Calponia woke up surrounded by sunflowers.
Full bursting blooms turned toward her with their sun maned faces. All of them turned toward her, actually, as if their were watching her. She sighed, sinking back into the plush mattress. They were watching her. The Edgewise was over compensating.
She could feel it hovering over her, holding its breath.
"I'm okay," she said, snuggling deep under her covers. "Thank you for the flowers."
Someone snorted to her left, by the window with the view of sunshine and summer she loved so much. "Flowers on every available surface. I had to fight for a chair, you know. Took out three vases."
Calponia rolled over, partially hiding beneath her fluffy comforter. She so wasn't ready for this conversation. Physically, she felt fine, a little stiff, but the memories kicking around in her head were another matter. If she opened her mouth to talk to Mack she worried she'd start screaming and never stop. Thankfully another emotion tamped down her fear, burning low in her gut and heating her cheeks. She sat up, woozy but stable, and clasped her hands under the blanket so her boss couldn't see them shaking.
"That wasn't fair," she said.
Mack inclined his head at her, his blue eyes full of smoke and shadows, and a steaming pile of indecipherable emotions. The beard hid his mouth for the most part but she was pretty sure he wasn't smiling at her. She would start throwing things if he smiled. "What, exactly, wasn't fair?"
Her hands clenched beneath the comforter. "Being dragged to a strange world. Told nothing about it. Not told what to expect. Not told about you." His shoulders gave the sparest flinch at that. Mack rubbed his arm, the one he'd used to siphon off the effects of the bète noir. Of course it was free of bandages, revealing smooth, albeit hairy skin. She scrunched up her face. "Don't even know what the hell your deal is. I saw you die. I stood over your body right before a bunch of alien vampires hauled me off to the eighth circle of hell."
Mack's forehead wrinkled. "Alien vampires?"
"Don't change the subject," Calponia snapped. She drew up her knees, sandwiching her hands between her thighs so she didn't do something rash like strangle her boss. She had a distinct impression it 'wouldn't take'. "You threw me into a situation with no idea what the hell was going on or what could happen."
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***Winner of the Wattys 2016 for Hidden Gems*** The Edgewise exists everywhere and nowhere. A sanctuary to all realms, should you find the door. Managed by one Macklemore Edgewise, proprietor, guardian of the between places, and barman of mystery...