"No, don't phrase it like that," Alexa chided from across the table. "We need them to send Vanessa specifically. If your mom or dad show up, we won't have anyone to hide behind."
Damien nodded to the suggestion.
"Then, rather than saying, 'We'd love it if one of you could make it,' we'll say, 'We'd love it if Vanessa could come to pr-.'"
"No, don't say it like that either! Your parents will think we don't want them coming," Alexa exclaimed with frustration evident in her voice. "Just... Here. Give me the pencil, I'll write it."
"No way," Damien said back, pulling the parchment and pencil away from her outstretched hands. "We let you write the one to your parents and you wrote it like it your fingers were literally just... all broken."
Alexa glanced down, eyes shifting from side to side.
"I write great," she responded quietly. "People just can't read."
"Sweetheart, you write like a two-year-old," Kastra supplemented, hugging Alexa from where she stood behind her chair.
"I don't understand why we don't just jot it all down in a [message] and send it off like that," Alexa mumbled into Kastra's arm.
Damien glanced across their table, taking in her sulking appearance while chuckling under his breath and shaking his head.
'Twenty-eight years old back on Earth and she pouts when picked on. Too cute.'
The room they were in was unlike most of the others in their home, in the sense that it was smaller and much more intimate. A separate dining area of their mansion that was likely meant for guests or servants, the main dining hall having been set near the larger kitchen. Whereas that one was adorned with large pane glass windows showing the outside pool area, this room had a small, square window showing the poolside and backyard. It reminded them of Carlon and their family. Of home.
It was also directly attached to a kitchen like their old home had been. Actually attached, rather than being separated by double doors.
Unlike their old place, however, everything here felt so much more modern it began to remind him of his home back on Earth. The counters, the pans, the stove... even the fridge was altered to keep everything at a cool temperature and similar to ones back on Earth, that temperature could be adjusted, unlike the simpler model. It also had drawers, shelves, and didn't need to be charged with mana every few days, again, unlike the one at his parent's house. It ran off a mana stone that was about the size of a golf ball. An expensive luxury, Alexa explained, of about ten gold coins for the stone itself and another five for an expert to alter your fridge to work with it. Much cheaper to have a simplistic cooling stone placed on your fridge with a tier-one mana stone that needed to be charged every other day.
The giant refrigerator in their main kitchen ran off a mana stone that was just a bit bigger than this one. Both only needed to be charged once yearly before they weren't able to power the alteration on it, depending on how cool you needed your foods.
A few days had passed since the trial, and they were nearing the middle of the second month. They'd all composed a letter, an actual letter, inviting Alexa's parents to some event that was held at the end of every year. It was used as a way for families all across the continents to mingle with one another and make ties for the future, alongside being a method in which the different students showed off their abilities by dueling one another. After the day's activities were over, a dinner party was hosted, complete with musicians and dancing.
They'd lied in the letter intentionally. If Alexa's parents knew that she was planning on forgoing their customs altogether, they'd most likely react in an extreme manner. This way, at least he and the girls would have over a hundred years to either convince them Damien was a suitable mate, become strong enough to be able to defend themselves from any kidnapping attempts, or see if anything with regards to that particular custom changed. The world as a whole was becoming more violent as opposed to less, so perhaps they wouldn't even need to worry about it.
In any case, if her parents found out, they'd be in deep. Luckily, that wasn't going to happen as long as the three of them kept their mouths shut. Which they would, at least until her dad, who was supposedly the more progressive of the two, was on board with Damien being a more permanent aspect of their daughter's life.
They'd work on accepting she had some lesbian tendencies as well after that.
"We are writing a formal message so that they know it's important," Damien explained.
"I understand sending it like that to my parents, but why yours?" Alexa questioned. "They're understanding."
Damien opened his mouth to explain then shut it. That was a very good point, and he had no counter. He shrugged in response.
"I... just felt like doing it this way."
"Liar," Kastra stated, calling him out.
Damien ignored the jab and continued jotting down the details of their problem and the fix they were hoping for when Alexa spoke again.
"Hey, I've been wondering this for a while now, but when are you going to commune?"
"I've been curious of that too," Kastra added.
Damien stopped writing and looked up at the two. That was a very good question, and they hadn't addressed it yet. He figured it wasn't entirely necessary to bring up since he had come to the decision that he probably didn't need to.
"To be honest, I never planned on it. Especially after getting into the bond with Kastra."
"What? Why not?" Alexa prodded.
