For Rix_Scaedu‘s commissioned prompt.
“Aly,” he called, and gestured for the third of his employees to guard the kids. Viatrix didn’t have the kill-the-trouble-now face on, but she did look worried.
“What is it… hunh.” The two women in the doorway tickled half a memory for him. He’d seen their faces before, somewhere, the taller one more than the shorter one.
“Oh, hell no.” The taller one was carrying blades. Four of them. The shorter one was carrying a single rapier. “I heard that this was a safe house. That was a bad joke, right?”
Viatrix looked between the two women, and back to Baram. “He doesn’t remember you,” she explained. “He doesn’t remember much at all longer than a year ago.”
He remembered that look on people’s faces, though. Monster. Creature. Kill it. Not the one that replaced that – anger with no target, loss, confusion. “He doesn’t remember?” She turned to face him directly, still keeping her body between the shorter girl and him. “You don’t remember me? You raped me and you don’t remember me? I have your SON and you don’t remember me?”
“Callie,” the shorter girl murmured, “not on the street, okay?”
He looked the two girls over, and noted the children in the car. “Not on the street. I promise, if you don’t attack me, I will offer you no harm while you’re in my house. Come in.” Raped her. Had he? Monster. Creature. Kill him.
The two visitors shared a look, and then the taller one, Callie, Callie, he almost remembered a Callie, looked at Viatrix. “Does he speak for you?”
“If you don’t harm me or mine, I promise I won’t harm you or yours,” Via shrugged. “He’s my employer, not my Keeper.”
“You stay here of your own free will?” That was the short one this time, staring at Viatrix.
Via wasn’t Jaelie, but she could read a situation, better than Baram could. She stepped out of the way, letting the two women into his cave. “He keeps us and our kids safe. I guess we are a safe house, if you come down to it.”
Safe house. Baram couldn’t help a smile. The monster ran a safe house.
Next: Signal Fire
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