Some of the Seelie are not going to be sitting so prettily for a while. Given their occasionally smug attitude, I might allow myself a little smirk, but since my dear Gwyn appears to also be a victim, as well as accidentally being the cause, it will only be a little smirk. Apparently, they have had an outbreak of poison ivy. I have never encountered it; save when it was once pointed out to me while walking in a park on my honeymoon, but I am told can be quite painful. I was fortunate, as a child, to not suffer from any allergic reactions, but I well remember the pain of falling into stinging nettles and of the childhood bouts of measles and chickenpox. I think I may allow myself an extra smirk because they disdained an offer of help. I know they can’t help being somewhat snooty, but it rankles at times.
I was busying myself about the village, redrafting my letter of accreditation and dropping it off at the manor house when I came across Giada, wandering among the rose bushes. She was, as she put it, woolgathering, so did not respond immediately to my greeting. Mr Dashuria, Ose, came wandering out of the house, leafing through some paperwork which presumably included the draft letter I had dropped off earlier. He greeted us pleasantly enough, but his eyes lingered on Giada, commenting that his master might well notice her. I thought it curious that he seemed to have no interest on his own behalf, but perhaps his concerns are purely for his master. I made introductions, and remembering his comments on our previous meeting regarding the skills and those that were lacking, mentioned her profession as a doctor. I also joked about her being a supplier of “specific tastes”, thinking of the excellent selection of vitae she used to keep in her cellar, but I don’t think he got the reference. Giada added that she was also a skilled businesswoman too, which I also know to be true – it’s in the blood. Ose was delighted with both, saying that the village had use for such abilities and offered her the use of accommodation in the village, or possibly within the castle in return. There must be a fair few rooms in the castle, since he had made the same offer to Gwyn and me the previous night. On that matter, Ose commented that there might be a few minor revisions to my draft letter, since I was an unknown quantity, and said that he would send a revised draft for my approval soon.
While we were talking, Nualla appeared, dropped a note, glared at me and stalked off into the undergrowth before I could even thank her. The note was from Gwyn, delivered only on the promise of some bribes to Nualla. The note explained how she had made a mistake with the gardening and somehow had gotten everybody infected with poison ivy, so it was unlikely that she would be able to get out of the sithen for a day or two. I only knew of poison ivy by reputation and that one time it was pointed out to me, but I assumed that Giada, as a medical sort, might know more and asked her if she would be willing to lend assistance if I took her to the sithen. I explained that they were somewhat selective about who they let into the sithen, but that they might appreciate the offer. Ose bid us farewell and we walked down to the sithen entrance.
At the door, I accosted one of the guards and asked him to pass on the message that I sent my compliments and was offering the services of my friend, a skilled healer, in assisting with the healing of the poison ivy problems. The guard nodded, with the bare minimum of politeness and disappeared within.
Giada and I waited. We chatted about the landscape and our favourite places. We both reminisced about London but both agreed we did not miss the perpetual gloom. We spoke of our various dealings with the fae in the past, remembering in particular the time that the Camarilla had tried to negotiate a treaty with the various fae factions. It was a pleasant way to pass the time, as we really had not had the chance to catch up since her arrival on the island. Also, it was nice to start to settle back into the accepting, relaxed friendship we had known in the past. I had noticed that she was dressed far less formally than normal, dressing more like those I had seen around the sithen and showing a lot more skin than I was used to with her. I have to admit, I did feel a slight rekindling of my other feelings for her, but I kept them firmly repressed. Life was complicated enough with Gywn and Val without that. Nevertheless, it felt good being with her.
After half an hour or so, there was no word from within the sithen, which irked me somewhat. For a people so fond or courtesy and formality, they could be awfully rude at times. Even if they did not want us around the place, they could have at least sent the guard to tell us to bugger off or something, anything rather than just ignore us. We looked at each other and decided that we couldn’t be bothered to wait any longer. I tucked a slightly sarcastic note under the door saying that we would be available in the village should they deign to request our services and we left them to it.