That's a lot of Glancing...

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Oh. I think I’ll help Zerin get the door,” you decide.

Okay!”

Zerin leads the way down hall after hall, through room after room, and soon, after much speed-walking, you reach the grand front doors. The cats follow you along until you reach your destination.

The entry hall is full of marble adornments, and through the windows on the front doors, you can see the vague shapes of people standing on the doorstep.

Zerin hurries to the door and tries to open it, but the handle sticks. “Ugh,” he says. “I keep meaning to oil this, but Erin and I always use the side door so I haven’t gotten around to it.”

He tugs again and the door begins to slowly swing open, accompanied by the loudest and most obnoxious creak you’ve ever heard.

Ethan runs over to flip on the doorstep light so you can all better view your visitors. By the time the door is all the way open, you can see three weather-beaten guests standing bedraggled and dripping on the welcome mat.

They look up at Zerin, relieved. “Oh, good, someone answered. You must be the butler! We were on our way to vacation and our car broke down during this storm. You were the closest shelter we could find...Do you think the owner of this house would mind letting us stay until the storm is out?”

Um,” Zerin begins. “Firstly...hello. I am not the butler; I am the owner of this house.”

The three strangers glance at each other. “Ohh. Sorry.”

Secondly...THIS is the closest house?! Our driveway is a mile long. I’m surprised you even found us.”

It is obvious that these three are not Zerin’s expected guests.

The three strangers glance at one another. “Uh, yeah. We’re surprised to.”

Zerin breaths in and out, then opens his mouth. “Well, seeing as you’ve got nowhere else to go, I’d be glad to provide hospitality to you three.”

They glance at one another, wonder or fear in their eyes. “Thanks!” they exclaim, and hurry inside to get out of the pelting rain.

Then they spot the cats, which are curling around your legs like warm, soft furnaces. “Ohhh, look how cute!” One girl runs to pick them up, and the cats yowl in fear, skittering away down a hallway.

Oh. I’m sorry,” she says, standing and seeming to remember her manners. “My name is Sandra...I love cats.”

The male stranger introduces himself as Chad, and the other girl tells you all that her name is Daisy.

I am Zerin Gordan. Here, follow us.”

Zerin leads the strangers back along a different path through the house, and you all emerge presently in the dining hall.

It’s enormous! The ceiling is vast and arched, and the hall looks more like something from medieval times than anything that should be in a mansion. The table is extremely long, and the whole thing is decked with all kinds of foods. Your mouth begins to water.

Oh look, there are Theresa and Erin.