Chapter Eighteen

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May let the words hang in the air. For the first time since he arrived, Grant emoted; his face fell, his eyes widened in shock.

"I don't get it," Lety said, looking back and forth between May and her boss. "What's a wishing star?"

Grant dragged a hand down his face and gave his head a shake. "That can't be right."

"You said it yourself – they were the best at what they did." May shrugged. She walked around the table until she stood at his side. "I have no reason to lie to you, Grant."

He sat in silence, eyes flickering as his mind churned through this new information. May looked around the room. Dom sat patiently while Lety seemed to burn, desperately needing to be filled in on the pieces she was missing from the story. But Welkin never took their eyes off Grant. They watched his reaction to the news with a quiet curiosity.

"I take it you're familiar with the item in question?" Welkin asked, their voice controlled; borderline serene.

Grant took a deep breath, tapped his chin and looked back at May. "What happened to them?"

"Dawn and Oliver?" May shifted. The question surprised her. "They were captured by the Loyals shortly after I was born."

"And how old are you? Twenty something?"

"Twenty five."

"Sounds about right." Grant sat back and crossed his arms, looking like himself again. "All this time I figured they were either dead or in prison. And you're sure they didn't have the star on them when they were captured?"

"If they did, I would have heard about it," Welkin cut in. "Trust me."

In her seat, Lety twisted and peered up at them. "Okay, what are you?"

"A Star. One of the fallen variety."

Grant let out a soft, incredulous chuckle. He scratched his chin with his thumbnail. "Well shit. So what's the plan then? You track down the wishing star and do what with it?"

"We put it back where it came from," May replied. "I don't know about you but I think it's done enough damage for one lifetime."

"It wasn't all bad, but I agree that it's time to put this thing to bed," Grant grunted. He pushed himself up from his seat and looked at each of them in turn. "I have an idea. When the sun comes up, I'm gonna make some calls. I don't know what Oli and Dawn did with that wishing star but I know some folks who might be able to point us in the right direction. Stay tuned."

With that, he grabbed his helmet and strode from the room without so much as a goodbye.

"Well, that sounds promising," Welkin said, sliding into Grant's vacated seat. They peered into the half-full mug of coffee he left behind, gave it a sniff, and pushed it away with a scowl.

Lety waited a beat before throwing her hands up in frustration. "Will one of you please explain what just happened? What's a wishing star and why does Grant give a shit?"

May drummed her fingers on the tabletop, trying to decide how best to succinctly describe the wishing star's origins and tumultuous history. "Basically it's something that gives the Stars–" she pointed at Welkin "–the power to grant wishes."

The shifter looked at Welkin with wide eyes. "That actually happens?"

"It is exceedingly rare," Welkin replied, gesturing vaguely. "But, yes, it does happen."

"Right, and this one accidentally fell to earth," May continued. "Long story short, a bunch of people used it to grant their own wishes, but the Loyals – people who are really strictly loyal to the Stars – had a problem with that. Insert decades of death and destruction here."

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