"Jaime." Alexandria said, catching him while he was at the door. He stopped for her, turning his head. "Jaime." she repeated, walking up to him and hugging him, he returned it. "Thank you, I don't know what I'd do without her." she looked him in the eyes, he broke it off.
"Again, it is what I do." he said, shrugging. "Just make sure she stops." he said, Alexandria nodded as he opened the door. And right as he opened it, Lynn was there, about to knock. She let out a breath, seeing him there. She hugged him.
"Thank god, are yeh okay?" she asked him.
"Don't worry about me. The girl is safe. She was outside The Black City, a couple things chased us. You don't want to go in her room." he said, Lynn bit her lip.
"Bad?" she asked him, his eyes widened and he loudly exhaled.
"You'd have an aneurysm. Put it that way." He coughed, a bit of blood followed. He wiped it on his jeans.
"Let's go see it." Lynn said, looking to Alexandria.
"Okay. Before you do, I've already said what needed to be said. So don't go off on a threat spree." Jaime told her, motioning to Alexandria to lead. The girl did and Lynn followed, Jaime pulled up the rear. When they got to Kelsi's room, Lynn's jaw dropped, she turned and looked at Jaime, her face was completely stupefied. "Told you so." were the only words that Jaime could think of.
"Good god..." Lynn mumbled, walking inside of it. "Is that an evocation circle?" she asked.
"Within a circle of protection." he confirmed. "They're both shaky as hell too." he said, coughing again. More blood followed, he also wiped that on his jeans. It left a stain, but he didn't care.
"Who is this?" Heather asked.
"My aunt." Jaime said, poking his head in. "Auntie Lynn, meet Heather and Robert." he said, pointing to each of them with the correct name. "You've already met Alexandria." he shrugged.
"Your boy is probably the most-" Lynn held up her hand, stopping Heather.
"It's great to meet yeh, dinna get me wrong, I will have first names before I leave, but right now, I need the girl to whose room this belongs to." she said. Jaime inhaled.
"I already said I got it. Dinna worry auntie." he pressed. The woman glared at her nephew. He knew the look. She was pissed alright. "That's cool too. All you." he said, backing off.
Kelsi stepped forward before Lynn. Swallowing hard. "Me." she didn't even stammer.
"Do yeh even understand what ye've doon?" Lynn's voice didn't wobble or wave in any way. It stayed to one tone. Pure anger. "Do ye?" Kelsi shrugged. "Yeh don't? So yeh did this anyway, and fuck all with what could happen aye?" she asked. Jaime raised his hand. "Jaime, if yeh want to keep yer arm..." he quickly lowered it. "Not only did yeh use a forbidden magic, yeh've used it unnecessarily!" she shouted.
"Your nephew did the same thing!" Kelsi shouted at Lynn. Jaime grimaced. Shouting at her ended bad ninety nine percent of the time if she was feeling generous.
"Aye, and my nephew also held the portal open, came in and saved yeh then closed it. He didna use an evocation circle with blood magic. My nephew knows what he's doing, and also knows the consequences if he messes up." she hissed.
"Can I just-" she turned around on him. He felt his stomach knot up.
"Jaime, d'yeh want me to be cross with you too?" he exhaled and held his hands up.
"Just, before you press on, keep in mind that I was a bit younger than her when I attempted my first-" she held her hand out and Jaime huffed but nodded. His aunt did know best. Especially when it came to things like this.
"Nae." she told him. "Ye were around her age. But yeh read yer shite before yeh did anythin' stupid." she told him, turning back to Kelsi. "Ye, on the other hand, didn't."
The girl was almost in tears at this point. Her face was red from embarrassment, and she had her hands clenched, and it wasn't going to end pretty either way. "Auntie, stop." Jaime said, putting his hand on her shoulder. Lynn turned around with a glare to him.
"Jaime, if you keep interrupting me." he shook his head, holding his hand out to her. Sometimes, you had to take a stand.
"Seriously, stop. The girl's had enough for one day. Cut her some slack. I already lectured her, and now your going off won't help either. It's been one hell of a day for her, let's just ease off and veer onto another subject. I'll help clean this mess up, I'll strengthen the veil and everything, let's just take our leave for the moment." He was trying hard to reason with her, opening the door and motioning for them to go first and all. After a couple seconds of heated silence, Lynn nodded and walked through the door, everyone else followed except for Kelsi.
