Home > Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic #1)(9)

Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic #1)(9)
Author: Melissa F. Olson

He examined my face closely. “What makes you say that?”

“You were careful to avoid a singular pronoun right there—you said ‘that person’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she,’ even though it made your sentence awkward. The majority of people who have pull in Boulder, like in most cities, are male, so saying ‘she’ would really pare down my list of possibilities. So you avoided the pronoun entirely.”

He stared at me. “Now that’s interesting,” he mused.

I raised an eyebrow. “What, that I know what a pronoun is?” I countered. “No, what’s interesting is that you didn’t just say ‘he.’ You don’t want me to know who your boss is, but you didn’t want to lie to me, either. Why would a fixer need to talk to me?”

He leaned back in his chair, taking my call button with him. “You know, I could sit here and talk semantics all day,” he drawled. “Let’s go back to the pronoun discussion again, that was fun.”

I shook my head slightly. Pain shot up my back, but I’m good at ignoring pain, at least for a while. “No,” I retorted, “let’s answer Lex’s questions so she doesn’t start screaming for help.”

Quinn tilted his head, studying me again. “He tried to press you. I saw it on the tape.”

That brought me up short. “What?”

“Victor, the guy from the Flatiron Depot. He tried to press your mind so you’d back down, but it didn’t work. My employer would like to know why.”

“What does that mean?” I asked. “Press my mind?”

“It’s a mild, short-term form of mind control,” he said levelly. “He tried to force your brain into believing you hadn’t seen your niece.”

“And you tried it on me too, just a few minutes ago.” Quinn nodded, unrepentant. I considered that for a moment. I had felt something. “Let’s say I believe you. How could someone be capable of mind control? Are you guys a government experiment or something?” I had seen movies about super-soldiers. If you got past the ridiculousness, it made sense from a military standpoint. Besides, I knew nothing about technology. For all I knew, super-soldiers were on the horizon.

“No,” Quinn said, watching me carefully. “He’s a vampire . . . and so am I. And so is my male boss.”

I laughed in his face.

It hurt my throat, but come on. “You’re trying to tell me that you’re a vampire, and you live in Boulder? What, you discovered that microbrews and hemp taste just as good as blood?”

Quinn shrugged a shoulder, unsurprised by my outburst. “Laugh it up,” he said casually. “But I’m pretty sure you’re a witch.”

Chapter 5

I stopped laughing. “That’s ridiculous,” I said uncertainly. Not because I believed him, but because it was just such a weird thing to say. If you wanted to cover up a crime or convince someone to back off, “you’re a witch” doesn’t seem like the best place to start.

Quinn sighed again. “Look, I’ve never been on this side of this conversation, so I have no idea if I’m doing it right. But the only reason you’d be able to resist having your mind pressed is if you already have magic in your blood. That makes you one of three races. You’re not a vampire, obviously, and there aren’t any werewolves in Colorado anymore. And even if you were, I’d be able to smell it. That means you have to be a witch.” He shook his head. “I just don’t get how you can have active witchblood and not know it.”

I blanched. “What does that mean, active witch blood?”

“I can answer that,” said a new voice from the doorway. A shaggy-haired man of about thirty was leaning against the frame. He had olive skin and sharp brown eyes that took in the two of us through rectangular glasses. “Hey, dipshit,” he said to Quinn. “You press all the nurses to forget about this room? None of them seemed to know there was a patient in here.”

“Something like that,” Quinn said, smiling a little. “You made good time.”

The newcomer nodded and walked into the room, closing the door behind him. “Tracy and I were getting a drink a few blocks away. She’s gonna walk back to the apartment.”

Quinn rose to shake the other man’s hand, then turned toward me. “Simon Pellar, meet Allison Luther. She goes by Lex.”

I glanced at the thick cord dangling off the bed. Quinn had dropped the call button, and now I had my chance to call for help. But for some reason, I didn’t want to. This was all just so odd. It was . . . interesting. And since my sister had died, I hadn’t found a whole lot of things particularly interesting. Frankly, I’d been in kind of a cocoon for the last ten months.

Besides, Quinn seemed like he knew something about the couple who had come after Charlie.

“Lex,” Quinn continued, and my eyes snapped back up to him. “This is Simon, of Clan Pellar. He’s generally a hippie ass-hat, but he’s also a witch. Like you, only without the amnesia and attention to grammar.”

“I don’t have amnesia,” I retorted, at the same moment that Simon said, “Hey, I like grammar.”

I glanced between them, recognizing the easy camaraderie of men who trusted each other. “You guys have worked together before, I take it.”

Quinn grinned. “Once or twice,” he told me. “Although we hate each other, of course.”

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