A Small Gift

Timeline: April 3rd, 2008

Julia was at Ramiel’s place just outside of town, and Rey had no trouble finding her way there. Tension was thick in the air, however; the townsfolk had a feeling something was up, but no one knew what it was exactly. The Pack was conspicuously absent, though Rey knew they were all out on patrol, on high alert for the supposed coming threat.

She had a some duffels containing emergency rations, meds, clothing and other supplies that needed to be distributed at various pack fall-back points, and the first and biggest of these was of course the Cave Locus near Ramiel’s resort. And that meant she’d also find Julia there because she knew that the woman had been staying there under Ramiel’s and Lyla’s watchful eyes.

Rey stashed all but one of the duffel bags in her old room, and went in search of Julia.

Julia was in the kitchen where she had just finished munching on something. Ramiel’s eyes were practically bugging out at her and he’d spilled his beer.

Julia swallowed, licked her lips, and said, “What?”

Then Rey appeared in the doorway.

Ramiel became vexed that he had spilled his beer. “And to think what I let you do with that mouth.” He tried to shake free what he had just seen. “Rey toss me a towel will ya.”

“Sure.” Rey grabbed the towel that was on the end of the counter near her and tossed it to Ramiel. “Did you do something snaky when you ate whatever it was you ate?” she asked Julia.

Julia smiled big and gave an eye-fluttering “I’m so innocent” look in jest.

“Yeah you could call eating a rat whole something snakey. Yuck. Just when I was getting ideas of what else we could be doing too. Gross.” He cleaned up his beer and went to the fridge for another.

“Did it at least look more realistic than it did in that TV series, V?” Rey asked. She couldn’t help teasing Ramiel.

“Hey, it’s a perfectly natural thing!” Julia said a tad defensively. “Mistress Anaconda says that it’s much better to digest the whole animal, thus retaining all the nutrition and wasting nothing. Besides, I pledged to do that once a week for Mistress Anaconda in exchange for her blessings. Which, by the way, have saved my skin more than oncse — and no shedding jokes!” Despite her tone, she was smiling, enjoying the banter.

Ramiel gave in.”Well if you can swallow that whole, you must give great head now.” He looked her in the eyes. “Have you improved?”

Rey just rolled her eyes. “Ramiel, when you’re done here, I need to talk to Julia about something in private.”

He turned to face Rey, his eyes had lost their jest. “Whatever you need to say to her can be said in front of me. She is not leaving my side until this is over.”

Rey shrugged. “Fine. No skin off my nose, but you’re probably not going to like what I’m going to do.” She put the brand new, army surplus-style backpack on the counter in front of Julia. “This is for you, Julia. It’s an emergency pack, with a day’s worth of supplies. That way if things go completely down the crapper you can retreat and not be an immediate burden, or be enough to get you on your way when this is all dealt with.”

Julia looked at it all with surprise. She faced Rey and said, “Wow — this is really for me? Here I thought I’d made least popular person in town.”

Rey shrugged. “Everyone in town is getting prepared, and I see no reason why you should be without should things turn out for the worst.” She glanced at Ramiel for a moment, then turned her attention back to Julia. “I’d have given you more if I could, but I used my own money for this, and it was all I could afford.”

Julia stood there a moment while she wiped away a tear. “Thank you, Rey. No one’s been this kind to me since … since my people were killed.”

“I know what it’s like to be alone, hunted and on the run,” Rey said simply.

Ramiel stopped behind Julia and put his hand on her shoulder. It was a gesture of comfort. “No worries Rey. I can find my Julia anywhere she goes now.” He smiled.

Julia looked at Ramiel, wondering what he was talking about.

He looked deep into her eyes. “I am not giving and answer to that question my dear. But trust that I can find you no matter where you go. Kinda creepy isn’t it.” He said with a tilt of his head and a smile. Then he kissed her and returned to his seat.
Rey shook her head. “Not creepy at all.” She smiled, though she was puzzled as to Ramiel’s behavior. “Anyway, I gotta go. I have more packages to deliver.”

“Don’t I get a care package?” Ramiel asked Rey.

“You’re a big boy and can take care of yourself?” Rey said with a smile and then chuckled. “Yours is in with the rest of ours.”
“Good.” He said to her. “Why don’t you stay here until this is over?”

“Thanks,” Rey said. “I was going to ask you about that. Is my old room still available?”

“Always.” He said.”You think I wouldn’t keep a spot for you?”

“Yes, I know you would, but it’s good manners to ask, rather than just assume. Just like I’d like to be in Grey’s room,” Rey blushed slightly, “but I’m not going go barging in without his permission.”

“A good idea too. His room is pretty sacred to him.” Ramiel said as he got back up from the bar and rummaged through the fridge.

Rey nodded. “Well, I gotta go. See you guys later.” She gave a brief wave and walked out of the kitchen.

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