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   Chapter 44 An unexpected encounter

Bactine By Paul Kater Characters: 14949

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:03


The sailors had left for their homes. They had thanked Daniel for an entertaining afternoon. Daniel, the sack in his hand, was walking towards his apartment. Thoughts and memories haunted him as he was on his way. Some of them were so bad that they made him shiver; he wanted to shake them away.

After reaching his apartment, he placed the sack in a closet. The things inside it were the first tangible objects that might provide a clue about Rayko's fate, and the blood was not a good omen. He also was not sure if going to Huajo was the best plan. Perhaps he should contact the police about this. Or Warlem and his mother.

Daniel took a quick shower, then he dressed for supper and left his apartment again. Perhaps being away from the sack would help him get his thoughts under control and his plan in some kind of perspective. As he walked along the street he grinned at himself in self-mockery. What plan are you thinking of, Daniel Zacharias?

As he was sitting at his meal, he had the hydger near him on the table. He secretly hoped that someone would contact him and hand him some more ideas. Some more pointers he could follow. The device however remained silent. Daniel was so occupied with his thoughts that he hardly tasted what he was eating, and before he really knew it he was walking the streets again, with no real aim. He just had to move, hear the noise of people talking, get away from it all for a while.

As he was walking down one of the streets, he thought he saw a glimpse of Melia, the music teacher. He wasn't sure if it was her, and she apparently did not see him. He stopped for only a moment, then walked on. His head and feelings were all in a jumble.

"Daniel?"

Hearing his name nailed him to the ground. This could not be true. Slowly he turned around and he saw her stand. It was indeed Melia. She had gotten off her chair, her hand touching her lips as she looked over at him. He felt like a fool as he just stood there. He smiled. "Hello, Melia."

The woman walked over to him, slowly, as if she was still doubting if she was doing the right thing. "I hope you do not mind addressing you like that, here in the street, Daniel. I just happened to see you and..." There was a blush on her cheeks all of a sudden.

"That is very much okay, Melia, really. I am glad you called my name." As he said it, he could kick himself. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

"Oh. I am glad about that then." Melia smiled, her blush deepening. "You are alone, aren't you?"

"Yes, I am."

"So I see. That is..."

Daniel could almost hear her think the word 'good'. Or was that wishful thinking?

"Would you..." Melia hesitated as she looked over at the table where she had been sitting. "Would you perhaps like to join us?"

"Only if I am not inconveniencing you, Melia. I'm afraid that I left a rather poor impression on you, the last time we saw each other."

"You are not inconveniencing me, Daniel, nor will my friends feel that way." Melia slowly put her arm through his. She was not sure of how he would react, but as he did not pull away, she held on to him and they walked over to the table.

Melia introduced Daniel to her friends, a young lady called Ophy Dill ko Zerba, and a young gentleman called Wenston Drossle ko Maire. They were still having supper, but they did not mind at all that Daniel joined them.

"Daniel Zacharias..." Wenston seemed to sample the name. "I have heard your name. Aren't you the person who built the flying ship to rescue sailors from the pirates?"

Daniel grinned. "I did not build the airship. That was done by someone else. I was part of the rescue group, though."

This of course triggered the others to ask everything about it, so Daniel told them most of the things, leaving out the bits that were too gruesome. The bits he would rather forget but couldn't.

After the three people had finished their dinner, Wenston invited them to a nice and quiet place he and Ophy knew and visited once in a while.

Melia and Daniel, arm in arm, followed Ophy and Wenston through the streets that had gotten even more busy. The evening was a nice one, and it had lured just about everyone outside.

"I have missed you, Daniel, " Melia confided to him. "I was not pleased with the way we... said goodbye that day." She looked up at him. Her green eyes had a special translucent shine in the light of the street lamps.

Daniel smiled at Melia. "I wasn't particularly happy about how things went that day

'm not sure if I do, " the pretty woman said. "I want to... uhm... oh- I want you to know that this was a wonderful evening, Daniel. I also think that I am not very sober anymore."

Daniel felt the same. "Yes, Melia. This was a magnificent evening." His mouth had some trouble with 'magnificent' but he managed it. "I am glad you are so honest and upright. I also enjoyed the kiss very much." He nodded for a while. All that talking spread the cotton in his head like nothing else could, it seemed. "Maybe I should see you to a carriage and make sure you get home safely, Melia."

They both agreed and got to their feet. They were grateful for the support of each other as they shuffled past the chair where Ophy and Wenston were still sleeping.

Daniel saw something on their table he could not interpret. He reached down, grabbed it, crumpled it up and stuffed it in his pocket, after which he and Melia left the establishment...

-=-=-

The next morning Daniel desperately needed a shower and something against a hangover. He slowly recalled the previous night. Somehow he remembered that he had kissed Melia one more time before she had left in a carriage. He had needed another carriage to get home. His feet refused to take him anywhere, apart from the last few stretches to the apartment and his bed.

After the shower, he dressed and headed out to a restaurant. A good breakfast chased the ghost from his head. He was about to leave when he found something in his pocket. It was a scrap of paper with a print of a ship on it. As he unfolded it, a small something fell out of it. Daniel picked it up from the floor and looked at it. "Oh crap..."

Daniel went back home and from there to the house of Huajo Dogom ko Tzuy. He had to know if the man was tied to Rayko's disappearing, and what he was doing in the drug scene. Daniel had a few small weapons with him. The attack of the previous day had shaken him up enough to choose for that. He didn't like carrying arms around people, but this situation called for drastic measures. As he was on the way, bits and parts from the last night came and went, until the carriage came to a stop.

Daniel recognised the house of the ship owner. He left the carriage and walked up to the reception house. After holding his ring against the metal plate, he waited. To his surprise the door was answered rather quickly.

"Sir?" a servant asked. Daniel had never seen this person before.

"My name is Daniel Zacharias, and I would like a word with Seigner Dogom ko Tzuy."

"If you would care to wait here, " the servant nodded, allowing Daniel to step inside, "I will go and see if the Seigner has time for you."

He'd better, Daniel thought. He was going to talk to this man, time or no time. But he understood that using the official way was better than to storm in there like a mad bull. Unless the official way got him nowhere.

After a few minutes the servant returned. "The Seigner can see you, Mr. Zacharias."

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