Eddie looked up at Rena standing over us and said, "Nah. This is the happening spot from what I see."
His eyes were glowing slightly and I watched Rena literally recoil from whatever it was that she saw in those depths. Her long hair was a professionally streaked set of light brown and blonde locks that seemed to have a life of their own when her head tipped up and she looked down her nose at him still seated at the table. The shudder of anger that went over her skin made me recall her violent nature, and I wondered if she'd strike out at Eddie without warning, like a coiled pit viper. From her nature I wouldn't be in the least surprised that she was deadlier than she looked. That thought must have been rolling over her at the same time as me because I felt a surge of power grow and begin to focus.
He winked at her and said, "Nice café you have going here. At five bucks a cup for coffee, you must totally rake in the dough." The power dropped as her mouth gaped open and she stared at him as if he had two heads.
As I was looking at the tastefully designed menu board I saw he wasn't exaggerating on the prices. There were some items below the four buck range but nothing much. Even the fancy bottled water was more than four dollars. I was pretty sure I could drive up the coast a town or two and buy in bulk for the price of two bottles of water an entire case of the exact same item.
The two frozen human girls turned as one to stare at Eddie -- as if they had no choice but to see what sort of lunatic had wandered into their world.
Eddie grinned at them and said, "Nice clothes, Carolina, isn't it? But I feel that I really must ask, where is the rest of your outfit?"
The pretty, spoiled girl looked down at her skimpy bikini top and microscopic shorts with an absolutely mortified expression crossing her features, and I saw that an equally shocked look went across her buddy's face. I doubt anyone had ever questioned Carolina about anything she wore much less didn't wear. She'd never been the head cheerleader in school, but the bitchy gal that stood looking above the crowd and waiting for her moment in the sun. It had obviously happened regularly, feeding her inflated sense of self-importance, making her the brat she was now.
"Shelby, where are my clothes?" A bright blush climbed over her face and she tried unsuccessfully to hide all of her assets with her hands. It seemed Eddie's little question had made Carolina suddenly shy and reserved. That and I could tell that whatever he did with his voice was gradually bedazzling the girls, and Adrienne's and Rena's magic seemed to be fading in strength as his grew stronger.
Rena snorted out, "What the hell are you doing?"
Eddie glanced up and said, "Just observing the scenery and wondering why you are so focused on us."
Again that trace of magic energy flowed off of Eddie, surrounding everyone but me. I figured out that the symposium of gods and goddesses must have installed some sort of 'safety' switch to keep the four from frying their kidnappers -- for the lack of a better word. Eddie more than likely had something to do with that idea, because he seemed to be more aware of the oddities in supernatural creatures and humans than I had expected. Heaven or hell only knew how old he was, but he'd been around the block a few centuries from everything I'd gathered in the short time I'd been around him.
Eddie was the only male still in the store and that alone was noticeable, but both Adrienne and Rena were still half-focused on Carolina and Shelby, while trying to figure out why Eddie and I were still inside and hadn't fled with their push. The energy was building and I could nearly see the blue-silver pulse of his magic fly from Eddie and ensnare Adrienne and Rena. The two were physically struggling and their voices were muffled by whatever spell Eddie was using. Definitely on the dark side. My pendant was getting warmer and my skin was tingling in response. I didn't have any idea what Eddie thought I was supposed to do. Hell, I'd fulfilled my half-assed understanding of his request, and I felt comfortable with the idea of simply strolling out of the business and hopping on the first train or bus that went past.
"Delilah, can't you see that there are only the two of them. You owe me four." He had popped into my thoughts without me noticing. I consciously shoved him out while weighing my options.
I rolled my eyes and said, "Hey, I brought you to where all four were. Not my fault you let the other two go surfing."
Carolina and Shelby's eyes were impossibly large as they stared at Eddie and me. I shrugged and said, "Well, it's true."
They seemed upset by my dismissive tone, and Eddie and I were staring at each other while Rena and Adrienne were swaying slightly. Adrienne had kept her dark curly hair up-swept with a clip on top so there were sexy tendrils that fell free onto her neck and shoulders. Eddie winked at her and gave her one of his scary smiles. He was carnivorous at best and there was a growing scent of desire filling the closed space.
"Yes, Delilah, you brought me four, but there are now only two here that matter. They will need to be compelled to call the boys back for us." He looked smug and I sighed. I doubted that the guys carried cell phones while surfing, and from what I knew of the sport they could be out waiting on and riding waves for hours.
"Still, I could leave having fulfilled my agreement. It's not like it would matter in the long run. The women are under your power now." I really wanted to head out. The pulsing energy was pushing on my nerves.
