“Would you like another scone, Meriall?” Gwendoloena held up a silver platter filled to it edges with delectable triangles toward one of her newest guests. “The ones in the middle have cranberries in them.”
The little girl stood up in her chair and reached over to grab a second helping while still chewing down the last bite of her first. She garbled out two intelligible words through her stuffed cheeks.
“Meriall, manners young lady!” snapped Algar in an incredulous whisper over her rudeness. “I’m quite certain your parents instilled in you enough sense not to speak with your mouth full.”
Meriall swallowed with a loud gulp. “Sorry. I was trying to say thank you.”
“You’re welcome dear.” Gwendoloena smiled. “I’ll take your first attempt as sign of your approval. And what would tea time be without a mouth full of scones?”
This particular afternoon tea included quite an interesting gathering around the table. Gwendoloena sat at one end with Deigen and V at her left Being vampires, the trio’s preference to sit where the most sunlight flooded in from a large open window appeared out of place. At the other end sat, or to be more accurate, squatted, gargantuan Algar. Being an ogre, his consideration for good table manners seemed more unlikely than any possibility of him managing to sit in one of the chairs without crushing them. Albert and Seth joined in on conversation as they chose but stood far enough from the table and close enough to the window to keep their zombie stench from interfering with anyone’s appetite. Peppering either side of the table in the middle were Ian, Simone, Trevor, Meriall, and even Bastiick. The latter member of the nonmonsters continued speaking accolades for the Keepers whenever he opened his mouth but the spell itself remained more annoying than threatening. It was also another good reason to keep his mouth full of scones and tea.