TWENTY-THREE

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I entered the conference room to see Denise typing away furiously on her laptop and the other guys, defenders only this time, hovering expectantly over her.

"For the gazillionth time guys, stop hovering over me like a predator. It's distracting", she shouted at them but it fell on deaf ears as they seem to come closer even more.

"Guys, stop bugging her", I said as I pushed through the thickly packed bodies to get to her, "So, what's the latest?"

"Good news is, those guys are nothing more than thirty", she replied, "Bad news is that they'll probably be upon us in an hour and a half, tops".

Great! We have just a little over an hour to find a way to deal with these guys.

"Oh-Oh!", exclaimed Denise suddenly, cutting into my thoughts.

"What is it?"

"I've been so concentrated on the thirty that I didn't see that there were two before them?"

"What do you mean by 'two before them'?", I asked, staring deeply at the laptop and trying to understand what the hell she's talking about.

"These two", she replied, pointing at two dots on the screen, "They're almost at the manor".

I ran out to see Oliver, shouting" Two of Trichloris' disciples are almost on us" all the way. Quickly, we had all converged at the front door and waited with breath ceased, hearts pounding and magic ready as Denise counted down the seconds.

Five... Four... Three... Two... One... Knock!

Wait a frigging second! Did those guys just knock on the door?

"Is it normal for evil wizards to be polite?", Mom whispered in my ear and I couldn't help wondering the same. What the hell has Trichloris put his disciples up to this time?

We all waited for a while before grandpa Blake commanded the doors open only to reveal two women.

"Why so tense?", asked one of the women and I relaxed. Actually, I don't know her but the woman next to her cannot be missed, Nicole Slaine.

"Georgina, you didn't tell me you were coming", said grandpa Blake as he went to hug her. Wait a second! Georgina, as in Georgina Sanders, Oliver's mom and my paternal grandmother.

I took another glance at the woman and noticed that she wasn't really tall, a little on the robust side and had grey hair which she kept in place by the use of beautiful cream hair clips. I can say she must have been very beautiful but that hadn't decreased at all with her pearl eyes and all. She went to give Stan a hug first before turning to me.

"You must be Troy, I presume", she said before offering me an handshake- Strange from a grandmother, don't you think?

She looked up to see Mom, who had now placed her hands protectively around me, and gave her one of those fake smiles that I've seen quite a number of times on Trichloris' face. "Good to see you again, Samantha, Blake didn't tell me he was inviting normals too", she said.

"I'm here to take my son", replied Mom with a lot more force than I thought possible, "Also, FYI, it was your son that invited me".

Georgina only muttered "Hell if I care" in response before plastering that her 'face only' smile and left to greet the others.

"You don't like Georgina much, do you?", I asked Mom but she left me without replying- Did I say something wrong?

I turned to see Oliver stand in a corner and the look that was on his face seemed to scream "Can someone please kill me now?" as he watched the three women that are now the centre of attention- Yeah, I'd be pretty worked up too if I have my ex-girlfriend and ex-wife in the same room but why is he so worried about his mom?

"Guys, what about our pending problem?", asked Denise and everyone got back to their 'We're all business' mood.

"I think Trichloris' men must have followed Mrs. Sanders as she was coming to the Estate", suggested one of the men but I quickly countered it.

"Trichloris knows where the Estate is right from time and also that we're all going to be converging here. He must be planning to use these men to keep us stalled as he exposes us to the normals", I said.

" Then we have to find a way to get out of here and stop Trichloris for good", said Victor.

"They've blocked all the exits and entrance of the Estate, remember", said Cole.

We all pondered about a solution before grandpa Blake said, "I have a way but it will greatly reduce the number of those that will face Trichloris".

"We can make use of any number", I replied and I saw Victor shoot me an 'Are you really sure about that?' look.

"Even seven?", asked grandpa Blake and I had to stop. Seven is really small against Trichloris and his disciples which I'm sure are going to be pretty vicious with their magic. We'll be at a really high disadvantage and I've not even started considering the crazy things that darn wizard might have in store for us.

"We'll take anything, just tell us your idea", Oliver replied before I could, not that I was going to say anything different anyway.

"I was thinking that since those guys have blocked every ground exit, how about we use an air one?", he said.

"But grandpa, there are no flying brooms around", countered Stan.

"I know", he replied and smiled as he said, "But what we have is even better, Pegasi".

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