Chapter 17 – Fall What May (4)

Fall What May – Part 4

      When we get back to the manor, Rose rushes towards me in a tizzy. She throws herself at me and wraps me up in a hug, asking every question under the sun. “I’m fine Rose. I just went out to clear my mind.” I shake her off and go inside much to her protest.

      That’s when I noticed, “Where’s Kay?”

      Before Rose can even say anything I figure it out on my own and let out a noise of disgust before going back inside. I make my way to the living room and plop down on to the couch in our living room. Mimi comes over and sits down next to me.

      Rose comes around behind me and takes my hair down, brush in hand. She starts to brush my hair as Mimi pulls her legs up and under her, and opens a book.

      “I don’t understand why you two are here. You don’t have to be.”

      Mimi doesn’t take her eyes off of her book, but reaches over and gives my knee a squeeze. Rose simply tugs on my hair once before returning to brushing it.

      “You two can be as cute as you want but that doesn’t-” I’m cut short by the sound of the door opening then closing. I turn around to see Kay walking in. She freezes when she sees us looking at her.

      She gives a nod to us and joins us on the couch. Despite my glare, she picks up a book and leans over and lays on me. I can not believe this woman’s audacity. I heave a sigh and close my eyes. Despite myself, I fall asleep amongst the warmth of these women.

      Eventually I’m startled awake by a pounding on the door. Before I know it Kay is making her way to the door, opening it.

      As I yawn and try to wake up, Kay walks up and hands me a letter. I look it over and see that it’s addressed to the Zeroth. That’s all. There’s no other postmark on the surprisingly smooth envelope. I can’t imagine what it’s made out of. Kay sits down next to me and stares intensely at the letter. She must be curious about it. I look around the room and don’t see the others. I look over to Kay and she seems to understand my train of thought without me saying anything.

      “Rosaline went shopping. Mimelia went,” she looks around the room then continues, “Out?” She finishes questioningly.

      “And for once, you’re actually here,” I snap at her on accident. Kay uncharacteristically hangs her head. I let out a sigh and place a hand on her hair.

      She jerks at my touch but otherwise doesn’t pull away. I run my fingers through her hair and pet her. She leans into it in apparent pleasure. I don’t know what good it does me to be so mad at her, but I can’t help it. Every time she leaves me alone for any period of time, I feel as if a part of me is missing and I hate it.

      Before I know it, Kay’s asleep, leaning against my shoulder. She must be exhausted. I heave another sigh and wrap an arm around her. She’s terribly cute so I can’t help myself. I nearly slap myself for that last thought. I can’t believe how naturally those kinds of thoughts come now. Just as I almost start to doze off myself I hear a small patter of feet rush into the living room. I turn around and see Vol burst into the room. He must have came over when I was originally asleep.

      “Heya Vol.” He meets me with his adorable cheeks, and blue eyes. He’s grown a lot over this past year- well over a foot taller now.

      “Howdy Lord Zero. Have you seen-” he cuts himself off when he finally notices a sleepy Kay sitting up. “Ah! There you are Lady Kay! Let’s play!” To my surprise, Kay gives a small nod and gets up. With nothing else to do, I decided to follow them.

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      Over the next hour I’m greeted with a side of Kay I couldn’t have ever imagined. She’s laughing out loud while Vol chases her outside in a game of tag. She smiles wide when she catches him and lifts him into the air, much to his protest; and she lets out an audible giggle when he tickles her to break free. The sight of these different sides of Kay sends my heart aflutter.

      I’ve never seen Kay look so… carefree. It’s almost magical. A little while later she comes over with me to take a rest. Apparently even Kay can’t keep up with a child like Vol. When Kay gets within arms reach I yank her towards me and wrap her in my arms. She shifts uncomfortably in my arms before eventually settling in. She tilts her head onto my shoulder and takes a deep intake of breath. I can’t blame her, I’m being absorbed into her scent as well. She smells of incense with a mix of sweat. But underneath all of that is something I’m far too familiar with now- blood.

      It makes my heart pound and pulsate without rhythm. But I can’t bring myself to bring it up, not now. Not when she seems so happy. Before long, however, Vol cuts between us and drags not only Kay, but me too, into his game with a ball.

      That’s how I spend my afternoon, with a playful Vol, and an uncharacteristically carefree Kay. By the time dinner time rolls around the whole gang is gathered together. It’s a lively dinner, filled with fakes. Mimi is wearing her hair up in a nice ponytail, purple wisps of hair dangle in front of her eyes; eyes that light up as she talks about her day.

      Apparently, she was gone most of the day in order to visit her family. Rose on the other hand, has fantastic tales that you wouldn’t think would come out of a shopping trip for dinner. She tells us about how the butcher always flirts with her and gives her extra, even knowing she’s a Valkyrie. Apparently, she’s even able to get most of the vegetables at cost by helping the old lady she shops with, pick her haul for the day.

      All in all it seems like everyone had a good day. Eventually though, I heard the echoes of a bird run through the house. Kay goes rigid at the sound. She quickly excused herself from the table. I look toward the others to see a grimace on both of their faces.

      “Im following her this time.”

      Mimi and Rose merely nod their heads. When I get outside I only see a small dot on the horizon. Like that, I push my legs as fast as I can muster. I run and run, never gaining on Kay, but never losing her. Occasionally I see her look behind herself. Apparently she’s making sure no one is following her, but I’m sticking to what cover I can in hopes of avoiding detection. We easily run a good fifteen miles- making it clear into the royal section of the city. We’re another ten miles out from the actual Academy when Kay starts winding through the back alleys.

