They’d had their first night with members of what Tom the cook had taken to calling “the front of house team”. Einar ate like, well, a giant and his height made the high ceilings of the refit essential. Vasa, whose apparent wardrobe consisted of skin tight leather and spring-coloured yukatas, had checked with Amanda that her evening meditation incense wouldn’t set off the fire alarm then scented the hall outside her room with the memories of lavender and moonbeams. Calhoun, Mannix and Hladvic were all early morning gym users. Cheryl had become convinced that Gavin was the phantom snorer.
Brise arrived with the morning papers gathered in her arms, apologising for the early hour, hoping for coffee and asking to use the bathroom. It took Amanda a few moments to realise that she wasn’t wearing a heavy coat but had wings feathered in almost the same colour as her short, yellow-white hair. She devoured almost as much breakfast as Einar.
Bolt arrived later with the indefinable air of a man who’d slept in a good hotel, breakfasted well and been dropped within walking distance by a taxi. The latter was probably because he was seemed to be carrying everything he owned; whether in the duffle bag in his right hand, the suit bag held over his left shoulder, the long case slung across his back or in a pocket. The tall, Eurasian man with African lips was compact, organised and competent. He quietly approved his quarters, stowed his possessions and then came downstairs.
It was Kaye who asked him what she had asked Calhoun the day before, “Do you know what we’re doing here?”
“I don’t know what we are doing here, specifically,” Bolt had a slow, careful voice, “but I may have an inkling of what the elf is doing.” That got the attention of everyone in earshot.
“Oh?” Kaye was encouraging, hopeful of learning something useful.
“This city is almost directly opposite the Summer Isle, if you go through the centre of the Earth.” Bolt said it matter-of-factly, but there were only two people to whom it seemed to mean anything.
“You think he’s setting himself up in opposition to the Lord of the Summer Isle?” That was Einar, suddenly incredibly serious.
“Excuse me,” Brise was almost flippant in her interjection, “only a quarter-harpy here, but he can’t do that can he? Accords of the Blessed Isles and everything?”
“Unless,” Calhoun spoke up, proving he had an excellent poker face, “his Lordship isn’t keeping up his end of the Accords.”