Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Donut Look Now
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Donut Look Now The Gremlin

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Nic Wu


Location: Chicago, IL
Skills: Boyish Charm and as Stubborn as a Mule





I stop myself before I throw the clipboard and pen at the police officer sitting behind the desk. He keeps telling me to fill out the paperwork and someone will be with me shortly. I’ve already done this every day of this week. “I don’t think you’re understanding me, I’ve been here everyday trying to see the detect-“

“Sir, you need to calm down otherwise this conversation will be over.” The glorified receptionist says.

I pinch the bridge of my nose and close my eyes, silently counting to ten in French before taking a deep breath in and out. “Just tell Detective Costa I stopped by, will ya?” I say with a clenched jaw to the officer. “He already has my info - Nic Wu.” Rather than throwing or slamming the clipboard, I set it on the counter and turn to exit the station.

It had only been one week since the death of my mother and disappearance of my father, but the case had been closed and filed already as a camping trip that went wrong when an animal attacked. Never mind that my parents hadn’t been camping at the time or that my mother had shown up in the emergency room with unexplainable wounds that she would later die of, despite the best trauma team we had. The sounds of downtown Chicago blast my eardrums as I step onto the sidewalk, luckily saving me from the mental picture of my dying mother gasping for air assaulting my mind… again. I shove my fists deep into my denim pockets and feel the business card that my friend and coworker Jane had given me. I pull it out and frown at the words listed again. ‘Psychic Readings Available’.

“I must be losing my mind…” I say as I unlock my bike from where I had chained it and pull up directions on my phone. “A friggin’ psychic…” I start pedaling towards the destination despite my entire body laughing at me and trying to dissuade me from enlisting the help of a crazy person who thinks she’s psychic.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Donut Look Now
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Donut Look Now The Gremlin

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Nero


Location: Hell Probably
Skills:





I look up from cleaning the dried blood that has crusted under my nails and sigh dramatically at the demon approaching me. His lips curl up in a smirk and I roll my eyes.

“Hello, darling.” Lucky the Leprechaun drawls in his stupid Scottish English accent. I look off to the side like there’s a hidden camera filming us, giving it my best ‘The Office’ expression.

I turn back to look up from where I’m seated and do my best impression of a statue with no emotion on my face. “‘Sup bitch.” I reply, forcing my German accent to be thicker than it actually is.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by KazAlkemi
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KazAlkemi Everdark

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Cassiopeia Claire Alistair




Location: Psychic Shop -- Chicago, IL
Skills:





The familiar chime of the bell greeted me as I opened the door to the shop. ‘Mystic Dreams’ was a long time project of mine. The women in my family had owned shops for as long as I could remember. Even when women were less than the dirt on your shoes, my maternal ancestors had a hand in some shop or another. It was a fantastic legacy to be able to continue.

Calypso greeted me as I passed her perch in the front store window. She meowed and purred a greeting as she stretched.

”Alls clear?” I questioned her. She merped once in acquiesce, and I gave her a treat for her troubles. ”Lovely.” I moved towards the back room where a black monstrosity greeted me. I picked him up and peppered him with kisses until I heard the growl of protest and set Wayland back down. I patted his head once before continuing on my journey.

The routine of opening my shop was tedious but comforting. If I missed even a single step, my entire day felt strange to me. My final task had me making a cup of tea --- ginger today --- and sitting with my notebook, reviewing my notes.

My shop was small, but it felt cozy and comforting. Plants hung from the ceiling and in corners. Books, tarot cards, and herbs filled the shop window, while the back corner held a couple of shelves of crystals. Behind the counter, I had other herbs and tinctures for simple things like headaches, rashes, and digestion — all-natural ways to cure ailments and human discomforts. Then, of course, I had the more exciting love spells, potions, and other things of the like. Honestly, those things were useless. I never gave spells to foolish humans who wanted their crush to fall madly in love with them or were too shy to talk to someone they found attractive. They were placebos. A confidence boost that usually worked in their favour. Sometimes, it didn’t, and I would have to listen to screaming and yelling, field bad reviews online, and move on. Truthfully, it was no skin off my back. I made a decent living with the shop, but my talents lay elsewhere.

