A/N: Tom is from a novel I hope to publish later this year.
When Tom was still a kitten, his favorite place was in the house library.
He would spend hours curled up in the chair next to the fire, looking through the books, at pictures and maps of faraway places. He’d read through the collection of scripts that his mother and father collected from the theater. He’d look through the window, dreaming about what his life would become.
After the theater had been bought and Tom’s life was changed, one of the first things to go were the books. In small stacks at first but by the end, the whole library was empty.
Now, while he was teaching Clyde to read, Tom couldn’t help but think back to that sheltered room and miss his books.
Mabarina didn’t understand when Barty gave her the ring.
“It’s shiny,” she remarked and tried to hand it back to him. He curled her hand around the silver band.
“You gave me a name. I give you the ring,” he explained.
Mab looked at the ring with renewed interest. She held it up and looked through it.
“For our union?”
Barty beamed up at her and she just had to reach down, grab his horn and kiss him.
“The inside summons a dagger,” he gasped when she released him. “But only for you.”
“My only love, you know me so well.”
Destiny liked the ocean. She had never been, in all her sixy some years of living. She liked the feeling of the deck vibrating as the waves crashed against it and the rhythmic swaying under her feet. It reminded her of a dance she knew, long ago.
Aku did not seem to agree, from the way his knuckles blanched against the rope he curled around his hands. Destiny clucked at him.
“You’ve been around the world more than I have, friend! You should be used to it,” she said.
“The sea is not a friend,” he barked at her as Destiny leaned over the side to look into the water. “I’ll not come after you if you fall in!”
A/N: This is world building for my romance novel series. Yeah. I said it and I meant it!
Lex was only four when his nurse maid took him out of his cradle and outside. It was a warm night and he only shivered and fussed when she put him barefooted on the ground.
“Hush, Lexxy. Look!” She pointed up and Lex craned his head back.
The Night Eye was only beginning to open. The silver light slowly grew until the whole orb was round, peering down at ground.
His nurse took him on her knee and bounced him. “That’s Orbis, Lex. He sees us all and we are his charges. So long as you can see his eyes, the Unseen can never hurt you.”
Over the next few days Leonardo noticed a distinct shift in the mood of the castle.
“Fencing?” He repeated when Aspen told them at breakfast.
She nodded. “Yeah. Sword fighting for practice. It’s great for your reflexes and flexibility.” She took a bite of her breakfast, pieces of sugared wheat and dried fruit in milk. “Probably strength too, if you use heavy swords.”
“Will you be teaching us?” Napoleon asked, casting a dubious look over Aspen.
She shook her head. “I never learned. It’ll be Kami.”
Leonardo frowned. “I do not approve of violence in that way.” He shook his head. “I do not want to fence.”
“No one will make you, don’t worry Leo.” Aspen smiled at him then glanced at his breakfast: coffee. “But uh, you should definitely have something other than that. Otherwise Russo might make you eat that cup, too.”
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Magpie Jones had always found it difficult to ask for help.
Even when they were in primary school it was hard to admit when they needed someone else to step in and assist. Once Mags had done an entire biolab by themselves, forgoing sleep for forty-eight hours.
But now, with a castle full of the previously dead, Magpie had to admit they could use a shoulder to lean on.
“Hey, how long have you been here?” Aspen poked Magpie in the shoulder. “Have you slept?”
Magpie smiled. Having someone looking out for them wasn’t so bad.
Clyde noticed that Tom loved sweet things. He took maple sugar in his tea. He preferred honey nut sauce on his sauteed worms. Clyde caught the cat looking into windows of confectioners windows.
It seemed natural to get him the small bag of sweets. Clyde didn’t even think about why he did it.
“What’s this?” Tom asked, taking the bag and opening it. He let out a trilling purr. “Green drops!” He popped a few into his mouth, crunching loudly. “Thank you Clyde.”
Clyde could feel his tail begin to wag. “We have the rest of today to get through. Thought you might be hungry.”
He thought Tom’s bright eyed look was much sweeter than any candy.
Mairon held up the necklace from a cart she was unpacking.
Lex ran his fingers along the chain, reaching down to cup the large ruby pendant.
“This is lovely,” he said.
Mairon scrunched up her nose. “It was a gift. Or more like a payment.” Her words came out stiff and quiet. “It was from Scarma.”
Lex touched her cheek. “Would you like it sold? You do not need any kind of jewels to add to your beauty.”
Mai laughed and reached up on her toes to kiss him. “I rather it be donated.”
A/N: Even in the year 3000, Italians are smug about football. *Shrugs*
“I literally do not believe this is a thing anyone does for fun,” Maximilien panted. He was flushed, hair sticking to his face and neck, highlighting the scar around his throat.
Leonardo, the damned show off, was easily manipulating the ball with his feet, making it jump twist between his ankles like an affectionate beast. He laughed.
“I do! It’s deceptively simple, but takes an enormous amount of dexterity and endurance.”
Maxime made a face. “I have plenty of endurance!” He snapped, but groaned when Leonardo began walking backwards, taking the ball with him.
“Oh yes? Then why don’t you come get me, Maxime?” Leonardo grinned.
A/N: Spoilers? For AFAU? Maybe? Who knows!
“What does peace mean to you, Major?”
Chikara Haruka looked up from her desk. Miller was sitting next to the window, her mismatched socked feet resting on the window still. Outside the night was clear and bright.
“What?” Chikara snapped.
“Peace.” Miller held up her book with a smirk. Some ancient Russian novel. “I’m trying to have a discussion with you.”
Chikara snorted. “My peace would be a world without people like you in it.”
Miller held a hand to her chest, pantomiming despair. “Rude!” She laughed. “To be fair, I agree with you. The world would be more peaceful, but less interesting.”
I have only arrived at the Fire Bird. It’s a ramshackle little place, despite the name. The fires are dim and cold. My hands are swollen even as I write this, but I know you’ll forgive the penmanship.
I hope you and the lad are sheltering through this storm. Do not ride him too hard, Aku. He’s young yet and doesn’t know what we old timers know: savor your down time!
I expect we will be pressing on as soon as I can meet with Darksteel, so I don’t know when the next letter will come.
Till I can see you again,