This story begins in a strange town miles away from the quaint village that Caitlin was from in a tavern with a magical corner where the planet's natural magic could be manipulated into concealing ...
Joey and Claeb Collins
Copy Righted 2000-3000
All Rights Reserved
It had been over three months since Caitlin Shepherdsson had vanished without a trace,and for Vinceenzaro VanWham, it had been three months since his life went to hell and back. Caitlin had been his life since the day he started courting her and in the short two years that they had been courting, they had grown close to eachother and he promised never to allow any harm befall her and that he'd always be there for her no matter what the cost...even if it meant giving up his life,he was ready to do it. For Caitlin was the first woman who had fallen in love with the real Vinceenzaro VanWham for who he was and not for his connections to his brother Throttlerian the son of Tredz and Silverdawn of BlackRuby. Caitlin could have cared less that Vinceenzaro was related to royalty for the only person she really cared about was the one man who hadn't tried to seduce her into his bed on the first date. For months he'd been searching every town,knowing that who ever took her must have known her guards well enough to persuade them into allowing them to take Caitlin the rest of the way back to her home. Caitie never returned home and when he'd heard she was missing he immediately packed a large pack full of clean clothes, food, water and shelter and what little money he had saved up for the long trips to find Caitlin; though his two bretherin, Morcam Dorial and Throttlerian had tried to talk him out of searching for Caitlin, his heart and mind were made up and he was going to do it with or without support from his bretherin who in the end finally caved in and gave him all the support he'd need. But before he continued with his journey's plans, he had to make one last stop; he had to stop at Caitlin's home to get some clothing for her incase he ever found her. Once he'd arrived at Caitlin's home,her mother permitted him to go up to Caitlin's room and helped him fill a pack with clean clothing for Caitlin to change into including undergarments and nightclothes and a few simple lightweight dresses and shoes then he was off to continue his search for Caitlin. This story begins in a strange town miles away from the quaint village that Caitlin was from in a tavern with a magical corner where the planet's natural magic could be manipulated into concealing anything even a person.
Dwight comes in to room dragging a struggling beautiful white furred,blond haired,ocean blue eyed martian female mouse with a patch of dark blonde fur around her left eye dressed in a simple light weight pale blue summer dress with simple shoes on her feet and drags her over to a spare chair where he throws her down onto the chair while Dwayne holds her down while he kept tightening a noose of rope around her arms and continues to loop the rope around the female who's vailiant struggling starts to cease as the ropes grow tighter and tighter around her, binding her into the chair. Jerking the ropes tighter and knotting them,he snears in her tear streaked face: Where is lover boy now huh PRINCESS? (Takes a small length of rope and binds Caitlin's wrists together tightly immobilizing her completly as he says) He's not coming now is he? He doesn't care for you! He just wants to marry you for your family's wealth and to get you with his child over and over and over and over and over again.
Caitlin tries to free herself from her uncomfortable prison and says in a wobbly voice: He-he will come looking for me, he would never rest until he has found me. Vinceenzaro want nothing to do with my family's wealth nor do I want anything to do with his brother's wealth. I do not know who you are or what you want with me, but please let me go home.
Dwayne snears at the terrified girl and mimicks her words in perfect pitch: He-he will come looking for me, he would never rest until he has found me. Vinceenzaro wants nothing to do with my family's wealth nor do I want anything to do with his brother's wealth. I do not know who you are or what you want with me, but please let me go home.
Dwight yells at Spotty who is already terrified enough saying: I DON'T THINK SO YOUR HIGHNESS! I left too many phony clues as to where we've taken you. He'll never find you in a million years let alone this life time! No one even knows you're here so don't go trying to call for help because no one can see you unless they have magical abilities! (Turns and leaves saying to Dwayne) No one will ever find her here are we geniuses or are we geniuses?!
Dwayne: That we are Dwight that we are! Now let's go spend the ransom money the way we had originally planned to do! (Leaves the corner and exits the tavern hand in hand with Dwight)
Stranger comes over to the corner after Dwight and Dwayne had left and says: Gracious child do you need help in finding someone?
Caitlin in a low quavering voice she replies: I-If you knew a Vinceenzaro Vanwham, then I'd say yes, but if you don't then the only thing that I can say is no. But if you know where to find him then please go find him! (Cringes as she tries to get comfortable) When you do find him, please tell him Caitie sent you and tell him where to find me please!
Stranger sadly shakes her head and says: I am sorry child, I am not familiar with anyone not from this town! I can not help you find your loved one! (Leaves the corner and exits the tavern leaving Caitlin heart broken)
Caitlin starts to feel the tears that were stinging the backs of her eyes start to spill down her cheeks as she gives up hope of anyone seeing her trapped and alone, wondering if she'd ever see Vinceenzaro again and says: I-I give up, I may as well face the facts that I will never see him again for a long time. Oh God I miss him so much,his tender hugs when I'm down and out. Will I ever feel things again? (Starts to cry and quietly thinks to herself) Does anyone even see me sitting here? If they do then why will they not help me? Could what he said be true? No one with out magical ablities can see me here? (Feels both her stomach and heart drop and thinks) Oh no please let there be some one with magic in their veins here to help me find Vince!
Meanwhile twelve towns over Vinceenzaro enters his eightieth tavern in search of Cailtlin.
Vinceenzaro comes into room and looks around and says: Damn! She's not in here either! (Raises his eyes to the sky and whispers) Oh my sweet Caitlin, where are you? Are you even alive? (Reaches up and removes his locket with Caitlin's Portrait in it and continues into the room and sits down at an empty table.)
Meanwhile twelve towns over
Caitlin tries to free herself and cries out in pain as the tight ropes cut her fair skin leaving it red,raw and very painful: Oww, oh that hurt, Vinceenzaro's not going to be happy when he sees this mark on my arm.
Meanwhile twelve towns over
Vinceenzaro decides after a breif rest to get up and walk over to the window staring at his locket wondering if the one woman he loved was alright. Muttering to himself he doesn't realize that he speaks his thoughts out loud saying: Where can she be? I've been half over Marsis looking for her, but to no avail. I can't find her anywhere. Have I lost her for good? Will this weigh heavily on my heart for the rest of my life?
