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.I wasn't sure about trusting Burrom myself, after the other night's debacle.I was running at a deficit in the trust department, which was why on Monday morning, I was following him around from human to human.One thing I already knew for sure, being part of the magical Gestapo wasn't doing a lot for my current social standing, especially since everyone seemed to already know I'd moved onto Burrom's floor.I'd shown up there yesterday with a hastily packed bag like a beggar.I knew he'd take me in and I knew it was one of the last places Cormac would want me to go.Too bad for him.You don't get to kick someone out and then dictate where they move; even Cormac couldn't pull that off.Well, he might be able to with most people, but I wasn't going to let him.My room was a bit of a shock to me.It was the only room Burrom had open and it looked like it had been done over with a medieval castle in mind.Burrom tried to tell me it had spontaneously looked like that one day, which was why no one wanted it.My guess was someone who was good at charms was having a little fun with the casino decor.Walking down the hallway with him now, I spotted another patch of stone.Patch might be downplaying a spot that reached from floor to ceiling, six feet wide."Burrom, you've to get your people to stop doing this," I said as my hand ran over stone that felt alarmingly real to the touch."Not my people.""Who's doing it then?""Not sure, and don't care.I'm more concerned that you don't trust me, Jo," Burrom said as we worked through the room check."It hurts me, Jo, that you would think so little of me.I thought when you decided to move in we were forming a real bond."I almost snorted at his comment.Burrom was as thick skinned as they came.Nothing hurt his feelings and my lack of trust for him was becoming one of his favorite jokes."Am I wrong?""I didn't say that," he replied with his own chuckle as we hung back and waited for the female Fae with us to knock on the door of the ninth floor and ask for admittance.The people inside didn't answer but we knew they were in there.The female Fae, Angela, read them the same warning we had been giving out since we began."If you don't open up, this room will have the locks changed by this evening and you will be forced to find new lodgings outside of the casino."We waited the five minutes it took most of them to open.Earlier in the day, one group made us wait fifteen minutes.At sixteen minutes, Burrom had scared them with some crazy Fae mojo that made them think the room was on fire.They'd run right out.The other humans must have been listening at the doors or something.The rest of that floor was a breeze after that.The door finally creaked open to reveal what appeared to be a young husband and wife, with what might once have been a human toddler.It was hard to tell, with the black fur and the hissing, if a child was indeed still under there.We strolled in and another of the Fae with us laid a hand upon the husband, single shake of his head.Wife was next up, and again, single shake of his head.When he went to lay a hand upon the cat child, the mother clung tightly to her.I wasn't sure why we even bothered to confirm.The yellow eyes and fangs weren't enough?And holy cow, how many more changed like this were hiding in their rooms?"How long has she been like this?" I asked the mother."It started slowly, with just some little areas of peach fuzz, but then we woke up one day and she was like this.Are you going to take her? She's only two years old." Tears streamed down the mother's face and the father positioned himself in between us, like he'd have a chance to stop us if we decided to take her."No one is going to take your child," I said before Burrom or any of the other Fae could speak.The mother's eyes came to rest upon me."You swear?"I couldn't swear for everyone so I made the only promise I could."They'd have to do it over my dead body." I'd kill Cormac myself if he tried.I glanced over at Burrom and he looked everywhere but me.I didn't add that it could possibly come to that and then they were on their own.We left the room and the family with a false sense of peace.Burrom took the accounting sheet from our Fae helpers as we both headed to our next potential victims -- oops, I mean humans."Don't touch her, Burrom," I said, referring to the cat girl."She's a babe.I'd have no use for her.""And when she's not?""I'm going to ground before that will happen."I nodded.I could accept that.I wasn't sure when exactly he was going to ground, but he'd be there long after she became an adult.At that point, she was on her own.Kids, yeah, okay, I'd go down with the ship for them.In this world, as an adult, you had to help yourself a little, because there wasn't any hero showing up to save you.At some point, I'd thought I was a hero in the making.All I made was a gigantic mess [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]