I opened my eyes to the voice, or I tried, but my palms stuck them closed. Lifting my head I tried again and a blurry vision stood before me in pearls and a tight little red dress and tumbling golden brown curls. I blinked, against disbelief and the sun and the angel standing there.
“You look…” was all I managed.
She tilted her head back and laughed like she had at the brewery, that overly flirtatious laugh that worked despite its obviousness, and I laughed with her in relief and exhaustion. A hero would have swept her up in his arms then but I leaned backward and when I hit the back of the bench I went sideways and lay down on the stone. Gracefully, in heels, she moved just beyond my head and sat down there. She stroked her hand against my head gently.
“You made it out of the Catedral,” she said. And I was silent for the angel abomination guardian and the godhood bestowing guardian and the grotesque slug guardian and the -
“DEBT COLLECTOR!” I yelled, sitting up, eyes wide. “Lara, the Debt Collector! It’s after you, you have to run.” Lara sat there. “There were three guardians, like you said, but there was something else, Lara, something that was waiting for us there. It called itself the Debt Collector. I was warned about it in the bathroom.” She looked at me apprehensively. “On the wall of the bathroom, in 1492 over at -”
“The T, yes, I know Bogota,” she said.
“It said ‘Befriend The Thief. Pity The Ledgerman. Beware The Debt Collector.’” I pointed at her, “You’re The Thief.” She looked affronted for a moment, then nodded. “He,” and I mimicked the thick set of him and the squirming hair and the segmented skin, “was the Debt Collector. He trapped me in some kind of rock and then he went after you. I got out, I made it to the, and by the way I’m still upset you didn’t tell me about this, the Necronomicoin ATM, and when I got back you were gone. I rented a motorcycle and rushed here after I remembered what you said about the Museo del Oro.”
She sat back and rested on her palms, looking at me and then away. She took in a breath as though to speak, then stopped.
“You rode a motorcycle in Bogota?” she asked.
I nodded. She smirked, then her face turned stern. “Rushing after me was foolish, J. I do not know if you think you are some knight in shining armor but I am not your damsel and I do not need any rescuing,” she rolled her eyes, “American men! Always have to save me,” her eyebrows perked up, “but it does make them easier to rob.”