This is as far as I’m getting tonight. IT’s more of a transition than a story.
The Thorn Vessel. The Wooden Death. The Hawthorne Cup.
The boy wearing his former Keeper’s collar stood like he was the thing blocking the doorway, like it was him and not the Sanctity of the home keeping Pellinore out. “Are you here for me?”
That was an uncomfortable question. Pellinore decided, against his better nature, to go for the honest answer. “I wasn’t. I can be if you want, though.”
“You can’t rescue me.”
“I can’t. Not without an army. Do you want me to go get an army?”
He rolled his shoulders. “It’s not… bad.” The boy shook his head. “So you’re not here for me. You’re here for her?”
“I need to ask her a favor.”
“Hunh. I’ll go get her then. Stay here.”
Pellinore waited. It was strange, as it was every time. This hadn’t been where she Kept him. This place had never been his home. And yet…
“Pellinore. It’s been a long time. If you mean me and mine no harm, come on in.”
He paused in the doorway. “It’s not that I mean you harm, quite. It’s that I need to ask you something…”
“And that something might lead to harm. Accepted and come in. What do you need me to find, Pellinore?”
“That’s why people come to visit me.” Her living room had gotten bigger since the last time she visited. Her furniture was still spotless. “So?”
Her Kept was hovering in the doorway. That had always made it uncomfortable. He started talking anyway. He hadn’t come all this way to sit squirming like a kid again.
“So. I heard a rumor.”
“Not just one. Not just a rumor. But lots of them. Over years. I waited. I wanted to be sure. I got all the information I could before I came to you.”
He pulled his notes out of his coat pocket. Piles and piles of notes. “The Hawthorne Cup.”
“That sounds vicious.”
“More than that. It’s deadly. But it’s supposed to have more that the poison. It’s the Grail, Cya. It’s the fae Grail.”
“And, of course, you have to find it. Remind me to punch your father.”
“Remember to punch my father.” He and JohnWayne said it at the same time.
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