“With Harold?” Gillian gave a false laugh as she lowered Lucy to the ground again. “Not always.”
Harold watched her zip away to her crypt. Less zip than usual, to be fair. Being up for almost twenty-four hours had taken its toll on her and it was actually possible to watch her move with the naked eye. He held his hand out to Lucy who yawned before she took it.
“Oh dear. I know a tired little girl.”
She fought another yawn. “I'm not tired.”
“Of course not.” He gave her hand a light squeeze and began to lead her up the stairs to the ground floor of the manor. “But how about we introduce you to your Great Aunt Legion and then play 'Sleepy Lions'?
“What's 'Sleepy Lions'?
“It's where you pretend to be asleep and the winner is the one who keeps her eyes closed the longest.”
“Is it a quick game?”
“Oh, no.” They reached the last flight of stairs which, since they were visible from the ground floor stairwell, were carpeted and decorated like the rest of the house. “Sometimes it can last for ages. A really good 'Sleepy Lions' player can keep their eyes closed for hours.”
“I don't want to play.”
“You'll win, Daddy. You can keep your eyes close for days.”
“I don't think that's true, darling.” They reached to ground floor, where late afternoon sunlight glittered from the suits of polished armour in the Long Gallery. Harold took a deep breath and held it for several seconds before letting it out again. He let go of Lucy's hand to tug his jacket straight, wishing he had time to shower, sleep, find a clean suit and go on a long cruise before facing Legion. He nodded decisively at Jasfoup and Devious. “Once more into the breach?”