They were not running a safe house.
Baram was firm on that. They were running, if anything, a refuge for children, a place for those that had no parents anymore or couldn’t find them.
They were not running a safe house for every wandering fae. He protected his vassals, but that was what he did. Those people, his people. Not everyone who came by.
And many came by. The skinny one and the small one hadn’t stayed. For them, Baram had offered, but their memories of the monster he had been – had been known as – were too strong, and they could not bear to stay.
The others came in many flavors. They all saw the tall walls, the thorny plants, the happy children playing. Some wanted to own; some just wanted to shelter. Some wanted both; some just wanted the warmth of companionship.
“We are not running a safe house.” Baram looked at the latest of them. She was short, her skin tan and her hair black, and she was looking up at him with no fear at all. No fear of him; when she glanced over her shoulder, she was clearly worried.
“Boss.” Viatrix stepped up to one side of him. “Boss, there’s something on the horizon.” She looked at the girl on the step. “You’re a Thirteenth, aren’t you?”
“And you’re The Life.” The girl bowed; now she looked scared of what was in front of her. That was a new one. “I didn’t know you were here.”
Via grinned. Baram liked that grin; it was her hunting smile. “Maybe you’d better let her in, boss?”
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