We were still sat looking at each other when Rao awoke, he threw furtive, questionable glances in our direction and trotted out for his morning hunt, huffing and grumbling as he went. Cherry flourished around the room making breakfast and concoctions as she went. Still we sat, his hand moved to mine and he smiled a slow impish grin, golden eyes warming as I jump at his sudden movement, heartbeat pounding around the room. He gripped my hand and shocks flew up and down, little tingles like bells in the wind. He stood up hand still gripping mine and pulled me to my feet.
“Oh good. Sweeties, breakfast is ready. Dee your backpack is over in the corner if you want to change?” she looked at my bedraggled appearance and I blushed, I hadn’t changed over the past days, I’ve been too busy either passed out or about too. I sigh, feeling pathetic and declaring to become a new person as I left the room to get changed into some new clothes that will be as equally crumpled as the ones I had on. From my dusty backpack I withdrew a dress I didn’t even know I’d packed, elegant yet casual. I placed it back in carefully and took out my skinny jeans and favourite top. I really hope I don’t get anything on it, it was the last top I had and it’s my favourite colour which highlights my hair and eyes, a dark blue tinted with green like the sea.
I walked back out after I’d tamed to nest of my hair and actually brushed my teeth properly. I felt refreshed and stronger already, sticking to my pact. Raoul was back and sat in a corner munching and crunching on a rabbit, much to the disgust of Cherry. Rafe was sat at the table unkempt hair falling into his eyes, eating something that looked like sludge. I laughed at the disgust on his face as he politely shovelled down the contents of his bowl, “Come and sit down! I have some strengthening grub for you and a serum to put in your water to ensure the fever is properly gone.” She motions to a wooden seat in front of Rafe and I sit down flashing a mock worried glance at Rafe as she sets down a colourful bowl of sludge, looking slightly more appetising that Rafe’s grey one. I smile my thanks and take a tentative mouthful. Flavours swirled around my mouth, mint and rosemary, cinnamon and apple, I smile appreciatively and notice Rafe’s jealous glance as he takes one final gagging mouthful.
“Good boy Rafe,” she pats his head and takes his bowl setting a toxic green coloured tonic in front of him “Now drink this, it will help the night terrors and that broody look you always have.” She jokes and her laugh tinkles around the room. He takes a tentative sip from his drink then relaxes “Thank the Oracle, this tastes better.” He sighs in relief, I shovel down my colourful sludge as Rao comes to sit by the table, his huge wolfish head peering at the tonics and food, he turns his nose up at them. “I don’t know how you can eat that mess!” he growls in disgust. “Well then Raoul, you can try some tonic for that lovely ego that you have.” Cherry calls from another room and Rao looks sheepish and grumbles under his breath words that would get me grounded for life if my grams ever heard me say them.
With breakfast finished Cherry rounded up supplies for our journey giving herbs and tonics that should aid us along the way. I hoist my now refilled backpack onto to my shoulder as Rafe comes from a back room his eyes looking slightly colder. This makes me falter as I head over to him, stopping and turning to Rao who’d just finished grooming himself. “What is your gut feeling child, about where we are heading?” I looked at him puzzled, so I’m a child again, what did he mean by gut feeling? All I got told to do was leave to find myself. But now I have a new purpose, I realised, one that I had buried deep in the back of my mind since I was little. To find out the truth about my mother and who my father was.