A booming voice echoes up the hallway. "Ja, Kinder sind alvays gut. Eben ven nicht so gut. Ist chust deir vay."
"UNCLE GUNNAR!" The children rush enmass to the giant as he hangs up his dark cloak. Mera wraps her arms around a leg and hugs him, but peers past him down the hall. The Viking lays a hand on her head, tousling her blue black curls.
"He ist coming little vone. He hast missed his *kleine monde. Ach, vho ist diss strapping jung man!" He raises Ryan up to his shoulder, settling the little fae on the broad perch. "Kviet Ryan. OY, Du hast grown little varrior!." He slaps a large hand to his forehead and huffs through his bushy moustache. "Nein, nicht kinder! Ist such a handsome band uf Varrior Lads and Shield Maidens." He leans down, balancing Ryan easily, and whispers loudly, knowing all the parents will hear him. "Vat say du. Ve pester deine parents und you feast mit Oncle Gunnar tonight?"
The children put hands over their mouths and nod ecstatically, all except Mera who watches down the back hall. A cloaked figure emerges and the little girl's eyes light up, only to sadden when Dmitri pushes back his hood. The Greek smiles at her and winks. Mera sighs and Graci takes her hand, tugging her along with the others to ask their parents' permission. Gunnar commandeers a table and gets Monty's attention.
"A round uf chiuce und milch for my Varriors, mein gut man!"
Mera climbs into a chair and bites her lip, eyes still on the hallway. Gracie touches Mera's hand and tara's voice murrmurrs softly in the little halffae's mind. Oncle Gunnar said he's coming. Don't cry Merri. She nods and takes a sip of her juice.
Large hands cup her shoulders and a soft voice whispers in her ear."Did ye miss yer old Da, Little Moon?"
Mera scrambles out of the chair, nearly spilling her cup. Keon scoops her up in his arms, wincing slightly under the force of her hug. "I'll take that as an Aye."