Chapter Seventeen

(POV: Sarah)

 

The gnome turned to look at Sarah through bleary red eyes, and the scowl on his face was almost enough to make her go slinking back to Father Lucius' table. She steeled her nerves, though. She had to talk to him.

 

"I'm sorry to bother you," she said, "but I was just wondering if—"

 

"I ain't drunk yet," he interrupted her.

 

Sarah stared at him.

 

"I ain't talkin' to nobody until I'm good and drunk," Albie said, and held up an empty mug. "You want to chat? Go get me another ale."

 

"I'm, uh," Sarah stuttered, looking from Albie to the mug in his hand, "I'm sixteen."

 

"Good for you. Do you wanna talk or not?"

 

Reluctantly, Sarah nodded. "Right, okay. Just a second."

 

She muttered the transformation spell, and a few seconds later stood on two legs as a human girl. When she reached out to take the mug, though, she found was lacking a key part of her body— thumbs.

 

"Crap!" she groaned, having to clamp both her paws around the mug to hold onto it. "Why can't I ever get this stupid spell right?"

 

Albie chuckled in dry amusement as she turned and went to the other side of the dining hall, where a large barrel sat against the wall. She set the mug underneath it and, with some difficulty, managed to turn the spout.

 

I hope my parents don't find out about this, she thought as ale poured into the glass. The thought almost made her laugh. After everything she'd been through, the thing she was most worried about her parents discovering was that she had served alcohol.

 

The mug started to overflow, so she hurried to close the spout and, carefully, picked up the mug. She walked slowly, never taking her eyes off the foamy yellow liquid until she set it back down in front of Albie Koob.

 

"Thanks," he said, wasting no time in grabbing it and taking a long drink. While he did that, Sarah released the spell and fell down to all fours again with a sigh of relief.

 

Koob slammed the mug onto the table and turned to look at her again. "You want to know how to get into the archive without getting killed, right?"

 

Sarah's breath caught in her throat, and her face turned pale. Busted...

 

Albie smirked and leaned his chair back against the wall. "Relax, I ain't gonna tell nobody. Everybody who comes here wants to get to the Keeping Fire, thinking they can sell it and make a bazillion dollars or something."

 

"Oh," was all Sarah could think to say, her spirits already falling. If Albie had already figured her out, there was no way she was getting in that room.

 

"And I'm gonna tell you how to do it, just like I tell everyone else."

 

The look on Sarah's face made Albie laugh again. "I ain't pulling your leg, kid. You think I care about these loonies?"

 

"Why wouldn't you?" Sarah asked slowly, sure there was going to be a catch somewhere. "They let you and your brother stay here."

 

"Bah," the gnome grunted, waving his hand dismissively. "They're just a bunch of idiots wasting their lives on a pointless mission."

 

"It's not pointless," Sarah shot back, feeling strangely defensive of the historians. "What's wrong with studying history?"

 

"Nothing, I guess," Albie admitted, and then pointed a finger at her, "so long as you're gonna share it eventually."

 

"They do share it," Sarah said. "I just spent the whole night reading."

 

"Yeah, and you had to come here to do it." Albie sat forward, letting his chair fall back to the floor. "But everybody else out there? The ones who still think this place is just a story? Tough luck. They'll never touch any of these books."

 

Sarah shook her head. "I don't get it. What's the big deal?"

 

Albie shrugged. "There is no big deal. No deal at all. It just strikes me as stupid that they would spend so many years writing everything down, and then not let anybody see it."

 

He paused for a moment, and then snorted. "Stupid and selfish."

 

Sarah stood there, waiting for him to go on. Albie took another long drink and belched before leaning his chair against the wall again, looking at her like a fly he wanted to shoo away.

 

"So, you were going to tell me how to get into the archive?" she prodded him. In the end, it didn't really matter what Albie thought of the historians so long as he gave her what she wanted.

 

"If I tell you," he said, looking up at the ceiling as he leaned his head back, "promise me one thing."

