It would be such a shame if something were to happen to your friends and your maids. I am at the park north of you. Do come have a word with me and we can keep this civil.
Bookworm carefully read the note an urchin had delivered to her home. Unfortunately, the boy had run off before she could question him. Daniel, one of her ghostly guards, was standing nearby. “Can you check to see that he’s alone?” she asked softly.
“You’re really going to go?” Daniel asked. Seeing her expression, he nodded unhappily. “All right.” While he was gone, Bookworm strapped on her revolver and made sure she had plenty of ammunition. In a couple of moments, Daniel was back, saying, “It’s clear. He’s alone.”
“Thanks. Keep up with me, can you, so you can get help if this goes wrong?” With his assent, she left her home, heading north and across the canal.
As she neared the small park, she saw a figure standing beneath a tree. It wasn’t exceptionally tall, but it was definitely massive. Even from a distance, she could sense the contained power in it. She took a deep breath, and entered the park, striding until she came to a stop several yards away. “Prometheus, I presume?” she asked, studying him carefully through narrowed eyes.
“I am Prometheus,” he replied, his voice a deep growl. “You must have many questions for me.”
“Hmm. Fewer questions, actually, than warnings.” She wasn’t about to let this one dictate anything to her.
“I think you will find that both would fall on deaf ears.”
“Then what have we to discuss?”
“You had a visitor recently.”
Bookworm smiled sardonically. “I have many visitors.”
The bear rolled his eyes. “Do not deny meeting with the young wolf known as Lilith.”
“She may be one of them, yes.”
“She was,” he said with certainty. “This is my warning to you, ‘Captain’. Leave us to deal with our family issues and you can deal with your own without fear.” He snorted. “But we both know this warning is upon a deaf ear.”
“I may as well return the favor,” Bookworm replied, putting steel into her voice. “You and your ‘brothers’ should leave this city. Now. If Lilith wishes to stay, we shall defend her right to do so.”
“It is very unwise of you to say that when you don’t know what you’re fighting.”
“So what else is new around here?” Bookworm shrugged, remembering many times such a statement could have been made.
“So you willingly admit yourself to be a fool.” Prometheus’s laugh contained a nasty note. “I do appreciate at least your tenacity.” He turned and began walking slowly away.
“What about the fires?” Bookworm called, genuinely curious about that subject. “Was that simply a lark for you?”
He paused, and looked back over his shoulder. “Oh, not at all. Each place that burned could have been a place that Lilith was using as a hide out at one point or another. At least, we couldn’t get in to be sure. Fixing the mouse’s math was perhaps my favorite contribution.”
Bookworm’s expression hardened. “You’ll have to burn down the entire city before you drive Lilith out. Or us.”
“You say that like it would be a problem. Good day, ‘Captain.’” With that, he continued walking away north. Bookworm stared after him, tempted to draw her gun, but she decided not to. Instead, she turned and headed back south. But as she was nearing the side street that led to her home, Mac materialized by her side.
“We’ve got a problem, Miss Book,” he told her. “Lilith is in the small parkland just north of Piermont.”
“What?!” Bookworm hurried to the edge of the canal, peering south. And sure enough, she could just make out the small figure sitting huddled on a bench. “Daniel, check behind,” she said urgently.
The ghost left, and was back in very short order. “Prometheus turned around – he’s heading this way!”
Bookworm bit back a curse and took off running. If the bear came anywhere near this spot, he couldn’t fail to either see or smell Lilith. She had to get the girl somewhere safe!
((To be continued…))