Once inside the house, Aidan encouraged Kian to go hide in the caves. She refused. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying here and we are doing this together.”
“She’s got a point, Scotty. We are stronger if we stay together.”
“Yes, well, that depends on what the BOLO says,” Aidan replied as he opened his computer and did a search of the FBI database.
Kian stepped up behind him. “What’s it say?”
“You are only wanted for questioning. I guess even Power can’t get a search warrant at this point.”
Then, without warning, he slammed his laptop closed. “Someone’s coming I can feel it. Kian get upstairs.”
Kian did not move.
Aidan turned off the living room lights as Jimbo peered out one of the glass panels framing the front door. “That’s the shithead BOLO guy.”
“Now, Kian,” Aidan demanded. “Get upstairs now! And stay there.”
“Fine.” She turned and mounted the steps two at a time. “But you are not my boss.”
Aidan, intent on watching the figure approach, did not respond. “Bet he is here for Kian,” he told Jimbo.
“Probably. No other reason to be. I’m goin’ out. Need to check for more of them.”
Aidan heard the kitchen door slam just as he recognized the man approaching. Owen Griffith, Stephen’s arresting officer, the guy who tried to keep him away from Kian at the crime scene.
Aidan ducked back behind the door and waited. There was a bold knock. “Yes, tell me what you want,” Aidan called through the door.
“I need to talk to Kian.”
“Not your business. Where is she?”
“And that’s not your business.”
Aidan took a quick glance through the glass panel in time to see Owen close his eyes and take a deep breath. When he let it out, Aidan felt a ball of searing hot fear slam into his solar plexus. He felt himself draw back and watched his right hand reach for the doorknob. Mustering his willpower again, he withdrew it. Damn, where’d this kid learn that? The last time someone had thrown a fireball at him, he was confronting an old sorcerer out west.
“Sorry, jerk, that won’t get you anywhere. Now what do you want?”
Fearing the guy might have more tricks up his sleeve, Aidan peered out the glass panel again. He was right. The officer, it seemed, had grown larger, more imposing. He’d taken on what was often called the ‘Glamour.’ Aidan closed his eyes and shot a ball of fire at the young officer’s solar plexus causing him to stumble back off the porch. The officer looked bewildered, fear now in his eyes.
At that moment Jimbo appeared from behind and grabbed Owen’s arms, holding him in a lock. Aidan rushed out, disarmed the man, and then patted him down for good measure. He found a knife strapped to the officer’s ankle. Once disarmed, Aidan and Jimbo showed the officer into the house.
Aidan scowled at the young man. “Where’d you learn to throw fireballs?”
“Look man, you don’t understand. In fact you have no idea.”
“Try me,” said Aidan.
“You won’t believe me. I need to see Kian.”
“She’s not here. Now talk to me. Why are you here?”
“I could ask you the same thing,” Owen countered, pointing to Aidan’s duffle beside the sofa. “Why are you staying here?”
“Because someone is shooting at Kian and I don’t see you or your department doing anything about it. Now you.”
“It’s a long story.”
“So tell it.” Aidan pointed to the dining table and motioned Owen to take a chair. He sat across from the young officer while Jimbo, arms crossed, leaned against the open counter between the kitchen and the dining table.
“I know this is going to sound crazy,” Owen said, “but our families, Kian’s and mine, we go back more years than anyone would believe. I’m going to be straight with you. Kian’s in more danger than you realize. She may have something priceless, beyond anyone’s measure. Something I was sworn to protect, as were my ancestors before me. And, something your scheming boss wants.”
Aidan looked at Jimbo. Maybe he was legitimate, Aidan figured. Or maybe he wasn’t.
Jimbo nodded. “See, well, we already know that, shit-for-brains. Now tell us something we don’t know.”
Aidan could see the officer getting agitated. He watched as Owen closed his eyes again. Aidan prepared himself for another fireball, this time raising an invisible shield that would turn it back on the young man. But instead, the air became lighter and brighter. It felt like open empty space.
“She’s upstairs, isn’t she?” He turned toward the steps. “Kian, get down here now!”
Kian heard men arguing. She crept back to the top of the staircase to listen and recognized Owen’s voice. Had he said he was sworn to protect something, as were his ancestors before him? She was jolted. The Ark? Had to be. Paralda said there were Guardians for the Ark. Oh, now it all fits.
Then she heard Owen ordering her downstairs.
“All right, that’s it,” Kian muttered as she descended the steps and rounded the corner into the dining area.
Aidan was the first one to see her. “Kian, get back upstairs.”
Kian glared at him. “Stop ordering me around.”
“Way to go, girl,” Owen said.
“And, Owen Griffiths, don’t you tell me what to do either.”
She gave her words a moment to sink in as she took a seat at the table. “Now, what’s this all about?”
Jimbo, still standing leaning his back on the counter to the kitchen, was the first to speak. “Officer Griffiths here was one of the officers on the BOLO.”
“Owen? Were you going to take me in?”
“No, I wasn’t. But better I should be here than someone who doesn’t know you.”
“Point taken,” Kian said as she turned to Aidan. “Owen’s a friend of mine, always has been and always will be.”
Owen reached for her hand and patted it gently. “Kian, we need to talk privately.”
She pulled her hand back. “You can talk in front of them.”
“Kian, I am serious.”
“And I am tired of being treated like a child. Now why are you here?”
“Because of them.” Owen pointed first at Aidan then at Jimbo. “Do you know who their boss is?”
“Power is Aidan’s boss, not Jimbo’s and, yes, I know. What we don’t know is why you have not arrested Power yet.”
“They can’t get a court order,” Aidan jumped in. “At least that part is clear.”
Owen nodded before continuing, “Look, Power is after something….”
“I know. The Ark,” Kian said.
Owen’s eyes went wide. “You know about the Ark? Jacob finally told you?”
“No,” Kian said exasperated. “I had to find out for myself. The hard way, with people shooting at me. Why does everyone keep secrets from me?”
“We decided it would be safer,” Owen said.
Owen went to take her hand but, again, she yanked it away. “Who’s ‘we’?”
“Jacob, my parents, me,” Owen responded. “Listen, when your parents did not come back, we figured maybe Power killed them. Because Power and a couple of guys showed up here after that and they were stalking you….”
Kian, growing angrier, had all she could do to keep her voice steady. “And you were planning on telling me about being stalked exactly…, when?”
“Kian, calm down and just listen to me. Your parents went to get the Ark. When they did not come back, well we thought maybe Power got it. But when he showed up here, we knew he wouldn’t be watching you if he had the Ark. So now you were in danger, too.”
“Go on. That doesn’t explain why you never told me.”
He looked at her, and Kian could see true concern in his eyes. “See, the problem was that we thought Power might use you to find the Ark, so we decided as long as you didn’t show signs of knowing things or of having the Second Sight, then he’d leave you alone. That’s why you went to Boston instead of living here with us.”
“So you just shipped me off, let me think god-knows-what about my parents, and then ignored me. That’s great, Owen, just great.” There were tears in Kian’s eyes.
By Christos Doudoulakis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons