The house was like something out of a movie. Low and wide, perfectly white and clinging to the rocks above a beautiful ocean view. It was a stark contrast to the cramped town. Even from the end of the road leading up she could hear the music and revelry going on. She tidied her hair and put on her most charming smile, it was time to crash a party.
The gate was guarded by a hulking man in a black shirt, he had a gun in a holster. He moved to block her way, looking down at the black case suspiciously.
“Detener,” he ordered holding out his hand. Esmeralda laughed sweetly and traced a pattern on his upheld palm, flashing her blue eyes at him
The man crumpled to the ground. She stepped over him and let herself in. The grounds were well kept with raised flowerbeds and trees, lawns of emerald grass stood out starkly to the arid desert outside. The large pool was designed to look like a natural lagoon complete with rocks, a waterfall and a mass of scantily clad women with cocktails. They were oblivious to her, as were the men they were draping themselves over. It seemed like everybody was having a grand old time. Letting herself into the house she kept the smile on her face and nodded politely to the party goers. She had to find Diaz. Slipping into quiet hallway she found an unoccupied bathroom with a large mirror, just what she needed. Even if she did find Diaz there would likely be dozens of men at his call, she had to create a distraction. Taking the silver knife from her pocket she made a small cut on the palm of her left hand, she let the blood pool in it. Taking care not to break lines she began to paint an intricate triangle on the mirror. Holding the twisted horn talisman she reached out to touch the minds of the people out by the pool. It wasn’t all of the souls in the house but they would cause the fuss she needed. She concentrated, making sure she had them all connected, this was a powerful piece of magic.
The was a rush of cold like she had dipped herself into a river in winter but she kept her bleeding hand pressed to the hastily drawn symbol. Her breath came in short gasps that fogged the air in front of her and her legs almost gave out. The lights in the bathroom flickered. It wasn’t long before the sound of raised voices and breaking glass reached her. Esmeralda smiled, this would be interesting. The voices raised into a mounting cacophony and she could feel the violence begin to spill from the party goers. Yelling from the other side of the mansion. Footsteps rushed passed the bathroom, she didn’t understand the rapid spanish they spoke but she understood the tone well enough. They were worried. They should be. Binding her hand in a small cloth she took a moment to gather herself. Exiting the bathroom she made her way to the quiet side of the house, where the worried footsteps had come from.
He was sat behind a large polished desk of dark wood when she entered the room, the phone in his hand and an annoyed look on his sharp face. Diaz had a pitted face with very white teeth. Two angry looking men in identical suits sat in leather chairs in front of the table.
“Señior Diaz?” she asked placing the black case down.
“Qué?” said the man in the phone. The two men stood at the appearance of an intruder
“Good,” she nodded and waved a hand at the two men.
Steeling herself she kept her eyes locked on Diaz as the two men erupted into two searing pillars of flame. The heat almost made her step back. They didn’t scream or cry out, they didn’t have chance. Witchfire stripped them of their lives before they knew what was happening. The stench was awful and she fought down the urge to gag. The bodies were quickly ash, just two small piles were all that remained of the lives she had taken. They deserved this she reminded herself.
“Do I have your attention?” she asked politely. He jumped to his feet and leveled a gun at her, phone forgotten. She snatched it from his hand with a motion.
“BRUJA!” he cried making a quick crucifix sign.
“Damn right,” she said moving forward “you’re the prick that took someone from me and I want him back” Diaz moved as far back as he could “where is he?” she growled leaning on the desk, the varnish began to bubble beneath her hands. He didn’t move, just stared at her eyes wide with fear. Good. She pulled out her phone and brought up a picture of Cooper. “Mine,” she said showing him the image. His eyes darted from to the picture then back again. He nodded dumbly. “Go,” she ordered “vamanos!”
He led her through the back of the mansion to the large garage. Past the rows upon rows of expensive sports cars, there was a narrow door that opened up to a set of metal stairs. She waved him down. Diaz flicked the lights on to reveal Cooper chained to a wall, a bag over his head, his shirt torn and bloodied. His head moved at the sound of others
“Hello?” he asked in a thin voice. Esmeralda clutched her talisman
Another chill swept over her but she had come too far now to stop, she had to see this through. Diaz began to babble in fear as he stood rooted to the spot.
She kneeled down and removed the hood with trembling fingers. Cooper blinked rapidly in the light, his face was bruised and swollen.
“Es?” he mumbled trying to stand, his hands gripping her as though he were afraid she were not real. She pushed him back down her hands beginning to shake, slowing her breath she took control. “Your hand,” he said looking at the now bloodied rag she had bound it with. Abducted and assaulted, locked in a room for days and he was concerned for her. She shushed him and held him close. Tracing the lines of his face she leaned in and kissed him gently. He winced.
“Sorry,” she whispered, “Coop, I’m getting you out of here,” his eyes darted to Diaz. She pulled his face back to hers, “Ignore him, I’m getting you out of here,” she kissed him again. “I need you to do something for me. I need you to not judge me on what I’m about to do, not until we have a chance to talk when we are a long way from here.” He nodded once looking confused. “We have a lot to talk about, I have a lot to explain,” she said. He nodded again. She ran her hands over the manacles and they without a word they fell away from his wrists. He looked a little shocked but made no comment on it.
“Anything you want Es, you know that,” he said rubbing life back into his hands. She smiled at him, her first genuine smile in days, then turned to Diaz. This time she made no command, she needed no magic for this. The slender silver knife flashed and for the fourth time that day she ended a life. Cooper said nothing, his face was almost blank, was that revulsion or affirmation she saw. He blinked quickly, tears welling up in his eyes. Esmeralda sank down next to him and cradled his head. A sob broke the silence followed quickly by a laugh.
“What?” She asked. He sat up and looked her in the eye.
“I am never going to argue with you again,” Cooper laughed as he cried. She hugged him close, running her fingers through his hair.
“Does that mean I can have that pony we were talking about?” He snorted and laughed all the harder but he held her tightly. “That’s not a yes,” she smiled. He pointed to the black case she had brought with her.
“What’s that?” he asked.
“Spare clothes. I thought you would need them.”
“Es, can we go home?”
“Yes love,” she whispered, “we can go home.”