"I'll catch up in a bit..." she told him, he shook his head, walking over to her. He put his hand on her shoulder and she looked him in the eyes.
"I can't trust you in this room at the moment. Just come in here. No one will say anything. I got her to drop it. My aunt is a good woman." he told her. "A little over-protective sometimes, but a good person nonetheless. Come with me, and we'll get this sorted out." she nodded, walking through the doorway, he followed, closing it behind them. He followed her to the living room where Lynn and everyone else was already sitting down and talking. Alexandria went over to him as soon as possible. Kelsi veered off into the kitchen.
"Is she going to be okay?" Alexandria asked, a little bit too loudly because everyone in the room heard her. Jaime shrugged.
"She should be fine physically, but she might be a bit mentally...I don't want to say scarred but when I found her in the veil, she was terrified. Which is no surprise due to what the veil does to you. But all-in-all, if she listens to me and my aunt's advice, she'll be great." he told everyone, nodding with assurance.
"So she was in the veil..." Lynn said, nodding slowly. Jaime licked his lips and yawned, then spoke again.
"Yeah. She was. Right outside of The Black City. It had taken its effect hardcore on her. She was seeing things and paranoid. She didn't trust me." he explained, crossing his arms.
"The place is poison for the mind." he nodded in agreement. Kelsi appeared in the doorway and everyone kind of stopped.
"Oh don't stop. Continue talking about me like I'm not here." she said, an extra bit of sarcasm on it. Jaime laughed, he couldn't help it.
"We wouldn't have to have any of this conversation if you would've read the books, or better yet, stayed away from it entirely. This stuff doesn't go away." he explained. "The veil has a taste of you now, it wants more and more. The hunger is never sated." she rolled her eyes. Jaime put his hand on her arm before she turned. "Hey! I'm trying to help you." he told her, letting go almost the instant he touched her.
"Maybe I don't want help!" she shouted.
"Kelsi! Calm down right now!" Jaime jumped at the sound of Heather's voice. It was so demanding, yet full of concern. It was impressive.
"No, dinna yell at her." Jaime said, turning around. Everyone looked at him skeptically, like he was crazy. Lynn just smiled a bit. "She has every right to be mad at me. I came in her home yelling and threatening her. She is just as scared as we are." he cleared his throat. "She didna do it out of spite, she did it out of curiosity, and there's nothing wrong with that." he explained to them. "Yes I seemed a bit angry, and so did my aunt, but we both have to keep in mind that we were beginners once as well, and that same curiosity bound us to the life we lead. We both just got worked up and worried, because this is our job. When things go bump in the night, we bump back, but it was wrong for me and my aunt to carry on the way we did, we let our job and knowledge of these things get ahead of us sometimes." he exhaled and rubbed his eyes. When he opened them again, everyone was staring at him, a fair amount impressed. "What?" he asked, shrugging.
"Yer father would be proud of yeh Jaime." Lynn told him. He shrugged with a scoff, blushing a little bit. He searched for a topic in his mind and couldn't say anything to get him off of the spot, so he just walked over and sat down by Alexandria, swallowing hard and eyeing his aunt, who finally spoke up. "So, what do yeh do Heather?" she asked. Jaime let out a breath he didn't realize he'd been holding. Alexandria giggled a bit.
"You do not like to be put on the spot do you?" she whispered to him, he rolled his eyes.
"It's the whole anxiety thing. I can't do it for too long. I don't like being the center of attention." he told her, shrugging. "I work in the dark, it's where I like to stay." she rolled her eyes, laughing.
"Nocturnal are we?" he shrugged.
"Majority of the time at least." he replied, stretching. His phone vibrated and he checked it, Lynn stopped in the middle of the conversation to watch his reaction. "It's Marie. No worries." he said, staring at the phone but directing it to his aunt. She went back to talking.
"Marie?" Alexandria asked, shocked and a bit too loudly. Lynn couldn't mask her scoffed and her sister smiled.
"A bit jealous?" Kelsi asked, Alexandria turned red
"Clay's girlfriend." he said to her, not paying any mind to her tone. "She texted me." he clarified, yawning as his fingers rushed across the screen to reply.
