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“Ah,” said Octavia, “we were hoping to conduct a quick meeting before going to the Keep.”
“Nonsense,” said Sanko. “We understand the situation well enough.”
“Explain what you will on the way.”
Zeff certainly had no complaints about the woman’s attitude. After being told to wait all day long, the sudden forward momentum was most welcome.
They led Sanko to one of the two limousines waiting to carry them to their next destination, which was apparently going to be the Keep now. Octavia, Rayen, and Zeff joined her. Evangelina Stroud, Socorro Garza, and Santos Zabat took the other limo, but their three reapers stayed to listen in.
Octavia and Rayen began offering a quick outline of all the forces they currently had in Rheinhal, but Sanko didn’t seem very interested.
Instead, Sanko’s gaze lingered on Zeff. “You have a familiar face.”
Zeff raised an eyebrow. “Do I?”
“Would you happen to be this Zeff I’ve heard of?”
‘How did you know?’ said Axiolis.
“Elroy family resemblance. But we are confused. It was our understanding that you had been captured.”
“I was released. For what reason, I don’t know.”
“Ah. That bodes well for negotiations, then.”
Zeff wasn’t so sure he agreed. He hadn’t given it much thought before, but it certainly did seem strange that he had been let go.
“I knew a man named Agam Elroy rather well,” said Sanko, and the sudden change in pronouns did not escape Zeff’s notice. “Was he an uncle of yours, perhaps?”
The name was only vaguely familiar, but Axiolis had him covered.
‘Agam was an uncle to Zeff’s grandfather.’
That seemed to surprise her. “Really now? Oh my, how embarrassing. I suppose that is what I get for attempting to connect with the younger generations.”
‘Don’t feel bad,’ said Ax. ‘I’m sure I knew Agam even before you did. He was a charming fellow.’
“That he was.” Sanko’s nostalgia and sentiment seemed to die there, however.
Fortunately, it made little difference, as they were nearly there. Their two vehicles pulled up in front of the closed gate and parked. Everyone exited.
Zeff looked up and saw that Xavier Lawrence was just then joining Parson Miles atop the gate. Doubtless, their reapers had sensed the Gargoyle’s presence.
Zeff had to muster every modicum of restraint he had left. It probably would not go over very well if he immediately started attacking them in front of Sanko.