Calypso hopped up onto the counter and laid on half of my notebook. ”Needy this morning,” I commented before petting her.



Caden




Location: Home -- Chicago, IL
Skills:





I examined the collar of my shirt in the bathroom mirror. Up, down, up, down. Down. I tucked it under my jacket collar before slipping on my rings and watch. Behind me, the noises of my bedroom guests signalled they were finally waking. I walked back into the bedroom.

Bonjour,” I greeted. ”Restez aussi longtemps que vous le souhaitez. Mon équipe verra à vos besoins.” I got sleepy smiles and nods of acknowledgement before I left my room and proceeded through my home.
It was one of several I owned worldwide and probably my least favourite. I hated America, but there was a great deal of entertainment here. And a long-lost friend.

I walked out of my house after greeting my staff by name and informing them of my house guests. They were allowed to stay for as long as they wanted, as long as they were gone before I returned. I didn’t mind sharing what was mine, but I disliked people who overstayed their welcome. My generosity only extended so far.

I slipped on my sunglasses after I stepped outside. I slid into the driver's seat of my Aston Martin DBS and turned it over. It purred to life, and I grinned before I pulled down the drive and opened it up on the main road, heading for ‘Mystic Dream’.

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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Donut Look Now
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Donut Look Now The Gremlin

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Nic Wu


Location: Mystic Dreams, Chicago, IL
Skills: Boyish Charm





I hop off my bike and take off my helmet, using my free hand to fluff my hair off my sweaty forehead. I don’t know what I expected a psychic shop to look like, but cute and quaint weren’t on the list of adjectives I thought I would use. Using a thing tree off the side of the shop, I chain up my bike and helmet.

This is crazy, I think to myself while staring at the path leading to the front door. I shouldn’t be here. I rub my sweaty palms on my jeans and try to shake my nerves off. I had tried doing things rationally all week and it was getting me nowhere. I clench and unclench my fits as I will my legs to move, taking slow steps to the door of the shop. I could feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up while goosebumps started to rise on my arms, my left hand reaching for the door handle. I looked down at it and noticed it was shaking. My hand would not move as my body froze in place in some sort of fight or flight mode. Swallowing hard, I force myself to grab the handle and open the door, setting off a chime of a bell.

The inside of the shop was cozy, plants adorning much of the room. Somehow, they settled my nerves a little bit. “He-“ My voice cracks and I wince before clearing my throat. “Hello?” I call out as I look around the shop, noticing little details everywhere.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by KazAlkemi
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Cassiopeia Claire Alistair




Location: Psychic Shop – Chicago, IL
Skills:





I didn’t look up when the door chimed; I simply flipped the page and made a note to collect more herbs during the upcoming weekend.

”Took you long enough. I was expecting you an hour ago.” I looked up to see a tall man of Asian descent and frowned. ”You’re not Caden.” I shut my notebook and slid it behind the counter. I cupped my tea mug in both hands, cocking my head to the side.

”You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” Honestly, he looked scared shitless, but I wasn’t about to tell him that. He definitely didn’t want to be here, but someone told him to come. That didn’t take a mind-reader to find out. Honestly, the fake psychics usually made their money based on body language alone. The body reveals a lot about a person’s mental, emotional, and physical state.
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Donut Look Now
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Nic Wu


Location: Mystic Dreams, Chicago, IL
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I hear her voice and turn towards it, my eyes locking on her blue orbs. I blink a couple of times before my brain processes what she just said. “Aren’t you supposed to be a psychic?” The words tumble out of my mouth before I can stop them, but she had already thought I was someone else… Ugh, this is going to be another dead end. My mind spins, trying to think of the next steps, what else I could do to help my parents get justice. Sweat is beading on my forehead again as the familiar nausea that came with the hopelessness I’ve felt this week hit me hard.

