These are emails written by Audrey to Neve in the time following The Wolf Gate, but not sent. It’s the things she wishes she could tell her best friend.
You’ll never believe it, but we are in Cairo! I found us a sweet airbnb before we left Paris and it’s even nicer in person. It’s bright and modern but has these traditional wood details and the doors are all painted mint. It even has a little balcony.Here’s a link so you can check it out. It’s the cutest.
We went out for coffee (for me) and sweets (for Gavin) and I took some photos for you. We had basbousa, which is a kind of really sweet cake. It had pistachios and coconut in it, and I think you should try and make it, you’d love it.
We also had these really buttery cookies called ghorayebah (are you so proud of me for finding out the proper names? All for you, my favourite pastry chef.). I liked the cookies best, but Gavin ate five pieces of basbousa. I don’t know how he does it.
We’re going to go and see the pyramids tomorrow, I don’t care if it’s such a tourist thing to do. I’m in Egypt, I must see pyramids.
I probably should wait a day before I send you this email. I wish I could explain how we don’t have to fly for hours to get somewhere because we just use the faerie gates. I wish I could explain that I didn’t run away with my boyfriend (who used to turn into a wolf every night) to be impulsive and irrational, but because Moraith won’t just let us come home. I wish I could tell you everything. It kills me to not tell you everything.
I’ve never kept a secret from you, not since we met in kindergarten (except for eating that whole pan of brownies when we were twelve, but I think you figured that one out when I threw it all up later).
But your Aunt Chloe (speaking of secrets, is that even her real name?) is sure that this is the best way to keep you safe. Those wolves are still lurking and whether Gavin is right and you’re the one they’re looking for or not, you don’t want to attract their attention.
I’ll have to delete half this email before I send it to you.
I miss you so much.
<draft saved July 27>
I’m writing you from the magical tower of a cat shifter deep in Unseelie territory, which means that, once again, I’m not going to be able to actually send you this email.
But I miss you, so I’m just going to keep writing. Maybe one day I’ll be able to tell you everything, and I’ll send these to you then.
Liadan is a friend of mine from recent adventures in Faerie. I mean, I consider her a friend, but I’m pretty sure she just tolerates me. Cats. When we showed up through the Ruined Gate, she just blinked at me, sighed and snapped her fingers which apparently caused the tower to grow two new bedrooms. Maybe that means that deep down she loves us. Very deep down.
She always drinks this vile peppermint tea (you’d probably like it, actually) so I brought her a proper drink as a thank you gift for helping me get Gavin back from Skyretaine. She sipped the Americano and then spat it right back into the cup. INTO THE CUP! So I couldn’t even salvage the rest of the coffee. Although now that I’ve gone three days without caffeine, I’m almost desperate enough to drink cat backwash.
Anyway, school. You know I had decided to wait a year, but BCIT emailled me back to tell me that I have the option to do the program online instead of in person. I’m still not sure what my future will look like, or if a degree will do me any good, but Gavin thinks it’s smart to keep my options open. And I do miss coding. And I can take as long as I want with my homework if I just sneak through a portal to Faerie. I wonder how Liadan would feel about that?
Ugh, my phone is almost dead, I’ll have to go back to the human world to charge everything up again. I’ll write you a real email then, I know you were upset with me for taking time off school.
Love you and miss you!
<draft saved August 23>
To: <Neve> firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Cozy in pink
I needed to charge up my computer and phone so we left Faerie and headed to Ireland, which Gavin likes to joke is his home country, even though I now know that was nothing but lies. It’s okay. I forgive him.
He really does fit in here though, and manages some passable Irish considering that the version they use in Tir Na nOg hasn’t been spoken on this side of the faerie gates in a couple thousand years.
I wanted to stay in a castle, and he wanted something with “proper heating” so we compromised on the cutest little cottage I’ve ever seen. It’s pink, Neve. Like, the colour of my hair, pink! Check it out: https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/49917462
We can’t stay here for long, I think Gavin’s tracking spell is trying to knit itself back together, and I’ll need Liadan’s help to scramble it again. But I needed to hand in some school assignments to BCIT, and I bought a bunch of backup batteries on Amazon, including a solar powered one that I hope will work in Faerie. I wonder if there’s a way to charge things with magic…gold batteries? Spell crafted cords? Sorry, no more tech talk. I’m not even planning to send this email and I can still feel your eyes glazing over.
I’m sorry I can’t come home for Canadian Thanksgiving, it’s just not safe. I wish you could ship me a slice of your maple buttermilk pumpkin pie. Or, more realistically, a whole pie, because have you met Gavin?
Oh crap, Gavin is running towards the cottage at a speed too fast to be just exercise. I knew I should have ordered those batteries with overnight shipping! I better pack up my computer.
Love you! Byeeee!
<draft saved September 29>
To: <Neve> email@example.com
Subject: I’m in love with a floof
I’d say that I’m sorry for leaving you hanging like that after my last email, and then disappearing for two months but a) I didn’t send that email and b) I’m not sending you this one either. Does writing to you instead of using a journal make me a crazy person? Best not to think about it. Maybe someday, I can give you these emails when it’s safe to.. I sure hope so.
Anyway, that last email ended a bit suddenly because Gavin’s tracking spell that I had hacked regrew and started working again. Not only could the Huntsman find us, Gavin also turned furry that evening. We managed to get to the Ardara Gate before the wolves caught up to us, but it was a close thing.
Then we spent some time with Liadan, who helped me re-hack Gavin’s tracking tattoo, but it’s not an exact science and he is still turning into a wolf when the sun goes down. I honestly think he likes being a wolf, and he is very floofy (but offended if I call him floofy), but he would draw too much attention traveling that way.
Liadan liked my idea of running human technology with a magical power source. Actually, what she said was “What on earth is that thing?” when I showed her my phone, but that’s just her kitty way of pretending that she’s not super curious about something. We attempted a few ways of charging it but decided that we needed more parts from the human realm to make it work.
So, long story short, we are back just for an afternoon to pick up some supplies and to get some wifi so that I can hand in my schoolwork. Hopefully we can get Gavin’s tattoo completely disabled again in time to meet up with you somewhere for Christmas. I can’t survive much longer without a Neve hug, and Gavin is daydreaming about your peppermint cheesecake.
Okay, I guess I’ll go write you a real email now, because I do want you to know how much I loved the photos of you dressed up like a cupcake for Halloween.
I miss you so much!
<draft saved November 24>
Subject: Peppermint Shortbread
It was amazing to see you over Christmas! Gavin has not stopped talking about the candy cane shortbread, but even the most amazing cookies can’t compare to getting a hug from my best friend.
I know you think it’s weird that I convinced my parents to rent an Airbnb in Nelson for the holidays instead of just coming home. I had a long argument with your Aunt Chloe—who I would love to tell you is really an ancient fae—about it and she told me that the wolves are still lurking around Pilot Bay. So thank you for coming to hang out with us for a couple of days.
Someday I will tell you everything, and we can laugh together about how when Gavin said he was going to stay at his place for the night, he actually meant the forest. And by a quiet dinner, he meant a moonlight rabbit hunt. He was happy to see you before night fell and he turned all furry, and I loved having you sleep over.
I’ve travelled a lot since everything happened this summer, but nothing beats gossiping out in the hot tub with my best friend while the snow drifts down in the mountains.
I hope this year is an amazing one for you. I’ll do anything to keep you safe, even spending another year without coming home. Even writing emails full of the things I can’t tell you. Not yet.
Happy New Year Neve.
<draft saved December 31>
Subject: Thanks for the gingerbread!