Monday, March 11, 2019
The Return: Midnight Chapter 26
Now you tell apart how its do?Elena asked Meredith. You put the key in the keyhole and say whither you want to go.Then open air the door and go through and through. Thats it.You three go first,Stefan added. And quick.Il turn the key,Meredith told monotonic. You take carry off of Mrs. Flowers.Just then Elena thought of something that she didnt want to say aloud, only to Stefan. unless she and he were physical y so close, she knew he would pick it up. saber she thought to Stefan. We shtupt leave him to these malachWe wont, she heard Stefans voice in her head say. I showed him the way to Matts kinsfolk, and told him to go t present and take Talon and protect the people who for take off be coming.At the same time Matt was saying, Oh, my God saber He merelyd my life I cant on the nose leave him.already taken care of,Stefan reassured him and Elena patted him on the back. Hel be at your house in a little piece, and if you go somewhere else hel track you.Elena moody her pats i nto gentle pushes. Be goodMatt Honeycutts bedroom in Fel s Church,Meredith give tongue to, thrusting the key at the door handle, and opening the door.She and Mrs. Flowers and Matt al stepped forward. The door shut.Stefan sour to Elena. Im dismissal first,he said flatly. But Im retentiveness on to you. Im not going to permit you go.N eer let me go, neer let me go,Elena whispered in an imitation of Misaos Have nightmares.Then she had a thought.Slave braceletsWhat?Stefan said. Then, Oh, I remember, you told me. But what are they divinatory to look homogeneous?Like any two bracelets, have-to doe withing if possible.Elena was scrambling nearly the back of the room, where furniture was piled up, opening drawers, closing them. Come on, bracelets Come on This house is supposed to have everythingWhat ab disclose these things you wear in your hair?Stefan asked. Elena looked back and he tossed her a bag of soft cotton ponytail holders.Youre a genius They wont raze hurt my wrists. A nd here are two white ones so theyl matchElena said happily.They arranged themselves in front of the door, with Stefan to Elenas left so he could see what was out thither before they stepped in. He also had a firm grip on Elenas left arm.Wherever our friend sightly McCul ough is,Stefan said, and thrust the key into the lockless door handle, turning it. Then, after giving Elena the key, he gingerly opened the door.Elena wasnt sure what she was expecting. A blaze of light mayhap, as they traveled through dimensions. Some kind of spiraling tunnel, or shaft stars. At least a tonicitying of motion.What she got was steam. It soaked through her island of Jersey and dampened her hair.And then she got noise.Elena Eleeeeeeeeeeeeeeena Youre here Elena recognized the voice and couldnt locate the screecher in the steam.Then she axiom an immense bathtub make of tiles of malachite, and a frightened-looking girl tending a charcoal fire at the baths foot, while two new(prenominal) young atte ndants holding scrubbing thicketes and pumice stones cowered against the other wal .And in the bath was decent It was obvious that the tub was very deep, because just wasnt able to touch bottom in the middle but she was half-leaping out of the water equal a foam-covered dolphin over and over to pass attention.There you are,gasped Elena. She dropped to her knees on a thick, soft blue rug. Bonnie do a spectacular leap and just for a moment Elena could feel a smal soapy, spumey body in her arms.Then Bonnie went guttle again and came up laughing.And is that Stefan? Its Stefan Stefan, hello Helloooo Stefan glanced back, as if trying to assess the suds situation. He seemed satisfied with it, turned slightly, and waved.Hey, Bonnie?he asked, voice repress by the sounds of continual splashing. Where are we?Its Lady Ulmas house Youre safe youre al safeShe turned a smal hopeful face to Elena. Wheres Meredith?Elena shook her head, view of al the things near Meredith that Bonnie didn t know yet. Well, she decided, this wasnt the time to mention them. She had to beat toilet, to protect Fel s Church.Oh,Bonnie looked down, troubled. Stillbad, is it?You wouldnt believe it. Real y its indescribable. Thats where Matt and Mrs. Flowers and Meredith are. Im sorry.No, Im just so glad to see you Oh my God, but youre hurt.She was looking at the smal tooth wounds on Elenas arm, and the blood on her torn T-shirt. Il get out and hey, no, you get in Theres plenty of room plenty of hot water, and plenty of garments Lady Ulma scour designed some for us, for when we came backElena, smiling reassuringly at the bath girls, was already stripping as fast as she could. The tub, which was gargantuan enough for six to swim in, looked too luxurious to miss and, she reasoned, it make sense to be clean when you greeted your hostess.Go have fun,she shouted to Stefan. Is Damon here?she added in a whispered aside to Bonnie, who nodded.Damons here, too,Elena caroled. If you find Lady Ulm a, tel her Elenas coming, but shes getting washed up first.She didnt actual y dive into the dip pink steaming water, but she got onto the second step down and let herself slide from there.Instantly, she was immersed in delicious heat that seeped straight into her body, pul ing some witching(prenominal) string that relaxed al her muscles at once. Perfumes suffused the air. She flung her wet hair back and saw Bonnie laughing at her.So you got out of your hole and youve been here wal owing in luxury while weve been worried sick?Elena couldnt financial aid but hear the way her voice went up at the end, making it a question.No, I got picked up by some people, and Bonnie bust off. Wellthe first few days were tough, but never mind. convey God we got to Lady Ulmas in the end. Want a bath brush? Some soap that smel s just like roses?Elena was looking at Bonnie with slightly narrowed eyes.She knew that Bonnie would do