World of Lupi 10 - Ritual Magic

World of Lupi 10 - Ritual Magic by Eileen Wilks

Book: World of Lupi 10 - Ritual Magic by Eileen Wilks Read Free Book Online
Authors: Eileen Wilks
answer, wasn’t here—either Mama was lost or Julia was lost and she wanted
out
, out of this terrible place, and—
    “Julia!” a man said sharply.
    She gasped and spun around.
    Standing in the doorway was an ordinary-looking man. Everyone-else ordinary, that is, not Chinese ordinary. He wore an ugly suit and a big frown. He was kind of old, at least as old as her parents, with dark hair that started way back on his forehead. “Breathe,” he said sternly.
    “Go away!” she said, her voice high and shaking. “You’re not supposed to be here!”
    “Yeah, normally that would be true, but things aren’t normal. I got special permission to come talk to you.”
    Her eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Who are you?”
    He reached inside his suit jacket and pulled out a little leather folder and held it out. “Al Drummond. I’m an FBI agent.”
    She reached for the ID he was holding out—or tried to. Her arm moved, but somehow she couldn’t quite reach him.
    “We can’t touch.” It sounded as if he didn’t like that. Like he was sad about it even if his face didn’t look sad. “I have permission to talk to you, but that doesn’t let us touch.”
    “I met an FBI agent once, but I don’t remember when. I don’t remember how come I’m here and my mama isn’t. I hate it! I hate it so much! Why can’t I remember?”
    “Because a bad guy hurt you. That’s why I’m here. I’ll be working with that other FBI agent and some more people to catch the bad guy, and we’re going to try to fix things for you, but it’s going to take time. You’re going to have to stay here while we’re working.”
    Julia’s lower lip quivered. She didn’t know if she could do that.
    “Look.” He crouched down, which he didn’t really have to do. She’d grown so much the past year that she wasn’t much shorter than him. She was five feet, five inches tall now. Mama sometimes shook her head and said if she didn’t stop growing she’d have trouble finding a man who was tall enough for her. Mama . . .
    “It sucks, doesn’t it?” the FBI man said. She nodded, not able to talk because she was too close to crying. “We’ve got someone who can make this place better. He can’t fix everything, but he can make it so you won’t be too uncomfortable staying here awhile. But you have to give permission. He can’t help if you don’t. Will you let him help?”
    “Yes! Yes, where is he?” She looked around. “Can he make it not so dark and dirty and scary? Where is he?”
    “His name is Sam. Remember that.” He straightened. “He’s not here right now. You won’t meet him until you wake up.”
    “Wake up? You mean—you mean I’m dreaming? You’re not real?” That was awful, because this place was real. She knew it was. Even if she was dreaming, this house was horribly real.
    “I’m real, but yeah, you’re dreaming. You need to remember . . .” He stopped and looked over his shoulder as if someone was behind him, talking to him. But no one was there. “I’ve got to go. Remember the name. Sam. You need to let Sam help you, okay?”
    “Okay, but—wait!”
    He was fading. She forgot what he’d said about touching and reached for him, but it didn’t do any good. He faded out like he’d been nothing but smoke and a breeze had blown him away.
    “Wait,” she whispered. But it was too late. She was alone.
    Julia.
    That was a man’s voice, too, but not the same man. She knew this voice. He was really nice and . . .
    “Julia, I need you to wake up now.”
    She blinked her eyes and everything was bright again. Too bright for eyes barely awake, and she was staring up at a white, white ceiling and someone was holding her hand, so she wasn’t alone, and that felt good, but . . .
    “Back with me now?”
    She could hear the smile in his voice so she turned her head on the pillow and there he was—the gorgeous man she’d first seen in the hall in the restaurant. The man who was the one good thing in her

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