Chapter 1 - Ci-Ci: Top Flight Security

"Sir, just take off your hat, shoes and belt. You can have them back once you've gone through the scanner," I tell the middle aged man again.

"What happened to this country? I fought in three world wars," he complains.

"I don't want to do a cavity search, and I know you don't want that either," I pull a pair of black leather gloves from my back pocket.

He grumbles and throws his unmistakable red hat into the bin alongside his new balance and belt with the ridiculous buckle. I know he didn't have anything illegal, he's too old, too white and too privileged to be trying to smuggle anything. He still has to follow the rules here. It used to be said don't mess with the IRS, but if you're rich enough they just leave you alone. Nobody, messes with the TSA.

"Let me guess, you're going to make me take off my shoes too," the woman behind the man asked.

"You're damn right," I respond, fed up with the whole ordeal.

On the surface, she's just a random woman who thinks she's too important to follow rules. But, if you look past her. You can see what most humans in this city can't see. You can see she's a high elf, and despite being conquered by humans centuries ago and forced to use a human disguise to participate in society, they're still assholes. I had a teacher that was a high elf, he could never shut up about how they were the most magical, and a human could never match up. Even all these years later I think about how stupid that was. Especially because it was at a school for students with magic abilities or were deemed unnatural by the ruling society.

Sometimes I wish whoever was keeping the veil up and keeping everything that goes bump in the night away would just quit. Let the world see the Orcs and Goblins. Maybe the High Elves aren’t so uppity with a vampire breathing down their neck or a werewolf taking a bite out of their ass. Maybe the guy you were as jerk to last week casts a spell. Wishful thinking. No matter how hard I’ve tried to leave that world behind, I’ll always be a part of it. Once you’ve been awakened to the world outside of normal constraints you can’t really go back.

“Ci-Ci, take your break,” I hear one of my managers call from behind me.

“Thank God,” I pass off my wand and hurry towards the break room.

Growing up, I never believed the old stories. Hobbits and dark woods, all that crap. Well, they weren’t exactly crap. Things didn’t play out like the books, but most of it was real. When I was seventeen I was saved by an angel, or as close to an angel as can be. Justin was everything I ever wanted in a man with the added bonus of wings. I spent the whole summer getting integrated into his world. I chose to live in his world instead of living without him in mine. Next thing I know, I was learning magic and wow, we did so much together throughout the years.

I’ll be able to see him again soon. Until then I’ll keep eating all his favorite foods. I don’t even like roast beef, but I need to have a roast beef sandwich every week, because it was his favorite. This Halloween I should be able to resurrect him. I’ve waited for three years, dreaming of the day I’d be able to hold him in my arms again. I’ve got everything that I need to bring him back, even if it has cost me a fortune. It’ll all be worth it. We had, no have, the kind of love that can’t be broken by time or even death. Our vows said until death do us part, but when you’re aware of the magic that really circulates this world, that isn’t true.

“Crazy out there today right,” Carol the supervisor takes a seat as I finish up my sandwich.

“I know right, but here’s something crazier. I need a few days off,” I give her my best smile.

“You know we’re short on staff right now.”

“I know but I got some family business to take care of,” I try to look sad.

“Can’t do it. We just don’t have enough staff.”

“You don’t even know when yet.”

“But I know we’re short,” she argues.

“I never ask for days off,” my charade has ended.

“That’s why you’re my favorite.”

“But you don’t give me days off, or a pay raise or even snacks. I’d settle for a Zero candy bar every now and then.”

“Sorry,” she says and exits.

Whatever, I learned a long time ago that you can’t be loyal the job because the job isn’t loyal to you. They would fire me the moment I screwed up. I can’t offer them some form of honor. I’ll clean out my locker today on my way home. They had their warning. PTO, prepare the others. I’m out of here. They can take me back when I’m done or they can try to find someone else to do the job. Not that many people are willing to fly down to Atlanta for training and not get paid for it. 

Just hang on a little longer Justin. I’ll be able to bring you back soon, then this job won’t matter. We can travel the world like we had planned to, maybe have some kids and start a family. 

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