Lot has a plan for Field House

Read Part One of Today’s Double Bill Here

Hastings – 1844

The storm had passed over but the rain was persistent, pattering against my hood like Autumn’s footsteps creeping up on us. It was Josef’s turn to stay home with the children and he didn’t want to be far from Veronica in case she needed him.

Bran was standing close to my shoulder and Jax was in her wheelchair near the gate to Field House, her expression said she could feel its tug too.

‘Are you sure about this?’ she asked. ‘It could blow up in your face.’

‘Sometimes the benefits outweigh the risks.’ I squeezed the stone Heimdall had given me. ‘She’s your cousin.’

She snorted as if it was no endorsement.

‘Sometimes people just need someone to believe in them for five minutes.’ I glanced at Bran and clasped his hand.

‘If it ain’t the golden girl,’ Heimdall said behind us.

We all turned to find her standing with her hands in her trouser pockets and an unlit cigarette between her lips.

Jax glanced away and muttered, ‘Hello, cousin.’

The weight of the family history was a mountain between them. I wanted to know more but we had business and theirs wasn’t any of mine.

‘This is Bran, you threw him like a ragdoll.’ I patted Bran’s chest. ‘He’s the nice one.’

Bran gave Heimdall a finger wave. Her expression softened and she shook her head.

‘Did you hear the news?’ I asked.

She took the cigarette from her lips. ‘That my grandparents are responsible for my mother’s death? I may have heard something, recently.’ She smirked. ‘Rumour is Freyja and Odin might actually kill each other this time but that isn’t what you wanted to talk about.’

‘I want to cut a new deal.’

She came closer.

‘Asking you to testify about who summoned you in exchange for cutting you down… I don’t see that as a relationship with future potential,’ I said. ‘I thought I should make you a better offer.’

She circled me. ‘I’m listening.’

Bran made to step forward and I raised my fingers a fraction in a silent no. He stepped back and put his hands in his pockets where he was hiding his pistols.

I tilted my head towards the house. ‘Field House, one Fae abode on a rift, looking for a new friend.’

She arched her eyebrows.

I shrugged. ‘I don’t know the technical details.’

She stepped towards the gate. ‘What’s to stop me taking it?’

‘If it worked like that I’d already have it and you going near it might be a very bad idea.’

Jax frowned at me as if she could pluck my plan from my head.

Heimdall was beside me in a swirl of smoke that lingered as if her clothes were made of it. ‘And why would you want to give me that house? I’m not buying it’s a bargain.’

I held her gaze. ‘Maybe I feel bad about my husband killing your mother, bit awkward.’

She pointed at me with her cigarette then chuckled. ‘I like you but that’s not it either.’

I stepped into her personal space and lowered my voice, ‘I find myself increasingly surrounded by powerful supernaturals I can’t match. A few friends go a long way.’

‘Hmm…’ She put the cigarette to her lips and lit it with a click of her fingers. ‘Honesty… impressive.’

‘In fairness, even my grandparents weren’t born when all this happened.’

‘You be thinking that the next time you have his cock inside you.’

Bran blushed.

I tutted. ‘You’ll have to try harder.’

‘Mum’s always getting annoyed when statements like that bounce off Lot,’ Jax said. ‘I’d save your breath.’

Heimdall turned her head towards Jax and exhaled a cloud of smoke in her direction then looked back at me. ‘Facing down old silver tongue.’ She rolled the cigarette between her fingers. ‘Quite something.’ She took a few more puffs on her cigarette. ‘He’s guilty of terrible things, how do you countenance that?’

‘I can only judge him for the man I’ve seen him be, not the man I hear he was.’ I kept my posture loose and my thumbs in my knife belt against the crackle of her magic between us. ‘The man he is regrets the man he was.’

‘Then why isn’t he here telling me so?’ she asked.

‘Because an associate of the woman who summoned you took one of our daughters yesterday. He’s at home being daddy.’

She considered the smouldering end of the cigarette. ‘The Saracen being daddy?’

‘Veronica is completely innocent, because of Rache she was taken and hurt. I won’t let that stand.’

She scratched her chin. ‘Protecting the innocents?’ She exhaled smoke in my face. ‘You should’ve led with that, I’m not my mother.’ She offered me her hand. ‘I’ll help you get that bitch.’

I shook her hand. ‘We have an accord.’

She looked over at the house. ‘So, shall we see what we can do about this house?’

‘About time someone did.’

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Published by Jesse

I'm a writer and academic specialising in fantasy fiction and creative writing theory. I'm allergic to pretentiously talking about fiction and aim to be unashamedly ‘commercial’. Surely all fiction is commercial anyway, or what’s the point in publishing it?

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