"I have no real need to," he explained. "As is, I'm already stronger than anyone in this world that are communed with lightning or air, at least anyone that would be my same age. Why risk dying for more power? I won't even be able to properly wield that power until I get a much broader base of mana to fuel my abilities, and I can't exactly fathom what could make lightning stronger than it already is when under my control."
"Yeah but-" Alexa started.
"But what though?" Damien asked a little defensively. "What possible benefits could it bring me? Especially seeing how hard it was for you to handle a communed state when you first came out, the level of knowledge that would be imparted unto me... I'd be a being driven only by my instincts and desires. I don't exactly fancy that idea," he finished.
"Fathom a time comes where you would have been able to save a loved one if you had communed, though. What then?" Kastra asked, reverting to her old expressionless self in a moment of rare intensity.
Damien opened his mouth and then paused again, closing it slowly. He didn't have an answer for that either, at least not right away.
"I... do you think risking it all now is worth it, though?" he queried.
"It doesn't matter what we think," she continued. "What matters is that you don't regret your decision should it come to pass."
Damien looked into her silver eyes and watched as Alexa and his own colors swirled around her pupils, discoloring the silver as they traveled about.
'That's going to be hard to hide from her parents.'
"If knowledge is the base of communing," he started, breaking himself out of his thoughts, "then it would make sense that I wait until the end of schooling here at least. Learn all I can about mana and the ways it affects a person, then commune. In any case, I'll make a decision of whether or not I do it before the pact matures a final time," he finished.
"Whatever you decide, I stand by it," Kastra stated, nodding with a smile that didn't reach her eyes. "Live or die together with you. I'm just starting to wish we had a soul pact. It would be nice to follow you into our next life as well."
"Not so sure you want to be tied to me forever," Damien chuckled, feeling as Alexa's side of the bond expressed a bit of uncertainty.
"I might be," Kastra replied, eyes slowly lifting upward as the smile became genuine, hugging Alexa tighter.
The Fae had most likely noticed she was thinking of the event they both passed away and left her alone, as had he. Alexa wasn't hiding her more casual feelings throughout the day from them both anymore and Damien loved knowing she felt about them the exact same way they did her.
"Yeah, well, tell me that after the first hundred years," he said with a laugh. "In any case, how are we going to hide your eyes?" he asked, turning his own eyes to Alexa.
Her face went from slight melancholy to blank instantly.
"Oh, good. You don't know. We're screwed," Damien mumbled.
Immediately after the Kreel's shout, Eina and Roland sprinted forward to put distance between themselves and Alexa as she watched Damien and Adrenna disappear from view on the other side of the battlefield. She called all the water she'd stored underground, having steadily created and collected it while waiting for the signal to start, and turned it into a large tsunami of sorts, sending it over the heads of her two combatants and slamming it into the ground before Ranger and Rias who had both been advancing towards her squad.
Rias lifted a piece of ground where her foot was falling and reinforced it to withstand her stomp as she instantly dodged to the side, avoiding the wave entirely. Ranger was not nearly quick enough. Being an expert in fire rather than anything that would help, he ran straight into it as Alexa turned him into a giant piece of modern ice art.
"Focus on Rias!" she screamed from the back as Roland and Eina ran forward, instantly changing their target to the Diamond Combatant. "Arion, follow behind me and cover my blind spots. I'm going to hunt Adrenna. I should be able to handle her alone, but Damien is going to be looking to get a shot in. If you can, try and disable Rias," Alexa explained as she began to move forward, picking her body up with a tornado of water as her eyes began glowing a soft, dark blue.
It was her turn to be acting captain during a duel, and unfortunately, it was also Damien's. Her team had never lost to his yet, but she'd do whatever she could to make sure that wouldn't happen.
"As you wish," he responded, following behind her as closely as he dared to not get caught up in her wave.
She sent out a fine mist as far as her mana could carry it, giving her a three hundred and sixty degree understanding of the battlefield, better than a basic mana sense could. She felt where Adrenna was rapidly advancing on her position from the right, about fifty feet away, and coalesced all the mist in that area around the woman's body, freezing her in place.
Or it should have.
Alexa shoved herself to the side with her water and leaned as far as she could out of the way as Adrenna appeared from thin air directly in front of where she'd thought the Brinter was. A few blunted projectiles whizzed by her face and body, Alexa narrowly escaping the surprise attack. Adrenna had done something to trick her senses into believing she was further back than she truly was and the surprise had stolen any time she'd had to make a shield of ice.
