Logan seems sweet. I know he acts a little full of himself, but maybe that’s all it is. An act.”
I looked at her in confusion. “But I barely know Logan,” I protested.
“You don’t know Andrei, either. You just met him. You probably know Logan a lot better than Andrei.” Tanis stood up. “Just think about it.” She exited my room, leaving me alone with my thoughts.
I glanced at the business card Ismene had given me the day before, which still sat on my nightstand. Could she have meant that I was in danger from Andrei? That would be impossible. How could she have known?
I absentmindedly petted Nuada, who had curled up on my pillow. Was Ismene right in saying that Nuada was a protector of sorts? It sounded strange to me. “Am I in danger, little girl?” I asked the cat.
She opened her eyes and stared straight at me. Sometimes it felt like she understood me. “Should I go see Ismene?” I asked her. As if in answer, she stood up, stretched and padded across the bed, where she flopped down next to my phone.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” I said. “You know, sometimes I wish you could actually talk. I imagine you’d have a voice like Angela Lansbury. Maybe I should draw a crescent moon on your forehead and change your name to Luna.” I jumped down from the bed laughing, pulling on some shoes, and grabbing my phone off the bed. I ran downstairs, calling to Genevra that I would be back soon, and ran out the door.
As soon as I got outside I realized it was cold, and I hadn’t bothered to stop to grab a jacket. I ended up jogging all the way down to Ismene’s shop, both to keep myself warm, and because I was eager to see what she had to say.
I burst through the door of the shop, startling the browsing customers. I slowed my pace and approached the lady at the counter. “Is Ismene here?” I asked her.
She seemed unfazed by my sudden entrance. “Ismene’s in the back giving a reading right now. You’re welcome to look around while you wait. I’ll let her know you’re waiting for her when she’s finished.”
I thanked her and began to wander the shop. As many times as I had walked by this store, I had never gone in. It seemed to have everything: books, candles, jewelry, statues. I stopped by the incense display, picked up a random stick, and sniffed it.
“You know, salvia offers great protection,” a familiar voice said from behind me.
I spun around, fumbling the incense stick and almost dropping it. Ismene stood close behind me. “Wow! You’re just as bad as Logan, sneaking up on me!” I exclaimed.
“Is he the one you fear?” she asked.
“Fear? Logan?” I laughed. “No, I don’t fear Logan. He annoys me, sure, but I don’t think I could ever fear him…” I trailed off. “Wait, how did you know I was afraid of someone?”
“As I said yesterday, you are in danger. Otherwise, your protector would not have come to me. Besides, it shows on your face.” She began to walk away. “Follow me.”
Well, this was why I had come. I walked behind her to a small, elaborately decorated room in the back of the store. Soft music played, and some sort of incense burned. She led me to a table and gestured that I should sit in one of the chairs. She sat across from me.
I realized I still had the salvia incense stick in my hand, and I set it down beside me. “So, you said salvia offers protection?” I asked.
“Yes, it does,” she said.
“I’ve never heard of salvia,” I admitted.
“You would know it better by its other name—sage,” she informed me.
“I knew it smelled familiar.”
“Yes, sage has long been used to ward off evil. Perhaps you should burn some in your room,” she suggested. I noticed the same amber jewel hung around her neck today. It looked even brighter than the day before. It seemed to glow from within. She smiled at me as she reached down beside her. She placed a deck of cards on the table in between us. They didn’t look like ordinary cards however. They