“Come in,” Lord Robert’s deep voice responded after a moment of rustling.
Sarah took another deep breath and opened the door to step inside the parlor. The room was chilly despite the light that was beginning to pour in the windows. Sarah could see that clouds covered most of the sky and hoped they were on the way out. A rustle of paper brought her attention back to Lord Robert. Riffling through two books on the table before him, he frowned.
Sarah couldn’t help but frown at them as well. Studying them, she could see that they belonged to different people. The right book held neat handwriting, clearly legible, with its numbers lined up. The writing in the left book held think black lines, with its numbers jostling against each other. Sarah’s brows furrowed deeper. She had no idea why Jason’s father had called her in to see accounting ledgers. Lord Robert stopped upon a page and his finger landed heavily upon a sum next to Sarah’s name, with a note of Madame training in parenthesis.
“I do not suppose you could shed any light as to why my wife would use her Madame training allowance on you,” Lord Robert looked up at Sarah. “You have obviously not taken in any of that training, nor is my son Jason a Knight.”
“Nope,” Sarah shrugged. “Sorry.”
Robert heaved a sigh and slammed the heavy books shut. “Be nice to have a reason more than the Gods told me so,” he muttered softly to himself.
“Would you like me to get the fire going?” Sarah asked as she shivered in the chill of the room.
“No, it is a waste of wood.” He looked back up at her. “In times like these it is better to conserve everything.”
“Of course,” Sarah nodded.
Her gaze went out the window as she remembered her own father stating similar nonsense when asked if they could turn up the heat in the house. She shifted slightly in her stance and brought her focus back to Lord Robert who was studying her yet again.
“What was it you wished to see me about, si... My Lord?” Sarah managed to remember the proper form of address at the last moment.
“Sit down,” Lord Robert motioned to a seat, “and tell me why you think a common lass, and orphan, so I’ve heard, deserve to marry my son, a nobleman, and highly respected Scout Sergeant who, I have also heard lies dying in the Temple.”
“He’s not dying,” Sarah insisted.
“No he’s not,” a voice spoke from the hall and both Sarah and Lord Robert turned to see Mathew standing there, “but he’s gone and disappeared again.”
“Disappeared?” Sarah asked.
At the same time Lord Robert queried, “and have you found out why?”
Mathew stepped into the room and looked from Lord Robert to Sarah and then back to Sarah. “But you’re here,” he pointed to Sarah and then looked around the room, “and he’s not, though I could understand...” Mathew’s voice trailed off as he noticed Lord Robert’s expectant stare. “I am sorry My Lord,” Mathew bowed formally to Jason’s father. “The last time Lordling Jason disappeared I found him at Scout Sergeant Griffon’s house where she lay dying from a Nigiri assassination.”
Jay Sarah sent out a tentative query.
Yes Love? his mental voice responded back and Sarah breathed a sigh of relief.
Where are you? Mathew says you’ve disappeared again, but you’re not with me...
The Gods arranged that I could spend a day with your family, was his simple response.
“What?” Sarah’s reaction voiced itself as she stood to pace, “But that’s... that’s impossible!”
The Gods do as they see fit, Jason mentally shrugged, and we shouldn’t be talking to each other.
Sarah gave a slight smile to Lord Robert and Mathew as they looked at her curiously. Could you answer one last question and I’ll stop bothering you?
What my love?
How am I supposed to explain this to your father? Sarah desperately tried to retain her smile.
Your words are as good as mine, perhaps better.
“Right,” Sarah sighed.
Mathew took two steps to close the distance between him and Sarah. He grabbed her shoulders. “So help me if you disappear too...”
“I’m not going to disappear!” Sarah narrowed her eyes in anger at his threat. She removed Mathew’s hands from her shoulder.
“Well you got that same look in your eyes...”
“Enough!” Lord Robert bellowed as he stood and slammed his hands down on the desk. “There are obviously things that I have not been made aware of. However, this has all taken too long.” Sarah swallowed at the sight of his face, which was turning crimson. “I want everyone ready to leave for the Memorial in one hour. When we get home I expect a full explanation from Everyone.” His stormed out of the room nearly bowling over Lady Abigail. “Especially you, my wife!”
His footsteps echoed heavily on the stairs as he pounded up them. Lady Abigail shot a worried glance into the parlor where Sarah stood along with Mathew. “Oh dear,” she sighed, her hands wringing themselves as she hurried after her husband.
“I’d take the back stairs if I were you,” Sir Arthur whispered to Sarah as she left the parlor.
“You should have cooked for him,” Mathew stated sarcastically.
“Thanks,” Sarah rolled her eyes and quickly decided that the back stairs were the better idea. Lord Robert’s raging voice was quite audible. Not to mention, she could also ask Margaret to help to make sure she was properly ready.