“Oh, Elias. This is exactly who I am.”
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Eli doesn’t flinch at the voice, doesn’t drop the bag, doesn’t try to hide. Instead, he very calmly turns around. His heart is absolutely racing and a cold sweat has burst out along his brow and shoulders, but he tries not to let either show. Instead, he turns and says:
“What I have to.”
Zoe is standing in the doorway to the locker room. She’s wearing gym shorts and a Evangelion t-shirt so old it’s gone from black to grey. She’s sweaty and breathing heavily, her hair pulled into a messy braid over her shoulder. She looks pissed, but exhausted, too. Worn and faded like her t-shirt.
“Have to what?” she sneers, vicious and angry. “Go through my bag?”
“Yeah,” says Eli. “I’m sorry, Zee, but—”
“Did Morgan put you up to this?” Zoe walks into the room proper. Her strides are heavy and purposeful, and Eli can feel the sick tendrils of magic as they ooze from the rísók and try and lure Zoe forward. “Where is she?” Zoe is saying. “Where’s that skanky little bitch hiding?” Her eyes roll in their sockets, white-ringed and feral.
“Zoe,” Eli says, trying to keep his voice calm, professional. Like the voice Dad used to use on the phone with panicked clients. “Zoe, listen to me. You’re under a spell. Someone’s ensorcelled you.”