 

A creepy sensation slid down Sarah's spine as she thought of what the drunk gnome might want from her in exchange.

 

"What?" she asked cautiously.

 

"Whatever you learn in there, share it," Albie answered.

 

Sarah cocked her head in confusion. "Why do you want me to do that?"

 

"If you're coming to me, that means whatever you're looking for's been forbidden," Albie answered without looking at her. "These idiots never forbid anything unless it's really dang important. If it's important enough for them to hide it from people, that's enough for me to want everyone to know about it."

 

Sarah's heart pounded in her chest. The history of the Slayers. Where they'd come from, why they had formed, why they did what they did. Father Lucius was right about one thing— if the Slayers found out that she knew all that, they would double, no triple their efforts to hunt her down. And there was no better way for them to find out than for her to go blabbing about it to people like Albie wanted.

 

I don't have to do it, Sarah thought, ignoring the guilty tremor in her gut. I just have to tell him I will.

 

"Okay," she said out loud. "I promise."

 

Albie glanced at her suspiciously, and Sarah got the feeling he had seen straight through her lie. Then he tipped his chair forward again, and pushed the half-finished mug of ale away from him.

 

"All right," he said, leaning in closer to her. "Here's the secret..."

 

 

 

(POV: Porter)

 

Porter dug his heels into the soft earth, skidding to a halt, and looked around. Was he just imagining things, or had somebody just called his name? He looked at the tower, half expecting one of his friends to be standing outside the door, calling him inside, but the massive wooden structure was closed just as tightly as it had been when he'd left.

 

"Porter!" the voice said again, and he followed it with his eyes until he was looking at the hill he and the others had come down to get to the tower. On top of it stood a figure dressed in a long black coat, waving wildly at him.

 

What in the world? Porter wondered. Who's that, and how does he...

 

He froze.

 

HE KNOWS MY NAME!

 

Without another thought, Porter took off running towards the hill, sending fairies scattering with every step. There was only one reason somebody besides Sarah, Droma, and Tick would know his name— they'd known him before he'd lost his memory. The man in the coat stopped waving and came running down to meet him. Why was he wearing that thing, Porter wondered? It was already hot outside, and that coat looked thick.

 

"Porter!" the stranger exclaimed, his eyes wide with disbelief. "It really is you. I thought you were... How... What are you doing here?"

 

Now that he was up close, Porter realized that the man was actually a boy about his age. He had spiky black hair, and bright green slanted eyes. Porter scanned his face, taking in every detail, waiting for something to spark his memory... but there was nothing.

 

"I'm staying at the Historians' Tower," he said, trying to hide how disappointed he was. "Who are you?"

 

The other boy's mouth fell open in shock.

 

"I know you probably can't see it," Porter went on, and turned to point at it. "You just have to tell yourself it's there."

 

"What do you mean who am I?" the boy demanded, grabbing Porter by his shirt and spinning him around to face him again.

 

"Um, I mean tell me your name," Porter answered, brushing his hands away and taking a step back.

 

The boy shook his head wildly and pointed at him. "Come on, man, don't mess with me. You know who I am!"

 

Porter shook his head. "Sorry."

 

"Dude," he whined, his voice going comically high pitched, "it's me, Ozzie! We're best friends!"

 

"Don't take it personally," Porter said, holding his hands up. "I don't remember anything."

 

Ozzie went silent for a few seconds. "You don't... remember anything?"

 

Porter shook his head again. "I woke up in the forest a couple weeks ago. Sarah was there too, and we've been travelling together ever since."

 

"Who the heck is Sarah?"

 

"She's a sphinx," Porter explained. "She's back there in the tower right now."

 

Suddenly, Ozzie's face was inches away from Porter's. "You've been traveling with the sphinx?" he yelled. "Are you crazy?"

 

"Hey, back off!" Porter shouted back, pushing Ozzie away from him. "What's wrong with you?"

 

Ozzie put his head in his hands and turned in a slow circle. "Man, do you realize how much trouble you're gonna be in?"

