“No!” Azgoth yelled as he gestured wildly as Micah entered the room, his Pack and Arroc following him. “That’s what the damn kennels are for.”
“Azgoth, there’s no way I’m sending my Pack to the kennels. They need bonding time. You heard Sabnock,” Micah retorted.
“I can guarantee you that Packs of any kind do not bed down in the main apartments of any House,” Azgoth went on, then stopped. The three hellhoundcat pups stared up at him with wide eyes, and Arroc sat right next to them, an identical pleading expression on his face. “No no no. That’s just wrong. Stop it. All of you.”
Micah began to laugh then couldn’t stop. Arroc looked both pitiful and ridiculous. The pups just looked adorable as always. He sat down on the bed, and all four of them jumped up with him. The pups crawled all over him, while Arroc just laid next to him, eventually putting his huge head in Micah’s lap.
Azgoth looked at them, then sighed. “Fine! I’m going to go talk to mother for a moment about the situation with Sabnock, then I’ll be back. And they better be out of the bed by then! I actually want room in my own damn bed.”
Just then, the door slammed open and Janal stalked in.
“Azgoth, what in the nine realms are you doing?” she yelled, then stopped short at the sight of Micah in the bed surrounded by the Pack. The pups just tumbled over to her to greet her, but Arroc tensed and raised his head slowly from Micah’s lap. Just then Lady Zorol strode in the room after her daughter, a wicked gleam in her eye.
“Wow, that’s quite the death stare I’m getting. Micah, love, why don’t you introduce me to your new protector so I don’t end up kitty kibble, hmmm?” Azgoth’s mother asked.
“Arroc,” Micah said, laying his head on the hell lions head, “Lady Janal and Lady Zorol are ours to protect as members of House Kurush.”
Arroc turned to look at them, then laid his head back down in Micah’s lap. As Micah moved his hand, Arroc captured it in his teeth. Micah froze, looking down at the pleading expression on the big cat’s face.
Janal laughed, looking at them. “I think he wants his head scratched,” she said.
“Seriously? I have demanding hell lions in my bed, and my room has been invaded by my relations,” Azgoth said, his tone almost a whine.
“Well, you were just saying you were going to go find your mother,” Micah pointed out, as he scratched between Arroc’s ears. The large hell lion started to purr, and Janal laughed again. “So really she’s doing you a favor.”
“Exactly,” said Lady Zorol with a wink at Micah. “This way you don’t have to search any of us out.”
“Oh, very well,” Azgoth said, and poured some hell-wine into glasses and passed them out. Micah sipped at his very carefully, having been warned that such things needed to be approached with caution by non-demons. But either this particular vintage was particularly tasty, or all the rapid and confusing changes over the past few days had changed his palate. In either event, he decided to just enjoy the beverage.
“So Sabnock is lending us his personal beast? What does he want in return?” Lady Zorol asked, as she lowered herself into the chair in front of the hearth, wine in hand.