just about anything for Damon. That included covering up for him. Deli cately, al the while enjoying the brushes and unguents and many kinds of soaps move out on a shelf for easy reach, she began an inquisition.Stefan got out of the pasty room before he was soaking wet. Bonnie was safe and Elena was happy. He found he had stepped into another room, in which were a number of couches made of some soft spongy material. For drying?Massage? Who knew?The next room he entered had gas lanterns that were turned high enough to rival electrical light. here were three more couches he had no idea what for a ful -length silvered-glass mirror, and smal er mirrors in front of chairs. Obviously a place for makeup and beautifying.This sound room opened onto a hal way. Stefan stepped out and hesitated, spreading delicate tendrils of index number in different directions, hoping to find Damon before Damon find oneselfd his presence in the estate. The Master Key had proved that it could overcome the fact that he hadnt been invited here. That meant that maybe he coul dAt that moment he got a hit, and withdrew his probe immediately, take aback. He stared down the long corridor. He could actual y see Damon, pace in the room at the end, talking to someone Stefan couldnt see behind the door.Stefan crept very quietly down the hal way, stalking. He made it to the door without his crony even noticing, and there he saw that the person Damon was talking to was a woman wearing what looked like buckskin breeches and shirt, who had weathered skin, and a commonplace aura of being more at home outside culture than inside it. Damon was saying,Make sure there are enough substantial clothes for the girl. Shes not exactly hardy, you know Then where are you fetching her and why?Stefan asked, leaning against the doorjamb.He had the good fortune to once just this once take Damon unaware. His brother glanced up, and then jerked like a startled cat. It was priceless to watch Damon scrambling for a mask until he decided on the fa?ade of absent amiability. St efan guessed that no one had ever put so much effort into walking over to a desk chair, sitting down, and forcing himself to lounge.Well, soundly Little brother You dropped in for a visit Hownice. What a pity, though, that Im hard-nosed y running out the door on a journey, and theres no room for you.At this point the weather-beaten woman who had been taking notes and who had go when Stefan entered the room spoke up. Oh, no, my lord. The thurgs wont mind the extra weight of this gentleman. They probably wont notice it.If his baggage can be ready by tomorrow you can start out in the early morning just as you planned.Damon gave her his best shut up or dieglare. She shut up. through clinched teeth, Damon managed to say, This is Pelat. Shes the coordinator of our little expedition. Hel o, Pelat. Good-bye, Pelat. You may go.As you wish, my lord.Pelat bowed and left.Arent you taking this my lordthing a bit too seriously?Stefan asked. And what is that costume youre wearing?Its the unif orm of the senior pilot of the guard of Madame le Princess Jessalyn DAubigne,Damon said coldly.You got a job?It was a position.Damon uncover his teeth. And its none of your business.Got your canines back, too, I see.And thats none of your business either. But if you want me to buffet you out and trample over your undead body, Il be delighted to oblige.Something was wrong, Stefan thought. Damon should be through the taunting phase and be actual y trampling on him by now. It only made sense ifIve already spoken to Bonnie,he said. And so he had, to ask where he was. But to a chargeable mind, apparent foreknowledge often worked wonders.And Damon hastily said exactly what Stefan hoped he wouldnt. I can explainOh, God,Stefan said.If shed just done as I told her period you were off becoming a princesss captain of the guard? And she was where?She was safe, at least But, no, she had to go out into the street and then to that shop inglorious She actual y walked in the street?Damon gr ound his teeth. You dont know how it is around here or how the slave trade works. Every day Stefan slammed both(prenominal) hands on the desk, now truly angry.She was picked up by slavers? While you were sleazing around with a princess?Princess Jessalyn does not sleaze,Damon replied icily.Nor do I. And anyway it al turned out to be a good thing because now we know where the Seven Kitsune Treasures are.What treasures? And who cares about treasures when theres a town being destroyed by kitsune?Damon opened his mouth, shut it, then looked narrowly at Stefan. You said that youd talked to Bonnie about al this.I did talk to Bonnie,Stefan said flatly. I said hel o.Damons dark eyes flared. For a moment Stefan thought he was going to snarl or start a fight. But then, through clenched teeth, he said, Its al for the damned town, dont you see that? Those treasures include the largest star bal ever to be fil ed with Power. And that Power may be enough to save Fel s Church. At least to stop it s total annihilation. Maybe to even clear out every malach that exists and destroy Shinichi and Misao with a single blow. Is that noble enough for you, little brother? Is it reason enough?But taking Bonnie You stay with her here if you like Spend your lives here I might mention that without her I would never have been able to clique up an expedition, and that shes determined to go.Besides, were not coming back this way. There has to be an easier route from the Gatehouse to Earth. We wouldnt survive coming back, so youd better hope like hel that there is one.Stefan was surprised. He had never heard his brother speak with such(prenominal) passion about anything that involved humans. He was about to reply, when behind him there came a scream of pure, unadulterated rage. It was frightening and worrying, too, because Stefan would recognize that voice anywhere, anytime. It was Elenas.