Thursday, March 31, 2011
She leads them through the crowd, directly before Lord Adrian. The Rider bows from the waist. The Vampire leader watches him with an interested expression. eyes. There is no mistaking woman beside him. The resemblance to Laila is incredible.
"Férno̱ Chairetísmata ston Lórdo Adrian tou Deimos. Af̱tí̱ eínai i̱ ef̱chí̱ Kyríou Herne óti éna mí̱nyma prépei na títhentai ypópsi̱ tou. Écho̱ ti̱n timí̱ ti̱s parousías tou Kyríou Adrian tou?"
(I bring Greetings to Lord Adrian of Deimos. It is Lord Herne's wish that a message be brought to His attention. Do I have the honor of Lord Adrian's presence?)
Adrian leans forward slightly. He did not expect diplomacy. It brings a tight lipped smile and a nod for the courtesy.
"Échete, Rider ti̱s Herne. Ti mí̱nyma eínai tóso si̱mantikó to gegonósóti i̱ Huntsman tha steílei énan apestalméno gia na me dei?"
(You have, Rider of Herne. What message is so important that The Huntsman would send an emissary to see me?)
The Hell Hounds step forward, sitting on the floor between Dmitri and Adrian. The Rider shifts slightly, easing his stance from warrior to messenger. It is a subtle thing, but not missed by Adrian's sharp eyes.
"Férnoume éna mí̱nyma óchi apó ton Kýrió Herne, allá, me ti̱n ev̱logía Tou, gia logariasmó állou. To ónomá ti̱s eínai Laila kai échei symvólaio gia éna vampír pou onomázetai Rath. Eínai af̱tí̱ pou eínai gno̱stó óti af̱tó to dikastí̱rio?"
(We bring a message not from Lord Herne but, with His blessing, on behalf of another. Her name is Laila and she is Contracted to a vampire called Rath. Is she known to this Court?)
The woman beside Adrian lifts her head from her writing. The Vampire Lord glances at her, then back at Dmitri. At his nod, the Rider tells of Laila's ill treatment, her befriending of a Rider, finally ending with the injuries to her hand. There is a noise from the crowd. A young seeming undead male steps forward. He speaks not in Greek, but English.
"You must be lying! Rath is of the Noble House. He would not break the Contract!"
Lord Adrian shifts to English. His words are clear, colored with a heavy Greek accent. "Hold your tongue James. Have you proof of such, Rider?"
"I have the lady's own words, if You would dare to allow a Hell Hound to touch Your mind."
Without pause Adrian rises from his chair and steps off the dais. His scribe follows him, standing just behind and to his left. Adrian asks Dmitri what he must do. The Rider directs him to sit on the bottom step and allow the Hound to come to him. Zade rises and pads across the few feet between them, Tao on her heels. She stops out of arm's reach and stares at Thea.
"It seems this message is meant for Your servent as well, My Lord, if she is Thea, sister to Laila."
"Come Thea, sit beside me this once."
There is a slight hesitation, but Thea, settles on the step. Zade goes to her and sniffs. She turns her head and growls at Tao as he hovers close. The bigger Hound edges back, but not far. Satisfied, Zade turns her attention to the pair before her.
"Touch her. Lay your hand against her skin. She will do the rest."
They touch her and Zade looks first to one, then the other. Her eyes deepen to the color of old blood as tears slip down Thea's cheeks. Adrian grows grim as he stares at nothing. What they see is Laila, sending the message in her own words. They feel her rage, her impotence, her dispair. When the Hound's eyes return to their normal red, Zade steps back, out of their reach. Thea gathers up her notebook and quickly stands.
Dmitri hands her a square of black cloth. She looks at it puzzlement.
"Tears shed for another are precious. Zade will take them to Laila as proof you have not forgotten her."
Shock widens Thea's eyes as she takes the black handkerchief. "She is my sister,"
"Who has been alone with an abuser for several years, and has just recently learned of her parents' deaths. She is surrounded by people she just met, in a land not of her birth. One would think she is feeling adrift."
When she hands back the cloth, damp with her tears, Dmitri folds it and tucks it into a small pouch in a cloak pocket. "I promise this will reach her by morning. Exton is not far by the Hell Hound's runs."