When they returned to the vampire manor Jaks took Quentin aside. “I have some business to attend to. Don’t spend all night out in the garden playing with the wolves.”
Quentin took a deep breath then let it out in a huff. “Sign the form.”
“What? I thought we went over that. I paid your debt.”
“As much as I appreciate that.” He really didn’t. “I can’t let you take away my choices. If you sign the form then I know you aren’t cutting off my independence.”
A low growl rolled up Jaks’s throat. “Why do you have to make me into being a controlling monster. I only want you to be safe.”
“It’s not that I’m making you the bad guy. I just refuse to have an obsessive boyfriend. I won’t turn into one of the people who let their significant other take over every part of their life. I’ve worked hard my entire life to be independent and make my mother proud. I’m not going to have her die thinking I’ve fallen into a bad relationship.”
He thought for a moment Jaks would deny him. Hard resolve flickered in Jaks’s eyes. “This is really important to you isn’t it?”
“Yes. It is.”
“Fine. I’ll sign it but I want you to clear any hunting with me before hand and I will send you backup if I deem your assignment too dangerous.”
Quentin nodded, too happy to speak. He couldn’t believe Jaks was giving in.
Jaks walked over, cupped his fingers around Quentin’s shoulders then kissed his forehead. “I might be a possessive asshole but I’m your possessive asshole. I want you to be happy. I want to make you happy.”
Quentin leaned into the embrace. “You can’t make someone happy. You can only work hard not to make them miserable. People make their own happiness.”
“And are you a happy person?” Jaks’s pinned Quentin with an intent gaze as if his words mattered.
“Yes. I think overall I’m happy. I wish my mother wasn’t ill but we’ve both come to grips with her health.” They’d had long talks into the night. Trina Heart was ready to meet her maker.
“I’d like to meet her if you don’t mind,” Jaks said.
Quentin smiled. “She’d probably enjoy meeting a vampire.”
His mother liked meeting new people and with her death imminent she was squeezing every last bit of life out of everything before she went.
“Good. I’ll stop by tomorrow.”
“Let me know when and I’ll come with to introduce you.”
Jaks pressed a quick kiss onto Quentin’s mouth. “I look forward to it. Are you spending the night?”
“No. I have an early seminar in the morning.” He’d signed up for the two-day special class on elemental magic early in the year and since it had taken him three years to get into the class he didn’t want to miss it.
“Come see me before you go.” Jaks kissed Quentin once more then turned and walked down the hall.
“He’s really hot,” Grevin said.
“Yeah.” Quentin couldn’t argue with the necromancer’s assessment.
Grevin nudged Quentin’s arm with his elbow. “Are you going to keep him?”
Quentin tugged at his necklace. “Well he plans to keep me.”
“Let me see.” Grevin moved to stand in front of Quentin. He hooked a finger through the chain and held it up to examine closer. “I can just make out the runes. I can probably get this off you.”
“No!” Quentin stepped back moving the necklace out of Grevin’s reach. “I mean, no that’s all right. It’s fine.”
A day earlier and he would’ve jumped at Grevin’s offer. What had changed? Before Quentin had a chance to examine his thoughts the wolves began to howl. “What’s going on?”
“They’ve scented something,” Grevin said.
Curious over what had the wolves in a frenzy, Quentin said the only thing he could. “Hunt!”
Howling the wolves raced down the corridor. Quentin and Grevin exchanged glances then ran after the wolves. They ran down several hallways and down a set of stairs. Quentin’s legs began to burn as he raced after the animals. Something had them on edge and he hated to think what could upset fae royalty enough they wanted to hunt it down.
The hunt ended in front of a closed door. Quentin pushed past the wolves and tried the handle.
“Let me try.” Grevin said.
Quentin stepped back to allow more room for the necromancer.
Grevin wrapped his hand around the handle and whispered a soft incantation Quentin couldn’t quite make out. A loud sizzle and pop was followed by the stench of burning metal. Grevin pulled off the handle and tossed it to ground then reached in and popped the catch.
The door swung open with a groaning screech of hinges. Quentin peered over Grevin’s shoulder but didn’t see anything right away.
“Huh.” Grevin entered the room with Quentin on his heels.
“Looks like a storage room of some kind.” Quentin said, walking inside. The stone walls and dusty barrels stacked to one side didn’t show signs of occupants. No footprints disturbed the heavy dust and the air didn’t smell of magic. The wolves milled around them but didn’t indicate any particular direction.
“I think we were led astray,” Grevin said.
“Yes, but why?” Quentin didn’t feel any animosity in the room or any other sign of magic.
“A better question would be by who?”
“Isn’t it whom?” Quentin asked.
“It’s who the fuck cares is what it is,” Grevin snapped. “Someone is playing mind games and you’re worried about correct grammar.”
“Sorry.” Quentin raised his hands defensively against Grevin’s tirade. “Let’s go to the courtyard and try some spells with the wolves.”
“Good idea.” Grevin said.
They turned to exit only to find no door. Where before there had been a wooden entrance was smooth stone wall.
“That can’t be good.” Quentin said.
“I think we stupidly fell into a trap.” Grevin examined the new wall, tapping it with his fist.
“Hmm. I wonder how long it would take Jaks to notice I’m missing.”
“I’d say two minutes but who knows. There are some spells that make everyone forget about you. Your entire life could’ve just been erased,” Grevin said. “I doubt it works on vampires though.”
“You don’t have to be so calm about it,” Quentin snapped.
Grevin shrugged. “I don’t have anyone to miss me.”
Quentin opened his mouth to speak then shut it again. That was one of the saddest things he’d ever heard. “We’ll work on that when we get out of here. Everyone should have at least one person to mourn them.”
“I’m a necromancer, Q, people are happy if I’m not around.”
Quentin would’ve thought Grevin resigned to that fate if he didn’t sound so forlorn. “I’d miss you, okay?”
Grevin smiled. “No you wouldn’t. You only remembered me because your wolves needed help. Hey, it’s all right. Some people aren’t meant to make an impact on this earth. Besides I’ll get reflected glory by being friends with you. No one is going to forget you. I don’t care how many spells are laid down.”
“I appreciate your pep talk but I’m not quite ready to vanish quite yet. Come here. Between us we should be able to get out.” Quentin tried to reach for his teleporting magic but something had him blocked.
Grevin shuffled his foot along the floor stirring up dust. The wolves sneezed.
“What are you doing?” Quentin asked.
“I think we’re in bigger trouble than I thought.” Grevin’s worried tone had Quentin rushing to his side.
Grevin had scraped a clear spot on the floor revealing a glowing set of runes.
“Oh crap!” Quentin said.
Grevin nodded. “Exactly.”