As Miriam fell asleep on the couch, her appearance as a normal human faded, and her light blonde hair turned into a number of green leaves. Her skin darkened from a tan to the brown unevenness of bark.
“Umm…” Erkan watch Miriam as her form changed, “So was that an illusion or…?”
Peter was the first one to explain, “A little bit of both. She has to change form somewhat or touching her ‘hair’ or skin would give her away. Then there’s a bit of natural dryad illusion magic to look… human.”
Erkan sighed, “There are too many types of magic.”
Casimiro- Savina’s brother- shrugged. “Most only have a few tricks. There are only a few types of fully developed magic. Not that I know much about any of them.”
“You don’t know any blood magic?” Erkan asked.
“Not really,” Casimiro shook his head, “Uncle Nico tried to teach me but I didn’t really take to it. You’re probably better than I was.”
“He is,” Savina nodded her head.
“So, you have a business degree now…” Erkan looked towards Casimiro, “Any plans?”
“Well, I’m planning to start my own business… Uncle Nico will loan me a bit of money. I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing yet, but I want to trade with both natural and supernaturals. You work at a lab, right? Doing… what?”
Erkan nodded, “That’s right. We study microbiology and study the effects of drugs on populations of various microbes. A lot of the time we just set things up and wait for the next night. What about you, Peter?”
“I do stand up at a club. That’s why I like to sit down after work.” Peter grinned at Erkan’s slight chuckle. “Though during the day I actually earn money by being a guidance counselor at West High.” He nudged Miriam with his elbow, “She works there as a P.E. teacher.”
“Is that so?” Erkan tilted his head, “It’s… kind of hard to imagine.”
“You should see her during the day. She’s full of energy.”
“Thaaaatsss riiiight…” Miriam mumbled with her face in the corner of the couch.
Savina grinned, “Well, you already know that I work at Hot Beans, but I’m sort of planning to follow in Uncle Nico’s footsteps. Maybe not an officer, but something that goes along with being a blood magus. Speaking of which… I heard you lost a lot of blood recently.”
“More than just what you saw? Yeah. I burned a bunch of blood stopping Vittore briefly.”
“I heard about that attack,” Peter shook his head, “The Nervetti Family is going way out of line. Uh, no offense guys.”
Casimiro sighed, “Oh, don’t worry, we know. It’s one thing for them to want to maintain some semblance of ancient power and grandeur… but they’re just running a gang of thugs and attacking normal people. It’s hard to believe they haven’t been found out by normal society yet.”
“Well, there was Officer Simmons…” Savina pointed out.
Casimiro rolled his eyes, “That supports my point, though. They’ve just been acting crazy. They let Marconi do whatever he wants, too. They’re probably about two incidents away from someone calling in the human feds. Then once Marconi is wiped out, they’ll have nobody to hide behind. Maybe then they’ll just stay in their stupid tower all day and behave.”
“You’re just mad that you won’t be able to expand your theoretical business to the north side of San Francisco.”
“That’s right!” Casimiro waved his hands, “They’re just going around ruining business! If they actually took over there would barely be anything for them to run! Though if they tried they’d just be full of silver bullets.”
“Maybe they’ll calm down now that Vittore’s gone…” Peter suggested. “There are only so many of them, after all.”
Savina nodded, “A dozen main family members and a number of hangers on. That’s a sizable force but if they actually started something big enforcers would be called in.”
“Enforcers?” Erkan asked.
“The equivalent of special forces… they’re only called in for major events or anything that risks revealing supernatural people as a whole. Magic can only help so much.”
“Well,” Peter clapped his hands together, “Maybe that’s enough depressing talk for now. What do you get up to for fun, Erkan?”
“Not as much as I should. I don’t know if I could count blood magic as a hobby or not… but I’ve been far too engrossed in work lately. I also don’t have that many friends on night shift.”
“Well, now you’ve got a few more,” Peter grinned. He looked at Miriam, “Well, one more on night shift and I don’t need much sleep. She’s usually more alert than this.”
For the rest of the night they didn’t really do much, but not doing much was just what Erkan needed. It was relaxing and fun.
After everyone left, Erkan went back to studying blood magic tomes. He couldn’t put much into practice at the moment, but he could still get more knowledge and know where to look in what books for pre-arranged magic circles. He still practiced drawing circles as well. Within a couple of days he was recovered enough he could practice with pig’s blood again, but he still had to avoid anything using his own blood, even a little bit.
There was no trouble from the Nervettis- they probably knew where he was, but Erkan had studied the condo and there were a myriad of defenses on it. Since he’d started staying there, he saw Nico replacing blood and touching up the runes every couple of days. He used more than just pig’s blood, too. Something more potent, but it wasn’t his own blood- except for a few small things. Erkan felt that Nico was fortunate to be able to regenerate his own blood quickly… but if he were to compare, Erkan was then fortunate to be able to go out in sunlight without worry about anything more than possibly getting a sunburn. That said, he hadn’t gone outside at all for the past few days. He wondered when that would be safe. Well, at the end of the week Nico would tell him.