“Sorry,” I manage to say. “I… I didn’t mean it like that.” Using the back of my hand, I wipe my forehead in an attempt to try and not look like I’m falling apart completely. My eyes start to fill with tears of frustration and I look away, not wanting the girl to see them.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by KazAlkemi
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Cassiopeia Claire Alistair




Location: Psychic Shop – Chicago, IL
Skills:





I smirked at his outburst and sipped my tea, shrugging. Wayland sauntered into the room shortly after. He sat down and looked up at the man with green, glowing eyes. ”No need to apologize. I’ve heard it all. Can I get you some tea?” He turned his head to look away from me, but not fast enough to keep me from seeing his eyes shift to a watery brown. I could feel the distress radiate off him from here. It was probably why Wayland came in from the back. He had a sixth sense for lost souls.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Donut Look Now
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Donut Look Now The Gremlin

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Nic Wu


Location: Mystic Dreams, Chicago, IL
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Blinking several times to try and get my tears under control, I turned back to the girl… And the newcomer. ”I don’t want to inconvenience you.” I spoke softer than before, not wanting to betray my emotions with another voice crack. My mother would always make a cup of tea when I was upset as a kid… Gesturing towards the newcomer, I said, “This must be Caden?” I wanted to change the subject before I could think of my mother any more - before her dying moments replayed in my mind again.
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Cassiopeia Claire Alistair




Location: Psychic Shop – Chicago, IL
Skills: Intuition





”It is no mind. The water is still hot,” I said and retreated to the back to pour himself a cup of tea. It was a simple remedy of my own making. It contained herbs for relaxation, clarity, and meditation. It was simple but delicious all the same. I walked back out and offered him the fresh cup.

”Ack no. This is Wayland,” I said, laying on the Celtic accent as I spoke the name. The cat perked up at this and wove around my legs before leaning against the man’s legs. I smiled. ”He likes you. That’s a good sign,” I noted. ”Please, have a seat. What is your name?” I gestured towards a pair of oversized, well-loved chairs with a table in between. The bookcases sat behind, making it a cozy, little reading nook. However, before I could take a seat, the door chimed. I looked towards it and sighed. ”That is Caden.”



Caden




Location: Psychic Shop -- Chicago, IL
Skills: Observation





The door chimed as I stepped into the familiar shop. I heard my name and shifted my focus to the corner of the room. I grinned and removed my sunglasses. ”Cassiopeia, mi amour. I apologize for my lateness. I was preoccupied,” I said with a wink.

”Yes, well now I am preoccupied,” she said with a gesture to the other person in the room. I looked at him now, having not noticed him before.

He was a scrawny thing, with haunted eyes. He was young, naive, and lost. However, he seemed to look older than me, even though that was incredibly untrue. I simply looked younger in this form. I tilted my head slightly as I walked closer, making up for the height difference.

”Hmm, come for a reading, have you?” I inquired.

At my feet, a cat started to whine, and I looked down to see the familiar colouring of Calypso. ”Ah ! Ma charmante petite dame.” I picked her up and she curled up, purring readily.

Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Donut Look Now
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Nic Wu


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Grateful that she still made me a cup, I force a smile but know that it didn’t reach my eyes. When she tells me the cat likes me, it takes a good amount of self control not to pick up Wayland and squeeze him in a hug, reminding myself why I was in this shop. I clear my throat to tell her my name when the door opens and an attractive man walks in.

I side eye him as the girl and Caden speak. A well-dressed and attractive man. He approaches and I can see he’s not much shorter than me, we were almost eye to eye with each other. His confidence practically oozes off of his warm brown skin. I swallow a bit of the tea to help steady my nerves while he bends over to pick up the other cat.

”I… don’t know where else to go, to be honest.” I confess, turning my attention back to the girl. Chewing on my bottom lip, I try to think how to phrase the next part. “A-a friend suggested I might find answers here. I’m sorry to say you’re my last resort.” I smiled sadly before sitting down, feeling exhausted.





Nero


Location: Hell Maybe
Skills:





Looking like the cat that swallowed the canary, Crowley didn’t respond. I rolled my eyes, sighing, before I asked, ”Vat do you vant?” Brushing the remains of my nail cleaning off my lap, I stand up and walk across the room. I feign interest in anything other than the pompous jackass. “You might be zee King of Hell right now, but I am under no obligation to lishtink.” With the last part of my sentence, I pick up my knife and lazily point it at him.

