Nathan walked towards his front door, trying to figure out an explanation for Monica. "My dear, I am sorry I have taken so long," he stated. "Mister Fenswater and myself were looking into the matter of a mysterious death, and we were attacked, and he captured one of our attackers..."
He paused and looked around. Still no one. Turning back around, he considered an alternate approach.
"Oh, just showing the Erl around town. You know Nightfolk. Or... you've heard about them. All curious, and... things." He coughed. "And where is Sacripant? Well, he... met an old friend. Yes. An old friend. And they are.. talking." Nathan nodded, then gave a sigh. "This is much too late in life for me to start lying in detail." He stared at the door to his house, and then shut his eyes, opened it and entered.
"Monica, I..." The sound of plates on the table hit his ears, and he opened his eyes to see Grunewald, Ulrich and Morell all seated there as his wife served them dinner. "Brothers of the Lamp," he said forcing a smile on his face. "A pleasure to see you all here."
"We came when you did not go on your appointed rounds this night," said Ulrich softly.
"Yes, there were... some difficulties," muttered Nathan.
"Where's the Erl?" asked Morrell, glancing around the room as if he expected to see Fenswater hidden in a nook somewhere.
"Somewhere else," said Nathan, feeling a growing unease.
"Is he now?" said Grunewald. He cleared his throat. "We have much to talk to you about, Nathan." He smiled cheerfully. "Please, take a seat."
"I... " Nathan nodded, and did as his elder suggested.
"Your wife makes a lovely meal," said Grunewald still smiling. "You should be very proud of her."
"I am," replied Nathan, smiling at his wife. Monica gave him a concerned look that somehow made that niggling feeling return, only even worse.