“Remember to relax and concentrate on just feeling the magic,” Veronica said. The two women were sitting cross-legged across from each other. The thick carpet of Anne’s sitting room made the position slightly less uncomfortable. Anne didn’t understand why they couldn’t do this on her perfectly nice overstuffed chairs. Veronica tsked in reprimand which brought Anne’s mind back to what they were supposed to be doing. Anne tried to relax her mind to see the lines of magic. Of course, that was assuming she could relax her mind.

“You’re still not relaxed, Anne,” Samantha said from across the room. Of course, the psychic got to sit in one of the comfy chairs with a drink in her hand. Anne felt the slight pressure in the mind as Samantha scanned her surface thoughts. After three months of living with the Avalonians, Anne was used to Samantha’s casual probing. As far as they were concerned, it was no different from someone being able to read the expression on your face. “Veronica, you’re not going to get anything done today with her.”

“Why not?” Veronica asked, trying to hide her annoyance behind a facade of calm.

“Because Anne can’t concentrate on learning how to sling spells when she’s occupied with what she is planning to do tonight,” Samantha answered, smiling.

“Damn it, Samantha,” Anne said. Anne turned back to Veronica. “I was really trying. Really.” Veronica audibly sniffed and stood up with an unearthly grace.

“Very well. What is so important that you can’t concentrate during one of our few sessions?” Veronica asked. Anne felt a stab of guilt at the small woman’s glare. Anne knew these sessions were important to help her get control of her newly-discovered ability to use magic. Unfortunately, Anne was also a homicide detective and had a stack of cases that took up most of her waking hours. In the three months since Anne and the Avalonians moved into their new home, she’d only been able to make a half-dozen sessions with Veronica.

“I’m going to ask Kurt out tonight,” Anne answered hesitantly. Veronica’s eyes went wide in surprise, while Samantha just wore a satisfied smile.

“As in a date? A real date? Not one of those fake dates you’ve been having with him for the past couple of months?” Veronica asked, her stern instructor face melting into the hopeful smile of a young woman.

“What do you mean ‘fake dates’?” Anne asked, feeling the crimson rising in her face.

“Why do you think he’s always volunteering to go with you when you go running or when you hit that coffee shop in the morning?” Samantha asked. “All those times up on the roof?”

“We just talk,” Anne protested, knowing that the other women were right. Kurt had been perfectly willing to be whatever Anne needed for the past few months as she adjusted to her new life and the loss of her old partner Dale. It was only in the last week that Anne decided that she wanted more from Kurt and felt ready to pursue it.

“So, what is this real date?” Veronica asked. Anne stood up and walked over to where her purse was hanging. She pulled out the three laminated strips of paper and showed them to Samantha and Veronica.

“Three tickets to the Mia Gold concert, and they’re right up front,” Anne asked. “Two for Kurt and me, with a spare for whichever of you has to do guard duty. I had to twist one of my CI’s arms to get these without bankrupting me.”

“That is so cool!” Veronica said, looking at the tickets in awe. “That concert’s been sold-out forever.” It was times like this that made Anne remember Veronica was only in her early twenties. Very early twenties.

“I’m glad you’re appreciative Veronica, because you’re going with them,” Samantha said, the slightest hint of disappointment in her brown eyes. Both Anne and Veronica looked at her in surprise.

“Wait, you’re a much bigger fan of Mia than I am,” Veronica said, “You’ve got all of her songs on your phone. Why don’t you go?”

“Because I can’t,” Samantha said, cryptically, “I’m sorry. I just have other things that I need to do that night. So, feel free to escort them and enjoy the concert. Just remember why you’re going.”

“Nothing against you Veronica, but shouldn’t Erik be the one to go with us? He hates Mia Gold, so he’d just be there to guard us without being tempted to just listen to the music.” Anne saind.

“Erik will be busy with me at the time,” Samantha answered. “So, it will have to be you Veronica.” Veronica and Anne both gave Samantha shrewd looks.

“The two of you will be busy with something that you’re not going to tell us about while everyone else is out of the house?” Anne asked, with a mock severity. Samantha gave Anne an annoyed look, which caused Anne and Veronica to burst out in laughter.

“We have to do something for Lady Maritza,” Samantha said. “For the record, you two are incorrigible.”

“Well, it’s just that the two of you are so close, and you’ve never given us a good reason why you haven’t got together before,” Veronica said.

“That’s because there’s never been a good reason other than timing,” Samantha answered, clearly uncomfortable. “For the longest time, we were happy just being friends. Most of the time, like now, even if we wanted to do anything, we couldn’t. So, we just have a close friendship.” Samantha stood up from her chair. “I should let you two practice. I’ve got some reports to look over for the lady.”

“Well, that was odd,” Anne said, watching Samantha leave her apartment.

“What? She always gets flustered when we talk about her and Erik,” Veronica said, sitting cross-legged on the floor.

“No, not that,” Anne said, “She was lying about having something to do with Erik on the day of the concert.”

“So?” Veronica asked.

“It’s just an odd thing to lie about,” Anne said, her detective instincts kicking in. Odd things tended to get her attention. Veronica read Anne’s expression and let out a long sigh.

“Well, since we’re not going to get any training done tonight, how are you going to ask Kurt out?”