Meanwhile six towns over
Caitlin continues to struggle to set herself free as the cruely tightened ropes cut into her flesh creating welt marks that were swelling and very painful only to cry out loudly in pain: Ouch,ohh why does anyone not help me? What will it take to find someone who will help me find Vinceenzaro?
Meanwhile twelve towns over
Vinceenzaro sighs heavily and swallow the lump in his throat as he struggles to over come the urge to cry as he looks down at the smiling face of his beloved and cries out in agony: WHEN?! WHEN DO YOU INTEND TO TELL ME WHERE SHE IS? I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE! IT'S BEEN OVER THREE MONTHS AND NO CAITLIN! ARE YOU MOCKING ME ARES? IF YOU ARE THEN I'M NOT LAUGHING ANYMORE! I'M SICK OF THIS GAME OF CAT AND MOUSE! EITHER YOU HELP ME FIND HER OR I' LL HAVE TO DO IT ON MY OWN! WITHOUT YOUR HELP,IT WILL BE EVEN HARDER TO FIND HER! ARE YOU DOING THIS BECAUSE I LOVE HER WITH ALL MY HEART AND SHE WITH ALL HERS?
Six towns over
Caitlin in a quavering voice that is filled with sadness: I-I guess I will never see him again. Not as long as I am tied here and he is out looking for me! Oh if only someone would help me find him, this would take a great weight off of my shoulders.
twelve towns over
Vinceenzaro makes a silent vow thinking: Oh Caitlin, the one woman I ever loved deeply, gone from my life for over three months. Where are you? Are you even alive? Have they hurt you at all? I'll keep searching until I have found you.
Six towns over
Caitlin starts to beg strangers passing by saying: Please will not someone help me find someone? I can not do it alone, I need help to find (drops her voice) Vinceenzaro
A small voice quipps up saying: I will find him for you.
Caitlin jerks her head up and cries out: Who-who is there? Show yourself! Be you friend or foe?
A small child slips out of the shadows and says: I be friend to you but not to many others. I'm an orphan or at least that's what I've been told. Do you have anything that bears his resemblance?
Caitlin sizes up the child and says: I-I have but one locket that has a portrait of Vinceenzaro in it but the chain broke a few weeks before I came to be here and I haven't been able to wear it. I keep it in my dress pocket on the left. If you take that locket to where ever Vinceenzaro is, then I'm absolutly certained that he'll gladly follow you where ever you go.
Small child walks over to Caitlin and reaches into her left dress pocket to remove the locket and says: This it?
Caitlin nods and says: Yes that's the locket Vinceenzaro gave me for my birthday a few short months ago. Now be gone to search for him. Oh one last thing! You need to know his last name! There could be hundreds or thousands of men named Vinceenzaro but only one with the last name VanWham!
Small child pulls up the hood of her cloak up over her head and vanishes into thin air right in front of Caitlin and reappears in the doorway of the very room Vinceenzaro was in and turns the locket over to get a glimps of the man she was searching for and finds him standing at the window,takes a deep breath,clears her throat, walks over to where Vinceenzaro stood looking out the window and says: Be you Vinceenzaro VanWham?
Vinceenzaro hears a crystal clear voice behind him turns around to find a small cloaked figure infront of him and says: Yes I be Vinceenzaro VanWham. Who wants to know?
Small child removes her hood and says: I-I don't remember my name I have very few memories of my past and of my family. But that's not why I'm here.
Vinceenzaro straightens up to his full six foot figure and says: Then why are you here child?
Small child brings out the hand with Caitlin's locket in it and says: Does this locket look familiar to you in anyway shape or form?
Vinceenzaro gasps as he recognizes Caitlin's locket,takes it from the child's small well manicured hand and says: Where? Where did you get this? This belongs to Caitlin! I gave it to her over three months ago today for her birthday to remind her of my love towards her! I have the other half! But how did you come to have this? (feels his stomach drop and says) Oh dear god is she dead? Tell me! (Grabs the child by her shoulders and shakes her saying) Is she dead or alive?
Small child: Please sir,stop shaking me and let go of my shoulders! You're starting to get scary and I don't like scary people. On top of that you're older,taller and stronger than I. One false move and something could get broken.
Vinceenzaro becomes aware of himself shaking the child and stops saying: A thousand apologies little one. But tell me, is Caitie dead or alive.
Small child takes a deep breath and says: She's fine. Scared but fine. Two men named Dwight and Dwayne have her tied to a chair several towns over in a magical part of a tavern.
Vinceenzaro confused: If she's several towns over,then how did you find me here?
Small child: The love she has for you fueled this locket and my magic to fuse into one and the locket teleported me here. Somehow the locket knew where to find the other half.
Vinceenzaro: Well can it work both ways? Can you take me to Cailtin?
Small child closes her eyes as the room starts to spin and says: I-I don't know if I have the strength to teleport again. (Feels her legs start shaking and her knees buckled as she fought to stay standing saying) But -ohhh (Faints and falls forward into Vinceenzaro's arms exhausted from the amount of strength and concentration it took to find him)
Vinceenzaro catches the small child in his arms and gently shakes her saying: Child! Child are you alright? Speak to me! (Notices something sticking out from under her dress and scoops it up in his free hand to find it was a heart shaped locket,opens it and finds and enscription that he reads out loud) To my darling daughter Joey on her third birthday. Love always your ever loving father-Stokergent. (Gasps as he finally recognizes the child and says in a breathless voice) You- you're-you're Stokergent's daughter! The child who has been missing for three years! Joey your father will be estatic to have you back home where he can keep you safe! As for now if you were teleported here by the love Caitie has for me combined with what magic is in your body,then the process can be done again! I love Caitlin with my entire heart and would do anything for her and for you now that I know who you are! (Suddenly feels the unconscious child's developing magic become stronger as it merged with the magic of the love he held in his heart for Caitlin and became so bright that he had to sheild his eyes from the light and when the light dimmed and he slowly opened his eyes,he found himself,his pack and his stead outside a tavern twelve towns over,slowly stood up balancing the unconscious child in his arms and entered the tavern slowly looking around. When he heard the small child awakening, he looked down and said to the confused child) Oh thank Ares! I thought I'd lost you!
