Well, I wanted the other kind of easy solution. Something I could just beat up. Attracting the ghost’s attention didn’t prove to be hard.
I was only lucky he didn’t show up when I was at school. Or at a shoot again. I felt his presence behind me and quickened my pace, then ducked into an alleyway.
This time, he had no minions. “I told you to stay out of my way.”
I turned. “You’re good,” I told him. “You’re the first person to beat me up in a long time. Not bad at all, but…look…”
“You’re protecting people who don’t deserve it.”
“No. I’m protecting that poor woman who’s body you’re using.”
“Not like she deserves it either. She was stupid.”
“She doesn’t deserve to live the rest of her life in jail or something because you used her body to kill somebody for being stupid.” I half-smiled at him. “Look. Can we resolve this without any more violence?”
“You’re only saying that because I kicked your ass.”
“Nah. I’m saying it because…you only kicked my ass because I was trying not to hurt you.” It sounded good. I even rather hoped it had some truth to it. The embarrassment of being beaten up could be mitigated that way.
“You were trying not to hurt her.”
“What did these people do to you to make you so mad?” I shot the question at him, once more wishing for my sword. Except the intimidation value was significantly reduced by the fact that he knew I didn’t want to hurt the woman. And he would have known that if I hadn’t said anything.
“It’s not what they did to me. It’s what they did to my granddaughter.”
I frowned. “You’re protecting your family. What happened?”
“They pulled her into their stuff. Which is fine. If Kerry wanted to be a witch, I wasn’t going to argue with that. Then they told her what she had to do to be initiated further. When she refused, they decided they’d call her a warlock.”
I sighed. “And then they tried to force her anyway, didn’t they. Where is she now?”
“With my wife. In Manassas. At an address they don’t know. If I was still alive I’d have come after them with a shotgun.”
And a jury might not have convicted him, either. “I won’t let you kill them. But I won’t let them carry on doing that kind of thing either.”
The question was how I stopped them.