Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and mature content.
It was days before they spoke. He knew she wasn’t happy with him, and was probably a little afraid of what she might do to him if he did speak to her. He had even been at her house in those days they didn’t speak, but he had figured staying out of sight would be his best chance of making it through the day unscathed while he was there.
On the third day, Iada came down for breakfast and noticed someone laying on the couch in the living room. She looked down at Rrye’s tremulous form and took pity on him. She sat down on the couch at his feet, nudging his feet slightly to make room. He slowly moved them in toward his body and groggily raised himself into a semi-sitting position.
“Whatcha doin’ here?” she asked him kindly.
“Sleeping…” he looked at her skeptically as he answered with the obvious, knowing exactly what she had meant by the question and avoiding the answer. “So you’re speaking to me now are you?”
“Yeah I guess I am.”
“You look awful,” he told her, noticing her dishevelled appearance and looking as though she hadn’t slept at all.
“Thanks,” she replied sarcastically with mock bitterness in her voice.
“Why are you still wearing your work clothes?” he asked her, sitting up further and tentatively putting his hand on hers and looked into her tired eyes. When she didn’t shrink away he curled his hand so that it was holding hers. She didn’t grip his in return, but she didn’t pull her’s away either which was enough for him.
“I got home late last night, the echo chamber needed dusting.”
“And you couldn’t get the custodian to do it?” Rrye quirked his eyebrow knowing she was full of it. “And you did it by hand didn’t you?” he asked, giving her another dirty look. He was referencing the fact that she could have easily honed her wind powers orLirõpancy to dust the room and that it would have taken her no more than five minutes to do the whole chamber.
Iada worked in a music academy for children of Ancient Magic. The echo chamber was a room needed to make different instruments make certain sounds, or any sound at all in some cases.
“Well it can’t have been comfortable sleeping in those clothes,” he commented, gesturing to the wrinkled business suit she was wearing, accepting the fact that she wasn’t about to answer his questions. Iada reached back and delved her hand into her blonde hair, rubbing the back of her head.
“I’m more worried about these stupid pins digging into my head,” she told him, scrunching her half undone hair and wincing in pain slightly.
“I don’t know why you have to wear your hair in such a tight bun anyway,” he muttered. He reached up and brought his free hand to the back of her head and gently pulled one of the pins out that had been holding her hair in place. She smiled, which encouraged him to continue, and while this may not be traditionally an intimate activity, he felt so happy about their proximity and being able to touch her even like this exciting enough. With each one he pulled out, another ringlet bounced down to meet her shoulder. Her hair was one of the things he loved most about her, even if she hated it.
A few hours later Iada opened her eyes slowly finding herself having to extract her arms from the tangle of limbs that belonged to herself and Rrye. She disentangled her legs from his too before cautiously lifting herself off the couch, over his sleeping form and placing her feet on the floor. Her stomach rumbled as she did this and so she tiptoed to the kitchen to finish her quest for breakfast from before she got distracted by Rrye.
She found her mother standing in the kitchen as she turned the corner, already flipping some eggs in a frying pan.
“You invited him to stay didn’t you,” Iada glared at her mother from across the room who just smiled in response. Iada rolled her eyes and took a seat at the oak table of her childhood.
“Make yourself useful why don’t you and make us all some hot cocoa.”
“Fine,” Iada got up moodily and began to rummage through the cupboard for her favourite mug. The mug had been painted with a yellow sun, rainbows and an assortment of musical notes. She figured if her morning couldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows at least her mug could be.
“How many?” she asked her mom as she opened the jar of chocolate pieces.
“Just five,” Nagapota told her as she flipped the pile of eggs onto a plate and started on the next batch. “My other half and your brother will not be joining us.”
“Where’s Dad and Sepo?” Iada asked her before murmuring, “Hialta, Paçèd,” with those words the first handful of chocolate pieces hovered above the first mug and ground itself into a fine powder which continued to float in mid-air above the mug until Iada released her gaze from it and looked at her mother for a response.
“Your father had to go into work, and your brother is staying with Jonin,” Nagapota’s mouth thinned as she said this looking a little dismayed.
“Oh…” Iada looked at her hesitantly, realising it was a bit of a touchy subject, “…already?” It was Nagapota’s turn to shoot a glare back at her daughter. Iada decided it was best not to press the subject further and turned back to the task at hand, performing the same task with each mug, grinding the chocolate into each. She then raised her arms until the water levels in each were at about three quarters.
“Which source did you use?” Nagapota asked in a clipped tone, the rehashing of the “Jonin” subject, clearly had not been a good idea, shouldn’t even have asked about Sepo, Iada thought to herself.
“Ours,” Iada told her defensively, “will you lay off me?” Nagapota Méan had caught her daughter using the town’s source of water on a few occasions, which wasn’t trackable, but Nagapota frowned on infringing any laws or regulations, or anything in general that could hurt the council considering she was a representative. The “source” simply meant the source that the water came from. The Méans had their own large pond that they used for magical purposes so that they didn’t have to use the town’s lake. An ancient has the ability to bind themselves to a particular source of water which makes that source the default location for the water to come from when performing water magic or Witréancy. The mean family has bound themselves to their personal pond to avoid having to pay the water taxes (as most wealthier families with larger properties have).
The size of the source is directly related to the energy levels needed to use it, but so is the proximity. Unfortunately the size of the town’s lake in comparison to their pond outweighs the proximity of the lake in comparison to the pond, making it a little more difficult to use the pond and so a little more tempting to use the lake.
“Come with me,” Rrye told Iada excitedly after breakfast as they began clearing away the dishes, Iada looked up and took in the eagerness of his eyes and decided to humour him.
“Where?” she eyed him suspiciously, a small smile playing on her lips.
“To the ball!” he announced proudly.
“The Harvest Ball?” Iada asked. The Harvest Ball was just about the only ball this time of year, each town had its own host, usually the same wealthy family every year. The ball was was held in Akyom, the month of the harvest. The Ancients only had six months in their calendar; Akyom would be about the same as modern day September and October.
“Of course to the Harvest Ball, where else silly,” he stepped closer to her and smoothed her hair back, smiling at her out of amusement and anticipation. “Say yes,” he told her, his smile getting, if possible, even larger. ‘How do you say no to that?’ Iada thought as she looked at him, a smile starting to tug at her face too, it was infectious.
“Oh alright,” and with that response Rrye took it as an invitation to press his lip against hers. Iada wanted to fight it so bad and held stiff and still for a minute before just letting it happen.
‘Here we go again…’ she thought, giving him a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes as they broke apart from the kiss. She was falling into his same stupid trap. His optimism would be the death of her.