chapter eighteen: Daily

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It had been a struggle to get Sparrow to let me come along to meet his father, but I'd finally convinced him one more badass (me, duh) tagging along could only be a good thing when you're going to meet a guy so evil he literally destroyed a whole planet of people. But now I was kind of regretting it. I had a bad feeling about this, and I was starting to think maybe Uncle Jingles magical juju ran in the family, because there was nothing foreboding about our surroundings. We were actually in a super nice part of town, Jewel city to be exact. We were on our way to wherever Sparrow was calling home, and he said he was going to bring his father to us. 

It wasn't like we were walking through a cobwebbed horror house. It wasn't like we were entering evil alien HQ. But it just felt bad. Like, really bad. My skin was crawling as we entered the pass-code protected apartment building. The lobby was swanky as hell, but all I could feel was darkness, like the place was full of it. If this was what Uncle Jingles meant by auras being all a mess, I never wanted to feel this aura shit again. 

Sparrow and Wild held hands, walking briskly ahead of me, Sparrow leading the way. We took the long way up the stairs instead of the elevator. Ten flights. But I was so jittery the extra energy expended while stepping those stairs was almost calming. 

We reached the top and crossed the hall quickly, and seconds later we were in Sparrow's very expensive apartment. I didn't have time to ask how the hell or what the hell or any hell kind of questions. He was hiding out in a damn penthouse suite. Whatever. We had bigger problems. 

"How are you going to get Satan here?" I asked, my whole body tingling with just badness. 

 Wild shot a grimace my way, but I could see the vulnerability behind her eyes. Shit. I could see the badness. She was feeling it too. That's when I was sure this was a terrible idea. If I even had a glimmer of hope before, there wasn't even a pinprick of light left now. But what choice did we have? She was going to die soon anyway if we didn't try something. I had no science skill and the closest person to a scientist I knew was the guy who cooked meth in the apartment below mine. I was pretty sure he wouldn't be hiding any chemicals that might, I don't know, help an alien lady survive on earth. 

"I'm going to call him with my vita," Sparrow said. 

Wild-Willa swallowed. I wanted to wrap my little sis in a big hug. I wanted to haul her out of there and hide her in my apartment forever and keep her safe. But I couldn't save her, and she could take care of herself. I just wanted to do something, anything. 

Sparrow took a deep breath and nodded. Then he closed his eyes and knit his brows together in focus. 

"Wa--wait," Wild gasped, touching his arm, "I don't know if this is a good idea. I don't think we should..." 

Sparrow was touching her face tenderly, staring into her eyes. Her eyes filled with tears. She swallowed again, and I could see her choking back sobs. I couldn't stay out of it anymore. I crossed the room to them and pulled them both in a hug. I kissed the top of her head, and then I thought, what the hell, and I kissed the top of his head two. They both hugged me back and hugged each other, and I thought we probably looked like some weird, awesomely hot, racially diverse friend family out of a sitcom or something. 

When I pulled away I looked Wild, holding back the tears and the fear I felt, and then I looked at Sparrow and I said, "You two are the damn dream. Neither of you is allowed to die. I'm officiating the wedding, damnit." Then I felt a tear drip down my cheek: "Shit. Look what you did to me." 

She cracked a smile then, and I felt a million times better even if it was just for a second. She took my hand and squeezed it. She mouthed, "I love you," wordlessly. I squeezed her hand in reply. 

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