“Complicates things?” Daniel asked.
Julie nodded. “We’ll have to be very careful about how we approach them. Lost lines tend to be rather touchy even in the best circumstances and given their encounter with the Turners this is not the best of circumstances. We’ll need to discuss it so let’s go–” She broke off and swore before whirling around. Daniel swallowed and turned as well. There was a man standing behind them, staring right at them. He chocked back a wave of panic, both because he hadn’t sensed the man and because the man had apparently managed to get through his wards and sense them.
The man gave a wry smile and shook his head. “I didn’t get past your wards, kid. You’re too good for that. I sensed someone lock on to my nephew yesterday and was waiting for you. If I hadn’t been I wouldn’t have sensed you.” His expression sobered. “I gather this has something to do with what happened to Alison and Logan a couple of years back. I think you’d both better come with me, don’t you?”
“We’d rather not,” Julie said blandly. “People know where we are and they’re likely to come after us if we don’t return. I’m sure no one wants a fight here.”
“Hopefully not,” he said. “That situation when I was a kid was a hellish mess even if we did win. We’d much rather talk about it. We won’t keep you, I promise.”
Daniel eyed the man distrustfully before exchanging a glance with Julie.
What do you think? he asked mentally, careful to limit his touch to her.
We could kick his ass, she said. But it wouldn’t be politic. I’ve sent Marema back to tell the others what happened. Let’s go and only fight if we need to. She rose to her feet. “Very well, we’ll accept that invitation. Though Logan and Alison will likely not be best pleased to see me.”
“You’ll probably be surprised, Julie,” he said. He grinned at her startled squeak. “No, I didn’t read your mind. They’ve told us a lot about what happened and I recognised you from their mental images.” He stepped back and sketched a bow. “I am Arran Silver. Please come with me.” He gave Julie a thoughtful look. â€œAnd you will have to tell me what you know about those people who attacked us. We never really understood what was going on there except that they just wouldn’t stop. It’s pretty nasty having to wipe out an entire family before they do it to you.â€
â€œThat’s fairly complicated.â€ Julie rose to her feet. â€œIt may be better to deal with the immediate situation first.â€ She pointed to the tear in the sky. â€œWe wouldn’t be here except for that.â€
He glared up at it and nodded. â€œI thought it might be,â€ he said. â€œCan you explain what caused that and what’s causing these explosive emergences?â€
â€œWe can,â€ she said. â€œAs much as we know anyway.â€ She looked at Daniel. â€œCome on, I don’t think we have much choice.â€