Fifteen Years Ago
Kentinough’s residence in Lairts’cre was not just a free-standing house, but a massive villa on the outskirts of the maritime Isle town. The villa had two storeys and a pair of towering spires, which appeared to have been a recent addition, jutting into open skies. At first sight, the towers appeared to be the perfect opportunity to scout the surrounding forests and Lairts’cre itself, just a stone’s throw down the winding road. Unfortunately, Aefrun – the young man in Kentinough’s employ – promptly escorted them from the carriage and guided them through the anxious house staff who had greeted them, and into a confusing maze of corridors. They whizzed by relics displayed like museum pieces in overstuffed rooms, and curtained-off corners so laden with dust, Fingal was certain the staff had forgotten the corner existed. Fingal tried to figure out where they were headed in relation to these towers, but he failed to orient himself in the vastness of the building as Aefrun lead them to the guest rooms.
The guest room appointed for Fingal and Riona was nearly as long and as large as the entire Donmagh residence in Ashdown. Unlike the hospital and the Donmagh residence, this older villa on the outskirts of Lairts’cre had long glass slats for windows, which was common in the pre-war era, when tensions between humans and the fae had been at an all-time high. The slats ran across the length of the room, creating long bars of light across the two canopied beds, the antique dressers and nightstands, and the well-worn but stylish rugs covering the dark wooden floors. Dark ceiling-to-floor curtains waited in the corners to be slid across the slats for privacy, which Fingal would have done if they didn’t require the light for choosing their attire.
Unfortunately, Riona couldn’t fully participate in the fitting experience as Aefrun had also remained to help Fingal and Brendan choose appropriate outfits for their new positions. In fact, the racks of outfits had been waiting in the guest room when they’d arrived, much to Aefrun’s delight. Kentinough had thought of everything. Instead of trying on clothing, young Riona entertained herself by counting every slatted window in the room under her breath.
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