Shakti looked up from a mug of coffee. "Not right now, Sal. I'm eating breakfast. I packed last night, so get my bag will you? It's in my room. Has my fieldnotes and a change of clothes." She dipped a pastry into her coffee and looked at him again. She raised an eyebrow. "Well? Go. You can arrest me when my stuff is together. I'll be waiting here." She shook her head. "No one follows orders anymore. On Ibidan my bag would be here already with a bouquet of flowers and a necklace of my enemies' ears to placate me for taking more than a minute and a half."
Cardinal grumbled. "I will be RIGHT back. I just lied for you, so it better appear like you're not here. And you'd better hope the General doesn't get chatty about us, because MOST of the castle doesn't realize I have a sister... yet."
He headed to the stairs. "Two minutes!"
Shakti watched him leave to go get her belongings. "He what? I'll be damned. Maybe our little Salvador's becoming a man after all," she muttered when he disappeared.
When Cardinal arrived in her room, he found that Shakti hadn't lied. Everything she owned was packed and stored out of the way in closets. Her bed was made and on top of it was a backpack and one of her trademark saris. The backpack was latched shut and apparently ready to go. She really was ready to go.
He thought out loud. "Huh. It's like she WA-... wants this."
A sigh slipped from him as he grabbed her things. At least I'll have time to talk to her when she's home.
He descended the stairs. "Time's up. Let's go. Preferably through the back."
She rolled her eyes and set her mug down. "Great coffee as always." She stood. "So I'll be seeing you guys around. It's been really great working with you, and I'll make sure you get a copy of my dissertation for the house."
A couple of the women at the table nodded and Shakti grabbed another pastry, shoving her other hand purposefully in one pocket. "Well. I guess it's time to go." She looked down at herself. "I must look positively fearsome. No time to change, though. I guess I'll have to settle for being a dangerous suspect in her pajamas."
She turned and walked through a door at the back of the parlor without another word, assuming her brother would follow her. She walked quickly, passing through the kitchen, the pantry, and then the laundry room where one of the girls was already working on some bedclothes. Shakti nodded her greeting, and her friend nodded in return. Shakti led them out the back and walked out the door ahead of her brother, leaving Cardinal to catch it before it slammed in his face. She was waiting for him behind the house when he emerged. "Well? This is the back. Where to, Officer?"
"Uh?" WHACK! The door hit him in the face. "Gah... that's assault, missy..." He rubbed his nose.
"My house. You're officially on house arrest, alright? The only thing I could think of. The guard was on their way."
Her jaw dropped open. How often does Cardinal get to see his sister speechless?
"You're shitting me. Your house? I thought Farida was afraid I'd put the eye on your baby. I'm surprised you're letting me NEAR the place, let alone keeping me there like a damned housecat."
"It's the only place I have to stash you. Trust me, even WITH Farida, the place is far more pleasant than a cell in the dungeon, trust me. It is NOT a place you are going to as long as there's breath in my body, alright?"
Shakti hit herself in the face in frustration. ".....You clearly misunderstand what you've done. You're going to lock me in a house with Farida. I'd rather be in the dungeon! At least then I know where I stand and what's expected and whose ass to kick on a given day. This? No way. If I have to turn myself in to keep away from your wife, I will. I do not like her and she damn well knows it. You're putting me on--on her territory, and I won't have it." Shakti waved her hands in an emphatic negating gesture and turned around to walk past Cardinal and back through the brothel. Evidently she was determined to face the dungeon rather than an indefinite stay in her brother's house.
Edited by: [url=http://p068.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=kai@rpgww60462>Kai</A] at: 5/27/06 0:14