Learning to Fly (7 Hunters)

By MTopaz



King’s Hunter, Vin Tanner, peered around the corner. No one was in sight. Slowly, without a sound, he snuck into the room, the object of his quest mere feet away. He reached out his hand. Almost, almost…

“Vin Tanner! Just what do you think you’re doing?”

“Um, well, Miss Nettie. I was just…checking—to make sure everything was okay.”

“In the kitchen? Are we expecting a horde of goblins?”

“Well, they might come for your meat pies, Miss Nettie. They’re real good.”

“Don’t think flattery will get you anywhere, young man! That food is for dinner. No one eats until everyone is here.”

“But I’m hungry! You wouldn’t want me to starve, would ya?”

“You were just here a little while ago for a snack. I swear! You have a bottomless pit for a stomach, Vin Tanner. Now git!” She gave Vin a shove that sent him stumbling into the hallway.

He supposed he’d best get out of her hair for a bit. It wouldn’t do to make Miss Nettie all mad. Not that she ever got really mad at him or the other Hunters. She always made a big fuss, hollerin’ and such, but she was really all heart. She’d kinda spooked Vin when he’d first met her. She seemed like a tough old lady who didn’t take guff from nobody. He’d been right. But she was also like a grandma or something the way she cooked and fussed over everybody. And boy, were her meat pies the best!

“Kicked out of the kitchen again, Vin?”

“Course not, Larabee. Just keepin’ an eye on things.”

“Those ‘things’ wouldn’t be Nettie’s meat pies, would they?”

“They just might.”

Chris, Josiah, Nathan, Buck, and JD had been in the hallway in time to hear the whole conversation.

Josiah was grinning ear to ear. “You’d better not test her temper, Brother. It’s rumored that she came with the castle and knows all the secret places to hide the bodies.”

“Reckon she might, but that don’t matter none to my stomach.”

Buck just shook his head. “That stomach of yours is gonna get you in trouble one of these days.”

“My stomach would be just fine if we could eat. Miss Nettie won’t serve anybody until all of us are here. Where’s Ezra?”

“Haven’t seen him. He went off on his own somewhere after lunch. Come to think of it, he’s been doing a lot of that this past week.”

JD was thinking the same thing. Ezra had been disappearing on them lately. Just the other day, he’d seen Ezra going out towards the cliffs. JD had asked if he wanted some company, but the other Hunter said he had some personal business to take care of alone. Ezra had only been in Itreya Proper for a few weeks. What kind of personal business could he have at the cliffs? “You don’t think anything’s wrong, do you? He’s been acting kind of funny.”

“Now that you mention it, it does seem like he’s been avoiding us.” Nathan and Ezra argued sometimes, but the healer thought of Ezra as his friend. Maybe something really was wrong.

Now Vin was wondering, too. “He’s been acting a mite sneaky, too. We’d best go find him for dinner. Maybe we can get him to tell us what’s ailin’ him while we’re at it.”

Part 1