As the sun set, Leona awoke from her sleep, ready to take on the role of judge and jury in the cases of Carlo and Molly. It was a position her brother usually held, but he was in Europe on vampire business with Andrei. Leona went to the other casket and woke her consort and creation, who was formerly Slade's police partner. The women entered the VJS squad room looking for Slade and Eran to gather news of the day.
Leona spied Eran, "Good evening, Eran, do we have anything new to handle tonight? How was the day?"
"Carlo is locked up. Molly awaits her hearing with her lawyer. Sebastian awaits trial for his kidnapping and possible rape. It appears to be an easy evening for the VJS. Have you any plans for the night with Slade?" Eran replied.
"Good, I wanted to spend time socially with Slade. He and I have not been able to have any free time together since my brother left."
Eran smiled, but the earlier events of the day nagged at her. She looked around the squad with her eyes eventually alighting on Kevin. She smiled at him as her mind questioned her.
“What happened today, Eran? What did you do?”
The only answer that came back was confusion and curiosity. Eran glanced down at her hands folded neatly in her lap.
Suddenly, maniac laughter came from her. She rocked back and forth as the laughter grew in volume and intensity. Kevin and the squad room watched as her laughter continued unabated. A smile infected Kevin's face as Eran's laughter continued.
As quickly as her laughter started, Eran ended it. She sat stiff and straight in her chair staring into nothingness. A shudder wracked her body as she relaxed. The only thought in her mind pounded relentlessly.
“You are a chosen one. You have a special power, and it has consumed you today.”
She shook her head in denial. But as she thought about the day she knew it was true.
Somewhere, at some time, a hidden power was loosed in her being. She felt it when she was close to Sebastian. His presence opened a portal to her inner nature, her new abilities. She wanted to shout but knew that it might be temporary. Time would work, with the proper training these new talents could grow into something good or worse, evil.
She looked at Kevin who watched her closely sensing the changes. Eran reached for his hand, took it to her and pulled him as she rose from her chair. They walked together out of the squad and out of the building. Eran pulled Kevin along as she walked into the VJS parking area.
When out of sight of the building, she turned to him and said, “Kevin, have you noticed something different about me today? I mean really different.”
Kevin had a puzzled look on his face, but he knew what she asked of him. He looked down at his feet and slowly raised his head and looked into her eyes.
“Yes, Eran I have seen something different in you today. You have a power, a hidden ability, but it is not always within you. It seems to be drawn out of you in the presence of another preternatural being with greater power, like Sebastian. Do you feel it still now?”
Haltingly Eran answered, “I... I don't know. I feel something, but it is nothing I can explain. I feel it now while we are talking. What is wrong with me, Kevin?”
“Uh ...uh, I don't know, Eran. Maybe Molly or Leona might be able to help you. We should go and ask them about it. What have you noticed about it?” Kevin asked.
"Lately, I have felt that I see things in my mind before they take place. Plus I feel that I have taken some of Sebastian's abilities as well. I don't like this feeling. I felt it before, but it seems to have grown in power and taken over more of my abilities," Eran blurted with confusion.
Kevin watched her closely as she walked around gesturing wildly and speaking. His thoughts drifted to the past events where he and Eran were together. He remembered the strange things and shook his head.
"There has been an increasing number of strange things you have done. It started when you were close to Sebastian and grew with his presence close by. I think he is the catalyst behind your changes," Kevin observed.
"I wonder if anyone else has seen these changes? We better get back, it is sunset, the court will open soon, and we are needed to testify, maybe," Eran rattled.
As Eran entered the court, Kevin grabbed her hand and held her tightly. Something was different with the court, and it did not seem to be good. Slade and Leona were busy in a deep discussion about something and Leona was angry. Waving her arms wildly, Leona was protesting the deals made with Molly and Sebastian. Slade tried to hold her close to calm her down, but Leona wanted no part of him.
As Eran drew close to Leona, she felt a tingling in her mind. As she focused on the feeling she sensed what was in Leona's mind. Leona sensed it as well and communicated with a mental probe.
“Is this the new ability you have, Eran?”