Small child opens her eyes and says: How-how long was I out?
Vinceenzaro: Scarcely a few hours but at least your weak magic and my deep love and desire for Caitlin got us here safely. (Remembers what he'd read on the inside of her locket and says) Are you certained you don't remember your name?
Small child sadly shakes her head and says: When these things happen, they happen so fast I have no time to remember what happened,who I am or even how to get back to where I came from. Why do you ask me these questions?
Vinceenzaro removes the heart shaped locket from her neck and opens it saying: I am assuming you can read,can you not child?
Small child: No. Why do you ask if I can read?
Vinceenzaro opens the locket and says: Never mind, I'll read the enscription on your locket and all your erased memories will come flooding back to you. (Reads the enscription to Joey saying) It says: To my darling daughter Joey on her third birthday. Love always your ever loving father-Stokergent.
Small starts to feel faint again as all her blocked memories came flooding back to her as she says: Has-has it truly been three years since my magic teleported me across the planet with no way to get back home? How will I get back home to my father if I don't know how I came to be in this predicament in the first place? I don't know how to write yet! I don't know how read to save my life let alone print a letter to send home to my father to let him know I'm all right.
Vinceenzaro carefully sets the child on her feet saying: Don't worry Joey, I'll take care of that as soon as you tell me where to find Caitlin!
Joey: She is over in the far corner unable to move an inch off the chair she was tied to
Vinceenzaro looks around and says: I see nothing but patrons enjoying their meals!
Over in the seclusion corner
Caitlin continues to struggle to set herself free as the cruely tightened ropes cut into her flesh creating welt marks that were swelling and very painful only to cry out loudly in pain: Ouch ohh these burns are hurting me! (Notices her left arm was bleeding and cries) Oh no! These ropes have cut my arm to the point where it is bleeding! Where is that child? I hope she finds him soon! If my arm doesn't get any attention it could become infected.
Over in the open tavern Joey leads Vinceenzaro over to where Caitlin was
Vinceenzaro: Is this a joke? Because if it is then I'm not amused by it at all! Either tell the truth or suffer the consequences once I tell your father about this cruel prank that you are pulling on me! You may have been gone for three years but that does not give you the right to tug at another's heart strings by pretending to know where Caitlin is it's not right!
Joey shakes her head and says: No she's here,just take my hand and hold tight but not tight enough to break my hand. (Feels Vinceenzaro tighten his grip on her hand as she leads him through the mystical cloak of invisibility saying) She's right over there. (Spies an empty table that Vinceenzaro threw his pack onto and sat down on a chair falling asleep from her exhausting two way magical trip.)
Vinceenzaro looks around and finally lays eyes on Caitlin and hurries over to her saying: Spotty! At long last I have finally found you!
Caitlin looks up and feels her heart jump at the sight of Vinceenzaro and jerks herself forward only to be snapped back by the tightness of the ropes as she says: Vince?! I thought you would never find me here! I had almost given up hope of ever seeing you again!
Vinceenzaro lays his hand across her cheek saying: I never gave up looking for you. (Lays her head on his heart and says) I love you too much to ever give up searching. (Tips her chin,leans in and gently kisses her mouth until she responded returning his kiss until he broke it off and said) Now then to free you from your prison. (Goes around to the back of Caitlin's chair, pulls out his sharp hunting knife and easily slits the ropes from around her fair wrists then proceeds to slice the rest of the ropes from around her body until at long last she was free of the heavy fibre ropes that had bound her to the chair as he slid his hunting knife back into it's sheath and said) There all finished! They've all been cut, freeing you from this chair.
Caitlin heaves a long with held sigh of relief then as the wind blew across her injured arm, she caught her breath catching Vinceenzaro's attention
Vinceenzaro hears Caitlin hiss in pain and says: Darling? What's wrong (Helps Caitlin stand up then pulls her close to his chest then pulls his hand away to find it covered with blood and cries) You-you're bleeding! Caitlin you're bleeding! (Assists Caitlin in walking over to a nearby bench where he sat down and she sat beside him under the light where he gets his first glimps of the damage the ropes had done to her left arm saying) Oh dear god this is terrible! I'll be needing my first aid kit after all! (Reaches into his large pack and pulls out his first aid kit that had been prepared by Neil,placed it on the table,opened it and removed gauze,cleanser and several other things then opened the bottle of cleanser and picked up the patch of gauze placing it under the wound saying) Now darling this will hurt quite a bit so please be paitent while I clean this wound out. (Unscrews the cap of the cleanser bottle and pours it over the wound and hears Caitlin whimper a bit as the cleanser seeped into the wound bringing out puss and rope fibres that he continously wiped away until he stopped and put cream over the wound to help it heal until Neil could get a good look at her wound and began wrapping gauze around the patch to hold it in place and tied the two ends together saying) There all done. Well done to the best of my ability that is. Neil will have to have a look at it when we return home. (Checks her right arm and her wrists for the same deep cut only to find rope burn that he placed cooling cream on and said) Well you are lucky my love, you've only got one deep cut. One is enough but at least you are safe and sound now. Caitlin, I don't like the idea of you trekking across god knows how many miles of land just to come see me. It would be easier if- - -(Lets his voice trail off so that Caitlin could figure out what he was trying to say to her)
Caitlin slowly fills in the rest of the sentence in a hesitant voice saying: If I- - - (Suddenly realizes that he was proposing to her and says) Oh Vince! You want me to marry you?
Vinceenzaro reaches into his vest pocket and pulls out a gold necklace saying: What is the answer to my question? (goes down on one knee and holds her hands in his waiting for her answer)
Caitlin calms her mind down enough to come up with the answer she'd always imagined saying to him: Of course I will! It's been three years and I was begining to think you would never ask me!