“Cut the shit,” He responds. “We all know your accent isn’t that thick.”

Making a pouting face, I roll my eyes again. “You’re no fun.” I place the knife back on the shelf and face Crowley, holding my hands behind my back and lightly kicking the ground with one of my feet. “Seriously though, why are you here.”

“We have a problem.” Crowley tells me. “Somehow, one of the little… pets has escaped and is enjoying a buffet of humans.”


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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by KazAlkemi
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Cassiopeia Claire Alistair




Location: Mystic Dreams – Chicago, IL
Skills:





I shot Caden an annoyed look. He really had the worst timing. He merely smiled at me before carrying Calypso to the counter and set her down. She didn’t leave him, though, intent on soaking up as much attention from him as she could. I sighed, sitting in the other chair, and focused on the kid.

”What answers are you looking for?” I asked him.

I crossed my legs and relaxed back into the seat. He certainly seemed at a loss for words and was rather preoccupied with whatever was troubling him. I took a moment to observe him more closely. His hair was windswept, indicating he had likely biked here. It made him look younger and attractive, but there was still that look in his eyes that pulled everything away. He looked tired and lonely. I wondered if he was in Chicago by himself and how long he had been that way.



Caden




Location: Mystic Dreams – Chicago, IL
Skills:





I stood at the counter, watching Cass with her latest client. She seemed focused on him now, which was no fun. I sighed and turned my focus to the contents behind the counter. I picked up a couple of bottles, sniffing the contents of some before placing them back. I went to go reach for another when I felt a zap and pulled my hand back. I frowned and looked at Cassi. She was scratching her ear, and I smirked. It was subtle, but I noted the slight twitching of her fingers.

”I’ll just wait in the back then,” I said before retreating.

”Great idea,” Cassi said without pulling her attention from the patron. I chuckled and excused myself to the back. She had more interesting toys back here anyways.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Donut Look Now
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Nic Wu


Location: Mystic Dreams, Chicago, IL
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Caden disappears into the back and I release the breath that I didn’t realize I was holding. What exactly was I looking for? I slump forward, staring into the cup of tea. ”Five days ago, my… my mom walked into my hospital’s emergency room on the brink of death…” My reflection in the liquid stares back at me and I finally notice how bad I look. Between the dark bags under my eyes, the eyes circled in red irritation, and my hollow cheeks, one might assume I was on death’s doorstep. I shift my gaze to my foot instead, deciding to ignore my haggard appearance.

”She… didn’t make it… I furrow my brows, feeling my jaw clench in anger all over again. ”She had the best trauma team in the city trying to save her and we couldn’t do shit.“ My vision starts blurring as the tears come back again. ”There wasn’t anything normal about how she died… Nothing natural. And the police,” With a snort, I use a hand to run my fingers through my hair and let my head fall back. ”They slapped ‘animal attack’ as the cause of death. I’ve never seen an animal that could do that, but they won’t reopen her case and won’t even look into my father’s disappearance…” I close my eyes and take deep breaths through my nose. ”A camping trip gone wrong… they weren’t even on a trip.” I mumble.





Nero


Location: Hell Maybe
Skills:





That got my attention. There weren’t many ‘pets’ that could cause a problem with escaping. ”Vich pet?” I ask, the accent slipping in. ”Don’t tell me Asmodeus finally let the Shedim out.” That was the last thing we needed. Those fuckers made even my skin crawl. They weren’t any fun, just overall terrible and annoying to deal with. Asmodeus had tried to convince Lucifer he could train the shitters once… As if anyone could actually handle them.

“Oh no, not them.” Crowley shudders. “Never them.”
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by KazAlkemi
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Cassiopeia Claire Alistair




Location: Mystic Dreams – Chicago, IL
Skills:





I watched him speak, my tea forgotten as the words tumbled out of him. It wasn’t hard to be empathetic to his plight. How many people have experienced something similar throughout the earth’s existence? I reached out and rested a hand lightly on his knee. Then he mentioned the death being unnatural, ‘an animal attack’. My pinkie finger twitched, and I pulled my hand back.

