Night had just rolled in. I had made all the preparations I could. All of the gear I dared take, much good it would do me, scattered across my desk in the office. I fast approached the point of no return. When I left, that would be it, I was committed.
I pulled out my cell and dialed a Florida number. They might be in bed by now, but—
I cut the thought off as a woman answered the phone with a somewhat sleepy “Hello?”
“Ma, it’s Matt. Did I wake you?”
“Matt? No, no. I was just watching a Matlock re-run with Dad. Is everything all right?”
“Yeah, it’s fine. I just, well, I wanted to tell you thanks, Ma.”
“Thanks, for what?”
“For raising me.”
“It’s not Mother’s Day, Matt. Or Christmas. You never say those things except on holidays. What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. I just wanted you to know. I mean, I know you don’t really understand or approve of what I do, but I deal with some pretty bad people.” The mobsters aren’t the worst part by far. Vampires, megalomaniacal witches, possessive spirits, and worse. “Because of you I—well, I don’t always make the right choice at the time, but I like to think I make up for it and do right by the end. And that’s because of you.”
“Thank you, Matt. That’s always nice to hear. Now, you’re sure you’re all right? I can put Dad on the phone for you if you need something.”
“Everything is pretty normal, Ma. I just wanted you to know I was thinking about you. I’ll call another day to talk to Dad. Bye, Ma. Love you.”
“All right. Love you, too, Matt.”
I clicked my phone off. A mother needs to know her son loves her before he might end up dead.