Annie took something reminiscent of a cheese grater and tried to reach the sigil on her back. She gave up after a few minutes. She couldn't bring herself to do it. That might have been her own fears of pain or it could have been Perseus' sigil. Heaving a deep sigh, she planted herself in front of her laptop. The kids were running around in the other room. She really hated kids. Someone was trying to Skype her so she allowed the conversation to open. "Daemon, you had better have news for me."
Daemon nodded. "You finally noticed I was calling you then?"
"Get on with it."
"I've sent someone after Reckless Erratic."
"Someone with a good track record. He is going to take the child and deliver him to our other partner...a miss Basilisk?" She waited for a reply. Sarok did nothing. Daemon coughed awkwardly and continued. "Any complications and we'll call you with several complaints."
Sarok sighed and closed the lid of her laptop. Things were moving fast and she still didn't have her 'payment'.
"I think the eyes flirt the most. You can see a lot in eyes."
Not for the first time, Perseus Frivolidad wondered how he had gotten himself into this conversation. He was pretty certain he had not been flirting with the French man, but the white-haired Charles insisted he had caught him flirting.
"And my eyes were flirting with you?"
"Eyes and body language. Are you interested in men, Mr...whatever your name is?"
"You seemed quite reluctant to tell us your name before."
"I didn't know you lot before. Your other French companion seems to be good with children."
"He has three of his own."
Perseus moved his hand so that it was brushing against that of the French man's. He didn't seem to mind, so he kept it there. They were at a park nobody went to anymore, gazing up at the moon and stars. Charles leaned in against the Cuban Mage, causing him to freeze up. He didn't trust anyone, least of all this man. Only the twisting feeling in his gut was impossible to ignore. He had never felt this way towards anyone before, and he knew what it was, but he honestly had never expected to have such a feeling towards another man...still, you learn new things every day. He relaxed and let a rare smile grace his lips.
"Yes, Perseus?" Charles sounded tired, so he decided to make it quick.
"I'm not interested in men, I'm interested in you alone."
"Likewise..." The white-haired mage fell into a deep sleep and Perseus lay back, laying them both out against the grass.
Cadence walked back to the castle with Dearth Damon-Dacey. She wasn't sure now if he was with her because he had forgotten the way or because he wanted to make sure she was safe. As the sun set, she was able to get a better look at him. He had blonde hair, short and in wild waves. His eyes twinkled bright blue and his skin was tanned like Harrison's. He had a chip in one of his teeth beneath a set of braces. He had a certain level of fat to him, not nastily so, but just filled out enough to suit him. He had a few faded freckles dusting his face. "Fred's a good judge of character." He told her happily. "He always knows who to allow into his group and who to kill if they ever somehow discover them."
Cadence laughed, taking it as a poor joke. "How often does that happen?"
"Quite a lot." Dearth replied, a darker tone entering his voice now.
"But he trusts you, and that's what is important, and he showed you how to get in, so you can come back to say anything whenever. I think Kitty and Nia like you."
"Yeah...they seem pretty attention-starved."
"I can imagine. I'm sorry, what's your name again?"
The disguised woman was in a clothes shop she had spotted while making her way to Mevolent's castle originally. She looked at racks of long coats, looking for one long enough to hide the muck and blood on the Grand Mage's trousers. She found one in pale yellowy-brown. It was hideously ugly, but it would serve its purpose. She grabbed any old shirt, a yellow scarf with black lines in a pattern like the one on Rupert Bear's scarf. This one would be better at hiding one's jaw than Rupert Bear's though. She pulled a wide-brimmed hat off the shelves and went to pay for them all. She already had a pair of trainers hanging in a plastic bag from her wrist. She wondered briefly how easy it would be to sneak him out in all this, then decided not to think about the dangers until the event was actually happening.
Reckless Erratic slept curled up beside Austin Baritone. The newcomer was watched as he approached the two. He was watched as he stooped to pick up the small child, careful not to wake the necromancer beside her.
Narcissus Jfzqfkb slowly got to his feet, then he gave an almighty roar of "Oi! The heck you think you're doin'?!"
This woke up some of the others and soon all eyes were fixed on Springheeled Jack holding the still fast-asleep Reckless. Already the sorcerers were surrounding him.
"Put the kid down and no-one gets hurt." Perseus warned.
"Sorry mate, looks like this time I'm on the side of the angels. The mother you kidnapped this kid from ain't too happy with her kid going missing."
Elder Orage raised an eyebrow, now looking straight at Frivolidad. "I may not press charges for the gun thing, but I think I know who you are now. I may have to press charges for a lot of counts of kidnap, Frivolidad."
Frivolidad stuck his tongue out, was unaware a fight had started at this circle as Baritone sent a fist of shadows to intercept Jack's leap. He missed and Repine tried to help, but stepped forward and fell flat on his face instead. Two feet hit Baritone square on the chest, sending him back with the wind knocked out of him, then Jack turned and tried to flip over the wall of air Orage sent at him, timed it badly and went crashing into the French Elder. He fell with a nasty portion of his weight slamming against the child, who awoke and started crying. Jack scrambled to his feet and kicked Jasmin in the head before he could get up, giving a satisfied nod as the Elder fell unconscious. Fiable came next, clicking his fingers as if to summon a flame. He went for another jump when someone kneed him in the small of the back. He turned but there was no-one there. Instead he got a kick to the back of the shins, but when he turned again, not even Fiable was behind him. There was a teleporter in this team. He turned in a slow circle, trying to work out where she had gone. He couldn't see any of the group apart from Repine and Orage, who lay in the mud. That was when the fist full of shadows crunched into his jaw.
And then Daemon Scaroe and Belinda Diamond were there, facing off Austin and Arthritis. "Oh great." Belinda spat as she realised who she was facing.
"Shadow walk Jack and the kid out of here, I'll take care of the family."
"This isn't going to go well..." Belinda hurried off, using her hockey stick to swing a shot of shadows at her father before he could try and stop her. She pulled up a shadow wall against Frivolidad as he came charging towards her and pulled the shadows back in to herself as she approached those she was to transport.
Meanwhile, Daemon was deciding she had just made a stupid decision. Austin and Arthritis were older and more experienced than her, as was Repine when he finally scrabbled up and staggered over. Still, the first part of the job was done, they had the kid. Now Daemon only wished she could get out of this fix without getting herself killed.