Steve gazed over the cliffs and drank in the view.
"Be careful here, the path is steep." The young elfen taking Steve to the meeting had introduced herself as Tegan. She looked small and fragile with big dark eyes and a shy smile. Steve knew better than to trust appearances with the faerie, though, and he was being very respectful.
"It's a beautiful place." Steve said politely.
"The storms are magnificent with the waves hurling themselves at the land. The kelpies ride and chase the unwary sailors and the walkers on the beach." Tegan looked sideways at Steve. "In these times of course we only chase. We are well behaved."
Steve nodded noncommittally and followed what the track down among the pinks and the tufts of grass. "The storms must be dramatic. It's hard to imagine on a still day like today."
"Have you heard from your fair lady who was lost?" Tegan enquired politely.
"Who?" Steve racked his brains to think who that could be.
"Elaine. Have you heard from Elaine?"
"No, I haven't heard from my ex-girlfriend." Steve clenched his fists. The elfen loved their games and gossip. "I think it is inappropriate to discuss her in this beautiful place. I have come here with commerce and business and trade and it would be wrong to sully the thought's of my lost one with such matter." Steve hoped that would get Tegan to shut the hell up.
Tegan's soft eyes filled with tears. Steve did not believe them. Tegan wiped away a tear with delicate artistry. "It is sad but good for my lord that you drown your sorrows not in sweet wine but in the hard salt work of merchants." She paused. "You haven't brought anything salt, have you? We get all our salt from the kelpies."
"I wouldn't like to slight the kelpies. I don't want a repeat of Chichester." Steve paused and took a lungful of sea air. He didn't want to upset murderous sea creatures with long memories.
"What happened in Chichester?"
"I didn't realise that I was underselling some werewolves." Steve shuddered. "A house blew up and I made a loss." He tried to look suitably stricken. It was helpful for the faerie to just think of him as someone who sold useful things and not someone to play with.
"And you have brought us brass nails, rose petals and strawberry jam."
"I have bought best quality brass nails, exclusive strawberry jam and sun dried rose petals from the gardens in Hertfordshire." Steve smiled. "They are all in the van."
"All in return for some stone bones." Tegan shrugged. "I have heard that normals like these things but we like rose petals more."
"It is a very fair deal." Steve said carefully. "I shall not cheat you." And 30% of an ichthyosaur fossil would easily cover his expenses. He would concentrate on getting a good price for that. He would not think of Elaine.