”You’re sure they didn’t go on a trip?” My tone was concerned as I spoke quickly. I knew it wasn’t. He knew it wasn’t, but what he was suggesting, what I had now guessed… He didn’t want to go down this road, and now I had to figure out how to dissuade him from this path.



Caden




Location: Mystic Dreams – Chicago, IL
Skills: Shapeshifting





I was flipping through Cassiopeia’s grimoire, the text on the pages shifting into different words, preventing me from reading it correctly. Eye of the Dragon Boy trying to read this.This spell requires someone who doesn’t smell of last night's conquest.... I chuckled to myself and shut the book. The pages clearly had Cassi's essence infused within them.

‘Nothing natural.’ I heard the kid’s voice get higher and decided to eavesdrop. My ears shifted to that of a bat’s so I could take in more sound. I shut my eyes and focused. I heard the rest of the conversation and the slight waver in Cassi’s voice. Great. Usually, she was better at hiding her concerns when it came to supernatural attacks. My ears shifted back to normal, and I looked down at Calypso. She watched me curiously.

”We may have a problem,” I informed her. She sneezed in response, and I knew she understood.

For the last ten months, Cassiopeia and I had been consulting with the police over a series of attacks that had started in Chicago. The police and city hall were no strangers to the unusual goings on in Chicago. They were well aware of the supernatural creatures that roamed their streets, blending in with the humans effortlessly. The creatures of Chicago had formed a successful bond with these humans to co-exist and live peacefully. In exchange, we would hunt down our own kind if they violated the treaty drawn up. It wasn’t always pleasant work, but consulting gave us a certain freedom that the others did not have.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Donut Look Now
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Nic Wu


Location: Mystic Dreams, Chicago, IL
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I sigh and finally open my eyes to look down at her as an eerie calm washes over me. ” I know it sounds crazy, but… Listen I had just been at their place that morning, they were planning to stay in that night and just-“ My breath hitches and I have to stop to take a deep breath. ”They were finally going to watch ‘Crazy Rich Asians’. The last time they had gone camping was when I was a kid.” Taking several deep breaths and take a big gulp of the tea. ”This tea is-is good. I should remember to get some for myself.” I laugh flatly, uncomfortable as I start looking around the shop again, taking in all the tiny touches that had to be hers.





Nero


Location: Hell Maybe
Skills:





I give Crowley a look to hurry up and tell me what he wants. He did love to strut around and use a dramatic flair when he needed something, but my attention could only be held so long before I lost interest and stopped listening. “Anyway, the thing is in Chicago and I remember you having a house there or something. I figured you could pop in and get this under control quickly given your extraordinary talents.”

My lips twitch in a smirk. Flattery definitely works on me. ”And what do I get in return?” I ask.

“I’ll let you pick your prize.”

My eyebrows shoot up at this - there were so many things that Crowley had squirreled away over the years and any one of them would be well worth it. This must be a big deal for Crowley to just let me have my choice. ”Say no more.” I wink before I snap my fingers and disappear. The strays in Chicago are going to be so happy I’m back.
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Cassiopeia Claire Alistair




Location: Mystic Dreams – Chicago, IL
Skills:





I let him talk and get everything out. It sounded like that was more of what he needed at this moment. Besides, I was trying to figure out how to get him out of this and get the information I needed without drawing suspicion. Of course, I knew the easiest way to do that, but it was better with permission.

I followed his gaze, looked around my shop and smiled. Wayland returned to the kid’s feet and sat on them before proceeding to pure.

”I can make up a package to send home with you. Plus something to help you sleep,” I offered him. I finished off my tea before setting it on the table. I clasped my hands together and leaned forward.

”Why have you come to see me? What do you want me to do?” He had to ask. If he didn’t ask, there was nothing I could do for him.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Donut Look Now
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Nic Wu


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I nod absentmindedly as she tells me she can give me some to take home. ”Sleep would probably be good for me.” I tiredly agree as something brushes against my leg. Looking down, I see Wayland getting comfortable on my feet. I drink the last of my tea and follow her example of setting the empty cup on the table.

