearson a great big hug probably wasn't the best way to
calm Kathryn down. Kurt went up to her next; her eyes were still
He smiled, said, “Your
turn,” and hugged her as well.
Kathryn scoffed, even as
she received it. “Yeah, knew this was coming.”
But this was a shorter
hug- just a friendly embrace with no intense emotion behind it.
He ended it quickly, though keeping his hands on her shoulders.
That gave him a better
angle when he kissed her.
It lasted longer than
either hug did; Kurt intended to get his money's worth out of
it. For all the joking about him wanting her and her being coy
to his advances, there was nothing funny about this- just a
good, honest, wholesome kiss that left her breathless when he
finally leaned back.
“You take care of Troy
now,” he said as her eyes began to well up.
He nodded again at Troy
and Molly, but Troy's jaw was still on the sidewalk and Molly
had turned away, folding her arms stubbornly. Thus the final
round of farewells was pretty one-sided. Kurt took his last bow,
got into his car, and drove off forever.
Troy was left trying to
understand what the hell had just happened. He wasn't sure which
was bolder- hugging Molly or kissing Kathryn. Doing both in the
span of a minute and driving off unharmed was ballsy too.
Kathryn was still frozen in the moment. Molly was trying to
shake it off. Her mouth was in a contemptuous sneer, which was
typical. But her eyes were cast downward, lacking their usual
hard edge. She was angry, of course, which Troy did not find
surprising. But somehow, he gathered the strange feeling that
she was also just a bit sad.
When Molly realized that
Troy could see her face, she turned away from both him and
Kathryn. Without a word, she took two steps and teleported out
of the scene.
With Molly gone, Troy
carefully approached Kathryn. She remained speechless; her only
movement came as her fingers carefully felt her lips. A couple
tears streamed down.
“Oh my God...” she
mumbled after an intense delay. She blinked and wiped her eyes,
before realizing the obvious: “He was serious.”
mind-numbing six hours, Kurt pulled into Central Academy.
Without the normal furor of five thousand college kids arriving,
the place felt cold and silent, even on a sunny May afternoon.
The empty parking lot just looked wrong. As he parked way up
front alongside a couple dozen cars, Kurt felt like he was
claiming a handicapped spot. He took one look back across the
desolate sea of blacktop and walked in.
its quietest, kids still dotted the background at Central.
Students were always playing catch, loafing about, or showing
off their magic. While almost all of them knew how to teleport
and levitate, most still preferred to get around campus the old
fashioned way. Kurt saw none of this, and it bothered him.
Familiar as it was, it seemed outside his element, and suggested
that he was somehow different than the normal populace.
Unwilling to accept that, Kurt teleported to Marlowe's office to
get his new instructions.
flashed his usual smug grin as soon as Kurt entered. “Kurt! How
was the trip?” he asked, far too enthusiastically given the flat
terrain Kurt had covered.
didn't fall asleep at the wheel,” Kurt replied.
excited to sleep? I understand. This is quite the opportunity
Kurt nodded and smiled. Boring as the drive was, he was
anticipating his reward. “So where am I heading?”
held up a finger. “First thing's first. Let's get the
pleasantries out of the way.” He pushed a stack of forms across
through all the carbonless copies, Kurt found five different
originals. The top thirteen inches on each carried a printed
contract with six-point lettering. All Kurt saw were a series of
black stripes resembling paragraphs. The bottom of each page had
a small white space with a thin black line under it, along with
a yellow 'Sign Here' flag Marlowe had attached.
don't expect me to sign this without knowing what these say, do
took it with humor. “Why yes, it would speed things along. In
fact, I'm not entirely sure what's on those myself.” Assured
that Kurt wasn't signing anything without at least a clue,
Marlowe added, “It's just standard legal affairs- residency
contracts, compensation, zero-liability form in case a demon
tears you apart.” He shrugged. “You know- the usual.”
