Thursday, March 31, 2011

The smiles between the sisters shows just how close they are. Zade lies at their feet, sprawled across one of Laila's. She watches the driveway through half-closed lids, looking like a pampered canine. Ramji knows better.

Glancing at the trees, Ramji sees more red eyes. Some are closer to the ground, others higher between the trees. Rider mounts. Zade had sent for back up. Good girl. He would have a word with Keon in her favor.

Motion by the trees catches his eyes. Two dark shadows separate, coming halfway across the yard. The two Hounds stretch out, seeming to bask in the moonlight. Their gazes roam, restless. Trooper raises his head and stares straight at Ramji. The other Hound turns his head to stare as well. A blue streak along his neck betrays his identity. Keon nods and Ramji looks back at Adrian.

His words are softly spoken, keeping them for the people in the kitchen, not those on the porch. "You do know, Lord Adrian, that Laila has befriended several Riders. Our Captain offers a resolution. If Rath is found guilty, his punishment can be put in other hands. You need only name him as Forsworn. Oathbreakers are Our prey."

His tone goes cold, and he looks at Laila. "I have seen how she lives. Nothing keeps the cold from her room. There are not enough blankets to keep her warm. She savors simple foods as if she has not eaten them in a long time. She is careful of everything she says, everything she does." He turns burning eyes to Adrian. "I will Hunt him myself if you name him Ours."

Adrian stares at him, noting the cold anger, the possessive/protective stance close enough to Laila to be wherever she needed him. He inclines his head slightly. "The word, Hunter, is IF. I understand the Huntmaster does not call a Hunt unless proof is, as the Americans say, beyond a doubt. I will remember the generous offer, but as yet am not ready to make a decision."

Ramji leans against the doorframe, arms crossed, fingers caressing the blades hidden up his sleeves. His gaze returns to outside, grim expression softening just a little as he watches the sisters catch up. On the other side of the yard, a Stallion crops at the higher grass as another Hound has wandered into the moonlit yard.

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