Blizzard

The blizzard rolled in to town a couple of days ago, so everything got put on hold. I’ll be frank, I did not enjoy the boredom of being stuck inside the house for the last couple of days. Especially not with a house full of people and the emotions that were flowing through the house.

The good news is that with all the people in the house, it decided to open up more rooms Thursday night. As it stands now, instead of my small two bedroom cottage, I have five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a new office in the fully converted attic with its own widow’s walk, a full library (with books, don’t ask me how that happened, I don’t know), and a much bigger kitchen with attached dining room. All of this is now packed in to four floors.

All of this has made me re-think the idea of having someone come in and clean the whole place, top to bottom, at least once every two weeks. That’s a lot of room for me. Well, I guess it’s not just me now. Mark has agreed to move in for a while, just until he’s gotten his feet back under him after last weekend. I’m a little afraid of him being alone right now. He loved Max so much and they were so happy together.

He spends most of his days up in his new rooms, writing in that journal of his. I’m giving him his space for now. He goes back to work on Monday though. I can’t imagine what that’s going to be like for him. He’s a CPA and his office faced Max’s, who was a real estate attorney on the same floor. I have a feeling he’s going to take Gibbs with him for support. I can’t imagine anyone is going to tell me he can’t have his puppy with him.

The Sheriff came and took Mark to identify Max’s body at the morgue now that the blizzard is over and the roads have cleared. He came back looking pretty destroyed. The part of me that was never really around relatives when something like this happens means that I don’t know how to really handle it when it happens to family I do care about. Normally I was the family member that was notified the night before the funeral and wasn’t really expected to show up. Anyway, Mark went straight up to his rooms after grabbing a bottle from my cabinet and I didn’t bother to stop him. The last week has shown me just how unprepared I would be if Ben or Miles ever died. I think that’s why I want Mark close by for now.

Ben showed up shortly before dark with the dogs in tow. They were all covered in snow which meant that Ben had outside appointments. After clean up and filling Ben in on what happened, he managed to coax Mark out of his rooms to watch the football games in the living room. I went up to my office until Ben came up to tell me that Mark had gone to bed early. We went out to dinner instead of staying home. Don’t worry, we made sure to bring home food for Mark. Grandmama Murphy wouldn’t have let us forget him. Though, she did send home enough to feed an army. I’m pretty sure that woman knows more than she’s letting on about things. Even after we filled her in on Mark, she just nodded and advised us to keep doing what we’ve been doing for now. She also reminded us not to over crowd him. Which won’t be a problem. Ben and I have been trying our best not to try to force him to spend time with us.

After bidding Grandmama Murphy goodbye, Ben and I went home. We separated in my driveway, him to his house and me to mine. It’s been six months since I moved to Blueville. I’m still finding this town weird. Why? Because when I turned back to wave to Ben, I caught sight of George who was flying over head. I still have her egg in my fireplace, which did not make me feel comfortable with her flying so close over head. Ben keeps assuring me that she gave the egg freely as a gift and that there are no repercussions from accepting the egg and keeping it safe in the fireplace.

I’m not entirely convinced though and I don’t think that I’m going to sleep very well tonight.

-Marlowe

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It’s Over

Ben came in with the news tonight as I was sitting on the kitchen table, trying to avoid the puppy-vs-dog play battle that was going on underneath said table. He got one look at me and laughed.

The rat.

It’s his fault I have two dogs and a dragon egg in my fireplace. He separated the two combatants, dumping Gibbs in Mark’s lap as he was watching some movie on the TV. Winston immediately sighed and went off to find a place to nap.

“You know, it’s not good for him to play so much that you’ve retreated to the top of the kitchen table.”

“I’m up here because they’ve spilled my beer four times and I’m trying to balance my books for the shop.”

Ben leaned in and stole a kiss before I remembered that I was mad at him for the puppy.

“Gibbs ate your tie, by the way. The red one that we used on Friday night.” I said as I watched him take off his coat.

Ben groaned and I got a little satisfaction from the noise. After all, it was his favorite tie.

“How much did he eat?”

“Enough to have me feeding him pumpkin.”

Ben dropped his head to the door frame he was standing in and tapped it lightly over and over again. I couldn’t help it, I laughed. That made him scowl at me.

“You find this funny do you?”

“I find this about as funny as you do. Especially since he ate my only good pair of white heels yesterday night, while we were all asleep.” I put the laptop I was working on down and tugged Ben over to me by his blue tie. “Looks like I’ll have to go buy another pair. Wanna go shopping with me when all this mess dies down?”

Ben leaned and kissed me, before murmuring in my ear, “only if you wear the skirt.”

“I think I can do that.”

“Oh please, why don’t the two of you just get a room already?” Miles said as he walked in to the room. Mark followed.

“They do, we’re invading it.” Mark said.

Miles rolled his eyes. “You’re not helping.”

Mark just shrugged.

“What are you doing here, Miles?”

“The word around town is that Ben here saw the finale to the ritual as he was checking on George.”

“Who’s George?” I asked.

“The dragon behind camp ground. The locals named him George last year.” Ben said as he tugged me off the kitchen table and plopped us both into one of the chairs.

“Oh. I thought it was a she?”

“She is a she. Her name is George.” Mark said, sitting at the table.

“Anyway, yes I did see the end. They were leaving as the worst of the storm hit. The Priestess looked a little worse for wear and the Sheriff had all available ambulances there for the survivors.”

“Max?” “Mark asked quietly.

Ben shook his head. “I didn’t see him walk out, but the Sheriff said he’d be calling the survivor’s families as soon as they’d been checked out.”

“Do we know who did this yet?” Miles asked.

Apparently his little network was failing him.

“Not that the Sheriff is saying.” Ben said.

Before I could ask a question, Marks phone rang from where it was on the side table. I watched Mark lunge for it and held my breath as he answered. He walked to the windows at the front of the living room. We could barely hear anything from the kitchen. I reached for Ben’s hand and gripped it tight as we waited. When Miles reached for my other hand, I gladly obliged and gripped his hand tightly.

Mark finally hung the phone up and turned back to us. His eyes were filled with tears and grief and my heart shattered for him. I was so hoping that he would survive this and come home. I pushed myself out of Ben’s lap and walked over to Mark, wrapping him tightly in a hug.

“He’s gone.” Mark whispered.

I couldn’t say anything, I just held on as he started crying. I started to cry too and when I looked over, I saw that Ben and Miles were both crying as well. We’d lost a friend, but that was nothing compared to what Mark had lost and there’s nothing that we could have said or done to make it better.

“You’ll stay here.” I murmured to Mark. “Stay here until you’re ready to go back home.”

Mark nodded and kissed my temple.

It’s funny, friends can mean more than family when they care for you like family.

-Marlowe.