This particular part has been an endless source of writer's block to me, for some reason, so I'm very glad to finally be putting it out there. I even have the entire next part written already, and know pretty well what happens afterward, but I just couldn't seem to get past this one part!
Mika's conversation with the dragon-girl was interrupted by something like a low grunt. She looked in the direction it came from to find Zack's wolf looking up at her. "Oh, uh..when'd you get here?" He made another short grunting noise in his throat, which wasn't particularly helpful at answering the question. "Did you see him come in?" She asked, looking back up at Rose.
"Nope. Sorry, like..I was looking at you, and the door's behind me," she said.
"Yeah, that's fair."
"Well, not mine exactly. And he doesn't like being called a pet." She looked back at the animal: "Well, where's Zack? What do you want with me, huh?" Rather than making another sound, he stood up.
"I think he wants you to follow him," said Rose. She could...remember having friendly animals around her forest now and then, and it seemed like the kind of thing a wolf did to get someone to follow.
"Oh! Uh..um...yes," he said finally. "I-it looked like she didn't really know where she was going, but I last saw her on the way to the reading lounge."
"E-err, uh.." Nora's blush brightened considerably. "We were b-both reading to t-t-try and get a better idea of the world, but um..I l-looked up a minute ago and he was asleep," she whispered.
"What?" said Rayna.
"You'd just get the same answers twice," she said with a shrug. "Let's not keep that dragon waiting." And immediately started into the inn. After sharing a brief look of mutual confusion, the other two followed.
"Another member of our party," answered the winged girl.
"Yo, I'm Aria." She offered a hand to shake.
"Ohh. I'm Rose, nice to meet you!" she said, grabbing the stranger's hands between her palms and waving both arms up and down a couple of times.
"Um, you too," answered Aria, initially confused by the unusual handshake. When she withdrew the hands the reason became more obvious.
"You're so taall," said the dragon-girl breathily, looking up at her.
"Uh-huh, as long as they have meat!" added the dragon girl.
"Lead the way!" said the shifter enthusastically. So they all started back out of the tavern.
"Oh, that was Mika," she chirped, "one of the ad-venturers I came to town with. She's a, uhhmm, a witch but she's really nice! Not evil or anything."
"We understand," said Rayna. "Anyway, what about her?"
"Well, I met a different member of the same party today," said Aria, "Katherine. She's a mind-reader, and got curious when she couldn't hear anything but the demon talking in my head. Apparently it just says the word 'blood' a lot."
"You have a demon in your head?" said the dragon-girl.
"Well, I know that now. Anyway, I think it's best to just keep relying on Zack's nose for now."
'Fiiiine. Have fun!' Punctuating that with a wink, the fox-girl turned aside and moved on along the street, the rest of the little entourage following.
"No, yeah, I—I don't know. I need to—to check with, um.." She felt very flustered all of a sudden, and it was hard to make normal sentences. "Just check with me, we—I'll be around the guard station pretty often, after I can—I don't really want to, you know.." She was trying to explain that she needed to check with the rest of her party to figure out exactly when they could have another date, but it kept coming out wrong because she was terrified he was going to misconstrue it as her putting it off indefinitely.
"I know what you mean," he said. "You're awful jumpy all of a sudden, you know?"
"Y-yeah, well..to be honest it's because I was thinking of—maybe, uh...oh, forget it I'll just show you."