Part Thirty Five of You Will Find Your Way
Seriously, Dallas is pretty sure that if she’s going crazy, she would be a little less aware of it.
Luke follows Dallas out of the restaurant, and that’s probably the only thing that keeps her from taking across the street on a sprint that will probably end with her getting hit by one of the fancy little shared-ride hybrids speeding down the street.
Instead, she does the legal thing and impatiently waits for the light to change before she takes to the other end of the block in long strides, stops where what may-or-may-not be Mathias had been watching her.
Like a damn creeper.
If she it turns out that she wasn’t hallucinating him and he, for whatever reason, is actually here, she’s definitely going to yell at him about that.
She’s probably going to yell at him about a lot of things, now that she has the chance to do it in person, instead of screaming out into the void of the vast California-Arizona desert borderlands.
She distantly hears Luke speak, vaguely, notes the frustration in his tone even as she glares at the ground like the answers will appear to her if she stares hard enough.
“Don’t want to rush you, but now might be a good time to explain what the hell is going on.”
Dallas looks up, eyes still narrow as she scans up one side the street and down the other, but still—
No sign of Mathias ever being there.
Maybe she really was hallucinating?
“I always thought if I went crazy, I’d be a lot less aware that it was actually happening.”
Out of the corner of her eye, she sees Luke reach out, watches him hesitate for a second before he curls his hand around her right elbow, “I think you’re fine,” he says, turns her a little so she’s actually looking at him. “Not getting to the point as quickly as I’d like, but fine.”
“Sorry,” she mutters out of the side of her mouth, and she looks back down at the spot before she looks at him again. “I thought I saw someone from the place I was sent by the ritual.”
“And that’s not supposed to be possible.”
“Not even close,” she grumbles, dislodging his hand so she can cross her arms over her chest and rock back on her heels. “But I was attacked by a creature that invested that world the other night, and if there’s a chance I’m seeing him, then there is a lot more to it than it just being some stray that slipped through some sort of crack between our universes.”
Luke goggles at her for a second, “You really think that’s what’s going on?”
“I hoped it was a stray, but if I’m seeing Mathias too,” she trails off and shrugs.
Leaning against the storefront, Luke crosses his arms over his chest, “So what do we do?”
Dallas looks up and down the block again, “Back to the house. We need weapons.”
“You asked,” Dallas rocks back on her heels. “You don’t have to come with me.”
Luke snorts, “Are you insane?”
The answer is, well, probably.
But insane or not, Luke does drive them back to the house.
They’re on the porch and Dallas is digging around for her keys when Luke clears his throat again, in that same “I want to talk about something serious” tone, and Dallas really hopes he’s not going to try to tell her she needs to see a shrink or twenty.
“Who is Mathias anyway?”
Dallas finally unlocks the door, pushes it open with her shoulder so she can look at him, “He was my mentor,” she says, adding as much emphasis as possible to the end of the sentence. “Don’t go there.”
“I wasn’t going anywhere.”
Leading the way up the stairs, Dallas snorts, “Well now you know not to go there anyway,” she turns the corner and heads into the disaster that is the spare bedroom, drops to her knees and pulls out a case that looks like the one under her bed, but twice as large. “Anyway.”
She pushes the lid open and pulls the protective cushion off the top layer, “Here, pick whatever you like, I need to run upstairs and get my blade.”
As she stands up, Luke peers into the case, blinks, and looks back at Dallas, “When you said weapons, I didn’t think you meant,” he gestures to the case. “That.”
“They’re easier to collect than guns,” she shrugs, reaches in and grabs a sword. “Try this one. I’ll be right back.”
Dallas darts out of the room and heads to hers, drags her blade and sword out from under her bed and is shrugging into the harness while she heads back downstairs, finds Luke still gaping in the spare bedroom, surrounded by swords, blades, and a metric ton of crumpled clothing.
How is this her life?
She taps on the doorframe, “You good?”
“You ever heard of shields? Body armor? Weapons that aren’t from medieval times?”
“You can’t imagine the things I’ve hard of,” she winks when he looks at her, because obviously this is the exact perfect time to start flirting.
Batshit crazy. She’s finally reached the point.
She fiddles with the harness where it’s twisted over her shoulder, shrugs a couple times to get it to lay flat, “You good to go? Still time to back out.”
Luke spares a glare as he belts the sword she picked out for him, “Like hell,” he reaches in and grabs one of the shorter knives and straps it to the other side of his belt. “Too late now.”
“Then let’s get a move on.”
“Where are we going?” He asks, following her back downstairs.
Dallas checks her phone again, finds about ten rows of angry emoji waiting for her from Giselle, and tucks it back in her pocket, “No idea, but I guess our best bet is to start in the forest where I ran into the thing the other night.”
He’s shaking his head as Dallas heads out the front door, but then he bumps into her back when she stops short on the ‘Welcome’ mat.
She blinks once, and then again, “Mathias,” she says, flat, and the apparition standing at the foot of the steps that lead up the porch doesn’t disappear, does tilt his head in acknowledgement. “What are you doing here?”
Mathias is overall a lot, well, grayer, since the last time she saw him, both in hair color and pallor, and he tucks his hands into the pockets of his jacket, which is so beyond out of place on this world it’s not even funny, “Something’s wrong.”
“No shit,” she snorts, hears Luke echo her sentiment, and rolls her eyes at the flicker of confusion on Mathias’ face. “Tell me everything.”
He looks pointedly over her shoulder, like she forgot that there’s a warm presence standing against her back, “Mathias, this is Luke. Considering that it’s been over a hundred years since I’ve seen you, I don’t know if I mentioned him or not. Luke, Mathias’ mother saved my life, and then messed me up beyond all belief.”
“Nice to meet you,” he manages around a choked laugh.
Mathias inclines his head, but doesn’t speak, and Dallas grunts and gestures for him to walk up to the porch so they’re not looking down at him, “Well?” She demands. “What the hell?”
He’s still hesitating, and Dallas starts pacing back and forth in front of him, her shoulder brushing against his chest on each pass, “Damn it, talk to me!”
Mathias runs a hand over his forehead, and Dallas notices the glint of a smear of—blood?
What the hell?
“Well here’s the thing,” he finally says, shifting into the shadows when Dallas stops and narrows her eyes at him, looking for where he could be wounded. “I didn’t come alone.”
Crossing her arms over her chest, Dallas stalks across the porch, stops inches away and glares, “Who’s with you.”
“I just don’t want you to get upset,” he takes in the look on her face and amends. “Any more upset than you already are.”
“Stop acting like you being here is a bad thing,” she snaps, because yes, she is mad. “Your timing is terrible, but it’s never been good and I know I need help. Help is good and I’ll take I’ll I can get.”
“It is,” Mathias agrees, winces when she cocks a brow at him. “But you’re not going to be thrilled when I tell you who came with me.”
You Will Find Your Way continues with Part Thirty Six
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