Faded Soul: Protection

 Sophary stepped into Kieran’s apartment and blinked.  The place was filled with people who shared Kieran’s warm brown eyes. 

“What the hell?” She turned on Kieran. “Who are all these people?”

“They are here to help,” he said, glancing back at the closed door.

“With?” She asked.

“You’re into some heavy shit, love,” Kieran brushed past her and whispered urgently to the gathered party. They sprang to life, rushing around the apartment.  Some lit candles, others chanted, and, to Sophary’s horror, a group of tiny women dusted her with brightly colored powders. 

“I think I’d better head over to my place,” Sophary smiled at the nearest woman and backed toward the door. This sent the women into a tizzy.  They fussed at her in a strange language and gestured to Kieran. 

“You can, “Kieran stopped his work and locked eyes with her.  “But you’re under our protection, now.  If you want to be responsible for the injury or death of anyone here, go for it.”

“What? Why am I under your protection?”  Sophary coughed and waved the women away.  “Is this your whole family?”

“Yes,” he smiled proudly and pointed to a woman tucked beneath a pile of furs on the sofa.  She nodded and gave Sophary a toothless grin.  “Auntie insisted.”

“She did?” Sophary frowned.  “What made her think I needed protection?’

The room went still as Kieran’s family stopped to glare at her. 

“Clearly I’ve said something offensive,”  Sophary swallowed to loosen her tight throat. The ghost might have been her imagination, but these people were very real and threatening.  And she was locked in an apartment with them.   “I’m sorry, I don’t understand what’s going on.”

Kieran walked over to her and grasped her hands.  He took a deep breath before whispering,

“That thing in your apartment wants you dead.”

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