 

"Trouble with who?" Porter asked, still trying to remember something about the young man in front of him. Nothing came to him.

 

Well, there's nothing else for it, he thought. Out loud, he said, "Hey, don't take this the wrong way or anything, but... you said we're best friends. Where do I know you from?"

 

Ozzie's arms fell to his sides in exasperation. "You really don't remember anything about me?"

 

Porter shook his head.

 

"I can't freaking believe this," the manic boy said, rubbing his forehead. "Porter, we've been friends ever since we were four years old. We lived together, we trained together, we did everything together!"

 

Trained. That word stuck in Porter's head, and he leaned in closer to Ozzie in excitement. That word was important— which meant he was finally close to an answer!

 

"Trained by who?" he asked, excitement lighting up his eyes.

 

Ozzie groaned. "The ones who adopted us and took us in. They raised us, dude!"

 

Porter nodded. "Right. And they are..."

 

"The Slayers!"

 

Suddenly, it felt like everything had frozen. For a fraction of a second, the world didn't spin, the wind didn't blow, the birds didn't sing, and nothing moved.

 

THE SLAYERS.

 

Sarah and Droma had both said that word, and their voices had made it clear how much they hated them... whoever they were. And Ozzie was one of them? What did that mean?

 

Acting reflexively, Porter brought his hand up and summoned Flicker to it. Ozzie's eyes went wide at the sight of the gleaming blade, and he took a step backwards.

 

"Porter, what are you—"

 

"Get out of here!" Porter said, taking a step back towards the tower.

 

The look on Ozzie's face told Porter he was at a complete loss as he fumbled for words. "But- but what the Slayers? I was told to bring you back to Master Mortoph!"

 

"You've got the wrong guy," Porter insisted, backing even further away. "Go away."

 

"But you—"

 

"Go away and leave me alone!" Porter yelled before turning tail and running as fast as he could back to the tower, leaving Ozzie standing at the bottom of the hill by himself.

 

 

 

(POV: Sarah)

 

"You already know how to get in there," Albie said.

 

Sarah sat still, waiting for him to explain what he meant by that.

 

"No, I don't think I do," she replied when he didn't say anything.

 

"There's a password that'll shut down the archive's defenses," the gnome went on. "If you're really sitting here talking to me, then you know what it is."

 

Sarah shook her head and was about to argue more when a loud BANG! came from the hall outside the dining room. she turned toward it.

 

"What was that?" she asked, getting to her paws.

 

"That would be the door," Albie answered, a hint of concern finally showing on his face. "Something must be wrong. My brother never slams it like that."

 

"Porter was outside!" Sarah exclaimed, bolting in that direction. Had something happened? When she reached the front door, she saw Porter leaning all his weight against it, like that would be enough to hold it closed. His skin was pale, and when he turned to look at her she could see his fright from ten feet away. Before she could ask what was wrong, he blurted out one word:

 

"Slayers!"

 

 

 

(POV: Ozzie)

 

Ozzie could only watch in bewilderment as his friend ran away in a storm of fairies. Then, right in front of his eyes, Porter vanished.

 

"What the heck?" he whispered to himself, unable to tear his eyes off where Porter had just been. The way he'd vanished was only part of his confusion, though. How could Porter have forgotten him? After everything they'd been through together? Could it have been the sphinx, he wondered? There were certain spells that could alter a person's memory, but he didn't know how likely it was that a young sphinx would know how to cast one. But what other possibility was there?

 

Porter had mentioned the Historians' Tower, just like Mortoph had. That, if nothing else, must have explained where he had disappeared to. Why couldn't Ozzie see it, though? If there really was a tower full to the brim with monsters, he realized with a jolt, then standing at the bottom of the hill probably wasn't a good idea. Spinning around, he dashed back to his meager campsite on the other side. He didn't hesitate to pull out his mirror this time. Mortoph needed to know about this.

