Wanted to get this out of the way. Quae is 55 now and will be hitting Outland soon, so right now story progression is good.
"You're leaving us?" Pitchblack looked at Quae mournfully. She swatted at him. "I'll still be around," she said."Just not at home much anymore. Besides, it's not like we all see each other much anyway. You don't even write." Pitch chuckled. "I bet you just got tired of us being around when Barraccus is home," he teased. Quae grinned back at him. "My dear brother, whatever would give you that idea?" They both laughed.
Pitch was the first one to sober. "I really am glad you two are together. He's a great guy." Quae eyed him, then chuckled again. "Are you just saying that because he's been out with you in Zangarmarsh all week?" she teased him. He grinned. "Well, maybe. But really, if I got to choose another brother, I'd pick him for sure." Quae reached over and patted his hand. "Good," was all she said.
Quae suddenly stood. "I've got to go, he's probably waiting for me." "Where are you off to this time?" Pitch asked her. "Blackrock Mountain," she answered. "Going to give some Dark Iron dwarves a hard time." She grinned wickedly, and he laughed again, then waved her off. "Go on and have fun, little sister," he said, and she waved and headed out.
* * * * * *
Quae and Barraccus left the Winterspring flight master hand-in-hand. They both appeared lost in thought. Riptik slept quietly in his little pocket on the outside of Barraccus' backpack as they headed to the stable for their mounts, then rode out into the snow. Quae finally broke the silence. "I believe we can trust Vestala," she said, and Barraccus nodded. "She seems a good sort. We just need to be careful how many people find out about us." "I know," Quae said quietly. "Kal and I were just talking, and she snuck up on us." "Quae, it's fine," he interrupted. "You don't need to apologize."
They rode in silence for a bit, then Quae asked, "So where exactly is this house?" Barraccus turned Oscor down the road to Starfall Village at about that moment. "Down here," he said, and rode ahead. Quae quickly urged Moon after him. When she caught up with him, he had left the trail and was circling around a little cottage, sitting by itself near the village. "Here it is," he said grandly, and they both swung down from their mounts and entered. Quae looked all around the small house as Barraccus carefully removed Riptik from his pocket, then placed him in a ready-made nest near the fireplace. The wolvar pup barely made a peep as he was settled into his bed, still snoozing.
He straightened up as she turned to face him. "I like it," she declared, and he chuckled. "Good thing, since I already put my money down. It's mine now, or rather ours." He said the last part warmly, as he stepped over and put one arm around her. She rested her cheek against his chest, still looking around a bit. "The bearskin rug is a nice touch," she commented. "Yes," Barraccus replied. "The floor gets a bit cold." "A bit? I would think so," she laughed, pulling back from him. She then began fiddling with his armor, trying to unfasten the shoulder-guards. He raised one eyebrow at her. "And what are you up to now?" he asked, though his expression said he knew exactly what. She grinned wickedly at him. "Well, I'd like to see how warm the bed is next." "Mhmm. Normally I think you'd test that by sleeping in it." Her grin stretched wider. "I do intend to sleep in it. Eventually." His crooked grin started to spread across his face, as he began helping her with his armor.