Grave Danger

"Grave danger?" I raised eyebrows at Logan and broke into the type of laugh that starts out loud and then peters out when you run out of breath. I had to hug my knees to my chest. Tears formed in the corners of my eyes.


"What's so funny?"

I inhaled loudly. "Oh come on! We are standing on top of the Book of Flesh and Bone. Satan's own wicked grimoire." I grabbed my shaking stomach. "And we're in a house next to a graveyard. Grave danger. Of course we're in grave danger. When am I ever not in grave danger!" The fit of laughter overcame me again. Could. Not. Breathe.

Logan's hands wrapped around my shoulders and shook. "Snap out of it. I don't think my mother meant it as a joke. What should we do?"

I got control of myself and pushed up from the floor, eyeing the symbols on the vault and trying to call on my emerging witchy instincts for direction. "Poe! Get down here," I yelled toward the stairs.

Flapping. The muffled thump of wings against wood. I was sure we'd left the door partially open but it sounded like he was struggling to fit through. A black streak passed by my face and landed on the leather pocket of the pool table. "Eww. The vibe down here is making me molt." He ruffled himself and a few stray black feathers cascaded to the floor. "What's under the stone, Witcherella?"

"Rumor has it, the Book of Flesh and Bone."

"Rumor has it from whom?" Poe fixed Logan with a beady black stare.

Logan stepped back. "The bird talks?"

"This is my familiar. His name is Poe."

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"Yes. I am Poe, keeper of this witch, and I say, sir, that it seems a bit coincidental that you should know exactly where the book is."


"Poe, he used to live in the attic, as a ghost. Besides, he didn't actually know. It was his dead mother. He's a medium."

Poe flapped and plumped his breast skeptically. "Likely story. Can you see this so called dead mother, Miss Witch? How do we know he's not possessed? Or a nekomata in disguise?"

"I'm not a demon!" Logan said, extending his hands to the sides. "Or a shapeshifter."

I scratched my jaw. "He came through the front door, Poe. He's not supernatural."

"Did you invite him in?"

Oh crap. I had invited him in. And come to think of it, I couldn't see the ghost of his dead mother, and it did seem rather coincidental that he knew just where to look. "Oh my God, Logan, are you a demon or a shifter?"

"No," he insisted as if the mere idea was ridiculous. "No!" he repeated more emphatically.

Poe hopped to my shoulder. "Prove it."

"How exactly am I supposed to prove it?" Logan's outstretched hands balled into fists and came to rest on his hips.

I pulled out my phone and searched my database for a spell to detect supernatural beings. "Stay right there." I ducked into the downstairs bathroom, and filled the empty soap dish with some water. When I returned, Logan looked more than a little put out. I held the dish toward him.

"Tip forward so that I can see your reflection in the water."

He hesitated for a second but indulged me. I placed my free hand on his head and repeated the phrase I'd learned from my spell database. "Ostendil mihil teipsme"

The water glowed cerulean blue then rippled from the inside out as if a teardrop had fallen from his face and landed at the center. When the rings settled, I could see his reflection clearly. It looked just like Logan, with the addition of a blue star glowing in the center of his forehead.

"See! He's one of them," Poe accused, pointing a talon toward Logan.

"Wait up, Poe. The spell said the supernatural would appear as shadows in the water. Logan's reflection is clear, aside from the star.

"What does that mean?"

"I think it's because he's a medium. He can channel and talk to the dead. That's all."

"You think? You're not sure." Poe narrowed his eyes.

"I'm sure he's not anything maleficent."

Logan stood straight, rubbing his head. "Can we move on please? Honestly, if I was a demon, I'd have plowed over the flying rat and gotten the hell out of here while you were in the bathroom."

Poe's beak dropped open at the flying rat comment. He squinted his eyes at Logan. "I don't like you."

"Feeling's mutual."

In answer, I turned my back to them and stared at the symbols in the concrete. "Now that that's settled, how do we open this?"

Poe hopped down the table's edge to get a better view. "You can't. These symbols are ancient nekomata runes. It says it can't be opened until equinox on the winter solstice."

"Not even with magic?" I asked.

"No. It says when the sunlight hits the stone at midday of the solstice, the treasure will be revealed."

"We're inside. How does the nekomata expect sunlight to hit the stone?"

