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from Sasha's Journey by Sheri Conaway

Copyright © 2014–2021 Sheri Conaway

Chapter 2

Tess had known enough teenagers to realize Sasha would probably remain in her room until either hunger or morning forced her out. After reassuring herself the house was adequately protected, she decided some decisions needed to be made sooner rather than later and returned to Council Headquarters.

Pacing back and forth, tail twitching in obvious irritation and furious at being kept waiting, Tess muttered to herself, heaping abuse on the heads of anyone she could think of.  A woman sitting at the receptionist’s desk did her best to ignore her as previous offers of assistance had been met with a hiss or a stone-freezing glare.

“Imbeciles!” Tess growled. “What in the name of Bast were they thinking? Expecting a mere child to get them out of the mess they’ve made! Worse, yet, a child who has no idea who she is, or the potential danger she faces! A nice dip in quicksand would be too good for them!” 

Worse still, now she would be forced to babysit two oblivious babes, while untangling the wretched mess created by those who would, laughingly, in Tess’ opinion, consider themselves far wiser than Sasha. Mired in her own fury, Tess ignored the fact that two 17-year-old girls would be offended at being referred to as children, or worse, that they required a baby sitter! The longer she waited, the more irate she became, and the more creative the curses she heaped on the unsuspecting heads of the people she waited to see.

Finally, another woman came to escort Tess to the office of the man she awaited with mounting impatience. Stepping through the door and waiting until it was firmly closed, she turned to face a small group of humans and other creatures noting that only a select few of the Council members were present. A large, silver wolf spoke first.

“Greetings, Tess. I trust you are well.”

“Cut the crap, Sebastian! You know the mess you sent me into is quickly spiraling out of control.” The extended wait had given Tess ample time to build her rage to apocalyptic levels, causing her to conveniently forget that it was Sasha’s father, Phil, rather than Sebastian who was responsible for her additional responsibilities. From long experience, Sebastian knew better than to interrupt her tirade. “Not only are four of our best Star Guides missing, but one of their daughters is now in my care, and the other soon will be. Thanks to your collective wisdom, they know absolutely nothing of their own responsibilities! I want to know what you idiots are going to do to keep this from turning into a complete debacle.”

“Erm...well, Tess, old girl...”

“I swear, Sebastian, if you tell me you were counting on me to fix this...”

“No, no Tess. Or, not exactly, anyway.” Sebastian replied while moving behind his enormous oak desk, putting a little more distance between himself and the irate feline. Though he had not seen it first-hand, he had heard stories of the devastation she could wreak when her ire was raised. “The truth is we really didn’t think it was a big deal. We’ve only just learned that the four of them were, shall we say, detained, though we have yet to determine who is responsible.”

Nearly spitting in fury, Tess stared at Sebastian in disbelief. “You really haven’t a clue, do you? How have you” staring hard at the room’s occupants, making it clear that her ‘you’ was collective “managed to detach yourselves from reality to such a disastrous degree? Have you at least been able to determine why the disappearances are occurring, and whether ...

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