Fera Fitzgerald. 12:18 AM. Marday, Pisces 14th 3351 AA. Hollywood Hills (Surveillance Van 1).
Fitz opened her eyes as soon as the fae brought in their hostage. I don’t need to see anything else to know he’s going to try and save her, but I have no idea how he’ll do it. He’d die before swearing himself to a court though.
Arroyo’s venture had already left to join the raid. She exited the empty surveillance van and crossed into the Veil in one fluid stride. But rather than completely crossing over to the other side and entering the Faed, she lingered in that liminal threshold, and gave her ethereal body a single command: Move.
She launched herself forward, taking advantage of the realm’s malleable approach to things like physics, friction, and sailing nearly fifty yards to reach the mouth of Nixon’s driveway. She turned to face the driveway and blinked between dimensions again, remerging in reality half way up Nixon’s driveway. One of the proteges was attempting to flee a Keeper, and screamed when Fitz appeared out of nowhere.
“Whoops!” Fitz gestured an apology as she launched herself back into the Veil.
She cleared the rest of the distance to the house’s entrance, whose Inherent Threshold was much stronger than the area outside, which would make her trick much harder.
Fitz strolled inside as Keepers were barking orders and cuffing party guests. A younger officer mistook her for a guest, and started to give her orders, until she nearly knocked him out by flashing her Amagiate licenses irritably. Then she made her way to the kitchen and down the stairs to the wine cellar based on her tour of the place through Hace’s eyes.
Just over a dozen proteges huddled in the corner of the basement, including the badly strung out girl, and the girl that the satyrs had taken as a hostage. Her right upper arm was very clearly—and very severely—broken. Still. She’s alive. I have no idea how you pulled that one off Red, but if you died for her, I’m going to be extremely pissed.
“What happened to Hace Matthews?” Fitz demanded.
The girl shook her head, terrified and still in shock.
“I don’t know; he’s still in the Faed!”
Fitz nodded and stormed toward the ritual array deeper in the wine cellar. I hope to gods the fae on the other side hadn’t found a way to bar the entrance to Erato’s demesne.
She phased into the veil. The barrier between dimensions was thick and choppy, like a tumbling surf, and the polarity on the array had been reversed. Rather than sucking travelers to a specific point in the Faed, the spell was trying to deflect intrusion. The outdraft would prevent anybody with a Lim from entering Erato’s domain, because a lim gave the taker absolutely no control over where they were flying. But for an akrasiac? An outdraft actually makes it an easier target. You just need to go against the grain.
Fitz narrowed her metaphysical being into a spear, and launched herself against the opposing current with her wyrd’s full might. She thrust herself through the Veil, but the turbulence sent her into the Faed in a rough tumble. She rolled to her feet in the stone courtyard Hace had arrived in, and the air was thick with perfume and heavy rain.
The nude statue of the lovers now lay in the fountain basin in a cracked heap. The ballroom overlooking the sea where Hace met the other proteges had collapsed. The floors, walls, and columns were in disrepair.
Time could pass differently in the Faed, and it was common for a demesne to fall into instantaneous decline when it’s faen Lord or Lady was killed. This could have happened over the course of minutes, or hours.
Fitz checked her licenses. Her mentor’s licenses only gave her access to two anima on each wrist, but she had smuggled four extra orbs in her jacket, figuring that if things went wrong, she wanted to be amply prepared. She had two kinetic anima and two electrical anima loaded. In reserve, she held two fire anima, an earth animus, and a water animus.
She started by casting a reflex enhancing contract on herself, followed by a barrier, and replaced the spent kinetic anima with a fire animus and water animus. Then she started making her way down the ruined row of columns toward the tower that had contained the opium den. Not that the prior layout matters. Fae change layouts even more easily than we move furniture.
And as she started walking down the path, she saw that it had indeed changed. Both sides of the path were now flanked by storm-tossed ocean, and the tower at the end of the path loomed at least ten stories higher than it had when Hace entered it. He could be in there. Or it could be a trap to prevent me from finding him.
Fitz felt the faint buzz of faen eminence brush her wyrd. She spun around just in time to catch to catch a pair of satyrs emerging from the columns that lined the path behind her. Then there was a second pair of ripples, and two more satyrs appeared further down the path ahead of her. I’m flanked.
“Where’s the boy?” Fitz demanded.
Since fae were incapable of lying, Hace’s location would be fixed in the Faed if she could get them to talk.
