Governor Iolanthe Staff slid out from under the body of her lover. Collapsing against the cool surface of her pillow, she ran a hand over her body, slick with perspiration. After several deep breaths, she rolled off the mattress and stepped to the washstand, where she poured the full pitcher of water into the basin. Setting the pitcher aside, she cupped both hands in the cool water and brought them up to splash it over her face. She didn’t bother to dry herself.
Gazing at the man on the bed, she took careful note of his muscular back and buttocks, before moving back and crawling cat-like to him. She draped herself over him and kissed the nape of his neck.
“This was very nice,” she said.
“I’m glad to hear that,” he said, drowsily. “I wasn’t sure I was welcome at first.”
“You’re welcome to stay as long as you like.”
“No, I have to get up.”
She rolled off of him, sitting up, and fluffing the pillow behind her.
“I thought as much.” Her voice turned from sultry to crisp and commanding. “You should be on your way. It’s almost tea.”
He got up and walked around the bed to the washstand. There, he took the hand towel, and dipping it in the basin, used it to wash his body. He quickly dressed and used her brush to put his sandy blond hair back into its usual neat precision.
“Will you be by tomorrow?”
“I don’t know. I have a great deal to do.”
“I’m surprised you have any time for me at all.”
“I have a weakness for powerful women,” he said. “It must be down to how I was raised.”
“Perhaps I’ve grown too old and ugly for you.”
“Don’t be stupid.” He glanced over her naked body, nodding in appreciation. “I said I have a great deal to do. I have to take care of this wizard problem.”
“My nephew is dealing with it,” said Iolanthe.
“It’s a police matter,” he said, slipping into his suit jacket, “and I am the Chief of Police.”
“So you are.”
He stepped to the door and started to turn the knob.
“Saba?” she called.
“I’ll be back tomorrow,” he called over his shoulder.
* * * * *
Police Chief Saba Colbshallow opened the front door of his home and stepped inside. He was immediately almost knocked over by an eighty-two pound projectile hitting him right in his center mass. Grasping it below the shoulders, he hefted it up to find that, as he suspected, it was his daughter DeeDee. It was already apparent, despite the gangliness of eleven-year-olds, that she would grow up to be a beautiful woman. She had inherited the heterochromia of both eyes and hair from her mother, as well as her flawless skin and near perfect facial features. Saba looked into her eyes, one deep brown and the other hazel.
“Hello, My Dearest. How are you today?”
“Where is your sister?”
“She’s in her room.”
“I don’t think so. I think she misses her home.”
“This is her home now,” he said. “Where’s Mummy?”
“She’s in her room. She’s dicky.”
“How about Nan?”
“In the garden. I was just going out to join her.”
“Go upstairs and check on your sister. Bring her out in the garden, if she’s able.” He ran his hand through her hair, each strand seemingly a different shade from very light blond to coppery red, and then pushed her gently towards the staircase.
Saba made his way through the parlor, the dining room, and the kitchen, finally stepping out onto the back porch and then out to the garden. Here he found his mother, on her knees, planting flower bulbs around the base of the tree.
“You’re about nine months too late to plant those, Mother. It should have been done back in Novuary. Either that, or you’re four months too early for next year.”
“I’m sure they’ll grow and be quite lovely.”
“Oh, they’ll grow, but they won’t blossom. I was expecting tea.”
“I’m too old to fuss with such things.”
“But not too old to crawl around in the dirt,” he said. “I would think that the lady of the house would see to tea.”
“She’s not feeling well.”
“She never feels well.”
“Well, what do you expect, with the way you treat her?”
He pulled a wrought-iron chair away from the outdoor table and sat down, crossing his legs. “What do you mean, Mother?”
“You know what I mean. It’s bad enough that you’re wandering the town like an alley cat, without you bringing her the results of your imprudence.”
“That was one time, and it was a long time ago.”