Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Reáltán…." the name tastes strange on my lips, but sweet, too. "That's pretty." I smile. She's gorgeous, and so unselfconscious in her enjoyment…. "Is it okay if I let Wolf out for a while? He could stand to stretch his legs…."

She's very serious-looking for a second, then she smiles and nods. I unbutton my shirt, take it off and hold it in one hand. Wolf has been long confined; he practically leaps off my chest and comes to stand beside me. I ruffle the thick fur around his neck and behind his ears and he grins a happy wolf grin.

Star is looking at Wolf with delight in her eyes… but I notice her gaze straying to me now and again. I go down on one knee and motion her over. She comes over cautiously. "Wolf, this is Reáltán. She's a friend." I look up at her. "It's okay, he won't hurt you…." She kneels down to pet him, smiling delightedly when he licks her hand. I move as if to put my shirt back on, but pause. "Would you like to see Phoenix? I can't let him go up here - there's not enough room - but you can see what he looks like." I grin. "Except for the Runic stuff, that's all my tats."

She nods solemnly and I turn, just slightly, so she can see Phoenix on my back, all orange and yellow and red and gold - the colors of flame. She's silent, and I move to stand up. She grabs my wrist, holding me, and her fingers gently trace Phoenix's outline. Then she releases me and I stand and put my shirt back on, leaving it unbuttoned so Wolf can return later.

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