In answer, the closest satyr stomped his cloven hoof on the ground and charged her head on. Fitz sent her wyrd surging into the electrical and fire anima in her cuffs, and cast a combination contract. She fashioned the fire and lightning spirits into a massive, studded club and swung it upward just before the Satyr could reach her. The fire club struck the satyr in the chin and snapped his head back with a thunderbolt-like crack. While he was still reeling, she followed up with a sweeping swing at the satyr’s relatively weak reversed knee and ankle joint, breaking it. And when he pitched forward baying bloody murder, she exhausted the conjured weapon with one final, explosive swing. The blast sent him hurtling off the path into the turbulent seas below.
The other satyrs paused a moment, reassessing their ‘prey.’
“Where’s the boy?” Fitz repeated.
This time two satyrs sprang forward, one brandishing an absurdly heavy chain flail, and the other armed with a matching pair of hooked daggers. Fitz gestured for them to fight her simultaneously. Dagger boy came at her first, a deft whirlwind of slashes and wicked, twisting thrusts. But Fitz’ reflex enhancer made dodging them trivial. Finally, she caught the satyr by the wrist with both hands, and twisted his arm with sorcery, disarming him. Fitz caught the dagger with telekinesis, and drove it into the satyrs’ inner left-thigh like a drill.
Fae, especially hearty opponents like satyrs, wouldn’t bleed out from a single wound, even if you slashed their femoral artery, but they would still lose a lot of dust. He can’t easily walk with the dagger in his thigh, and if he pulls it out, he’ll have to deal with an even worse hemorrhage.
As the goatkith tripped backwards baying, the flail wielder stepped forward with a powerful swing. Stopping twenty pounds of spiked weight with a barrier was a tall order. But redirecting it is another matter altogether. Fitz stepped back and redirected the flail’s spiked head into the dagger wielder’s face. The blow, paired with his bloodied leg, was enough to send the satyr tumbling off the path.
And as the mace wielder tried to recover from his re-directed swing, Fitz slipped behind him, and delivered a smash kick to the side of one of his reversed joints, snapping it. Without two legs to stand on, his enormous weapon was dead weight. Fitz threw her wyrd behind the flail’s head again, using it to pull the teetering satyr closer to the ledge. Then Fitz simply shoulder checked him with sorcery to nudge him off.
Fitz turned to the remaining satyr, who suddenly decided he had no interest in fighting. As he tried to flee, she used sorcery to lock his ankle joint. It took a lot of power, but she was pissed enough, and her wyrd was keyed up enough, that the satyr broke his own leg trying to escape her. It fell to the ground with a baying grunt. I’d almost feel sorry for him. If it weren’t for the whole child sex-trafficking ring, thing.
Fitz used her Earth anima to conjure several stone-crusted roots from the path that restrained the massive creature before he could scramble away. She walked forward, drove her boot into the base of his spine, grabbed his head by the horns, and bent his neck backwards.
“Where. Is. The boy?” She demanded.
“I’d sooner die, you wretched quim!”
Fitz sighed, and started yet another contract, this time using her water animus. She created a heavy sheet of water, sort of like a wet, weighted blanket, and steadily lowered it onto the Satyr’s face and open mouth. Rather than drowning him, the water caused a painful choking sensation. After about twenty seconds, she relented and extracted the water.
“Ready to talk yet? I’m in a rush.”
The fae hacked and sputtered, baying with rage.
Fitz sighed. She briefly considered using her electrical animus, but she was down it and fire, so she settled for sorcery. She lowered the sheet of water again, and used her wyrd to send an electrical current surging into the water that was still in the satyr’s throat. The creature convulsed violently, shrieking, and bucking against its restraints. She held him like that for fifteen seconds, until dust started pouring out of his throat and nostrils. She let him regenerate just long enough for him to answer:
“The top of the tower,” it rasped. “Skethansi has him.”
That’s a Spiderkith name if I’ve ever heard one. Delightful.
Fitz straddled the satyr’s torso with her legs, and took his horns in both hands, and abruptly torqued his head, breaking his neck. As the fae began to dissolve, Fitz stretched her shoulders and took a breath, allowing her wyrd to mellow out somewhat. Then she broke into a sorcery assisted sprint to the end of the path where the tower awaited.
