Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 7 part 1.7

Posted by harmony0stars on March 7, 2011

Edgar launched himself at her as soon as she came in the front door. He chirped as he wrapped himself around her right leg and snuffled at her like a curious puppy. Glory leaned down, and he wrapped his arms around her shoulders, pulling himself up so he could smell her hair where Nug had patted her. Apparently her dunking in the bay had not been enough to wash away the smell of Y’qaa. She crouched on the floor with him and let him smell her, stroking his hair as she did so. It was pretty much the most comforting thing she‘d done all day.

Ann followed him from the kitchen a few seconds later and stood in the hall with a bemused expression on her face. Someone knocked on the door a moment later, and Ann went pale, her lips thinning to a tight line. “Da-rn it, I thought they left.” As Glory blinked up at her in confusion, she said, “Some men in suits came by this morning looking for you. They claimed to be with the FBI, but I was afraid to open the door. I wouldn‘t put it past Nigel to check up on me, and he loves that kind of cloak and dagger bullsh–sugar.” Glory smirked as Ann barely controlled her language, probably concerned Edgar’s first words might be naughty if she didn’t. “They wanted to come in and wait, but…” She shrugged, giving an almost imperceptible nod at Edgar. “I told them you were out, and I didn’t expect you back until tonight.”

With a sigh, Glory stood. “Alright. Take Edgar upstairs. Where’s Robert?”

There was another knock, and someone found the bell, giving it a slightly prolonged ring. Ann scowled at the door. “He was down earlier to eat, but he’s been keeping to his room all day.”

“OK. Let him know I’m back, and you guys can think about what you want for dinner. We’ll order something as soon as I get rid of these guys.” Glory waited for Ann to disappear up the stairs before turning and whipping open the door.

She wasn’t too worried about their visitors. A quick peek with her other senses when she’d come home had proved that her defenses were at least adequate to deter anyone from coming near who meant her household harm. It was safe enough to talk to them, even knowing there was a lot of temporal leeway with the idea of harm. They could just as easily be working for someone who did intend harm without their knowledge… Well, she‘d have to shore up her defenses as soon as she had a free moment, now that she could see what she was doing.

“Yes!” she said brusquely, glaring at the men standing on her stoop. There was no sense being polite when it was obvious that they had planned an ambush.

Both men wore dark suits and sunglasses, despite the fact that the sun was very low in the sky. Or maybe because of it; it was a bad time of day to be driving. They were nondescript, with nearly identical suits and glasses, their dark hair combed back and neatly clipped. The nearer of the two was slightly taller, and his nose was large and broad, but otherwise they might have been groomed and dressed on an assembly line.

The nearer man lowered his hand without a hint of embarrassment. “Miss Lewin?” he asked in a very calm voice, reaching into his jacket.

“I’ve had a bad day, so whatever you’re selling, make it quick,” she replied. They might be wearing suits, but they were warriors, men who made a living by seeking out trouble. That stood out on their auras like a neon sign.

“Miss Lewin,” he said, holding up a thin wallet so she could see a badge which identified him as FBI. “I’m agent Steiner. This is agent Redfield. May we come in? We’d like to ask you about your recent visit to Centralia.”

“You waited in front of my house all day to ask me about my visit to my grandmother?” she asked incredulously.

A tiny crease appeared in the skin between Steiner‘s eyes, but his voice remained calm. “We’re more concerned with something you might have seen in the woods,” he assured her. “Perhaps something you took a picture of without even being aware of it.”

Glory looked from Steiner to Redfield with narrowed eyes. “You’re not FBI,” she said with a cold edge in her voice. She was tired of playing games with people. Couldn‘t she at least have a few hours peace before someone else came to cause more trouble? “Some branch of the army maybe, since my children’s nanny told me she saw soldiers up there, but not FBI. FBI agents don’t give out assumed names based on New Age writers.”

Redfield colored, but Steiner wasn’t about to be cowed. “We work for the government,” he assured her, not bothering to deny her accusation or identify which agency. His voice was soothing, even toned… hypnotic. “Please, may we come in? Our only concern is for the safety of your children.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Don’t do that again,” she said, and he took a step back as if surprised, his olive skin going a little pale. “You can tell whoever you work for that the film is destroyed and that I am perfectly capable of looking after my own. I invite no one into my home who I do not trust. I don‘t appreciate people coming to my door who attempt to get in through trickery,” she snapped, closing the door in their faces.

They were both human. Glory was sure of that much, but Steiner’s attempt to sway her into letting them in had startled her enough that she’d blurted out more than she’d intended to say. She supposed she shouldn’t be surprised that some government agency or another was recruiting people with psychic gifts. Steiner’s little talent probably got him in quite a few closed doors. Who knew what Redfield could do… something at least formidable to other humans if they were investigating her father. She leaned against the door and listened to the scrape of their shoes on the step. They were smart or professional enough to keep silent until they were out of earshot.

to Book 7, part 1, page 8

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2 Responses to “Tattoo Book 7 part 1.7”

  1. Alderin said

    Ha! “Don’t do that again.” Love it.

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