Arion quickly called the ground up into multiple spikes where Adrenna's forward trajectory would bring her, causing the woman to use the sides of one of them to switch her momentum and dive sideways, leaving her wide open. Alexa tried to capitalize on her motion through the air and sent a few blunted ice balls in her direction from all around, collecting more of her mist to form them or launching them from the water carrying her person. Just before they landed, a few walls not coated in another person's mana shot out of the ground to cover her dive and exploded into dust as each projectile slammed into them, allowing the Brinter just enough time to once again mask herself and disappear into the arena.
"Where did that come from?" Arion mumbled from behind her as Alexa hunted for a source of mana that had caused that.
She chanced a glance a hundred feet away where her Elf and Dwarf were fighting with Rias, doing well enough to keep her on her toes. Figuring it was better to finish things there, Alexa pointed and started moving towards them as Arion ripped the ground out from underneath the Rias, causing her to stumble and hit the ground with a knee. Alexa condensed some mist and water from the ground on that side of the field to fuze said knee to the ground as Eina moved in. Right before she could capitalize on the disable and drive her blunted sword into the other Elf's body, the ground beneath Eina jumped up in a spike and pierced through where her foot was landing.
"We need to find him," Alexa declared as she created more water and shot it around herself like a whiplash in all directions, feeling as the blunt side of it slammed into someone who had been advancing on them. "Adrenna at our backs."
"Ranger escaping," Arion responded as he tried to encase Rias in stone, robbing her of her ability to move.
Alexa moved toward her other two party members, Eina jumping off the spike into a defensive position as Roland moved in on Rias himself. Ranger was breathing fire and expelling it from his limbs all around his person to melt his ice prison, and without her undivided attention to resolidify it, he was slowly winning the battle. Nodding to herself, she decided to let them deal with Rias while she spent some time to take Ranger out of the fight completely, rather than just disabling him.
Right as she turned toward him, her vision became obstructed by the ground in all directions as Arion and her were isolated from the battle. The moment of surprise was all the Human needed as she felt him completely disappeared from her prison.
"What the hell," Alexa exclaimed sharply to Arion.
"Not me," he said quickly.
"Fix it," Alexa demanded as the walls began exploding apart in all directions around them.
"Hit Adrenna," he replied. "She seems wounded, unmoving. I don't know what caused the ground to jump up like that though," he explained. I have complete control of this area."
"ADRENNA OUT," they heard Layla yell as they sensed a healer approach the downed woman.
Alexa nodded and began moving toward her teammates as Ranger suddenly shot out of the ground behind Roland, taking the Dwarf by surprise with a dagger against his throat.
"ROLAND OUT," Layla screamed out again as Alexa felt Rias shake free from the ice her knee was encased in, launching through the stone around her and toward Eina as if it were liquid, aiming for a second confirmed kill.
Alexa used the ice water from Ranger's former prison to bombard that entire area, encasing all three in water and almost instantly ice. She then created little collars of razor-sharp daggers from that ice and placed them on Ranger and Rias's throats before they could move, signaling their deaths as she created a walkway for Eina to leave the sculpture.
"RANGER, RIAS OUT!" they heard Layla call again.
When Eina was just taking her first step out of the ice, she immediately disappeared from view.
"EINA OUT!" Reinal yelled this time.
"What?" Alexa asked confused. "Where the hell did she go?"
"ARION OUT!" came the strange response to her question from Reinal once again.
Alexa sent more than a few whiplashes of water around their area, trying to slam them into Damien as she finally noticed Arion was missing as well. When she looked to where he'd been, she saw nothing indicating he'd ever held that same location.
Suddenly, the ground from beneath her exploded in all directions toward her as her control of the ground directly under her went haywire. For some reason, under what she controlled, something was forcing spikes and pillars to launch toward her through her own dirt, either shoving hers out of the way or pushing it upward along with it.
She shot upward into the air with her own ground manipulation just as a few of the pillars slammed into her legs and hips, leaving a few cuts and fracturing one of her legs. The pain barely phased her as her ascent carried her up away from the danger, healing and throwing her body forward some fifty feet with her wings as she stopped herself from descending, holding in the sky. No matter where she'd looked with both of her senses, she couldn't find Damien. Even trying to locate him by searching for the water that should be present in his body yielded no results.
"What the hel- AH!" she screamed out as a few boulders launched in her direction.