Vinceenzaro stands up,slips the simple gold chain around Caitlin's fair neck and fastens the clasp,pulls her up on to her feet then pulls her close to him and tips her chin then leans in and kisses her long and deep as she returned the kiss until he opened one eye and seen little Joey sleeping with her head on her arms and broke it off saying: Come my darling, it is best we find shelter for the night so we can get some sleep before we start for home in the morning. It seems bringing me here exhausted the poor child, she's so tired she's fallen asleep already!
Caitlin notices the child and says: Who is she darling?
Vinceenzaro picks up his pack and puts it on his back then picks up a soundly sleeping Joey saying: This little girl's Joey
Caitlin: Jo- - ? Stokergent's daughter? Of course he's been searching for her for three years! Oh how he loves her with his entire heart! He knew her biological mother and step father and agreed to raise her if anything ever happened to them.
Vinceenzaro: Best take hold of my arm my dear, I don't want to loose you after going through hell to find you.
Caitlin takes ahold of Vinceenzaro's arm and says: I'm certained that the inn keeper down the street can put us up for a few nights at three gold coins a night. It's a very nice place,very homey though I had no time to enjoy the surroundings but that's what Dwight and Dwayne paid to stay there before bringing and leaving me here tied to that awful chair.
Vinceenzaro kisses the side of Caitlin's head saying: Then that's where we'll go for the next few nights so that we can have time to ourselves! (Leaves the hidden room through the mystical cloak of invisibility and wound up in the tavern from which they quickly left and walked down the street to where his steed was and entered the inn)
Caitlin rings the bell on the counter and greets the elderly lady: Good afternoon. Have you a room for a rather large family of five available? My niece has had a tiring day and needs to get some sleep and our brothers will be arriving to spend some time with us later on and will both be needing bedrooms to themselves.
Maya nods and takes down two sets of keys and hands them to Caitlin and Vinceenzaro saying: Your room is upstairs on the left. The enitre suite is yours for the family price of one gold coin for as long as you stay.
Caitlin turns to Vinceenzaro and says: Honey?
Vinceenzaro nods and says: In my pouch there is a pocket with gold coins in,it take one out and pay the rate. I'd do it myself but my niece is sleeping in my arms and I don't want to wake her up after all she is sleeping peacefully.
Caitlin opens Vinceenzaro's pouch and unbuttons the pocket where the gold coins were kept and pulled one out and rebuttoned the pouch closed and handed the lady the gold coin saying: Here we go one gold coin for our stay.
Maya takes the gold coin and puts it in the cash box saying: Have a nice stay! Dinner is at four, you can eat with the rest of the guests or have a custom made meal sent up to your room. But with a child that young sleeping, I'll send up menu cards so that you can plan your meals on your own.
Vinceenzaro heads in the direction of the stairs followed by Caitlin then went up the stairs and turned to the left where he found the family suite and said: Caitie can you unlock the door for me?
Caitlin comes forward to unlock and open the door saying: I'll go ahead of you and get a bed ready for Joey to sleep in. (Enters the room ahead of Vinceenzaro who entered behind her and kicked the door shut)
Vinceenzaro kicks the door shut behind him and carefully balancing a sleeping Joey in his arms, he removed his heavy pack and sat it on the floor calling out: Caitie? Honey is Joey's bed ready yet? It's best she slept in a bed, not in my arms.
Caitlin comes out of the bedroom right off the living room and says: Of course darling. It's all ready for her to be laid in.
Vinceenzaro carries a sleeping Joey into the bedroom,removes her cloak and shoes then lays her back against the pillows carefully removing his arms from around her body then allows Caitlin to cover Joey up with the warm blankets while he hung up the small cloak on the pegs on the wall and sat the small shoes underneath the cape then they both quietly left the small girl's room closing the door only half way so that if something didn't feel right he could check on her then he said to Caitlin who slipped into his arms: I've been so worried about you for so long that I'd began to think I'd never find you. But now you're with me and you'll be safe forever and a day. As for now, I've got to get a correspondence going to Stokergent back home. I promised him that I'd let him know if I ever found Joey.
Caitlin leaves Vinceenzaro's arms saying: I think I'll just lay down on the day bed beside the desk for awhile. I feel a little woozy. Oh here before I do lay down,here's Joey's locket to enclose with the letter. (Places Joey's locket in Vinceenzaro's hand then walks over to the day bed and sits down then swings her full body out and falls asleep)
Vinceenzaro sits at the desk and begins writing a message briefly stating that Joey was safe and unharmed and that if he wished he could come and take Joey home with him at anytime stating the name of it Inn where they were staying then he signed it with his name and slid Joey's locket into the envelope before sealing it and addressing it to Stokergent. Then he got up and went over to the day bed gently awoke Caitlin saying in a low voice: Caitie wake up for a minute honey.
Caitlin opens her sleepy eyes and says: Hmm? What is it dear? Where are you going? Will you be long?
Vinceenzaro: I'm going downstairs for a few moments. I need to get this delivered as soon as possible. I just didn't want you to wake up,find me gone and get worried. Will you be all right until I get back?
Caitlin: Hmm, alright. Go on and get that letter on the move. I'll be fine until you get back. Joey's sound asleep in her room and I'm about to move myself into our bedroom for a more comfortable nap,as a matter of fact I think I will - -no I can't.
Vinceenzaro: Can't what my love?
Caitlin: I was thinking that I could slip out of these clothes and into my nightshirt but how can I if I don't have any clothing with me?
Vinceenzaro: I made a stop at your home before I continued my search for you and got some clean clothes, unmentionables and plenty of night clothes for you to change into. Just open my pack and you'll find enough clothing for a few months.
Caitlin feels her cheeks flush and says: Oh you! You are too sweet to me! My night clothes are much more comfortable than this stiff dress and corset that I have on right now. (Gets up off the couch and kisses Vince's cheek then heads towards the biggest bedroom and enters it closing the door behind her)
Vinceenzaro heads towards the door,opens it and steps out into the hallway closing the door behind him and goes downstairs to speak with Maya who called out the express letter carrier who took the letter and was gone out the door and was on his mount heading towards the Black Ruby Kingdom or where ever Stokergent may be staying while searching for his missing child. Then he stated that he and his family would eat later after they had had a decent sleep and went back up to his room where he opened the door and stepped back inside closing the door behind him quietly so that he wouldn't wake up Caitlin and Joey.
