Three Mages and a Margarita
When I gazed vacantly at her, Clara visibly paled. “Tori, what’s your class?” “My class?” She pressed her hands to the bar top, eyes wide. “Your class, what is it?” “You mean at the community college? I’m taking—”
“No, your mythic class!” She shoved my card under my nose, even more frantic. “Why doesn’t your license have a mythic identification number? You’re registered, aren’t you?”
“Registered for what? Clara, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.”
“Oh my god.” Panic flashed in her eyes. “I don’t believe it. You’re human.”
I blinked again. Squinted. Rubbed one ear like I might have misheard. “Beg your pardon?”
Clara dropped my ID on the bar and hid her face behind her hands. “Darius is going to kill me. Why didn’t I check your ID last night? I’m an idiot.”
“Clara,” I said, alarmed and confused in equal measure. “I swear it’s a real ID. I’m twenty-one, old enough to bartend, and—”
“That’s not the problem,” she moaned. “How did you even find out about this place? I never should have—but you were perfect. You weren’t scared of anyone—not even Aaron! I thought you were some badass mythic who wanted to bartend, but you—”
“Get over yourself, Aaron.” Kai’s angry voice rose over Clara’s. “We’re not doing this your way—not again. Your plans always end in fireballs and explosions.”
Fireballs? Explosions? I glanced at them as Aaron snapped, “What’s wrong with that?” “Tori.” Clara’s panicked tone drew my attention back to her as Kai and Aaron continued to argue. “Last
night, did you see anything?”
“Did you see anything … unusual?”
“Did I see anything unusual?” I repeated blankly. “Like what?”
“Say that again,” Aaron shouted furiously, “and I’ll toast your pale ass to a healthy crisp!”
His hand shot into the air—and fire burst from his fingers. The red flames danced across his skin, sparks raining down on the table. Curling his hand into a fist, he cocked his arm back, aiming for Kai.
“Aaron!” Clara shrieked. “Put your fire away!” He froze in mid-motion, his fist still blazing. “Clara? What’s wrong?”
“Put it out!” she yelled, her voice high with panic. “Now!”
He flicked his fingers open and the flames vanished. “Jeez, don’t get your panties in a twist. I wasn’t actually going to roast him.”
“Just—just shut up for once in your life, Aaron!” Clara pressed her hands to her head like she was trying to squeeze her brain. “This is already bad enough.”
“What’s bad?” He pushed back from the table and strode over, Kai and Ezra on his heels. “What’s going on?”
I didn’t move, my eyes fixed on his hand—his hand that had been engulfed in flames. Did that count as unusual?
“I screwed up,” Clara groaned, covering her face again like she couldn’t stand to see me. “I didn’t check her ID yesterday.”
Aaron slid my driver’s license off the bar top and read it. “Victoria Dawson? Your name is Victoria?” I shook off my shock to scowl at his sniggering tone. Kai plucked the card out of Aaron’s hand. “There’s no MID number.” “Is it a fake ID?” Aaron asked with amusement. “Did you hire a rogue, Clara?”
“Worse,” Clara whispered. “She’s human.”
The three guys stared at me, and I stared back without the slightest idea what the hell anyone was talking about. But more important than the incomprehensible conversation was the fact Aaron’s hand had been on fire, and I couldn’t figure out how it could possibly have been a trick.
“No way,” Aaron finally said. “What’s your class, Tori?” I pointed at his hand. “Was that real fire?” “Oh, shit,” Kai muttered.