Re: The Cat: Rae and Kratos
Rae knew why she'd chosen exile. Exile made it sound as if she had been shut out from a place, instead of deliberately closing the door on it and refusing to remember where the key had been mislaid. Exile made it sound involuntary, which it was not. She knew she'd chosen choice and whether she felt the undercurrents and eddies in the room that were half a dozen men who roiled with misplaced desire, aggravation and irritations, then so much for that. It wasn't close to what she'd have otherwise.
She had no idea why the handyman - the diminutive for a man who was very clearly more than a handyman entertained Rae, so she kept it - was here. Rae expected height, breadth and the sulky stone-colored skin the way she remembered it in the Gem but the bar was not an empty space that had yet to take the imprint of its people and passages. He didn't belong but as she sat, and watched him head and substantial shoulders above the nearest to him in height, he was rather larger than memory was willing to supply.
Whatever he was, she didn't have the detail. Merely the ink suggestion of an outline. Rae's head inclined upward just enough to look at him. She regarded the tattoos first, and then the thick, stone-knotted knuckles before he'd lowered himself enough for her to look at his face. What he was, she couldn't forget.
"You've made yourself at home," she observed, looking along the length of the bar to the farmers who had grown comfortable enough in the presence of a man-mountain to give into gossip. "Hello." Rae leaned into the innocuous nature of the phrase, and a second's later, repeated it. In Greek. She looked past his shoulder deliberately (it took effort).