Meanwhile the express letter carrier had found Stokergent a few blocks down staying in another Inn and delivered the letter.
Stokergent takes the letter from the carrier giving him a gold coin to pay for the delivery then went back inside his room thinking: Hmm, I wonder who the letter is from? (Turns the letter over and sees Vinceenzaro's name on the back flap and urgently but carefully rips open the letter frantically scanning the entire contents and felt his heart jump at the words "Joey is safe and unharmed,we have a room for a family and we decided that since she is exhausted,we'll allow her to continue sleeping in the spare bedroom as I write these words. You can come and retrieve Joey at anytime you wish. Yes I did find Caitlin and we're staying on longer to spend more time with eachother,but feel free to come for Joey,she anxiously awaits your arrival. Vinceenzaro. PS enclosed is Joey's locket to prove that we've got her with us.
Vinceenzaro." (Shakes out the content of the envelope into his hand and is presented with Joey's locket and instantly grabs his cloak from the peg on the wall and darts out of his room allowing the door to close behind him and darts the few short blocks to the Inn where he'd finally find his missing child and enters through the front door and approaches the desk where Maya instructed him to go up and to the left,then after thanking her he ran up the flight of stairs and turned left where he stopped and knocked on the door thinking) I hope this is the right place!
Vinceenzaro hears someone knocking on the door and goes over to open it and welcomes Stokergent into the room saying: Come in! Come in,catch your breath and calm your nerves.
Stokergent enters the room saying: Where is Joey?
Vinceenzaro nods and says: Let me just go check to see if she is awake yet. (Heads to the bedroom Joey was in to find her awake pulls his head out and says to Stokergent) Joey is awake now, you can go on in and see her.
Stokergent hangs up his cloak then goes into Joey's bedroom where he closed the bedroom door, walked over to the bed where she sat and swept her small body into his arms allowing his pent up tears to finally flow as he said: Three years of searching every corner of this planet had yeilded nothing to me and now the gods are giving you back to me once more. I've been so worried that you were dead that I could not bear the thought of cleaning out your room, I'd lost your mother in a carriage acciedent shortly after she gave birth to you and married Kiegen and I had begun to think you were also with her. But now, I can finally take you back home with me at long last.
Joey snuggles closer to her father and burries her face in the hollow of his throat allowing her tears to soak his fur finally feeling safe at last as she clutched his shirt savouring the familiarity of his arms as he held and rocked her then lifted her up off the bed as she whimpered: I-I wanna go home . Take me home pappa.
Stokergent feels his tears renew themselves after so long it was sweet to hear his child call him pappa again and whispers into her hair: Of course my darling, pappa will take you back home to where you belong. (Walks over to the peg on the wall and gathers her cloak then carefully bends down to pick up her shoes then heads to the bed saying) When we get home you can have anything you want within reason my darling. (Hears her stomach grumbling and says) Starting with a decent meal. (Notices a slip of paper detailing that night's menu,picks it up,sits on the bed putting Joey on his lap and says) There's a good selection for tonight's supper on this menu here, shall I go and bring you back something to eat?
Joey tightens her grip on her father's shirt and says: Noo don't leave me all alone.
Stokergent soothes his shaken daughter saying: Shhh it's alright Joey, Pappa's not leaving you alone. Let's go down and get something to eat while there is still piping hot food on the table shall we?
Joey finally realizes that she was starving and says: I'm hungwy! Go eat!
Stokergent picks up Joey,walks over to the bedroom door,opens it and exits the room saying: Let's go and get you fed before you have a blackout caused by hunger. (Says to Vince) Thank you ever so kindly for keeping Joey safe until I could come for her. I'll be taking her back to the Inn where I'm currently lodged after we go down and have something to eat in the dining room then we'll head back to my lodgings. By the time we get back to the inn, Throttlerian and Neil should have arrived. (Sets Joey on a chair and slips her small shoes onto her feet then removes his cloak from the peg behind her and folds it over his arm then sets her back on her feet and takes her small hand in his and leads her out of Vince and Caitlin's lodgings and downstairs for dinner where Joey ate to her heart and stomach's content and fell asleep shortly after finishing her dessert and drink while her father wrapped his own cloak around himself ensuring that the cloak broach was closed and locked into place then picked up and draped her cloak around her and fastened the hidden button to keep it from falling off and placed the hood over her head then gently awakened Joey so she could climb onto his back and left the inn with her arms wrapped around his neck then she instantly fell back asleep while he carried her on his back heading back to the inn where he was lodged. Upon arrival the inn keeper stated that his visitor's were in his room waiting for him and he carefully walked up the stairs and entered his lodgings saying) Oh good you did find me!
Neil notices Stokergent carrying a child and says: You found Joey after all these years? Is she alright? Here let me take her cloak and shoes off for you so you will not have to awaken her since she is sleeping. (Removes Joey's cloak and shoes saying) Is she alright and unharmed?
Stokergent nods and says: Yes she's fine and unharmed. We just had a big supper plus multiple desserts so she's filled to the brim with food and is sleeping contentedly.
Neil heaves a silent sigh of relief then says: What of my sister Caitlin? Is she all right and unharmed? Oh I just ran a nice warm bath for Joey incase you had found her.
Stokergent shakes his head and says: I'm sorry I don't know. Caitlin wasn't in the room when I picked up Joey. They're staying at the Tavern's Inn a few blocks down from here. Thank you for running Joey's bath. Now if you will please excuse me, I have a child to bathe and put to bed before it gets any later than what it already is. (Heads to the back where the bedrooms were located, entered his room where the bath tub sat with fresh water drawn by Neil,closed the door behind him and went over to the bed where he sat Joey down and said) Time to wake up now Joey. It's bath time! Then it's off to bed so you will be well rested for the trip home.
Joey slowly awakens and says: Is the water just right not too hot and not too cold?
