I began researching modern laws that I could use to our advantage. I had to make sure the OA was, in no way connected to this event. I was also searching for laws that would ensure Mrs. Franklin would have a plentiful future. Family has to come first, but I’ve got to do something to better this mortal’s life.
I was lost in thought when my office door opened once again. “By the gods, would it kill someone to knock?” I gritted between my teeth.
“Aunt Dem, your message sounded desperate. Sent a tingle up my spine to hear you get so riled up.” Dinlas stood in my doorway, his girls by his side, looking as though he owned the place. Though I’m more than proud of the things he’s doing, he’s still a snarky little Cretan.
As I stood to walk toward him, his girls began to lower their ears and growl. “Oh please, ladies,” I said, glaring back, “that mortal on the sofa over there needs more protection than your master. Why don’t you be good girls and lie down over there and keep her safe?” Neither wolf moved, yet gave Dinlas a sideways glance as though waiting for his command. With a slight grin, he nodded his head and waved his hand. The she-wolves slinked to the sofa, still eyeing me in contempt.
Dinlas turned his gaze back to me. “So, what’s the problem? Getting close to that time of year again and you’re wanting me to lock up your hot daughter?” I wanted to slap the snot clean out of him, but knew his girls would spring into action.
“Hush, boy. This is serious. Seems your Nana Hera has gone and smited a mortal in her office. I’ve told her assistant that the office is to be locked up and the body not to be disturbed. I need your help in cleaning up the mess.”
“Whoa, Auntie. This ain’t my problem. I’ve got way more important things going on than to clean up one of the gods’ messes. I’m sure Nana Hera can take care of this herself.”
“Not this time. I need you to get rid of that body and make it look like he died in an accident. You see that woman over there?” My voice raised as I pointed to Mrs. Franklin. “She spent years in a living hell where she was never even allowed to speak for herself. Sound familiar? She witnessed Hera kill her husband in one of her rages, think about that.” My voice had become a roar that brought Hate and Jealousy to their feet.
My nephew shot them a glare that sent them back to the floor. He knew what it was like to live in a world of loneliness and pain. The lines on his face softened. “Fine, I’ll do it for her. No innocent should have to live like that.”
“Remember, this needs to look like an accident. I don’t want local authorities trying to prove this a murder or suicide. I also need you to find a couple of people to help get Mrs. Franklin back home. I need her to wake up on her couch, as though she were never here. Moxie worked some of her magic to help the poor woman believe she’d only had a bad dream.”
“Don’t you think the neighbors might ask questions if a couple of my guys showed up carrying a drugged-out Mrs. Franklin, only to hear later that her old man accidentally died?” I hated it when the boy made sense.
“True. What about a couple of your call girls? Can any of them be trusted? I don’t want this leaking out, and they can’t be thieves. I’ll pay them handsomely if they keep their hands off of everything in the Franklin household. They’re to put Mrs. Franklin on the sofa, make her comfortable, then get out.”
Dinlas thought for a moment. “I think I might know of a couple ladies I can trust. What if she wakes up before they get her inside?”
“I gave her some of my relaxation tea. She’ll sleep for at least 12 hours.”
The boy nodded his head as he grabbed his phone and began making calls. As he did so, I went back to my desk and picked up a couple of manilla folders. I had no intention of having him do this out of the kindness of his heart. I knew better.
After several moments, he turned to me and said he’d found someone he trusted to take the woman home. He said he couldn’t promise they wouldn’t steal anything, but he had made sure to tell them about my payment option.
“I’ll head up to Nana’s office and see what has to be done there. I got a couple of my guys on their way to help me get the body out. However, any other cleaning duties are on you.” That smug smile crossed his face once again.
“Thank you, Nephew,” I replied in my ‘favorite Auntie’ tone. “Here, this is for your help.” I handed him the folders, hoping he’d see it as the payment it was intended to be.
“What’s this?” he asked as he opened the first one, filled with surveillance photos.
“His name is Anthony Santiago. He’s head of one of the largest smuggling operations on the planet. His most lucrative trade is in young women. He’s wanted in at least five countries and has about thirty different contracts out on his head. I’ve gathered all the information on him I can find, both legal and not-so-legal. He’s also a direct descendant of the Roman general who claimed to be you at the Battle of Corinth.”
I watched Dinlas’s lips curl in anger. “So what do you want me to do with this?”
“Whatever you want. I don’t need details, unless you end up needing my divine counsel. I just thought you’d enjoy a little challenge in your new endeavor.”
He looked through the stack of photos a bit longer, then closed it up and stuck both files in his vest. He turned to his girls, snapped his fingers, and both were at his side. “Paid in full, Auntie,” he said as turned and headed out the door.
I knew it would be a while before his call girls would show up for Mrs. Franklin, so I started thinking about my next move. The first thing I needed to do was to hire myself an assistant. I’m done having everyone just march into my office without proper announcement.
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