Logan looked over his shoulder at the sliding glass door to the backyard. "I saw a Scooby Doo episode where the bad guy used a series of mirrors to reflect the light."

Poe stared at him incredulously. "Were you eating Fruity Pebbles at the time?"

"Hey, it's a viable alternative."

Poe squawked, "Perhaps we should entertain ideas from more reliable sources than Saturday morning cartoons?"

"It could happen, Poe." I shot the bird a warning glare. Why was he being such an asshole to Logan? "I wonder if this was why Mr. Nekomata said he wanted to bulldoze the house. Maybe he plans for the sun to reach this directly."

"Could he do that?" Poe asked, fluttering to my shoulder. "You said the sale closes on Friday, the day before the solstice. Could he bulldoze this place in a day?"

"It's hard for me to believe he could get a crew out here, in the middle of winter, on a Saturday. But I'm not ruling anything out."

Logan blew out an exaggerated breath. "Not to be an ass, but shouldn't we be trying to stop the closing? Best case scenario, Nekomata never has the opportunity to shed light on the vault."

"I'll call my father back and beg. I'll come up with an excuse. We should all be prepared though. I'm not the seller; my father is. Technically, he could sell it right out from under me."

Poe yanked my hair with his beak. "What father could deny their own little girl? A few tears and I'm sure he will accommodate you."

"I'll bawl my eyes out if it will keep Nekomata out of here until after the solstice."

"Good plan, my dear spellcaster," Poe said. "However, as I mentioned before, it would be prudent of you to move the Book of Light. If all else fails, we will need it to manage the consequences."

That's right. I needed a place to hide the book, a place with enough air to enhance its magical properties and where it could be safe and protected in my absence. I couldn't keep it at Rick's and after what happened with Marcus the vampire a few weeks ago, I didn't want to involve Michelle. Which left only one person who could help me.

"Logan, I need to ask a favor of you."

"My mother is smiling and nodding her head. Whatever you are going to ask me, looks like I'm supposed to say yes."

After Logan agreed to babysit the Book of Light, we moved it to his condo, feeling like I was leaving my first-born baby in his home office. He wasn't completely keen on the idea. Fortunately, his mother's ghost persuaded him to go along. I spent the better part of the day laying protective spells around his place, something I'd wanted to do anyway. Nothing could come in without his invitation, aside from me. By the time I'd finished, the place was a magical Fort Knox.

"The front desk already has instructions to let you up, day or night, but here's a key."

I looked at the silver specimen he dangled in front of me. For some reason, the thought of having a key to his place made me uncomfortable. "I don't think I'll need my own key," I said. "This is only temporary."

"Are you kidding me? I'm gone most nights at the restaurant. If you need to get to the book, this is your only way in."

Reluctantly, I accepted the key, noticing the Valentine's emblem on the stainless steel keychain. The engraving was of an artistically designed heart pierced by cupid's arrow, only the point was actually a spoon and the feathers, a fork pointing in the opposite direction. Valentine's was scrawled across the artwork.

I turned the key over in my palm. "I know this might be awkward for you."

"You mean because I basically threw myself at you and you turned me down." He rubbed the back of his neck.

I locked my eyes on the toes of my boots. "Uh, yeah. Listen, I'm sorry about that Logan. I never meant to lead you on or to hurt you."

He took a deep breath. "You didn't. Not really. What happened between us, when I was corporeally challenged, caught us both off guard. I guess, it just meant more to me."

"What happened between us, when you were a ghost, was an accident. I didn't understand the source of our attraction, and I let things get out of hand."

The dejected look on his face had me walking for the door.

"This won't be for long." I held up the key. "I'll be out of your hair in no time."

"I like you in my hair."

I stopped at his front door and turned to face him, squirming under the pressure of the moment. "It's not that the night we shared didn't mean anything to me, Logan. It did and you do. We shared a connection when you lived in my house, and I'll always cherish those days. But while I like and respect you, even love you in some ways-"

"In some ways?"

"It's as a friend. You are a dear, dear friend. And it would kill me to lose you from my life. But I'm...I..." God I wasn't sure I could say it.

"You love him," he offered.

I cleared my throat. Logan was the wrong person for me to say this to, especially the first time. "My affections are spoken for ...and happily so."

He nodded. Met my eyes. I said my goodbyes and headed for home.

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