Jill let out a scream of surprise. The small explosion had sent glass dust over the table and both women. Cal just stared at the hole in the map.
“What the hell was that?” Lucas’ asked from the doorway. He was clad in only his sleep shorts, his hair is disarray.
“I don’t know but it’s not good.” Cal was surprised her voice was so calm.
“Clearly. That much was obvious when I woke to an explosion. Are you alright?”
Call nodded. Lucas grabbed her still bleeding hand and brought it to his mouth.
“Do you have to do that in front of me?” Jill had never seen Lucas drink blood directly, only glasses of animal blood. She found it incredibly disgusting.
“Yes.” He stated, holding up Cal’s now fully healed palm for her to see.
“Cool trick.” It was still disgusting but the healing was impressive. No wonder Cal liked to have him around for spell casting if he could do that.
Lucas rolled his eyes, he and Jill tolerated each other but Cal had given up on them ever being friends.
“Is there anything else you can tell us about the disappearance?” Cal asked “Any small thing the family saw or heard that seemed odd.”
“Disappearance?” Cal filled Lucas in as briefly as she could.
Jill shook her head. “Not really. The sister, Abbie, said she heard music during the night. Probably from one of the other camps.”
There was something familiar about that. Then it clicked and Cal hoped she was wrong.
“Did it sound like a flute?”
“Yeah, she called it ‘pretty whistling.’”
“Bloody hell.” Lucas cursed
“Bad?” Jill asked.
“Fairies sometimes lure kids away with music. Flutes. They usually leave a changeling though.” Cal answered. Whatever had kept the fairy from making the changeling she was glad of it, the parents would never have known their child was missing and in a few months the magic animating the changeling would fail and it would seem to die.
“Wait. Fairies are real?”
“You’re surprised by that?” Lucas asked. “You already know that magic is real and that I am.”
“But Callie is human and you used to be”
“Well they exist, though most don’t venture into our world.” Lucas explained.
“Cal, haven’t you taught her anything?”
“That enough Lucas.” Cal snapped, their bickering was more than she could handle right then. “Go get dressed.”
Jill glared after him as he left. “I almost miss when he was manipulating me, he at least pretended to be nice.”
“If it makes you feel better, the fact he doesn’t means he has some respect for you.”
“I’m not sure that it does.” Jill changed the subject. ”Why would a fairy take a little kid?”
“Honestly, I have no idea why they do it. Grampa’s had more experience with fairies and I’m not sure he knows either.”
“So what are we going to do to find Matty?”
“I need you to go over to Grandpa’s and fill him in. Get him to drive with you up to his fishing cabin, its right on the lake. We’ll bring Matty to you when we find him.”
“Getting me out of the way?” Jill knew this was out of her depth, she was a cop not a mage. Fairies were not in her job description.
“Yes, but this is still important. Matty might be in bad shape when we find him. Fairies don't think the way we do, feeding him or keeping him warm just wouldn't occur to it." Cal explained, grateful for Jill's lack of a hero complex. Her own was enough to deal with. "Get the cabin ready and make sure it looks like you were staying there to help with the search."
"I'll give you a call on your cell when we have him. Don't try to call me, I don't want it going off at the wrong time."
"What if something happens to you?"
"That's why you need to take my grandfather with you, if anything does he'll know what to do."
Jill didn't look satisfied by that answer but she agreed to do what Cal asked and left to drive the couple miles to Cal’s grandfather Erasmus’ home.
Lucas sat on the edge of their bed while Cal dressed for the night’s work—a pair of soft old jeans and warm gray flannel shirt. She half crawled under the bed to retrieve her hiking boots.
“Are you sure this fairy hasn’t already taken the child across the Veil?”
“If it had I would have found nothing with the spell. It can take days for a weak spot to be thin enough to punch back through but they’re unpredictable.” Cal wiggled out from under the bed, boots in hand. “Wish I wasn’t going in so blind, fairy magic is weaker on this side but still…”
“We should hurry then.” The vampire sounded impatient. It wasn’t out of any concern for the little boy she knew. He enjoyed danger a bit too much, sometimes it scared her how much. He pulled an elegant swept hilt rapier from the closet. “Maybe I’ll get to use it?”
“I hope not, I’d rather avoid any real fighting. Could you grab my blue bag while you’re there.”
“I thought you didn’t want a fight?”
“It’s not the weapons I need.”
He handed her the small duffel bag, she made a quick check that everything was still in it. Satisfied with the contents she slung it over her shoulder.“Let’s go.”
Part IV -- Part VI