He didn’t take the BMW back to the house to pick up Sheridan. Instead, he stepped out of his office and into his bedroom by shifting his entire body through space. Teleportation was not his best ability, but he could go places he had physically been before quite easily. Sheridan looked up from polishing her lips to wink at him.
“Ready when you are,” she said.
“Then let’s go.” He didn’t bother changing clothes. Whatever he wore had the potential for being ruined, but he also didn’t want to give off the impression he expected a beating. The Magnus would never want him to expect a beating, only be certain one could happen. He put his hand out to her then said, “You might wanna grab your jacket, we are going up the mountain.”
“Oh right.” She popped over to grab her jacket, a light airy thing made more for show than anything else. As a pyrokinetic, Sheridan gave off enough body heat for three people, but she had to keep up appearances. The Magnus’s servants weren’t all like them and occasionally they freaked out when they saw things that didn’t make sense. Like floating cutlery or people who appeared out of nowhere. If they landed outside the gate, they could walk up the drive like they’d left the car outside.
If he really wanted, he could have teleported the car, but he’d have been so tired after the fact all the Magnus could do to him would be beat him to sleep.
They arrived outside the Magnus’s villa a few minutes later. Alexander took Sheridan’s hand and helped her up the path. The stones weren’t exactly forgiving to stilettos and those were Sheridan’s shoe of choice. The enormous estate lay across the landscape like a satisfied cat, multiple lit up windows offering the illusion of civility that often wasn’t actually there.
“You ready for this?”
Her question set his teeth on edge and he closed his eyes as he walked. He needed to get himself together, preferably before he stood toe to toe with a man capable of toppling cities.
“No, but I don’t have a choice.”
She didn’t comment on his lack of a choice; after all, she was just as much enmeshed in this as he was. She was his second in command. In his absence, she was in charge.
Klaus opened the front door for them with his own eyes closed.
“Good afternoon, Master and Mistress,” he said. “The Magnus awaits you in the west drawing room. You’ll remember it. It’s the one with the Vermeer hanging outside the door.”
Alexander didn’t bother to remind the man neither of them knew a Vermeer from anything else but rather kept his mouth shut and oriented to the western side of the house. They’d find it pretty quickly. Even though the place was immense, it was well appointed and that meant easy to navigate. If anyone wanted in and the Magnus didn’t want them there, they were in deep, deep trouble.
The Magnus didn’t look up from his book when the pair entered, but gestured them to take a seat. Alexander took a chair and Sheridan stood at his elbow.
“Tell me why I’ve been having to call your second to talk to you?” the Magnus asked. They shared the family trademark silver hair, the aristocratic nose, and the storm colored eyes.
“I’ve been indisposed of late. My apologies, Magnus.”
“You never apologize without reason, boy. You know this. Have I charged you with a crime?”
“Then keep your apologies. I asked a question. You’ve been in mourning. Of this I was aware. However, for you to neglect your duties so badly I had to step in and correct a situation left me uncertain of your ability to control your territory.”
“Are you saying you wish to replace me?”
“No, not yet, but you should keep in mind I can do it.”
“I do not doubt that, sir, ever.” Fear and pain warred for position, but he kept them off his face. If anyone replaced him, it would most likely be because he was dead. “If I may ask, what situation did you feel the need to correct in my absence?”