“I tried to kill him.” I said what seemed like tenth time, but the old gargoyle still found it hard to believe. He kept staring at me, measuring me up and down like a…
“And just like that he lets you in on his mission?”
“Dinner is ready!” Helena called out.Celik didn’t move. “No, I don’t eat that mash she makes.” he shook his head, nodding me to go. “I’d still like that answer.”
He was treating me like one of his young monsters. I felt insulted.
Mya came scrambling downstairs, nearly falling over and literally screamed. “You let him fall asleep in my bedroom?” She’d gone to fetch me the new blanket after I told her Thorwald had the last one.
“When you said he is still upstairs…” Celik let out anguish filled babble and I watched the room empty all the residents heading to my new bedroom.
I followed them, winching. I was not waiting for that confrontation.
“It’s 200 kilos of granite sitting on my blanket!” She kept yelling, hands grabbing her hair in despair. She turned and her eyes stopped on me and suddenly I received an empty corridor all the way to the sitting statue.
I smiled, seeing his quirky smile on the statue. I thought he looked rather hansom and calm and wasn’t that what mattered? He didn’t look angry anymore. He might get angry again, when he woke up, but…
“How could you let him do it here?”
“And how would I stop him?”
“Lass, she’s right…” Celik started, and I was about to thank him for support. “You could have at least urge him to return to the nest.”
“Uhuh! And while at it, maybe ask him paint the walls pink and dress up like a peacock?”
“It’s not safe here. In the nest we can watch him, here…” Celik frown was hard enough, but I bare his stare with straight back.
Why did they think I had any power over what he did? I tried a different approach. “He said he was too tired to return.”
“And when you go back to your world, he’ll be here for heaven knows how long?”Mya cut in-between.
“Did he have any internal injuries?”
I felt sick discussing his medical with Celik, but then hushed my inner voice, because I was talking to the nest bird here after all and I had the idea that if anyone, he was probably the only one to discuss this with. He seemed a safe choice compared with frantic administrator, who was ready to burst all his anger straight at me.
“Broken ribs as far as I know. Bruises.” I had to look away, feeling very uneasy and sick inside. “I don’t know, I fixed his ribs until he could get help here and that was it, we didn’t talk about it. He was supposed to find a doctor here.”
“Alright, we should let him sleep then!” He announced and they turned to leave.
“Mya, calm down! He’s just sleeping here! It’s not like we haven’t had them here before!” Helena said, but pulled behind me before she let out a sorrowful sorry. She wasn’t so keen on his black stair as I was and I gathered Celik was not aware of his angels taking side tracks to visit the girls here.
“Well, at least you had the brains to undress him before he turned.” Helena shrugged, snickering softly.
“Helena! You’re not helping!” Mya called from the stairs, but that didn’t stop the smile climbing on my face.
“Yeah, at least now I have something to marvel while he sleeps…” I nudged her back.
I was busy eating the meager dinner I was offered, when the gate opened and the blond administrator walked through the small black box gently held out with respectful distance from her body.
Mya scrambled to her feet, pushing the chair over. It was a bit lot to ask that she wouldn’t recognize the box. “The hell is that doing here? It was there on my watch? Hell no! Who took it there?”
“Goblins did.” She answered, setting it on the table in front of us.
Mya paled considerably. Her eyes flew on my blushing face. “You opened it, didn’t you?” Her shoulders slumped and I felt sudden urge to pat her and cheer her somehow.
“That was the contract, yes.” I squared my shoulders and decided to remain truthful. She would find out eventually.
“Is it empty now?”
I winched. “No.”
“You got it back yourself?” She sounded impressed, but I couldn’t tell if she was jesting or not after I shook my head. The blond smiled gently and caught Mya in her hug. “How did you get it back in the box?”
“Thorwald caught it.”
“Have you any idea what that thing can do?”
I remembered the breathless feeling and forgot to breathe. It took me a long moment to force my brain to get over the memory and breathe again.
“Ah, that explains it…” she let Mya go and went to get the dinner from the pan. “Oh, stew…”
“Why it was in our secure room?” She frowned, tasting the stew from the pot and quickly adding few spices. “I don’t understand – why wouldn’t Griffin bring it back himself?”
“He couldn’t feel it through the brown glass. It was sitting on my table by the window and he couldn’t sense it.”
“Thorwald is one hell of blabbermouth!” Mya frowned. The conversation went sour and if signed the rest got from the table and disappeared, leaving me to sit there alone, right in the grasp of Mya while Celik did as if he didn’t notice anything.
Mya looked thoroughly pissed, when the door opened and a huge yeti came in, offering what seemed his daily greetings.
“You’re just in time for theater!”
“Perfect! I was getting a bit bored.” He walked straight over Lisanne and kissed her on her hair. Then he grabbed an apple and landed behind the table. He was carving pieces out of an apple.
He winked, watching me chew on the carrot and smiled. He reminded me of a bear. His entire face was covered with thick hair and like dog’s it was short on top of his long flat nose while growing longer on the cheeks before getting really thick on the frame of the nose.
He wore a large jumper that hung loose around his hairy hands and I imagined it weighting nearly half of us girls together. It was twisted yarn that had been sewn together every ten centimeters. It looked prehistoric compared with the modern clothes girls were wearing. I wondered which of the two was their daily wear and which was only to show off in our world.
I didn’t waste my breath on explaining, who I was, but he was the first, who didn’t bother to ask. I got up and went to wash the dishes. Mya was going circles around me, blocking my every other step.
“Why did he choose you?” he muttered, really irritated over that question. “There must be something he saw in you – come on, what was it?”
