"Yeah, phone call, great," she muttered as she scrolled to the bottom of the page. Her hands shook as she lifted the receiver of her office phone out of its cradle, and she dialed the number. Each time the phone rang on the other end, her breath caught in her throat, and her heart pounded.
Zeara's entire being seemed to fill with ice at the sound of the voice on the line. She knew who it was, and somehow she was both relieved and terrified all at once. Relieved because it wasn't someone she didn't know, yet terrified because it was the last person in the world she wanted to speak to. "Karma," she replied, trying to keep her tone steady.
At the mention of Karma, Zane's eyes went wide and he began gesturing for the phone. Zeara ignored him and attempted to concentrate on what the woman was saying.
"Aye. My heart rejoices that you took my advice. I did not wish to have to kill you. You know how to get there, yes?"
"Oh, I'm so glad I could make your day." She winced at her words. What was she doing baiting this woman? This creature? Karma had already made it clear she could kill Zeara, so it made no logical sense to antagonize her.
Fuck logic; she scares the hell out of me. That's why I'm raising my metaphorical hackles and growling at her. Because I'm fear-bluffing.
Rationalizing it didn't really help make her feel any better. "Wolf Pines isn't too far away. Give me time to swing by my house and grab my things, then I'll be on my way. I should be there in about four hours from now," she said in an attempt to hurry along the conversation.
"Not alone, I think," Karma replied. "The man made it obvious we were to employ you and a female named Braelyn?"
"Brae will not be coming," Zeara said with more force than she intended. "I'd like to keep the oblivious and innocent as far away from this as possible. We don't need anyone else with good intentions getting screwed."
Zane gasped, his eyes wide in surprise and his mouth hanging open. His shock was so obvious that Zeara was certain she could push him over with a feather at the moment. On the other end of the phone, Karma laughed, the sound almost friendly.
"Aye, 'tis true enough. The boy, then?"
Zeara hesitated, gazing up at Zane with pleading eyes. Say no. Say you've changed your mind. Run away, far, far away! "Zane is—"
She winced as he hollered the words. Magic leaped up from his basket and glowered at the man. A small growl emitted from his throat. Zeara couldn't agree more with the irritation her cat was expressing.
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