“Nothing to thank me for. Just the truth.” He paused. “Get what you’re looking for. Fast. I’ll text you where to find us when we’re settled in San Jose.”

“Okay.” Because of Luciana, I often found it hard to trust people. I’d been suspicious of Adrian because he seemed too eager to learn magic, but I’d misjudged him. I was trusting him with my brother, and I didn’t think that trust was misplaced. When I got back, I’d teach him whatever he wanted to know. I owed him at least that much. “Thanks for taking care of him.”

“You got it. Talk to you soon.”

“Bye.” I hung up and threw my phone on my bed, willing the morning to come sooner. There wasn’t a second to spare.

Chapter Fourteen

When I woke up, I was still feeling a little tired from the long-distance magic. The good thing was that I knew what I had to do, no matter how much I didn’t want to do it.

Matt would be at breakfast waiting for me. He wasn’t one to give up when he wanted something, and since I’d been there yesterday morning, he’d be there today ready for round two. There was no time to stall. I had to get this done.

I put on the new pair of black pants I’d gotten for the trip. They were hiking pants, but way nicer. They made my butt look really good. I paired them with a magenta tank, and a peasant top. Trading the fleece I wore yesterday for a cardigan, I felt confident. I carefully put on my makeup, feeling like it was war paint. I thought about casting some protection spells—arming myself with a knot or two—but I was already feeling sapped. I’d only been gone from Texas for forty-eight hours. I still hadn’t recovered from Luciana’s heavy draining when I used that big chunk of magic last night. And if these brujos were evil, I was going to need every last scrap of magic I had. Lucas said he’d be watching out for me, but I couldn’t count on that. I had to take care of myself, and be ready to fight Matt and whatever these brujos could throw at me.

When I was ready, I grabbed my purse and headed out to the lobby. Sure enough, Matt was sitting at a table, reading a newspaper. He wore a white button-down, with a brightly colored plaid sweater over it, and navy slacks. The sweater was loud and obnoxious, but it made a statement. I wasn’t sure what that statement was…but it was there.

He noticed me, and grinned. Something about the grin was off. He looked a little too triumphant considering he didn’t know what I planned to say.

You can do this. You have to do this. I blindly grabbed some food, and then approached his table—not wanting to waste any time. Might as well get this over with.

He set the newspaper down, folding it carefully as he looked up at me.

“Can I sit here?”

He sat up straighter, waving a hand at the chair across from him. “Of course.” He took a sip of his coffee, trying to hide the smug look on his face. His grin had to mean he was pleased I’d come to him, and for a second, I thought he wouldn’t give me any grief for being rude to him yesterday.

Maybe this wasn’t going to be so hard after all.

“The wolf get tired of you already?” He said right as I took my first bite of grapefruit.

I’d known the dig was coming—had even been waiting for it—and still he managed to catch me off guard. Had Matt picked up on my crush? I hoped not, or I’d never hear the end of it.

He couldn’t know. Only I knew. Unless I’d made a complete idiot of myself at breakfast yesterday.

I slowly chewed and swallowed, as I thought about what to say. The best I could come up with was not to dignify it with a response. Instead, I changed the subject. “You said you knew the local coven?”

He relaxed back against the chair. “Yes, I do.”

I took another bite of my grapefruit. He was going to make me pry it out of him, but I would do my parents proud and not lose my temper. “And what do you know of them?”

“They’re an all-male sect. They live like monks in a small town an hour south of here.”

I was trying not to just jump into the favor. If I asked the right question, maybe he’d offer to take me there and save me from asking. It might be a long shot, but it was worth a try. “Do you know anything about the kind of magic they practice?”

He scrunched up his brows as he leaned forward. “What kind of a question is that?”

I nearly sighed. Could he really be that dense? “A valid one.” Although if he said anything other than black magic, I was going to be suspicious.

“All magic is the same.”

Now that I hadn’t been expecting. “Come on, Matt. You don’t really believe that, do you?” I’d thought he knew what Luciana was like—and what she’d put me and the rest of us through—but maybe I was wrong.