The Morning After. (a story from Tavnoc)

Deva pulled her feet under her as she snuggled down into one of the comfy over-sized armchairs in the foyer of the Hotel Bathory. She smiled up at the concierge and cradled the large, steaming cup of black coffee, savouring the moment its vapours reached through her nose and into her brain, waking it and sparking her thoughts.

She let her mind wander over the events at the Birthday Party for Adaira. Even as she shifted in the armchair, she could feel the cushioned comfort of her sheathed daggers as they nestled into the back of her clothing. She didn’t have to remove either from their hiding place to be able to picture them clearly.

They were both curved and smooth as they met the worked and bejewelled hilt. She could recall Adaira’s face as she had supplied one to cut the cake with. They were old, far older even than Deva’s ancestor who had originally bought them. The family story went that they had been brought back to England after the Crusades of the 1300s. They had then simply been passed from generation to generation until the events after the Great War in 1914 caused Sir Henry to alter them slightly.

As Adaira had held them to the light in the bar, the engraved blade was beautiful, with ribbons of silver plate applied to improve the beauty of the dagger. It was no mere weapon for a back-street mugging, this was something special, something which had been altered over time to offer protection, yet prove its deadly use.

Deva’s thoughts of Adaira had been changed slightly as the young woman had placed her fingers directly onto the uncovered blade. The smile had remained on Deva’s face, but her brow had quirked slightly as there was no sign of even a mild irritation at contact with the metals used on the blade.

As she reflected the morning after, she was minded to ask Abby’s advice on this. Perhaps she could remove one name from her mental list, or perhaps she was dealing with something more clever than those which her family had come into contact with over the years.

She drained her coffee and placed it back onto the table and drew her letter set from her bag and her pen. It was time she sent another letter home, to let them know that she was still alive and also to test their memory of the codes their family still used at times like this.



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