12. Research

867 47 9

A/N: Unedited and a long time coming. I hope you enjoy:)

*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*

Food all but inhaled and lips licked clean, Adam happily jumped to his feet and ran out of the room towards the heavy boxes. Books were his escape, his heaven and happiness all rolled into a leather bound shell and full of papery slides along his fingers. He missed this more than most sensations he'd been robbed of, to feel the textures of grainy leaf after leaf. The presses of letters, punched in by machinery or pen, there. Concrete.

Adam had always been a tactile person around his brother. If nervous, he fidgeted or brushed his fingers against a wall, any rough surface to ground himself. Adam had been robbed of that luxury and forced to rely on his whole body to soak up touches.

A white body of fur nudged up against his back before the cat slinked off into the halls beyond the archways. Adam whined as it disappeared from view, frowning at the scent left behind.

Vitesh bumped his shoulder against the wolf's and smiled as he rolled up his sleeves past his elbows. 'There are at least five bookcases down there for all these so let's make it easy on our backs,' He winked before waving his hand in a flat, sweeping motion. Smoke poured from his fingers and trailed after the fingers before shooting down and sliding underneath the seven boxes waiting to be moved. A soft jerk of Vitesh's fingers and they rose at a leisurely pace to float through the open doorway and further ahead. 'After you.'

Adam almost ran after the books and had to be held back a few times before his clumsy gait sent him careening down the staircase. Vitesh laughed behind him and nudged the wolf forward when the stone levelled out along a widening corridor. "These were my grandfather's favourite hideaways. He always said he wanted my father to take over the space but Papa got melancholic about it. The lab and study beyond are spaces protected by ancient family magic so I can rest assured you'll be protected down here as you study to your heart's content," The Jinni confided. "There is a cot and other large sofas in case you wish to rest or recline but other than that, these are virtually inaccessible to those that the head of the family does not allow to know. Not even Beth knows of the exact whereabouts but that is because she never had any interest in studying."

'This is too much!' Adam gasped, peering around the first doorway and gifted with the beautiful sight of a laboratory that would make even the most devout scientist drool. The equipment had faded wooden surfaces and smooth metal patches, still useful and even more reliable than many of the new utensils that Vitesh must have purchased to take up residence on gleaming stone table tops. 'Are you sure I can use this?'

"My first courting gift," Vitesh teased with a hint of complete seriousness in his eyes. "You want to study, to read and be that little genius I know you are. This will help. There is also a portal for field work that my grandfather used often. I disabled that for now until you ask for it to be opened, if you wish for it. Otherwise, there is a service hall that opens through in the study and will lead you directly to my office if you wish to speak to me. Or you could just ring this button."

The button by the door couldn't keep the wolf's attention for long. Adam stumbled around, eyes wide and fingers twitching with the desire to touch the surfaces and peer into cupboards. 'There are fresh ingredients!' Adam realised as he sniffed, nose turned to the preservation charms all over the huge cupboards against the far wall.

'I had to ask Naina for a general list of healing herbs and the like, but she gave me more ideas for you. I thought you might like them but if you wish to gather your own, we have gardens of the stuff,' Vitesh grinned.

Hands On The WheelRead this story for FREE!