WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
As we entered the Spellbound mansion I found out that the interior design was just as amazing as the outer. Was this the environment Eythil grew up in? Too late I noticed the bothered look on Eythil's face. The reason for that was the man sitting on the sofa, with a white cat by his side.
Eythil almost seemed breathless when he said it. I guess he wasn't really counting on him being in the house right now. His father looked really strict.
Eythil's father remained silent and didn't move, but the white cat rose with recognition.
It made a small cry before it jumped down the sofa and ran for Eythil. Then it began purring as it reached him.
"Oh, hello Angela," Eythil said and picked her up. "How are you?"
Angela answered with a satisfied purring. I however couldn't get rid of the feeling of being angrily stared at by the man sitting on the sofa. That man gave me goosebumps all over my skin, thinking of how much power he possessed.
The man still didn't say a word, but Eythil approached him with the cat in his arms and me right beside him. I would much rather have stayed behind him, trying to hide. Mostly because it was me he was staring at and not Eythil.
"Father, this woman needs our protection. She might be in danger."
"I know very well who she is, Eythil," the old man said with a surprisingly harsh and strict voice which made me cower with fear. "But what I don't understand is why you always manage to get yourself into things like this! We would have offered her protection, without you caring about it."
"Leni is my friend! Of course I would care!"
"And you are my son above all else. Involving yourself directly with the residents of this town is not something you are allowed to do!"
"Please," I said, managed to barely make myself noticed. "Eythil has done nothing wrong. I am the one at fault. Please, don't be mad at him."
At first, I thought he would start yelling at me too, but then he lowered his shoulders and sighed. The uneasiness I felt almost disappeared in an instant.
"I know it must have been quiet a rough time for you, Leni Fox. Though there are rumors about how you came to town, you are a citizen here now and I will offer you protection." He turned to Eythil. "Show her to one of the guestrooms."
"Thank you!" I said. The man wasn't as scary as I had thought at first.
"You have nothing to thank me for, miss Fox. My most important duty as president is to keep all citizens safe."
I followed Eythil through the huge hallways of the Spellbound Mansion. Each step I took echoed clearly troughout the hall even though there were other people walking there, servants mixed with more important people high in position. It was interesting as all of these people bent their heads in respect to Eythil. Never had I seen him as someone of higher class even though I knew about his background. To me, he was just... Eythil.
"This will be your room," Eythil said and opened the door for me. "It's a bit small, but..."
"Oh no, this is fine!" I burst out, seeing how huge and beautiful the room was. "It's almost twice as huge as my room at the Starry Lounge."
"I'm happy you like it," Eythil said, then he bent over and dropped Angela to the ground. The furball didn't seem too happy leaving his arms and stroke her body against his feet, then scratched her claws at his shoes. He ignored her.
"Leni... look, I know I said I wouldn't try anything, but there is something I have to tell you." He cleared his throath. Was he nervous? "When I'm with you I don't feel... obliged, to act like someone I'm not. Ever since I was a kid I was forced to put a facade amongst people who looked up to my father as the president. I constantly got to hear that I wasn't good as I was and always had to strive for something better. Something false..." He shook his head. "You know, before I met Synestra, I felt empty. But she showed me that even if I was the son of the president I was still a human being, and humans make mistakes, and often learn from them. You are like that as well. You treat me like any other friend, and it makes me indescribably happy. When I asked you out on that date all I actually wanted was to be like everyone else for a while and spend some time with a friend. But... I don't want to be your friend Leni. I want us to be more than that."
And so I let my heart be swayed.
As Eythil's lips reached to mine I didn't draw back, and let him kiss me. The kiss only lasted for a second, but when he pulled back he had a horrid face. Was I that bad of a kisser?!?
But I soon came to understand it wasn't me he reacted on, but something behind me. I turned around and saw a cute little girl standing by the now open door, with an accusing look on her face.
"Oh, what do we have there." Her voice was as cute and light as her face!
