He was as good as his word and within an hour a were called Keira turned up at my door. She lived in Edinburgh and was some distant relation or other to Jack. She was thin, with shaggy brown her that tumbled down her back, so long she could sit on it. Her eyes were a hot, angry brown and despite her age she radiated a power and unpredictability that you really wouldn’t want to cross. That’s probably what being named Keira would do for a girl.
The three of us stood in the room with the dead thing and it was really beginning to stink. Jack had taken off the ludicrous bandages and had managed to have a shower and change into clean clothes. He exuded a warm, tactile energy that crawled across my skin with leaden little boots but I was glad to see he could still could use the arm that had nearly been ripped off, He was clearly having problems with his mangled hand, but his body was most definitely on the mend, even if his temper hadn’t improved. The initial euphoria of the morning and metamorphosed into low level rage.
Keira crouched down beside the hand so that it was at her eye level, her movements cat-like, fluid. She delicately sniffed the thing, though in truth it stank to high heaven. She was clearly sifting through the scents to the one which would tell her who the maker of the gruesome object was. I began to say something, but she held up an elegant long-fingered hand and I meekly did as I was bid.
“A few different people handled this,” she said, voice high, sullen. I began to wonder if this was such a good idea.
“What do you want me to do when I find them?” she asked Jack.
“Do nothing. Just let us know where they are. Do I make myself clear Keira?”
She looked balefully up at him, for all the world just like your normal, surly teenager. But seething under the surface was an intensity, a swirling were energy that spoke of apure blind rage and a tremendous power only just under control. The word nut-job also came to mind, but to my eternal credit I didn’t let it exit my mouth and work its magic.
“And why are we doing this for her? She’s the cause of all this,” she hissed.
“Keira, just do it,” he said quietly, “without question and if you can’t control yourself, I’ll punish you myself. It’s up to you.” The burst of power from Jack combined with hers was giving me a headache. He was recovering fast.
She looked like she was going to disagree staring angrily up at him, brown eyes almost black with an alien, frenzied rage that wasn’t personal, it was just part of who she was. Then, she abruptly bowed her head in a gesture more eloquent than mere words.
“Hurry,” he told her hustling her out, massive compared to her slender form, “we don’t have much time.”
She looked back at me, enunciating every work with venom and force, “I hope you die for what you’ve done. Slowly, in agony and alone.”
“Sounds like a plan,” I said smiling at her, “but you can forget the alone part. If I’m going down, you’re coming with me to break my fall.” Uncertainty fleetingly tainted her young face before Jack shoved her out the door. We stared at each other for a moment.
“Frightening youngsters something that gets you off, does it?” he asked harshly.
“I don’t know why you’re making such a fuss,” I said, making for the door “ a girl’s got to have a hobby”.