Stokergent shakes his head and says: I'm not certained sweetie, Neil ran this bath for you. I'll go bring you a cup of bath water to feel. (Picks up a cup from the bedside table and went over to the bathtub and filled it with water then took it back over to his daughter and says) Here stick your fingers in and see if it's too hot or just right.
Joey immerses her hand into the water and says: Just the way I like having my baf.
Stokergent sets the cup aside and says: Good now then stand up and turn around and we'll get you ready for your bath. (Begins to undress Joey until all her dirty clothing was in a pile on the floor and she was wrapped in a warm bath towel and carried over to the tub where she carefully climbed into the tub and began her bath.)
After a long while the water became cold and she was all cleaned from head to toe,he lifted her up out of the tub and began to dry her off until she was nice and dry.
Stokergent picks up Joey's panda comb and began to comb out her fur and dressed her for bed making sure that her hair was brushed before he braided it in two tails,then he waited while she pulled her pyjama top down over her head and climed into her bottoms then pulled her socks on her feet then crawled into the spare bed pulling the covers up around her chest then pulled out her favourite teddy bear,snuggled it into her arms and pulled out her favourite book from his statchel and began reading until Joey was soundly sleeping and he was in the clear to leave her for the time being until he went to bed, got up and dumped the bath water from the glass and filled it with fresh cold water incase Joey woke up thirsty then leaned down and kissed her head whispering: Sweet dreams my darling Joey, Pappa will be in the living room if you need me. There is fresh water in the pitcher and in the glass if you need a drink of water. (Gets up,picks up Joey's dress and cloak to mend them and quietly leaves her bedroom closing the door half way so that the light from the living room could soothe her fear of the dark,sinks into the chair by the fire place and says to Neil) While I was there to retrieve Joey, Caitlin was in the bedroom sleeping off a headache so I have no idea if she is alright. The best way to find out for yourself would be to go and see her in person.
Throttlerian stands saying: Yes we should go see for oursleves if Caitlin is al lright. It has been well over three months and I am worried about Vinceenzaro's safety. (Leaves Stokergent's room saying) We shall leave at dawn's first light or is dawn's first light too early for the child?
Stokergent shakes his head saying: After what Joey has been through, I say that it will be much too early to get her up. I would say about eleven-twelve o'clock will be fine. Joey will be awake, bathed,dressed,fed and ready to go by then. She needs as much sleep as she can get before going back home.
Throttlerian nods then says: Alright we will leave later than anticipated in favour of letting Joey sleep late. Come along Neil we have another stop to make.
Neil caught off guard nods his head and says: Coming (Leaves behind Throttlerian and heads downstairs)
Stokergent closes the door to his room and locks it then goes and sits in the chair by the fire place to catch up on some mending that needed to be done on his daughter's dress and cape until his exhausted eyes could no longer stay open and he sat the mending aside,put out the fire with the sand,checked on Joey who was soundly sleeping and finally retired to his own room leaving the adjoining door open so that he could hear if Joey had a bad dream during the night, changed from his clothes into his night clothes,blew out his candle,slid into bed and was soon fast asleep thanking Ares for bringing Joey back to him unharmed and unaged.
After leaving Stokergent's lodgings and exiting the tavern,Neil and Throttlerian walked the few blocks to the Tavern's Inn where his brother and Neil's sister were said to be staying. Before entering, Throttlerian pulled his cloak closed and pulled up his hood so he wouldn't be recognized and mobbed. Once they entered the tavern, Maya told them to go straight up the stairs and to the left to find Vinceenzaro and Caitlin's lodgings for the time.
Throttlerian reaches out and knocks on the door hoping that he wasn't about to awaken anyone from their sleep.
Vinceenzaro hears someone knocking on the door and goes over to open it and welcomes his brother and Neil into his lodgings saying: Hello long time no see! Come in! Come in! What brings you here at this time of the night?!
Throttlerian enters the room and unfastens his cloak saying: I've been worried sick about you! That's what brings me here at this time of the night! Are you alright Vince?
Vinceenzaro: I'm fine bro. (Notices Neil had come in behind Throttlerian and shut the door quickly and says) You want to see your sister right? Well just one second and I'll go see if she woke up yet. (Heads into the bedroom and says to a slowly awakening Caitlin) Caitie honey, your brother Neil is here to see you. He's been worried sick about you for the longest time and woud like to make certained that you are alright.
Caitlin becomes fully awake and says: Neil is here?
Vinceenzaro nods and says: That's what I just said. Just come out in your night dress, Neil will understand that you were sleeping.
Caitlin flings back the covers and slips her feet into her slippers and wraps her robe around her warm body then ties the belt and leaves the bedroom saying: Neil?
Neil turns around and says: Cailtin! (Wraps his arms around his sister saying) Oh thank Ares you are safe! Oh I have been worrying about you for so long! Are you alright? Have Dwayne and Dwight violate you at all?
Caitlin returns Neil's hug saying: No they did not violate me at all Neil. The only injury was from the ropes they used to tightly bind me to a chair. They cut my left arm right through the fur and onto the skin rubbing away a patch of fur leaving that area furless. But Vince did clean it out with the first aid materials you gave him in his first aid kit the moment he noticed the wound was bleeding.
Neil releases Caitlin and says: I think it would be best if I took a look at it. I have the medicine needed to heal it better than Vinceenzaro's primative first aid kit that I gave him before he left to go searching for you three months ago. Come and sit in the chair by the lamp so that I can get a better look at the injury you suffered. (Walks with his sister over to the chair by the lamp and waits until she removed her robe and rolled up her sleeve then removes the lamp's shade to illuminate the injured left arm and says) Hmm, I had better take these filthy bandages off your arm before it becomes infected. (Picks up his medicine bag that he had sat on the floor,sat it on the table and opened it to remove a pair of steril laytex gloves that he pulls on then pulls out a pair of scissors that he used to cut the dirty bandages off and when he gets his first look at he wound he says) Hmm,it is a rather deep wound from what's this? (Rubs his gloved finger along the open wound saying) Heavy ship cord? They used rope that sailors use to moore ships to the docks to bind you to a chair? No wonder you were cut! Those ropes are incredibly stiff and can do a lot of damage. Now then I will be needing some hot water. Is there any water in that pot?