      My heart feels like it’s going to explode, my breath is ragged. I can’t believe I’ve been able to keep up like this. I’ve pushed well past my human limits and have hunted Kay with all the power I could muster. Yet as she never outran me, I never caught up to her. Before too long though, I find myself diving behind a signpost to hide from Kay’s prying eyes- and those of the guards; of which are many. I’m not familiar with where we are, but the whole area is filled with guards and very posh houses.

      Kay starts to make her way, very slowly, to a nice mansion. She dodges the guards perfectly and starts to scale the house. She gives one last look around before pulling out some kind of kit, and fiddling with the window. Before long she slips into the house. Not more than fifteen minutes later, she pops out of the house and dashes off.

      I can’t imagine what she was doing, but it can’t be good. However, it’s getting far too dangerous, as I see the guards start clumping up in groups and talking. I decide to make my way back home.

      By the time I make it home, the sun is peeking out over the horizon. The trip back took far longer than the way there. I didn’t apply nearly as much effort as I did to get there. I get inside only to immediately be met with a pounding at the door. I turn back around and tentatively open the door. There stands a guard and my heart drops into my stomach.

      “Yes?” I ask him, trying to keep my voice from shaking.

      “My Lord Zeroth,” he gives me a salute before holding out a letter. Upon taking it, he gives me a nod and leaves.

      I tilt my head at the letter while shutting the door behind me. “Zero?” I hear Rose’s voice call to me as she approaches me. I hold up the letter and she gives a nod.

       “What about this one? I found it last night. Speaking of last night…” she lets her letter hang in the air.

      I give her a shrug and take the letter from her. She follows me into the kitchen. I rip the second letter open while taking the seat. The letter is succinct and to the point, “Zeroth, where the hell are you? It’s been three days. Are you ignoring your duties?” I tilt my head and look at Mimi as she sleepily makes her way into the kitchen.

      She grumbles out a sleepy “morning” and freezes when she sees me. She quickly runs her hand through her hair and tries to straighten out her clothes, before realizing she’s in her pajamas still and dashes away in a panic. I turn to give a wry smile at Rose and ask what that was about.

      She shrugs and tells me, “At times, a maiden’s heart is difficult to understand, even for a husband.”

      I shake my head and sigh. Before long, the door opens, and I hear it close. Kay walks into the kitchen, groggy, and rubbing her eyes. She stops when she sees both of us; me especially, with letter in hand. I turn away from her and reread the letter.

      “I don’t really understand this letter.” I say while passing it off to Rose. She reads it quickly and suggests that I read the other one. I give a nod and open it up. What’s revealed inside is many, but the gist of it is, I’ve been summoned to the Academy for some official services, as soon as possible.

      I stand up and inform the others that after breakfast we’re heading to the Academy. I tell Kay to get some sleep in preparation for today.

      On our way up, I grab her by the arm and slam her against the wall outside of everyone else’s sight. Her eyes turn fierce for a moment before she reigns it under control.

      “Kay, you will give me an explanation of what you’re doing at night when we get back from the Academy!”

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      She stares at me, the heat of anger smoldering just behind her beautiful eyes. I let go of her and go into my room to get ready. I find a change of clothes and make my way into my shower. I’m not even sure how it works, but it isn’t through the systems used in my world. It’s some kind of perpetual water magik.

      After cleaning myself up and dressing, I go to meet the others downstairs. Once I arrive, Rose goes to collect Kay, leaving just Mimi and I. Her beautiful, purple hair is parted down the middle and rests on her shoulders. She looks adorable.

      When she catches me staring at her, I look away in a panic; but Mimi doesn’t miss a beat. She walks over to me and wraps her arm around mine and rests her head on my shoulder. It’s so charming that I can’t even bother to pull away.

      “Wanna do some practicing tonight Zero?”

      She asks me without looking my way. My mind flashes back to that night in the hallways, pushed against the wall by Mimi- her intense kissing and exploration of my body and-

      I come to my senses and shake my head viciously to stop the train of thought. Mimi face shows her line of thought as she puts my odd behavior together in her mind.

      “I meant sparring, Zero…” She says with face on fire. I can only imagine that I look similar right now.

      “Ss-sure.” I stutter out.

      Mimi gives me a wide smile and playfully pushes against my hip with hers, trying to knock me off balance. I laugh and push her back. She takes it as a challenge and starts trying to wrestle with me. Naturally, I retaliate.

      It isn’t long before we’re chasing each other across the living room, trying to get the one up on one another. It’s only when we’re grappling that I realize Rose and Kay are standing at the bottom of the stairs, watching us. Mimi and I stop our little session and I bashfully rub the back of my neck.

      “Let us be off then.” Rose says.

      Kay approaches me and holds out her arm for me to take- but I don’t. I walk right past her and link arms with Rose. Rose is clearly in an uncomfortable situation, evident by how she slides her eyes from me to Kay, Kay to me. But she wouldn’t dare say anything, so she allows me to indulge.

      Before long, we’ll be at the Academy, and I’ll see what kind of emergency this is to call us to the Academy two weeks early. Plus I’m tired as all hell from tracking Kay all of last night.

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