Macy was just about to slip her lab coat on and get to work analyzing the newly imported samples from the neighboring College when the hushed voices of two of her co-workers reached her ears.
“Did you hear what happened?” One girl hissed, her hand cupped around her lips.
“What?” Another asked, head ducked.
“It’s about those Halloween murders. They’re saying it was a detective who did it.”
Macy blinked, her tongue suddenly feeling heavy. Leaning on her heels, she tried to inch closer, pushing a lock of hair behind her ear.
One of the scientists dramatically waved her hands. “And not just that, they’re saying he killed himself after.”
“Oh my gosh,” the other gasped. “You’re kidding!”
Macy didn’t stick around to hear the end of their conversation. She dashed out of the lab, her coat billowing out around her legs.
She flew through the halls, maneuvering around students who gave her weird looks and ducked under teachers carrying thick textbooks, until she reached Harry’s office, throwing the door open haphazardly.
The Whitelighter jumped, the papers he was holding falling to the floor. He sighed, rubbing the area between his eyes. “Macy, to what do I owe the pleasure.”
The young scientist felt her cheeks heat up. “Sorry.”
“No, no, it’s alright.” He bent down, gathered up the papers, and set them on his desk. He gestured to the open seat, and once Macy was comfortable, he positioned himself behind his desk. “So…?”
Macy chewed her bottom lip, wondering how she should start. “What did Charity do with Trip’s death?”
Harry blinked. “And why would that be of any concern to you?”
“I mean, I heard rumors…”
“Rumors? Oh, come now, dear.”
“Hear me out,” Macy countered, and the tone of her voice had Harry swallowing his retort. When he sat back and nodded, Macy continued. “I heard two of my co-workers talking about how the Halloween murders -the one the Harbinger committed- were done by a detective. A detective who committed suicide.”
Harry paled, his gut filling with dread. “Oh, dear.” He should have known Charity’s definition of ‘take care’ would be different from his. “I see.”
“Harry, what are we going to do?” Macy panicked, fumbling with her fingers. “We saw what happened. Trip was killed. He didn’t have anything to do with those murders.”
“What indeed.” He exhaled slowly. “I will have to arrange a formal meeting with Elder Callahan.”
“Can I come?”
Harry nearly fell out of his seat. Come with him? No. He couldn't allow that. His charge was wholly unprepared for the Above. Let alone an audience with an Elder.
“Macy, that’s impossible.”
"There are procedures. Rules." He tried to reason, only with everything he was holding back, his argument came off as very weak.
Macy arched an eyebrow. "Are, are you lying to me?"
"You do this thing when you're not being all that open."
Harry sputtered. "I do not."
"Yes, you do." Macy reached across the oak desk, the pad of her pointer finger smoothing over the tense skin of his wrist. "You're finger's twitch. And your brow." Macy tilted her head. "It creases like crazy."
Harry frowned, eyeing their connected hands, before cautiously reaching for his forehead. "Suppose I never noticed," he muttered.
A smile stretched across his charge's lips. "Good thing you have me around. And while we're on the topic of you not being so open, there's another reason why I wanna come with you."
"Oh?" The dread in his belly grew tenfold.
"Last time when Charity was here, you acted weird."
Harry mentally cursed himself but remained silent.
He wanted to push it all away. Do the same thing he'd done when Maggie asked about his past, but somehow, this seemed different.
He jolted when he felt Macy squeeze his wrist and those big brown eyes, blown wide and so full of questions, bore a hole through him. Harry sighed and flipped his hand, lacing their fingers.
"Please understand, I don't wish to divulge everything, nor do I want your sisters to know." Harry paused, waiting for Macy to agree, before continuing. "Elder Callahan and I have a history. One that is looked down upon by others of high rank."
He waited for his implication to sink in. Macy gasped, her lips parting. "Oh"
"I mean, is it over between you two?"
Harry suppressed a dry chuckle. "Long over."
"May I continue?"
"Um, ya. Yes, please."
Here comes the troublesome part. Harry mentally prepared himself. "To help illustrate, think of the Elders as the Boss and the Whitelighters as the workers. So it's quite the process to set up a private assembly with your... for lack of a better term, ex."
Macy hummed softly. She knew there was something weird going on between Charity and her Whitelighter. "And," she pressed, leaning in.
Harry faltered, suddenly avoiding eye contact. He shifted his gaze to the large windows, then to the bookshelves, before landing on the corner mirror.
"Harry. Talk to me. There's something more."
"Macy," Harry deflected. "You don't need to know."
In hindsight, maybe she should have dropped it, but something within her wanted to push. She squeezed his hand, drawing Harry's attention back to her. "She bothers you."
"She makes you uncomfortable."
Macy bit her lip. "Do you really want to go alone to that Elder meeting?"
Harry groaned, using his free hand to wipe at his forehead. That was all the confirmation Macy needed. "Right. I'm coming with you."
Harry shook his head. "No. That's--"
"I can't let you go alone," she argued, tugging on his hand. "And you can't talk me out of it."
His bones suddenly felt stone heavy. Harry shifted, fighting off the exhaustion setting in behind his eyes.
"Is there no talking you out of this?" He asked.
Macy shook her head, shoulders set. "Nope."
He sighed. "Right."
Too tired to argue, and while a small part of him felt relief knowing Macy would be by his side during this whole ordeal, a large part of him felt panicked.
"The Elder's are very regal beings," he began, "and they demand the highest respect. If you truly wish to accompany me, we will have to prepare you."