Magic in the Shadows

Magic in the Shadows by Devon Monk

Book: Magic in the Shadows by Devon Monk Read Free Book Online
Authors: Devon Monk
apartment—Nola and Stotts having a good ol’ time. That was my cue to lay on some wet-blanket action.
    I strolled into the living room. They were still sitting at the table. I’d caught them just as they were both lifting their coffee cups to drink. I hated to admit it, but they looked pretty good together. Nola was shorter than me, compact, blond as summer, and freckled. She looked like the country, honey and wheat fields. Stotts was her opposite. Dark hair, wide shoulders, unconsciously intense and strong in that way cops always are, and he took after his Latino heritage, with a square face, heavy brows, and amazing eyes. When he smiled, or when he looked at Nola like that , the cop intensity melted away into something else. If she was sunlight and the country, he was sunset against the mountains, strong, vibrant, dangerous, and yet somehow sheltering, protective.
    And married.
    Picnic, meet rain.
    “So,” I said as I pulled up an extra chair and sat down so close, both of them had to scoot back to make room for me. “What brings you by, Detective?”
    If he was annoyed by my intrusion, he didn’t show it.
    “There’s a job I’d like you to Hound.”
    “Today?”
    “While the trail’s fresh.”
    I thought over what I had to do today. Go see Maeve, but that wasn’t until one o’clock. It was only ten thirty. I had time. Except I had promised to help Nola with the Cody situation. I didn’t know how I was going to fit both those things in, but I’d try.
    “That works okay for me.” I took a drink of coffee, and put my fork to use to wolf down half my cake. I hoped there was more in the kitchen. “This is fantastic,” I said to Nola.
    “Thank you,” she said.
    “Do you mind if we catch up a little later today?” I asked her.
    “That’s fine,” she said.
    To Stotts, I said, “I was going to contact you about Nola anyway.” Wait, that didn’t sound good.
    “Oh?” Stotts said.
    “Nola has been working to get custody of Cody Miller.”
    “The Hand?”
    I frowned. “You know him?”
    He took a drink of coffee before answering. “I know his case.” And his gaze said more than his words. He had probably been a part of that case. After all, Stotts dealt with all the magical crime in the city. And Cody, Nola had told me, had once been involved with some shady characters and forgery. But if Nola had made her mind up to look after him, nothing and no one would get in her way.
    “She’s working to get him out on her farm,” I said.
    Stotts looked over at Nola. “Isn’t he in the state hospital?”
    “My farm is in Burns,” she said. “No magic for miles. We’re completely off the grid.”
    Stotts grunted. “And you decided to put it upon yourself to do this because . . . ?”
    “Because,” Nola said, “I do not give up on the people I care about. And I think Cody is a good young man who should have the chance to live a good life without the push and pull of magic, or the people who would use him for it.”
    Oh, that did it. If Stotts had been looking at her with barely disguised interest before, he gave her a short but clear look of admiration.
    “I don’t hear that every day,” he said, switching admiration for the more standard police skepticism. “Not in my line of work.”
    Nola couldn’t hide it. She beamed. What was it with these two? They were getting along better than ice cream and spoons.
    “What I was saying,” I said, “is Nola needs some help making sure she contacts the right people who can see that Cody can be released into her care.”
    “Were you running into trouble with that?” he asked.
    “Not at first. But about two weeks ago, I suddenly stopped hearing from anyone. I’ve mailed, called, e-mailed. I was told there was something about additional psychological testing needed. Is that something you could help me with?”
    “I could at least look into it for you. Find out where they’re at in the process. How long are you going to be in town?”
    “I could

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