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August 2011

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outside_eden in desperate_ink

Happy Holidays! Here's a cookie.

A note from Cael: For those of you who have been patiently waiting, you all deserve a million dollars. I swear. And to those of you that may be new, hiatuses are common for us. Don't get your hopes up. Buuuut, we're trying. We really are.

So, here is the next entry, courtesy of Rion. The upcoming entry is, well, upcoming. I'm working on it now, I promise. So it should be done within the next two days. And Rion is anxious to write the next after that, so expect it within a week. What with Winter Quarter starting at college for me and Rion working full-time, but no school, we should be able to get more entries out. No promises, but that's the plan. Now, I know you've all heard me say these same things a billion times before. Maybe Rion should be the one to write the excuses/apologies next.... Buuuut, yeah. Like I said, we're trying. Thank you for the great support and the notes and fanpics (which I shall post soon) some of you have sent us over the months. They've made us smile countless times. So thanks, and I hope you all had a great Whatever-You-Celebrate-During-Winter and that you have a great New Years!!

-------------------

There are two major rivers that run through Mana, the Crimson and the Witness. I am currently considering hurtling myself off of the Rime Bridge and into the furiously coursing waters of the Crimson below me.

Why me? No, seriously, why me? Stupid Mr. Thomas, buttering me up with all of those nice comments on how well I did my creative writing assignment, of how well developed my characters were and then- BAM!- before I know it I’m stuck tutoring the Prince. I sigh and look over at the driver’s seat of the car, where Cael the Prince is calmly driving like a student just out of driver’s ed. Both of his pale hands set at exactly 10 and 2, long tapered fingers tightly grasping the steering wheel. His eyes hadn’t left the road in front of us except to check his mirrors every few moments. His jaw was clenched--possibly in annoyance--and nearly black, brown eyes were narrowed in concentration.

I sighed. At least Trey and Ash couldn’t get mad at me. I was being nice and I was going over to his house. Everyone wins. Except me. The car was nice though and much more understated than I would have expected. Don’t get me wrong. This car is so new I’m pretty sure the design isn’t open for public purchase, but it’s not exactly a shiny new red Porsche either. It was a nice, simple, dark blue Mitsubishi.

While I had been admiring the black leather seats, Cael had made a left turn off of the main road onto a side street that followed the river. The further up the road we traveled the nicer the apartments and houses were. This was definitely the rich side of town.

“How’d you get into this English class if you need tutoring this early on?” I finally asked, not wanting to wait in the tense silence any longer than I needed to. Hadn’t he ever heard of a radio?

“I’m a good writer.” He claimed, then muttered under his breath. “That assignment was just stupid. And Thomas has it in for me.

I scoffed. “Right, one teacher doesn’t treat you like the royalty you think you are and automatically he’s out to get you.”

Note to Self: Find duct tape. Use said duct tape to shut self up.

“Sorry.” I told him after a few moments more. He pulled the car to a stop next to a tall apartment building before he looked at me. That’s all he did, just looked at me as if he was a botanist who had discovered a new species of plant life. I watched back, waiting for… something to happen, I don’t know what. Honestly, all I could think at the moment was how beautiful those eyes were. He suddenly jerked back to his senses. He shook his head and then just got out of the car like he hadn’t been staring at me only a few moments ago.

Cael had parked right at the entrance way to the building and there was a valet waiting to take his keys from him. The man gave him a quick greeting, which the Prince didn’t bother to return. He just walked toward the door. Uncomfortably, I muttered a quick farewell to the guy and followed Cael into the building.

There was a security guard, a large bulky man who’s eyes followed me across half the room before returning to watch the screens in front of him steadfastly. There was a receptionist at the desk, a pretty girl about our age, who waved at the Prince and blushed when he gave a sharp nod to acknowledge her. I think I might have heard a pleased sigh as well.

What is it about this guy that makes everyone want to fall at his feet and worship him? I mean, besides those deep, dark, usually cold eyes, that fit body and perfect hair and stylish clothes. But there was something else too, just like Trey, something to make people put their needs and wants on pause just to listen to what he had to say. I’m not naïve; don’t get me wrong, I know there are people who are more attracted to the money of the Aeturnus corporation than to Cael. But there has to be something more. Even I, though I’ll never admit it out loud, think there’s something special to Cael. He’s more than just what meets the eye.

