It was a LOOOOONG day today. So, I didn’t get my other story done. So, you lucky readers get another short chapter of Fenris.
Graydon got her into the car and made sure she had her safety belt on. He started to drive off and then remembered that she hadn’t told him where to go. “Marty, how do I get to your house?”
She blinked at him and then realized what he was asking. “Down two blocks, left at the light, four miles down Race to Stevenson. Left on Stevenson. Number 465. Brown house, blue roof,” she said, almost falling asleep.
Graydon started off and was going to continue to ask directions when he realized she was asleep. He drove straight to her house and parked where the Volvo had been the time he had visited.
“Marty, wake up. Is this your house?” he asked.
She yawned, stretched as best she could and looked out the window. “Yeah.”
“Do you have your keys?” Graydon asked, hoping she hadn’t left them in the Volvo.
Marty nodded. She pulled a set of keys out of her pocket and held up a skeleton key. “Old key for an old house,” she said as she got out of the car with a bit of help from Graydon.
They went up the steps and he opened the door. It was a Craftsman bungalow, something he hadn’t noticed that night he had followed her scent. The door was heavy and led into a wood-floored entry hall that opened into a large living room. There was wood flooring and paneling everywhere Graydon looked. There was also enough general chaos to let him know that he really was in Marty’s house. A saddle was hooked over the staircase railing and various bits of horse tack and dog harnesses hung where coats should have. Graydon closed the door behind him and then turned back to Marty.
“Marty, where is your bedroom? You need to shower and get to bed,” he said quietly.
She looked at him, trying to figure out if she was missing something and decided she was too tired to think. “It’s upstairs,” Marty said pointing.
Graydon started heading her upstairs and when they got to the top, she veered left. He kept her going until she was at the bathroom doorway across from the bedroom door.
“Marty, take a shower. I’ll be downstairs. If you need help, holler,” Graydon turned and went downstairs. He could hear her dropping clothes on the floor and the water starting. His nose told him that she used some apple scented shampoo. She also used a fruit scented body wash. When he heard the shower go off, he went into her kitchen and found stuff to make a cup of tea. There was only one cup in the sink and a package of herbal tea next to the stove. He didn’t see any honey or sugar bowl, so he guessed she took it straight. The house was cold, and he looked around to see if he could turn on the heat. Graydon gave up and grabbed her teacup. When he got to the bottom of the stairs, he hollered that he was on his way up. Marty said something, but it didn’t make any sense. When he got to the top of the stairs, he called again.
“I’m in bed, it’s okay to come up,” she called sleepily.
“I brought you a cup of tea. Hope it’s to your liking.” Graydon found her in bed in an over sized plaid flannel shirt, propped up on the pillows. He handed her the teacup.
Marty took the cup and a small sip. “Oh this tastes good. I’m just cold now.”
“Not surprised, your hair is still soaking wet and I can’t seem to find a heater thermostat to turn any heat on,” he said as he headed towards the bathroom for a towel. He started to hand her the towel and then changed his mind. Graydon slowly started toweling her hair dry. She held very still and carefully took sips of tea as he mopped the water up out of her curls.
“Now, where is the thermostat?” he asked.
“Won’t do any good. The furnace isn’t lit yet,” she said.
Marty, it’s September, why haven’t you lit the furnace?”
“Money. I’m never here, so why should I heat the house?” she asked.
Graydon just shook his head. “Okay Marty, how do you turn on the furnace?”
When he wouldn’t relent, she explained how to go down into the basement and where the panel was as well as the matches to light the pilot. She also told him where the thermostat was located. He headed downstairs, expecting a mess, but was surprised to find it well organized and fairly clean. Graydon got the furnace lit and running in about ten minutes. He went upstairs and started checking for the floor vents he knew these bungalows had and made sure that they were clear. Only one was blocked, and that required him to move a pile of Horse and Rider magazines. Then he turned the thermostat to 70 and went back upstairs. The smell of hot dust began to course through the house as the heater began to work.
When he got to the bedroom door, he realized that Marty was asleep. Her cup tipped precariously off to one side with the dregs of her tea in the bottom. Not enough to make more than a wet spot, but he carefully took it and placed it on the nightstand. He tried to cover her up and she curled into a ball. He walked around the bed and knelt behind her on the edge to reach over her to finish covering her up. Just as he got the blanket up around her shoulders, she reached out in her sleep and grabbed the covers which were wrapped around his hand.
Oh gods he thought. What am I going to do now? He tried to move his hand out and she just held on tighter. Graydon thought about it for a moment, kicked off his shoes and then slowly lowered himself down on the bed and the pile of pillows. She snuggled up closer to him and sighed in her sleep. Graydon smiled a wry smile. She smelled good and he felt things stir. No, now was not the time for that. He took a deep breath to settle down. It wasn’t exactly what he had thought would happen if and when he finally got in bed with Marty, but it wasn’t a bad start. It didn’t take long for him to fall asleep either.