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   Chapter 12 No.12

The Book of Deacon By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 4981

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:03

"Not what you expected, eh?" he asked. "I told you things would become uncomfortable."

Myranda closed her eyes and reached for the glass she had put on the table. Leo slid it to her searching fingers. Grasping it, she gulped down the contents hoping to settle her churning stomach and rattled nerves. When she lowered the glass, Leo filled it to the brim, then stood and began gathering up his ponytail.

Myranda ventured another peek at her visitor.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"Unless I have greatly misread your reaction, it would seem you do not much relish my presence, " he answered as he tucked the hair inside his cloak and restored the hood.

Now knowing the shape of the face that the hood had concealed before, Myranda wondered how she had not noticed earlier. Though a normal hood might conceal him, it would be perilously close to revealing the tip of his snout, even with the hood pulled comically far forward. Yet his face seemed to vanish into inky shadow the instant the hood was pulled into place. Leo was nearly to the door before she had finished sputtering and coughing from the powerful wine she had forced down.

"Don't go!" she coughed.

He stopped.

"Please--" Cough, cough. "--sit down, I should not have reacted so horribly. I was startled, " she said.

"Are you sure you do not want me to go?" he asked, turning to her.

"I insist you stay for a while. Nothing has changed. I still owe you for all of this, and you have still treated me w

tell you all you care to know about myself and my people, and you return the favor, " she offered.

"A fair proposition, " he said, extending his now-bare hand.

Myranda grasped it and gave it a firm shake. It was a peculiar experience shaking the hirsute appendage, but she was careful to appear as though she didn't notice.

"Now, where to begin? I was born in a large town south of here called Kenvard, " she said.

"Kenvard. . . was that the old western capital?" he asked.

"One and the same. My father was Greydon and my mother was Lucia. She was a teacher. The teacher, really. Because of that she knew every man woman and child in town by name and so did I. When I was about six years old, though, the front came very near to our walls. Father was away, serving in the army somewhere else as he often--no, usually was. I was in the garden with mother. The church bells started ringing, which at that time of day was the signal to meet in the town center during an emergency.

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