The next day, a door slammed in the flat, waking Valorie up. Groaning, she resurfaced from under the folds of her blanket, feeling a dull pain in her shoulder. She looked. It was beginning to heal, but still looked rather nasty. Valorie resisted the urge to poke at it.
She was still wearing the flowery shirt and hideous yellow skirt from yesterday. Sophie’s clothes. She was wearing a dead person’s clothes. She wanted to tear them off and burn them, but Adam would probably have something to say about it.
She sat up, expecting to see Adam staring at her as usual. But he wasn’t there.
Valorie got up, padding around the cold, unheated flat. He was nowhere to be seen. How very odd.
Once again, Valorie tried to use her powers, tried to teleport. She concentrated as much as she was able, but still nothing happened.
She should have known. The bracelet worked too well. Valorie had wondered if it was any less effective when Adam wasn’t there with her, but obviously it wasn’t. Despite being possessive and weird, Adam Quinn was a very powerful Wizard.
She strolled into the kitchen, and saw the toast resting in the toaster. It had obviously been done a few hours ago and not retrieved. Valorie popped it down again, and waited a few minutes for it to warm up. She wandered around the kitchen with one eye on the toaster.
Where had Adam disappeared to? It wasn’t like him. The last few days stuck in this flat had been a regime of CONSTANT VIGILANCE. So where was he now? Had they run out of food, or what?
The toast was starting to burn, so Valorie salvaged it and scraped off the soot. She bit into it, not bothering to find some butter. It was alright.
Valorie was just beginning to enjoy being in the flat alone, when Adam returned. He had a carrier bag in his hand.
‘Where were you?’ Valorie asked, disinterested.
‘We needed a few things. I’ve just left the flat and phoned Charley. He seemed very concerned and wanted to know where we were, but I wouldn’t tell him. Must have slipped my mind. Oh well.’
‘Ha ha ha, that’s not funny at all. Did you call anyone else?’
‘Just O’Hanlon. Telling him about how much pain I’m putting you through. He seems a bit annoyed, but since he doesn’t like you very much, I don’t think it’s having the desired effect.’
‘That’s not very funny either. Nice try though.’
Adam placed the carrier bag on the sideboard. ‘You ate my toast.’
‘Yes, I did.’
Valorie peered into the bag. There was milk, a few cereal packets, some tinned stuff and some cheese. There were also several packets of chewing gum, which Adam promptly locked away in one of the drawers.
‘Mine,’ he said simply.
Valorie merely nodded. She moved her shoulder without meaning to and felt a twinge of pain. Fortunately, Adam didn’t notice.
‘I’m going to watch TV,’ she said. She walked over to the sofa, and sat down. Adam took a seat at the table, getting out some paper and pens, ready to draw.
They began to watch ‘How Clean is your House?’
Unknown to the two of them Charley had reached the outside of Joe’s flat. Eddie, and Mr Morse, whom he thought could be useful, accompanied him. Mrs Morse had been left in the car.
‘She doesn’t like it,’ Mr Morse told Charley. ‘I hope you know that. She doesn’t appreciate this at all.’
Charley exhaled. ‘Maybe she’ll appreciate it a bit more once we safely reclaim your daughter. I couldn’t risk bringing her up here, she could jeopardise the entire operation.’
‘Yeah sure,’ Eddie said sarcastically. ‘You know what mothers are like, eh Charley?’
‘Could you shut up, I’m trying to think!’
They let him think. Charley quietly reached for the door handle, gripped and twisted. Nothing.
He yanked. Still nothing.
‘It’s definitely locked,’ he told everyone. ‘Eddie could walk through the door and get in, but I don’t like the idea of her going against Adam by herself.’
‘Sure, leave it to the men.’
‘Shut up,’ Charley said again. ‘We have to find a way for us all to enter the flat at once. That way we have more chance of getting Valorie back safely.’
Mr Morse shook his head. ‘Well, how do we do that?’
‘Let me think about this. What are our powers? Mine are etheric projection and light manipulation, Eddie’s are wall-walking and sound manipulation… yours are…?’
‘Levitation and technopathy.’
Charley smiled. ‘I have a plan.’