Thea showed up at the safe house later. “I got him out of town. By the time the kelpie wakes up, he’ll be out of range.”
“Good. Of course, that means it’ll come after me. I need to talk to Bruce.”
Thea nodded, as if she knew exactly who I meant. Maybe she did. “Good idea. He’s one of the few you don’t have to worry about involving.”
“Because he already is.” A flat statement, there, knowing it might well be my fault he was.
“Has been for years.” Thea smiled. “He probably can’t do it, he’s better at divination, but he might well know somebody who can.”
“I’ll talk to him tomorrow. How long do you think we have?”
“A few days. Probably no more than a week.”
I headed inside, headed for my sword. I still wanted to use it on the monster. Or on something. Maybe a spar would get the tension out of me, but instead I touched it once before moving to the fridge to get something to eat.
Cold pizza. It would do. I’d eaten plenty of cold pizza in my time. Had come to almost prefer it over fresh, hot pizza. I tugged out a slice, munching on it even before I was sitting down, leaving the box out for Thea.
She indulged, settling down next to me.
“So, that kid’s a telepath?”
“Something like that. It’s pretty rare. But kelpies feed on magic and psychic abilities. And flesh when they can get it.”
“Poor guy.” I didn’t envy him. “He’ll be…”
“…better off in nowhere, West Virginia. I sent him somewhere he’ll get what he needs. A small town where he won’t be as overwhelmed. He’ll learn to properly shield and with luck he won’t take any more drugs.”
“I suppose it’s lucky he bumped into me.” If it was luck. But no. I wasn’t sure whether I believed in fate, but I wasn’t about to let it believe in me.
I wasn’t going to be anyone’s pawn. Even gods. Which was, yes, the kind of attitude that got a girl smited, but I really didn’t care. If they were going to smite me for not being meek, then they weren’t gods I was interested in. “So, what else is real? Everything?”
“Depends on your definitions of real and everything.”
I freed a hand to swat her. “Gods. Fairies. Monsters.”
“Gods, definitely. Does that bother you?”
“I don’t want to grovel and worship. Anyone.”
“There’s the Old Man.” She didn’t explain and I didn’t push.
Somebody Thea would grovel before, though, was a scary idea. Even more scary than the thought of Mr. Otter showing up.
I pretended great interest in my cold pizza.