Sunday, October 18, 2015
The snow is a curtain of small furious flakes. The houseboat rocks gently, safely moored in place. There is no fear of damage thanks to Ron and his friends. The four Weres had spent a great amount of time readying the boat for Winter. The dock itself had been buffered to keep the hull safe. Of course it wasn't for nothing, Keon had paid the boys well for their efforts. Eite sighs, Wondering how long the storm would last. She sips from the steaming mug she holds cupped in her hands. Tao raises his grizzled head and cocks an ear. When she merely sips her tea, the HellHound drops his head on his paws and closes his eyes.
Moments later Tao slips from the couch and pads to through the kitchen. The sound of his nails clicking on the pale blue tile floor suddenly stops. Eite sets her mug on the small side table and slips her feet into a pair of fluffy slippers. Her steps are quiet as she moves into the kitchen. She glances back at the couch once, regretting the fact she had not grabbed the knife hidden under the throw pillow. Keeping out of sight, Eite eases a knife from the block on the counter. She watches Tao, readying the blade. She hears voices, but the sounds are muffled. Tao cocks his ears forward. But it isn't until the HellHound's tail begins a slow sweep of the floor that the Half-Drow Siren breathes easier. Knife still held at ready, she moves door, crouching next to a cabinet.
Tao huffs, raising his head to turn it into a full throated howl. He is answered in kind. A familiar voice calls out, "*Dia duit an bád! Tao, Eite! Dinner at the Tavern?"
Keon. Tao moves back from the door letting it open. Trooper greets his packmate as the Dark Lord slips inside, Mera in his arms. Keon quickly closes the door, leaning against it with a merry laugh. "'Tis a right frigid blast out there. Star says to pack a bag, we'll be staying for a few days." He helps Mera take off her coat."Monty says dinner is soon. So hurry, less ye want ta stay here." He turns at her silence. A puzzled expression meets his gaze. "Ach lass... I dinna think ye might... Eite, what is wrong?"
She stares at him, then looks out the window, then back at the Unseelie Sidhe. "You want to... You brought Mera out in..." She glances at the pair of HellHounds. Both had lain down, waiting patiently. She hesitates a moment more.
His voice is gentle as he takes the knife from Eite's hand. "'Tis safe enow here, but twill be safer among others. Between the Mer and me own spells, naught will befall what is left here. Pack a bag lass. an we'll be off. Will take but a wee bit ta get ta the Tavern, so dress warmly. I promise ye, an ye know We nae make promises easily... Come with us ta the tavern." Mera takes her hand, tugging until Eite looks down. "Please Eite? Everyone will be there."
Eite smile hesitantly at the little girl. "There's lots of room."
The woman sighs and lets the little girl follow her to her room. Mera chatters away the whole time Eite puts clothes in a bag. Keon pops his head in the door to see if she is ready. She has almost no time to breathe as he whisks her out the door to a waiting sleigh. As he tosses her bag in, Eite turns back to the houseboat. He helps her onto the bench seat beside Mera and tucks a blanket around their legs. He smiles at her as he climbs in and takes up the reigns.
"Relax Eite. Yer mug was rinsed and is in ta sink. Lights are on a timer. Windows and doors are warded. Trooper and Tao are coming w' us, Twillon and Weebit are waiting on ta Path."
As Eite settles back against the cushions, Keon nods to the Hounds. With a flick of his wrists, the group is off. As they pass through the Veil, Eite glances back one last time, sure she felt someone watching. They are on the Shadow Path in the next moment.
Hood back, Twillon stands next to his mount, laughing up at Weebit and Tork. As Keon's sleigh slides onto Path, the Blonde Sidhe surges up into his saddle. "About time!" He calls. "Monty said dinner would be soon? Well, let's get there before Guunnar eats it all!"
In no time at all, the group gallops through a Gate into the back lot of the Twisted Tit Tavern. Weebit flits to Twillon's shoulder, burying herself beneath his hair against the warmth of her lover's neck. Tork lands on the Sidhe's other shoulder. Keon unharnesses the horse, covers the sleigh with a tarp from the and ushers everyone through the backdoor of the Tavern. He turns back once, casting a spell to protect the sleigh and to watch the horses slip back through the Gate. As the door closes behind him, the comfort of the Tavern settles around him. He inhales deeply and smiles. The aromas of Monty's cooking, the sound of music and happy voices help him drop the protective air that he kept in place on the ride here. He too had felt as if the boat were being watched.
*Hello the boat!