Day 17: Woman in Black
The further they delved into the base, the more important-looking the rooms got. The smell of wine got stronger, the cut of the suits got nicer, and the rough-looking kids started thinning out. The handguns started getting shinier, too, and more conspicuous.
James met the thick-shadowed eyes of a woman in a jet-black blazer, carrying a pristinely-taped cardboard box with her jet-black gloves. She gave him the coolest, coldest don’t-fuck-with-me smirk he’d ever seen before scything past in her jet-black heels.
The difference between her and Titian was the difference between a stiletto blade and a hacksaw. As James gaped after her, neck prickling with fire and danger, Lizzy appeared on tiptoe beside him. From her splitting smile, James was afraid she might bite a chunk out of his ear like a damned lizard.
“They find people early,” the Secret-Seller hummed. “Covens too. They keep a watch for the typical signs of magic appearing in the youth of their territory, and then pull them into their circles. They spit them back out as the new ‘they,’ like circles do.”
“Oh, perfect,” James grumbled. He thought of the deep, frightening dark in the woman’s eyes. Navigating youth in a world known only to a few was difficult. From the look of things, navigating it as an adult wasn’t any easier.
“It keeps the loyalty,” Lizzy said, like they were holding a normal conversation. The way James’ life was panning out, maybe this was what normal looked like now. “The next leader will choose followers they’ve grown up with their whole life. And probably slept with at least once.”
“Okay, cool.” James shoved her away.
The magic mafia is simultaneously more hardcore and more ridiculous than anyone expected. They do business in dark magic items, the blood of angels, and…other things. How they took over my novel draft halfway through, however, remains without explanation.