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HeartThief - Diva's Scene

The starburst page caught Ailim just as she crossed the moat and slipped into the pine grove on her way to meet Ruis.

The page exploded above her in a shower of sparks. "Attention all FirstFamilies Lords and Ladies. Emergency meeting. Teleport to T'Holly gates immediately." Then it repeated itself.

Ailim sucked in a startled breath. The holo spun rapidly, lighting the trees and casting odd, grotesque shadows. She shivered at the summons and pulled her cloak around herself for protection and comfort.

"--T'Holly gates immediately. Confirm or refuse. Now."

"Ailim D'SilverFir," she said to the globe, straightening to her full height. "GrandLady D'SilverFir confirms."

"Acknowledged." The starburst winked out.

Ailim rubbed her temples, trying to think. She had perhaps two minutes before she was expected at T'Holly gates. She liked the Hollys, was willing to help them in whatever they needed. Besides, they could be a powerful ally in her problems with the FirstFamilies Council. Not only her curiosity was piqued, but her innate honor, her sympathetic heart was touched. She had to go.

But she was supposed to meet Ruis at the Summer Pavilion in Landing Park. She couldn't mentally call the man. She couldn't send Primrose. The pup was too easily distracted, too precious and too vulnerable to send on such an errand.

"Samba!" Ailim cried with all her mental strength. "Samba!" "Samba!"

No answer.

Ailim hurried to her gates and let herself out. Easier to teleport to T'Holly Residence from here, beyond her own estate's heavy security spell. She inhaled deeply and closed her eyes to focus her memory on the proper coordinates.

"Meeeww." It was a small, very delicate, sound.

Ailim opened her eyes to see a small, very delicate cat sitting in front of her. White, with a brown mask around blue eyes, she seemed to glow.

"You're stunning." The words came from Ailim's mouth before she thought.

I know.

"You're a Fam."

Yes. I am Drina, daughter of Zanth, T'Ash's Fam. I am Samba's sister.

Samba's sister. Ailim stared, judging the cat. Then nearly laughed at herself. What situations she got herself embroiled in. Never in her life would she have thought she'd be wondering whether to trust a cat.

Little brown ears perked forward. Would you like Me to take a message to Samba?

"Can you?"

Drina lifted a forepaw and gave it a dainty lick, then replaced it in front of her. Of course.

"Very well. Tell Samba to inform Ruis that I will be delayed." She looked into the sky and saw the twinmoons had just risen above each horizon. "I'll meet him when the moons are high, midnight."

I hear. My price is cocoa pastry horn. For Myself only. You gave some to D'Ash a while back. I had to share. I do not like to share.

Now Ailim did laugh. She trusted a cat she paid. "Done," she said.

I go. Drina vanished.

Ailim pushed all thoughts of Ruis aside, just as she did when she was working. She shut her eyes, visualized the location of T'Holly Residence and 'ported there.


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