He led me to an elevator, smack-dab in the middle of the lobby wall and took a key out of the back pocket of his designer jeans. Cael put it into a slot where the button for the fourteenth floor usually would have been and turned it in lieu of pushing the non-existent button to make it light up. The Prince was silent still and for once I would have given anything to hear that annoying elevator Musak.

I don’t know what I was expecting from Cael’s home, especially this late in the journey, but it wasn’t for the elevator to open right into his apartment, but it did. It opened right into a stark, but elegant apartment. Cael headed off to the left and I followed obediently, eyeing the grand piano sitting in the living room. He led me to the kitchen, off to the left and dumped his backpack onto one of the counters.

I hadn’t noticed a stairway entrance on the way in and for some reason all I could think about was that little sign you always see by elevators that read ‘In case of emergency, use stairs.’ I mean, what happens if there’s a fire or if the electricity goes out? Are you just stuck then, left to die? So much for a penthouse apartment.

“So, are we going to get ready for this or not?” Cael asked impatiently.

My first answer was just a stupid sounding. “Huh?” Immediately followed by the even more intelligent, “Where’s the stairs?”

He gave me a funny look, you know the kind that says ‘did I really just let this idiot into my house?’ “There’s a hidden door beside the elevator entrance. If you push on it, it opens.”

That’s convenient. A little like a Scooby-Doo mystery. I mean, the moments where someone leans on the wrong wall at the right moment and then next thing you know everyone’s turning around and going… 'Wait—where’s Velma?' Anyone else ever notice that she’s the one who always gets separated from the group like that?

Where was I again… right. Tutoring the Prince. He led me from the entryway to the kitchen and threw his books down on the island’s granite table-top before pulling out a notebook along with the infamous paper. The latter was handed to me and I opened it without, well, any ado.

“What you need to do is work on character development. The plot is really good, but no matter how good it is it will always fall flat without good characters to hold it together.” I explained after I had read most of the story. I looked up and noticed Cael was watching me very intently, his fingers tapping impatiently on the stone table-top.

“Um.. see…” I hesitated, trying to think of an explanation, “even if you don’t use certain details about a character in a story, especially a short story, you should at least have a good idea of what they are. There should be a couple little, unexplained quirks that they have or a certain way of thinking.”

Cael groaned and finally quit tapping. “This might actually take a while, won’t it?”

I smiled, somewhat half-heartedly and shrugged.

“Then we’re going to need sustenance. Want some food?”





If you had tried to tell me only hours ago that my forced slavery tutoring would be going so well, I would have called you liar. If you had told me that Cael and I would be getting along, even laughing together—well, it goes without saying that you’d have to be a little crazy to have that thought.

And yet here I was, a few hours into my tutoring adventure, and I was enjoying myself. I was having fun with the Prince. I had finally given into Cael’s many requests that I make myself at home and enjoy the junk food he had managed to materialize a few hours ago. He was currently attempting to fill out a characterization worksheet I had drawn up for him a while ago.

“Family history… let’s see, Erin ’s great grandfather made a deal with a demon. He sold his sole for the good of his family fortune. So the LeBlanq family has plenty of money, but each generation carries a curse. The women the LeBlanq men come to love will always die before their time. See, that explains why Erin ’s such a playboy. It’s not because he’s rich and cruel; on the contrary, see he just doesn’t want to be the death of anyone.”

I laughed as I reached for another handful of chips. “Where do you come up with this stuff? I thought this was supposed to be a story about a relatively normal guy.”

While talking I never noticed the coming catastrophe. My elbow bumped my glass on the table and the next thing I knew I was one big, sticky mess.

“Ah, damn it, I spilled my soda all over myself.” I groaned.

Cael immediately looked up at the sound of my curse. His shoulders shook in an attempt to hide his laughter, but I glared anyway as I picked at the soaked material covering my chest. Still snickering, he pushed his chair back and stood up, gesturing me to follow.

“Come on, Rion, you can borrow one of my shirts.”

I shook my head. “Nah, that’s okay. I’ll just keep this one. No big deal.”

“Come on, you’re really going to sit in the kitchen, letting that shirt get stickier and sticker as it dries just because you don’t want to wear any of my clothes?” Cael gave me an inquisitive, if not somewhat mocking look. “You smell like grape soda.”

“Right…” I sighed. “You kind of have a point there.”

The Prince smiled victoriously at the admission. “I know. Now come on, my room’s over here.”

