Book 2, Chapter 078

Michael crept as stealthily as he could after Rachel. Fortunately, the parking lot was empty: the patrons had already gone into the theatre and presumably found their seats. The play would be starting soon.

If I had known it would be this easy, Michael thought, I wouldn’t have bothered hiring those kidnappers. He slipped a stungun out of his fanny pack: Michael had learned not to rely on magic to coerce other practitioners. Enough raw magic would disrupt any structured spell that wasn’t anchored with a full ritual, so mundane methods were often the best since any spell caster worth his salt could throw out raw, unformed magic.

Rachel wasn’t a spell caster, of course, but there was enough unshaped magic whipping about as her aura that Michael had made the point of picking up some non-lethal mundane options, just in case he needed to… coerce… her. The stungun, however, was just a part of his usual ‘hunting for sacrifices’ kit.

For her part, Rachel was too distracted to notice the necromancer that was sneaking up behind her. She got to her car and started fumbling with her keys. She was muttering to herself as she did: she was too angry to trust herself to control her volume if she just talked.

“I can’t believe…!” Rachel grumbled. “Maybe I should show up and give him a piece of my mind. No, no: that would be ‘crazy’ and ‘stalkerish.’ Maybe I should show up and ask for a real explanation? No! Why do I even think there’s going to be an explanation?” She finally got her keys out and fumbled with her lock. “D… dangit! And now I’m crying. What the heck?”

Rachel scrubbed the back of her hand across her eyes to clear them. At the same time, she heard the scuff of shoes on pavement behind her. She whipped around, startled — and then yelped when she saw the man — danger! He’s out to get me, he wants to hurt me! — who had sold her the tickets for the evening to begin with.

Et Alia, Book 2: Black Magic, Secret Agents, Shakespearean Tragedies and Interoffice Dating

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