Jeff had it all—a good job, a beautiful little boy, and a wife with a secret. But that’s okay because he has a secret of his own. Hopefully, by the time she trusts him enough to tell him hers, she’ll forgive him his.
Kaleb is finally settling with the many changes in his life, and he has spent his time ironing out the details and workload that came with the new pack, the promise to help the Order, and with getting to know the reborn Connor. Despite not finishing high school, Kaleb gets a great job as the assistant to both Alex and Pritchard at Browman and Son Auction—a job where his abilities as a half-breed are of vital importance to humanity. There are a few things he never expected to find at the auction house, though. One being a Captain, the other the knowledge that the Angels made a mistake.
Kaleb checked his clothes one last time before he grabbed his hairband and bounced downstairs to join whoever was up and in the kitchen. He hoped his dad was there and willing to do his hair.
No such luck, but Phil and Heather sat at the table closest to the kitchen.
“Morning, little brother,” Phil said, not looking as rested as he usually did.
Kaleb took a seat across from him. “What’s with you?”
“Rough service yesterday, and it’s too early to break out the cheerfulness.”
“Morning grump,” Kaleb said, grinning.
“Marissa,” Heather explained, mirroring her serious boyfriend’s expression.
That would explain the grumpiness. Kaleb didn’t want to ask, because he had a feeling he’d be compelled to try to help out. He still felt bad for how their friendship had somewhat faded, and he thought he had plenty to focus on other than a teenage girl’s insecurities. That fact made him feel even more terrible, but he was back at reminding himself that just because he could serve didn’t mean he had to. Being able to serve just about everybody was a huge responsibility that he still felt he wasn’t mature enough to tackle.
“What are you up to today, since you’re in such nice clothes? And so early?” Phil asked.
Kaleb smiled as he pulled cereal and a bowl closer. “I’m gonna go say hi to our brother Jonas. Actually, I’ll be going around to every pack home in the world to secure them against magic. Sam-El showed me the sigil, and my coven has made some powerful Earned oil.”
Phil glanced at Heather with a hint of a smile tugging. She didn’t comment but looked neither curious nor troubled about the topic of magic and demigods. Kaleb had been so afraid that Phil would lose his first real love in that cycle, and for a short while, it had looked like he would. Kaleb still thought Mickey had had a hand in it, since he’d taken the time to talk to her about what she’d seen. Mickey had found out by seeing Kaleb get swallowed up by a sighting that caused him to convulse on the floor and speak in tongues. Heather had seen Alois catch fire and then disappear. It was a miracle that no one else at the graduation party hadn’t seen it, too.
“And you’re starting with Jonas’ home?”
Phil’s question dragged Kaleb back to the day’s schedule.
“Yeah, have to start somewhere, and they have a lot of pregnant Nintu at the moment, all very frightened after what came out about the Captains.”
“When are you going?” Heather asked.
“As soon as I’ve eaten.”
“Better fix your hair first,” Phil commented.
“I have time.” Kaleb leaned over the table to shovel a spoon full of cereal into his mouth.
Phil sighed demonstratively and got up. “Your hair is in your food!” He went to stand behind Kaleb and grabbed his loose hair. Not that it was easy eating while someone tugged at his hair, but Kaleb still appreciated that Phil would braid it.
“Are you going back to school after the summer break?” Heather asked.
“No,” Kaleb said. “I heard Alex say something about getting me a job as his and Pritchard’s assistant at the auction house they’re building.”
Heather gasped. “Oh, that sounds exciting.”
“It is.” Kaleb had thought about it since and wondered what being an assistant would actually entail. Would he be running around getting coffee or keeping up with their calendars? Or would he keep track of the magic stuff? Maybe he’d be an ad hoc employee doing all of it.
“When does it open?” Heather continued, earnest curiosity shining in her eyes.
“I have no idea. The office building will be done in about a month, and then they’ll begin the whole gathering clients and stuff while the rest is being built.”
“There.” Phil gave Kaleb’s braid a tug before resuming his seat.
“Thanks.” Kaleb finished his cereal and rose to clear his seat. “I’m gonna go, see you guys later.”
“Always am.” Kaleb left through the veil and exited in the coven’s safe house in France.
No one was there, but he hadn’t expected there to be. He just knew that the witches had finished making the oil in the Nexus, and he had no trouble finding it once he focused on the energy. A cabinet lit up as if someone had turned a spotlight on in there.
“Wow, that’s potent,” Kaleb muttered and opened the cabinet. Twelve liter-sized bottles of oil stood on the lower shelf. He took one of them and focused on shrouding it in his own energy so he could bring it through the veil. It required a lot. He smiled at their accomplishment and wondered how to thank them.
Upon arriving at the pack home in Denmark, Kaleb stared at the clock in the portal room, wondering if it was ten AM or ten PM. Being nine hours ahead of Seattle time, most Earned were at work or at school. But Jonas had promised to be home.
“Hello?” Kaleb called from the door to the living room. He still had to tell himself that he was welcome, because doubt lingered in him. Not everything was well and truly over after the whole incident with getting all the memories of his and Alois’ former incarnations. The whole blowup with his oldest brother Garbor didn’t help.
Kaleb rummaged through his collective languages to see if he knew Danish.
“Kaleb!” Jonas came through the door, smiling. “It’s my kid brother,” he continued to the Nintu who came into the room with him. Kaleb bowed to her, noticing her protruding belly with a smile.
“Here for lunch?” she asked, extending her hand. Kaleb shook it. “I’m Lilja.”
“Kaleb. And no, I just had cereal.”
“He’s here to secure the house,” Jonas said, looking proud.