Normally, Kurt would remark about the need for a zero-liability
form for a run-of-the-mill guardian post. But after a year with
Molly's group it seemed like a fair precaution. Besides, while
Marlowe was notorious for using fine print as his weapon of
choice, Kurt realized something else.
have much of a choice, do I?” he said.
really.” Attempting reassurance, Marlowe added, “If there are
any nasty surprises in there, they'll only come out if the
deep breath, Kurt signed the forms.
moment he crossed the 't' on the final form, Uriel burst through
the door. “Welcome aboard, Kurt,” he said, with total
professionalism and no joy.
appearance was so sudden that Kurt didn't know how to react at
first. Only at first though: his secondary instinct flared 'not
good.' “The heck are you doing here?” he said, guarded.
“Greeting my new field agent for L. B. Gould, Ohio.” Uriel
extended a hand for Kurt to shake.
didn't touch it. “What?”
my idea,” Marlowe interrupted. “You needed work and Uriel needed
a new agent. And since you were already keeping an eye on things
over there... you know, two birds and all that.”
the inevitable reunion with the primary cast, Kurt's fears were
confirmed: this was trouble. Given all the developments that had
taken place, Molly needed a trained professional to look over
things, investigate suspicious activities and take out any
lurking demons. Kurt was eighteen, trained only to be a guardian
and his magic abilities were nothing compared to a pro like
Richard Herman. He would have no clue what he was doing and
Molly's unit certainly needed better.
I'm not qualified to be an agent. I don't even know what agents
whole lot, if you read Richard's reports,' Uriel almost
muttered. He decided against it as it didn't quite mesh with his
appropriate response: “Nonsense, Richard Herman gave you a
“Probably because he doesn't want to do it,” Kurt snapped back
there's also the letter of recommendation I got from Molly,”
rolled his eyes. “That was for a Guardian position.”
doesn't say nice things very often. I think she likes you,”
replied Marlowe, with way too much insinuation.
referrals from two respected magi. Hard to argue,” said Uriel.
does Molly even know about this?” Kurt asked.
chuckled. “Of course not. She would kill us. But we have few
other options at this point. The only other applicants were no
more qualified than you.”
you should pay more,” suggested Marlowe.
“Should...” Uriel nodded in concession. “...but won't. It is
still considered an entry level position.”
entry level, why didn't more people apply?” Kurt asked. Field
agent was a desirable career, and new positions didn't open up
often. Only one thing could have prevented magi from jumping at
this job: “Does everybody know what's been going on over there?”
to be the case,” Uriel muttered. “Having Grimoire 17 in the area
doesn't help matters much.”
smiled brightly and he raised his eyebrows. “Oh... Donovan did
end up with that?”
Uriel and Kurt looked at the Head of Student Affairs
suspiciously. “Mr. Marlowe, how would you know about Grimoire
17? I wasn't even forewarned of the transfer.”
get online more, U. One of the message boards I check out was
having a discussion on it. We knew it was up for transfer this
year, but didn't know who it was going to.”
so people knew about all that?” Kurt asked, now very concerned.
Uriel and Molly had agreed that anonymity was the key to keeping
the book safe.
shook his head. “No, just idle speculation. Donovan wasn't the
odds-on favorite to get the book, but he was on the list of
possible recipients. I mean why else would we have enlisted him?
But don't worry, I don't post. I only lurk. I like to see what
everybody else knows.”
cleared his throat. “In any event, we do have to get you up to
speed on your new duties. You'll start in two months when
Molly's unit returns from the academy.”
have a lot of ground to cover in a very short time. As you said,
we may have hired you, but you are not currently qualified,”
Marlowe said pleasantly.
shook his head. This was all pretty overwhelming, and while he
didn't have a choice in the matter anyway, a part of him didn't
mind getting to be around Troy, Kathryn and even Molly again. It
just wasn't a part that involved rationality: whatever training
was required to make him as capable as they needed, getting it
in just two months probably wasn't going to be fun.
the first step?” he asked.
off...” Uriel opened his briefcase and pulled another stack of
forms. “Let's fill out your W4. Got your Social Security card?”
groaned. His card was floating somewhere in the void with his