There are so many questions to which I do not know the answer. Many of those concern the nature of Jasper Cove and its relationship to the so-called real world. Lalla has been asking questions about the trading missions and whether or not those are a viable escape route. Now that, I do not know. Perhaps once I get the trading agreement sorted, I will know more. I told her what I remember the ferryman saying about the price of memories and said I would hate to be a lost memory.
Ah yes, Lalla. It is quite remarkable how she has become part of my life in such a short time. I have become quite fond of her, maybe more than I should. She is so unlike the women I have previously been involved with, yet, somehow, has slipped past my guard, found her way through my defences. I don’t know quite where this is going, but I like where it seems to be going. Today, after some talk about travelling and work, she kissed me. Not a full on passionate kiss, but definitely more than an affectionate peck. I tried to show that I appreciated and reciprocated, but without being too pushy. Nothing more has been said since, but it has definitely changed things. I only hope that whatever is growing between us can survive the forthcoming revelation, because I cannot keep it secret from her for much longer, not without destroying her trust. Night came and we slept, separately, but at peace.
I got up early and went to the tavern to do the stock-take before people started arriving. Surprise, surprise, the port levels are low. I shall have to add that to the shopping list for next time. Aoibheann turned up just as I was leaving and asked about where she might find Lalla to measure the kids and herself for clothing. When I told her that Lalla was staying with me, she seemed slightly shocked, maybe even offended. And I thought I was the prudish one. I told her that it was just because she needed a place to stay and that I enjoyed the company, but she still gave me disapproving looks. Ah well, I guess she’ll have to get used to it, because I don’t intend to change the arrangements.
I went back later and found the kids there, along with Alec, Anna and the little pony, Mitternacht. The pony seemed to be ill in a way that Anna’s little wand thing was unable to determine. Alec seemed to think that Mitternacht had been attacked by vampires, which was slightly alarming. I know it wasn’t me, but started to wonder who else might have done so. Alec also mentioned that his horses in the stable were a little under the weather and wondered what may have caused that. I do hope it was nothing to do with me. I was always very careful and anyway, I have not been near the stables in three or four weeks. Not since I started to learn to hunt in the forest. I have bagged me a few beasts doing that and it seemed a shame to let all that blood go to waste. Plus, the gate guards and that young lady who hangs out near the bath house do have a habit of falling asleep sometimes, and with care, I can take a drop without waking them. I’ll say nothing for now, but will be extra sure to stay away from the stables, just in case.
Meanwhile, I helped Marida & Seven decorate the tree in the bar. I had thought it might be too tall for them, but they seemed to have no difficulty at all in climbing it and on each other. It has been a while since I helped decorate a tree, and like the snowball fight yesterday, it took me back to my youth and Christmases at home.
There was a new visitor, a rather fearsome creature like an upright wolf or possibly big cat. It was hard to tell with all the armour. She had been hunting and wanted to sell the rabbits she had caught. I took them upstairs and tried to remember how father had once taught me to gut a rabbit and skin it. I made a bit of a mess of the first one, but after that, it all came back easily and the others were prepared in a matter of moments. Plus, I had a nice bowl of rabbit blood. Not the most appetising, but, as they say, waste not, want not. I left the carcasses in the fridge and dropped a note off for Anna. I hope she knows a recipe for rabbit stew.