Born Immortal Chapter 9

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Gunnar took over the tour and led Astyr downstairs and back into the main part of the house. They passed through the kitchen and entered the rotunda with its stained glass dome above and the sweeping staircase circling up the wall to the second floor. The upstairs contained a game room and Gunnar's room and three extra rooms that were currently unoccupied. Part of the upstairs space was open to the billiard room below. The tour bypassed most of this and concentrated on the game room and Gunnar's room.

The game room was directly above the formal living room where Gunnar's parents were sitting with Grima and both rooms had the same generous dimensions. There were three tall French doors opening onto the rear balcony that overlooked the swimming pool and patio in the back yard. This room had one long sofa facing the wall on which was mounted an enormous flat-screen television. The console below was filled with an array of gaming consoles and the coffee table was decorated with the same flotsam as Hakon's coffee table. There was a foosball table in one corner and a small table set with a chess set in the other.

Two doors led off from the game room and one of these led to Gunnar's bedroom. It was a very large room with views of the swimming pool decorated in very expensive leather covered furniture.

Hakon and Astyr sat on the sleek two-seater sofa against the wall and Gunnar threw himself down onto the low king-sized bed.

"So this is home-sweet-home." Gunnar said, "What do you think?"

"I think this might be the biggest building I've ever been in in my entire life," she answered laughing. "How many more people live here?"

Hakon chuckled and said, "It's just us, but sometimes we have guests stay over." The way he looked at her as he said that made her wonder just what kind of guests he meant. Apparently, Astyr wasn't the only one who noticed that look because Gunnar jumped up off the bed and grabbed Astyr's hand pulling her up.

"Come on, you two," he said, "It's time we went down to dinner."

So they went back down the staircase and instead of turning back towards the living room, headed to the entryway in the front. There was an open door to the left that led to a library. The wall to the right was open and led into a large dining room with a roaring fire in the fireplace at the far end and French doors leading to the wide front porch on one wall. These were covered with luxurious taffeta curtains in a rich wine color and the walls were covered in expensive wood paneling. Opposite to the windows was a small door that led to the butler's pantry but the main focal point of the room was the enormous polished wooden table in the center of the room. There were twelve carved wood chairs around it and they were covered in gold colored silk damask fabric.

Frey, Gerda and Grima joined them and they sat down to dinner. Dinner was a casual affair and though the food was rich, the conversation was light.

Later, as Grima and Astyr were saying their goodbyes, Gunnar came up to Astyr and gave her a quick, but tight, hug. "You know, you can call me anytime you want to talk about any of this." He said letting go. Astyr smiled in thanks to him and walked to the car with Grima.

The next morning, Astyr woke early to get in a jog. She had too much to think about and the physical exertion would do her good. So as the mist was just starting to burn off, Astyr stretched her muscles and headed off down the driveway. As she reached the end where it connected with the pitted dirt road, she heard the sound of running feet. The mist was still too thick to see very far so Astyr moved back against the trunk of a tree and waited to see who was coming. Shortly after, she caught a glimpse of a large man running along the road. It was the same man she had jogged with yesterday and she almost laughed at loud in relief.

Just as he was passing the driveway, she jogged out to the road to join him. "Hi Randy." She said. "Hey Astyr," he replied. "I didn't think you'd be out this early."

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