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Danny should have known better quicker. Thoth grinned at both of them, slipping his hands into his pockets, waiting for them to figure out that he had them cornered. There was no way they could stop him from going to Earth and no way they’d let him go on his own. The only person who could have talked him out of this was Tristan, and as he was well hidden in the woods, there wasn’t a chance of Danny or Cypress finding him and dragging him to Thoth before the latter had found a way to get off-planet.

Probably because he’d known Thoth for longer, Danny caved first. Thoth ignored the probably get kidnapped again comment, which was wrong on two counts. Firstly, Thoth had only been kidnapped once before, and that was by pirates, not Aurans. He and Tris had both been kidnapped on Apeliotes Island when they were younger after Thoth’s old house collapsed on him. Secondly, Thoth wasn’t about to get kidnapped this time. Those Aurans hadn’t succeeded once yet – why should they this time? Besides, he could take care of himself. Some of this flickered across his face – since he’d never been able to hide his feelings – but he kept his mouth shut. No need to try and convince them of any of it.

Fortunately, they were too wrapped up in their own conversations to notice what Thoth’s face was doing. Cypress had all the excitement of a puppy with its first ball, and Danny… Thoth’s forehead creased as he watched the exchange, feeling – not for the first time – like he was missing something. That wasn’t an uncommon sensation for him, but that didn’t make it any less unpleasant.

“Counts towards what?” He asked, nonplussed, looking between the two of them. Then the rest of Cypress’s words sunk in and his forehead knitted together fully, forming the scowl Thoth had borrowed from Joel and come to trademark as his own. “What? No. You’re not spending another two hours here with that guy.”

What did she think, that he was just going to go off and let her stay here on her own for two hours with someone who would probably hurt her again? In his pocket, Thoth’s hands curled into fists. No way. Not happening. It wasn’t like Cypress would need the job anyway after this, since she’d have plenty of money to start up her own business!

The solution, delightfully simple, occurred to him a split second later. His expression cleared.

“Okay, well, I’m going to go now.” His coffee-brown eyes gleamed and the corners of his mouth twitched slightly. “So you can come now or you can stay here.”

Without waiting for either of them to argue back, he shifted back into a wolf, shaking his pelt to cast off the weird feeling of transmogrification. On the other side of the kennels, there was a tremendous splash as his water-dog lost its magic and collapsed into a flood on the floor. Wagging his tail once at Danny and Cypress, Thoth trotted down the kennels towards the un-iced door at the far end, ears pricked forward and eyes sparking in determination.

MASTER OF THE ORBIS . MASTER OF THE WATER ELEMENT . SON OF AURA
photo by Patrick Lewis at flickr.com



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