Rather than reaching for the double doors, Fitz leapt at the tower. The damn thing was coated in rain, which made scaling it less trivial than it would have been if it were dry. Fortunately, I’ve never found water magic all that difficult. She used sorcery to flash freeze the water into handholds and scaled the tower in an icy trail.
She made it to the top window, just as her reflex contract was fading away. The rain had also destroyed her barrier. So I get to fight a spiderkith with two anima and no enchantments. Great. Fitz smashed the glass with sorcery, hauled herself inside, and surveyed the room. The top of the room was completely dark, and covered with spider silk as thick as steel cables.
She probed the area with her wyrd and felt Hace above her. She saw the vague outline of a body cocooned in spider-silk. He’s alive, but he’s unconscious. Something dripped from the cocoon onto the tower’s stone floor. Blood. Christ.
“Aw. You’re no fun at all,” A voice as smooth and deadly as quicksilver murmured. “Didn’t want to take the front door? I had so many fun surprises prepared for you.”
Something skittered in the periphery of Fitz’ vision. She feigned indifference and said:
“Oh, I’m a riot. Come down and say hello, Skethansi of Spring.”
The spider-woman repelled behind Fitz, who glanced over her shoulder, as if she couldn’t be bothered to give the fae her full attention. Unlike most kithling creatures, which anthropomorphized, spiderkith occupied a neutral form essentially like a centaur’s body, but the horse bits were spider bits. They could also transform to appear wholly human, or become a spider the size of a small house.
“A fully human female Akrasiac with violet eyes and white hair, cut in the fashion of a man,” the spiderkith said. “Your names are known to me as well, Fera the Witch.”
“Personally, I’ve always preferred ‘Fitz the Bitch,’ but do as you will.”
The spider skittered in a circle around the edge of the room as the feminine body atop it leaned in towards Fitz.
“You have so many sobriquets to choose from! Butcher of the Bay has a certain, alliterative charm to it. My favorite though, must be Solitaire.”
Fitz sighed heavily. I see where this is going and I’m already bored to high hell with it.
“The sole survivor of three ventures. Have you told them? Your students?”
“Hace is a golden boy. Always does his homework. He’s also not a coward. So when he asked about my past, I answered his questions honestly.”
“Did you tell him about Vanora? How you left her to die? The love of your—”
Fitz feinted with her hand, reaching out as if she were going to use sorcery, acting as if she had taken the bait. The spiderkith launched her four needle-sharp fore-legs at Fitz, and simultaneously thrust her bulky abdomen forward, firing a chord of silk from its spinnerets. But Fitz was long gone. In the spider-maiden’s half-human form’s enormous blind spot, specifically. If you had any inkling of who I am, you would have gone full-spider queen from the start, you cocky bitch.
The spiderkith turned just in time to see Fitz wink before she unleashed another simultaneous fire and electrical contract, aimed right between her tits. She fired the spell’s total energy as if it were lightning, then had the fire anima’s backdraft unleash at the precise instant the bolt hit. There was an incredibly satisfying explosion. The spider-part of the spider-maiden slumped, and the maiden part of the spider-maiden was… a smoking stump of fae dust with a basketball-sized hole where her chest used to be.
“God damn!” Fitz roared triumphantly. That was way cooler than the fire-club thing! Damn, I really need to remember that one. That’s definitely going into Fitzgerald Originals™! What should I call it? It has to sound cool.
Fitz looked up above and shouted:
“Hey Hace! Did you see that?!”
Then Fitz heard a horrible snarl, that became a hiss. She sighed. Really? You aren’t fucking dead? We’re still doing this? She turned around to face the colossal spider. Fitz closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She pulsed her wyrd out, stretching it as thin and far as it would go, and simply felt the Veil. The metaphysics of the demesne were crumbling around them.
Fitz recalled her entire wyrd to her before the spiderkith could finish its dramatic transformation routine. Fucking Spring Court theater kids.
“Look, you get half a minute. Give or take. Alright? Thirty seconds.”
The spider clicked its fangs and spoke with a menacing psychic voice:
“You have no more anima, Solitaire.”
“And you’ve got like twenty-eight seconds, now. I honestly—”
The spider jabbed one leg in a feint, lunged with its fangs, then pulled back when Fitz dodged. But that was close enough for me to smell the venom, and whew, that shit is potent. I am genuinely dizzy. She slapped herself with sorcery—a much harder trick than you’d guess—and dodged to the side again. The spider was slashing at her with its arms again. Which, very scary, yes, but also very easy to read.