 

"Master Mortoph," he said, and his reflection faded away. Before the Master Slayer could greet him, he launched himself into his report. "Sir, I saw Porter. He says he's staying inside the Historians' Tower, and—"

 

"Ozzie, slow down!" Mortoph cut him off. "Calm yourself. Is Porter all right?"

 

Ozzie hesitated. "I don't know, sir. He looks okay, but... he said he doesn't remember me."

 

Mortoph folded his hands in front of himself. "Go on."

 

Ozzie took a deep breath. "I tried talking to him, but he said he doesn't know who I am. Then he drew his sword on me and ran away."

 

Mortoph's eyes narrowed, and he made a humming noise as he thought.

 

"Could the sphinx have altered his memory somehow?" Ozzie asked.

 

"It's possible," Mortoph answered. "I would hazard a guess, though, that a more mature monster must have done it. Did he mention being with anybody?"

 

"No, just the sphinx, sir."

 

Maybe it was the Tall Thing, he thought, but kept that to himself as the Master Slayer starting talking again.

 

"This troubles me, Ozzie. If they have Porter, they could very well use him as a weapon against us. He knows things about the Slayers that the monsters must never find out. I'm sending an attack force to your location."

 

Ozzie perked up when he heard this. "You're going to attack the tower?"

 

Mortoph nodded. "Porter's admission is all I need to confirm its existence. My research tells me there could be a spell over the tower that hides it from anybody who doesn't believe in it. Continue watching the area, Ozzie. The others will be there as soon as they have equipped themselves.

 

An excited chill ran down Ozzie's spine, almost enough to make him forget about Porter.

 

"Prepare yourself, Ozzie," Mortoph said to him as his image began to fade. "This is going to be bloody."

 

 

 

(POV: Sarah)

 

Sarah's paws glued themselves to the floor, and icy fear froze her muscles.

 

Run, girl! Run as fast as you can, and don't look back!

 

I'm afraid it's too late for that.

 

Sarah's heart began to race, and her breathing got heavier. She could feel panic overtaking her rational thought. Her eyes were locked with Porter's, who was still standing petrified with his back against the door. The only thing that saved her from caving in then and there was Father Lucius, who roughly pushed his way past her.

 

"What did you say?" he demanded.

 

Porter came around at the old dwarf's voice, and finally looked away from Sarah.

 

"There... there are Slayers out there!" he said, his voice breathless with fright.

 

A chorus of nervous voices broke out around the hallway, where Sarah realized a crowd had formed to investigate the commotion. Father Lucius spoke over them, and silence fell again.

 

"Are you sure they were Slayers? Describe them to me."

 

"Well," Porter said, hesitantly, "I only saw one of them. He was wearing a big black coat."

 

Fear twisted Sarah's stomach again, making her regret eating those spicy sausages.

 

"If there was only one, then I doubt it was a Slayer," Father Lucius said after a moment's thought. He was speaking loudly enough for everyone in the hall to hear him. "Their kind never travels alone. Did you say anything to him?"

 

Porter's face paled even further, and he shook his head.

 

Oh no... Sarah thought. The others didn't know Porter like she did. He was lying.

 

Lucius thought for a moment more, and then turned the address the historians that had gathered. "I see no reason to believe that the boy Porter saw is a Slayer. Nevertheless, I am putting the tower on a state of high alert just to be safe. Double the watches on the areas surrounding the tower, and report any unusual activity directly to me. In the meantime, I want everyone to return to their work."

 

Sarah watched as the historians turned and walked away, some of them still muttering anxiously. She didn't blame them. After what she'd already seen, even the possibility of a Slayer attack made her fur stand on end.

 

Once they were alone, Porter turned to look at Sarah. The poor boy still looked terrified, she thought.

 

"Hey," she said as gently as she could, taking a step closer to him, "are you all right? What really happened out there?"

 

Porter looked at her, his eyes screaming a silent plea.

 

"Sarah," he said at last, his voice a hoarse whisper, "what are the Slayers?"

