Edan leaned back in his office chair and rubbed at his gritty eyes. His office still felt bare with it’s fresh coat of paint and non personalized decor. The walls were blank save for the framed diplomas, undergraduate and Law School. They got more notice now that he was back in the state. Coworkers asked if they’d had shared professors or dorms.
Edan reached for the coffee laced energy drink. The backlog of paperwork was truly impressive. He’d known it was bad, but a simple purse snatching had been sitting in the que for six months. His door opened and he blinked at his visitor. Edan had deliberately blocked off the afternoon for the paperwork. Then his irritation gave way to shock as he recognized the compact brown headed woman.
“Hi, Pipes, I can’t believe you’re finally back in town.” Bri walked over to his desk and propped her hip on it’s edge causing her knee length dress to ride up slightly over her leg. Edan didn’t have the energy to snarl.
“Bri, I should have guessed you’d be by,” he crossed his arms.
“It really is good to see you, Edan. It’s been what, eight years, ten? We’ve missed you.” One of her bangles slipped down Bri’s arm as she tucked a curl behind her ear.
Edan had to bit the inside of his cheek to keep control, “What do you want, Bri?”
“Dinner,” she pushed herself off his desk, “my treat. Let me take you out, get you reaquainted with the city, give you all the dirt on our classmates, the works. Things have changed more than you’d think.”
Edan snorted, “How much pressure, and bribes, did my father have to use before you agreed to come here? We’ve never been friendly, let alone friends.”
Bri rolled her eyes at him, “Friends or not, have you ever known me to do what I was ‘supposed’ to? I’m here on my own will, no secret agenda. You look like shit, Edan. You’ve probably been eating crappy microwave meals, and you look like you haven’t slept in a year.”
“I took a nap in May,” Edan deadpanned, and Bri leaned forward placing her palms on his desk.
“I was a massive asshole to you in highschool. I get it. I’m sorry. But we are a dying breed. We can’t afford to be at each other’s throats. We can’t afford bad blood. I’m thrilled you’re back, seriously.”
“No, hear me out, Edan. You need us, and we need you. You can’t just cut off all contact, pretend we don’t exist. You’re a witch. That’s fact.” Her brown eyes bored into his, and Edan held her gaze.
“I. Don’t. Practice.” He forced himself to relax his grip on his arm rests.
“You can’t just stop forever-” Bri argued right back.
“Get out,” Edan snapped and Bri reared back at the venom in his voice.
“Edan-” Bri began to work up steam again, and Edan came to his feet.
“You’ve said your piece. You know my problem with the Coven? The habit of using your power to ram your opinion down the throat of anyone weaker than you. So, my father dragged me back here. So what? I want nothing to do with any of you. You want me to consider that you’ve got my back, that we can have some kind of rapport? Get out. Don’t contact me until I reach out to you. Respect my choice to leave.” Edan was nearly panting his chest tight with years of rage.
“Fine,” Bri nearly yelled, “but New Orleans is primed to burn.” As she drew back from his desk a hand print was charred into the finish of his desk. “You need us too.”
Edan watched her until she’d left his office and his sight. He sank back into his chair and stared at the mark. A litany of curses ran through his head. He drowned out the rising panic that he couldn’t be here, couldn’t do this, couldn’t stand against insistent and far more powerful witches. He let out a long breath and grabbed a box of tissues placing it squarely over Bri’s burn mark.
I am a thief. Yes it is true. I stole the line “I took a nap in May” From Apprentice Never Master. This piece is also in the same world/characters as Promotion. See all the thieving over at The Legal Theft Project