Lucky’s single-room apartment upstairs from the bar had a murphy bed that folded up into the wall to form a kitchen table. Celeste’s boss sat there nursing a steaming mug of coffee and a toaster pastry when she walked in that morning. 

The words ‘Breakfast of champions, huh?’ died in her throat when he raised a single eyebrow, as if daring her to say something. 

Instead, she fixed herself a cup of coffee and her own toaster pastry. Lucky might be a workaholic living in his kitchen, but at least he had a kitchen to live in. Which was more than she had at the moment. 

A fact that she would do well not to point out when she was living on his charity. 

“What’s the plan, Boss?” she asked him. 

He made a face. “Don’t call me that, kid.”

“Kid.” Celeste sat across from him and blew on her drink. “Sure thing, Boss.” She grinned at him over the lip of the mug. 

He rolled his eye, but let the comment pass. “First order of business is to replace whatever broke last night. It didn’t look like a lot, thankfully. But some of that stuff ain’t cheap. Next thing, we bolt those shelves down so they can’t go nowhere anymore.

“Then we track down Seamus and make him pay for the damages he caused.”

“That might be the hard part,” Celeste said. “Fairies, like leprechauns, aren’t exactly known for being generous.”

“How much do you know about the fair folk?” Lucky asked. 

“Not as much as I probably should,” Celeste said. “The Folk back in the Ozarks pretty much kept to themselves and wanted to be left alone. I know what everyone knows about leprechauns. They’re supposed to have a pot of gold hidden somewhere, and if you catch them by the heel, you can make them give it to you.”

“That’s a literal fairy tale,” Lucky said. “No leprechaun has a pot of gold. And if they did, it would be that counterfeit fairy gold.”

He scoffed. “No, the fairies make that up because they think it’s funny when mundanes twist themselves all up trying to catch leprechauns.”

“So how do we catch this leprechaun without twisting ourselves all up?”

He looked like he’d swallowed something unpleasant. “I know a guy with the New Orange PD who might be able to help us. But you won’t like him.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because I don’t like him. He’s a rich snob and he lets all of us know that he’s slumming it whenever he’s around.”

“I can hardly wait.” Celeste said. 

# # #

“I thought we were going to the police station?” Celeste asked as she followed Lucky along the sidewalk bordering Mid-Central Park. “Why are we going to Citrus Park?”

“This guy avoids going into the police station if he can help it. We’re going to his place.”  Lucky pointed to an apartment building overlooking the park.

 The high-rise had a square, art-deco look with aerodynamic concrete gods peeking out from setbacks and gold-colored sunbursts erupting from the top of every window.

She followed Lucky through a set of double doors made of glass, with fan-shaped lotus frame motifs. Lucky paused at a wooden and brass desk in the lobby. 

“We’re here to see Marcus Scaevola. He should be expecting us.” Lucky told the guard behind the desk. 

The man handed him a key. “Use his private elevator.”  

The guard pointed them to a set of sculpted brass double doors at the end of the hall.

As Lucky put the key into the slot above the buttons and waited for the elevator, Celeste stared at the blocky brass god bearing a flaming torch and fleeing before a thunderbolt.

“Private elevator? What does he do for the police?”

“He’s more what you’d call a pro-bono consultant,” Lucky said. ”Scaevola is obscenely rich. The cops just go to him for help with really weird cases.”

“Weird cases like Sherlock Holmes solves, or Wyrd cases, like Sam and Dean Winchester solve?”

The elevator doors slid open, revealing a brass cage. 

Lucky pursed his lips. “The second. Leprechauns are the least of the things Marcus Scaevola knows about. Just keep your mouth shut and let me do the talking.”

They rode the elevator in tense silence. Celeste studied the floral stained-glass covering the top of the cage as they ascended. The elevator doors opened into a private foyer. 

“He owns the whole top floor?” Celeste squeaked in surprise. 

“He owns the whole building,” Lucky said. 

The home looked like Indiana Jones could have furnished it. Sepia toned maps covered the walls and dusty artifacts were crammed between books on the many shelves lining the walls. Celeste tucked her hands behind her back to avoid the temptation to pick things up and examine them. 

A tall man with close-cropped black hair and a nose so narrow she could cut silk on it walked into the room. He looked at them like they were something he’d tracked in on his shoe. 

“The bartender,” he noted. 

“Scaevola.” Lucky reminded Celeste of a spring coiled too tightly. 

“And who is this?” Marcus Scaevola turned fathomless dark eyes on her. 

Celeste had the disorienting feeling that he was looking at the back of her brain through her own eye holes. She slammed down her mental shields. Hard. 

Scaevola flinched. 

That was him? She felt like she’d been thrown into an icy river. He’s like me. She glared at Lucky. Thanks for the warning.

Lucky shrugged. 

“Well.” Scaevola’s tone changed. “It’s been a while since I’ve met a fellow wand waver. Where are you from?”

“Around.” Celeste crossed her arms. “We’re not here about that.”

He smiled like he was enjoying a private joke. “Somewhere in the South. Closer to the Midwest than the coast. That would make you some relation to the Ingrams.”

Celeste froze. Then she forced her posture to loosen. The number of wand wavers out there was miniscule. Her Maw-Maw had always told her that. An obvious scholar like this Scaevola guy would probably know the family names of all the old families.

“Some,” she allowed. “We need information on a leprechaun.”

Scaevola stared at her like he was reading her story in her threadbare jeans, worn boots and southern accent. Given his association with the police, he probably was. 

“I’ll tell you what,” he said. “I will answer your questions if you answer mine.”

Celeste glanced at Lucky in uncertainty.  

The werewolf shrugged. “Up to you, kid.”

She grit her teeth. She wanted nothing to do with other wand wavers lest she draw unwanted collateral damage from his spellwork. 

On the other hand, Lucky needed this information. 

“Fine!” She ground out. “But we ask the first question.”

“If you want,” Scaevola purred.