Larch: You have Hawthorn’s uncle on the list of trusted contacts, right? Thorn Estragon?
Caller: Checking . . . yes.
There’s a photo, too, so we’ll be able to verify — Hold up, is this the same Thorn Estragon who’s been on the news? The sexy dragonslayer?
Larch: Uh . . . I don’t see sexiness, but he’s the dragon guy, yeah. Hang on while I find out if he’s available today.
Larch (thinking): Hopefully he’s not in the middle of something he can’t leave . . . Like guard duty . . . Or PTSD therapy . . . Or fighting the latest improbable monster that showed up downtown . . .