Heather had been staring at the file silently through 3 sodas for Julie and a second cup of tea for the man behind the desk. She set it down finally and slid it across to the man.
“You gave a multi-dimensional object to an untrained witch, again.”
“It was classified as…”
“Yes, I read that. You gave a ‘safe’ multi-dimensional object to an untrained witch, and now she’s gone and we’ve got ourselves a body-less soul and another mess to clean up.”
“I’m very…” The man began again but Heather stood up and he fell silent.
“We’ll need access to the apartment, and to grab our gear… and you’re going to provide Mr. Esler with a safe haven while we get this straightened out. On top of our regular fee and an extra two percent since it’s a school night.”
“Fine, yes, of course.” The man stood up and held out a hand.
“Don’t accept any offers or sign anything, Mr. Esler. We’ll be back soon and have this sorted out.” Heather ignored the man’s hand and he retracted it.
“He’ll be taken care of with us, I assure you.”
“Uh-huh.” Julie huffed and joined her sister in standing, “Did you bring my bike?”
“It’s in the back, bring the whole kit and I’ll meet you at the apartment.”
“Cool, later Billy!” Julie waved and darted out the door. Heather gave both men a long hard look and sighed.
“We’ll be back as soon as possible, but be wary.”
“Sign nothing, I know.” Billy gave her a little grin but she didn’t seem reassured. She stepped out into the hallway and the door shut behind her.
“My name is George Tuttle, by the way, I’m afraid I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself earlier. I run this recruitment branch for supernaturally inclined folks to offer training and resources.”
“Bill Esler.” Bill almost instinctively went for a handshake, before realizing his folly.
“Well I promised a safe haven, but the waiting room is terribly dull. I think we have a meeting room down the hall were you can watch television or something if you’d like.”
Bill hesitated, remembering the girl’s warning and George laughed a little.
“Right, this isn’t an offer, I’m simply informing you of the existence of entertainment possibilities. I’ll have Anna show you the way in case you are interested… did you have any question?”
“Will they be okay?”
George spun in his chair a little before returning to facing Bill, “It’s a bit tricky, but they’re two of the most powerful people I know. I have a great deal of respect for them and their abilities and enjoy working with them. Even if the feeling isn’t mutual.”
“Practiced?” Bill raised an eyebrow.
“My bosses don’t care much for their… attitude towards us. I’ve had to smooth things over a few times.”
They both looked up as the door opened again and the wonderful smelling Anna returned, “I can show you the way to our meeting room, Mr. Esler.”
Bill got up and willingly followed, down the inexplicably short hallway to a fairly large meeting room with several long rows of chairs set up in front of a television at one end. He sat down as she turned the screen on and set the remote next to him.
“The remote is fairly easy to use for our less corporeal guests, so feel free to find anything you’d like to watch. I have some paperwork to do but I’ll come back and check on you in a little while.”
“Thank you.” Bill called after her as she headed back into the hall. She turned and gave him a shy little wave and it felt like his face was on fire. He turned back to the screen and started browsing through channels lazily, finally settling on a rerun of a show he hadn’t seen since college.