Daniel tried to keep his wits about him as they headed into the garden of the house. Arran seemed friendly enough in the circumstances but he could be dissembling, though Daniel could not think of any reason why he would.
“Julie!” A young man came running down the path to them. “It was you who was looking for us? Are you okay? We couldn’t find you when the warriors sent us back and we were worried about you.”
“I’m fine, Logan,” Julie said. “I’m surprised you’re pleased to see me, though. I did run out on you.”
Logan flipped his hand dismissively. “If it hadn’t been for Ali, I’d have left as well. But she needed me.” He turned to where Alison was standing by the garden table. The girl was hugging her arms and watching them nervously.
Julie followed his gaze. “How is she?”
“She’s much better,” he said, “but I wouldn’t say she’s well. She still has nightmares and it’s like she’s missing something.” He hesitated. “Sometimes I feel like I am as well.”
“You are,” Julie said. “Your heart friends. Gerian has them in stasis. It interferes with the bond between you and them.”
â€œI know mine is,â€ Alison said. â€œShe was dying so he did it to save her. But why does he have Lo–” Her eyes widened. “Father did that? So that’s why you ran.” She turned and looked at Daniel before Julie could respond. “And who are you? A warrior I’d wager but you weren’t there last time.”
“I’m Daniel.” He tilted his head at her. “And I was only called a few months back but you did fight against my sister Karen.”
“The light warrior.” Alison went pale and swallowed noticeably. “Oh god, I killed her heart friend’s father. They’re going to kill me.”
“Well, I hope not,” Arran said. “But you certainly need to negotiate with them because that’s one hell of a debt to owe someone even if you weren’t in your right mind.” He frowned up at the tear in the sky. “But you said you’re here now because of that? Which means you know what happened?”
“Tell him,” Julie said. “It can’t do any harm.”
“Wait, the others should hear this as well.” Arran ushered them over to some garden chairs near the barbecue and waved the other guests over. “Okay, go on.”
Lydia jumped to her feet as soon as Marema reappeared without Daniel and Julie.
“What happened?” she asked urgently.
“They were expecting them,” Marema said. “Which meant they were able to get past your brother’s wards. Julie didn’t think they were in any immediate danger but she told me to come back and tell you.” She pushed a summary of what had happened not only to Lydia but to Andrew and Karen as well.
“Wait a second,” Karen said in a stunned tone. “That boy Logan is from the lost line who wiped out the Turners? Talk about an unexpected complication.” She shook her head. “I’m calling mum and dad. They’ll have to break away from the meeting – we need them here.” She closed her eyes and frowned in concentration. “Okay, they’re coming. Though Dad says they don’t get any sense Dan’s in danger. I’ll run upstairs and tell Aunt Sarah while we’re waiting. Trying to negotiate lost lines into the fold is one of the Keefe’s jobs.”