"What does she want?" Lynn asked him, placing her hands on her hips.
"That remains to be seen..." his eyes were still focused on the screen. "...Oh nothing. Asking me if my New Year's was good so far." he looked over to Alexandria who just laughed. "I respond with, pretty good." He voiced his actions, smiling the entire the time.
"So where do you work at?" Heather asked Lynn. Jaime's aunt licked her lips and then answered.
"I work at the library." she answered.
"Really?" Heather was impressed. Not expecting that. Lynn nodded.
"Yeah, I work the shift right before graveyard." she joked. "I have today off because New Year's."
Jaime ignored their conversation, focusing on his phone. She texted him back. I bet ; ) rolling his eyes and smirking he replied to her How was yours? hoping for a good reply.
"Jaime?" Lynn asked him, his head looked up and met her eyes.
"Mmm?" she laughed.
"When did you find Theresa's books?" she asked him, he shrugged uneasily at the mention of his mother's name.
"Sixth grade I'm pretty sure. I needed something to read because Harry Potter and Tolkein had all been read. So I saw just these huge books." he used his hands to gesture at the size. "Figuring that they would last me a while, I grabbed one. Sitting down in the cafeteria in school, I opened the cover and there was a note from mom. I about had a panic attack on the spot." he laughed. "I was like for me? My mom? Because in sixth grade, hell even now. Auntie never really talks about her." he nodded to his aunt, so she knew he wasn't trying to insult her. "So I mean, I've heard of my mother here and there, especially when I would mess something up. 'Theresa, I'm really trying for you.'" he imitated her, scoffing afterward. "But I saw it, and I got hype, I was like 'YES!' Like it was everything I could do not to jump up and shout." Lynn smiled. "But yeah, sixth grade."
"Thank you." he looked back down at his phone, much to Alexandria's dismay. Marie had replied to him. Her response was pretty much what Jaime was hoping for.
Before or after I left the house? He laughed. He replied with either or. While he was waiting on her to reply, he started playing with the candle beside him. Waving his hand around it and tapping his fingers on the flame. His phone dinged again, when he went to answer it, he realized everyone was staring at him. "What?" he asked them. Lynn scoffed and everyone else shrugged. He looked at his phone and read her text. Before I left the house, I was still scared from the giant wolf thing, after I left, Clay remedied my fears in a very...productive way. Jaime laughed out loud. Causing everyone to look at him.
"Something funny?" Kelsi asked him, he nodded.
"More so then you would think." he stood up and walking to Kelsi's door. He stopped and looked at his hands. "Auntie, I need a tattoo." he told her, looking over his shoulder.
"And what would that be?" she asked him, unconvinced.
"The Perfect Red King." he told her, opening the door slowly and looking around.
"Why do you need that?" she asked him.
"Well, you see the problem is I'm not a shaman, and I dinna know where to find one, and even if I did, good luck finding a farseer. Plus, it's kind of dangerous to open up a path through the veil. If I had that, I scan limbo for a demon or demons with ease." he told her as he entered the room.
"Where would you put it?" she asked him.
"On my hands." he answered, drawing the circle to seal the veil. "Kelsi, I need you." he called.
"What are you doing?" she asked him.
"Strengthening the veil. Come here. It's not going to hurt." he told her. She reluctantly walked over to him and knelt down beside him. "Okay. Alexandria, can you retrieve a kitchen knife, please." Lynn watched the older girl go retrieve the knife. She came back from the kitchen a couple moments later and handed it to Jaime.
"I thought you said it wasn't going to hurt." Kelsi protested to him. He shrugged.
"It's only your left ear, don't worry." he said quickly, raising the knife. She recoiled in horror, falling on her back.
"I'll be damned too!" he laughed.
"No amputations necessary. I just need some blood from your hand." shakily, she held out his hand. He took it with his right hand and pushed the blade against the cut, she let out a pained breath and it was over. "Take that and put it in the center of the circle, and I'll do the rest." he nodded assuring her that it would be okay. He didn't want to scare her anymore. She planted her hand in the center of the circle and removed it almost as soon as she put it there. "Thank you." he told her, handing her the knife. She took it and scurried out. "Claudo." the word was firm. There was a wooshing noise and a hiss. Smirking, Jaime popped his neck. Looks like he'd have to step into limbo.