Carolina snapped, "Bitch, what am I? Nothing?" Oh, so that was what was bothering her. She wasn't the center of our attention. She'd caught my attention now and was interrupting the grownups. I turned and glared at her and shot out an answer.
"I don't know. Nothing is rather vague. I think that you seem pretty shallow to me. Not to mention a lousy friend. Don't you care that Shelby is upset? And I don't think you really need the attention of Rena or Adrienne unless you like the idea of being torn apart and eaten for a snack. Do you?" My tone was dry and dead serious.
Carolina took the time to roll her eyes and spit out, "As if!"
Just for the bad surfer chick vocabulary I was tempted to let Rena chomp on her. Eddie was snickering and said, "My dear, you aren't only cruel, but I can see that you do have a temper."
Looking at him with wide open eyes I fluttered my lashes and couldn't resist, "Nah, I'm much better now. You should have seen me a decade ago. I didn't have the control I do currently."
Even Rena snickered despite being locked in place by Eddie. She couldn't talk but her amusement threw the girls for a loop. I sighed and said, "I'll stay but we need to let these two leave."
Shelby perked right up and looked at Eddie with a semi-enthralled face and nodded her approval of my suggestion.
"Fine, have it your way. But first allow me..." With that he walked over to the girls, brushing past Rena as if she wasn't still frozen looming over our table. Once he was next to the girls his body shimmered, and he kissed Carolina on the nose while muttering something in what I was pretty sure wasn't straight liturgical Latin but an obscure offshoot from that language. Once Carolina's shoulders drooped slightly her turned to Shelby and did the same routine. Shelby's eyes glistened with unshed tears and she soon slumped like her friend. Together they turned and walked towards the exit. Shelby flipped the sign to read 'closed' from the outside and actually pulled down two old-fashioned shades, effectively shutting us inside without anyone able to peer in and watch the festivities. The bright sunshine had been effectively blocked out as well as the nosy tourists. Eddie smiled with a disturbing air of danger that was screwing with my mind, because I wasn't sure any longer what his intentions were for the four. With only two in hand, I would think that he would hold out for the guys to come back, but I wasn't so sure given his gloating. He was seriously tempted by something. What -- I hadn't a clue.
I wanted Jeff back and Eddie just a distant memory. But from the wicked grin on his lips I wasn't getting what I wanted.
Flashing a quick grin to me Eddie said, "Not any time soon, Delilah." Yet again he was running though my not-so-private thoughts.
"That's what I figured." I looked to see both Adrienne and Rena staring at me with absolute hate in their eyes. I resisted the impulse to put my hands up and deny any responsibility for them. Instead I said, "So now what?"
Eddie laughed with a nearly maniacal edge and then went to the coffee counter and poured himself some coffee before saying, "Now the fun begins."
I still didn't see how he thought he would be able to get the surfers back before sunset, but he had an idea brewing.
He tapped Adrienne on the nose and said, "Would you be so kind as to summon the boys back. Let them know that their snacks are getting cold." That reminded me that at least Eddie had let the bimbos free, and didn't actually have a blonde brunch waiting for the boys.
Locking eyes with Adrienne he added, "You can't touch me, so don't bother to add any warnings or I'll be content to return you to your world dead versus the alive option."
Chills raced down my spine. He was dead serious. I hadn't thought killing the trolls was even an option. In fact, he had made a point of telling me that I couldn't kill them, like my normal day job, so to speak. I guess there were different rules for various deities.
Adrienne's eyes glazed over lightly and I could feel her build up a flash of energy and it disappeared -- I guess that Eddie knew about the talents of his abandoned charges. I wondered who'd had the smart idea to send this bent god to retrieve them. He had an agenda I could practically smell on him. He wasn't above changing the rules and that was frightening.
They both were still frozen by whatever Eddie had done to them, but I could see Rena struggling and attempting to break Eddie's hold. That was a bad mistake. Not missing a beat, Eddie strolled over to her and casually back-handed her in the face. The touch sent sparks of yellow and red energy off the contact of his hand to her cheek. The energy dissipated with a loud popping sound and a burst of heat that I could feel in the air conditioned room.
Wordlessly I got up and walked towards the front door. Eddie spun towards me and hissed out, "Where the hell do you think you are going?"
I pulled my pendant free and said, "Wherever the hell I want. You have no hold over me." I spun the gem slowly and began to pull in my own power. The air was bristling and Eddie was looking at me with a peculiar expression. It was like my actions had been scripted, and he knew what I was going to do before I did. A sinking sensation was growing in my head that maybe he did.