He led the way across the huge living room of the penthouse to a room in the far corner. It was filled with all of the basics of a bedroom in a coldly modern style. It seemed peculiarly empty too. I mean, in the room Trey and I share there was always something that needs to be cleaned or put away. Cael’s room was spotless. The walls were bare except for a few Asian-styled prints hanging on the walls. The only really personal touch were two small 3x5 frames sitting on his desk. In one was a picture of the whole court, all smiling and laughing together when they were a few years younger, not even looking at the camera. The other was a picture of a pretty Asian woman.

“There’s a bathroom through that door.” Cael interrupted my examination of his room to point out. “You can just throw your dirty shirt in the sink for now so it doesn’t get anything else wet.”

I nodded as I went to follow his instructions. I paused for a few minutes observing first my surroundings then my too-scrawny body in the mirror, but after a few minutes I could imagine Cael was getting a bit antsy.

“Get lost?” He asked when I finally emerged from the room, still shirtless. I just rolled my eyes at him so he threw the dark blue button-up shirt in his hands at me. I laughed when he completely missed and turned around to pick it up. When I turned back there was a sort of surprised look on his face.

“What?” I asked, a little worried.

“I guess I just never thought you’d be the sort of guy to have a tattoo. Especially one that big.” He explained taking a few steps toward me.

I laughed lightly, finally remembering the marks that had been there for only half a year or so. “It was a sixteenth birthday present from Trey, with a little help from Mom. He even came up with the design for it himself. It’s how I sign my art now.”

"Oh,” I looked up at Cael. His voice sounded strange, a little hoarse and quiet. I was a little worried. “Can I see it again?”

“Sure.” I turned around again, studying the pale walls of the room while I let Cael study my back. I never expected him to touch me, he hadn’t in all the time I’d known him, but he slid a few fingers down my spine tracing the black ink that made up the body of the simple cross there. I barely managed to not jump at first, but was almost expecting it when he moved on to tracing the wings on my shoulders. I swallowed thickly, and cursed internally when I felt my neck heating up.

“I…um… was really surprised my Mom let us do it. But she said she didn’t mind as long as it was somewhere we could cover up for work. Trey’s got the same design, but it’s on his arm.” Absently, I pointed out the spot on my own bicep where my brother had his.

I turned slightly, watching the almost enraptured expression on his face. Too soon it seemed he was done and dropped his hands, backing away a few steps. I picked up the shirt from where I had laid it on the bed and slipped it over my shoulders. Cael watched, silent as ever. It was making me nervous, those dark, deep eyes watching me so closely.

I finally met his eyes. “Are you o—“




He kissed me. The Prince. Kissed. Me.




It was over in an instant. Less than that even. And all there was was this shocked, panicky look on Cael’s face. Though, I can’t imagine that I looked much better.

“I… um… I have to go, now.” I backed away quickly heading for the elevator at the front of the apartment. I didn’t look back until I was blocks away. Didn’t think about what had happened till even further.

And then it really hit me. I had left everything, my books, my bag, my shirt, everything back in the Prince’s apartment. I was already half-way home then and I was tempted to just keep going, but I wouldn’t have time to get anything back later and I needed to get my work done tonight. The sun was setting and I had no choice but to go back to the apartment.



Comments

Eeeek. ;__;

Must have the next chapter. GRAH.
I don't know how I lived without reading this in such a long time. I guess it helped that I only checked every so often so I didn't go stark-crazy from the wait.

But you're back. BACK. And now I'm going to frolick through some flowers and ttly not draw Rion and his tattoo, urhur. <333

(Anonymous)

yes, we're back!

did you like my little shout out to you? Did you even notice it?

If you didn't then you have to read the last part of the entry again after you look at the last fanart you gave us.
Shout out?

Eehee. I'm afraid I must've missed it. e3e;;

But then, I'm the sort of person who absolutely will not notice something, even though it's right under their nose, until someone points it out. XD;
*reenacts the shout out*

--

*takes own shirt from closet* .. *throws at rion* .. *rion puts shirt on* ... .... ..... *nosebleeding ensues*

--

*coughfanartcough* ... did you hear that wind?? sounded funky.. >_>
ROFL.
Aww, I totally missed that. :U

*coughNEWPICTURETIEMcough*
Lol. It's because my acting skills are just that awesome. ^_~

*coughyay!cough*