“Well,” Chitter commented dryly, “that was entertaining. And entirely unexpected. Senga, do you have any nice family?”
“No,” Erramun answered for her. “Mirabella eliminated all the members of Senga’s family that might be considered nice. Except Senga, who she chose to leave alive and actually protected.”
“Well, Senga’s not nice, she’s ruthless, sweet, and staring at me like I mean murder. Why’d her aunt leave her alive?”
“Mirabella always has her reasons but she almost never shares them. Shared.” Erramun frowned. “Someone killed her. I want to know who.”
“I do, too. And not just because they beat me to it.” Senga frowned. “I don’t know, but I feel like Eaven is too obsessed with this place. I feel like everyone is too obsessed with this place.”
“Well, move in, make it your own. That’s the first step.” Erramun gave her a gentle push.
“Hey, Bound guy, let the lady move on her own.” Chitter glared at him. “You’re not supposed to be pushy, you’re supposed to be pushed.”
“And you are supposed to be moving in and being a supportive crew member,” he retorted. “So support. The sooner the threshold recognizes her, the safer we will all be – and that includes you, little programmer.”
Senga took a step forward while they argued, and then another. Home. She got her feet moving and managed to push herself through the half-open gate and beyond it, down the long, wide driveway.
“Aren’t we bringing the moving van?” Ezer asked behind her.
“In a moment.” Erramun followed her slowly down the driveway.
The grand front garden had gone to weeds and thorns. Well, it had always been more than a little thorny. The circled drive between the two flanking wings was cracked. She muttered a Repair Working at the worst of the cracks and watched it seal up under her feet. The doors were closed, at least, and the shutters on all the windows latched.
“Clean up later?” Erramun suggested. “Let’s get in the front door and remind the house that it’s yours.” He rested a hand on her shoulder. “We’re right here.”
Allayne took the cue, as she was so good at. “We’re right here with you.” She put her hand in Senga’s left. “Come on. Do you know what parties we could throw here? How much fun we could have here? Ooh, and I bet we could set up- but that’s for later, come on.”
“I want to have a whole room for my computers,” Chitter – well, chittered. There was a reason that was her name. “A whole wing.”
“Hey,” Ezer scolded, “save some for the rest of us, eh? It’s a big place and all, but -”
“But there are two residential wings.” Senga started walking. “Not counting the servants’ wing. “And there are two and a half floors each on each of those wings. Chitter can have a floor of a wing. We can all have a floor of a wing. And then when we’re settled, we can decide what to do about the rest.”
Her hand was on the doorknob. She held her breath. She half-expected the house to reject her, the threshold to bar her entrance.
Erramun had gotten in, and by the rules of the fae, he was her. “I’m home,” she murmured softly. She opened the door and stepped very carefully inside.