Kate sat on the porch with a book on her lap. She was on the pretty side, tan, dark-eyed, dark-haired. Exotic, even. Didn’t look like she was from around here, but then who did nowadays? Her sword lay next to her, a pale sliver. I paid attention to her eyes and the sword. She was a bit quick on the trigger with it.
“I always knew there was something odd about you, Teddy Jo,” she said, nodding at my wings.
I felt the magic coil about her. Too much power there. Way too much. She hid it well, though.
“How did it go?”
I shrugged. “Killed the snake responsible. Everybody’s alive. Your friends are in one piece. I expect they’ll celebrate in bed once they sleep it off.”
She arched an eyebrow. “They were together? Like together-together?”
“Looked that way to me.”
A grin bent her lips. Why now, she had a pretty smile. Who knew?
“I’ve got something for you here,” I said, and showed her a sack of apples.
She closed the book and set it aside. The title read, Lion, King of Cats: Exploring the Pride. I handed her the sack.
“Couldn’t find anybody else immune to Persephone’s immortality?” She chuckled.
“You guys don’t exactly grow on trees. I tried burning them, but fire does nothing to the damn things.”
“That’s because they are meant to be eaten or sacrificed.” She picked up her sword, cut a small chunk, and popped it into her mouth. “Tart. Think they’ll keep for a week? I’ve got company coming next Friday, and I’d like to make them into a pie.”
“Can the company handle Persephone’s Apples?”
I made of note of that he. Didn’t know there was anybody else in the area immune to Persephone’s Gift. If I had to put money on it, I’d bet it was the Beast Lord. Magic was a funny thing. The older it was, the stronger it was. True, Hades’ fire-power was of an ancient variety, but the magic Kate threw around was so much older, it gave me a start the first time I felt it. Now, I’d seen the Beast Lord once. He’d passed by me and I about choked. The magic that rolled off him was even older than Kate’s flavor. Primeval—not your regular shapeshifter. Enough to give a man a complex.
“I don’t see why they wouldn’t keep,” I said aloud. “Damn things are near indestructible.”
She lifted the sack. “Thanks!”
I pushed from the grass and shot into the sky. The sun was rising. Its rays warmed my wings and I headed back toward Atlanta. I had had a hard night. It was time to get home, drink me some coffee, and feed my dogs. Cerberus made sweet puppies, but the damn things sure ate a lot.