Coal walked up to her and wished that it had been anyone but her. The others he could maybe manage, but not her. Why, oh gods, did it have to be her.
She was dressed in black like him, bald, her arms folded and her eyes angry. She didn’t say anything, she just stood there.
Eya had never been one for words.
“I need your help,” Coal said, as he stood in front of her. “I’m close. The witches, they need me to get some things and after, they can give me the orb. I just need your help.”
Coal saw the slap coming, but he was like a man on a railroad with a train incoming; there really wasn’t much that could be done about it. His head whipped to the side as he stumbled backwards, pain blossoming from his jaw.
“How,” Eya said, venom dripping in her words, “dare you.”
“I didn’t know how else to call you,” Coal said cradling his jaw in his hand. “I didn’t know how else to call you that you’d answer.”
“What if it wasn’t me that had picked up the signal?” Eya asked. “What if it had been one of the others?”
“Then,” Coal said showing her his left hand with his ring still there, “there wouldn’t have been much of a conversation.”
Eya moved forward but her eyes weren’t on him anymore and that was when his heart began to tremble. She was looking at the car. But maybe she couldn’t see, maybe her senses had dulled over the years and she wouldn’t be able to —
“The car,” Eya said. “Who is there?”
“It’s not what it looks like,” Coal said.
“Who. Is there?” Eya asked, her eyes finding Coal.
“It’s a girl,” Coal answered, taking a subconscious step backwards. “But it’s not what it looks like, Eya. I — ”
The kick came out of nowhere and then Coal was being pressed against the bonnet of his car. “Again, Kolawole?” Eya snared as she had his arms pressed against his back. “You’re doing this again?”
Coal pushed off his car and whipped his arms from Eya. “I’m not doing anything again,” he said, his teeth bared.
Eya’s eyes narrowed. “You showed a child magic years ago, Kolawole.” Her voice cracked. “It broke his mind and he has not been the same since then.”
“She doesn’t know anything about magic, Eya,” Coal said.
She walked towards him now and she flicked her wrist, a spear with a tip made of the blackest obsidian appearing in her hands. “I should have killed you years ago. I won’t make the same mistake again.”
“Stop!” A voice said from the car and Coal could almost see his hopes of getting out of this alive dash and fall to the ground. There was Star, standing there in all her short chubby glory, and she was holding Coal’s dagger.
Eya paused her eyes slid to Star’s hand, with the dagger shining with a dull glow.
Coal had flicked his wrist, his own dagger coming into his left hand. He knew what was coming.
“AGAIN?” Eya screamed as she thundered towards him, spear in hand, anger in voice, and hate in heart.
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