11. I Dream Of Jinni

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'Very far!' Adam assured, pawing to get Vitesh to meet his wide eyes. 'Abel always said to trust my instincts, that my wolf would never lead me wrong. My wolf likes you and I do too.'

'That's good enough for now,' Vitesh chuckled, squeezing the relieved wolf to his side. "Since the attack I've been having some of the scouts retrieve a few books for me. Shadows are very ambiguous, as is implied in the name, but we are trying to track the sources. It is all guess work but we're getting somewhere. We just don't know yet."

Adam listened to Vitesh mutter some things before he cocked his head.

"Your scent."

While Adam blinked up to the man and wondered why the grin stretched over Vitesh's lips, Vitesh beat himself internally for not realising.

"Your scent! It makes so much sense! They can feel it, your own shadows," He went on and something in Adam clicked. "You mentioned Shadow Script before. It is a more common linguistics pattern than the universally acknowledged Underworld language, Syto. It's a sub-category. It's working as a tracking charm or something."

Adam began to itch his wrist, unable to help the impulse. The invisible lines and curves felt like a branding iron pressing languidly against every inch of his body.

"Someone must have that signature," Vitesh muttered, glancing over and twining his fingers in through Adam's. "Don't worry, Adam, there are ways we can cloak it. I just worry about the reasoning behind why they would be targeting you."

'The first were searching, autonomous. They didn't feel malevolent,' Adam thought and saw Vitesh nod along. 'They were just frantic, I think. The second were cruel, vicious.'

"From your injuries alone, the shadows of the first were seekers and probably just rogue shadows detecting your signature. If someone were to control the shadows, they'd have to have been in your presence before to get a feel for it. Even then, the art of aura reading is very touchy and not many can delve too far in before it has negative effects on their psyche," Vitesh murmured. "My grandmother was a reader of souls and the like. It helped in the healing processes. My mother could only glimpse the surface and that was after decades of practise."

'So someone can just look at me and see it?' Adam asked.

"That's for a general glance but they have to at least brush up against you to get a good feel for the signature and only then can they track it. The councils have their own Aura Readers but it is seen as a breach of privacy so they're closely monitored," Vitesh explained, rubbing circles with his thumb into Adam's wrists. The roundabout way of scent marking settled the battered nerves jumping in Adam's chest. "This is almost borderline confidential and an Old School of magic that most forget about throughout the generations. We know through our many contacts in the government of two Aura Readers to date but they are both quiet individuals who only do it for the money. They are not insidious characters and I have met them both on occasion."

'Are they nice?'

"Very. Isiah is a friendly sort but the amount of times I've had to run from his advances is alarming. The one time I stayed in a hotel for a fundraiser in Cairo, I came back to early and found him in my room completely undressed. I ended up smoking out of there and into Bethany's room," He shuddered but not before he heard the soft rumbling of budding snarls from Adam. "What is it?"

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