stories are the adventures i never had

Today Trin and Cas are on real ground. They're entering car-chase territory, running to the Church, of all places, to find safety from the parish marshals. Once again they find themselves battling mutual respect and in one another's debt by virtue of their individual ethe. (singular: ethos: appeal of moral competence) They don't like it, but my job is to make them very unhappy.

I just learned today Cas has been in prison for acts of terrorism. Yes, he's guilty. There he met a woman who knew Trinidad's father, and the truth about him. He thought (hoped) Trin might be an ally on the inside--a spy like Trin's father--but he's finding out he's wrong. Now he's wondering what in hell to do with an enemy he actually likes.

The silence weighed between them in the cold truck cab. As Trinidad worked the stiff gear shifter, his hand brushed against Castile’s knee.

Castile shot him a stiff glare. “I’m not a prisoner, not today, not ever. Hurt me, and you’ll regret it.”

Trinidad shook his head, clenching his jaw. How many times had he heard that same tired warning, only to make the other be the one who regretted it? “This isn’t how I meant for it to go.”

“You had to know the marshals…fuck. You don’t even have jurisdiction here.”

Trinidad's hands were cold on the wheel. He reached beneath his cloak for gloves and looked up to find Castile pointing Magpie's pistol at him. Trinidad shook his head again and withdrew his fingerless gloves and waved them at the barrel of the pistol. He steered with his knee as he pulled them on. “I tried to warn you, Castile, didn’t I? Not to come inside the parish?”

Castile lowered his hand and let the pistol rest on his knee. “What are you going to do?”

Trinidad looked at the mottled rearview mirror. He rubbed at it with his fingers, but it didn’t clear. Lights flashed vaguely in it, but he didn’t know if it was from the lamps or from a marshal’s vehicle. He could hardly stick his head out the window to see if they were following. He’d just have to assume they were.

“Like I said, I have to take you to my church. The marshals have no jurisdiction there, and with Father Troy…” He paused, the thought of the old priest lying alone in a hospital bed urging him to turn back. He glanced at Castile to solidify his conviction that he had to get the Wiccan back to safety. He owed him that much after all he’d risked. “There are other priests, but they’ll hear me out. They respect me.”

Castile looked at him. “You mean they fear you. Why am I not surprised?”

Trinidad felt his lips twitch and tighten. “You called me because of what I am. You can’t do that and then insult me with it.”

Castile sighed and stared out the window. “All right, fuck it. You’re right. I needed help. I just thought…”

Trinidad cut him off, anger driving his tongue. “You thought you could control me. But I don’t answer to you, or the priests, Castile. I answer to my Lord Christ. Do not test me on that.”

Trinidad snuck a glance at Castile. He was biting his upper lip, hard. His shoulders tensed, his tight shirt revealing every corded muscle. He’d never put on armor or his jacket, Trinidad realized, since they’d left the cave in such a hurry. And Trinidad hadn’t seen so much as a shiver from him.

“I’ll get you out,” Trinidad said. “I said I would, and I will.”

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