He came to the same conclusion I did. “My father.”
“I’ll find him. That way your mother won’t be upset. And I’ll make him tell me what it does. It might or might not be something you want to keep.” Maybe it would protect him. I could hope so.
The efreet might be an asshole, but he was still Derek’s father.
“You stay put and don’t try to make that thing do anything until I’ve shaken what it does out of his pockets.”
Derek laughed, perhaps at the image. “Don’t worry. I won’t. What if it does something on its own?”
“There’s a witch downstairs who can help,” I pointed out. Heading out the door with a wave to him.
“I know you didn’t say anything so as not to lead me, but that thing’s efreet made.”
“It’s a fire-stone, and yes. It’s probably meant to protect Derek or warn him.”
“I’m going to go find daddy dearest and make him tell us what.”
“I don’t want him having it.”
I met her gaze. “Derek needs protection until he can protect himself.”
“I’m going to talk to him. Trust me?”
“You’re…” Then she laughed. “I’ll try.”
That was a start on trust, at least. If she tried to trust me, then I could relax. If she was trying she wouldn’t actively stab me in the back.
“I like Derek. Sometimes I want to strangle him, and sometimes I don’t entirely trust him, but I like him.”
“I’m his mother. Wanting to strangle him is my job.”
I laughed, I couldn’t help it. Then I headed out, to bump into Kanesha.
“So, we’re going efreet hunting.”
She was right. My stomach was growling a little bit and she had to be far hungrier. “After dinner.”
“He shouldn’t be too hard to find.”
“Efreet only stand out so much. They’re more another kind of mortal than something like a dwarf. I’m going to need the dog.”
Kanesha nodded. “Well, let’s get pizza and talk about it.”
I knew she was right. She usually was.