When Kyle opened the next door he saw a man who was almost a caricature of business sophistication. He was sitting with a button down shirt open at the collar with its cuffs rolled up. Next to him over the back of the couch was a suit jacket and a tie. He was looking at papers of some sort, and there was a laptop open on the coffee table in front of him. He looked up when Kyle opened the door, “I didn’t buzz for anything.”
“Sorry, sir,” Kyle said, “Uh, there’s been a bit of a disturbance, please don’t leave your room for the next bit.” Kyle figured that was good enough advice.
He was apparently wrong. “Of course, I’ll stay in my room! You’ve locked me in here!”
“Oh, yeah.” Kyle stepped back letting the door fall shut behind him.
“You know I…” The man started to say before the door shut and cut him off.
Kyle shot a look down the hall. It had probably only been a little over a minute since he’d tossed his backpack through the floor, but he was shocked security hadn’t arrived yet. Perhaps they were checking out the floor that was still blanketed in darkness. Still, he couldn’t have much time left.
He opened a third door. This suite was also dark, but some thick animal scent rolled out of it like he’d stuck his head into the den of a large beast. He noticed the couch had several big rips in it. Kyle let that door fall shut almost immediately. Shortly after it shut there was a heavy impact on its other side. The whole wall shook, but there was only the one thump, and whatever was inside didn’t protest further.
He opened the fourth door. Jessie was sitting on the couch. When she saw him she didn’t even give him time to speak before she bounded up, off the couch, and came running out of the room. For a second Kyle thought she was going to hug him.
Though she stopped just short of that, perhaps she thought the same thing because she said, “You got my message! I could kiss you!” Then she stopped, and looked away, “And you came. Thanks. I wasn’t sure.”
Kyle had never really considered not coming. He’d forgiven Jessie somewhere along the line without quite realizing it. Besides, he was here for himself as well. “Yeah, well, thanks for leading me here. Now let’s get the heck out of here. I have an escape back that way.” He pointed back down the hallway.
That was when the guards finally managed to arrive, turning the corner at the far end of the hall. “Stop right there,” one yelled.
Kyle looked up at the guards. Only they weren’t guards as such, they were the same set of bounty hunters that had already tried to catch him twice. Kyle’s first impulse was less fear and more irritation. He thought, These guys really need a better hobby, and that came out of his mouth as an annoyed, “You guys!”
The first bounty hunter, the one he’d knocked unconscious with Raven’s Gift gave him a smirk, “The boss was less then convinced you’d show for your meeting. He had us cover the fort just in case. Sorry we took so long to get to you. We had to call him up after you blacked out the hallway.”
“I’ll be sure to clear out of here in less than two hours.”
“That might be a problem. We were both really hoping you could stay.”
Kyle raised one eyebrow trying to put on a brave face. Maybe he could intimidate them. “You know, the last two times we fought you ended up on your butt. Why don’t you just save yourself the pain?”
“The first time we fought, you sucker punched me, the second time you ran like a rabbit.” He rolled his neck resulting in a couple of cracks that were audible even down the length of the hall, “I’m OK with a rematch.”
That, Kyle thought, was a fairly definitive fail on his intimidate roll. He backed up a couple of steps, “Well, how about introductions first? We keep meeting. It seems like we should at least know your names.” The second bounty hunter looked a little amused by that idea.
The first did not. “Sorry, I try not to socialize with targets.”
Maybe he was sore over the stun spell. Both men were walking toward them. Since talking his way out of the problem had failed Kyle tried to magic himself out of it. He still had the light absorbing spell going across the entire ceiling except for the lights, he now swept it down over the men covering them in a wall of rolling black. The man stopped, that much was obvious because they didn’t walk out of the cloud which ended only a little bit in front of where they had been. There was some rustling from behind the black wall and the second bounty hunter spoke for the first time, “Wait! You can’t just shoot him.”
“Oh yes I can.”
“Boss said he wanted to talk to him. He wants to see who he’d told about the spell.”
“He can talk with a hole in his leg.”
“Not if you hit an artery.”
That was disturbing. Kyle parted the blackness over the men again. They were standing as they had before, side to side having stopped when the dark went down on them, only now both men were wearing some sort of strange glasses. They looked a bit like aviator’s goggles with solid brass lenses. Some sort of writing edged the lenses with glowing symbols that might have been alchemical. Presumably they were why the first bounty hunter, who now held a rather large gun, thought he could hit Kyle.