Oh, and Jilly, you really shouldn’t be in the habit of meeting strange people at night. I could have been a strangler for all you knew,” he said with a hint of reproach in his voice.
“Oh, I wouldn’t worry too much about me, William; it’s the strangler who should be worried,” Jilly said with a viscous gleam in her eyes while she vigorously rubbed her palms together until they glowed brightly in the moonlight. “Care to shake my hand, Mr. Strangler?” she asked with a laugh as she stuck her hand out to him.
“Ok, I’m game, let’s see what you’ve got up your sleeve,” he said as he grabbed her hand. Almost instantly he was on the ground, writhing in pain. “Well, I will say that tonight I’m glad that I cannot die; that sure packs a punch. I think I could feel my heart stop for a second,” he said, a little winded, as he propped himself up into a sitting position and rubbed his hand.
“Yeah, I figured I’d give you a real show tonight,” she said as she walked away.
He watched her go, still sitting on the ground, and said, “Until tomorrow then,” almost under his breath.
“You may as well come out,” she called. “I know you’re in there.” Both girls scanned the trees for any trace of movement.
Finally, off to their left, a figure emerged from the thick brush. It was a man neither of them recognized. He was short and wiry, with bright red hair and freckles. Jilly thought he was almost too adorable to be afraid of. Almost being the operative word. He came to a stop about six feet in front of them and held up his hands in a gesture of peace.
“I don’t mean you any harm,” he said, reiterating the gesture. “I’m only here to set up a meeting between you and Sabine,” he said as he nodded his head in Jilly’s direction.
“And what if I don’t agree to this meeting? Will you mean us harm then?” she asked as she slowly rubbed her palms together. She felt the familiar reassuring tingle in her fingers.
“Sabine doesn’t want you hurt. She just wants to talk, but if I have to hurt you I will.” He walked a step or two closer. The look on his face was anything but friendly.
“I’d stay where you are if I were you,” Jilly said forcefully. “You really don’t know me.” She rubbed her palms faster. Her palms and fingers were glowing by now.
The man looked at her and shrugged before charging toward her. Jilly put up her hands and grabbed his arm; he went down fast. She kept a hold of his arm until she felt the warmth in her hands start to fade, and yelled for Caroline to make a run for it.