Unfortunately, I am not as spry as I once was. Fitz was hanging on by the grace of sorcery. But her wyrd was steadily ticking up to exus. Okay. Can I actually last thirty seconds? Is there another way to end this quickly?
Something thick as concrete but light as elastic slapped into the bulk of Fitz’s body. Fuck! She webbed me! I let my fucking guard down, gods damn it
I was too distracted. Can I stall her? No. She knows I’m too much of a threat. It had only been about fifteen seconds, and honestly, the next ten weren’t terribly useful, but reaching the last five would make one hell of a difference. Actually. That first spell still hurt her. And this transformation doubtlessly took a lot out of her. Her eminence is weak.
This is still gonna be a little dicey.
Fitz gathered her wyrd and projected it away from her body, into a broad disc that intersected Skethansi. Then she strained with all her remaining magical might. Fitz pushed through the fae’s eminence, but the Veil was still reasonably thick despite the degrading demesne. Blood began to stream from her nose. The spider drew her head back, cocking her massive fangs back for a final plunge. Come on! Push harder!
Just before the spider could lunge, Fitz broke through. She used her akratic wyrd to claw a rift in the Faed, running along the disc that bisected the spider. The flesh on either side of the disc was torn asunder as its body was ripped into the Veil from the inside out. There were no witty last words. No parting shots. The parts of the spider that weren’t immediately sucked through the rift exploded into fae dust, and the pressure of Skethani’s eminence vanished.
Fitz collapsed, ears ringing, eyes blurring, blood still flowing freely from both nostrils. Her heart thudded against her ribs and her wyrd gasped despite the magic-rich environment. Okay. I like to push my limits, but that was too close.
It took a couple seconds, but the webbing around her dissolved. Fortunately, the webbing around Hace was thicker and took longer to dissolve, so she was able to get him down safely with telekinesis. Then she blinked them both the hell out of there, just as the whole tower was starting to come apart.
Fitz barely remembered flashing back to Nixon’s house. Hace had passed out, either from blood loss or some sedative agent in the spider silk. Fortunately, the webbing had also done a remarkable job of staunching the bleed. She got him stabilized and upstairs with the help of two Keepers, and within a couple minutes, he was in the back of a medithurgic ambulance that had been on standby. The trauma team performed a diagnostic contract on him as soon as they had staunched the wound.
“He’s lucky. Whatever stabbed him missed his kidney. His pancreas has a small nick, but he should make a full recovery. There doesn’t appear to be any magic involved either.”
Fitz breathed a sigh of relief and her adrenaline finally began to recede. As the ambulance sped away toward Remington Memorial, she turned around to see the dark-haired girl, Aviada waiting. She had her broken arm in a sling, and appeared to be waiting.
“Is he going to be alright?” She asked.
Fitz wanted to give the girl a tongue lashing, but figured a broken arm was punishment enough.
“Hace Matthew is a stubborn bastard. He’ll be fine.”
“I don’t know if I’m going to prison for Transference… but I’d like to try and make it up to him somehow. I mean, he saved my life. Aspen told me he got them to evacuate the other proteges too.”
“I’m sure he would say he was just doing his job, sweetheart.” Fitz said, then added: “Also, he has a girlfriend and from what I understand, she’s the jealous type. Keeping your distance may be the best thing you can do for his health.”
Aviada nodded and gestured ‘of course.’ Fitz caught the disappointment in her eyes. I think you just set a new record for breaking a girl’s heart, Red.
“I’ll be sure to pass on your thanks. And I’m sure he’ll appreciate it.”
“Thank you. And thanks for getting him out.”
Aviada bowed her head and excused herself with a polite gesture before heading back to the ambulance that was waiting on her.
Fitz milled around the scene, idly watching as the arrested celebrities and other Hollywood movers and shakers demanded phone calls. Then she caught sight of Senior Detective Wren. Fitz cracked her neck and strode over to her.
Wren wore a satisfied expression and turned as she saw Fitz approaching. Before Wren could say a word, Fitz buried a fist in her solar plexus, enhanced by sorcery. The woman crumpled with a satisfying wheeze. The other Keepers looked on, astonished and unsure whether they should intervene. Fitz gave them a warning look and waited for Wren to collect herself.
“I deserved that,” Wren admitted, once she could breathe again. “But you would have talked him out of it. And I knew he was capable.”
“Talking him out of stupid risks is my job,” Fitz said. “And it keeps me plenty busy even when I don’t have detectives filling his head with stupid notions.”
