Episode Three: Her Ladyship: Scene 8

“Hold still,” Thea said, prying the bullet out of my arm. “You’ll be fine…pretty much a flesh wound.”

I let out my breath as she moved to bandage the wound. A hospital would ask too many questions, but I could tell she knew what she was doing.

Kanesha was sat on the bed, her knees drawn to her chest, studiously not watching what was going on. I couldn’t blame her. I didn’t want to think about it either. “Thanks,” I managed, then went over to her.

I didn’t ask if she was okay, the way most people probably would have. She clearly wasn’t okay, any more than I was, really. I’d be okay, but I wasn’t okay right now. Instead, I sat down next to her. “I’m…sorry.”

“What, that you have enemies?”

“That they got to you.” I was determined, now, to stop these people in their tracks. To stop them before they tried anything else.

Before somebody got killed, most especially somebody who wasn’t me. I didn’t want to die. I wanted somebody else to die even less.

Okay, that wasn’t true. I’d cheerfully kill the lot of them.

“So. What is really going on?” She turned towards me, unhooking her arms, curling her legs under her. She’d removed her shoes. “Other than…this is crazy, Jane.”

“I know.”

“I don’t want to believe in magic.” She shivered, glancing at Thea. “But you can’t tell me that was a bike.”

“No. I can’t. Look…”

“Look what? I can’t leave the city…I’d end up on the streets. You know what I’d end up doing.”

I wished I could say otherwise, but I did know. “We’ll…we’ll work something out.”

“So, the only choice I have is to help you kick these people’s butts. Next time, they won’t catch me by surprise.”

“Kanesha…” I didn’t want her involved, black belt or no black belt. I didn’t want her part of this. “You’ll get…”

“Kidnapped? Hurt? I walk out of here they’ll just grab me again, now they know I’m usable bait.”

I frowned. I hadn’t thought of that. Maybe if I’d ignored the entire thing they’d have let her go as useless. And gone for somebody else, like Barry again.

“They’re going down,” I said, finally. “I’m not putting up with this crap any more.” I glanced at Thea. No. If she’d thought it was that much of a screwup, she’d have stopped me. “Thea? We need a plan. How many of your sisters are available?”

“Four, right now.” She stretched a little bit. Then she turned to Kanesha. “You could get hurt or killed. We can probably get you to safety.”

“I’m staying.”

The insistence in her voice was not something I wanted to argue with.

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