Grace doesn’t want to yell at Andrea, for a variety of reasons. She has no problem yelling at Huddie. Right now any generally.
“Huddie, what the hell did you do to those guys? Did you kill them? Those were cops Huddie! Real cops!”
Huddie’s response is slurred mumbling that may have been something about raspberry pie.
Grace hazards a glance back at him even though she’s driving “What is wrong with you, are you fucking drunk?!”
He’s not drunk, not drunk on booze anyway. It’s been a good long while since Huddie tried something like a knock-out spell on four people at once and it really took the wind out of his sails. Grace once described casting a demanding spell as feeling like she ran two marathons back-to-back and our man Huddie is most definitely not in marathon shape.
Andrea did finally help Grace get Huddie into the stolen Chevy Trax which is quite the worse for wear on account of the high speed collision. As Grace pulled out into the street the poor Trax was a-rattlin’ and a clatterin’. Grace tried to summon a cloud of smoke to cover their escape, obscure the license plate you know, but she’s tapped out. The magical well has run dry. For a lot of mages this is a terrifying experience, one that that would avoid at all costs, but Grace is made of sterner stuff. She made her way through a hell of a lot before she ever knew magic was real, she’ ain’t scurred.
As they escape Andrea is concerned that Grace is going to get in an accident. Andrea is also concerned that their smashed-up Trax is drawing a lot of attention from other drivers, what with the honking and the shouting and the waving. Andrea doesn’t say anything about these concerns. She does express another concern as she looks into the backseat where Huddie is sprawled like a strung-out junkie.
“I think maybe he had a stroke.”
Grace is predictably unsympathetic “He’s fine. We don’t have a lot of time, your boyfriend Dale is an asshole and he’s after that ring around your neck. I don’t know why he hasn’t taken it from you already but things are clearly escalating now. That may be my fault and I’m sorry for that but right now you need to decide what you want to do. Dale has friends, they have power, they want that ring, and they’re willing to commit murder. I’d say you should get Cassie and run but I’ll help you with whatever you want to do.”
Andrea’s look is one of complete bewilderment “Why would Dale want my sister’s wedding ring?”
“Oh shit, do you not know? The ring is magic. Magic is real. Did I say that before? Didn’t you see what happened back there? Huddie knocked those cops out with a spell, at least I hope he just knocked them out, maybe he gave them all a heart attack. Your sister and her husband got mixed up with some other magic people like Dale and it got them both killed, which is why I think you should run. I know this is a lot to take in so let me show you. Can I touch the ring for a second? I won’t try to take it but I need to touch it.”
Andrea’s hand goes to the ring hanging on her chest “Touch the ring?”
“Yeah, my reserves are used up, I can’t do any magic right now but the ring should . . . JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!!!”
That last bit is when Grace’s reaches across and touches the ring, resulting in a shock like she grabbed an electric fence. There’s a spark as Grace snatches her hand back which briefly ignites Andrea’s shirt.
Andrea desperately beats down the flames on her chest as Grace struggles to keep control of the vehicle coughing wildly, the sudden blast of pain taking her breath away. Eventually Grace hocks and spits out the window.
“Jesus, I think my heart stopped for a second there. I guess that’s why Dale hasn’t stolen it yet. Not what I intended but there you go, magic, it’s a thing and you’re up to your alabaster tits in it even if you don’t know it. Which is why I recommend running for your fucking life. But it’s your decision, I don’t want to decide for you. As I said I got your back here. Whatever you want to do.”
Andrea’s struggles to keep from sounding plaintive and doesn’t entirely succeed “I don’t know what’s going on.”
Grace nods “Yeah, it’s a lot to take in, give yourself a minute to think. Like I said we don’t have a ton of time here, we need to do something, so don’t take too much time.”
Huddie manages to push himself upright and leans/falls forward with his head into the front seat “There’s nothing to decide, it’s been decided, it’s war now.”
Grace manages to resist the urge to elbow him in the face “That’s one theory.”