:: Solday Evening, the 97th of Jhyel's Slumber ::
Theo lost no time and, while frantically looking about, hissed down into the grating, "It's clear, Cory, get up here quickly and meet me in the alley beside Lizbeth's place." Rushing for the mentioned alley, the shadows swallowed the sprinting scurry as he entered the alcove. Theo shivered uncontrollably as he felt the chill shadows fall on his virtually numb body. "Wretched, wretched winter. Old Grey, you and I may very well be heading for warmer climes in the *very* near future."
Cory, struggling a bit with his escape from the grating, eventually joined Theo in the alley.
"Why Cory, how nice of you to join me,” whispered Theo with friendly sarcasm.
Cory's bulky frame huffed up and down silently, but the sideways look and cocked eyebrow was worth a volume of words.
Tapping lightly, but insistently on the weathered green shutters to the right of him, Theo hoped, no prayed, that Lizbeth was in her room.
"Lizbeth, by all the Gods, open the shutters! It's Theo!” the long grains stretched into wicks. Theo tapped again. "Lizbeth!"
The shutters, opening slowly and grunting quietly on poorly oiled hinges, exposed a very surprised Lizbeth, illuminated by the faint yellow lamplight from the room beyond. "Theo!"
Theo could feel his throat tighten as the dim light from the sputtering oil lamp surrounded Lizbeth's fur in a golden halo. "Lizbeth." Theo, grasping her over the sill of the rough wooden sill, could feel her warm breath on his neck.
After a few wonderful grains, a mindful grunt from Cory reminded Theo that the might not want to tarry in the alley.
"Theo, where have you *been*, and you smell of the sewers!” exclaimed Lizbeth with a wrinkled nose and hesitant voice. "Come in, quickly, I forget myself. I just now remembered that you're wanted for treason, get in before you're seen."
Theo nimbly jumped through the yawning window, with Cory quickly clambering in behind him.
"My father has ranted and raved at me since yesterday evening. He came home and told me over and over again that he knew that 'that Theo, I just *knew* he wasn't good for you' and 'you're forbidden to see him, not that it will make any difference once the executioner gets a hold of him'. He was nearly in a frenzy, especially after this afternoon's escape,” Lizbeth continued.
Theo found that he was exhausted. Lizbeth's words seemed to be spoken in a foreign language and his vision was fuzzy. "We need a place to hole up for a few days, Lizbeth, any ideas?"
"To begin with, father is on the midnight watch. That gives you two time for baths,” she said with a smile. "And yes Theo, I'll get a glass of red wine for you,” said Lizbeth, reading Theo's mind with almost uncanny accuracy.
It was times like these that Theo could *almost* think of settling down. Lizbeth was *very* beautiful *and* she understood Theo's love of wine.
* * *
The warm water eddied about Theo's fur and he couldn't help but sigh quietly. The Alcynoan was magnificent, something that Lizbeth opened from her father's wine cellar. It was smooth and warm and slid down his throat like molten velvet.
"I missed you so, my faithful friend,” said Theo, calmly addressing the wine goblet that he lovingly cradled in his right hand.
Theo watched the fish eyed room spin lazily in the reflection of the soap bubble and felt more comfortable than it seemed he had ever been.
"Treason, hah!” laughed Theo at the memory of the attempted arrest. "I may be a bit rambunctious at times, but treason! And that stodgy old scurry saying that I'm no good for Lizbeth,” snorted Theo.
"Maybe he's right,” came the comfortable voice from behind him.
His paws squeaking against the pounded copper of the water filled basin, Theo spun around in the tub and sloshed water onto the floor.
"You're a bit high strung, aren't you Theo? I think that I can probably relax you,” as Lizbeth's impish grin betrayed her mischievous mood...