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AM 137"What do you mean you aren't coming with me?!" Who cares if I squeaked like a rubber duckie, I was being abandoned! I glared at Nat.But he just looked confusedoh yeah. He didn't know why I was upset. All he could see was that Cordy's little brother (me) was giving him a dirty look. That kind of thing was probably stressful for him. Or at least annoying. "Er, I'm sorry, but there are a few other things I have to do before going to the tailor.""Can't you do them later?" No, I wasn't whining, I was desperately pleading for my life. I could not do this by myself, I'd rather be embarrassed in front of Nat than have a tailor pretend nothing was wrong. They were always so awkward about it.Whatever he had to do must have been important, though, because he didn't budge on it. He just walked me all the way to a foreboding room with a half-open door. Maybe i
AM 136"YOU'RE WHAT?!?"I sighed, "I'm getting engaged to Eric. Mom's gonna announce it at the ball."Dad just stared at me with his mouth open, a mortally wounded look on his face. The iron vice of GUILT had a good grip on my insides. Dad looked so bewildered and hurt, he actually stumbled back into a chair and put his face in his hands. "But why Aulma!?"I took a deep breath, "Promise you won't tell Mom?"He looked up at me suddenly, his face changing. "
That depends." He got to his feet suddenly and his face turned bright red, he walked towards me and placed his hands on my shoulders, "Never mind. Just tell me. Whatever it is, I can handle it."I managed to keep from rolling my eyes. He was worse then Nat sometimes. "I'm getting engaged to Eric so Mom won't make me go to all those awful match making parties."He blinked at me. "
bzuh? Come again?"I had to laugh, "Man Dad, what were you expecting?" I watched his ears turn pink and patted my shoulder twice before loo
AM 135My lip didn't hurt as much as it could have. Bane needed to learn how to plant his feet a little better. But I probably shouldn't criticize like that, it was a good thing that he wasn't as good a fighter as he might have been. It wouldn't go over well if I went to a ball with bruises and busted something-or-other.I ran my tongue over my lip, then shrugged it off. I'd had worse. "Are you okay? You look kinda dizzy
"That was the wrong word. Nat looked overwhelmed. He also looked like he was going to fall over if I looked at him too hard. "Yes, I
I'm fine."This was really a big deal, wasn't it? Especially since he didn't know the whole story. As far as he could tell, Aulma and I really meant to do this the whole way. I didn't know how I felt about that, or about the idea of us actually doing that. But I did know that I shou
AM 134When I'd headed for the library in search of a quiet place to mull things over and regain some lost dignity and peace of mind, running into the middle of a fist fight was the last thing I'd expected. Instead of freezing in place and staring the way I'd kinda expected myself to, I rushed in immediately and grabbed a pair of shirt collars, wrenching them away from each other as quickly as I could. It wasn't easy, but I managed it long enough for them to each get a glimpse of my face and that was enough for both of them to forget what the hell they'd been fighting about and curl up into little balls of subject penitence. At least, that's what Bane Cornblue did. The other kid, Cordy's brother - I realized with a rush of nerves, looked up at me with a bloodied lip."What the hell is going on here?" I asked calmly."Nothing, y-your Highness, we simply, Abbot here just-""You mean His Highness, don't you?""Oh yes sir! His h-Highness simply bumped into me and, and I tripped and-"I
AM 133FUCKING YEAH. That would be awesome
! II couldn'theh. "Yes, thank you so much! I mean
seriously that'd do so much to make things better." Even as I said it, I knew I sounded like an overeager moron, but maybe that's what I was just then.Aulma grinned at me and for a second I was certain that she was going to laugh at me, but she didn't. She slipped out of the room without a sound, while I goggled at the sword she'd handed me. It was heavier than I would have expected a girl Aulma's age and size to carry, but that didn't actually surprise me.Of course, I did know how to use a sword, and some other weapons as well. I was best with a staff, but this was good enough. I stood up and made myself familiar with the heft of it. It had been a long time since I'd held a weapon. Strange that it felt so comfortable in my hand.But would it be good enough t
AM 132I couldn't help blushing a little immediately. Man, all anyone had to say was his name and off I went lollygagging in awkwardland. I cleared my throat, looking away. "He
um, he asked me to be his fiancé."Jake's eyes widened, but I noticed he didn't look really surprised; mostly happy. My blush was getting worse what was wrong with me? "Really?" he said, drawing the word out far longer then was considerate. "And what did you say?" not that you couldn't tell from the tone of his voice that he already knew what my answer had been."I.. I said yes." I felt I had to clear this up, at least a little bit, "he asked me so I wouldn't have to go to anymore balls. All people do there is wander around looking for future spouses. He said if we got e-en-engaged, I wouldn't ever have to go to one again."Jake gave me a thoughtful look, "Well, that's pretty nice of him, isn't it?"I nodded, hugging my knees to myself. I took a deep breath. "Do you think
"I must h
AM 131Keep her company. Dumbass. I didn't even know her that well, except that she was perfect for my little brother and he adored her. She was Lil's cousin, but they were so different, it wasn't likely that they were close, kind of like Adam and me. Finally I let out a little nervous laugh and said, "I don't know. I just don't want to sit here and deal with the silence anymore."She gave me a smile that looked sincere, which was good, and a little pitying, which was not good. "You want me to sing you to sleep or something?""
I don't doubt you could, but I'm sick to death of sleeping." I tried to think of something that might spark a real conversation, but nothing really came to mind. Nothing good, anyway. I could ask her about the Creature, but the concept made me nervous. Again, the idea of talking to her about Lil sprung up, and I decided to chance it. In a way.
AM 130I was angry.But mostly I was jealous. How come Gy had sent Nat visions? There wasn't anything he could do about them! The damn fool actually forgot about them! Gy should have contacted me! I was the one who actually did things, the one that actually fought things and won!!Nat was a silly little pansy who was looking forward to a future of sitting around being emperor while everyone else took care of everything for him; me included. Ugh, I was so mad. You could sure as hell bet I wouldn't forget to tell anyone if I had a friggin vision!I wanted to stomp, but of course I couldn't. Stomping is not a good thing to do when you're traveling through a secret passage behind people's walls, under their floors and above their heads. No. Stomping would have been stupid. So I just padded angrily, taking angry puffs off my smoke and trying not to grumble to myself angrily.It could just as well have been Eric. It really could have all i
AM 129"I'm not useless!!"No matter how many times I said that to myself, I couldn't make it sound believable. They had finally left me alone, and I wasn't sure how I felt about that, but at least no one could hear me fretting at the wall. I was not useless, I just wasn't as good at some things as other people were.But look at how I'd picked that lock, I'd been good at that! Hmph, that had turned out pretty well, hadn't it? I'd nearly gotten swooped off by the Creature. Stupid stupid. I needed someone, being alone was not good for me right now.Adam and Eric were both fast asleep, and my mom had left about an hour ago, I'd made her go to bed. What time was it? I didn't know, there wasn't a clock and my watch had stopped at 8:13 this morning. Yesterday morning, probably. It had to be after midnight. I wondered if I would stay up past dawn. In my current s