Chapter 10

The smell of freshly baked cookies woke me up.
I opened my eyes but quickly closed them again when the headache from hell made its presence known. A raw groan escaped my sore throat.
“Ah, you’re finally awake. Seems like your cookies did the trick, Cillian.”
I cracked one eye open and looked across my living room table. My dad was munching away on a mountain of chocolate chip cookies.
“Save some for me!”
The brownie came into view and placed another plate piled high with cookies on the table next to me. The distance between the soda and the table had never seemed bigger than right at this moment.
“These are for you. Brave, brave girl.” She turned around and walked into the kitchen.
“Isn’t she great?” Dad smiled in the direction of the kitchen.
“Yeah, she is. How long have I been out?”
Dad’s smile vanished. “Three days.”
I let that sink in. “Well, at least I’m alive.”
Dad nodded. “Yes, and I’ve assigned Aidrian to all our missing cat cases for the next year for not telling me that the monster would fight back.”
“Good. What happened to the monster?”
Dad took another bite of a cookie. “He’s locked up in the magic asylum along with his friends, but without the stolen life force from his last victim, they expect him to die within a month. He collapsed a moment after he knocked you out and is now a pathetic shadow of himself. Nasty sight he is.”
I looked down my body and noticed a massive bandage on my arm. “How bad is it?”
“Not too bad. Aidrian pulled some strings and managed to get hold of some Verula ointment. All the nerve damage was healed, and scarring should be minimal.”
“Verula ointment. I thought that stuff was impossible to obtain? Must have cost him a fortune.”
“Well he’s got his contacts and even if it did cost him a fortune, it was the bloody least he could do after almost getting you killed.”
“It wasn’t entirely his fault, you know.”
“I know, which is why I didn’t fire his ass.”
I shook my head, but quickly stopped when it felt like I was being stabbed in the eye with an ice pick. Instead, I reach across the table to grab a cookie. The dead woman’s diamond ring sparkled on my middle finger. “Why am I still wearing this?” I didn’t want to wear it. It didn’t belong to me, and only bad memories were connected to it.
“We tried to take it off, but we couldn’t. It’s like it’s welded to your finger.
I grabbed hold of the ring and tried to pull it off, but he was right. The ring wasn’t going anywhere. “Great. And jewellery isn’t even my thing.”
“I guess it is now. Have a cookie. It’ll help.”
I grabbed one of the still warm pieces of pure happiness. It tasted amazing. Closing my eyes in bliss, I decided that life could be worse.