What do I want? Hell if I even knew the answer. I let my left hand droop over my knee and cautiously scratch the cat’s head. ”I want…” I finally look up to look into her eyes again. ”I need to know what happened to my mom and I need to find my dad. I-I need to know one way or the other if he’s alive or-or…” I can’t finish the thought. If my dad is gone too, that would mean I’m all alone… no family left. The thought shocks me and I look down at the cat again, letting the tears spill over and run down my cheeks. ”Please help me,” I whisper. ”Please.” I look up back up at her from my slumped position.
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Cassiopeia Claire Alistair




Location: Mystic Dreams – Chicago, IL
Skills: Witchcraft





The desperation in his voice is a lot to take. I bite my lower lip and shift nervously in my seat.

”What if I don't have the answers you are looking for? There may be nothing to gleam from this…” I inform him.

Most of the time I am able to give the people what they want. But every so often there is one that asks more than they should. More than I can give.

I could truly help this kid, but the treaty warns me against this.



Caden




Location: Mystic Dreams – Chicago, IL
Skills:





The desire to jump out there and stop this conversation from happening is great. He was asking for information, a clear answer to what had happened. That was information we required and information Cassi could get easily after she reads him, but it was a thin line.

Hell is responsible for keeping the unseemly creatures and monsters from invading earth, but one has gotten out. If they were aware, no human was safe. Especially this guy. Especially if Cassi found out what we needed.

I look around the back room for an empty glass bottle. I need to talk to Cass, but I can't just barge back up there. So, I knock it off the shelf where it crashes to the ground and watch it shatter. I curse and wait. I hear Cass excuse herself before she storms into the back room.

”Ward this place,” I demand immediately.

“What?”

”Ward it from anyone overhearing or walking in or anything!” I whisper harshly.

Cassiopeia frowns and crosses her arms. “Do you think I'm that stupid to not have this place warded?”

”Just reinforce it.” She stares at me and I stare back, locked in a silent battle. Cassi breaks first and rolls her eyes.

“Paranoid shapeshifter,” she mutters to herself before approaching a small table in the backroom. She waves her hand and several candles light on the table. In the bowl before her she adds different herbs before pricking her finger. Blood drops onto the herbs and it starts to smoke, drifting up to the ceiling. Cassi starts to mutter in Gaelic as she rolls an unlit candle into the smoking concoction.

I watch all of this closely. One to make sure she does it, and two because I find her work fascinating. I always have.

After she completes her work, Cassi lights the candle and sets in on the table.

“There. Warding spells amplified. Any supernatural creature will feel compelled to leave and not walk down this street. No one can listen in or get in. Happy?”

”Ah, mon amour. I am always happy,” I say with a wink.

She shoves me in the chest before walking back out front.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Donut Look Now
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Nic Wu


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Something breaks, catching her attention. She quickly excuses herself and I watch as she walks into the back were Caden was. I take a deep breath in my nose and out my mouth before turning my attention back to the purring cat at my feet. Scratching under his chin, I feel a ghost of a smile on my lips. ”Does she treat you well?” I ask him softly. ”She seems like she loves you a lot. I’m sure she takes very good care of you.” I cup Wayland’s head and gently scratch behind his ears.

Hearing footsteps approach, I look up but continue to pet Wayland. ”Everything okay?” I ask.
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Cassiopeia Claire Alistair




Location: Mystic Dreams – Chicago, IL
Skills:





I rubbed my hands together as I walked back to the front. 'Everything okay?' I looked at the kid, my attention having been elsewhere in my shop. I flashed a smile and nodded.

"Aye, just dealing with a long-time annoyance." I sat down across from the kid again and set my hands on the table. "You still haven't told me your name," I reminded him. "I'm Cassiopeia," I said and extended my hand to his.
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My hand engulfs hers as I reach out to shake it. ”It’s nice to meet you. I’m Nic.” I tell her, trying to flash a smile back at her. ”I wish we were meeting under different circumstances of course…” I let the sentence trail off and turn my attention back to the cat. It was mesmerizing to pet Wayland’s bushy fur and be rewarded with his soft purrs. Maybe after all of this is over, I could find myself a cat or some sort of pet… especially if..

Physically shaking my head, I stop my mind from going down that road. I need to hold on to hope that my father is out there, somewhere, scared but waiting to be found.
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