Need I even say it?
They were there. Of course, they were there. .
I’d imagined that I’d get to the Dovir townhouse and that I’d have a few days to get settled. Inigo had arranged for a messenger to let the household know that I was on my way and apparently the boy really screwed up the message and hacked off the assembled Dovirs, by the way he phrased it…
Actually, saying Dovirs is kind of misleading. There is a very strange crowd of people staying here. First there is the Dowager Lady Dovir (Lord Melco Dovir was shot dead about six months ago – it was quite tragic really, he took a bullet for his son. How this could have happened I can’t fathom, or even where their bodyguards were at the time. One of these days I am going to get Mares to explain it all to me…).
Anyway, the Dowager Lady Liana is about three years younger than me and very pregnant with her dead husband’s baby. Poor child! She kicked up such a fuss about how she was Lady Dovir, and not me, even though I am the one that is married to the current Lord. Newsflash, Liana, you don’t have the say here – what happens to you is up to my husband. But I guess he’ll be really nice and fair about it. Argh! She really annoys me. She refused very vocally to vacate the master-bedroom to snub me, the bitch. She seems to think she owns Mares, because apparently she’s slept with him! How creepy is that? Having it off with your step-son! (But I have to admit, she is very young and very pretty, despite her bump. Blonde, petite, very nice skin and immaculately turned out.)
I was about to make a big scene, which would have just made things worse, when Cato interfered and showed me to a very nice if somewhat soulless guestroom. He claimed it was the Lord’s preferred room, because of the view over the garden. (The bed’s a bit poxy, though.) Cato is the head retainer of the Dovirs, he’s a very stern-looking figure, but has this real thing for Miss Seraphina, Mares’s tiny half-sister, who’s about three. She follows Cato around sometimes. Cato oozes competence and make very nice hot jalla. He brought me some while I hid in my room for a bit pretending to unpack.
Mares’s aunt Lady Gneeta Destine is also staying here, but just for the moment. She’s another formidable person. A prophetess. She told me to my face that they didn’t know whether to trust me and so would keep me at arms length. I wasn’t sure whether to respect her for her honesty, or whether to get upset/offended by it.
And there there are Lady Gauri Salici and her retired assassin lover, Mr Giel Rattan. Mr Rattan is quite friendly and was kind to me. We chatted about my House and our allies the Bonmanis for a while this evening before I retired to write my diary. Lady Gauri is okay, too. She’s another prophetess, but she’s not as standoffish as Lady Gneeta.
But, get this! The worst thing is that there seems to be a ghost in the house! I can feel this strange presence... This really creeps me out. I think I am going to send a messenger to fetch Mares here for tonight. I’m not sleeping on my own in this horrible house with a ghost on the loose.