 

Sarah's heart dropped into her stomach, but she was saved from having to answer when a familiar brown cloak appeared at her side.

 

"That is a question better answered behind closed doors," Droma said. Sarah looked up, and saw that his kind smile was nowhere to be seen. "Go to Sarah's room, and she will explain it to you there.""My room?"

 

Sarah echoed, her cheeks turning red, but further protests were cut off when Droma gave her the most intense stare she'd ever seen on his face.

 

"Okay," Porter agreed weakly. He took a step forward, and then paused. "Are you going somewhere?"

 

Sarah turned and saw that Droma had a large pack slung over his shoulder.

 

"I am," the giant answered. "I apologize, but something has come up that requires my urgent attention."

 

"Wait," Sarah butted in. "What happened to taking us to Jellaska Kob Lertan?"

 

"I am not leaving you without help," Droma pointed at Porter. "Flicker has been there before, and will remember the way. Summon it, and it will point you in the right direction."

 

Porter shook his head in dismay. "But what if we run into more trouble?"

 

Finally, a smile broke out across Droma's face. "You have Flicker, do you not? I have confidence that Sarah and Tick will still be in safe hands so long as you stay with them."

 

A new type of fear stabbed at Sarah's heart, and she couldn't stop the frightened hiss that came out of her mouth. Droma and Porter both turned to look at her, and she tucked her wings sheepishly against her back.

 

Bringing Porter to Jellaska Kob Lertan means execution for all of us!

 

"Where are you even going?" Porter asked, bringing his attention back to Droma.

 

"I cannot tell you," the Soul Smith said, "even though I wish that I could. This is unavoidable, though. You three will have to carry on without me."

 

Porter looked like he wanted to argue more, but then he sighed with a resigned look on his face.

 

"There's no point in asking you to stay, is there?" he asked.

 

Droma reached out and put his hand on Porter's shoulder. "I am afraid not. Do not worry, though. We will see each other again soon."

 

Porter frowned, but finally nodded.

 

"Thank you. Now, go to Sarah's room. She will be there in a minute to explain things to you."

 

Porter glanced at Sarah, looking thoroughly lost, and then walked away.

 

"Be careful what you say to him," Droma told her as soon as he was gone.

 

"You don't have to tell me that," Sarah responded, cringing. "But why do you have to go?"

 

When she turned to look at him, the giant's face was grim. "Because the Slayers are coming."

 

Another wave of fear washed down Sarah's spine, and she shivered. "So they're... they're actually coming?"

 

"I have no doubt that they are," Droma confirmed. "Porter is one of them, after all."

 

"Was—"

 

"As far as they know, he is still one of them. The boy Porter spoke to must have been sent to find him. And while Porter might mean well, I do not doubt that he told him about the tower. They are coming, and they will attack."

 

Sarah's claws unconsciously came out and scratched the hard floor beneath her. "And you're leaving before they get here. Shouldn't we go with you?"

 

Droma shook his head. "What I am going to do, I must do alone. Besides, you still have something you need to do here, do you not?"

 

"What are you..." Sarah's voice trailed off. How did he know about that?

 

"If you are going to speak to the Keeping Fire, you will need to do it before the day is over," Droma said. "After that, it will be too late."

 

Images of black-coated warriors storming the tower flashed in front of Sarah's eyes, and she had to shake her head to get rid of them.

 

"You think it's going to be that soon?"

 

"If they come, they will work quickly," Droma answered, his eyes turning hard. "I do not expect the historians to last until morning."

 

Sarah's mouth dropped open. "What?" she exclaimed. "You mean this place is..."

 

Droma sighed, and nodded. "The historians are scholars, not warriors. I would try to convince them to leave with me, but they value their work more than their own lives. The only thing we can do is run while we have the chance because, no matter what, the tower is going to fall."

 

It felt like a hole had opened up underneath Sarah's paws, and she had fallen into it. All the historians were going to die, and Droma thought there was nothing they could do about it.

 

"This is our fault," she whispered.