Caitlin glances at the pot over the fire then at Vince who nods then says: Yes there is.
Neil: Great! All I need is a large bowl full of hot water so that I can soak these cloths in. (Looks up to see Vince ladling water into the bowl that he brought over and says) Thank you. Now then since Vince could only use the peroxide to cleanse the wound, this will be painful because I'm adding a salt solution to the water.
Caitlin confused: Salt Neil?
Vinceenzaro nods and says: Salt will bring what is burried in the wound to the surface where Neil can wipe them away. After the salt treatment is finished, he'll use iodine to further clean the wound. I hope you can manage not to kill him when he puts the iodine directly on to the wound
Caitlin completly oblivious to Neil starting and finishing off the salt treatment and begining to pour the iodine onto her wound says: Iodine is no big deal. Mother used it to treat some of the many serious cuts that my other brothers got during their chores. There were instances where I had gotten injured and mother used herbs,then salt water,then Iodine to clean the cut out. So I'm used to the iodine treatment.
Neil rubs jasmine onto the wound to soothe the irratiblity then rubs some cooling cream overtop then places a patch of gauze around Catilin's arm winding the bandage tightly around to keep the gauze from slipping out of place then he finally cuts the last bit off and tapes it down with a piece of medical tape that he had set aside and says: There we go sister, your arm is all clean. There is nothing left in your wound to cause infection anymore. It is all on those cloths that are in that bowl soaking in hot water.
Caitlin surprised to find out Neil was finished and says: That was fast. Now my arm can begin healing. (Hears her stomach rumble and says) Oh my! I hadn't realized just how hungry I really am! Maybe we can go downstairs for the late buffett.
Vinceenzaro hears his own stomach rumbling and says: Caitlin,why don't you go slip into a simple dress and we'll wait for you to get dressed alright?
Caitlin stands up and nods saying: Alright, I'll just go slip into one of my simpler dresses and be out in a few minutes. (Heads back into the bedroom where she slips out of her night gown and into the dress she had set out earlier ensuring that the zipper on the back went all the way up then tied the sash and slid her feet into the matching shoes then leaves the bedroom saying) Ready to go eat?
Vinceenzaro hears Caitlin's voice and says: Oh you are ready? Great let's go downstairs for supper unless you brother want to change out of your royal garb into some civilian clothing?
Throttlerian catches sight of himself in his royal clothes and realizes people might treat him differently dressed the way he was then nods and says: It would be nice NOT to be recognized for a change. So yes I think I will change my clothing. I have a change of clothing with me in this bag that I have been carrying around with me. I will be right back out in a few minutes. (Heads into the bedroom that Joey had slept in and closes the door to have some privacy and begins to change from his royal garb into his civilian clothing until a few moments later he was dressed then he changed his boots from his expensive royal foot wear into a pair of black boots then exits the bedroom saying) Shall we go down for supper now?
Caitlin nods and says: Yes let's go downstairs. Maya said there's always food for her guests no matter what the hour of the night. (Catches sight of her engagement necklace then says) Oh wait just a second! There is something I need to speak to Neil about in private before we leave. (Grabs Neil by the wrist and drags him into the bedroom and closes the door for privacey)
Neil: What is it Caitlin? What do you want to speak with me about?
Caitlin: This! (shows Neil the necklace and says) This is what I wanted to talk to you about. He has finally asked me!
Neil takes a close look at the necklace that encircled his sister's neck and says: Vinceenzaro has finally asked you to marry him? What did you say Caitlin? Was it something understandable?
Caitlin: Of course he could understand the answer! I said yes to him! Why would I not say yes to him? Vince is the only man who has not tried to seduce me into having intercourse with him. He would rather wait until we were married and more comfortable with eachother before having intercourse with eachother.
Neil pulls his sister into a hug saying: At least you've found the right man to be the perfect husband and father to your future children! I wish you all the best for your up coming marriage. (Releases her saying) So when is the date?
Caitlin shakes her head and says: We haven't set a date just yet. It is too soon to be setting a wedding date. We decided to wait awhile longer before acutally setting the date of our wedding. There are still somethings that I don't know about Vince that I need to know before we marry and there are things about me that he still would like to know about before the wedding date is set. So until we have brought forth everything about us, there is no wedding date to be announced. I think it will take a few more years before we are actually ready to exchange wedding vows and begin our lives as husband and wife then start a family. I would have to say we want to wait three or four years or more before we actually think about when we want to set the wedding date. You will be the first to know when the wedding date will be. The only thing we need right now is time to be with eachother ALONE with no family around us to pester me into setting a wedding date when Vince and I are not ready to be getting married, We need time.
Neil: Since time and privacy are what you need, then time and privacy are what you shall have. If anyone asks if Vince has found you, of course the answer will be yes but if they ask where to find you, then I do not know where you two are. Since you two are going to be staying here longer than a few months then you will need plenty of clothing to wear so that you do not have to wear the same thing over and over again. First thing in the morning we will go to the tailor shop up the street and have some clothes made for you and Vince to wear. We are not leaving for Black Ruby until later tomorrow morning at around eleven or twelve,Joey needs plenty of extra sleep so that is why we are leaving later in the day than anticipated. As for now sister, we should not be keeping the others wating for us, I can tell you are extremly hungry so let's get going downstairs for some supper before you pass out from hunger. (Opens the door and allows Caitlin to leave ahead of him saying) Shall we go down for supper now?
Vinceenzaro takes ahold of Caitlin's hand and heads out the door followed by Throttlerian and Neil down to the buffet room where they were handed large platters and told to help themsleves to what ever they wanted to eat.
During the course of supper,Throttlerian excused himself from the dining room and went to the front desk and wrote out a swift notice to his carriage driver Andrew not to show up until eleven thirty-twelve o'clock since they wanted to get some extra sleep then Maya had it sent off to where Andrew was staying with family and notified him as soon as Andrew sent a respons back indicating that noon was a perfect pick up time.