She moved to dodge them but they exploded into tiny shards of dirt before they hit her and soaked into the water she had around herself as a defense. Within less than a half-second, they'd filtered through the water and coalesced all around her body, holding her wings in place as she plummeted to the ground.
Trying to scrape off the immobilizing dirt with ice took her too long as she felt the ground approach. Sending out mana to try and seize where she'd land brought no positive results as he'd already claimed the use of it the moment she'd had to let it go. She used her water to cushion the impact and tried to surround herself in it quickly.
'This is only going to delay things, I need a plan!' Alexa yelled at herself, desperately thinking of anything that might turn this around.
Unfortunately, she never got the chance. Before Alexa could cover her leg, something hard latched onto it. She tried coating that part of her body and the material ice, hoping it was his hand and he'd let go or that it would help her slip away, but it had no effect. Too quickly, she was dragged underground, hands scraping at the surface as her confused and terrified mind tried to process what was happening up until the point the daytime sky disappeared and she was completely in the dark, something sharp pressed up against her throat.
"I finally win love," she heard Damien say with glee in his voice, his words instantly soothing her tense muscles as her body relaxed, trying to sit but realizing that she was completely unable to move more than an inch in any direction.
"That was terrifying," she exclaimed.
She felt as some of her prison was replaced by one of his hands on the small of her back. After that, the ground beneath her began to rise as the ground above her pushed out of the way. The sky reappeared, and she turned her head to the side where his voice had come from. Standing there was definitely Damien, just covered from head to toe in dirt and dust. Not a single inch of his body was clean.
"Were you in the freaking ground?!" she asked incredulously.
He grinned wide.
"Victory goes to Tearen's squad," Layla declared in an unimpressed manner, as usual, these days.
"I believe you mean The Avengers," Damien called out.
"For the last time," the Kreel said with a sigh, "you do not get to name your squad. You are the captain, the squad is named after you."
"Be quiet, boy," Reinal barked out, interrupting the quip Damien was preparing.
Layle nodded in approval before turning to where the injured were healing by her.
"Now then, Adrenna! Starting with you; where did you go wrong?"
Alexa felt Damien nudge her forward and they began moving towards where the rest of the class was. She heard the ground rumble as Eina and Arion both popped up beside her, covered in dirt and coughing.
Layla had allowed Adrenna to take Cedar's place in the class as a replacement. They were down to fifteen members and Layla preferred teams of four to three, so she'd agreed to let the twenty-year-old Brinter in as Damien's fourth. She was a little too strong in one on one combat, but having no formal training and Alexa being communed was a big enough counter to it that the advantage age-wise was null.
Alexa currently stood at the top of the class right now with regards to dueling and as such, Rias had ceded the top spot in the school to her as well. Adrenna might be second behind Alexa if she was formally a part of the school, but Rias and she had never actually fought.
No one had cared much to learn that Cedar had been executed. The only person showing any modicum of regret or confusion at this was Damien himself. The high of being attacked passing, he'd explained to Alexa that he wished he had at least asked the council to be lenient, but knew he probably wouldn't have even if he'd been calm enough.
"I got hit by a giant wall of dirt?" Adrenna said bitterly, sitting up from the bench she was laid down on and interrupting Alexa's thoughts.
"Too aggressive," Layla countered, ignoring the snide remark. "You have the ability to play with that woman's senses when she isn't focused completely, and instead of waiting for the right opportunity, you continued to attack relentlessly and put yourself out. Ranger?"
"Too aggressive?" he guessed.
"Try not to get taken out immediately next time. Pay attention to your instincts a little more. Ramp up your body temperature and fire before the fight begins so you can at least cause her mana to lose its structure when it hits you like that. Rias?" Layla continued asking as Ranger shrugged.
When no response came, the Kreel spoke up anyway.
"You actually did well alone but need to pay more attention to your positioning. Don't fight them both at once when outnumbered, fight one at a time by forcing them to be in the way of each other to get to you. Next team; Eina?"
"I don't know!" she exclaimed with a frustrated sigh as her hands went in the air. "I was doing great one moment then everything went dark!"
"You and Roland both, actually. You need to work with your team better. Stay closer and capitalize on each other's strengths. Not once did Roland or you try to disrupt Rias's flow with something unexpected or any type of coordinated attack. Good enough job holding her off, though. Arion?"
Alexa cringed a bit as she saw Eina open her mouth and Roland smack her lightly. Alexa had been the one that had told them to split up from the rest of their group. It was her fault partially that they'd been so out of touch with their Mages.