Eran looked shocked at Leona and answered with a mental message back.
“Yes, Leona, it appeared as we captured Molly and Carlo at her estate. It appears that my exposure to Sebastian enabled the ability which was always with me. Can we spend some time soon so that I can figure out exactly what I have and how best to use it with VJS?”
A mental message came back from Leona, “I will be glad and honored to help you develop your new ability. Does Slade know of this?”
“No, I want to keep it a secret until we can examine it and determine if it becomes permanent and developed.” Eran poked back. “Let's get tonight's cases done. I want to get some rest and see if the ability is permanent.”
“Do you have the cases ready to present to me tonight? I am not pleased with the deals made by Slade, but we need to get Carlo out of the public eye and protect the city from his evil ways.”
“Molly seems a harmless person with what she did, and I may let her off with just a fine. Her lawyer best plead a strong case in that direction. Was there anything else we needed to handle?” Leona asked verbally of Eran.
Everyone entered the courtroom and waited for Leona to take her position on the bench as the presiding judge.
Eran sat as the prosecutor, while Molly and her lawyer took the defendant's seat.
Sebastian and Carlo remained in a different room until their respective trials began.
Leona entered, took her seat as the presiding judge and called for the first case (Molly's).
Eran stood, read the charges and requested that Molly pay an expensive fine and lose her tavern license for six months.
Molly's lawyer complained vehemently that the penalty was too stiff, and should be dropped completely. Her justification for this was that Carlo was totally to blame and at fault for all the incidents.
Eran agreed in part with the argument but felt Molly should share in some of the blame as she employed Carlo and was his lover at times.
Eran pointed out, “Carlo worked for Molly, and they had been together for many years. Carlo had a large number of fae who followed him, which if he were to disappear, Molly would get the task of managing the fae, and she was not able to do that at the current time.”
Leona listened to both sides as they presented the case. Her face was void of expression giving no hint of the ruling to be handed down.
When the arguments ended, Leona closed the court for deliberation of a half hour. She stepped down from the bench and summoned Slade and Eran to her chambers. When the group gathered, Leona whirled and looked at Slade harshly.
“You made it difficult for me to levy a harsh sentence on Molly,” Leona sputtered. “I should fine and sentence her to jail time, but with the fae needing a handler, Molly is the only one capable of stepping in. She employs them in her tavern and business. That makes them her charges.”
“What do you feel I should do with Molly, Slade?”
Slade perked up and looked to be in thought about the question. He slowly answered, “She can't go to confinement leaving the fae to run loose in the city. She cannot be allowed to walk out of the court a free person not sentenced. There appears to be a stalemate that you will have to solve, Leona.”
“While we are here, we should decide what to do about Sebastian and Carlo. I want to end this session early tonight,” Leona pronounced. “Eran, what do you suggest we do with Carlo and Sebastian?” Leona probed Eran's mind and suggested the proper punishment for both men.
Eran made a surprised look at the probe but understood what had happened. She spoke, “Carlo should get the harshest penalty, death. Sebastian's penalty should be one that limits his ability to move about the world freely seducing young women to be his concubines.”
“What happened with the two young ladies he had with him at the estate?” Leona asked.
“Their father and two of his servants arrived earlier in the day and took them back to their home. Sebastian tried to see them before they left but their father threatened Sebastian with death, causing Sebastian to acquiesce.”
Leona said, “That sounds like Sebastian has been harnessed for now. We will have to make him suppress his carnal urges for some period as punishment. He is a consort of Molly's correct?”
“Yes, Molly seems to have strong control over his actions. She may be the one to take over his punishment with VJS supervision,” Eran replied.
Leona mused, “Maybe having Molly supervise Sebastian is a two-edged sword. It prohibits Sebastian from being a scoundrel and running around chasing young women but also forces Molly to be an instrument of the VJS court. I think we have a very workable solution to all the cases tonight.”
Slade spoke, “This sounds like the end of the current problem with VJS. Can we get out there and close these cases and close court for the night?”
“Let's get back out there and settle these cases so we can have a better night for all,” Leona intoned.
The group rose and re-entered the court ready to close the current session.