“Thanks,” Zaid said. “I know you’re probably busy…”
“Honestly, it was nice to have something we could solve. How about we finish breakfast?”
We went back inside before our breakfast got cold. The waitress came over. “What was that about?”
“Oh, somebody took exception to Zaid’s…” I tailed off.
“Somebody doesn’t like people like me,” he explained.
“Thanks for taking it outside.”
“I wanted to come back here,” I said. “It’s good French toast.”
She grinned. “If they come back, we’ll ask them to leave.”
“Thanks. I don’t think they will, though. Kanesha practiced her black belt on them.”
The grin became a laugh and then she slapped Kanesha on the shoulder. “Those are always handy.”
And, somehow, our bill wasn’t quite as high as expected. I didn’t ask or question it. Instead, I filled Zaid in on everything that was going on.
“Hrm. Efreet make weapons using fire like that.”
“The only efreet I know hits on everything female in sight, especially underage.”
They made a face. “I’ll see if I can find a nicer one.”
“Thanks.” I let out a breath. “Any other ideas?”
“I knew that.”
Kanesha rolled her eyes. “Maybe it is time to take him out.”
“Right. But I’ve had it pointed out that he could be replaced by somebody worse if we’re not careful.” Or by me. Or…well…I didn’t want to go anywhere else with it.
“Good point.” She glanced at Zaid.
“Well. Magic drain is usually a reversible problem. It’s not like fossil fuel depletion.” They drummed on the table.
“I’m going to try and get my hand on one of the weapons.”
“Call me when you do. I’ll bring somebody who can look at it.”
I nodded. “Thanks.”
“Hey. I owe you.”
I thought about that. “Like I said, it was nice to have a problem I could immediately solve. As opposed to all the ones I can’t.”
They laughed at that. “Welcome to adulthood.”
I decided they had a point there.
But it was still frustrating.