Wren spoke as she pushed herself off the ground:
“Thanks to Hace, we have a full digital record of everybody in attendance, incriminating files… He blew this case wide open. You of all people should be proud, and appreciate the good he accomplished tonight.”
“Oh, I’m plenty proud. But that won’t heal the hole in his back,” Fitz said.
“I promise I will find a way to make it up to him. And if you will indulge me, I’d like the chance to formally apologize to you too. Over dinner, perhaps.”
Fitz’ mouth hung open for a second and then she scoffed scornfully.
“You went behind my back to put my mentee in mortal danger and now you have the gall to ask me out on a date?” She shook her head and spoke with venom. “Go fuck yourself.”
Wren smiled and shrugged.
“A pity. You seem like my type.”
Fitz shook her head in disbelief. She was so astonished and angry she couldn’t think straight. This gets better and better. That is the most impertinent proposition I have ever received. I’m actually impressed. I thought I was crazy, but she is truly unhinged. After a long pause, Fitz found the words for an appropriate answer:
“I’m gonna walk away forever now. Darken my door again and I’ll break your goddamned jaw.”
—3:36 PM | Remington Memorial Hospital and Mediclave—
Fitz went home, showered, and got about six hours of sleep, then drove to Remington Memorial. The nurses informed her, as Hace’s amagiate guardian, that his surgery had been a success, but he currently had other visitors.
And after what happened, there is no way I am intruding.
After about an hour in the waiting room, Hace’s aunt, Sera, and his mother Sivia emerged. Sera was the first to spot Fitz, and she gave her a look of naked rage. Sivia was calmer, wearing a small, demure smile. She’s lucid today. Good. Hace deserves to see her. And she deserves an explanation. Sera said something to Sivia and cast one last dagger-like look at Fitz before walking away. Meanwhile Sivia approached, and Fitz stood to meet her.
“Hello Fera,” Sivia said, perfectly calm.
A chill cored Fitz, and in that second, she realized that Sivia Matthews was the only woman—maybe the only person—who truly frightened her. And she scares me down to the marrow. Fitz swallowed, stood, and bowed her head.
Sivia silenced her gently by holding up a hand.
“Hace says it was his choice to make, and that you were there to save him when he got in over his head. I also understand that Wren went behind your back. But I am trusting you to protect my son from his own nascent judgement until he is ready for this job. And if you betray that trust again… Well. I am not a sorcerer. I can’t fight. I don’t know how to use a gun. But if you get Hace hurt again before he graduates, I will find a way to make you regret it. Is that clear?”
Fitz gestured perfect clarity and bowed. Sivia continued:
“Honestly, I haven’t decided if that’s the end of this conversation yet. But it’s all I have to say to you right now.” She glanced back to the hallway she and Sera had emerged from. “Hace asked about you when he woke up. He was worried you might have gotten hurt rescuing him. He also wants to know whether the girls are alright, and how the operation went. I’d appreciate it if you could give him some closure, and then let him rest.”
Fitz nodded. Yes ma’am. Whatever you say, ma’am. Sivia nodded back then turned around and started to leave.
“Sivia,” Fitz called after her, before she could think better of it. “I am truly sorry.”
Sivia looked at Fitz seriously and said:
“I don’t care.”
Then she left. It hit Fitz harder than she had hit Wren. The words punched her soul.
No time to feel sorry for yourself. She gave you a job to do. Fitz turned around and made her way down the hallway to Hace’s room. She double knocked and waited for a muffled ‘come in’ before entering. He was sitting up in bed, watching something on the symvision, which he muted as she entered. His color had already come back. Christ. He thought he was invulnerable to begin with. Now he’ll be absolutely impossible.
“You broke another heart last night,” Fitz said.
“Ah shit. Is Kimiss pissed?” Hace asked.
“Oh, I have no idea. I haven’t told her a thing.” Fitz laughed at the notion. “Are you kidding me? That’s your problem to deal with. And you probably want to deal with it sooner rather than later. But I was talking about the actress. Aviada. She wanted you to know she was very grateful and was hoping there was a way she could make it up to you. But I did you a solid and told her you have an extremely possessive girlfriend. Judging from the way you were looking at her, you don’t need any extra temptation.”
A smile twitched across Hace’s face, and he nodded and shrugged.
“How did you get her out anyway? I came to help when I saw they brought her in as a hostage, but I dunno what happened after that.”
