I was halfway down the stairway when Adam came for me. He wasn't calling me, but I knew it was him before Aunt Lottie answered the door. I could sense my Woogie's arrival like a dumb dog senses its idiot master has come home. He was standing on the front porch, tugging at the bow tie of his tux, and looking as nervous as a delinquent teenaged prom date. I was surprised that he would show up to pick me up personally, but not half as surprised as he was when Lolita opened the door, aimed her shotgun at his chest, and let him have it with both barrels. I cringed as Adam was propelled backward into the front yard. He was lying on the ground, his cummerbund ripped to bloody shreds. Too bad really. He had looked down right delicious in that tux.
"Good evening Mrs. Warren. Nice to see you again Mrs. Warren," Adam groaned.
"Good evening to you too Mr. Worth! How are you finding yourself this fine night?"
Aunt Lottie gave him the smile she reserved for politicians and Jehovah's Witnesses while reloading the shotgun. Adam spat out a mixture of blood and buckshot. I rolled my eyes.
"You know that won't kill him right?" I said padding over to her.
She looked me up and down, frowning. "What happened to your gown?"
I glanced down at my ugly green thrift store coat, grey Sonic Youth t-shirt, and black denim skirt. After a few moments of intense internal debate, I had decided to nix the gown and scrub off the makeup. If I was being forced to attend a party full of evil dead, I was going as myself. If Horatio didn't like it, he'd just have to suck it up. Hopefully not literally.
"The shoes pinched and the dress didn't go with my Doc Martins," I said shrugging. I smiled when she raised an eyebrow at that. "I'm wearing a skirt though. That's progress, right?"
Aunt Lottie shook her head and sighed.
Keeping a wary eye on the shotgun, Adam slowly got to his feet. He was rubbing his chest like he had a bad case of indigestion.
"I've been shot by one of those before and it never hurt like this," he said, spitting up more bloody buckshot. "Why does it burn so much?"
"Do you have any idea how long it takes to scratch spell runes into every single pellet in a shotgun shell?"
Adam shook his head mutely.
"It damn near took me all day to do the entire box!"
"You have more?"
Aunt Lottie nodded.
"Not half as sorry as you're going to be if anything untoward happens to my niece tonight," she said, the smile hardening on her lips. "And if you ever force my girl here to come to you naked in the pouring rain again, my aim will be lower. Do we understand each other?"
"In my defense, ma'am, she wasn't entirely naked. All the important bits were cov-"
Aunt Lottie pumped the shotgun, aiming the barrel at his crotch. Adam took a step back, utilizing that universal gesture men use when their manhood is in critical danger of being separated from the rest of their body.
"Point taken, ma'am. Hear ya loud and clear."
She lowered the weapon and smiled sweetly. "I knew we'd see eye to eye on this."
When she turned to me, her expression went deadly serious.
"Take care of yourself out there. You find yourself in trouble, you be sure to call me, you hear?"
I nodded and gave her a fierce hug before joining Adam.
"What the hell are you wearing that for? We talked about this Mercy. You look ridiculous," he said as we made our way to the Limo.
This was proceeded by the sound of the shotgun being pumped once again causing Adam to sprint to the waiting car and putting an end to any further discussion regarding my unconventional fashion choices.