“Easy, easy, shit, easy.” Luke almost lost his hold on the girl as she did her best to scramble out of his hands, over him, and onto the dog-boy. Or, at least, he was pretty sure that’s where she was going. Mike, on the other hand, shouted a Working so fast that his words blurred together and so loudly they might have heard it back at Addergoole, and the dog-boy fell asleep.
Almost abashed, Luke remembered he could do Workings, and, in a much quieter, much more soothing tone, did a Calm Down working on the cat-girl. “Easy, easy. Okay. There.” She was looking at him, sleepy now but definitely calm. “Okay. So, do you understand me?”
She shook her head no. Luke managed not to laugh in her face.
“Do you have a name?”
She had to think about that. After a moment, she offered “Cat.”
“Well, that’s a label, at least. Hello, Cat. I’m Luke.”
“Loooo-kuh,” she tried, and nodded. “Luke.” The second time, it sounded almost an echo of how he’d said it.
“This place, it’s not safe. There’s-”
“Bad things,” she agreed, and then a string of something that Luke only belatedly recognized as Japanese.
He peered at her. Blondish, maybe, under all the dirt. Had Leo passed through here recently? Would have to ask.
“Easy, easy. My Japanese is pretty rusty. If you come with us, we can find you a safe place to stay.”
“He’s going to have to come too. Sorry.”
“Dog good,” she nodded. “Better than -” she hesitated, and then offered uncertainly, “-the bad things.”
“Well, that’s an endorsement all right. Come with me, then, Cat?”
She nodded. Hesitantly, Luke released one of her wrists.
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