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The beautiful aroma of Red’s cooking engulfed the small house and the people inside. Margaret sunk back into the chair as fatigue kicked in. Her limps felt like heavy like the tree trunks Gilbert would sometimes cut down. Her eyes were a little droopy and stomach grumbling. There was a lively chatter all around her as the eight males of the house talked about various things, some she could comprehend, some she could not. Mostly she tried to keep herself awake long enough to eat. Taking a deep breath Margaret  looked around at everyone present.

On her right sat probably the happiest of the bunch. Margaret  nicknamed him happy in her head but from what she picked out his name was Tim and he was also the youngest of the group. From the way he talked and how childlike he was, Margaret  was reminded of Toby, a child in a houseful of adults wondering how he had grown up so soon.

“Meg, Red makes the best tea. It rejuvenates you in moments. So sit back and relax.” One of the men said seeing her yawn. He seemed rather shy with her sitting on the same table. Margaret  wondered if he was always this shy. With his looks she couldn’t believe him as someone shy.

“Ben spoke to a girl!” Another one exclaimed out loud. Apart from Loke he had the most commanding aura in the room. Her earlier question was answered. It would seem Ben was actually bashful.

“Hush Daniel, we are sure to be making her uncomfortable now.” A man, who looked visibly sick, said quietly.

“Aye, Aye, make way! Tea is here!” Red said. Immediately everyone hushed and sat up straight.

“Margaret , one for you.” Red, like a perfect waitress, put down the tray and gave everyone their teas like an artist who excels in her trade.

The refreshing aroma of the tea made Margaret  feel a sudden warm feeling that woke all her senses. The small sip she took after got some of the tiredness out of her body.

“This tea is truly delighting Red. If only I could make things take this good.” Margaret  said wishfully. Out of all the skills she had in her arsenal, cooking was not the best one much to her mother’s annoyance. She would often receive nags for not being able to make even the simplest things that above average.

“You are free to learn any time you want.” Red said smiling as she passed more read around the table.

“You wouldn’t mind me coming by some day in the future?” Margaret  said exited. Apart from cooking she wondered in she could learn things about the forest from her. She did remember seeing a rare medical herd just outside the house.

“No, not at all. Just make sure not to come here at night time. You saw how dangerous this forest can get. ” Red said passing the final tea cup. Margaret  shuddered as she remembered what happened with the wolves.

“The wolves don’t bug anyone crossing in the morning?” Margaret  wondered without taking notice of the awkward glances the people gave each other.

“The wolves hunt at night. Something to do with Anuyasha’s spell.” Daniel said hesitantly not meeting Margaret ‘s gaze.

“Ah yes. As long as the sun is out you don’t need to worry.” Tim said smiling reassuringly. Combined voices followed. ‘Yes, with the sun out, Safe,’ were some words Margaret  picked out as nine people spoke together.

The food that followed after was eaten in a restored fun mood. Margaret  laughed as she ate, drank and felt at ease with Red and the men. In short Margaret  also told them what her journey was. For a quicker route her host told her she would use some enchantment to help.

“Margaret , you should rest for now. As for Lord Drake if he wakes up before you I would have him eat something so you could leave on the journey once you wake up.” Red said showing Margaret  a room next to the one where the prince laid.

“I couldn’t thank you enough Red.” The enchantress did nothing but shake her head slightly and smile at the young girl and bid her good sleep.As soon as Meg’s head hit the pillow she fell asleep and the witch went to the beast.


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