“That’s awesome,” Frederica said. “Congratulations.”
“Thanks,” Josephine said. “Now I can actually afford to pay rent.”
“I already told you I’m not charging,” Angela said. “You’re going to save that money for when you get a place of your own someday.”
“You better be careful not to spoil her,” Leigh said. “My friend Grace let her little brother stay with her a while back and she couldn’t get rid of him for three years.”
“I can at least say I’m not that bad,” Josephine said. “Anyway, I’m going to head out. Thanks for the lift, Angela.”
“No problem,” Angela replied. “You want another one?”
She raised her hand, making the first gesture in the portal spell. Josephine shook her head.
“That’s okay,” Josephine said. “I could use the exercise.”
“Alrighty,” she said. “See you at home.”
“See you, Angela, Fred,” Josephine replied, and glanced at Leigh. “It was nice meeting you.”
Leigh nodded. Josephine turned and walked away. Frederica sat a moment, watching her sister disappear into the food court crowd, then she stood from her seat.
“I’m going to go too,” she said. “Thanks for, you know, hearing me out.”
“Any time,” Angela replied. She moved her rook and said, to Leigh, “Checkmate.”
“Wait, what?” Leigh said, leaning over the board.
Frederica smirked and turned to the crowd. She switched to super-speed and the throng of shoppers slowed to a crawl. Adding intangibility to the mix, she moved through them like a ghost as she made a beeline for Josephine.
Frederica dropped back to regular speed so suddenly that she staggered forward a few steps, tripping over her own feet. By the time she regained her balance, Josephine had turned to face her, hands on her hips.
“What do you want?”
“I just… wanted to make sure you’re okay,” Frederica said.