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The Black and White Angel By Lady Lilium Characters: 5135

Updated: 2018-07-14 12:06

'It's alright' the man bowed. 'No harm done.'

He replaced his top hat and continued on his way.

Henna faced ahead again, slipping a gloved hand into her own pocket and placing there the thing she had stolen from him.

'Are we nearly there?' she asked Night.

'Yes' Night replied sombrely as they walked on. 'We are nearly there.'

A few moments later and they reached the end of the street. They paused again, waiting for a horse and carriage to pass them, before crossing the road and entering the shop on the other side, listening to the clip clop of the horse's hooves as it trotted away.

The little silver bell above the door tinkled as they entered the shop, and again as they closed the door. The shopkeeper, a small balding man with glasses, looked up upon hearing the bell.

'Good afternoon' he spoke seriously. 'How may I help you?'

Night left Henna's side, drifting about the shop and looking around him. Henna glanced at him briefly, before addressing the shopkeeper.

'Good afternoon' she said in return. 'My husband and I are entertaining a very important guest tomorrow night. It is imperative that we make a good impression. We seek a favour from her.'

'I see' the shopkeeper replied moving around the counter. 'I certainly can be of some use there. What sort of things were you looking for?'

'Glasses' Henna replied. 'Fine cut wine glasses. And silver cutlery. We lost our own in the process of moving to this town. But we have a fabulous house. It is fine, but modest.'

'I understand' the shopkeeper nodded. 'Right this way.'

He led Henna to the corner of the store, were Night was already waiting.

'These are our glasses. They are just examples; we have more in the storeroom, as many as you want.'

'We only want a few' Henna replied. 'And the silvers?'

'By that wall' the shopkeeper indicated, beneath a painting of a red sky, where men were fishing at a harbour. 'Is there anything else you need?'

'Thank you. No' Henna replied. 'My husband and I will look around for a moment.'

The shopkeeper nodded again, he retreated, and resumed his spot behind the counter, reading the paper before him.

Henna turned to the man beside her. 'Well?' she asked. 'What do you think?'

Night glanced at her.

'This one' he said indicating.

Henna looked to the glass he pointed out.

'And the silvers?' she prompted.

'The ones on the bottom' Night said turning.

Henna smiled, looking back to the shopkeeper. 'We've decided.'

'How many do you need?' the man asked.

'Six' Henna replied. 'Five f

or ourselves. One for our guest.'

'Just one guest?' the shopkeeper inquired, jotting the numbers down in his book.

'Yes' Henna beamed at the shopkeeper. 'She is a very important guest.'

'I see.' The shopkeeper glanced back down to his book. 'And are you buying or renting?'

'Just renting' Henna replied. 'We won't be staying in town for very long.'

'Going on a holiday, ' the shopkeeper asked, 'to somewhere nice?'

'No' Henna shook her head. 'It's not a holiday, and we don't know where we will be going.'

Night carried the box through the streets, and back towards the home in which they lived in now.

'I feel hopeful about this' Henna was saying. 'Nevertheless, we have to play this carefully. There is still so much that can go wrong.'

Night nodded in silent agreement.

They reached their home which was built with its front door directly onto the streets, the only small divide being a narrow set of stairs to the door.

Night allowed Henna to go first. She opened the door for him, and he entered the building after her.

'At last. You're finally back.'

Henna lifted her eyes to the figure that had spoken. He hung off the balustrade, standing halfway up the stairs. He had short shaggy white-blonde hair, with three long plates on one side. His skin was tanned and his eyes a misty blue.

'Lael' Henna said. 'Shouldn't you be preparing?'

'Henna, there you are.'

Another figure entered the room as Night went away to unpack the box of cutlery and glasses they had rented for the important meal the next day.

'Neo, there you are.' Henna regarded him. 'Is everything ready?'

'We've readied everything we can for now' he said. 'Igni is in the kitchen at the moment.'

Henna watched Neo closely. He was much older than her, a wise looking figure with a strong build and blonde hair swept back.

'I'll go speak to Igni' Henna said. 'He would want to know that we are back.'

She moved across the small entrance room, her short heels clicking on the dark wooden floor. Through a narrow passage she found the kitchen, pushing the door inwards, she saw the mess that was the kitchen. Igni was busy cooking, pots and pans and knives and dirty dishes were scattered about the place, so clustered that Henna had to step over some things to reach him.

'Excellent' Igni was mumbling to himself, staring through the glass door of the oven. 'It just needs slow cook overnight……and then marinate it…oh' he said straightening suddenly as he noticed Henna. 'You've returned' he said turning to face her. 'Excellent.'

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