“I shot a lim down her throat with sorcery,” Hace said, a touch smug.
“Inspired!” Fitz admitted. “What happened after that?”
Hace recounted his fight with the satyrs and Erato stabbing him in the back.
“As soon as she stabbed me, I released my sorcery and blew her to dust. But after that, the demesne started falling apart, so the next most powerful fae took over. The spider-bitch. She webbed me before I could really resist, and I think the silk was laced with some kind of sedative agent. I don’t really remember much after that, but I figured you’d come for me.”
“That was a stupid gamble, Red.” Fitz said. “You know time can pass differently in the Faed. What if it took me hours to reach you? What if a spiderkith didn’t conveniently staunch your wounds with silk?”
Hace took a deep breath to answer, but ended up shrugging.
“I mean, at that point, my bed was made.”
Fitz nodded, sighing. Hace peered at her.
“Are you alright, Teach? Like, I know this whole thing was risky, but you and I do risky all the time when we train in the Faed. You seemed really freaked out throughout the whole op, even though everything was going smoothly until Erato got Aviada.”
“Your definition of ‘smoothly’ needs some work,” Fitz muttered. “But the first time I went undercover was early in my career. I had graduated already, but it was only my second year on the job. The mission started out smooth enough, just like yours… And then I watched an innocent asfalis boy die.”
“Oh,” Hace said.
“They made me, and they thought he was undercover as well. So they shot him. Right in front of me, and… that really fucked with my head. Changed the way I looked at being a Keeper. Maybe for the worse. I didn’t tell you ahead of time because I didn’t want to freak you out. I didn’t want my curse overshadowing your moment.”
Hace nodded, quiet for a long moment.
“I didn’t want to freak you out either,” he said eventually. “That’s why I didn’t tell you about Wren’s proposal. I’m sorry. You gave me your trust, and I betrayed yours. But I was worried you might try to withdraw your approval. And I knew I could pull it off if the chance presented itself.”
“Yeah, we are going to need to have a chat about threat assessment, and when it is appropriate to play things safe. You and I have very different notions about what constitutes a tactical opportunity. And just so you know, your mother hates me now. Not that she was wild about me to begin with.”
Hace sighed as if valid, mortal, parental concern was a casual nuisance.
“I tried to tell her it was my decision. And I also told her that you saved me. You’d think that would count for something.”
“Not necessarily,” Fitz said.
“Well. For what it’s worth, I am grateful, Teach. You gave me the opportunity to do something that only I could do. You let me save those kids. And then you saved me. That’s more important than making my mom worry. Well worth a prick in the back.”
Fitz sighed heavily. How can you make something so naïve sound so eloquent? How can you be so stupid, and so wise all at once? And what, as a teacher, am I supposed to tell you? I can’t answer saving lives with a lecture, but if I praise you… next time you might not be so lucky.
“You did good. But I need to ask if you want to continue studying under me.”
“What? Of course!”
“Then never keep life and death secrets from me again. Okay? What Wren did was… beyond shitty. I understand the position she put you in, and I get why you kept quiet, but… that hurt, Red. It’s a reflection on how much you trust my judgement.”
Hace nodded, contrite.
“I didn’t mean to hurt you. When I heard the stakes though… I just had to do everything I could. Like, whoring out kids and using them to produce lims…” Another thought distracted him. “Have you heard anything about the girl who was trapped for two weeks?”
“All I know is that they took her here,” Fitz said, not wanting to derail their prior discussion. “I need you to listen. Until you are in a venture, I need you to trust me. Because if there is some kind of ‘bonus objective,’ I can either help you plan for it, or talk you out of it. And if you were afraid of the latter, maybe it’s because you knew it was more than you could chew.”
Hace nodded solemnly.
“I promise. No more secrets.”
“Good. Now tell your friends what happened to you before they hear it from somebody else. People talk, confidential operation or not.”
“Glem is doing his trauma rotation and he saw my name on the admittance sheet,” Hace chuckled. “He stopped by when I got out of surgery and gave me a tongue-lashing. I also texted Drav already.”
“And Kimiss?” Fitz asked.
Hace looked uneasy.
“She’s gonna be mad I didn’t tell her.”
“And you honestly believe that putting it off will help your situation?”
“Damned if I do,” Hace muttered.
Fitz ruffled his hair.
“Good luck, Red. I can’t help you out of this one.”