“Is this everyone?” asked Dejon as we entered the ballroom for a bit of gaming.
He had met around half of the household in the time since unloading his stuff in his room. There was simply too much to fit easily, so he was left with a bit of a mess. I was certain that would get him through the night well enough. I did approve of how he greeted everyone with a firm handshake.
“You really should at least read through the website before you start making assumptions.” I warned him. “But no, there are several more.”
I was going to say more, but Kayla came rushing into the room, saying, “James! James! Jemal lifted me up with his powers!”
“Really?” I asked. “Did you feel like you were flying?”
“No. The zoomies are way better for flying.” she replied. “It was really cool though! His arms were full, and I was trying to sneak out, and he just lifted me!”
“Just don’t let me catch you flying a zoomie through the house again.” I warned her.
“What if Mila catches me?” she asked, all too sincerely.
“Don’t let her catch you either.” I stated.
“But what if it’s not one of her bodies?” she asked.
“Kayla, don’t fly zoomies through the house.” I told her.
“Yes, sir.” she told me, lowering her head.
I patted her head and said, “There are too many things which could easily be broken in this section, and you might run into someone in your wing.”
Grinning and looking up at me, she said, “I’d love to have feathery wings! Can you give me wings?”
“Sorry, but no.” I told her.
“Aww… okay.” she told me before skipping over to tell Emma about Jemal lifting her.
“You allow kids here?” asked Dejon.
“My secretary’s twelve years old, so yes.” I told him.
“But isn’t this a business?” he asked.
“Businesses can’t involve kids?” I inquired.
“Well, they can… but shouldn’t this be a kid-free zone? Like you said, there are so many things that could break.” he replied.
“Kayla lives here, and Aaliyah’s more capable than any of us, so no.”
“So employees don’t have to live here?” he asked.
I laughed and said, “No, I don’t really care where someone lives, as long as they have a place that suits them.” Looking him in the eye, I then said, “If you have somewhere you’d rather go, we don’t have to wait until tomorrow. I’m sure I can get you there this night.”
“What? No. I mean to say that’s not what I meant. I was just curious. I’ll look at your website if you don’t need me for anything.” he told me. Sitting down, he looked around before asking “How does this work?”
Before I could answer, the keyboard illuminated and Mila provided the chair tutorial on the screen. Feeling he had ample help, I took a seat to get an hour of work done in my guild before Marco would be serving dinner.
“James?” asked Alma as she walked over to me some time later.
“Hmm?” I replied.
“Would you be upset if I were to enlist Dejon for a few errands?” she inquired.
I stopped what I was doing and turned my chair to face her, suddenly feeling on edge. “What sort of errands?” I asked.
“I hardly see why that matters, since he isn’t in your employ.” she replied. “He’s just staying for the night, correct?”
“Yes, but I don’t really like the idea of you forcing him to mess with people’s minds.” I admitted.
“You are well aware that I’m perfectly capable of affecting the minds of others without the aid of someone like him. I simply thought of a use for him which might help us see if he’s trustworthy as well as let him earn a small wage.” she insisted.
“Would him earning this wage involve him using his ability?” I asked.
“Not necessarily, though I wouldn’t discourage him if that is how he wishes to proceed.” she replied.
I wanted to argue against it, but he wasn’t in my employ. I would hardly be dictating his life even if he was. I nodded and said, “Please let me know how things turn out.”
She smiled, walked over to him, and asked him to come with her. I didn’t feel easy about this, but she’d hopefully give me better details afterward. I probably should have had her sign a contract guaranteeing me information. She might have even approved of my foresight if I had, but I wasn’t going to start utilizing contracts with my girlfriend. We could discuss things without them.
Dinner passed without seeing either of them again. I could guess that Alma was stalking Dejon on his “errands”, but I still felt uneasy. Perhaps I should have argued more strongly against this.
By midnight, I found myself pacing in my office. Yes, Dejon wouldn’t be involved in whatever he was doing if he hadn’t shown up here, looking to use his magic on me, but he probably wouldn’t be involved with some mysterious errand had I not suggested that he stay here tonight.
“Master, what is troubling you?” asked Mila.
“Dejon. I still don’t know what to think of him, and I’m worried about what Alma has him doing.” I replied.
“He’s working as a bouncer for one of Lady Pendreigh’s clubs.” she replied.
“What? Are you sure?” I asked.
“Of course, master. Look.” she stated, displaying a video feed of the club next to me.
“Then what happened to Alma?” I asked.
“She’s in her wing, working and watching the same feed.” she replied.
“How is this an errand?” I asked.
“The errands came first, master. Lady Pendreigh had Dejon escort a package across town, assist in unloading a truck, and convince Eddie Clarke to sell his store. Then she set him up as a bouncer for tonight.” explained Mila.
Extra details as well as video footage displayed for me as she spoke. What bothered me the most was that Eddie Clarke was an elderly man, and Dejon quite likely used his magic to persuade the man. The contract was signed within a few minutes of his arrival.
“Master, you look disturbed. I assure you that no harm was done.” stated Mila.
“No harm? That elderly gentleman just lost his shop!” I exclaimed, shocked that she wouldn’t consider that harmful.
“Yes, he did, but he was in debt and the bank was probably going to foreclose soon, given that Eddie’s nephew had transferred. In the long run, this deal will let him have an easier retirement. Lady Pendreigh’s offer was more than generous.” she explained.
I still didn’t like it. At least, I didn’t want to like it. Mila was more than likely correct about the upcoming foreclosure, and Alma could’ve purchased the building at a far lower price had she let that happen.
“Do you think he’ll be happier this way?” I asked.
“I cannot say for certain, master, but he will at least be able to pay his bills. From what I have seen in the past year, Eddie Clarke was quite stubborn where his business was concerned, and he’ll probably wonder why he sold it for quite some time. I can monitor him for a while if you wish.” she replied.
I nodded and said, “Thank you, Mila. Please do. I’m sure Alma will be curious as well.” I already knew I didn’t always approve of Alma’s business practices, but she did have a good heart. I was certain she did. As I looked back to Dejon, I hoped he had a good heart as well, but seeing what he did only made me question it more.