 

Droma knelt down in front of her and put a comforting hand on her back."Worry about getting out of here," he told her. "Let Father Lucius and the historians do what they think is right."

 

Sarah moaned, closing her eyes and shaking her head again.

 

"First, you have to talk to Porter," Droma said. "Then, go to the archive and learn what you have to from the Keeping Fire. After that, get out of here and run as fast as you can. Flicker will take you to Jellaska Kob Lertan."

 

"But I don't even know how to get into the archive!" she protested.

 

"What Albie Koob told you is true. If you got inside the tower, you can get inside the archive."

 

"That's just it, though! We only got in because you answered Brother Koob's stupid riddles!"

 

The fear was setting in, and Sarah could feel panic building up inside her again. Droma took her chin gently in his hand and made her look him in the eye.

 

"You have to be strong, Sarah," he urged her. "For Porter's sake. He will protect you, but you have to be there to guide him."

 

Sarah was hyperventilating now, but the cool look in Droma's eyes calmed her down.

 

"Can you do that?" he asked.

 

Sarah swallowed and nodded, trying to hold back frightened tears that were prickling her eyes.

 

"Good," Droma said. Suddenly, he looked up, as if he had heard something. "I have waited too long already. I must be off, Sarah. Say goodbye to Porter and Tick for me."

 

Before Sarah could protest, the giant got to his feet and gave the door a mighty push. He grunted from the effort, but eventually managed to open it just enough to slip out of. Sarah watched as the tail of his cloak slipped out through the crack, and then he was gone.

 

My guide just abandoned me, Sarah thought, unable to stop her body from shaking. I'm alone with Porter, Tick, and a stupid sword. What am I...

 

Sarah cut those thoughts off. She knew what she had to do. She had to go find Porter. Her tail twitching anxiously, Sarah finally turned away from the door and hurried down the hall. Four flights of stairs later, she was standing outside the room the historians had given her. The door was ajar, which meant Porter was inside. Unease gnawed at her from inside, but she pushed it away and went inside.

 

 

 

(POV: Porter)

 

Porter was sitting with his back against the corner of Sarah's room, hugging his knees to his chest. His whole body was shaking, and there was nothing he could do to stop it.

 

We lived together, we trained together, we did everything together. We're Slayers!

 

Could that be true? Was that the past Lowatai had glimpsed? His stomach was tying itself in worried knots, and he let out a slow, quivering breath. The worst part was that he didn't even know if his fear was warranted or not. Whatever the Slayers were, Sarah and Droma obviously didn't like them. And the way the historians had reacted when he'd told them there was one outside... What had he gotten himself involved in?

 

The hinges squeaked as the door gently swung open, and Sarah stepped into the room. Normally, the sight of his friend would have calmed him down. Now, the thought of what she might say terrified him. The sphinx gave him a smile, but he didn't have it in him to return it. Pushing the door shut behind her, she came and sat down across from him.

 

"Porter," she said softly, "tell me what's wrong."

 

When he spoke, his voice was barely a croak. "What are the Slayers?"

 

Sarah frowned, and looked down at the floor. She took a deep breath, and Porter steeled himself for bad news.

 

"Well," she finally answered, "they're not good people."

 

"Why?"

 

Sarah looked up at him again, and Porter almost flinched when he saw how much pain was in her eyes. Suddenly, he felt horrible for even asking. Sarah took a few seconds to blink back the tears, and then answered.

 

"They're murderers, Porter. Evil, cold blooded monsters."

 

Porter let out a little moan, feeling like he had just been punched in the gut.

 

"They hunt down Mythics like me and kill them for no reason!" she went on, and Porter could see her grief slowly turning into anger. "It doesn't even matter if they're children, they'll kill them, and..."

 

"No!" Porter shouted, and curled up into a ball, covering his head with his arms.

 

Sarah fell silent, but he didn't look up at her. A minute later, she said, "Porter, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have freaked out like that."

 

Porter looked up at her, and only then realized his cheeks were wet with tears.

