“I don’t think it was right of you to make me leave the room,” huffed Novak.
“Okay,” said Louise.
“Why did you do that?”
“Because I wanted to talk to Mr. Tuche alone and I didn’t know how it would go.”
“I don’t see why I couldn’t have been there,” he said, sulkily.
“Did you want to watch me tie them up?”
“I think Mr. Tuche actually liked it,” snickered Novak.
“I think he did too,” said Louise, grinning.
“Roger slipped me his card. The names of his two books, along with his phone number, are written on the back.”
“Seriously,” she asked, turning to look at him.
Novak nodded. “Do you think someone will find them before they starve to death?”
“They would die of thirst first but the cleaning person comes in tomorrow, so she’ll release them.”
“How long before we get to where we’re going?” asked Shane, yawing.
“Thirty minutes,” answered Louise.
“I’m gonna catch some z’s.”
“Go ahead. I’ll wake you wen we get there,” said Louise.
“Yes, you can nap as well, sweet thing.”
“How did you get that bird?” asked Novak, staring at the pigeon.
“I didn’t get her, I found her on the sidewalk. Her wing was damaged and she was hiding behind a trash bin, scared out of her mind. I picked her up, shoved her inside my jacket and took her home, where she would be safe. That was over a year ago. One day, when I was thinking out loud, she answered me and a partnership was born.”
“Do you think other birds can talk?”
“Did she just decide to stay with you?”
“She did,” smiled Louise.
“So where are we going now?”
“We are going to see a man named Francis Dorken. He’s the guy who cast the spell on the canvas.”
“What are you going to do to him?”
“I guess that will depend on him.”
Novak nodded. “Got it.”
“You’re going to wait in the car.”
“I am NOT going to wait in the car,” said Novak, frowning and crossing his arms over his chest.
“I can make you stay in the car,” she said softly.
“Look. Dorken plays with magick. You don’t know anything about magick, so you won’t know what’s going on and you won’t see what’s coming at you.”
“But this is about me!” he snapped. “I should be there.”
“It is about you, but you hired me to protect you and I’m telling you that you’re going to stay in the car.”
“This is my life and if I want to put myself in danger, that’s up to me.”
Louise looked at him and said, “You’re right. You can come in.”
“Yes. It is your life and you can do whatever you like…as long as you understand that by being there, you’ll be putting Shane’s and my life in danger. If I’m busy trying to take care of you, I won’t be able to do my job. I won’t be as alert to the things around me and we all might be killed. But it’s your choice.”
“I know,” she said smiling. “And I don’t care.”