The others remained silent during the exchange. Lyta hurried over, followed by Jennie and Nicole.
Lyta glared at Brandon. “When I invited you, you were warned not to bother Ravyn.” She grabbed his arm and hauled him away from the others. “I’m reporting you to the chief in the morning. You know damn well Ravyn wasn’t responsible for what happened!”
“You’re going to tell the chief?” He paled.
“Threatening a victim of a vicious crime isn’t tolerated in the department. I suggest you let Artie drive you home.” Lyta released his arm and walked away.
“Stupid bitches! The lot of you should be shot for what you are!” Brandon lunged. Before he touched her, Lyta spun and kicked him in the gut. He fell to his knee, gasping. “I will report this to the chief!”
“Go ahead and report it, Mills. Not one cop here will speak in your defense.” Sergeant Reggie Mendin walked over. “You were warned time and again to keep your damn mouth shut about your brother, but you never learn.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “Artie, get this sorry excuse of a cop out of here before I pound him into mincemeat.”
Artie walked over. “Come on, Brand, it’s time to leave.” He helped him stand.
Out front, Mills threw up on the sidewalk. “God damn them! Hope they all rot in hell!” He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Take me home, Art. I’m not feeling so good.”
“No surprise there. Sometimes wonder why I put up with you.”
Jennie kept an eye on the rear view mirror. Ravyn turned to her, a slight smile on her face. “Are we being followed?”
She chuckled as she braked at the stop sign. “Nope. Not a soul around.”
“Good. It was probably my imagination.” She rubbed her shoulder. “That bastard has a strong grip.”
Jennie unlocked the back door and they entered the house. Ravyn punched in the code for the alarm.
“Do you plan to sleep right away?” Ravyn put an arm around Jennie’s waist and slipped a hand under her shirt.
“I think I can stay awake for a while. What do you have in mind?”
They entered the bedroom and Ravyn wrapped her arms around Jennie. “Something like making passionate love to you,” her voice low and husky.
Going to the bed, Jennie sat and pulled Ravyn down with her. The kiss she gave her wife left them breathless and eager. Pieces of clothing fell to the floor. In each other’s arms the worries, fears, and uncertainty of the day disappeared.
Sometime later, Ravyn lay with her head resting on Jennie’s chest, close to sleep. Jennie stroked Ravyn’s hair, enjoying the great satisfaction and contentment that filled her. “Ravyn?”
“Rob and Sherry are opening the store tomorrow morning.”
Ravyn met her eyes and smiled. “We have such great employees. I should give them a raise.” They embraced and their passion rose again.
“Good idea, love,” Jennie murmured.
A raven with a silver glow flew about, trailing runes in its wake; an echoing voice spoke into the surrounding darkness.
‘Ravyn, you must wear the ring you received. Without it, the two of us cannot talk. The Order of the Shadow Dagger is on the move and you are in danger! You must carry on the work of those who have gone before you.’
Ravyn glared at the bird as it circled overhead. ‘Why should I do what you say?’
‘Lives depend on your actions, Ravyn,’ came the reply. ‘If the others get the second disk, the darkness will rise, bringing great misery and pain to many.’
The strange runes glowed in the air while the map wavered in and out of view.
‘Who are you?’ Ravyn tried to grab the map, but it floated out of reach.
‘I am a friend, Ravyn. Please, put on the raven ring, it’s important. You also need to find the people your parents worked with. Those of us in service to the Lady stand against the Shadows. You need all the disks to reclaim what is rightfully yours by birth.’ The voice faded, along with the runes. ‘The letter you received with the page covered in runes needs to be deciphered. Translate the runes, read the journals, find the disk. Find those who knew your parents. Don’t delay, Ravyn Wyng.’ The raven, runes, and map faded, leaving her in darkness.
‘Come back! Don’t go! I don’t understand! Please, don’t leave me!’ Ravyn shouted out in her sleep.
Ravyn’s shout woke Jennie. In the dimness of the night-light, she found Ravyn tossing and turning, saying ‘Please, don’t leave me!’ over and over. Jennie shook her. “Ravyn, wake up!” Ravyn bolted upright; sweat streaming down her face.
“Right here, love. It’s all right.” She rubbed her back. “Everything will be fine.”
“I understood the voice!” she said. “It said I have to read the journals and find the disk!”
“All right, we’ll work on it together.” Jennie had an idea. She turned on the nightstand light and grabbed a notebook and pen. “Here, write everything you remember of the dream.”
With a hand that trembled Ravyn wrote down the dream. Finished, she lay back exhausted. Jennie took the items and set them back on the table before she turned out the light. She gathered Ravyn in her arms and held her close until she fell asleep.
For Jennie, sleep took a while longer. “I have a bad feeling about this, my love,” she quietly said. “I wish those items had never come into your possession.”