She was starting to scare me with the enthusiasm she tried to find a fault in me.
Yeti grinned. “If you shut up, you’d hear!” he pointed out to Celik.
“What?” She didn’t get it, swirling around me one more turn. “I don’t hear anything!”
“Exactly!” Yeti let out, humored by it. “Her breathing!”
I saw the older gargoyle’s ears move. He approached me, curious. “Where did you learn to breathe like that?”
I didn’t get it. What was wrong with my breathing?
“It takes our kids two years to learn to breathe like that. It does not come naturally. Who taught you?”
I cringed. I had no interest discussing my family life with him. “Life.”
His eyes widened for a moment on the audacity, before he nodded. “Fair enough. It will be cool thing in sneaking attack, mind you that.”
“I couldn’t even fool Thorwald!” How that was a sign he would have found cool was beyond me.
“That’s because he teaches it! At least when he’s awake.”
I tried hard not to laugh. “Thorwald’s a teacher?” I asked Mya. She nodded.
“Yeah! You don’t believe us?”
“No, no, it’s just…” hard to comprehend. “He does have the aura for it.”
“It’s a saying, like – he is perfect for the part. Yeah, that’s what it means.” I was pleased with my answer, but she didn’t look convinced.
“You should practice this more often.” She said, snippy, “pretend you’re a pot of dirt for the next hour and I’ll see if my fury over you screwing up our entire livelihood goes away.” She jumped up and, tossing the bow on the couch in the middle of the room, left.
My cheeks colored up and I felt really awkward. She was right. I had turned their entire mission upside down.
I felt the couch fall lower next to me and turned eyes up to look straight at Celik. “I’d like to train you.” he said, eyes shining with plans I probably wouldn’t agree on.
The knife fell from the yeti’s hand. “Thorwald won’t like it.”
“I’m sure of that.” He turned back to me. “And I would like to train you!”
I shook my head, sudden panic raising its ugly head in my stomach. “I appreciate the offer, but I will return home as soon as this is over.”
He shrugged. “No offense, you’re just so…”
“Human?” Yeti offered and by that I did indeed feel like snapping back and telling him to back off. He was not playing for my good at all.
“Different.” Celik offered with wide grin.
Although I could have sworn the two gargoyles were not related, I could see where Thorwald got his teasing manners. The original monstrosity was sitting right next to me.
“I could still get few lessons in before you go back.”
“How about how to kick a gargoyle and get away with it?”
His grin vanished and he fidgeted with sudden unease. “Well, Thorwald does have a way with women.” He paused, like really mulling over options and my eyebrows spiked. “I could teach you few things that will get his interest spiked in the right direction?”
The yeti lost his knife after painful yelp. I knew he’d cut in his finger, but I doubted he’d go for bandage before he heard my answer to such blatant offer. “I- ugh…” Deep in my guts I wanted to ask help, but felt embarrassment flush down that urge. “Self defense, please.”
I decided it was utmost time to get some space between us and headed to the kitchen, turning my attention to the fuzzball sucking his finger. “Hize, you’ll need help with that!” I stated, grabbing the towel from the hanger. He frowned at first, but was thankfully smarter than the self declared Cupid and realized I wasn’t asking. “Where’s the emergency kit?”
“Bandages, alcohol wipes…”
“The small box on the right shelf.”
I was impressed – the box was full of medical supplies from the other world. There was not one item there I couldn’t recognize and I got the eerie feeling their medicine wasn’t quite on the level we were used to.
Celik let out loud rumbling laugh and pushed up from the couch. “I need Thorwald’s permission if you want self defense. The other I could do in secret.”
I didn’t spare him not one look, ignoring him completely, busy with yeti’s finger. I was not continuing with this conversation.
“Lisanne would prefer to do it herself.”
“Do what?” I twisted next round of gauze around the patch.
“Get snugly with his finger.”
My hands fell on the table in fists that made the yeti jump. My next suggestion was promising to be more than I could face later, so I tried to keep from it. Go find yourself a prostitute probably wouldn’t allow me to face him later and I was sure I’d see him later.
“Celik, be so kind, close the door, when you’re large ass is on the other side of the threshold.” Mya appeared suddenly on the doorway and, stepping next to the table, pointed him out. Her voice was calm, low and threatening, yet utterly polite and I recognized it from work. At least something good came out of that.
Celik smiled and went, not even slightly insulted.
“Be good, teach her few self defense moves before she gets killed running into thorny plants.”
The door closed behind him and I made myself busy finishing the bandage.
“You do have a way with them.” She murmured.
“I thought you were angry at me.” I packed the box together.
“I am.” She filled her mouth with purple grapes and headed back out. Then she nodded towards the black box. “I’m not keeping it in the house!”
“I’ll take it to my bedroom.” I said, not wanting any arguments against it.
“That won’t be much of an idea.”
“Probably, but it’s the only room in this house that has a lock besides toilet and I’m not spending the night sitting on the pot. Besides, unless someone knows for sure that it is here, I doubt anyone will come looking for it.”
“There are things that can smell it here.”
I had no doubt of that. “Gargoyles you mean? Yeah, I know – I have one sitting in the corner, remember? Something happens, I’ll wake him up.”
The silence was telling. Ok, so maybe I couldn’t wake him up, but still, I had already spent enough time with it in the room to know that unless someone opened it, it was safe and sound. I couldn’t recall straight if it had been sealed with any wax before I pulled the cap away.
Before I could get out of the kitchen, I recalled what Thorwald had told me, so I turned around on the spot.
“Actually, I have a plan I’d like to share with you.”