Bookworm answered the door of her apartment with a smile. “Hello, Mariah! Do come in.” She gestured to her living room, shivering in the chill of the cold air outside. “What brings you here?”
“Actually, I have something to show you, if you have time.”
Bookworm pondered a moment, then nodded.
“Good. Grab your cloak and come with me.” Mariah grinned.
Bookworm took both cloak and rifle–she still hadn’t seen hide or hair of the reported monster, but she didn’t want to take chances–and followed Mariah down the stairs. They headed inland across Babbage Square and Wheatstone Waterway, chatting amiably about the snowstorm, the weather back in Boston, and other innocuous matters. Finally, Bookworm saw that they were approaching a house on the edge of the district. They stopped at the gate, and Mariah gestured expansively.
“That…is now mine,” she said.
Bookworm raised an eyebrow.
“To be frank, Miss Book, you need more training. More, and more consistent. I can’t do that from Boston, so I decided it was time to move here. Please, come in and take a look.”
Bookworm followed Mariah inside and let her lead her around, through the library and dining room. Gesturing outside, Mariah noted, “There’s a good courtyard outside for training. And an attic for when we–well, *I*–decide it’s too inclement for outdoor training.” Bookworm grimaced at that.
Mariah led her upstairs, and showed her the two sizable bedrooms. But then Mariah looked her with the first bit of uncertainty Bookworm thought she’d ever seen from her. “I have been thinking…”
“I should move here as well?” Bookworm finished for her, and chuckled at her stare. “It didn’t take me long to figure out that’s what you were hoping. It certainly would be more convenient.” Then she looked at Mariah sardonically. “And the fact that this is across the city from Dr. Obolensky’s property has nothing to do with it.”
Mariah chuckled. “Actually, no–this was the first suitable property to come on the market. But now that you mention it, it’s no bad thing.”
Bookworm grinned, then looked around again slowly. “It certainly is nice…and closer to Militia headquarters, which is also no bad thing.” She pondered a few moments, then nodded. “All right–I’ll do it. But I insist upon paying rent.”
“I thought as much. Come downstairs–we can discuss the particulars.”
They spent a pleasant hour sitting by the fireplace, deep in plans and ideas. Finally, Bookworm stood up. “Well, if I’m going to move, I’d best get things in motion. I shudder to think about moving all my books.”
“Well, there’ll be plenty of room for them here.” Mariah grinned. “Let me know if I can help you with anything.” Bookworm nodded, and took her leave.
She walked home in a bit of a daze. When she’d awakened this morning, she’d never expected that the day would bring such a change. Arriving home, she paused in the process of removing her cloak, and looked around, pondering. Yes, it had been a good life here, on the whole, but it was time to move on.