Gold eyes stared at Maria, intent. “Are these the same guys you got away from before?”
Maria paled, and looked away.
Aladdin frowned. Usually people had trusted Alibaba with the awful things in their life. Except Hakuryuu, which had led to bad things happening to everyone-
“I’m just asking so we can prioritize where to look first.” Alan crossed his arms, looking more quietly angry than Aladdin had seen in… a very long time. “I already know one place we can shake down for answers.”
“You… do.” Maria went even paler.
“Oh yeah.” Gold eyes glittered in the shadows. “The papers you guys brought out when you ran? DMV’s closed on Saturday. Officially. But before everything went crash, I found out who stays open… not officially.”
Okay, now Alan was starting to look just a little scary. “DMV?” Aladdin asked, uneasy.
Morgan blinked, as if she were a little startled herself. “We’re going to find slavers in the Driver’s License office?”
“We’re going to find people who know them. Who take bribes for documents, and don’t care who they’re giving them to. And that should get us close enough for Aladdin to pick up on these guys’ Magic Tools.” Alan took a step forward. “Maria. I don’t know what they did to you. I don’t know what they threatened you with. But we are going to find everything they have that’s magic and break it to pieces.” He shrugged. “The cops can handle the rest.”
Maria winced, wrapping her arms around her knees as if she wanted to pull herself into a hole and disappear. “You can’t. They – I – I cannot help….”
Aladdin frowned, studying the unsettled flow of rukh around her. It was subtle, but he thought, just maybe… yes. There were subtle knots there. “Maria. If you could tell us about someone who hurt you, someone who’s trying to hurt us – would you want us to know? If we could find out?”
Dark eyes widened. She pulled her knees even tighter to her chest, only that bird-quick gaze visible.
“Because if you did….” Aladdin smiled at her. “There’s a way I can ask, and you don’t have to say anything. All you have to do is be there. And trust me.”