Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sneax & Elaina Emboo, Chapter 8

Our story so far:

Having defeated the evil Russitan Lassiter and escaped from the clutches of Drax the Fire Elf, Sneax has finally agreed to go live, at least for a time, with Melanie McGonagall, the priestess in charge of the House of Apollo.
And now... Chapter 8: Life Goes On.

Chapter 8: Life Goes On

“And then they just turned around and let me go,” Elaina said.  “I guess I was right.  Those two clowns didn’t want to face a wizard who could go toe-to-toe with Russ Lassiter and a fire elf.”
Melanie McGonagall laughed.  “I’d have liked to have seen that.”
Elaina looked out the window.  It was the next day, and it was already getting dark.  Elaina knew that she needed to get home.  Still, she couldn’t just leave.  Not yet.
“You sure you’re gonna be alright here, Sneax?” she said.  “You don’t mind staying here for awhile?”
Sneax shook her head.  “No.  You were right.  And anyway, after everything that’s happened, I probably ought to lay low for awhile.  You know, so I don’t wind up in jail or something.”
“Good,” Elaina replied.
“Exactly,” Melanie said.
Melanie McGonagall and Thorin Battleaxe had shown up right after the two dockside bully boys had decided that they didn’t want to tangle with Elaina after all.  They’d taken Lassiter, who was by then badly beaten, into custody, but of Draks the fire elf, there had been no sign.  They’d also collected Sneax, and after a long heart-to-heart, Elaina and Melanie had convinced Sneax that she ought to spend a little more time at the Temple of Apollo.  That was where she’d grown up, and truth to tell, it was where she needed to finish growing up some more.  
Given the events of the last few days, Sneax was in no mood to argue.
“Then I’ll see you tomorrow, Sneax,” Elaina said.  After all, she still had her lessons to worry about.  And she had to find a way to explain where she’d been—to Master Marconi, at least, if perhaps not completely to her parents.
Still, Elaina was content as she walked home.  Things were going to be better for Sneax.  But knowing Sneax, they’d still be plenty interesting.
Sneax turned in not long after Elaina left.  Melanie McGonagall was okay, but really, what Sneax was happiest about was just having a bed to sleep in instead of having to force herself to fit into a tiny cubbyhole above a Docks tavern.  That didn’t mean that Sneax was ready necessarily to dedicate herself to Apollo the way that Melanie had, but at least she could admit that living on the street wasn’t any fun.  And it was dangerous.
Even with that, though, Sneax still wasn’t used to having people around all the time.  She closed the door and locked it, happy to have a place to stay but also happy to have a little privacy.  She’d spent a lot of time alone while she was on the streets, and living at the Temple again was going to take some getting used to.
But then, Sneax realized, she wasn’t alone in room yet, either.  There was someone else in there with her.
“Hello?” she asked.  
It was dark in her little room, and her eyes hadn’t adjusted yet.
A silky voice answered.  “Hello Sneakatara.  We never got to finish our conversation last night.  The Guard came much too quickly.  I didn’t even get to finish speaking with Russitan Lassiter.”
Sneax caught her breath.  “Draks!”
The fire elf snapped his fingers, and a candle flared to life.  He was wearing his wide-brimmed hat again, along with his fancy silk suit.  He tipped his hat to Sneax.  
“At your service, my dear.”
“What do you want?”
“Merely to pay you a compliment, Miss Boatman.  You were resourceful last night.  I admire that.”  Draks looked at her and let a beat pass.  “You know, I do some business in this city, and from time to time I need an agent here.  May I rely upon you in the future when such is required?”
“Y-you want me to represent your interests in Wanderhaven?” Sneax asked.  She felt like she couldn’t breathe.
“If you wouldn’t mind,” Draks replied.  “I assure you, it can be quite lucrative… so long as you don’t try to cheat me like Mister Lassiter did.”
“I, uh…”
“Yes?” Draks said.  He was always so polite, Sneax thought, as long as he wasn’t trying to kill you.
“Can I think about it?”
“Of course,” Draks replied.  He tipped his hat again.  “But don’t think too long.”
Then he snapped his fingers, and he was gone.

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