Episode Twenty-Eight: Graduation: Scene 18

The panicked phone call from Derek came two seconds later.

“I thought you were with Thea.” I used that name, because I might be overheard. Or tapped.

“I was. She sent me home at lunch time. I decided to go for a walk instead. Now I’m hiding in an alleyway.”

I glanced at Kanesha. “Where?”

“Northeast. Uh…” He gave an address I wasn’t convinced was accurate.

Apparently he’d decided to visit some interesting alternative shops on his walk – I couldn’t think of any other reason he’d be in Northeast. I ran for the zoo entrance with Kanesha behind me. There was a bus. It was right there, so I swung onto it. She was a moment later.

“What’s the rush?” the driver asked.

“Friend needs a rescue,” I said, truthfully. I just didn’t specify what from. Let him think it was some teenaged relationship issue or the like.

Something like that would make sense to him. I dropped onto one of the priority seats.

“Close enough to a direct route,” Kanesha murmured. “We got lucky.”

“Or had some subtle assistance.”
Derek might be of interest in several quarters. And Sarael might well have been capable of enough probability manipulation for this. I still wasn’t entirely clear on everything an angel could do. I should ask, except it seemed a very personal question.

Off the bus, we were only a block away. I ran. Found the place where Derek said he was.

There was no sign of him. Only his phone on the ground – whoever had taken him had known enough to drop it.

I cursed profusely in Old Norse.

Kanesha started to reach for the phone. “We’ll find him.”

“Don’t. I don’t want your scent on it.”

She looked at me, then nodded in understanding. I focused on calling a certain fyrhund.

It appeared, running up the street in the shape of a bloodhound, no doubt sensing what job I had for it today. I scratched it behind the floppy ears, then indicated the phone.

“Find the owner for me.”

Only after he’d got a good sniff of the scent did Kanesha pick the phone up and put it in her pocket. “They can’t have gone too far.”

“Unless they took him to Hell.”

They couldn’t take his soul without agreement, but they might be able to drag him with them while still alive.

She shuddered. “In which case…”

“We’ll still find him. One way or another.”

The dog set off at a trot. I jogged after him, hoping I was wrong. It would be much easier to find Derek if he was still on Midgaard.

And much less traumatic for the kid.

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