"Pray tell, what have you brought me out here for?" Essek asked, looking up at the tree atop the Xhorhaus. It did look so much taller standing next to it... Still, it was no less strange from close by as it was from down the street, or even from within the Lucid Bastion where one could see the faint sparks of sunlight periodically shining through.
"I was hoping to borrow you, for a little while..." Caleb spoke, standing up from the doorstep, a little more dissheveled, a lot more like the first time he encountered the man, though the stench had yet to return to him. "In private..."
"If there was anything you and your group required..." Essek began but fell silent at the human before him waving his words aside. "That's... not what I meant, I mean.... Would you come in, please?" He asked, opening the front door and the chime ringing faintly upon doing so.
The Shadowhand did so with a slight huff and if one looked closely enough they might've spotted a faint grin tugging at his lips, though it soon melded into neutrality. "Alright... No ball bearings this time I see? Where's the rest of your party?" He asked, looking around. the house was rather silent...
"In Nicodranas, family issues came up. I wanted to be with you alone..." Caleb spoke, putting a serious emphasis on the alone part, whether that was accent or deliberate wasn't certain as far as the Shadowhand could tell.
"A short holiday."
"Hm, You still haven't answered my first question." Essek spoke as he followed behind the human Wizard, who lead him into the dining room.
"I was hoping you might spare me a moment... for a favour."
"I haven't brought my spellbook with me, Caleb. If you wanted another lesson..."
"No, not that. I... I want to know your opinion."
With a curious look, Essek kept his gaze on Caleb, silent.
The human took off his old brown coat, and pulled up his sleeves to reveal his bandages.
"You know some of my past, yes?"
"I know what you have told me."
"In that time... I have done things, and things have been done unto me. And I... Just... I ..." Caleb struggled with the words and Essek didn't flinch or move, but his voice cut off the anxious mutterings. "Show me." And with that final push, Caleb began unwrapping his bandages, revealing his scarred forearms.
Essek laid eyes upon them and for a while said nothing, studying them without any words.
"These have been done onto you?" The Drow asked.
A breathless yes came as confirmation.
"How long has it been since they healed?"
"Over a decade ago..."
"And yet they run so deep still." Essek spoke, some intruige as he made mental note, his gaze now back up at Caleb.
Conversation. Study. A question posed, an answer hypothesized. Essek hadn't been prepared for this eve of Caleb being so... clean, so (seemingly) honest. Though he decided to indulge him. There was something at the back of his mind that tickled at him. By now, an attempt at tea had been made and they were each nursing a cup at their respective sides of one of the tables. An affectionate cat had found it's way in Essek's lap and he couldn't help but absently fluff the purring ball of white and ginger fur.
White and ginger fur...
Wasn't his familliar a brown tabby?
His gaze focused on Caleb's face and that stubbly beard seemed to be growing in quite fiercely, for someone with a decent straight razor.
That brown coat looked no better off than the first day they had met and yet the stench seemed to be gone entirely.
If they wished to speak in private, why not speak in Caleb's room? Why did he call him out here, and not come to seek him out like he had before?
Essek hadn't realised the conversation had fallen silent for a second too long, and the cat had stopped purring. 'Caleb' was now staring at him. Essek broke the silence. "I'm sorry I've let my mind wander, you've given me much to think about, Caleb..." He said and from the cat which had begun to purr again he felt the initial tension had been resolved. "Though. Indulge me a second before I must take my leave and attend my duties... Might I take a dip in your hot tub?"
Perplexed, Caleb stammered out an "of course." The sheer nervousness could have been someone who was nervous being alone with a drow man who was to strip and bathe in his house. Though he didn't really seem like the type.
"Lead the way." Essek gestured calmly and simply looked at the man, who stood up and almost stumbled out of the dining hall and into the central room.
Five doors, one he walked out of, one led to the entrance, three doors full of possibility, and Essek knew the answers to where they led. He hadn't been given the full tour quite yet, but everyone who dare to set foot in the 'Xhorhaus' had been offered a dip in the hot tub, he felt like, so anyone who knew the place would know where it was.
Desicively, this Caleb set one foot in front of the other, over the rug, and never leaving it. Once more, Essek followed, this time floating up just a little closer, and he readied a restraining spell before leaning into his ear. "It's the door to your right."
A couple spells later it appeared that this intruder was none other than a scourger... And so it seemed that they knew quite a bit more than Essek was comfortable with.
For good measure, Essek placed a magical lock on the front and back door of the house. This incident was going to be dealt with in utmost discretion.