"Jayred! How are you?!"
"Conan! It's been so long! Come in, please."
I slide to a halt at the top of the stairs and over the rail at the five lean figures standing with Jay. As one, they all stiffen and glance up at me. I wave disarmingly and trot down to Jay's side.
He wrapped his arm around my shoulders, grinning proudly.
“This is, to all intent, my daughter Tala.”
“Greetings Tala. I am Conan and this is my wife Eva, my brother and his companion, Lucan and Vivien, and my son Alaric.”
Conan was tall, towering over the others, with dark hair and eyes and I could smell toffee on his skin. Eva was slender and had short blonde hair, blue eyes and smelt of lilies. I could tell that Conan adored her from the gentle way he rested his hand on her shoulder. Lucan and Vivien were of similar colouring and looked kind, the smell of fresh mown grass enveloping them.
I turned to look at Alaric.
His hair was pitch black, like mine and his eyes shone silvery purple-blue. His body was toned and slender under his dark clothes and I could smell cinnamon and spearmint. His broad jaw was dusted with light stubble and he grinned as our eyes met, showing his glinting teeth.
I grinned back lazily, nodding to them all in greeting. Jay squeezes my arm gently and says,
“Tala, why don't you help Alaric take the bags upstairs? I've set up the guest rooms.”
Jay quickly waves the others into the sitting room, leaving me and Alaric alone in the hall. I sigh and rub my eyes tiredly, making Alaric laugh lightly.
“Tell me about it.”
We laugh quietly together. I gesture upstairs,
“Come on, I'll show you your rooms.”
“Lead on. Oh and Tala?”
“Pleased to meet you.”