Escapade 6: Not so much an escapade as a confrontation.
That didn't stop Laurel from considering him a friend. An odd friend, but a friend nonetheless.
"Where are we?" She asked. James rubbed his eyes- a bit tired- and stepped out to rouse his Dane.
"A small industrial town, I think." He sounded cross, but she knew it was mostly because yet another cryptid had slipped out of his grasp. "I need to get directions."
Laurel gave a slight smile- another odd thing about him- and gestured toward a nearby inn. "Maybe we should get some rest too." A not so subtle glance towards Roth's arm killed the debate before it started- and with the evidence of last night's longevity on both their faces, it was unlikely James had even a chance.
"I suppose..." He sat on the ground to pull off his shoes, turning them over to reveal his emergency stash of pounds. A relieved sigh elicited from both of them; to see that their captors hadn't rendered the two completely helpless was a welcome sight.
"I'll need to make some calls." Dark hands helped him up. "We can't let the m have access to your accounts."
"Somehow, I don't think it's my money that they're after," James dusted himself off, and handed Laurel what was needed for a payphone. "but do what you think is best."
Inside the inn, it was cozy- and the decorative features of the foyer were quaint- pictures of vistas with castles and rustic furniture invited the trio to come and relax. Korrigan resisted the urge- after all, her business was elsewhere- but James, after securing two rooms for the night, comfortably settled down to rest. Duchess flopped down at his feet, no doubt as tired as he.
Reaching down to rub behind her ears, James sighed. "Another one gone, Duchess. No doubt we'll have to go home." And no doubt that Laurel will go back to her own life- see as she had other friends and such. James was slightly disappointed- he had been hoping to take a detour into London after getting proof of the beast- with only enough funds to get a ride back, that hope was an impossibility.
"Now why the long face, handsome?" Roth's attention was pulled from his inward thoughts to the source of an accented voice. Auburn hair swept past blue eyes that he recognized as part of the visage of an old acquaintance- Mrs. Marge Thrace, whose name he'd uttered just this morning.
"Marge, how surprising to see you here." Extending a hand, his face widened with a fabricated grin. "I wasn't expecting your tour to mobilize to quickly."
She accepted it with a warm smile. "Alana went into labor and told us to go on without her."
"Make sure to give her my best regards, then,"
Still smiling, Marge plopped down on the couch beside him. A quick check across the foyer confirmed Korrigan's absence-if she craned her neck, Marge could see the financial assistant arguing into a phone whilst taking care of things online simultaneously. With little threat of her return, Thrace relaxed against the cushion comfortably.
"So-" The timber of her voice settled out to invite friendly conversation. "What exactly have you been up to, love?" The smile widened as Roth changed positions on the couch, sitting up straight to face her. "Haven't seen you here in the UK in quite awhile."
Roth never dropped his smile either. "Well, most of the world's fantastic creatures reside elsewhere than Great Britain, Marge. I've been almost everywhere, really."
"And nothing to show for it?" A manicured hand sidled closer to his own.
"No. However, this hobby of mine is just that: a hobby. How goes your husband?"
The hand retreated, and a smile became a bit more tight. "He's doing well. A bit disappointed with how things are going, but that may just be mid-life crisis talking."
"Hmm." James looked down to see a Duchess with wary eyes pointed at Thrace. A peek of white canines preceded a low growl as the Dane turned her head away sulkily. Thrace took no heed.
"I see Duchess is growing as healthy as ever. How old is she, might I ask?"
"You said three years last time we met, dear."
Roth turned his gaze from dog to dame, with a tinge of nervousness. "And when was the last time we met face to face?"
".....little more than a year ago."
"Ah, so she's four years then."
Thrace turned to her acquaintance with a fierce disposition, blue eyes trained intensely one green ones that tried to get away.
"When will you admit that your dog is abnormal, James?! If you would just let me take her to my team-"
He cut her off- "I'll do no such thing. When it is abnormal for dogs to chase their tails and shake hands for treats, then I might give your offer a thought. She's normal, loyal, and nothing more."
It was at this moment that the creator of all that was good and holy decided that all matters concerning Roth's accounts were solved and Korrigan was done with her work, pushing her towards the two with a heavy pit in her stomach. With both gazes focused on each other, and not on the woman stopped in front of the couch, Laurel made to interrupt the occasion with a rather annoyed "Ah-hem!"
A pair of faces looked up- one relieved, one pensive and distrustful. Laurel only paid attention to one. "I managed to close up all access to your savings, and debit card cancelled until you order new ones. With insurance, you should be able to get the latest models in smart phones, Mr. Roth." Her tone was short and clipped. "I also took the liberty of looking up flight tickets, and one scheduled to head towards Canada tomorrow seems promising." A sideways glance seemed to turn the atmosphere cold. "Mrs. Thrace. How is your husband?"
"Well, it seems as if it's time for me to go. The girls can't parade about town without me." Thrace gathered up her things and stood up stiffly, making sure to avoid eye contact with a stormy glare. "Until next time, James!" And with that, she walked away.
The air was still charged with both Duchess and Korrigan's lidded tempers, so James stood up, straightened his bloodied shirt, and handed Laurel her room key. "What time?"
"5:30 in the morning. Flight leaves from two towns over."
"Best get some sleep then. Good day, Ms. Korrigan! Come along, Duchess."
Um...Happy New Years!...heh heh. Okay, so yes it has been over a years since I published anything, but there were some weird stuff going on with my site, and then things got out of whack. But here's to trying and maybe not updating weekly, but updating consistently at least.
-The Writing Wolf