“Sir. Put the girl down.”
“I don’t like people getting in my business. I don’t people assuming things that aren’t true,” Erramun-as-Eddy snarled. Senga sort of wanted to be down, because the tension in the guards’ voices sounded like it was ratcheting up and she couldn’t see their faces.
“We’re not getting in your business. We’re just gonna call a taxi for the girl, okay?”
“It’s fine,” Senga-as-Susie warbled. “This is fine – wheee – though maybe I should be on my feet, Eddy? I might, uh. You know what happens when I’m upside down and uh. Uh.”
Erramun set her back down carefully, keeping himself between her and the guards. “Come on, Susie. We ought to go home, they’re right,” he allowed, with a reluctant-sounding grumble. “I’ll make you a hot cocoa and we can watch some stupid old movie, all right?”
“Okay, Eddie. I mean, maybe a margarita and a hot cocoa?”
She peeked around him to waggle her fingers at the guards. The one who was less grumpy waved back at her, earning a smack from his partner.
“Susie, you’ve had enough for three people. Maybe eight. Come on, sweetie.”
Ezer had been talking to them for three or four minutes, but Senga wasn’t listening. She had two guards looking at her, one of whom was listening to his radio all of a sudden.
“Let’s go home,” she agreed. “Come on, Eddy.” She bounced a little, making sure that both guards got an eyeful, and skipped towards the door.
“Something’s going on,” one of the guards muttered. “Stop! Hey-”
Senga turned to look at them in obvious confusion. “We didn’t do anything.”
Erramun took her hand. “Come on, Susie, they’re clearly busy with something. Let’s get out of here.”
“I don’t know, Eddy, they seem kind of – hey!” She had a heartbeat to notice the guy behind the guards with the gun before Erramun had moved her and a sensation like her ears popping wooshed in, followed by utter silence.
Erramun moved faster than anything she’d ever seen. Fast, silent, and a blur. She glanced at the cameras; they should be off, but there shouldn’t be someone with a gun here, so she didn’t know how far things had gone off plan.
Workings took voicing. She moved her mouth and found that, while the sound did not get far enough to let her ears hear it, she could still make, if nothing audible, somehow, Workings.
The cameras sparked slightly. Electronics Workings weren’t her best. Another Working and a fire lit in the recording room; those were some of her best Workings.
And then Erramun had her over his shoulder and they were leaving, leaving at a speed that left her feeling abraded by the air.
The sound returned as they exited, just in time to hear the crack of a bullet being fired. Erramun grunted softly and kept walking, muttering another Working under his breath.
Senga could track some of the Words he was whispering, something about disguise, something about Body and – that had to be something like flying object in Greek. She wanted to tell him to put her down but she didn’t want to distract him when he was Working.
Out of the building, around the corner, suddenly moving very quickly, and then, finally, he sat her down and grunted quietly. “Well,” he breathed, “you managed not to get any holes in your dress. They were fighting as we left. They’re not going to chase us. They shouldn’t have shot at us.”
“Us.” She grabbed his arms; he was beginning to look a little ashen. “Ezer?” she murmured.
Erramun looked down at her, something of a struggle on his face. She released one arm so she could walk halfway behind him. There, hie left shoulder. Had the shot gone wide or had they been aiming for a non-lethal shot? “Ezer, what went wrong?”
“Damned if I know. Allayne was in and out of there. Chitter did everything right. Then all of a sudden someone’s freaking out. Are you okay? We heard the gunshot.”
“I’m okay. I’m fine. But Erramun isn’t. He took a bullet.” She pulled a bandage from her purse and began working it under his shirt enough to seal. It didn’t have to hold for long, but blood loss wasn’t good even for ancient fae
“Shit, shit. All right. Can you make it to the extraction point?”
“Yeah. Yeah, I think we can get that far. Just don’t take too long.”
“M’fine,” Erramun grunted. “It’s just a bullet.”
She finished sealing the bandage on him. “I’m allowed to worry,” she reminded him. “It’s in the job description.”
“Hrmph.” He rolled his shoulders. “Damn. That’s gonna leave a mark.”
“Not when Allayne’s done.” She wrapped her hand around his. “You made it look like they missed?”
“Yeah. You followed that?” He eyed her with an expression of surprise. Senga reminded herself firmly that he was more than twice her age and didn’t snarl at him.
Much. “I’m pretty good at Greek. All this wandering into places and getting shot.”
“You’d have to be,” he agreed. “I figured, if they fired wildly and thought they’d missed, they might just be glad that they weren’t going to get sued. If they knew that they hit me, they’d want to call an ambulance, and then there’s our cover and the fact that I’d have to put up with human healing when I know that Allayne can fix the wound a lot neater.”
“Fast thinking.” She started them walking in the right direction. “Is it still hidden?”
“From everyone but you.” He cleared his throat. “Figured my Owner had a right to know what was going on with me.” He was walking without any apparent effort. Senga wondered how long he could keep going.
“Thank you.” She squeezed his hand. “So. Something went wrong.”