Bruce drove like he’d learned from a New York cabbie. And his car showed it. It was a junker and it took me two attempts to close the passenger side door, thanks to the dent in it. It also smelled faintly of herbs.
He drove like a maniac out towards Falls Church, out onto fifty. I tried not to double check my seatbelt too obviously. I felt considerably less safe than on Thea’s bike, and then felt even less safe when somebody passed us who was driving even worse, not staying in his lane, weaving to and fro. I pulled out my cell phone, bent on calling 911 and getting the guy pulled over, then decided against it.
Cell phones were traceable in the movies. They were probably traceable in reality too. Besides, I didn’t want to talk to the cops. A moment later, sirens arced past us. I relaxed. Looked like it was going to be dealt with.
As long as they didn’t pull us over too, which as Bruce cut off an SUV with about eight kids in it to take a right exit I hadn’t even seen coming seemed frighteningly likely. We made it safely, though, and I had to grudgingly admit he knew what he was doing, and on the side roads it didn’t seem quite as scary as it had on the highway.
And side roads, and smaller side roads, until eventually he pulled up outside a huge house with a huge yard. Whoever this specialist was, she wasn’t poor. True, house prices weren’t as crazy here as they were in the city, but this thing was a young mansion.
With some beautiful mature trees in the yard. I wasn’t the tree hugger type, but they were gorgeous. Being a city girl, I didn’t get to see big trees very often, and I stopped for a moment to appreciate them as we headed to the house. Which seemed a little…less than well kept as we reached it. The yard was fine, the house?
Somebody enjoyed gardening and hated housework. Somebody also did not lock her front door. The place smelled slightly of litter trays not emptied quite as often as they might be. A silver grey cat padded up to me and sniffed in disdain, then headed up the stairs, tail bouncing behind her.
Bruce held up four fingers. Which wasn’t as many as I’d have expected. A voice came from the kitchen, “Get your butt in here, Bruce.”
I didn’t ask how she knew. Magic or, more likely, she was expecting us. I still thought she should lock her door. Even behind us. It would have made me feel more safe.
Bruce, for his part, laughed and headed into the kitchen. Which was messy, but not in an unkempt sense. She was in the middle of canning something. There were cans and bowls of berries and stuff everywhere. “Let me get you some tea. This is the young lady with the problem?”
“Fairy problem. Bruce said you might be able to make it go away.”
“First we have to find it.”
I smiled. “That shouldn’t be a problem.”