Elorie took a huge breath and sighed. “All right, all right. You can go on to the porch while I make Lunch.”
IrishLass immediately went to unlock the slider.
“Hey!” Elorie snapped. “Did I say you could unlock that?”
IrishLass looked appropriately sorry. Damn my kids are too cute for their own good, Elorie thought as she pulled back the blinds and opened the door.
“Stay on the porch now,” she told them. “GiggleBoy, no going down the stairs.”
Her two year old son grinned charmingly and galloped across the porch to go up to the upper deck.
“Just stay on the porch.” Elorie went back inside to finish making their grilled cheese.
“Ea ou side,” GiggleBoy’s voice floated back to her. “Ea ou side?”
“Yes let’s eat outside,” her four year old daughter’s voice joined in.
“Okay, okay, just let me finish cooking.” Elorie sighed and stirred the soup. Thank goodness it's close to nap time, she thought. Then she could sit quietly outside with her netbook, browse Protagonize, chat with Spook, maybe even write a little.
“Hi, who are you?” IrishLass’s voice brought Elorie back into focus.
“I’m Ryan, who are you?” A little boy’s voice piped up.
“I’m IrishLass. Why are you here?”
“The Gods sent me. Why are you here?”
“I live here with my Mommy and Daddy and Brother. I’m the Sister.”
Elorie went to the slider and looked out. GiggleBoy was watching the new arrival and his sister talk. Elorie stepped out and picked up her son.
“Who are you?” she asked the little boy. She frowned slightly. There was something very familiar about him.
“I’m Ryan.” He ginned at her with as much charm as GiggleBoy, nearly disarming her wariness.
Elorie shook her head. “IrishLass go inside.”
“No buts, go inside right now.” Elorie set GiggleBoy inside as well. It took some doing especially as IrishLass and Ryan kept asking questions. “IrishLass just go. Ryan be quiet for a moment. Please!”
At last her two children were inside. As she turned around she was startled to see an young man standing at the top of the stairs. At the same time she heard giggling from inside and three voices. Somehow Ryan had gotten inside. Well he’s probably about IrishLass’s age, so he should be relatively harmless, Elorie thought. Still she stayed by the door. One ear listening to the children inside, her eyes on the stranger before her. He was oddly dressed, and yet his clothing seemed familiar to her. There is no way, she thought to herself.
The young man stepped forwards and bowed. “I am Prince Hermanos, Heir apparent of Azur, son of King...” his voice trailed off. He looked at Elorie with wide eyes. “I, I can’t remember my father’s name.”
“It’s not that you can’t remember.” Elorie sighed now absolutely certain she was crazy. “It’s that I haven’t named him yet.”
“Oh,” the boy's face frowned. Then he smiled. “Then you are Elorithryn, the one Ryan said we quested for.”
“Yes, that is one of my names,” Elorie replied. The voices inside had gone quiet. She opened the slider and stepped inside, the Prince in tow. “IrishLass, GiggleBoy, Ryan? Where’d you all go?”
A large lump under the blanket emitted some giggles. Elorie smiled. “Hermanos, why don’t you see if you can find the kids while I make up some more sandwiches?”
“But aren’t they...” he began.
“Of course, but half the fun is pretending you don’t know.” Elorie startled the Prince by giving him a hug. “Go on, have some fun. You’ve had a rough childhood. Play.”
Elorie went back into the kitchen, absolutely sure she was going crazy. Oh well, she thought as she made two more grilled cheese, it was bound to happen sooner or later. After all, she placed the sandwiches on the pan, my Verveliians converse with SpookOfNight’s Errions via MSN. Having two of my characters from the Vervellian Trilogy, Elorie flipped the sandwiches, show up on my back porch is just the next logical step.
"Right?" she whispered.