Side Quest

“Really? Another hissy fit?” Luke said as he turned his back to me.
I screamed out my frustration and transformed into my Gorgon. “Stop calling it that!” I screeched. Sometimes, my skin felt tight when emotions were running high, and I just needed to let go. Let myself change and scream, screaming helped.

I leaned my head back on the couch and yawned. Loudly. Once Luke had Luca’s phone number, he was able to access all kinds of information, and I was getting bored waiting for him to finish. I had tried to help, but all I’d done was get in the way. Just as my eyes started to drift shut, Luke swore under his breath. “What is it?” I asked, leaning forward to get a look at the computer screen.

Luke rubbed his hands over his face, then pushed his laptop over so I could read what he’d found. 

I quickly scanned the page, then let out a long breath. “Wow. I guess I’m not really surprised, though.” Somehow, Luke was able to find information on an active investigation. A murder investigation, with Luca as the number only suspect. 

“It looks like they’re sure he’s guilty. They’re just having trouble getting enough evidence for the district attorney.” He closed his laptop a little harder than necessary, then glared at me.

I groaned. “Don’t even start. I know what you’re going to say, and I don’t want to hear it. We already have a plan, and I’m not going to change it just because he might be a murderer. I don’t have anything to worry about. He does, though.” I smirked, thinking about messing with Luca, all thoughts of tracking down the leader of the cult forgotten. 

“There is nothing to talk about, so you don’t have to worry. The cops will get their information, and he’ll be arrested. That’s it. We’ll have to track down the cult again, and you can just tell them who you are and make them explain what they’ve been doing.” Luke smiled, looking smug.

I laughed. “Oh, don’t look so satisfied. You know damn well I won’t leave it at that.” Luke jumped to his feet and rounded on me. I stood and held out my hand to stop him. “No, I mean it, don’t start. I read what they think he did to that girl. I’m not going to assume he’s guilty, but I’m also not going to just sit back and do nothing. If he is guilty, I’ll find out. In the meantime, I plan on meeting him as planned.”

“Medusa!” he growled out.

I smiled sweetly at him. “Yes, Luke, dear?”

He took a deep breath before saying, “For once, can you just let it go? Let the police handle it.”

“There is absolutely no reason for me not to meet him tomorrow. He has no idea who I am, and even if he did, he doesn’t stand a chance against me.” 

He groaned. “I know that look.” He dropped onto the couch and covered his face with his hands.

“What look?” I asked sweetly.

“Just tell me what you’re planning,” he said.

I sat next to him and slipped my arm around his waist, and leaned into him. “I’m just going to have a little fun with him, that’s all.”

He pulled me onto his lap and took me with him as he leaned back. “Why do you do this? Are you trying to make me crazy? You have a business to run. You’re always telling me how you can’t keep up with all the appointments and meetings. Just let this go. Hell, let the stupid cult thing go too.”

I gritted my teeth as he spoke. I knew he cared, so I tried to keep calm. “I know you aren’t telling me what to do, right?” I slid off his lap and crossed my arms over my chest. “Because I’m a grown-ass goddess, and if I want to screw with some creep who’s probably got it coming, I damn well will.”

“Why?” he exploded. “Why can’t you just leave well enough alone? Why do you have to keep putting yourself in the middle of dangerous situations?” he yelled.

“Turn. Around. Now,” I said through gritted teeth.

“Really? Another hissy fit?” Luke said as he turned his back to me.

I screamed out my frustration and transformed into my Gorgon. “Stop calling it that!” I screeched. Sometimes, my skin felt tight when emotions were running high, and I just needed to let go. Let myself change and scream, screaming helped. 

He waved his hand, motioning to me behind his back. “What else am I supposed to call it?”

My snakes were rilled up, and they hissed and snapped at the air. “Anything else!” 

“Whatever,” Luke muttered under his breath. 

I paced a few times before I finally shifted back into my human form. “I’m done.”

“Are you sure?” he asked, and I could hear the smile in his voice. 

I’d never understand him. My snakes didn’t faze him at all. I shook my head and replied, “Yeah, I’m done.”

“Feel better?” 

“I guess. I’m not going to change my mind, though.” I put my hands on my hips, daring him to push it.

“I know.” He pulled me into his arms. “I know he probably couldn’t hurt you. But you never know, he could have a sword strapped to his back. You know very well what one thing is that could hurt you.”

A memory flashed through my mind, and I grimaced. “Why would you put that image in my head?” 

“I just think sometimes you need to be reminded that you’re not invincible.” 

I pulled away, sticking my tongue out at him. “Whatever.” I shrugged. “Fine. You can come. I’ll say you’re my brother.”

Luke’s satisfied smile almost had me taking back my words, but my mind was already too busy working on the different ways I could mess with Luca. If I could get him to incriminate himself, that would be a bonus.

“Great. You won’t even know I’m there.”

I barked out a laugh. “I highly doubt that.”

“What are you going to tell him? Are you going to show him the scale?” Luke asked as he picked up the tiny glass jar and examined it. 

I shrugged. “I’ve got some ideas. But, no, I’m not going to show him the scale. I don’t want to give him that satisfaction. I think I’ll tell him I was given a flower petal.”

He nodded. “Are you going to tell him who you are?”

“I’m not sure yet. We’ll just have to see how it goes.” I was hoping I’d get him to incriminate himself, but if he did, I wasn’t sure what I could do about it. I wasn’t law enforcement, but I could pass judgment. From the information we’d found, he definitely deserved to be judged. I wondered what else he might have done and gotten away with. 

Luke snapped his fingers in front of my face, and I batted away his hand. “Stop that.”

“Where’d you go?” His questioning gaze focused on me. 

“Sorry, I was just thinking.” I shook my head and stretched. “We should put the cult on hold for now and find out what we can about Luca.”

He nodded.

“I’m going to go to bed. It’s been a long day,” I said through a yawn.

“Okay. I’m going to just dig a little more. I’ll join you a little later.” 

I could hear Luke’s fingers on his keyboard as I headed for bed. He sure did love his research.

Medusa (Jennifer Morton)
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