Status: Will be updated once to twice a week, until I catch up to what I have written.

The Quest

Chapter Two - The Entertainer

After a few hours of arguing with the sheriff in town Tom walked into the hotel they were staying at. The receptionist was glaring over at the fireplace. That was a sure sign Tess was over there. He smiled to himself as he turned the corner to see her surrounded by the children of travelers. She was mixing potions, making them spark and change color to the delight of the kids.

“More! More!” The kids cheered as she reached for more empty vials.

Tess laughed at the response, not noticing Tom had added himself to the cluster of children. He wrapped his tail around his waist as he sat down, making sure it wasn’t in the way. She put an empty vial on a stand, then pulled a blue liquid from her pocket. And a small leather bag from her pack. “Has anyone ever caught a falling star before?” She asked as she poured the liquid into the vial.

“No!” The group of kids chorused, they watched Tess’ every move in anticipation. A small group of parents were starting to gather along with a few maids and cooks from the hotel's staff.

Tess looked into the crowd with mock horror. “No?” she asked, hands on her hips as she played towards the kids. “Would you like to play with the star I caught?”

“Yes!” The kids hooted and hollered.

Tess laughed, this was one of her favorite tricks. It was also one Tom wasn’t fond of because he usually got singed fur from it. “I need everyone to sit down and be calm. My star is a shy star and will only come out and play when it’s quiet," Tess peaked into her leather bag, a small amount of light filtered out of it. The kids sat in front of her with baited breath.

It had been a while since Tom had seen children so still. Tess peaked back at the kids and gave a smile. “Let’s see if my star friend is ready to play.” Tess turned the bag so she could pour the contents into her vial. The kids waited for one…two…three seconds then the liquid began to shine bright and foamed. A few more seconds went by and Tess’ star hovered above the vial she had poured into it. The kids gave soft sounds of amazement as they tried to be careful of the star's shyness. “Well hello little star friend,” Tess waved her hand under the glowing orb. The orb moved so it was hovering over her hand now. The kids gently pushed each other and pointed at the star as Tess moved closer to the front row of kids.

“Did you want to pet it?” Tess offered her hand to a small girl, who stared at her in wonder. Tess demonstrated how to “pet” the orb, allowing the little girl to follow suit. The little girl stroked the orb gently. Then let out a small shriek of delight before running back to her parents.

“Do you want to see it do tricks?” Tess asked her audience. Small heads nodded as she looked around the room. She caught Tom’s eyes as he sat in the midst of the kids, giving him a small smile. He grinned back, already knowing the routine.

He watched as the orb flew up into the air and bounced along the chandeliers. Then it came back down and landed on Tess’ shoulder, rolling down her arm to her finger tips. Next she would ask if anyone would want to hold it. “Would anyone like to hold my star friend?” Tom beamed at her voice. If none of the kids wanted to hold it, he was usually the first one. A small boy next to him raised his hand.

“Can I hold it?” The boy's voice wavered a little when he asked.

“Of course,” Tess walked up to the little boy. She directed him on how to hold the orb, then gently slid it into his hand and took a step back.

“Oh wow,” the boy whispered, looking at the orb. His face grew bright from the little light dancing in his hands.

Suddenly kids on all sides of the boy were asking to hold the star, and crowding him. The little boy pulled the star close to himself as he backed up into Tom.

“Don’t crowd,” Tess called as she tried to make it to Tom and the little boy. If she wasn’t careful she'd cause another fire. “Tom!” Tess looked at him with scared eyes. The kids weren’t listening to her now.

Tom lifted the little boy up above his shoulders, trying to give the orb space from the other kids. He knew it was just a little magic trick but he swore the orb had a life of its own and hated him.

“Star come!” Tess shouted after failing to calm the kids down. The orb jumped from the little boy's hands into her own. She clenched her fist around it then put it back into its leather bag. Much to the disappointment of the kids. “I’m sorry kiddos, but that’s all I can do today. I’m getting a little tired,” Tess feigned a yawn, as the kids groaned in disappointment.

Tom knew the kids would’ve kept her at it all night if she didn’t call it quits when she did. He felt a finger stick down into his ear, reminding him of the little boy he was still holding. He sat the boy down, grimacing as his ear tingled from the small finger. “Go find your mom,” he shooed the boy away before turning towards Tess.

“Didn’t want to burn another building down?” He teased her as he helped her pick up.

“It wasn’t my fault,” Tess grumbled. Putting the mixed vials in her pack, not caring about the order, she'd organize them in their room.

“If I recall correctly, You told me you were giving me cider to drink,” Tom pretended to think as Tess rolled her eyes.

“We need to get your hearing checked because I know I said It was fire cider,” she gently shoved past him and made her way to the room they were sharing.

“You got the fire part right,” Tom grumbled as he followed her. He still didn’t think his throat had fully recovered from the incident.

“So what did the sheriff say? Am I allowed to be out past my curfew today?” Tess asked once they were in their room. She sat her pack down on a pile of clothes on the floor.

Tom shook his head as he looked at the state of their room. He insisted on keeping things in the dressers or his pack. Whereas, Tess enjoyed laying things where they fell as she rummaged through her bags. “Sheriff wants you back before her shift is done.”

“When’s her shift done?”

Tom glanced at the clock on the wall, “in half an hour.”

Tess glowered at him. “It wasn’t even in this town!” She exclaimed in exasperation, flopping onto her bed. “Why does she hate me?”

Tom sat on her bed, giving her a silly grin. “Word travels fast nowadays. She’s just trying to keep the town safe.” His tail wagged slightly, hitting her in the head.

“Safe from what?” Tess rolled over, ignoring Tom’s tail. “All the ‘big evils’ were defeated eons ago by the hero’s of those days.”

Tom watched her, he knew the stories the same as she did. The whole land's history was based on hero’s fighting the big evil of the land. Only having peace when the hero had to make the big decision to give up everything to save everyone. Depending on the town you were in you could see the statues of them, but a lot of them were getting taken down lately. It always happened at night with no explanation.

“I mean think about it,” Tess’ voice cut into Tom’s thoughts once more. “When’s the last time you’ve heard of someone becoming a hero?”

“It’s a lost art,” Tom tried to supply his limited knowledge. “Nobody knows where the Hero’s Dias is anymore.”

Tess hmmpfd. “More like they won’t tell anyone.” Tom knew better than to push the subject, unless he wanted to get into an hours long political debate with her.

“How about we go to the stables? We can pick out horses to ride for tomorrow,” Tom quickly changed the subject before Tess decided to go on the rant she was contemplating. He purposely wagged his tail in her face, making her push his tail off of her as she sat up.

“You’re a jerk, you know that right?” Tess gave a stern look before breaking out into giggles. She couldn’t stay mad at Tom, especially when he did his sad puppy dog face.

“And you’re a witch,” Tom stuck his tongue out at her. Which she promptly returned before running out the door. Tom shook his head, before following her, ignoring the feeling in his heart.
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Something I forgot to mention in the last authors note...if you notice any spelling mistakes or grammar, please let me know. Also if you become confused on any parts, please let me know so I can not only explain it, but fix it for future readers. Thanks once again!

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