Release of Magic, The Leira Chronicles Book 2
By Martha Carr and Michael Anderle
Leira wasn’t sure if she was insulted by this reaction and crossed her arms over her chest. “You want to tell me what’s so funny?”
Hagan tried to tell her, gulping air, but was taking a few false starts before he could get out a complete sentence. Leira waited, her frustration growing, and she wondered if there was a spell to shut her partner up. Bad thought, Leira. No practicing magic on friends allowed. We’re just going to make that a general rule. Otherwise everyone back at the bar will eventually end up as a cockroach or rat. Well, maybe a dog and or rabbit. I really do like those people.
Hagan wiped his eyes with the back of his hand and took a good look at Leira. “You’re thinking about what you can turn me into, aren’t you? Don’t bother lying to me. I’ve been a detective way too long not to know when somebody is thinking about what they’d like to do to me. The only difference is you might pull it off.” He looked her up and down, checking for anything peculiar, arching an eyebrow. “Changing someone’s basic structure has to be against the law, somewhere.”
Leira smirked. “Don’t worry. I’m too much of a rule follower to change your ass into…” She stopped, trying to consider exactly what she would’ve turned him into.
“And not that you exactly know how yet.”
“And not that I exactly know how yet,” she admitted. “But I wouldn’t.”
“But you’re still going to take the shortcut with the paperwork. I know you. Once you’ve made up your mind, and set the course, there’s very little that will make you turn back. Even common sense and apparently the chance of getting caught performing higgledy-piggledy.” Hagan wiggled his fingers in the air and rolled his eyes.
“Please tell me that’s not what I look like when I perform magic.”
Hagan ignored her and pushed away from his desk to get a better view of the captain’s office, which was still empty. “If you’re going to do it, you better do it now. This is your window and I’m not sure how long it’s going to last. I’ll be your lookout.”
“It says something really good about our relationship that you didn’t make doing your paperwork part of the deal. Or you just knew I was going to do yours, too.”
“Sister, after the past few days there is nothing in this world that I’m entirely sure of anymore. If I saw you levitate and spin around I don’t think I’d be surprised.”
“I’m not sure flying is part of the deal.”
“What about invisibility? Or x-ray vision? Oh, oh, oh, what about bending steel were shooting out spider webs from your wrists.” Hagan held up his arms and aimed his wrists at different parts of the room. “Zing! Ping! Wazing!”
Leira couldn’t help herself, and smiled at him.
Hagan stopped what he was doing. “Well, that’s new. You actually gave a genuine smile. I haven’t seen you do that much, if it didn’t involve dragging some felon off the hard pavement.”
“Leira 2.0,” she said. She shook her head and gave her more usual crooked smile. “I know, I know. I’m evolving. I suppose it was bound to happen.”
“I’m not sure you’re what Darwin ever had in mind in terms of evolution, but I’ll take it. Now, are we going to get this show on the road, or not? Let’s get this paperwork done.” Hagan rolled his chair around till he was sitting next to Leira. “This won’t throw off your spell or anything, will it? I don’t want to get any runoff. It’d be hard to explain to the wife, much less the Captain.”
“Something tells me that won’t be a problem,” she replied. “But I can’t exactly guarantee it. Correk’s waiting for me back at the guesthouse and without him we’re just doing magic for jollies without a roadmap.”
Hagan rolled his chair to the edge of the desk. “I’m still in. Let ‘er rip.”
Leira stretched out her arms and shook her hands. “I’m sure those few inches will make all the difference.” She ignored Hagan and looked back at the screen again. She felt the warmth slide up from deep inside of her more easily this time. It was getting easier to call on the magic and conjure up what was becoming a familiar feeling.
The energy rushed through her, feeling like it was filling her veins with something warm and tingly. Everything in the room became more distinct and she could focus on the task at hand. Thoughts about what happened yesterday or worries about what might come next dropped away. Hagan stared at her, his jaw dropping open as her eyes began to glow. The symbols appeared under her skin but this time they even vibrated.
“Holy mother of God.” Hagan’s head turned sided to side, looking at the monitor then Leira and back, wondering if this was after all, a good idea. “What if we’re unleashing something? You know, like those ancient mummy curses. I have got to stop watching those movies.” His hand instinctively drifted toward his gun, just in case.