"I have no id-"
"Don't be so focused on one person at a time. You were so convinced that Adrenna was somehow masking Tearen that you ignored the possibility he was hiding himself. You know he is adept at ground manipulation, you should have considered where he'd be. Though, you acted quickly to disrupt Rias when your captain made a decision, so well done. N'moran?" Layla finally asked, turning her intense eyes and claws in her direction.
"I made the team split up and didn't hunt for Damien?" she guessed.
"Partially. You should have finished off Ranger immediately, that was a stupid mistake on your part. As for how you reacted otherwise, you did decently. Relying on your teammate to keep control of the element he is good at beneath you while being an orchestrator of the battle at large, keeping an unidentifiable threat at bay while trying to aid those far away from you... It was good, but not great. Like Arion, you failed to consider to search below the ground as well. The entire time you were amassing your attack, Tearen over there was creating tunnels and grabbing control of everything below three feet. You should have moved in quicker on the threats you could see, namely Rias and Ranger, before working with your team to take out the others. Splitting up might seem good as the strongest so you can take out others alone, but it would be much better to stay close to them where you can protect them and pick the other team off one at a time. Now then. You, fool who won't stop grinning. What did you screw up?" Layla asked, face visibly dropping into a small frown as she glanced at Damien.
"I... have no idea," he said honestly with a shrug as Alexa mentally slammed her palm into her forehead.
Layla took a deep breath and did her best not to yell. Alexa lifted her eyebrows in surprise.
The Kreel had taken a one hundred and eighty-degree turn the moment they'd gotten back from the excursion, but Alexa hadn't expected such restraint from her with regards to Damien. Layla explained on their first day back that the first month of familiarizing themselves with their bodies, its movements and limits, their pain thresholds, their strengths, and their weaknesses was over. The first excursion was always the most difficult as they hadn't built any teamwork up, and the attack only made it worse. Luckily, no one had been permanently injured as a result of that. The chance that they'd have been injured otherwise was close to zero what with Alexa, Kastra, Rias, and Layla herself moderating the groups, so though it was dangerous it was mostly non-lethal. The fourth layer was meant to be able to be solo'd by a competent Platinum by himself. A group of four was a bit overkill.
That is, unless someone turned murderous.
After explaining that, she'd gone through each of the captains and asked what they thought of it. Alexa, the Minotaur from Kastra's group, and the Kreel from Layla's group all explained what worked and what hadn't, griping about the lack of understanding how to work together. They'd constantly gotten in each other's way while not utilizing their respective strengths. When she'd asked Rias how she faired, the Elf had glared at Damien and Ranger, and Layla had accepted that as an answer.
After that, Layla had laid into each and every one of them and explained what she noticed were their biggest strengths and most apparent weaknesses. Each day since had been filled with genuine instruction and corrections based on their performance throughout the class. It was still painful, but instead of just letting them suffer, she suggested a multitude of different ways to mitigate that pain, avoid it next time, and even allowed them to heal their wounds. The ban on magic was lifted entirely and Reinal had since shown up every day to give more detailed instruction to the three Mages still in the class, specifically on fighting in close combat with Combatants.
Everyone had been a bit upset initially, but it became quite obvious what a boon the first month had been to them. Having reached Platinum, most believed themselves to be the most superior fighters in the school. Not only were they humbled, but during these duels the last few days, it had been a little disconcerting, if not downright terrifying, the level of punishment they were able to take without batting an eye. She'd seen a classmates leg bent completely sideways from a blast to the knee yet, instead of falling down in tears like they'd done the first day, he'd barely even shuddered as he used his other leg to send himself head first into his opponents stomach, surprising the man enough to take him out of the fight.
The amount of pain tolerance and unpredictability they'd developed from being underdogs for so long was certainly paying dividends since and though Alexa wished Mages had been allowed to use mana as a means to defend themselves at the very least, the detail of instruction Reinal was giving, down to knowing which side she favored when dodging and protecting, was the most mind-blowing of all. The Wereman and Kreel both explained exactly what flaws and rhythms she'd consistently fall into when in a desperate situation and were helping her iron them out. Favoring a dodge left over a right, a tendency to start an attack with her non-dominant hand, always scanning her right side before her left, little giveaways in her behavior that indicated what she may do next... The two instructors had spent the entirety of the month focusing on their body language to an insane degree. Each student was shown these ticks, taught to search for them in others, and given help to overcome their own.
