“It reinforces what I’ve always said,” said Nellie Swenson. “Magic is too dangerous.”
Graham looked from one to the other, clearly expecting Senta to get up and clock the girl reporter in the noggin, but she just smiled and nodded.
“Another bottle of Billingbow’s!” he called to the passing waitress, who happened to be his sister.
“You know where it is!” she shouted back at him. “Go get it yourself!”
“Does anyone else want anything?” he asked the two girls seated with him. They both shook their heads.
“Alright then, um, I’ll just be right back.”
“So how are you finding Birmisia?” asked Senta when he had left.
“Knock off the chit-chat, you lunatic,” replied the redhead. “You’re a menace and I intend to tell all of Brechalon about it.”
“So who’s stopping you,” replied the sorceress. “Do whatever you want.”
“Oh, I will. And before I’m done, I’ll have freed Graham Dokkins from whatever magic you’ve used to cloud over his mind.”
Senta snorted into her cup.
“You’re a daft cow,” she said.
Graham returned with his bottle of soda, but before he could sit down, Nellie jumped to her feet.
“Come on, Graham. I want to feed the dinosaurs.”
The boy looked questioningly at Senta.
“Go ahead,” she answered his unasked question. “Run along and play.”
She sat alone for a few minutes finishing her tea, and had just decided to head home, when the chair opposite hers slid back and Hertzal plopped down into it. He gave her a look, with one brow cocked.
“What?” she asked. “Do you think I’ve ensorcelled him too?”
He shook his head.
Gaylene stopped at the table.
“Having tea then, Hertzal?”
He nodded and made a circle with his hands.
“Soup coming up,” said Gaylene, and then hurried away.
“Aren’t you supposed to be working?” asked Senta.
Hertzal shook his head again.
“So what are you doing?”
“You need a girlfriend, that’s what,” said Senta. “Maybe we can find you a little ginger tramp too.”