The next day Juliet is absent from school. And the day after that, and the one after that too.
"I'll give you the details later."
Nat forcefully and showingly bites down on her lip.
"Right, okay, you get her records, get us some info. Anders and I...we can swing by the house tonight, just to see what I pick up? Plus, Anders has got healing powers. If it's a physical injury-"
"I'd rather be there anyway. In Flo's stead. At least, until we know it's safe to involve him. If it's magic shit, we don't want the cops coming down."
"They wouldn't do anything but mind wipe him. And I can reverse that."
Nat shrugs. "So can you. It's just removing low level blocking spells. Nothing we haven't already learned."
"I can guarantee that it's harder than that. Anders, don't believe a word she says."
Lorie's mum is on the Council, after all. She knows exactly the limits of the magic cops.
"In the mean time, Seo? If you can get those records, we have a start. Anders and I will head over tonight, see what emotions are coming up from it."
"How are you going to hold the Terror Twins off?"
Lorie sinks back in her chair. "Redirecting their thoughts, Seo. How else?"
Anders hugs her close. "It's the only way we can be certain, lovely."
"I know. Doesn't mean I have to like it any."
"It's not easy, doing it to friends," Nat agrees. She frowns at the surprised looks she gets. "What? What pleasure do I get from changing the minds of people that like me already?"
"Doesn't help the world domination angle, true."
"We've got our orders. Move out, troops."
Seo kisses Nat and hugs Anders goodbye. "Meet me at the office after school," she says to Lorie. "Don't be late."
Lorie waves an airy hand, and heads off to her own class.
Anders links his elbow with Nat's to head to their class. "You ever thought about helping with the whole moral part of mind control thing?" He asks, mostly playfully, as they bump hips.
Nat snorts. "Babe, Lorie's had the dream life. Her parents are supportive, and voluntarily left the Realm to co-ordinate. She's never had to struggle. Why the fuck would I give her the skills I had to learn?"
Anders wraps his arm around her, and kisses her head. "What we both had to learn."
Nat leans up into his touch. "When Seo takes over the world, I'm gonna make sure she tears down the Circles first."
"You say that like it's not already her number one priority."
Nat preens. "She does love me, doesn't she?"