Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Ramji hits the key again. The engine turns over, but the sputtering and backfiring is worse. Tomas looks up from the clay he is playing with and sends to his sisters.
Pa'pa break the car? Ma'ma be maaaaad... Alise shakes her head at what she picks up and tells Laila she will be back in a moment.
She stands on the porch for a moment, watching the men try to figure out what is making the fuel burn so rich. They can find nothing it seems.
Head under the hood, he doesn't hear her.
Again, no response. With a sigh, she resorts to something they did with the children when trying to teach them to speak aloud. She calls his name again, this time backing it with a mental call also. "Chiot!"
His head snaps up, slamming into the metal hood. Ramji winces at the clang and turns off the jeep's engine. With a sweet smile Alise approaches and hands her husband his cell phone. He looks at it blankly.
"I asked Ike for the number of her mechanic. It is programmed for you under Grem. That is the name of his garage. You two have been at this for hours. Dinner is ready and," She sighs. "Call the man, Re'mi. neither of you are talented with mechanical things." She walks away muttering about men who think they can fix anything.
Ramji laughs as he hands Stoney a rag for his hands. "She is right, *stari pas. I am good at what I do, you are an artist. The gremlin... he did wonders with Rowan's new chariot, and even fixed her old one as a backup. This will be nothing for him."
Frowning, Stoney calls the garage. He gets the answering machine and leaves a message for the mechanic. Closing the hood of the jeep, he motions for the Rider to lead the way in so they can clean up for dinner.
Stoney sends to Pan and Ob their regrets for not being able to come to the Tavern. Ike offers to call her mechanic, but Stoney assures her that they already have. Just as dinner is being cleared away, Stoney's cell rings. Grem's. Stoney flips it open.
"This is Grem's. Is this Ike's brother?"
"Oui. This is Stoney"
"Okay, tell me the symptoms..." Stoney launches into the noises and the grinding sounds, along with the fuel burning very rich. The mechanic hmmmms as he listens, then tells him to avoid driving it in. He will make a road call to them.
Stoney warns him about the Wards and that they will have to be opened for him. The gremlin laughs, understanding very well. "Tell you what, I won't get there tonight, probably not tomorrow... My name is Gregory, friends call me Grem, I'll call when I am able to come. Set up a time then. When's a good time?"
Smiling, Stoney tells him anytime, knowing Alise can get a gnome to open the Wards if it is during his stone sleep. They click off and Stoney sighs. He explains to the others that it may be a few days, but Gregory will try to fit them in if there is a cancellation.
Stoney drops to the floor and lets his children crawl on him, playing king of the mountain over his bulk. His mind touches Alise' feeling her concern over the still tender lumps on Tomas' back. She tells him they are getting bigger, but nothing seems to make them hurt less except the walls against the pain they were teaching him. Rowan can find no infection. To her it almost seems like he is teething, yet...
Still sprawled on the floor, Stoney offers Laila the rest of the night off, even though it is not her regular night. When she takes him up on the offer, Ramji kisses her gently and wanders out on the porch. taking the cell from his pocket, He turns to slide an arm around Laila's waist as she quietly follows him. He leans to kiss her as the other end is answered. Face serious, he waits a few moments for the other person to stop talking.
"Dmi? ^Nema, nema... No trouble. Can you get someone to take my place in patrol tonight?" He smiles. It changes his features into something more soft, more approachable. "I have not been able to spend time with Laila and she has a little time off." He laughs. "~Hvala vam Dmi. I will do the same for you."
He clicks the phone shut and kisses her, a slow and gentle assault on her lips. moving his lips from hers, he brushes a kiss against the side of her neck. "Want to go riding?"
Her eyes widen, golden in the gleam of the porchlight. Dmitri laughs and escorts her to his car. In less time than it takes to sneeze they are gone, zipping away from the town, heading for the outlying farms. The road he takes leads padlocked fence in a wooded area. Hitting a button on his key fob, the gate slowly opens. Once through, he presses the button again, closing the gate behind them. A few more minutes later and the trees part to reveal a meadow and one building, an enormous barn.
Dmitri gets out and opens the barn doors, then climbs back in and parks the car in what used to be a stable area. Several other vehicles are parked in the garage as well. He grins at her curiousity. "Those of us, who have material rides, need a place to safely store them. You could say this is a communal Rider garage." He takes her hand and leads her outside. He whistles once, then again, and two horses come to his call.
They nicker, then snort at the scent of grease on his hands. One gently sniffs at Laila, then trots to the barn. Going through a smaller door, Ramji disappears, then soon emerges with saddle and tack for one horse, a second trip brings gear for the other. Saddling both horses, he then holds the bridle as she mounts. Swinging into his own seat, Ramji takes the lead until they are riding along a hidden trail.