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“What’s wrong?” Adrenalin spiked under her ribs as he led her by the elbow towards the bedroom. Fia followed, but Wolf waved her back. Frowning, she stopped short and crossed her arms over her chest, but didn’t protest.
“Margarite has been working with Katie and the coven to look for weaknesses in our wards and shields, and they’ve found an oddity.” Wolf pulled her into the bedroom.
Calisto waited for them with his bondmate, Margarite, and Loti’s surrogate grandmother, Katie Brown. Katie was also the leader of the local coven and her best friend’s actual grandmother. The king size bed and Loti’s antique Chinese wardrobe were already in place. Guided was hooking up the stereo and the satellite receiver.
“What have you found?” Loti felt like they only got a few brief moments of normality before the whole Modore thing shattered her illusion of safety.
“Something is odd. It’s like an energy imprint. Something was here, but is now gone. I say gone because there really is nothing to detect, just kind of like a warm spot where it was.” Katie worried her earing.
“Where?” Loti asked.
“Here,” Calisto waved around the center of the room.
“In this room or the entire house?” Wolf turned in a circle, sniffing the air.
“Mmm, this room, I think.” Margarite was moving her hands through the air like a mime in a box, bending over the bed. “Around here. The floor, I think.” She actually got down on her knees and peered under the bed. “Here.”
Loti shielded her eyes, a blush blooming. Oh good grief. Don’t say a word, Wolf.
Wolf winked at Loti. “Well, you said it’s gone? Just an afterglow? Did you recognize a magical signature?” She scowled at him as she shifted her weight to the other foot and crossed her arms over her chest.
“Well, not really. It’s like pure energy. I’ve never felt anything like it except at the shrine.” Margarite had a unique ability to differentiate energy types, even more so than an ordinary healer could and Loti prayed she wouldn’t figure this out. “This is like the universe itself, unmanipulated, unadulterated. Like it lacks a conduit.”
Wolf snorted and Loti glared at him, Don’t say a word. He grinned at her and she resisted the urge to yell at him. Calisto and Katie watched the wordless exchange, but Margarite was getting up from the floor and hadn’t caught it.
“I think it’s nothing to worry about,” Wolf said, taking Loti’s hand. She wanted to jerk it out of his grip, but took a deep breath instead. She wasn’t sure if she was more mad or more embarrassed that Wolf’s teasing might give the other’s a clue to what she understood.
“Well,” Margarite’s eyes were clouded with concern.
“You’re not sensing Modore or a unique signature, like a spell or a caster, are you?” Calisto wrapped his fingers around Margarite’s hand.
“No, but I’m still worried.” She curled her bottom lip under and chewed on it.
“I think we’re all just a little paranoid these days.” Katie patted Loti on the shoulder and winked at her as she left the room. Loti’s mouth fell open. Had the witch guessed?
Margarite looked around at Loti who wouldn’t meet her gaze, her brow wrinkled. She glanced up at Wolf who seemed to be repressing a wicked smile. “You really don’t think it’s anything to worry about?” Then her face went slack and they could almost see the light bulb appear above her head.
“Oh.” A repressed laugh twisted her mouth. “Oh. Je vous prie de m'excuser.” She hid a laugh behind a petite hand. She was gifted in energy detection, but it hadn’t occurred to her, to any of them, that the source of this particular energetic footprint could have been unintentional.
“Let’s go see what Peacepipe and Mitch have cooked up.” Guided slapped Wolf on the back and left the room, a big grin on his mug.
Calisto and Margarite followed him. Margarite mouthed, “I’m sorry” to Loti as Calisto dragged her by the hand through the doorway. When Loti turned to Wolf, he was grinning at her like the Cheshire cat.
“Stop it. That was ridiculously embarrassing.” Loti play slapped him on the arm. He grabbed her hand and kissed it.
“I thought sex was the last thing that would embarrass you?” Her chest heaved as he enveloped her in his arms and kissed her neck.
“Not now, we have a house full of guests and a ton of things to unpack.” She pushed half-heartedly at his chest. “And I’m not embarrassed by sex, but come on, even you have to admit that this is a little weird. We can’t make love without something changing between us, and now we’re leaving metaphysical wet spots?”
He chortled so loud, she knew everyone in the house must have heard him.