Stand off. If I headed anywhere with fewer witnesses and cameras, they’d shoot at me. They’d do so faster than I would, although I did have my gun. It was loaded.
Maybe if I timed it right – but then somebody might see me trying to kill another human being. Somebody might see me succeeding.
“So. What exactly is it that I do? And don’t give me that bull that it’s breathing.”
“You’re part of the end. You’re going to be on the wrong side, that’s all, because if you aren’t, you’ll…your honor’s going to require it.”
Finally something of an explanation. “My family honor.”
“Screw that. I have a choice. Everyone has a choice.” I believed that. Whatever my absent parents might demand of me…well. They weren’t here.
“Not the likes of you.”
“I’m a girl. Not a monster, not a demon. And I won’t destroy the world.”
“Even if not doing so means dying?”
I considered that. “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. But I…won’t be part of the world ending.”
But what if I really didn’t have the choice? Or what if I changed my mind once I got my memories back? Maybe I was one of the bad guys.
Maybe my parents were rat bastards and I loved them anyway. This wasn’t about magic, though. It was about relationships, and I knew relationships. “You could try trusting me.”
“How can I?”
“You could try telling me the truth?” I knew as soon as I asked that I wouldn’t get any of that. Truth was a precious commodity, and everyone, on all sides, seemed determined to protect me from it.
“The second I do that, you’ll know why you’re part of it.” He let out a breath.
“We’re at a stalemate. This isn’t a good place to sort this out. You could…you could give me a chance.”
Tap. Tap. A cane on the floor. Ivory cane.
Tap! The cane was brought down with force. “None of you want to listen to me. You will now. Or I will call her Ladyship.”
That brought silence.
“I will tell her that you aren’t considering any alternatives for dealing with the problem this girl represents other than main force. I will tell her that you’re jeopardizing everything in your determination to ensure she won’t be a problem…even though you have no true evidence that she will.”
“Is ambiguous.” He offered me his arm. “Come on. I’ll escort you to safety.”
Not knowing quite what else to do, I acquiesced.