2021 05-16 19:30: The Curious Case of Logan
“Damn! Damn! Damn!” Niall threw down the book he’d been perusing and stood abruptly, pushing a hand through his already disheveled hair. He began to pace the small dining alcove, muttering to himself.
Chiedra glanced up from the soup she was adding herbs to at the stove. She smirked at Niall as he paced. “Careful, old man,” she teased, “if you get too worked up, you could have a stroke.”
Niall stopped pacing and sent a wry look at his young friend. “Very helpful, Kiki,” he drawled. “Do you mind?”
“What?” Chiedra asked innocently.
“If you aren’t going to helpful…” Niall said significantly.
“Alright, alright,” Chiedra turned the burner down to leave the soup to simmer and walked over to sit down at the cluttered dining table. “What is it that you’re working on now?”
Niall had invited Chiedra over for dinner when they’d parted ways yesterday morning, but when she’d arrived he’d been deeply involved with one of his projects. He’d looked at her quizzically when he’d opened the door for a few moments, before realization dawned. Immediately he’d begun to make his apologies and excuses, but Chiedra had simply bent down and picked up the two brown bags of groceries she’d brought with her. She had been raised by this man, so she was more than aware of how he could be. Despite his occasional absentmindedness, Niall had been an amazing father figure. He’d always made sure that Chiedra was safe and cared for when she was little, and as she’d matured, she’d taken over the simple domestic duties. She’d cooked many a meal in Niall’s little apartment over the shop. Tonight was nothing new to her. Chiedra had simply carried her groceries into the small kitchen, past the papers and books and pulled out some pans and other accoutrements. Niall had watched in bemusement, shrugged his shoulders and gone back to his project. This was nothing new to him either.
“It’s that boy that was with Balthazar, Logan,” Niall replied.
“What about him?” Chiedra asked, reaching out to pick up one of the books Niall had been studying. She read for a moment. “Mind control?”
Chiedra picked up a sheaf of papers, and thumbed through it. “Possession? Did I miss something Saturday? Was that guy’s head spinning while he spit pea soup? Cuz I would’ve liked to see that.”
Niall shook his head, taking the book away from Chiedra carefully. “This is a very old, very valuable text, KiKi,” he said, placing it gently on the table. “And when I was talking to Logan, I noticed something odd going on. Balthazar is up to something with that boy, and whatever it is, knowing Balthazar, it isn’t something good.”
Chiedra nodded. She was well aware of Niall’s feelings about Balthazar Romano. The other wizard had a pretty shady reputation, honestly, despite how Niall felt about him. Chiedra had heard more than once that Romano was dangerous and not to be trusted. She’d even turned down a few jobs offered by his organization. There was apparently a line she wouldn’t cross, although that line had more to do with upsetting Niall than anything else.
“So, what have you found?” Chiedra asked. Niall had access to a lot of information. Whatever was up with the hottie in Balthazar’s employ, Niall had to have some ideas.
“Not a lot,” Niall replied. He glanced down at the page before him, shaking his head. “There are a few texts which mention ways to control the thoughts or actions of another, but most of what I can find indicates that it would be difficult to do so for a long time or in as complete a way as Balthazar has apparently done to Logan. From what I can tell, this sort of magic requires a lot of energy and power. What I can’t figure out, is why would Balthazar go to all this trouble? What is so special about this boy?”
Chiedra shrugged. “Aside from the fact that he was hot, I didn’t see anything to write Guiness about. But…”
Niall looked up to see a contemplative smile on Chiedra’s face. “What’s going on in that devious mind of yours, little girl?”
“I was just thinking that maybe the best way to find out more about Logan would be to just ask him,” she said.
“Right,” Niall scoffed. “I’ll just catch him outside Balthazar’s building and ask him what makes him so special.”
“Well, maybe not you,” Chiedra grinned. “But if I were to run into him somewhere, and maybe strike up a conversation with him…”
“You know, that might work,” Niall agreed. “You could befriend him, and try to get to know him better. If you don’t find anything about him, you would at least be in a position to keep an eye on him, just in case.”
Chiedra shrugged. “Sure, I could do that. If you’re right, and Balthazar is up to something, then this Logan might be in trouble. I could watch out for him for you. If you want me to, I’ll do it.”
Niall smiled fondly at her. He knew Chiedra would do this for him. He knew there were many things she’d do for him. Kiki was his little girl, had been for years, and he was proud of her. She was smart, strong, and beautiful. She was dangerous too. Niall appreciated all of that. But most of all, no matter what she did or why she did it, Niall loved Chiedra unconditionally. That was why she always did her best to make him happy.
“Thanks, Kiki,” Niall said. “Let’s figure out where you can ‘run’ into him.”
Niall and Chiedra put their heads together and tried to pin down Logan’s habits. Together, over bowls of hot homemade soup, they hammered out a plan.