It was incredible, in Alexa's opinion.
After a few moments of Layla not speaking, Alexa watched as Reinal took a step towards Damien.
She cringed a bit. The man hadn't exactly seemed to like Damien in the past, and she wondered what he'd say now.
"As your turn being the captain for your squad on rotation, you did an excellent job. You covered each member of your team in some way at a critical juncture for their individual fights and the ingenuity you showed set up opportunities we've never seen from this class. However, your intervention saved Ranger from death but killed Adrenna. If you intervene in one area of the battlefield, make sure what you leave behind doesn't bite your teammate. Well done at thinking to shove what someone else has claimed with what you have, though. Most don't think to do that on their own and, whereas it may be useless with a much more skilled opponent, in these duels it can be the perfect tactic," Reinal said, taking over for the Kreel. "Your passageways were clever and utilizing that... unique sense you've developed to intervene throughout the battle was brilliant. How you've become so adept at sound, ground, and the basic mana manipulation in combination with each other at such a young age is a bit mind-boggling. It reminds me of what Ripplers use to hunt," he explained, all with a neutral expression.
Alexa felt a bit of worry flood through from Damien's end of the bond. Most likely, that was touching on knowledge from his past. The cheater.
"You should have been more disruptive and offensive than protective, however. You had the unique position to be able to rob all of them of their vision, even giving Rias the opportunity to take the Elf and Dwarf out individually as Adrenna caused chaos for their Mages. Rely on them to deal with dangerous situations themselves."
Alexa smiled as Layla nodded along in approval with the assessment before motioning for their groups to switch with the two that had been waiting.
Alexa pulled Damien forward, and they sat on a stone chair he lifted from the ground, Kastra flitting over and resting on her shoulder while they looked on.
"Tearen," Layla said suddenly, turning around to look at him. "I will be by later, Lemshire's orders. Clear a two-hour block from your schedule after your final class ends. You both as well," she finished, motioning to Alexa and Kastra.
Alexa's eyebrows knitted together while she unconsciously nodded.
"May I ask what for?" she heard Damien pipe up from beside her, albeit thankfully in a polite manner.
"Different training," she said with an indifferent shrug, turning back around. "On rotation with different instructors. I'm first."
Damien's face looked surprised for a moment before nodding. She watched as he fidgeted with indecision for a moment before finally standing up.
"Ma'am," he said, getting the Kreel's attention once more. "I'd like to apologize for what I said the other day on the way to the trial. I was a bit upset and shouldn't have allowed my anger to speak for me. The death of a young man is nothing to be excited over," he stated, bowing deeply. "I am sorry."
Alexa yelped as her eyes shot to the Kreel. Her face went from one of calculation and appreciation to one Alexa thought she'd never see the woman show within an instant: extreme surprise and embarrassment.
Alexa jumped up and grabbed him by the collar of his shirt as quickly as her wings and body could carry her, throwing him back into their chair.
"HE DIDN'T MEAN THAT! HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS!" she yelled out as Reinal took a threatening step towards Damien.
"Wait wh-" Damien started as Alexa's hand clamped over his mouth in a vice grip.
"He's an idiot from the country. Probably taught that from a friend. I'll make sure he never does it again," Alexa continued, face red as a tomato as Layla herself turned away, equal parts flustered and angry.
"See to it, then," Layla demanded with a cough, grabbing Reinal by his suit and swinging the man's body around until he faced the new battle.
"What the... stop- what the hell, Alexa," Damien whispered to her, prying her hands off his mouth. "I was ap-"
"Propositioning her! How daft can you be?" Alexa whispered yelled back with a low growl, clamping her hand back on his mouth as his face went white. "Bowing!? Right after she said she'd be coming to your residence! Could you have any less tact?! You are reading that damn book on the different races and their cultures before any freaking others. I'm guessing that you only did it because you didn't know?" she finished with daggers in her eyes.
Damien nodded eagerly as Kastra giggled next to Alexa's ear.
"How is it only you don't know these things even though we practically grew up together," she said in exasperation, hand still firmly clamped over his mouth as he mumbled something incoherent back to her.
Class ended early that day.
Support "A Gentleman's Curse: Arc 2"
Wildland Helicopter Firefighter from northern California. I'm writing during the winter but plan on returning to my job in the summer. I'm enjoying writing more than I thought I would. Will be posting frequently, but once I start work in the summer posts will slow down. Hopefully I'll have a cache of chapters built up by then and I won't have to scale them back too much though.
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