On the Doorstep of a Friend

A few days after Ramiel gets back to Eldon Well, he will hear an acoustic guitar playing out on his front porch.

Upon hearing the music, Ramiel walked out on to the porch wearing nothing but a pair of faded jeans and see who is playing.

As he steps out the door, he sees the familar long blond hair pulled back in a pony tail of Sholto. Even hearing the door open, Sholto continues to keep playing.

“Do you know ‘Wayward Son’?” Ramiel asked as he leaned against the railing.

Sholto didn’t say anything, he just went into playing ‘Wayward Son’. Without turning his head he said, “Does this sound right?”

Ramiel closed his eyes. “Yeah, that sounds right.”

“As you wish, my Master,” Sholto said.

“What the HELL?” Ramiel stood up straight. “What are you doing here? And what is with that comment?!!”

“Relax, I’m just giving you shit,” Sholto said. “And as for me being here, well I thought I should get out and see what Eldon Well was like. I never really left the safety of the Court Hollow. I was asked/commanded to help your group by my queen, so that I didn’t lose touch with humanity. I found some people that I could possibly become friends with (that aren’t other Changelings), so I came here to see where you lived.”

“Ramiel narrowed his eyes. “I may still have a few days left on this servitude shit, but I don’t need a babysitter. How the hell did you know where I lived anyway?” Ramiel was being obviously cautious now.

“It wasn’t very hard, this is a small town,” Sholto said. “Cassandra told me that your group was from this town, and I asked someone who lived here where your house was, not very hard.” Sholto put away his guitar, slung it over his shoulder and looked like he was about to walk away. When he said, “Besides I’m not a babysitter.” And as he turned away and started to walk away, he said something under his breath that Ramiel couldn’t quite make out.

“What was that?” Ramiel asked as he caught up with Sholto. “I would prefer you say it to my face.”

Sholto looked up into Ramiel’s eyes, as he said, “If you must know. What I said was that, ‘I also came to try and get over my fear, but that you wouldn’t understand.’ Does that satisfy your curiousity?”

“So you came here to hang around me to see if you can get over being afraid of me?” Ramiel wanted to laugh at that but he knew he was serious. “OK. You have to understand my reaction. It just feels like you are here to spy on me or something.”

“Trust me when I say this, I am no good at spying on people,” Sholto said with a small smile. “I am better at seducing or persauding people, not spying on them.”

“Maybe, but I know you report to your queen so forgive me if I have my doubts. After the way your kind reacted to me it is a natural assumption on my part that you would want to keep an eye on me, or worse.” Ramiel sighed. “Suppose that is for time to tell anyway. You want something to eat or drink?”

“Yes, that would be wonderful,” Sholto said with a friendly smile.

Ramiel led Sholto through the old resort that had been converted into a home. Once in the kitchen he went about making a couple sandwiches. An Amber Bach slid across the counter to Sholto, followed by a plate of chips and a steak sandwich.

“So tell me Sholto, what do you think you saw in Lyla and myself? What do you think we are?” he asked as he took a drink from his own beer.

Sholto took a big bite out of the offered sandwich, then had a drink of his beer to wash it down.

Sholto was quiet a moment before he answered Ramiel. “What I saw in the both of you, while we were in the Hedge, was my worst fears coming to get me. When you both were in the Hedge you looked like one of them, one of the Gentry, Keepers, or True Fae, whatever you want to call them. They are the ones who kidnap, or have others kidnap, for their own desires. To do with us as they will, changing us to look like whatever they wish, just for their own amusement.”

A cold shiver ran down Sholto’s spine, as he thought about his past, and the recent trips into the Hedge with Ramiel and Lyla.

As Sholto collected himself, he said, “As for what both of you are, I don’t truly know. You seem to be something different than them, but somehow the same. If you want I can try and help you find out, if you are willing.”

Ramiel smiled as he raised the bottle to his lips. “I just might be.” Moving slowly he leaned against the counter across from Sholto. “I planned on looking into the matter myself, and honestly having you around will help me with that. I only ask that you are honest with me Sholto.”

“I will do my best, and will be honest with whatever I found out,” Sholto said. “When and where were you planning on starting this task you have set out for yourself?” Sholto asked.

“I don’t know yet, but I am open to suggestions.”

Sholto was thoughtful for a moment, then said, “Well what do you know so far? Maybe if you tell me what you know, it will help me to figure out where to start.”

Sholto then took another bite of food, followed by washing it down with a drink of beer.

“I know that when Lyla and I went into that hedge thing we looked different to everyone but us. I also know that we are not human, at least not entirely and up until now I simply though we were of demon birth. Honestly I still believe that the most. I know nothing of your world, or it’s ways,” Ramiel said.

“Well there are a lot of different things about the ‘world’ that I come from,” Sholto said. “Is there some specific aspect of the world that I come from that you would wish to work at knowing first?”

“It’s going to take a lot more beer to get through all my questions. Why don’t we make ourselves more comfortable.” With that he took out two more six packs and headed to the couch.

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