"You'll love this place, then. Would you like to ride? I was going to fly, it's a couple of miles from here."
Licorice bounced on her toes. "Yes please!"
After three hours of flight earlier in the day, some of the novelty has worn off, but Smoke was still perfectly willing. Blackwood shifts to his dragon form, and flies the two of them there. Licorice wrapped her arms about Smoke's waist as they straddled his back, and rested her cheek against Smoke's back. "You make the best friends, master enchanter!"
"You should call me Smoke," they answered. "'Master enchanter' is way too many syllables."
Licorice giggleed. "Some day I want a title with too many syllables in it. You'd think a janitor could be a high-muckity-muck, we do enough mucking-out-the-muck!"
"You were in an elevated position when we met," Smoke replied, teasing.
Blackwood flapped his great charcoal-grey wings to rise higher above the city. "And are again now!"
Licorice squeaked and clung tighter to Smoke. "Are you suggesting I shouldn't try to rise above my station?"
"I thought I was suggesting you already had, miss," Blackwood replied.
"Oh. Well, the view's great and all, but I guess I'll stick with just Licorice for now. No 'Miss' required."
The Quarry was busy, but the maitre'd recognized Blackwood, and ushered him and his party promptly to a table near the back. The service did not take orders: instead, they brought around plates of food on rolling, steaming carts. Some of the plates were small, and some large platters. The majority of them were meat dishes in a wide array of styles: grilled steaks, breaded and pan-fried cutlets, deep-fried chicken, lamb kebobs, ground meat mixed with sauce and grilled, nuggets of beef smothered in sweet sauce, and dozens more.
Blackwood took three platters for himself, filling his side of the table. "I have an account here," he explained at Licorice's stare. "One of the reasons I like the Quarry. A draka messenger eats a great deal."
"All those hours in dragon form?" Smoke guessed. When they'd stopped for lunch, he'd eaten in dragon shape, and a proportionate amount to his size.
The waiters encouraged the kith and human to try one or two of the small plates, and take more later as they came by. Licorice took two plates, one of batter-fried shrimp and another of sliced lamb cut fresh from a spit. She ate like a ravenous rat, although she could not match Blackwood's brisk efficiency in putting away food.
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