The speedy, direct woman led Trajan and Greystar briskly through the streets of Sanctuary. Trajan's mind wandered slightly as he followed Lady Vilnas.
Soon they entered one of the nicer sections of town. The homes were bight, clean, and well kept. The structure they now approached was a narrow two story affair. The small front lawn presented a trim and tidy appearance. A minuscule hedge bordered the grass and lined the footpath leading to the entrance of Barret's former abode. An assortment of flowers added a splash of color beneath the windows that flanked the doorway.
The trio proceeded up the path to the main door. Although Lady Vilnas had a key, she first rang the bell out front.
"After Master Barret's demise, his estate reverted to his nearest kin, but as of this time no one has stepped forward to claim the place, nor has anyone bothered to sign the necessary scripwork which would cede the estate to the municipality. There were several servants retained to maintain this building and its grounds. That staff has dwindled to a bare minimum. The head maid, Miss Aurum, is usually to be found on the premises. I do not wish to surprise her by barging into the house, especially with a creature like you in tow.” Vilnas explained.
“Hey, wait a minute,” Trajan started.
“”Additionally,” Vilnas interrupted “Miss Aurum is a fine and proper lady, I expect you to be on your finest behavior.”
“I'm not a kit.” Trajan stated.
“Really? We shall see.” Vilnas sniffed
Greystar remained remarkably silent during the interchange, although, a tic of a smile began to creep up the corner of his mouth.
The door to the building opened and another female rac appeared behind it. “Hello?” she said
“Miss Aurum, it is a pleasure to see you again, I trust you are doing well?”
“Lady Vilnas! It is good to see you, what brings you out here today? And, oh my, what is that creature behind you?”
“That is our resident swamp monster. He calls himself Trajan.” explained Vilnas
“Oh, my, is he dangerous?” Asked Aurum
“You know, I'm right here...” Trajan muttered.
“He seems to be mostly harmless, when handled properly.” Responded Vilnas, completely ignoring Trajan.
“He looks disreputable with that eyepatch.” said Aurum
“I can hear everything you are saying.” Trajan's tail started to twitch.
“But at least he seems to be somewhat decently groomed.” continued Aurum.
“True, but it remains to be seen if this is habitual.”
Trajan was about to retort when Greystar chimed in. “And he smells really nice too, Miss Aurum! Take a whiff of his tail, it's Lavender!”
Trajan froze in mid breath, his jaw handing slightly agape. Lady Vilnas once again assumed the picture of perfect mortification as Greystar offered Trajan's rearward appendage for Miss Aurum's inspection.
Miss Aurum noticed Greystar for the first time. “Why, Master Greystar, what an unexpected pleasure to see you!”
“You know him?!” said both Trajan and Vilnas in unison.
“But of course, he is an excellent portrait painter! He has such a keen eye for detail and bringing his subject to life!” Miss Aurum gushed. “Please come in, Master Greystar!” she smiled.
Trajan and Vilnas stared dumbfounded as a beaming Greystar was admitted into the house. “Maybe you're the pretty lady Trajan said we were supposed to meet today!”
Miss Aurum giggled “You flattering little scamp!” She looked outside to see Trajan and Vilnas with lowered tails and wearing matching blank expressions.
“Oh, I'm sorry, please come in, both of you, I had just boiled water for tea, now we may share.”