--donation bonus week (day 1/5, post 4/5)--
‘They’re just waiting,’ said Shenado. ‘It seems they aren’t itching for a fight, at least. Perhaps you should answer the door. Cautiously, of course.’
Mariana glared at her phone as it continued ringing. Zeff wasn’t answering, either. She made her way to the entrance slowly. She stopped to arm and plant her landmine in a very particular place--in a narrow doorway beneath a Jesbolese rug of just the right weight. It was beautifully woven with blue-gold swirls and dark frills, but she’d bought it for this exact purpose. On its own, the rug wouldn’t trigger the mine, but if someone stepped on any part of it, it would go off.
‘Don’t step on it by accident,’ her reaper said privately.
A gun in one hand, Mariana proceeded to the door and cracked it open. The gun was really just a quicker supplement, of course. Her free hand was the much more dangerous weapon, in many ways.
“Lady Elroy, please pardon our intrusion, but we needed to speak with you as soon as possible. I’m Charlie. This is my colleague, Jonathan. May we come in?”
“You may not.” From what she could see, both men appeared to be in their mid-to-late twenties. Charlie was the blond one, Jonathan the bespectacled one. They wore very casual clothing, nothing that would make them stand out in a crowd, surely.
‘We’ve met before,’ said Shenado. ‘Nine years ago. You were both new recruits.’
“Yes,” said Jonathan. “We’ve been assigned to protect you. We didn’t mean to startle you, but we really don’t have time to dawdle here. We need you to come with us to Lagemoor immediately.”
“I am not leaving my children here.”
“Oh, of course,” said Jonathan. “We’re to bring them, as well.”
“We’ve received a credible threat against your family,” said Charlie. “We are only here to escort you and your children to a more secure location.”
Mariana was far from convinced. “Why did you not simply tell me this over the phone?”
“Time is short,” said Jonathan. “Allow us to explain on the way. Please just trust us for now.”
Both men frowned.