“Hope I’m not interrupting,” Socrates said with a grin. He was carrying a large box with a bright blue bow on top of it, which he set on the table so he could close the door behind him.
“Never!” Obsi said, putting the plate back on the table to give her mentor a hug. “But then again, you never drop in unannounced. What’s wrong?”
Soc blew out a long breath. Obsi pulled out a chair for him and they sat. Soc looked at Obsi with sad eyes. “I’m afraid I have some bad news. I wanted to tell you first.”
“Raven and I have decided to retire…to Suddene…we have friends there. Now that it’s stable and free of the gang activity and all, it’s an ideal place for us. Plus, it’s closer to Raven’s bunch.”
Obsi covered her face with her hands and put her elbows on her knees. “I knew this day would come,” she said softly, “and I thought I was ready for it. I guess I’m not.” Before he could open his mouth to speak, she rose. She walked to the center of the room, and facing away from him, began to struggle to give a voice to her breaking heart.
“You have been here for me since the beginning. You’ve taught me the ins and outs of this life we call a game; you’ve helped me grow my base and as a person; you’ve listened to me whenever I needed someone to lend an ear…and if I were selfish, I would beg you to stay. I suppose I am selfish anyway, because I don’t want you to go. But,” she said as she turned to face him, “I care about you too much to be selfish. You and Raven are the heart of this team. You’ve both given all of us so much of yourselves…and it’s not fair to ask that much of anyone. The two of you deserve to be happy and enjoy your life and your dragons together.”
“What will you do?” Soc asked softly.
Obsi shrugged. “I’m not sure. But whatever it is, as long as you still keep in contact with me I’ll be fine.”
Soc stood and opened his arms for a hug. Obsi obliged. They both wiped their eyes as they parted and he started toward the door.
“I’ll be in touch as soon as we are settled,” he said as he opened the door. “Oh, and you should open that box sooner rather than later. It’s just a little something to remember me by.”
Obsi watched him leave, then sat with a sigh. She pulled the box toward her and took off the lid. She stood and looked inside, and with a squeal took out a fluffy grey kitten. She held the kitten up in front of her with both hands and read aloud the name tag attached to the collar.
Before she had the chance to fuss over her new pet, another knock on the door brought a guard with more bad news.
“Lord Obsi, the Blackbloods are back and they say they need to speak with you. Now.”