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   Chapter 47 Keeper of the Crossroads

Keeper of the Crossroads By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 10870

Updated: 2018-03-13 11:14

Chapter 47

Del settled himself in one of the chairs by the fire and closed his eyes. In Jamie's opinion, he looked less like he was planning to sleep and more like he was hyper-focusing and found his eyes a distraction. Every line in his body was tense and he seemed to be almost carved from stone. After a few minutes of study, Jamie reminded himself that staring wasn't exactly helping matters and began to scan the library shelves for books that looked like they might contain information on human magic.

'I wonder if there will be silver stars and pointy hats in the margins, ' he thought with a smile as he searched. Somehow he couldn't see Albe wearing a pointy hat and velvet robe while waving a magic wand. He finished searching the shelves in the study. While many interesting books begged to be taken down and studied, none of them appeared to be magic.

Del hadn't so much as twitched when Jamie's search was complete. Realizing that the library was just as secure as the study, and with the connecting pocket doors wide open it wasn't very far from Del, Jamie continued his search. He scanned the lowest shelves of the library first, realizing he would need to climb up and down on the small step ladder to reach the higher shelves.

As there were more books here, his search took much longer, but yielded the same results. By the time he had finished, Jamie noticed the light in the hallway had changed. He climbed down from the step ladder and walked over to the doorway, risking a cautious peek. Sunlight was beginning to warm the edges of the window at the end of the corridor. Jamie returned to the study.

'I wonder if the Keeper of any crossroads actually gets to sleep through the night on a regular basis?' he thought as he moved. Jamie settled himself behind the desk and once again picked up the book that spoke of the development and maintenance of the crossroads.

'Apparently communication between Keepers is allowed, but it is rare for Keepers to stray too far from their homes, ' Jamie thought sometime later, rubbing his tired eyes and leaning back in his chair. 'I wonder if Albe had a way to do that.' Jamie was startled from his thoughts by a knocking on the front door. Del leapt to his feet, cleaver clutched in his hand.

"Did they break through? House didn't say anything, " Jamie said.

"I didn't think so, " Del said. "At least I didn't feel the perimeter break."

"House, " Jamie said quickly. "Who is at the front door?"

"It is the High Talbot, Keeper."

"The High Talbot, " Jamie said. He looked at the small clock placed discretely in the corner.

"And apparently right on time too." Del muttered and raced out of the door, no doubt to escort the High Talbot into the parlor. Even thought Jamie had never heard the language Del had used under his breath, he had the feeling the speech was filled with obscenities. Jamie ran a hand through his hair, trying to settle it. He retrieved his shoes from under the desk and quickly laced them on. Jamie headed downstairs and passed Del in the corridor. He was still muttering to himself.

"Good morning High Talbot, " Jamie said, entering the receiving parlor. "My apologies for the delay, we have had a rather interesting night a

lessen after his decision had been finalized, it might take a little while for the word to be passed among the many conspirators that seemed to be waiting in the wings. Waiting until after the Lune Merdos would help ensure that he did not actually join Albe in the cemetery.

"Funeral." The High Talbot repeated. "Charming custom, very human of course."

Jamie smiled in acknowledgment. "I realize this is more of a human rite, but should you know of anyone you feel might wish to attend, please let them know that they are welcome."

"I will do so, Keeper James." The High Talbot stood with Jamie following suit. They walked towards the front door. "I will have the papers with the permits you requested sent over so that they will be waiting for you after your time of ... burial... is complete."

Somehow Del managed to reach the door before either of them and whisked it open in time for the High Talbot's exit. The High Talbot took his coat and hat from the brownie and stepped onto the porch as he settled his overcoat around his shoulders.

"I must say I am pleased by your speedy and tidy resolution to this Lune Merdos business, " The High Talbot said in a voice designed to carry. "I look forward to working with you for many a year to come." With that he turned and walked away. Del shut the door. He seemed relieved.

"Well, there's that done." Del said. "Those that was lurking have now heard directly, in case they weren't attached to the High Court." He snorted but the amusement was tinged with relief. "And with the High Talbot fairly giving you his blessing, well that should cut down on a lot of the potential assassination attempts."

"Always good to hear, " Jamie said with a smile. He looked towards the closed front door. As though guessing what Jamie was thinking, Del shook his head.

"Best have a good breakfast first. Then you can go look at what remains after the House's perimeter has done its job." Realizing he might not be hungry after the inspection, Jamie followed Del back to the kitchen.

'At least if I have to see a bunch of dead bodies, I'll have something in my stomach that I can throw up, ' he thought.

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