Episode Three: Her Ladyship: Scene 16

We weren’t letting Kanesha out of our sight right now. I felt bad about it, but we genuinely felt she might get snatched again.

So, all three of us had found a booth at the Hard Times Cafe. I’d miss this eating out thing if everything was fixed and Thea left town.

This having money thing. This having money and not having to work for it, that is. I had some money from my job, but it mostly went towards clothes. Even if I had had it to spare to go out, I worked most evenings.

I’d seen that as being the way things were, but I had more resonance with affluence. Kanesha? She was enjoying her chili.

“So,” Thea said, finally, glancing around to check who was in earshot. “Their high priestess or whatever isn’t sure, this one higher up is trying to apply leashes, but the hounds won’t be recalled?”

“That’s about the face of it.” I fell silent to enjoy a couple more mouthfuls. “I don’t see an easy way to convince them to go home and leave me alone. They’d rather risk one way than the other.”

“Stupid. Pick the option they can’t fix.”

She didn’t say that can’t be fixed. “I think he’s already pointed that out to them. I’d rather have giant fairies than this.”

“Giant fairies?” Kanesha asked. “And set the cops on them?”

“You know the DC police. They’re only good at riot control and drug busts.” Thea, cynical, reaching for her beer.

“And shooting the mayor’s dog.” Kanesha’s eyes twinkled.

“That,” I pointed out, “was Prince George’s County. DC cops are incompetent, not utterly stupid. There’s a difference. But Thea’s point is…honestly, involving the cops is going to end up with dead cops. These people are a comedy of errors, but the cops are Keystonian.” I was proud of myself for that particular reference. Even though I wasn’t sure where it was from and wasn’t sure the person who had given it to me knew either.

“You’re right. But what about more competent cops. Anonymous tip to the FBI?”

I pursed my lips. “That’s not a bad idea. Or, worse, we could try and set them up to look like terrorists. I mean, they’re basically organized crime already.”

That might bring some competent people around.

“The terrorism gambit’s too risky. It could backfire and then we would be the ones arrested. Federal drugs charges would be safer.”

I nodded, glancing at Kanesha. “It’s a thought.” I realized I’d almost finished my chili, a huge portion. Probably all the running around I’d done lately. “I just want this resolved so I can go back to school. More importantly, so Kanesha can.”

I was heading towards dropping out. Kanesha was heading to a scholarship. And it wasn’t just memories. She really was a lot smarter than me, at least when it came to things like math and history. I felt even more regret about having dragged her into this.
“Maybe…wait. I think I do have an idea.”

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