Catarina was sitting in her reading quarters, still drinking her glasses of bourbon. Renauld had long since gone to bed, leaving her without anyone to complain to.
While she was scanning the books that surrounded her, Catarina was alerted to the sound of the front door slamming nearby. When she went to check it out, she was relieved to see it wasn’t a burglar.
“Oh, dearest! You gave me quite a fright!” She said to her grown son as he was taking off his police hat.
Sebastian didn’t say anything to her as he was removing his police uniform. Catarina was undeterred, following him as he ascended the stairs.
“Really, Sebastian dear, you must stop staying out so late! Are you not aware that searching for your sister is a lost cause? What of the Vanderburg family name?”
He still said nothing, but this time, Sebastian shot his mother a dirty look. He continued to go up the stairs, and entered his room. When he slammed it shut, it could be heard locking.
-a few hours later-
Even the ceiling seemed to be well-decorated. Or at least Shark thought so when he woke up.
Biting his lip to keep from yawning, he ran his hands up Sinbad’s back, and tangled his fingers into his hair. Sinbad just opened his eyes and looked up at him.
Light had begun to stream in through the window. Above them, beds could be heard creaking as the others woke up also.
Then came what Shark and Sinbad were looking forward to hearing first thing in the morning: The sound of dog feet running down the steps.
Sagebear came barreling down the staircase, quickly reaching the hide-a-bed. Once she was next to it, she grabbed a hold of their blanket and ripped it off. Then she jumped up next to the two of them.
“Well, good morning, Sagebear!” Shark told her as she began to snuffle his and Sinbad’s faces.
When the rest of the family came downstairs, everyone except for Harwood ended up getting dressed for breakfast.
They were then stopped by an unfamiliar woman approaching their temporary residence.
As soon as Catarina was properly dressed, she had been out the door before either her husband or son were ready for the day.
It had taken some time to wait for the bakery to open, but when it did, she was in and out with their cheapest pie. Part of her assumed the newcomers were too backwards to know the difference.
When Catarina reached the front door, she rapped her knuckles against it three times. She then waited a long time before the door opened.
“Hello, I’m a member of this fair and lovely town, and-Oh, merciful heavens!” To Catarina’s horror, an elderly naked man answered the door.
She had been taken so off guard, the pie she was holding fell to the ground and splattered into a complete mess.
When he saw what she did, he cocked an eyebrow and looked at her disappointingly. “Oh, that is so wasteful.”
He didn’t have time to finish scold her. Catarina was suddenly running as fast as she could back to her palatial estate.
A short time later, the group was at the art gallery. Marc was staring intently at all the paintings and sculptures. Chances were he was trying not to look at his still naked father.
“Ya sure ya ain’t gonna get in trouble for indecent exposure?” Blaise asked Harwood. Dennis just stood behind him, trying not to get an eyeful.
Harwood shrugged. “If I’m lucky, they’ll just pass it off as me being a doddering old man. Can’t be too difficult to play that part.”
“Yeah,” Sinbad responded. “Since it’s apparently too difficult for you to put on some damn pants!”
But Harwood waved off his youngest child’s concerns. “Come now. Is the human body that grotesque to look at?”
“Well, when it’s the body of an elderly man, people might not want to look at that, I would think.” Marc answered while trying to inspect an abstract painting.
Shark’s mind was occupied elsewhere, however. Even though other art patrons were gawking at the naked old man in the group, he was thinking of a completely different subject:
“I hope Sagebear’s okay on her own…”
Sagebear rarely ever got time to herself anymore. Though she would happily welcome the plethora of treats and attention, sometime she just needed some alone time.
Said alone time was now spent wandering about Hidden Springs, after she snuck out of the house. There was a chance she could get in trouble, but she knew the way back.
For now, Sagebear proceeded to seek out the best mud puddle to roll in for later. As she did, she was once again surrounded by the gorgeous housing.
Putting her nose to the ground, Sagebear could smell many delicious scents. There was the combination of steaks, baked bread, freshly-cut flowers, and many others.
Then she came across a much less appealing scent. Following this most foul stench, Sagebear ended up walking into the back alley of a restaurant.
“Broof?” Sagebear gave off a question dog noise as she approached the source of the smell. She was then presented with something that a dog should never have to look at:
It was the dead body of an elderly man.