Leira was no longer paying attention to anything in the room except the computer screen. Every question in the report came to her without reading it. The answer came to her just as easily and at the same moment she thought it, it materialized on the screen.
Hagan watched what was happening and saw page after page of the report getting filled out in just seconds. He was torn between two feelings. One of relief that he wouldn’t be spending his evening eating bad food, trying to stay awake and finding new ways to explain how they found the girl without having to use the words magic or hocus-pocus. The other was a feeling in the back of his mind that there was no way this could end well.
“Maybe this will be more like X-Files than Independence Day. Right? No, the aliens all die in both of those,” he said. “I’m not going to let that happen to you.” He knew she wasn’t registering what he was saying, but he meant every word.
Hagan’s eyes widened. “Even mine?”
“How’d you get past my password? Was it magic?”
“It doesn’t take magic to figure out that your password is maple bacon and you never change it.” Leira stood up and stretched.” We should get out of here so we don’t have to look busy when someone walks through. I won’t hit the send button for a few more hours to at least buy us some credibility. We can’t do this all the time because they’d wonder how we suddenly learned to type so fast.”
Hagan stood up and pulled his jacket off the back of his chair, folding it over his arm. “Agreed. You know, Leira,” he said as they made their way out. “This is more than my old brain can take in. At this point I’m just rolling with what happens and trusting that you won’t blow us up. Or if you do blow us up, I don’t see it coming.”
“Always the optimist, Felix. I’ll do my best.”
“Patsy, come take a look. There’s another blip on the screen. Our girl is getting a little loose with the abracadabra.” Lois pushed her glasses up her nose and frowned at screen.
“Oh geez,” said Lois. “Any word back yet from that first report we sent in?”
“Not that I know of. I even tried a couple spells to see if I could listen in but those government types aren’t as dumb as they used to be. It was all kind of muffled and hard to hear.”
“So, what were you able to make out?”
“That’s the oddest part. They didn’t seem all that upset. From what I could tell they see Leira Berens as a potential asset. Go figure.”
“Go figure,” Lois echoed, amazed. “Just when you think you’ve heard everything.”
“Next thing you know they’ll be offering her a job.”
“Remember the old days when they used to burn us at the stake? Then they went through that whole stage of trying to cut us up and study us?” Lois shuddered.
“Thank the heavens for Hogwarts and chocolate frogs.”
“Yeah, but Rowling took a big chance spilling all of those inside secrets. Someone might have started to wonder how she knew so much.”
“Humans are slow. Bet the gates are open for years before someone starts to ask those kinds of questions.”
“In the meantime,” said Lois, lifting up her willow wand, “How about a little TV?” She waved her wand and the data pouring across the screen was replaced with The Price is Right.
“Much better. Oooh, they’re still on the showcase.”
“You think we should alert the big guys that the detective is using magic on a more regular basis?”
“How do you think she’s able to pull so much energy?”
“Now, that’s a very good question. Eight thousand! Say, eight thousand,” she yelled at the image of Drew Carey floating across the room. “Drat, I was over.”
“Why didn’t you use your wand?”
“Not as much fun. You’re right, let’s keep this to ourselves for a little longer. You still have that artifact your grandfather used to hear better? Let’s see if we can find out more before we rat out one of our own, just in case.”
“Just in case.”
FROM MARTHA >>> Snippet #7 from RELEASE OF MAGIC coming out AUGUST 14th! Back to writing, Protection of Magic – Enjoy the snippet – 3 days away! It’s a shorter snippet – I know, I know. LONGER ONES this weekend, I promise! Busy, busy!
Next up will be SOUL STONE MAGE by Sarah Noffke on SEPT 6TH and FAIRHAVEN CHRONICLES by S.M. Boyce on SEPT 8TH – so much magical fun headed your way! I hear the KACY CHRONICLES by A.L. Knorr may be headed your way starting SEPT 4TH! PROTECTION OF MAGIC will be out 8/30 from The Leira Chronicles. (There’s also Flint Maxwell working on a new series about THE WORLD IN BETWEEN and if you’re already a fan, you know what that’s all about… That should be amazing!)
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