"I have to tell you that..." she continued...
"...Saveya is mad!"
I couldn't help but thinking to myself how cute this little girl was! She had to be Eythil's younger sister! And was that some kind of moodlet-accessory she was wearing on top of her head? In that case she was the cutest, angry child I had ever seen!
At the same time I was of course embarassed that my first kiss had been witnessed.
"Oh, well if it isn't my favourite little sister! You won't tell anyone about this, right?"
Saveya glared at him. "Father doesn't like that you hang out with commoners. It's bad for his reputation if you end up in trouble. Especially if you end up in a relationship with them."
"Oh, but father won't hear about this! Right, my pretty little sister? Did I ever mention how cute you really are?"
"Humph, don't even try it! What do you have to offer for my silence?"
I watched the two of them with fascination. I didn't have a sibling, so I wondered if this was the way it was supposed to be. Was fighting some sort of way expressing your love for each other?
"Why, you little..." Eythil clenched his teeth before he said anything unappropriate. "Fine, what do you want?!"
"Oh, you know what I want."
Eythil looked confused at first, then his eyes widened. "NO! No way! That's a collectors item!"
"Fine then. DAD!"
"Saveya, no!" Eythil took a deep breath. "Fine, you can have it! Now go!"
Saveya looked really pleased with herself, and the accessory on her head turned green. Then she looked at me and rose her right eyebrow.
"I don't like you," she sneered. I was actually really taken aback by it. "Bye then, brother! Until the next bribe."
Then she left.
I couldn't stop my curiousity. "What did you bribe her with?"
"Uhm, you don't want to know that." He looked really bothered.
"Oh, okay." I couldn't hide my disappointment, since I really wanted to know what it was.
Then I realized we had actually just kissed each other. Did I already forget about it...?
"So then... you think about it, okay Leni?"
"Yes, I will!" I said, maybe a little too enthusiastical.
Eythil just nodded and left.
When the door closed I dropped down on the sofa and felt myself being dragged down by a combination of tiredness and gravity. It seemed as though it had been a far too long day for me - I had woken up in a cell the same morning, got saved by Calden, got under protection by the Spellbounds and just had my first kiss with I guy who was good in every way but could only make my heart flutter for a small moment of time.
I was so tired I didn't notice Angela was still in the room until her soft paws climbed my legs and she made herself comfortable on my lap. As soon as I placed my hand on her back she started to purr.
"It must be easy being a cat, huh? I wish I could get reborn as a cat, that must be a nice life."
Angela seemed to agree.
There was no use pondering too much and I changed my clothes, got myself ready to go to bed. I was so tired I almost fell asleep standing! And the worst part is that I wasn't going to sleep through the night since I was planning on leaving.
Oh, did I forget to tell you about that? Well, I wasn't going to wait for Calden and Synestra to bring my mother to me. I had to go find the Landgraab-residence and search for my mother, on my own, as soon as possible. The sooner I met her, the better.
To my surprise, there is this one person who knows me better than anyone else. Are you surprised to hear that he was standing outside of the stairs leading to the backdoor of the Spellbound-mansion, in the middle of the night? Well, I was surprised, but at the same time not.
"Hello, Calden..." I said slowly, without meeting his eyes. I saw his shoes in the distance and that was enough.
"So, let me guess," he said. "You were planning on leaving now, finding the Landgraab-residence, and search for your mother. Correct?"
I tried not to feel insulted. Was that such a bad plan, really?!
Of course it was.
"What, do you have a better plan?!" I asked and crossed my arms in despite.
"Of course I have," he said, as though I had been looking down on him. "Want to know how my plan sounds like? Firstly, I knew you would leave this mansion during the night and so the first part of my plan was to stop you from doing something stupid, again! The second step is to take you to the park near the Landgraab-residence and wait until the sun rises. Once it does, we are to search through the house. Christina Landgraab has three kids, two teenagers that goes to school and a son who's at our age and works the whole day. Christina has a meeting at the Science Facility tomorrow morning, meaning the house is empty. A perfect opportunity, don't you think?"
