“Who’s the girl? Do we get to kill something?” Lance, a thin purple youngster settled into a tree and surveyed the dead hounds with interest.
“Our guest,” Sage supplied, gesturing for Rook to collect her. “Gently now. Round up the horse for me, lads, and no, you can’t eat it. Feel free to dine on the hellhounds if you see them, though.”
“Don’t get excited; they don’t taste good,” Vic cautioned. He carefully picked up the girl and launched with a sweep of his wings, the owl escorting them.
The estate spread out before them, acres of woods surrounded by a high wall. It was interesting that Mrs. James hadn’t encountered a wall on her sojourn onto their land, but he suspected the house might have something to do with that. Much like a woman, the house had a mind of its own. Hardly surprising, as once it had been a woman. Perhaps she’d decided she’d like more company.
The graveled drive wound a quarter mile to the Gothic style house. He could see she’d added some interesting arches and a round tower; he could only speculate what that would look like on the inside. Recently he’d found his room had moved up an entire floor, though the house had thoughtfully added indoor plumbing and a private bath. He hadn’t minded the improvement.
He angled toward the balcony he shared with the guestroom next door; not that they had a surfeit of guests, but the house liked to stay busy and added the room last month. It made for an easy landing as Vicious swooped down and perched on the rail. Assuming his human form, Sage took the woman and carried her into the guest room as the house thoughtfully opened the French doors for him. “See if Jordan is available,” he advised the gargoyle. “She’ll be very helpful here.”
Though it was night, his owl’s vision could see that the room was done in blue and yellow, with comfortable leather furniture piled with pillows. He crossed the hardwood floor, his feet muffled by the large floral patterned rug. A practical man, he felt little compunction about stripping his guest down to her chemise before laying her on the sheets.
The house thoughtfully turned up the gaslights as he searched for injuries, using the sheet to preserve her modesty. She had a curvy figure, generously padded in all the best places, and Irish features. Her dark red hair was still bound and pinned, and he wondered if it hurt. Just in case, he slipped the pins free.
She’d darkened her brows and her lips were a pretty burgundy, and she wore a light dust of powder that failed to hide a faint dust of freckles on her cute nose. He tried to remain unruffled as he examined a nasty bruise on her side, wondering if she’d managed to crack some ribs.