Written in Red Page 97

“Mr. Wolfgard,” Meg said, pulling her hand out of his. “You’re not dressed.”

And neither was she. “Please, Meg. Just for the morning.” He put some bite in the last words and looked past her to Sam.

Sam wagged his tail, not the least bit sorry—or worried—about how he got what he wanted.

When Meg didn’t say anything, Simon nudged her back a couple of steps. “Get in the shower. It will warm you up.”

Closing her door, he hurried down the stairs and back to his apartment. Elliot stood in the entryway, staring at the clothes on the floor and the open door.

“Blessed Thaisia, what is going on?”

Damn, his feet were cold, and the jeans were wet. “Meg’s taking Sam with her for the morning. Put his clothes in a carry sack. I’ll leave them with Meg when I go back out for the meeting. And call Nathan. See if the streets around the office and our stores have been plowed. There’s no point having Meg try to get to work if there aren’t going to be deliveries.”

He headed upstairs, intending to take another hot shower and get fully dressed before he ventured outside.

“Simon?” Elliot called, stopping him at the top of the stairs. “Since I won’t be watching Sam, I’d like to attend that meeting. If that’s acceptable to you.”

While there were specific individuals he wanted at this meeting, any leader of a gard or other group of terra indigene was allowed to sit in on the Business Association meetings. Today there were things to discuss about the past week in the Courtyard. There were also things they needed to consider about what happened in Jerzy, and Elliot should hear what was said about that.

And maybe Elliot should be told some things about Meg.

“All right. Check with Nathan first, then call Blair and tell him we’ll be meeting in the Green social room.”

He didn’t wait for Elliot’s reply. He went into his bathroom, stripped off the wet jeans, and stood in the shower long enough to warm up. While he got dressed, he considered the new challenge of weaning Sam away from his adventure buddy.

But first he would have to figure out a good reason why he would want to.

* * *

It didn’t look like they were going anywhere.

Meg stared at the snowdrifts beyond the archway that led to the parking area and garages for the Green Complex. Paths had been cleared around the interior of the complex so that the residents could reach the laundry room, mail room, social room, and the apartments, but there was no way she was going to get her BOW out of the garage, let alone reach the road.

“Come on, Sam. We’ll take a quick walk and go back inside.” She shifted her grip on the carry sack that contained a complete set of boy’s clothing and turned back toward her apartment, pondering how she would get to work. Businesses did open after snowstorms. Deliveries would be made. The mailman would bring the mail sack and pick up the mail deposited in the blue post box that was tucked against the wall of the consulate. People went about their business in the winter, even if it took them a little longer than usual.

As she and Sam walked toward the other end of the complex, she heard bells.

Sam lifted his muzzle and howled.

“Come on,” Meg said, walking as quickly as she could.

They reached the road in time to see the sleigh pulled by two brown horses. One horse had a black mane and tail; the other’s mane and tail were pale gold.

Tornado and Twister in their other equine forms.

And there, in the front seat, were Winter and Air, still looking like young women instead of girls. They wore no coats, no hats, no gloves. Their gowns were layers of fluttery material that looked like it had been woven from clouds that ranged in color from white to a dark, stormy gray.

“Are you playing today?” Winter asked once the sleigh stopped beside Meg.

“Not playing so much as not working,” Meg replied. “I can’t get my BOW out of the garage, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to reach the office.”

“Is reaching the office important?” Air asked.

“It is if we want our mail today or any of the packages that are on the delivery trucks.”

Winter stared at the social room’s second-story windows. Then she smiled. “We can get you to your office. It won’t take long.”

Meg looked over her shoulder, then back at the Elemental. “Are you sure you won’t be late for the meeting? I think Mr. Wolfgard and some of the others are already there.”

Winter gave her a smile that was chilling but, Meg was certain, was not meant to be malevolent.

“I won’t be late for the part of the meeting that is of interest to me and my sisters,” Winter said.

“Then, thank you. I appreciate the ride. And I’ve never ridden in a sleigh before.” This one was longer than her BOW and had two bench seats.

She picked up Sam, grunting at the unexpected weight. Could he have gotten that much bigger in a week’s time? She put him on the floor of the backseat, then scrambled up to sit behind Air. As she got herself settled, she saw Jester standing in his apartment doorway, watching them.

Winter lifted the reins. “Give the snow a spin, my lovely boys. Our Meg wants to get to work.”

As Tornado and Twister trotted along at a speed that made Meg’s eyes water from the wind and stinging cold, the snow in front of them spun into funnels, leaving enough snowpack on the road to provide a good surface for the sleigh’s runners. She had to admit, they moved on the snow far better than her BOW, and Winter delivered her to the back door of the office sooner than she expected.

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