Part Twenty One of You Will Find Your Way
Dallas picks a terrible time to go out for a run.
Giselle’s concern rips her from her trance while Dallas pulls the blade out of the case, drops it on the floor next to her with a clang and fumbles for her harness—not the one she carried her blade in on that old world, that one’s long gone.
She shoves her arms into the loops, fumbles when one of the leather straps twists and digs into her shoulder before she sorts it and places the blade against her back.
Reaching back into the case, she pushes the cloth and book and everything else in there aside, grabs a long sword by the belt and hops off the floor, wraps it around her waist.
She whirls around, realizes that the voice shouting her name isn’t coming from downstairs, but right behind her. Giselle stands halfway inside the room, the glow from her phone lighting her way, “Dallas, what are you doing?”
“Something is wrong.”
The frown marring Giselle’s delicate features deepens, “What do you mean? It’s just a storm.”
“I don’t think it is.”
Dallas crosses the room and stops short when Giselle doesn’t move, “Excuse me,” she says, wraps a shaking hand around the hilt of her sword, but doesn’t pull it from the sheathe no matter how much she wants to right now.
The house is safe.
With a glare, Giselle stomps downstairs so Dallas can get by, but stops on the landing and flashes her in the face with the bright light from her phone, “You can’t be thinking of going out there! You’ll float away!”
“I have to go,” she mutters, mostly to remind herself that even though it’s been years, she still has an obligation to stop those creatures, especially if they’ve somehow managed to make it back to this world.
She ignores the footsteps at her heels and the way Giselle’s glare burns against her back. “Don’t wait up.”
Throwing the door open, Dallas shivers at the blast of cold air and rainwater, but sets her shoulders and bolts off the porch.
Before she crosses the street, headed toward the forest, she hears Giselle shout, “Don’t let anyone catch you running around with a goddamn sword!”
Dallas grips the hilt tighter and runs.
Giselle loses Dallas to the gloom, narrows her eyes at a bolt of lightning, “That woman has lost her damn mind,” she mutters as another flash lances through the sky, setting the forest Dallas is running to aglow.
The wind whips up and a sheet of rain sneaks under the porch awning, hitting Giselle in the face and forcing her inside.
She drops against the door and sighs.
In all the years they’ve known each other, they’ve seen their best and worst quirks, but Dallas has never done anything like this.
And she’s definitely never run off with the best of her goddamn collection of medieval weaponry strapped to her back.
Part of her thinks that maybe it was a mistake to ask her to come to Tate, that they could have easily coordinated her research over Skype or something, but—
If Dallas thinks something is really wrong, then she’s probably not imagining it.
Rubbing her eyes with the heel of her hand, Giselle flips her phone over in the other, disables the flashlight before she keys into the web app, “Maybe it is about the weather,” she murmurs as she accesses NOAA.gov.
Day breaks as it is wont to do, but Dallas isn’t back yet.
The storm broke early, and Giselle waited up as long as she could before she passed out in a ball on the couch. She woke up sometime around six with a crick in her neck, a pile of wrinkled post-its about the night’s weather event on her lap, and her phone frantically reminding her that it’s run down to two-percent battery.
The notes fall to the floor as she heads into the kitchen, plugs the phone in and tries to call Dallas while it charges—mostly to make sure she didn’t drown or something—so she startles hard, nearly hits the ceiling at the sound of the phone that should be in Dallas’ pocket vibrating like a swarm of angry beers under the abandoned takeout still on the coffee table.
The food has gone cold and was out all night, so Giselle wrinkles her nose and sweeps it into the trash, turns on the coffeemaker and heads upstairs to get ready for the day’s classes.
Dallas still isn’t back by the time Giselle needs to leave and make it across campus in time for her first lecture of the day, “Damn it woman, where are you?”
Sparing a last look at the rest of the coffee warming in the pot, Giselle shakes her head and pours it into a second thermos, tucks both under her arm and grabs her bag and umbrella.
Later, as she drifts through a pair of lectures in a nervous, jittery daze, she realizes she should have known better than to leave Dallas’ thermos on her lectern next to hers.
She’ll sleep next week.
You Will Find Your Way continues with Part Twenty Two
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