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SEBASTIAN - Raese Sees a Spirit-Runner

WaterRose, Meadow Mountain, Grier Country


Elsabet struggled to move but could eventually sit. An hour later she stood. Another hour and she paced.

I can feel you up there moving around. Bast’s book lowered to his lap as his eyes narrowed on the ceiling above him.

She was using magic to touch the pulsing gold flow along the walls. Now and again, glimpsing the lines crisscrossing. Resulting in flakes fragmenting and plummeting to the chamber floor.

She used her energy to cloak herself. Tossing it against the window slits, testing the barriers there.

Not that way. He smirked.

Finding them impenetrable.

Walking the room, she sent her magic lifting tapestries and moving coverings. Inspecting every corner. He felt every brush against his magic blocking all those directions.

Or any of those. Where to now? He waited.

Finding no break in the wall, no hidden doors, and no weaknesses in the magic, she turned toward the only option left.

She faced the door, head dropping forward. Fingers of energy wove from her in smoky whorls twining to the door. Seeking out the keyhole it permeated to the other side. Curling back on itself to find the locking mechanisms. Clicking through the tiny fixtures within. The door clicked and creaked open. Her footfalls barely touched the floor.

I hear you. His gaze trailed the ceiling. Following her steps.

She dropped the illusion of the makeshift gown and manifested tan breeches, a loose tunic and high boots. Clothes for an escape.

She projected her energy ahead, scouting her path. Whispering through the hall and around door frames. Evading a servant and taking the dark stairs to the lower platform where it split into dual staircases.

The outdoor smells of the bailey wafted in. The scent of freedom.

She paused atop the stairs as the spiraling tendrils of her spirit peered into the great rooms of the lower level. The Ballroom, the foyer, and eventually, the library. Weaving the aisles until finding the fireplace. Drawing near to see if it was occupied.

The chair spun, and the hovering shadow came face-to-face with her teal-eyed captor. Cocking his head, he eyed the fingers of fog passively. His red overcoat was perfectly tailored, over a white shirt. A knotted cravat wrapped his neck from an event he’d attended earlier.

The Captain’s wedding.

She froze, praying her aura was invisible to him. But the intrigued tilt of his head as he studied the filament, told her hope was futile. She drew a quick breath and her aura retracted back to her body. She fled the foyer and ripped open the door to the Bailey. Rushing across the lowering drawbridge. Wisping tunic flowing against her. Melding to her.

You really think it’d be that simple? His eyes were on her retreating back.

“That her?” Raese asked from a dark corner of the library. Green eyes flashing from the shadows. He was researching places to hide his staff were there ever a need. “I saw her at the ball. Didn’t get much of a look at her…”

Sebastian nodded, still watching the door where the filmy haze had vanished. “She apparently thought we couldn’t see that.”

“Most wouldn’t. She’s unaccustomed to our kind. It seems you’ve an unfair advantage.”

I don’t care what’s fair. Bast stared silently after her.

“Oh, you’re besotted.” Raese teased.

“You’re not one to talk.” Bast’s head snapped to him, finally hearing his friend. “That woman of yours has you quite wrapped around her little finger.”

Raese smiled proudly. “She sure does. And she’s quite aware.”


“Does that mean you’ve forgiven me for meddling?” Bast glanced over his chair at his friend.

“Quite not.” He thunked a book onto a corner table. His look turning angry. “Must you forever be?”

He has. Bast dismissed his bitter tone.

“None of our honorable brethren would ever find happiness on their own. Too duty-oriented.”

“Save you?” Raese finished.

“Save me.” Bast nodded proudly. “I consider myself above nothing.”

“I fear you may be the most muddled of all of us.” Raese shook his head.


“Meaning?” Bast quirked a blonde brow.

“You worry more than any of us. You’re consumed by duty. You’ve been beaten, tortured, left sleepless and exhausted all the time from caring for us. Ever the Great Protector.”

“Hmm…” Bast murmured thoughtfully. “Perhaps my pretty diversion will help me relax.”

Just the opposite, to be honest.

Raese laughed outright, seeing through him as he often did. He opened another book. “I quite doubt that, My Friend. You don’t appear to be relaxed just now.”

“She’s fleeing.” He gestured, voice rising, as if that explained all. He wondered if she’d crossed the drawbridge yet.

“You’ll catch her.” Raese said chastisingly.

Of course.

“Doesn’t Tev have his Demon Dogs in the stables right now?” Raese paused thoughtfully.


“He does.”

“Which you know full well.” Raese shook his head adjusting another book.

Bast still motionlessly stared at the empty doorway.

“That’s enough of a head start. No need to toy with her needlessly.” Raese assured. “Goodnight, My Friend. I’m soon headed to the Captain’s festivities. But it appears you’ve a busy evening before you. I’ll let the Captain know…” Raese put the book back.

When he glanced back at Sebastian’s chair, he found it empty.

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