Hey friends! Welcome to part two of my serial novel, Martyrs and Thieves. In case you forgot what happened in Part One, here it is. And for your reading pleasure (remember it’s being drafted on the fly, and forgive me my mistakes), here is Part Two.
Vivian stepped around the shelves. “Who are you? What do you want?”
The man standing in the doorway was tall and lean. He shouldn’t have been noteworthy. If he’d turned around and left the room, no one would have remembered his features clearly enough to describe him to someone else. He wore a suit the color of deep twilight and his posture was relaxed as if he hardly noticed the stares.
“The labs are open, aren’t they? I might just be here to watch and observe.”
“But you’re not.” Vivian glanced back, but both Saul and her dad were still silent. “And the labs aren’t open. They never have been.”
“Right. Because the study and use of magic is reserved for the scientists.”
He took a few steps into the room, brushing a hand lightly over the cage of a golden chicken that clucked nervously twice and went as silent as all the other creatures.
A shudder crawled up Vivian’s spine, slower than should have been possible.
“The use of magic isn’t restricted to scientists. The development of magic into useful forms is, and only because that process can be dangerous and has resulted in several accidents over the years. Everyone knows the reasons for the laws we have in place.”
The man stopped three cages away from her, smiling. He shouldn’t have been smiling. There was nothing to smile about.
“You sound like the talking heads all over the television.”
“Don’t be stupid. You know we keep magic out of the public eye.” She felt out of control somehow, like the things she was doing, the words she was saying, even the way she held herself and how she met his gaze were not her own. It had to be him. And despite all the warnings, all the rumors she’d heard, she had no idea how to handle it.
“Just like you know who I am. So we’re both asking questions when we already have the answers. Which means the real question we should both be asking is why.”
“Fine.” Vivian steeled her spine and folded her arms over her chest, as if somehow changing her stance could give her the courage she needed to finish the conversation without fainting. “You’re Elen Beaudair. No one knows exactly what you do or why, they just know that when you show up, things go bad very quickly. Which means you showing up in my lab is a problem that needs solving.”
“And you’re Vivian Armain, and very possessive of this lab for someone who won’t take control of her father’s company for another three weeks. A position that makes you the very person I most want to speak with.”
“And if I choose to call security instead? Have you removed from the lab?”
Elen smiled again, and Vivian’s stomach churned.
“They won’t come. I’ve arranged it so everyone else is unavailable for the moment. So we can speak uninterrupted.”
Vivian shivered again, and Elen’s smile grew.