Nila raised her hands and backed away, laughing.
“My lips are sealed, Your Majesty.”
They reached the front of the line. The rest of the group showed their IDs while Frederica made a show of patting her pockets in search of a wallet. The bouncer waved the lot of them through. She glanced up at him and smiled. She felt a transformation start to come over her, but she concentrated and managed to hold it down. He didn’t seem to notice.
The club was about half full. Most of the patrons were on the floor moshing to a metalcore band playing on stage. Magh’s eyes went wide, watching the leather-clad metalheads crashing into each other. Tommy nudged Frederica’s arm.
“There’s an empty table over there,” he said, pointing to a spot away from the mosh pit.
“Sounds good,” Frederica said. “Let’s go.”
She nudged Nila in turn and the four of them gathered around the table. Frederica turned back into herself and took a seat between Nila and Tommy. A waitress came around a minute later to take their orders.
“So?” Frederica said to Nila. “Is it everything you hoped it would be?”
“Hell yeah,” Nila replied. “This is awesome. Oh my god!” She pointed to a middle-aged man with shaggy blond hair leaning against the bar. “That’s John Arthur Owens! He was the lead singer of Iron Priest back in the 1980s. I have all their albums. He owns this club.”
“Want me to turn into someone famous and invite him over?” Frederica asked.
“No way!” Nila said. “I’m so not worthy.”
Frederica shapeshifted into Jackie Kurtz, the lead singer of Dragonfire.
“Stop, he’ll see you!” Nila said, trying to cover Frederica’s face.
Frederica changed back to normal and Nila relaxed. The waitress returned with their drinks. Magh stared at her bright blue vodka cooler for a long moment before gingerly taking a sip. She winced a little but kept going.