There was no use agreeing. He already had it perfectly planned, and he knew that very well.
The first part of his plan had worked and so the next step was to take me to the park and wait for the sun to rise.
I yawned loudly. "So tired!" I said and dropped down on the soft grass. Calden followed my example.
"If it weren't for your stupidity you would still be lying in a luxurious bed in a huge mansion." Calden sighed. "Much better than a sleeping-bag or in a cell."
"No. I like this better, sitting here with you."
Calden turned silent. It took quite a while for me to understand what I had said myself, and when I did I blushed.
"I mean, it's better with company. And I wouldn't be able to sleep in a soft bed like that anyway. Way too comfortable! You sleeping-bag isn't comfortable. No, I mean, it's better! Your sleeping bag is better! Way better than a cell, which isn't comfortable. But it's scary. I don't like it when it's scary! And it isn't scary with company. What I mean to say is..."
A soft touch on my hand interrupted my jabbering. My immidiate reaction was to quickly pull my hand away when Calden placed his hand above mine. But to my surprise I liked it, my skin liked it. The touch of his cold fingers brushing against mine spread like a wild fire through my body. Was that normal? Did Calden feel the same way?
If he was, then he was good at hiding it.
"Do... do you want to come back? What I mean to say is, do you want to move into my house once we've found your mother?" I was caught by surprise. That was the reason for my sudden silence. But Calden read it as if I was doubting.
"It's not like you have any choice anyway!" he said harshly. "You still owe me a lot of simoleons for buying you out from Frida, which you only can repay when working as a maid!"
"No! Not no! No, I would love to! That was what I was about to say! Even if I have to work as a maid, I would love to live at your place again."
Calden smiled, not creepily, not with any kind of evil behind it. Just a genuin, happy smile, which almost made me melt away. He was so open now, so kind. Was this how the person he really was, caring and kind and trustworthy? I remembered Synestra calling him something in the likes of a "grumpy old man". He sure used to remind of one.
While awaiting the sunrise, we leaned back, staying closer to each other than ever before. I could almost feel his body heat reaching me.
"The reason I'm asking you this is because I can't trust Synestra," Calden said. "I don't think you will be safe with her any longer." He sighed. "She was actually not even planning on finding your mother. She never had any other interest than using you as bait. I did as well, but only in the beginning."
I felt that if I didn't ask now, I would never find out. This was the perfect opportunity.
"Then what kind of interest do you have in me now?"
"Well, first of all, you still owe me a lot of money. Once a person owes me, they never get rid of me until the debt is payed."
His words made my eyes blurry. Was that tears? Of course he only cared about the money I owed him! I couldn't believe I was so stupid, getting my hopes up.
"Secondly," Calden continued, "you owe me so much money you would have to work as my maid for a lifetime. And I actually don't mind that because I really like you Leni, and spending a lifetime with you is something that would make me a very happy man."
I quickly looked up, but could hardly see anything because the sun, who had just risen up behind Calden, blinded me.
"Do you... really mean that?" I stuttered.
"Do I look like I'm lying?" As to verify his words he got up on his feet and swiftly pulled me into his arms.
I didn't care that the sun had already risen and I was just minutes away from seeing my mother, I didn't care that just the other night, I got kissed by someone else. They meant nothing now. All my attention was on Calden, holding me tightly and looking into my eyes with a fierce gaze.
Would I ever get any happier than this?
Well, even if we both would love to stay like this forever reality soon got ahead of us. Calden was the one to pull away first, then looked down on our feet.
"The next time we do this, please take of those high heels. It doesn't feel right, me being the one tiptoeing."
I burst out into laughter, and Calden laughed with me.
We didn't stay much longer than this. I would soon meet my mother again and couldn't wait!