Round eyes flashing a warning, Sammy clamped his mouth shut and turned his head away from the glass that Argenta held out to him. With the fingers of his trunk the rataphant tried to get a grip on the gnome’s chin to open his mouth, and only ended up yanking out several of the gnome’s steel gray, beard hairs. Yelping in pain, Sammy slithered downward to lie flat on the sheets, then rolled quickly away. Hospital gown flapping, he dropped to the floor and rubbed hard at his chin while glaring across the bed at the nurse.
“I’m not drinking anymore of that garbage.” He looked at his hand. “You’re lucky I’m not bleeding. A gnome’s beard is their pride!”
“I’m sorry about your beard, but we’ve been over this.” Setting the glass on the tray table, Argenta pushed it behind him and tried to match Sammy’s moves. “The essence is a valid part of your treatment.” His thick, elephantine feet banged together, causing him to stumble as Sammy feinted toward the door, then back to the left. The gnome snickered.
“Those legs of yours aren’t fast enough.” Grabbing for the loose ties of his gown, Sammy pulled them snug, covering his behind, and backed away from edge of the bed. “I’ll be out that door before you can figure out how to run without stepping on your— ” Cutting himself off, he smiled at the flash of anger on Argenta’s face. “I would have thought you would have put it in a sling by now. Must be awkward as hell having that knock against your knees with every step.” Bouncing on the balls of his feet, he looked ready to run.
“Full exposure is a Right of Species!” Argenta snapped. “And I’ll thank you to stop bringing it up.” His small, dark eyes looked dangerous.
“And what species would that be, exactly?” The gnome’s glare turned cautious as the rataphant lashed the air with his trunk.
Snatching up the still full glass of essence along with the plate of fresh cookies he had brought, Argenta turned and stormed toward the door. “I hope your anchor shatters!” he snarled. Each step shook the floor in his wake.
Staring after him, the gnome’s shoulders dropped as the energy drained out of him. Looking small and lost, he sank to the floor and pressed his face into his hands. His whispered, “I’m sorry Tink,” was absorbed solitude.