Written in Red Page 64

Simon closed his eyes. Nothing he could do for the moment. Blair would look after the Courtyard—and keep an eye on Sam and Meg. As for the humans, he would have to trust Lieutenant Montgomery to keep the peace until he got back.

* * *

“Oh, that’s not good,” Meg muttered when she spotted the black sedan idling along the side of the Liaison’s Office, unable to move forward because of all the delivery trucks that were in the way.

Parking her BOW willy-nilly and hoping no one needed to get another vehicle out of the garages, she bolted into the office. She had to get some of those deliveries taken care of before Elliot Wolfgard coughed up a hairball.

Did Wolves have hairballs? How could she find out such things?

Shaking her head, she removed her boots, hurried into the sorting room . . . and stopped. The Private door was wide-open, so she could see part of the front counter. The Hawk she had met the other day was standing behind the counter, his arms folded, his stance aggressive. He glared at someone she couldn’t see and said, “Just write the words the Meg will want and leave the boxes.”

One of the Crows, standing on the counter, cawed at the visitor, then walked over to the container filled with pens, lifted one out and, holding it in his beak, walked back. He tapped one end of the pen on the counter, then held it up as if offering it to someone—who obviously didn’t take it because the pen was tapped on the counter again.

Hurrying to the doorway, Meg poked her head into the front room and got a look at the deliveryman.

“Hi, Dan. Sorry I’m late. Slept through the alarm. Just give me a second to get my coat off and I’ll be with you.”

She hadn’t realized how nervous he’d been about being alone with the Others until she saw the relief on his face. She hadn’t thought the Hawks and Crows were that dangerous, but maybe he knew more about them than she did.

“Oh, that’s all right, Ms. Meg. Happens to all of us.”

The Crow tapped the pen on the counter and held it up again.

Meg beamed a smile at the Hawk in human form and the Crow. “And you two opened up the office? That’s great. Thank you. Be right with you, Dan.”

“I know what you need.”

And he didn’t wait for her.

As she ducked back into the sorting room, she saw him gingerly take the pen from the Crow. By the time she hung up her coat and pulled on her shoes, Dan was outside, talking to a couple more deliverymen, and Harry was pulling open the door, juggling his delivery on one arm.

“Good morning, Harry,” Meg said. Had she remembered to brush her hair? Simon’s grab and hustle this morning had wiped her routine right out of her mind. She touched one side of her head.

“Morning, Miz Meg.” Harry looked at her hand and smiled. “I see you’ve got a couple of helpers today. You take your time getting settled. We’ll do fine.”

The Crow grabbed the pen lying on the counter and held it up.

Taking Harry at his word, Meg retreated to the washroom and looked in the mirror. Her hair wasn’t sticking up every which way, but it had been flattened by her hat. She ran a comb through it, decided that was as good as things would get, and went back to the counter.

The last deliveryman was writing down his information under the Crow’s watchful eye. He looked at Meg and smiled. “Figures the day you’re late to arrive is the day we’ve all got the Courtyard down as our first stop.”

“Well, you all took care of it, and I thank you for that,” Meg replied as she watched the black sedan pull out on Main Street.

“The Beargard said to help the Meg today,” the Hawk said.

“Oh.” The Crow was entertaining himself by pulling pens out of the container and arranging them on the counter, but what was she supposed to do with the Hawk? And how long did they expect to “help” today?

Since he was in human form, there was one thing the Hawk could do.

“I didn’t have time for breakfast this morning,” Meg said. “Would you go over to A Little Bite and ask Tess for some coffee? Tell her it’s for me, and she’ll know how to fix it. And ask her if Howling Good Reads has any copies of the Lakeside newspaper.”

The Hawk stared at her. “The Lorne makes the newspaper. He’s over there.” He pointed in the direction of the Three Ps.

“Not the Courtyard’s newsletter. I’d like a copy of the newspaper the humans read.”

“Why would you want that?”

The Crow looked up from his pen arrangement to stare at her too.

Clearly being too interested in human activity was suspicious behavior here, even if the person was human. But something bad had happened, something that had caused Simon to leave in a hurry. Maybe she could find out what it was without cutting.

“As Liaison, I should be aware of what is happening in the human part of the city,” Meg said, choosing her words with care. “And I can check store ads and make a list of things that might interest the terra indigene.”

After a moment, the Hawk nodded and left. Meg smiled at the Crow and brought the handcart of packages into the sorting room.

Some were small enough to go with the mail. Others she would pack in the BOW for deliveries, along with her personal delivery.

The Hawk returned with a large coffee, a newspaper, and a small bag. He set them all on one end of the sorting table.

“HGR gets newspapers,” he said. “Tess will tell Vlad that you are to get one now. There is food. There is no mouse in it, but the Merri Lee said you would like this meat better.”

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