 

"Sarah, am I... am I one of them?" 

 

Porter watched as Sarah's expression turned from pity to surprise, and then from surprise to worry.

 

She's going to say yes, Porter thought, a weight forming in his stomach. She just doesn't want to.

 

"Why would you think you were a Slayer?" she asked.

 

"The guy I met outside said I was," Porter answered fighting to keep his feelings under control. He started gesturing wildly with his hands in an effort to make his point. "I don't remember him, but I don't remember anything, you know? Lowatai said I had a dark past, you were there when she said it. What if that's it? What if I was a Slayer, and I've killed Mythics like you, and..."

 

Porter's words were cut off when Sarah reached out and put a paw over his mouth.

 

"Porter," she said firmly yet gently, like she was talking to a child, "you are kind, you are brave, and you wouldn't hurt a fly. You are not a Slayer, and you never have been!"

 

She pulled her paw away, and Porter shook his head. "I want to believe you, Sarah, but he knew my name! And you never knew me before we met in the woods. How do you know I wasn't one before?"

 

Sarah paled visibly when he said this, and Porter ground his teeth together. Another minute passed in silence before Sarah took another hesitant step towards him.

 

"Porter," she whispered, "I'm going to tell you something I should have told you a long time ago."

 

Despite how low he was feeling, Porter looked up at her, his curiosity piqued.

 

"I didn't just find you in the woods," she explained, looking down at her paws sheepishly. "I brought you there."

 

Porter relaxed his arms and legs, uncurling from the fetal position he'd been in, and leaned in closer to her. "What do you mean?"

 

"The reason the Slayers know your name is because they were after you," she went on. She was speaking slowly, he noticed, like she was choosing her words carefully. "I saw them attack you, and they knocked you unconscious. I managed to drag you away before they could kill you, and then I teleported both of us into the woods. That's when you woke up."

 

The whole world seemed to stop for the second time that day, and Porter slowly reached up and felt his head. "They knocked me out," he said softly. "That's why I have amnesia."

 

"Yeah," Sarah affirmed him, looking relieved. "That's why."

 

He took his hand off his head and pointed at her. "And you..."

 

His voice trailed off.

 

Sarah cocked her head. "And I what?"

 

Porter threw himself at her before she could react, and wrapped his arms around her.

 

"You saved my life!" he shouted, not caring who heard him. "I'd be dead if it weren't for you!"

 

The sphinx went rigid in his arms, and Porter pulled back, realizing how uncomfortable that must have made her.

 

"I'm sorry you got put in so much danger because of me," he said, sitting back down. "You really are the best friend I could ever have. I'll pay you back for it, I promise!"

 

For the first time, Sarah smiled. "You already have, Porter. You're the best friend I've ever had too."

 

"No," he shook his head, "I mean it. I'm going to do what Lowatai said. I don't care where we are, or what happens to me— I'll keep you safe."

 

Sarah blushed, and smiled at him. "Thank you."

 

They sat in silence again, but this time it was a comfortable silence. Then, a funny thought came to Porter, and he couldn't help but laugh.

 

"Do I have something on my face?" Sarah asked.

 

"No, no," Porter chuckled. "I was just thinking, it's a good think Brother Koob let me back into the tower without asking those riddles again."

 

Sarah snorted and grinned too. "I wonder what the riddles were?" she asked. "I can't think of anything that would make me think of..."

 

She paused, and her eyes grew wide.

 

"What?" Porter asked, leaning towards her.

 

"That's it!" she yelled. Without a word of explanation, she jumped to her paws and ran from the room, leaving a very confused, but far less miserable, Porter behind.

 

 

 

NEXT TIME: Tensions are only getting higher, guys. Mortoph's ordered an attack on the tower. Droma deemed the situation is so hopeless that he left. At least Porter feels a little better about himself now, but was it a good idea for Sarah to lie to him? And what was it that occurred to her just now?

 

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK!

FOLLOW ME

  • Facebook Classic
  • Twitter Classic