I walked a small distance behind Walker and Emerson but we didn’t walk much farther when I saw Emerson take a deep breath. I saw fire pull in from the elements around him and build in his chest. It was like watching a slow motion reel in the movie theater. I threw a wall of air between Walker and the dragon about to rain hell upon my partner. The second it solidified the fire was beating against it. And in the next the dragon was lying on the ground, his neck wrenched to the side with a weave of air and his green eyes were glazed over and fading into their dragon form.
Walker turned and looked back at me. His eyes were wide and his jaw fell slack. I smiled and wove a veil around us as we dealt with a dead dragon. I gave Walker a small smile and knelt down next to Emerson and sighed. “I don’t think we’ll get any information out of him now.”
Walker just stood and watched as I crafted air bonds to carry the now dead dragon to head quarters for proper treatment. I would have handed him over to the dragons, but since he was a criminal he was Venatori’s to do with as they desired. His body would likely go in the incinerator. But you never knew what they would do.
By the time we got back upstairs to headquarters I was drained. My magical ability wasn’t a determent to me unless I was forced to take a life with it. It pulled life from me each time I defended myself with it. It required balance. And it looked like this mission was going to take a toll on my ability.
Walker was walking slowly by my side as we took the stairs all the way to the top. He wasn’t panting or even breathing heavy, which was a testament to Venatori strength and stamina. We reached the landing of the hunting offices and Walker put his hand on my arm before I reached the door. He smiled and said, “Thank you.”
“There is no need to thank me. I would have done it for anyone in the same position. It’s my job to protect the innocent.” I smiled back as I leaned against the wall for support.
“You look like shit,” he said.
“Killing takes a while to recover from in a literal and metaphorical sense.” I couldn’t explain to Walker something he wouldn’t understand. I couldn’t explain Life essence to him because Life was not something we were taught, yet it still lived in the patterns we created every day. It was how I could heal. And killing destroyed life essence, I’d hurt myself in the process of taking Emerson’s life. And my body needed to recover from it just like any other injury. It was all about balance and I had disrupted it.
Walker frowned. “Why do you do it then?”
I shrugged. “It’s faster. I deal. And also why I don’t kill often.”
“A gun would have worked just as easily.” Walker’s conviction echoed in the stair well.
“How do you explain a gun shot with no body? Or stray bullets? I can control every aspect of my ability. I’m more comfortable with it.” I sighed.
“Maybe that’s why no one uses their ability like you?” Walker asked. It was a rhetorical question, but I shrugged anyway. I doubted anyone even thought that it affected you in that way.
We hadn’t even made it to Dae’lin’s office before the short raven haired woman stormed around the corner and stomped to a stop in front of us. “I thought the object was to capture him alive?”
Walker laughed. “Because he attacked me. I would have been a barbecued Venatori if it were not for Nox’s quick thinking.”
Dae’lin sighed. “Your next plan? The only other contact was connected to a Voice over IP account that bounced all over the world. We can’t track it. It’ll take days.”
I smiled. “I’ll send it to Ant. Jack can look at it. He’s a far better hacker than anyone in our employ.”
“Because he’s a path.” Dae’lin frowned. “Why do you keep using favor’s Nox?”
“I don’t do favor’s Dae’lin. I pay for services rendered.”
“What will you pay Wynn?” Dae’lin asked.
“I won’t pay Jack anything. I will pay whatever Cari wishes to ask for.”
“Nox, you can’t afford this.”
“What makes you think I can’t afford whatever Il Cane will ask of me?” I asked curiously.
“How much will it cost you?”
I shrugged. “Maybe a pint or so of blood, maybe it’ll cost me working a vamp case with Ant, or Tony. It could cost me a favor to be extended later when she needs it. With Cari I really have no idea what she’ll ask of me to use Jack.”
“Is it safe Nox? She is not stable.”
I smiled. “Dae’lin, any random person here in the Venatori is more likely to hurt me than Cari Giovanni is.”
I pulled my phone out of my pocket and dialed Ant’s number. He answered on the first ring. “What do you want?”
“Same thing I always want.”
“To take over the world Pinky.”
Ant laughed. “Do you ever get tired of that joke?”
I smirked, “Nope. But I do need something.”
“You always do. How can I help you, Nox?”
“I need Jack’s help. Any chance he’s in town?”
“He’s not in town. He’s with Cari in Italy. And no Internet connection. He’s going insane.”
“That sucks. But give him my sympathies.”
Ant added after a few moments of silence. “He gave me a name and place I can get Truth if I need a hacker. I’ll send you the name, but he won’t work with anyone he doesn’t trust.”
“And he trusts Jack?” I asked.
“Jack trusts The Wicked Truth and told me how to gain his trust. Or how to blackmail him if I had to.”
“Blackmail is hardly necessary. But I’d appreciate your help, Ant.”
“I’ll pick you up at 8 tonight and we’ll go find Truth.” Ant said.
“I have a partner on this one. That alright?”
Ant laughed. “That’s a new one.”
“We’ll see you tonight.” I hung up after Ant agreed.
Walker sighed, “Another late night?”
“Looks that way.” I said. “I’m gonna get my a few things done then we’ll go with Ant at 8.”