Despite her inordinately long and unsettled lifetime, Lydia never quite understood why hotel rooms all smelt the same. It was an odd foreign kind of smell that both relaxed you and made you thoroughly aware you were not home. Sometimes she wondered if hotel rooms had all simply been bewitched by a group of industrious smell-obsessed witches but Elijah, after sending her a odd look, made it clear she needn’t be worried.
Of course, she only really had herself to blame for her acquaintance with hotel rooms. Whereas, Elijah only dropped in now and then out of necessity, she only left the hotel when he ordered her to. She’d gone weeks on end without leaving, feeding on maids and tourists.
She heard the door swing open before she heard footsteps and turned to greet her master. Elijah had a very individual way of opening doors; he’d get a firm grip on the handle and swing the door until it was a set angle ajar, her brown wrinkled, knowing someone well enough to recognise their door opening technique was somewhat worrying.
“Lydia my dear, make arrangements for a brief trip to Danville, Virginia, we shall be staying for a night at most”
“Yes sir” Lydia replied easily, retrieved her laptop from underneath her mound of books
“Hire transportation as well, we may need to move rather unwilling cargo”
Elijah’s excitement was a subtle thing; a ready stance, alighted eyes and a quirk of the lips, Lydia had spent a hundred years with the man and it still took her a while to pick up on.
She finished arranging the trip within an hour, the whole routine being well rehearsed, and set about packing up her books and clothing. Where was her copy of Mansfield Park? It was a battered thing, read and re-read with bookmarks jutting from the pages, for passages and quotes she just had to comment on. She sped around the living room upturning sofa cushions and peeking under cabinets as she went…maybe it was in her room?
Nope, not under the duvet or behind the T.V. or in the bedside table, where the hell was her fucking book! God, Elijah would be so mad if she held them up, well not really, but he would be calmly disapproving and that felt almost as bad. She screwed her eyes shut and banged her head repeatedly against the wall.
“I take it you’ve lost something again?”
Elijah’s voice intoned from her bedroom doorway, she looked up from her wall; Elijah was leaning against her doorframe with an amused smile and folded arms.
“No sir, I’ve just misplaced it…don’t worry I’ll find it soon” Lydia’s faked enthusiasm, if push came to shove, she’d just leave the book.
Elijah arched a brow, sceptical “Oh really? What is it you’ve mislaid, I ask?”
Lydia reluctantly spoke “Mansfield Park, but its not that important, don’t trouble yourself“
“Have you checked the bathroom?”
“Eh? Um…not yet”
Elijah sighed in good-natured frustration “Lydia when you lose a book it’s usually in one of three places; amongst furniture cushions, underneath your bed or next to the bathtub, it stands to reason that you check these places first”
The girl had the sense to look sheepish “You’re right, I’ll go check”
Lydia sped off to the frosted bathroom door with vampiric speed, and came back just as quickly with the novel in question in hand.
“You were right, sorry sir, I’m an idiot” She avoided his eyes
“You aren’t stupid my dear, merely astoundingly absent-minded” She wasn’t quite sure whether that was a compliment or not but she’d just assume it was.
“Well, I’m ready to go now sir” She said cheerfully
Elijah smiled and three hours later, they were in a plane over the Atlantic.