I chained up the bike while Layla adjusted her hair in a reflective shop window. “You look beautiful stop worrying.” She blushed and quickly turned from the window and led me down the street to their quaint little coffee house on the corner.
“Hey I know this place.” I studied the old building and the street signs. “This used to be a tailors, I got my first suit here!”
She smiled. “Me to, but they’ve moved to porter street now.”
“We may need to go there later.” I warned her. “Morgan needs a suit; it’s a long story I’ll tell you when we sit down.”
We got in and ordered. It was rounding about four o’clock and neither of us had eaten lunch so we both ordered baguettes that I ended up mostly eating.
“So the ghost of this girl found you?” Her eyes lit up over the edge of her giant white coffee cup as I told my tale.
“Yep. Anyhow that's how Morgan and I found each other really, that and Morgan’s friend Gloria could see that we were both Faerie.”
“Wow, so this bus sounds like a kind of strange world. Like it had a touch of destiny about it.”
“I’m sure it did.” I smiled, thinking back to Ash and Gloria and everyone else.
“So why does Morgan need a suit?” She had obviously been trying to work it out since I mentioned it.
“I’ve called a meeting with the council. There is a lot depending on it and I want her to look smart.” I deliberately avoided telling her about Ash. If anyone got dragged into this it wouldn’t be her.
“She leaves an impression that girl.” She stared deep into her half empty cup before looking at me. “I can understand why Theo was talking about her so much the other night on the drive home.” She began swirling her cup around and tapped the table with the other, her long polished nails leaving little scratches in the soft wood surface.
“You’re worried about her aren’t you?” I placed my hand over one of hers in a comforting way which made her go slightly red. “Take your mind off them there’s nothing more we can teach them.” She sighed.
“I just feel so helpless, I believe in Katha but I don’t even know what they are doing out there. Tom used to deal with all of that.” Her eyes sparkled with the beginnings of tears but she blinked them back and pretended she was fine. It was a convincing act; she had probably managed to perfect if over the last three months.
“Did they catch the murderer?” I quietly asked. I had found it helpful when Serena left me to talk about some of the facts with someone I trusted and felt comfortable around. I know death is different to divorce and having the one you love disown you but I thought it might have been a similar concept. It was probably worse knowing that the person you love will never come back but died loving you than that they are still out there somewhere but you drove them away.
I just hoped she trusted me enough to let it out.
“No,” Any trace of excess water disappeared from her eyes and they were filled with heat. A hatred heat, we fire faerie are subject to having powerful anger. “He's still out there, living, breathing, probably without a trace of regret.” Her voice grew darker until the wood under her hand caught alight and brought her back down out of her bubble of hatred towards the killer. “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry.” She apologised to the waiter who clearly not gifted with a water affinity threw a jug of iced tea over the flames.
“We better have the bill, before they kick us out.” I laughed.
“I am so sorry. I just lost control a bit.” She apologised into her lap.
“It’s ok, last time I really got angry I ended up burning a monkey wrench into this guys arm. So really it could be worse, and at least you warmed your coffee back up.”
She laughed at the steaming mug she had spent ten minutes cooling. Her eyes grew dark again for a few seconds as she said “I sometimes pray they don’t find him, I don’t know if I could stop myself avenging Tom. Then what would happen to my poor Katha?”