When I got back to Wares Security, Reginald started waving a stack of messages at me. “You’re neglecting our clients. You know, the people who pay my salary, so I can wear these fabulous looking clothes. Where have you been for the last twelve hours?”

“Working, not that it’s any of your business.”

“Oh, it is my business, dude. I’m the one who keeps things running here, while you’re off chasing some skirt from your past.”

I glared at him. “Do you have a death wish today? Because I am already on the edge, and it won’t take much to push me over. Keep it up, pretty boy. Your boyfriend won’t be able to recognize you when I’m done.”

“Fine, fine, Mr. Uptight,” Reginald said. “I’ll stop. But you need to answer these phone calls.”

I snatched the pink slips from his hand. “Anything else?”

“I have a long list of things here. Your father has been calling here every thirty minutes with something new that needs to be taken care of. You’re going to run yourself ragged trying to run the forge and your business. Why don’t you just put Charlie in charge of the forge so you can focus your attention here?”

“Wow, your gossip chain is off the hook this morning,” I said sarcastically. “Charlie went for a ride with Charon last night.”

Reginald gasped. “Get the heck out of here! Are you serious?”

“No one ever jokes about Charon, Reginald,” I said solemnly.

“Who did it? Where’s the body? Was there a lot of blood?”

“I don’t know who did it; the body, what’s left of it, is being examined; of course there was a lot of blood! He was crushed in one of the presses. Now, I have calls to make, remember?” I said, waving the slips at him and going to my office. I locked the door behind me so he wouldn’t come busting in on me.

Sitting down at my desk, I dropped the journal and the slips on top, and reached into a drawer on the right side for what the mortals called a burner phone. There was only one number on it. 

“This isn’t a really good time to be calling,” the voice whispered into the phone. “I’m at work right now.”

“I have another assignment for you,” I said.

“You mean I can leave this demeaning job?”

“No, I still need you there. But this one kind of goes hand in hand with what you’re doing now.”

“Hold on.” I heard the wheels of a chair sliding across the floor, followed by footsteps and a door opening and closing. “What do you need now?”

“That’s not very friendly.”

“I’m not in a friendly mood,” the person snapped. “Now what do you want?”

I explained the situation and laid out my suspicions. “This could get dangerous for you. If you feel uncomfortable doing it, I’ll find someone else.”

“That would take too long,” the person replied. “I’m not worried about the danger; you made sure I could handle anything that might come up, remember?”

“I’ll keep this phone with me at all times until this has been resolved. Don’t take any unnecessary risks. Two people have already died. I don’t want you to be number three.”

“Aw, do you have a soft spot for me? I didn’t know you gave a damn.”

“I don’t,” I retorted. “You’re an employee, and I’m not about to let anything happen to someone who works for me on my watch. No unnecessary risks. If something doesn’t feel right to you, call or text me. I can be there in the blink of an eye. Is that clear? If you can’t follow orders, I’ll yank you out of there now.”

“I got it, I got it,” the person muttered. “Keep your shorts on. I’ll give you updates twice a day.”

“Good. We need to stop this before it goes any further.”

“I agree, boss. I need to get back before they wonder where I am.” All I heard after that was a dial tone.

I stuck the phone in my pocket and picked up the journal. What I had read earlier had blown my mind, and I couldn’t quite believe it was true.

As the saying goes, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

I was going to stick to my enemy like glue, one way or another.

Ares (Teresa Watson)
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