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   Chapter 9 Pilot

Pilot: Book One of the Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 9395

Updated: 2018-02-02 13:02


Elena was led into the dining area of the ship. The aroma of bacon and syrup stained the air and her stomach rumbled in response. Heat crept up her cheeks. "Sorry, " she said. Her grandfather laughed.

"I suppose we did miss dinner last night, " he said. "My apologies at the oversight." Elena looked around the dining room. A central table was laid with snowy linens and sparkling crystal. Around the sides were various stations where one could have waffles or an omelet prepared by the person manning that station. Remembering her favorite Sunday morning weakness, her grandfather led her directly to the waffle station. "They have strawberries, " he said teasingly. Elena smiled.

"Of course they do, " She replied. "You can't have a waffle without strawberries." Alexandro left her to have her waffle made. By the time the chef handed her a warm plate, Alexandro had returned with his own plate. Elena looked at his dish.

"I guess they had mushrooms, " she commented, looking down at his omelet.

"Of course, " he replied. "You can have an omelet without mushrooms. It would be uncivilized." They made their way to the table and took their seats. Other Council members loaded their plates and did likewise. A starched and pressed waiter appeared to Elena's left.

"Would you care for a beverage madam?" He asked.

"Coffee would be nice, " she replied.

"Regular or decaf madam?" he asked.

"Regular, " she said. She waited for the other questions usually accompanying a coffee order, but they never came. Instead a simple cup of black coffee was placed beside her plate. The others around the table were not asked for their preference, drinks were simply placed in front of them by the efficient staff.

"It's because you are new, " Peter said taking the seat across from her.

"Oh?" she asked.

"Yes, most of us dine here often enough that our tastes are known."

"I see, " she said. "So you travel aboard the Lorenzo often?" She asked, as she cut a small bite from her waffle and raised it to her lips. The strawberries smelled sweet and fresh, complementing the warm waffle. The melted butter filled the square holes and completed it. She took a bite, smiling at the taste. It brought back images of lazy Sunday's spent with her grandfather.

Waffles were the only things he was ever able to cook with out risking a fire. Personally, she always thought this was due more to the built in timer than his skill with a griddle.

Sunday was also the day Marcus and Carla took off. Carla was the cook and general housekeeper at Alexandro's house. Elena could still see the faint lines of worry that would crease her forehead as she left on Saturday evening. Leaving a reckless child and a crazy old man alone to wreak havoc on the orderly house she left behind neve

don't look too hard at the politics.'

"From what stories I have heard you are being quite modest, " he said. Elena raised an eyebrow.

"Stories from who?" She asked. "Grandfather first saw my place when he came to pick me up and he hasn't had time to relate what he saw as we went straight into the council chambers." Elena narrowed her eyes and cut them towards her grandfather. He once again appeared to be deep in conversation with John Havers. John had a slightly bemused look on his face. Elena looked back at Peter and saw the tips of his ears had reddened.

"Yes, well I believe my brother Nicolas was passing through your fair city a while ago and stopped to take a look. His description was quite favorable. Perhaps there will be time for me to have a look inside while we are taking care of this situation."

"Perhaps, " Elena said allowing the subject to drop. After all nothing more needed to be said. Nick was his brother's right hand man and as her home was far removed from the normal course of Guild business, Peter would have had to send Nick specifically to see what she was up to. While a part of her understood the suspicion, the fact she was spied upon rankled. At the other end of the table Siobhan stood and walked over to them.

"Elena, " she began. "Riko and I are retiring to the library. Would you care to join us or would you prefer to see if Peter has another foot he would like to try swallowing?" Elena smiled and realized the question was more rhetorical than anything else. Her presence was requested and required. She stood up.

"I would be delighted, thank you. Mr. Baranov should finish his scone before trying another foot." Elena turned towards the table. "If you gentlemen would excuse me, Mr. Baranov. Grandfather." Elena stepped away from the table, following Siobhan out of the dining area and into the corridor.

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