Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Alise excuses herself to go help Stoney with the children. Laila was still with Ramji and Alise wanted to give her this time with him.

Erik joins Star with Ru and spends some time visiting with his brother and Tori. He smiles at the looks exchanged between the pair, the small touches, as if Tannr were afraid to let her go.

A tap at the door and Alise enters, holding a small hand in each of hers. Tomas pulls forward in his excitement but Alise does not let go. She kneels and says, “Remember what we talked about Tomas? No rowdiness..”

Tomas nods and approaches Tori more slowly. Tori holds back a laugh, Tomas in his Batman pj's and Stars foundling dressed identically. Tomas crawls into Tori's lap and wraps his arms around her neck. Tori kisses the gold curls, so much like his mothers.

“Better Tante Tori? We missed you.”

“Much better Tomas... so much better now.. Who is your new friend?” Tori asks.

“Robin... him my friend... Star say his mommy looking for him... and has to go home soon...”

Tori can feel how sad this makes Tomas and hugs him again. “I am sure his mom will let him come and play. Dont you think mama and papa will try to figure something out?”

The little boy nods and grins as Stoney ushers the girls into the room. The girls are all in their nightgowns, their dolls in matching ones and Tori is soon covered with hugs and kisses. Robin hangs back a bit and Star pulls him into her lap and whispers, “Its okay, she doesnt bite.”

Tori hears and grins. Tomas slips from her lap and tugs at his friend's hand, bringing him to meet Tori. The boy looks up shyly. She grins at him, her fangs just showing. The boy's eyes widen. Tori leans close and whispers, "I like your ears."

He stifles a laugh, clapping his hands over his mouth. He runs back to Star and climbs in her lap.

Tori settles on her bed and the children all crawl around her, finding spots. Robin watches silently, sadness stealing into his eyes.

Star pulls him close and whispers, “We will find your mother soon. And you can come back and play...”

Once settled, the group begin pestering Tannr for a bedtime story.

Tannr nods to the children, telling them to decide what kind of story they would like to hear. He stands and goes to Star and kneels in front of her and Robin.

“Come join us little man. We cant have a story with one of us sitting out on the sidelines...” Tannr holds out his hands and Robin looks to Star who grins and nods. Robin looks back to Tannr and with a small grin of his own raises his arms and lets Tannr lift him out of Stars lap.

Tori watches as Tannr returns with Robin and Tomas scoots over to make room for his friend. Gracie finds her way into Tannrs lap and he leans down with a kiss to the girls soft brown curls. Tori soon loses herself in Tannrs story, his words bringing other Realms and creatures to life for the listeners.

She watches him surrounded with children and swallows a pang of regret. A voice whispers in the back of her mind. He is not your past. He is your present. Just be glad you haven't taken him home. So many others would see his promise.

Tori begins to answer the voice, catching herself. Who are you?

Tannr's eyes meet hers. He doesn't stop the story, but sends her a trick he learned from her brothers. His mind slides along hers in a long caress, and the girls giggle. His eyes widen as Tomas says "Ewwww!"

Robin looks confused and Tomas whispers loudly. "Tannr kissed Tante Tori with his mind." The little Fae boys wrinkles his nose and stares at Tannr.

The Viking laughs and grins at the kids. "Okay, Okay! Back to the story". He picks up where he stopped and touches Tori's mind with his. I am the man who wants to be here whenever you need me. He raises a brow at Tori as she shakes her head. Not you, mo chroĆ­. The... I keep hearing someone... nevermind. We can talk about this later. Best to concentrate on our, I mean, the wee ones

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