Daiyu had considered not going back to the loft apartment where she lived as a ward of Walter Kemp. After she snuck out the window of Darkmoon Drive, she made her way back to Manhattan on foot, as opposed to flying which she’d become accustomed to with the power of her bracelet and demon. She walked the streets, pacing up and down the streets and avenues. Normally, she would have consulted her demon, but he was gone now, possibly for good by the looks of her bracelet. Was there a way to repair a relic? She had no idea. And now that the man who had given it to her was dead, she assumed she would never find out. Then again, dead or not, he would have shunned her for using his gift against those who lived in the home he’d built them, the home he’d offered her once upon a time. So maybe it was best that the bracelet was broken, and there was no hope of repair. Maybe she deserved this.
Eventually she came to the conclusion that whether she returned to the loft or not, Walter Kemp would find her sooner or later. Given the choice of running forever and facing the man who’d taken her in, and could just as easily throw her out or worse, she decided to face him. Daiyu was used to staring demon’s in the face.
The earlier party had ended. A few people still lay lazily across couches and chairs drinking or smoking. A couple here and there continued cuddling and kissing, lost in their own world. Empty dishes lay on every surface from plates with meager crumbs to wine glasses with one final simp of dark red liquid in them. She stepped cautiously through the room, taking her to the long hallway that lead to both her room and Kemp’s study. At a thick black door, she used a single knuckle to knock.
“Enter,” came Kemp’s husky voice from the other side.
She moved into the room, realizing for the first time just how ragged she must look. Her clothes were ripped in several places and while her wounds had been closed by Juno’s magic, dried blood caked in patches on her skin where the cuts had been.
Kemp stood across the room next to a cluttered wooden desk, looking out a large window over the city of New York. In the distance, the sky was shifting to a dark purple hue, indicating that the morning was fast approaching. “That took longer than expected,” he said in a low rumble. “It seems our little rascals proved more challenging than you thought.” He turned and smiled at her, but the smile dropped when he saw her appearance. “You look a wreck.” He took a short sip of wine. “I expect they look much worse.”
Daiyu cleared her throat. “Unfortunately no … sir.”
“No?” asked Kemp, raising an eyebrow.
“They are still alive and quite well. At least they were the last time I saw them.” She gulped down the fear that was rising in her stomach.
Any trace of a smile had disappeared from Kemp’s face. “And why, might I ask, is that?”
“Because they beat me,” she said in the slightest whisper.
“So why aren’t you dead then?” he growled, his grip on the wine glass becoming tighter.
“They … spared my life.”
“I see.” Kemp turned and hurled the wine glass at the wall. It crashed into the deep blue wallpaper and shattered. Daiyu flinched. “You had one job to do, Daiyu. One job!” He rounded on her, moving in close so that she could feel his hot breath on her face.
“I am sorry, sir,” she said, working to maintain her composure.
“You are useless to me if you can’t handle even the most simple of tasks,” he growled. “Now, I am going to give you one more chance to take care of this situation. Fly back there right this moment and—”
“I … can’t …” she bit out. She held up her arm to reveal the cracked jade bracelet. He grabbed her arm roughly and turned it this way and that, inspecting the damage. He dropped her arm, like trash being discarded.
“Useless!” he shouted. “You are now useless to me!” He stormed around the room, angrily grumbling to himself. “I should kill you, and be done with it.”
She sucked in a breath and held it.
He took a long breath in and then out, extending the exhale while pressing his hands down the front of his suit jacket. “But then again, perhaps you can be of some use still.” He moved to his desk and picked up a piece of paper with scrawled handwriting across its surface. He quickly folded it into thirds and stuffed it into an envelope before sealing it with a wax seal. He came back around the desk and thrust the letter at Daiyu.
“Take this to the Darkmoon Drive, and see that Charlie Cole receives it. Can you manage that?”
“Yes sir,” she said, taking the letter carefully from him. She turned and headed for the door.
“Oh, and Daiyu,” he said, speaking calmly as if he hadn’t just threatened to end her life. She looked back to acknowledge him.
“Once the letter is delivered, I’d prefer it if I never saw your disappointing face ever again,” he said.
Without another word, she left the room, closing the door softy behind herself.
Ughh, I feel so bad for Daiyu. But don’t worry. She’s got quite the story ahead of her!