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A Wild Talent - Part One

A new story

Jostein turned, knelt, thrust and twisted the blade in a single fluid motion. The hooded figure before him seemed a little stunned as he looked down at the bright Italian steel now protruding from his midsection. Jostein grinned as he withdrew the rapier, stating only “Überraschend ist es nicht .” The figure slumped to the floor, but Jostein knew he had little time to appreciate the move. He looked over at Petra, she was in trouble, yet again. Two goblins were on her and she was swinging her blade as inelegantly as ever. He yelled over “Follow the parry with a riposte, how many times do I have to tell you” as his father's dagger flew from his left hand into the back of one of the goblins neck's. Petra didn't pause to thank him, simply drew back her leg and kicked the remaining goblin between the legs with all her might. He shock his head, no sense of style.
She did however swing the ancient sword and neatly decapitate the creature as it doubled over, joking “Don't lose your head now.”
Jostein groaned as he wiped his blade clean “You call that a quip? And they speak German not English remember.”
“Hey it was move appropriate kæreste and my German sucks.”
“Time and place Petra, time and place, and quit calling me sweetheart.” He loved her dearly, but she was his apprentice, a certain decorum needed to be maintained.
“And anyway 'Magister' you try a riposte with this thing.” She raised the heavy broadsword in her hand “Hardly a delicate weapon.”
“That, my dear, is the blade of Flavius Stilicho, an ancient weapon of great power, fully capable of acting with grace and elegance if you let it.” Petra had yet to fully grasp the concept that a sword with an ego needed to be treated with respect. Sorcery she was good at, swordsmanship, not so much.
She snorted “It would be much easier with a good old fashioned gun you know.”
She already knew why they hadn't used firearms, but he humoured her anyway “A goblin is a creature of the Otherworld, and requires an enchanted weapon to dispatch. Enchanting bullets is both time consuming and exhausting.” It was a good thing he loved her, he'd have stabbed her with a kitchen knife some time ago if he didn't. “Now if you would kindly go deal with the vampire, I will check the tomb” as an afterthought he added “Only this time, leave the dagger in the heart until after you cut off her head please.”

Jostein was checking the seals when Petra bounced up to join him, silver dagger in one hand, Gräfin Herz's head in the other. “Oh look at the power in those wards. Whatever's behind this door is way beyond a gang simple goblins, even if they did bring along a vampire for the ride.”
“Countess Herz does, did not work for goblins, Petra. They worked for her.”
She looked closely at the wards. “Leave them alone Petra.” Petra's curiosity and innate gift for wild magic had a habit of getting her in trouble.
She tried to look innocent “What?”
“You've been with me how long now?”
She smiled “Seven years, since I was eighteen.”
“Yes, and I know that look. You're tempted.” Temptation was always a problem for wild talents, that's why the Council trained as many as they could find. Petra was exceptional in many ways, not least the extent of her raw power. Unfortunately that seemed to make her particularly vulnerable to temptation.
“Aren't you even a little bit curious what's behind here?”
“Not in the slightest, only that it stays behind here.”
“But the power of those wards...”
He placed his finger gently on her lips “General rule of thumb lover. If something is carefully sealed behind a door closed with wards of immense power, best to leave it there.” He mumbled an incantation to repair the nickel-iron rod baring the door. It didn't look like any of the actual seals had been weakened, they had arrived in time.
She slumped on the door and sighed “Sometimes you're no fun Jostein.”
He chuckled and kissed her lightly “You are plenty fun for both of us dear.”

The pair sat in a quiet bar in central Flensborg, one of Jostein's safe places. The owner was a changling, but he kept his nose clean and owed Jostein more than a few favours. Jostein savoured his whiskey while Petra fidgeted, her nervous wild energy aching to dissipate. She was gently moving to the music she had conjured in her head. He however was watching the news. It was the usual stuff, war in the Balkans, the Dow had closed over eleven thousand, a tornado in Oklahoma leaving thirty eight dead. Jostein wondered about that one, but that was Daheste's beat. He'd call her in the morning just to check. Petra was twisting herself in some most unusual ways, attracting a few stares. She was never one to keep a low profile. And she was stunning, tall and slender with flaming red hair and deep dark eyes. Even in a sack, she would turn heads. And she most definitely never wore a sack. He turned to her and raised his eyebrows.
“What?”
“You're not exactly being discreet there Petra.” Even subtle magic could attract unwanted attention. Jostein had bought her a portable CD player, but she still preferred to use an enchantment.
“I'm bored. Lets go somewhere fun. There's a hot club over the border in Kiel, great music, dancing, you know, fun.” Jostein didn't think it sounded much like fun to him. Petra's idea of good music was frantic, loud and annoyingly perky, he preferred jazz. But she was a wild talent, her nervous energy needed an outlet, Jostein knew that. One way or another, the tension within her would have to come out. Looking at her right now, likely one way and another.
“It's an hour away Petra.”
She chortled “Not the way I drive.”

* * "Gabrielle" - Girly, confident and fun * *

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