Chapter Twenty-Four

Start from the beginning

Her index finger was wrapped up. "Your finger," I blurted before I could stop myself.

She looked at the bandages for a moment. "Hurt like hell when they took it. I suppose it's what I deserve for the life I've lived."

A small bag of hair came out next. "This spell isn't exactly sunshine and rose petals." She opened the bag and pulled out the hair. Then I realized it wasn't just a bag of hair. The hair was still connected to a chunk of skin, deep enough to cause some serious problems for the victim. "Our donor today is the bastard that cut off my finger." She smiled like the Cheshire cat. "No one will miss him."

"What?" I looked towards my door. "You should just go. Wolves will be in here any moment."

She shook her head and started drawing on my end table with some green chalk. "No one knows I'm here except for you."

I didn't recognize the symbol, but it was beautifully drawn.

She emptied the contents of the vial in the center circle of the drawing and gathered it up into a small mound before making a well in the center of it. She uncorked the vial of my blood and poured it in the center.

"I warned you it's messy." She looked at me and smirked. "The spell would be stronger if I had their blood, but this will work too." I stepped away from her, flexing the grip I had on the gun. "If I wanted to cause you harm, I would've done it for Marshall. Unfortunately, protection spells need to be invoked next to the intended individual." Her voice dropped down to a caress. "I'm going to have to touch you, so don't go far."

She looked back at the mound and started chanting. The blood pool started to ripple. She struck a match and dropped it into the blood.

I expected it to go out, but the whole mound sparked into flames, angry, red flames. She chanted some more and grabbed the flesh. She held it over the flames while she chanted. She repeated her phrase over and over again as the flesh started to burn. Then she dropped it into the fire and it slowly went out.

Her face was serene as she slowly waved her hands around the smoke, collecting it. Then she turned to me. "This is it. This is what's going to protect those babies."

She stepped closer with a trail of smoke following her hands. The smoke wasn't dissipating into the air or flowing like normal smoke. She extended her hands and pushed the smoke onto my bump. When her hand touched my stomach I had the sensation of licking a battery. When she took her hand away, the feeling lingered.  The smoke flowed around my belly until it all absorbed. It only took seconds.

Then she smiled at me. "Normally that spell would protect someone until they died, but this one was split three ways." She let go of my belly. "Nothing's wrong with them, they're perfectly healthy, and they're going to stay that way." She looked back at the mess. "Sorry, but I don't have time to clean that up."

She walked to the center of the room and put the oversized hood over her head. "The babies should be safe for twenty to thirty years. I'm not sure about that. This spell hasn't been split like this before."

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