For the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting the first three chapters of Legacy of Ghosts in tiny, blog sized nuggets, hopefully a bit a day.
If you’ve missed previous chapters, you can read them here.
This contains spoilers. If you haven’t read Shades of Gray, proceed at your own risk
“So what was that?”
“What was what?” Jorick asked innocently. “Loren has some things to do, that’s all.”
Ah. It wasn’t hard to figure out what he meant. “You’ve got him running errands?”
His surprise seemed genuine. “What?”
She blinked, confused. “Then what’s the rush to get rid of him?”
“No rush,” Jorick commented casually. “You’ve eaten?”
“Yes.” She pointed to the empty carton in her lap. “But if you’re going to get microwaveable food you really need a microwave. They cook up funny in the oven.”
“Do they?” he asked with no real interest.
It was a conversation bound for nowhere, so she just nodded her head and watched him curiously as he started searching the front room. It was too weird, so she asked, “What are you doing?”
He didn’t reply, but instead wandered off in the direction of the dining room and disappeared through the doorway.
“Thanks for answering me,” she called after him but, if he heard, he made no comment back.
With a dark look at nothing in particular, she snuggled down into the couch to sulk. Loren’s question popped to the surface of her consciousness and she puzzled over the answer. What were they, really? It seemed to be a relationship that defied a label. Boyfriend seemed a too trendy, too simple word, but lover was far too deep and passionate. They weren’t “partners” They were just… just what?
She had no answer. She wasn’t even sure how she felt about him, let alone how he felt about her. He’d invited her to stay, but he’d never said he wanted it. Maybe he was being polite, or obligated? She knew he felt responsible for dragging her into the mess with the vampires, but how far did his obligation extend?
She sighed heavily and closed her eyes. He might not say he wanted her, or even cared about her, but he did say she was beautiful. Still, that was only so many words, wasn’t it? It wasn’t as though he’d made any moves on her since… since…
She couldn’t finish the sentence. The word refused to slot itself into her thoughts, and she didn’t want it to. It had been since Claudius, hadn’t it? Since he’d hurt her. Jorick had as much as said it didn’t matter, hadn’t he? But maybe it really did. Maybe that was more of his obligatory politeness.
“I’ll ask him point blank,” she thought. But, she knew she wouldn’t because she was too afraid of the answer. And what good would it do anyway? Even if he was interested, would she be? She’d seen movies where woman went crazy after things like that; where they spazzed out suddenly and tried to claw their husband’s face off because of a mental throwback. Did people really do that? Would she do that?
The sound of Jorick’s footsteps brought her back to the living room, and she looked up to see him come through the door with an armload of black cloth. He shook it out into a long coat and gave her a smile. “It might be a little big, but I think it will do.”
Katelina stood uncertainly and took the coat. The familiar smell of Jorick wafted out of it as she slipped it on. Her first thought was that he was right; it was too big. The sleeves more than covered her hands and what was meant to be calf length fluttered around her ankles.
Jorick smiled at the effect. “It will do nicely. Go get your shoes.”
She crossed her arms over her chest, but in the too big coat the gesture was more comical than stubborn. “Why? Are we going somewhere?”
“I thought we’d go for a walk, unless you don’t want to,” he added. “If you prefer to stay here?”
“No, no,” she said quickly. “A walk sounds good.”