September 16, 2012 by Lyn
Saturday, September 13, 2003
Arundel carried Timora from the doctor’s office to his suite. She protested, once, that she could walk just fine, but she couldn’t really argue with his retort: “I like carrying you.”
Porter acted as their guard and door-opener, short-cutting them through the mess of the hallways. And when they got to the suite, he took one look at the girl sitting in the living room there – a dark-haired girl who looked put-together and self-confident in a way Timora could only hope to be – and shoved Arundel, and thus Timora, towards another door. “I’ll explain to Sylvia.”
“Thanks, man. Ah, come on in.” It seemed redundant, as he was carrying her in, but Timora didn’t mind the formality.
His room seemed very tidy, except for a stack of laundry to one side of the room and a stack of books on the other side. Still, after he set her down, he smoothed the coverlet. “Sooo, um. I didn’t expect the Doctor to help.”
“Did she?” If she whispered, her voice didn’t sound too bad. “I mean, all she said was I might consider you as a Keeper. I don’t even know – I mean -” She looked down at the quilt on his bed. “I’m making a mess of this.”
“Hey, no, you’re not. It’s just a mess already, that’s all.” He put his hand on the bed next to hers. “Nobody tells the new students anything. But you’ve figured out Keeping is a thing, right?”
“That’s why Calvin, why he kept saying I was his. Why he wanted me to say it?”
Arundel’s head bobbed up and down. “Lots of things around here, saying them makes it true. That’s one of them.”
“So if I said I was yours…”
“Yeah. Then you’d be mine.” He tilted his head at her. “I mean, I’d like that. And I really can – I mean, I think your new voice and everything are neat.”
“Really?” She peeked up at him through her hair. “Even the hooves?”
“Have you seen my feet?” He shook a shoed foot at her. “Hooves are pretty cool.”
“I guess.” She shook her hooves, wondering what she was supposed to do about having horse feet. It was sort of like being a centaur, she supposed, or a faun. “I’ve never read about belonging to someone else.”
“I haven’t, either. I bet the Librarian has a book on it, somewhere, but I’ve never seen anything.”
“I never thought about that. I just… I’ve read about fauns, you know. And people with wings.” Could she touch them? She reached out, just a bit. Was he going to pull back? Porter had let him handle his ears, but Porter had been trying to get her to be quiet.
“Go ahead. Just go downwards, okay, with the way the feathers point?” He pushed his wing against her hand. “Sylvia will know if there’s a book about Keeping here. But the short version is… hey, that feels nice.”
“Soft.” She was being very careful, but it was surprising, how soft his feathers were. “Like down.” Oh, oh, that was silly. “Oh. duh.”
He grinned at her. “The down is even softer. So uh. Keeping, Belonging?”
“Oh, I’m sorry! You were talking, and I…”
“It’s okay, it’s okay. I’m never going to say no to being petted. But I think we oughta talk about it, before… um. Before.” He flapped one hand at the door to the living room.
His friends were talking about her, weren’t they? “So, what’s it about? It sounds…”
His wings spread wide. “It’s about protection. And, um, you have to do what I say. But mostly about protection.”
Protection. Timora looked up at his wings, and the serious expression he was wearing. “Tell me more?”
This outtake was written in response to Ari’s donation and request for more Timora.
For every $5US donated, I will write 300 words on the character or situation of your choice. In addition, every donation will bring you to a small snippet of story – a new snippet every Wednesday!