Hazel was wrapped around my arms when Jean woke. Smiling, he pressed his lips against the crook where her neck and shoulder meet—”Happy birthday, babe,” he had whispered as well—and gingerly unwound myself from her. He carefully sorted the duvet over her before I left the room.
Stood in nothing but boxers in a sunlit kitchen, he began cooking breakfast. He had only begun toasting two slices of bread and tossed several slices of bacon onto a hot pan when he heard a familiar, blood-curdling voice.
“Your time is running out, djinn.” Jean whirled around with his heart in his throat; the sound of bacon sizzling in the pan seemed to amplify tenfold. “Or should I say Jean?”
“M-Momargas,” Jean said as calmly as he could. He hoped his trembling voice did not give way to his fear; he felt sick to the stomach. Momargas was one of King Suleiman’s underlings—and one of the more daunting…
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