Three hours later after the quartet had eaten and drank as much as they could handle,they trudged back upstairs to their lodgings and entered their respective bedrooms and got ready for bed so that Neil and Throttlerian would be ready to leave later the next morning to head back to the Black Ruby Kingdom.
Andrew stops the carriage,climbs down and enters the Harbour Inn where he picked up Stokergent and Joey who were waiting for him to arrive and got into the carriage then headed to the Tavern Inn where they picked up Neil and Throttlerian who weren't downstairs quite yet.
Neil looks out his bedroom window and sees Andrew waiting then ensures he has everything, leaves his room and goes to the next room knocking on the door saying: Throttlerian? Andrew's here, are you ready yet? (Thinks to himself) Are you even out of bed yet or are you waiting for someone to come in and dress you?
Throttlerian awakens at the sound of Neil knocking on his door,flings back the covers,gets up and goes his window and peers out through a partition in the curtains and sees Andrew waiting then hurridly throws off his night clothes and starts dressing thinking: Oh good god I'm late getting up! Andrew's waiting outside and here I am still in my night clothes and unfortunatly I have to forget about a bath! Oh well that's the price I've gotta pay for not getting up a few extra hours early to have a proper bath! (Picks up his royal outfit and slips it on making sure everything was on properly then slips his feet into his boots and gathers up his civilian clothing and boots then stuffs it all into the bag that was in the chair and puts his cloak on ensuring that his royal clothing couldn't be seen and remakes the bed and opens the door to find Neil still waiting and says) Let's get going. I've made us late by oversleeping. I take it Vince and Caitlin are still asleep?
Neil: No, they were up hours ago and went for breakfast. I couldn't get back to sleep so I got up and dressed making sure I packed everything then I went down for breakfast with them. I tried to rouse you at ten o'clock to get you up and ready but you wouldn't budge from your bed so I just left you to figure the time out for youself and now you've made us late by oversleeping and staying up well past two in the morning.
Throttlerian feels his cheeks burning and says: I had no idea that I was up that late! I thought for sure that it was only past midnight when I went to bed! You're absolutley certained that it was well past two a.m. when I went to bed last night? The sundial only read twelve fifteen when I looked before going to bed.
Neil: I am absolutley postivie that it was past two in the morning when I finally heard you settle in for the night. The clock in my room read two forty five a.m. even the sundial outside my bedroom window read two forty five. That's a quarter to three in the morning! What was so urgent that kept you up half the night and prevented me from getting a decent nights sleep?
Throttlerian goes over to the wall where the moon clock was located and reads the time from the previous night and says: Hmm, I guess it was later than midnight when I went to bed. I never once thought that it would be a quarter to three in the morning when I went to bed. Oh I was just doing some late night mending to my pants and vest, found a few holes that I missed before. Then I put the finishing touches on a flannel cloak coat that I'd been working on for Joey to wear. (Pulls it out of the statchel and says) You've youngsters at home that are Joey's height and width, is this to big for her to wear? Cassandar and Codie are smaller in height and width than Joey is and Dakota's too big to match up to Joey's height and she's developing a chest so she's no good to measure this on.
Neil takes the flannel cape coat from Throttlerian's hand and looks at it saying: Perhaps maybe four sizes too big for Joey
Throttlerian: Darned, I thought I had the measurments right when I started working on the coat.
Neil: Don't forget though, Joey's an active,growing girl so a coat that is four or five sizes too big on her right now, will be perfect as she grows bigger with each growth spurt she has. Don't forget that as Joey grows, she'll need plenty of stretching room and by making things four or five sizes too big for her now, will ensure that she has plenty of space to grow into the coat as time goes on. The coat is water resistant which will be good news to her father who frets over her when it rains and it comes apart so that she has a cloak for spring,summer,fall and winter the key times when she'll need this the most are spring,fall and winter when it's below freezing outside. I'd say you made a good quality choice in the materials and design of this cloak coat. Joey will love it, the only thing she has to wear right now and it is late autumn, is that light weight spring cloak and it's not doing a very good job in keeping her warm. The last thing her father needs after three years of searching for her, is to have Joey sick with a stuffy, runny nose,deep cough,a fever and the chills when they're not home. It'd be alright if they were at home where he could whip something up to make her feel better and coddle her until she felt better, but unfortunately we're not home. (Opens the door and startles Andrew as he says) Oh terribly sorry there Andrew, I didn't know you were on the other side of the door. Yes we are on our way down to the carriage to be on our way home, Throttlerian just overslept, the clock in his room is three hours slow so he misjudged the time he went to bed last night.
Andrew backs up and not wanting to be reprimended again hurridly says: I will go back out to the carriage and await your arrival. (Turns and hurridly decends the stairs and heads back out to the carriage where he waited for Neil and Throttlerian to come out.)
Throttlerian hears Vince and Caitlin emerge from their room,turns and says: Well we're ready to head back home knowing that we have little Joey in tow makes Stokergent's life easier.
Neil embraces Caitliin saying: Take care of yourself Caitie and I'll see you as soon as you return home. As for now it's best we not keep Andrew waiting anylonger. (Turns and leaves ahead of Throttlerian)
Caitlin reaches out and snags Neil's cloak and says in a low voice: Here,give this to Andrew for me. It's a change of clothes and plenty of food and drink for him. I put it in this statchel so no one knows what's in side.
Neil takes the statchel and says: I'll be sure to give it to Andrew when I get into the carriage. (Turns and continues down the stairs and exits the tavern heading to the curbside where he hands Andrew the statchel saying) Six pairs of pants and shirts,underware and plenty of food and water for you so you won't go hungry.
Andrew takes the statchel and says: Thank you sir, I appreciate the thought. (Climbs up to the drivers seat then lifts up the seat and carefully sets the statchel in the hidden compartment the closes it and climbs back down to wait for Throttlerian)
Neil shakes his head and says: Oh it isn't from me, it's from Caitlin and Vince who don't want you going hungry or thirsty or have to do without clean clothes. (Climbs into the carriage where he checks over Joey and gives her a temporary clean bill of health saying to Sstokergent) I want to see her as soon as we get back for a more through exam and to up date her annoculations.