“If you can pause building the criminal case against yourself, Ms. Sunrise, you have a phone call.”
Amara got caught between trying to go pale and stick her tongue out in irritation. Jane only called her that when she wasn’t happy with her. Of course Jane already knew she was studying up on the guy from the bar. Jane always knew. But that fact would have to wait, as would the criminal online pursuits. There were only two people who could be calling that Jane wouldn’t screen. And Father had just made his weekly call last night. Forgetting Russel as well as her tour for the moment, Amara reined in the surge of excitement as she plucked her phone from the table. She had her voice mostly under control when she picked up.
“Good morning, Mother.”
“Hi Mar! Heard you had a good show last night! Way to start off a tour right.”
“Thank you Mother.” Amara chided herself for not keeping the strain out of her response. How was she supposed to maintain proper respect for her caller when the goddess insisted on speaking so easily?
“And did Jane say something about a boy? You deserve to move on, forget that dragon of an ex and be happy! Would you…”
Oh no. Goddess, you really don’t have to do this.
“You want me to check up on this one? Just in case.”
“Mother. Your Divineness, I have not yet exchanged words with the man.”
“Oh ‘Mara. You’ve already gotten a bit closer than just chatting now, haven’t you.”
Amara blushed. How could she possibly know? Even Jane didn’t know, or she would have already killed me. And it was not my fault that Russel keeps the one little plant in his apartment in his bathroom! Who even does that? Her blush deepened with memory. After her little tracking trick paid off, Amara had tried reaching out via magic before searching online. She hadn’t really expected to ‘see,’ just get a feel for how he lived, and if he had plants whether he took care of them.
When she saw steamy air, she figured it for her brain interpreting the sense of well-watered plants visually. Until a shape started to resolve out of the mist. A bare shoulder, a back, and even lower. Shock arrested her attention, until the figure in her mind’s eye started to turn to face her…
Back in the present, Amara smacked her forehead to get her own attention.
“I am sorry Mother. I had not meant to-“
“Oh, relax! In fact, I could help fill in any details for-“
“My divine Lady, Mother of all Monsters,” Amara cringed. Not at the title she just used, but the fact she cut off a divine being. “I would not waste thine holy attention on my personal fumbles. If thou hast called with need, I stand ready to obey thy will.”
Amara allowed herself to smile a little inwardly. Her trying to sound formal, or whatever using ‘thees and thous’ was probably couldn’t sound any more fake. But her father had taught her about respect, and Amara never forgot who, and what her current caller was. Even if the goddess herself seemed to.
“Amaaaaara.” The Mother of Monsters whined like a petulant 15 year old. “I like to- wait. Shouldn’t I know if there’s time to have a little fun or not?”
“My divine Lady,” that teaching kept any exasperation out of Amara’s tone.
“Oh, all right. I guess can tell you how much this Russel would be an improvement over your usual some other time.”
That was unnecessary. Of course a goddess would know the buttons to push in one of her servants. But even if I resist the bait, she did tell me something about Russel. Not that it was hard to improve on her last few attempts at relationships. Still, if Mother thought he was a good one, Amara would make sure not to let a little embarrassment, or the fact I maybe stalked him a bit too close so far, keep her from giving it a try. Amara shook her head. She had fallen for the bait after all, if only in her head.
I wonder if being able to hear Mother’s triumphant grin over the phone is a divinity thing.
“I did in fact call about a favor.”
Amara caught herself before correcting the terminology. They both knew she would do what Mother wanted every time. But telling Mother that had not stopped the goddess phrasing it as a request yet. And it would distract from the task, again.
“I am ready to serve, divine Lady.”
“Mm. There’s a ____ in the city. You should be able to find him around 63rd street and 4th Avenue, at least until dusk. A sandwich and a bus ticket to the cape, with a little mother’s encouragement to try his luck there should be just the thing.”
“As my Lady asks. In those words?”
“Up to you. Though it, well, needs to be yourself. Alone.”
“Of course, Lady.”
Amara did not bother asking why. Mother would explain if she did, of course. It was a point of pride and that respect for Amara to not need it. It wasn’t hard to get a pretty good guess on her own, anyway.
“Thank you Amara, as always. And I know I can’t get that old dragon that broke your heart, but the brunette model is enough mine I could-“
“Mother. My Lady. Thank you.”
The voice on the other end huffed her frustration but let it go.
“I’ll be in touch.”
“I will look forward to it, as always Mother.”
Jane was already waiting at her elbow when Amara put the phone down, stylus and pad in hand.
“A bus ticket, to the cape. And what kind of sandwich do you think a ___ would like? A non-descript rental would be good as well.”
Jane knew that meant a car. Also that Amara would be using it, and therefore delivering the ticket and the sandwich herself.
“Will you be taking…”
Amara shook her head.
“My guess is he’d be too skittish for more than me alone to get close enough. I’ll be around the corner of 63rd and 4th Ave, if you can find any parking near there. And yes, I’ll keep my phone on me, and on,” Amara emphasized with only a little sarcasm, “so you and the boys can still keep tabs on me. Okay?”
“Of course Ms. Sunrise.”