Last Line(s): Audrey and Will looked at each other, then down at Ujalaa. She gave them a shy smile. This time, it reached her eyes.
Audrey and Will were taken up cold stone stairs. It looked as if everything but the Devils and slaves - they were all kids who looked around the age of Ujalaa - who were walking about. The hallway the couple were walking through was warmer from the hall they had first entered. Either they had gotten used to the temperature, or it really was warmer in that specific hallway.
“Are we there yet?” Audrey asked Ujalaa. She shook her head no. “Why don’t you talk? Are you not allowed to?” Ujalaa looked at Audrey with raised brows. That kept her quiet.
They continued walking, and finally, they stopped at the end of the hallway, facing two large oak doors with handles made of horns. Will stared at the horns. “These are mammoth tusks.” he told Audrey, clutching her wrist. “Literally and not literally.”
“I bet she thinks you’re wrong.” Audrey giggled. Will let go of her wrist but Audrey found her way into his hand again. The little girl made a face at their hands and turned around to face the door again. She pushed the door. It didn’t open. She pushed it again.
“Do you need help?” Will asked. Ujalaa nodded. After a bit of pushing, Will and Ujalaa succeeded. The little girl grinned, showing her little teeth lined perfectly.
The three of them entered the room. Audrey and Will stood at the front, awed by how luxurious the room was.
To the right was a huge bed - bigger than a king-sized one - with silk sheets and a gold-embroidered blanket that looked softer than a fluffy kitten. There were dozens of plush pillows all embroidered with gold as well. The headboard was made of oak wood too, and there were intricate carvings on it.
Audrey walked forward and touched the wood, dancing her index finger along the curves of each design.
Will went the opposite way, to the dresser. That, as well, was made of oak wood. There were three drawers, and each of them had carvings on them too. And when Will opened the first one, it was full of perfumes, creams, brushes, et cetera. He closed it and looked into the second one. Full of clothes. Next one? Clothes.
Audrey and Will looked at each other through the mirror, grinning. “This place is fantastic.” Audrey breathed, glancing at the doors once again, then back at Will. Her ear twitched and she looked back at the door. Ujalaa wasn’t there.
“Where’s the kid?” Will asked.
“No clue.” Audrey muttered.
“Let’s forget it for now.” Will sighed. “I feel sleepy.”
“There’s a closet right there. I checked it out. Walk-in.” Audrey smiled brightly. “It’s great, and all our clothes are there too!” She led him into the walk-in closet and his eyes widened.
“Neat.” he said coolly, running his hands through the hung-up clothes.
“I’m so happy!” Audrey laughed, throwing her hands around Will’s neck, and planting a kiss on his cheek. “I’m alive, we’re under a roof, and I’m with you.”
Will was shocked at first because it was rare for Audrey to hug and kiss. But he smiled anyway and hugged her back. They stayed like that for a while, enjoying each other’s company before they left the closet.
“What now?” Will asked.
“There’s a bathroom there.” she pointed behind her. “We can freshen up, find food and then sleep for a while. Even saying the word feels so relaxing.”
Will gave her a peck on her cheek. "Love you." he whispered.
"I don't like being so cheesy." Audrey mocked her husband's voice.
“So you’re saying: if I put my hand in the bowl, and grab air, and then bite into air, I’ll taste my favorite food?” Audrey said, talking incredibly slowly.
They were now in the high-ceilinged dining hall. It seemed as if most of the furniture in the palace was made of oak wood - for example the twelve foot long dining table and its two dozen cushioned chairs.
“If you say it like that it just sounds dumb but just try.” Akol said, his head in his hands. He reached out and put his hand in the big bowl that covered most of the table. There weren’t even utensils or plates. Akol then took a bite from the air around his hand.
“He’s crazy.” Will whispered to Audrey from the corner of his mouth.
“How about we try?” Audrey asked.
Audrey and Akol put their hands in the big bowl in unison.
When Will saw their hands brush together and Audrey smile, he felt a strong burning in his chest. He shoved his hand in between theirs and snatched up air. Following Audrey’s actions, he bit into the air over his hand and tasted… Everything you would taste in an English Breakfast mixed together. Will grabbed more air and continued eating. And he didn’t care how dumb he looked.
On the other hand, Audrey had tasted lobster with the perfect amount of heat and spices. She licked her lips and grinned at Akol who was watching the couple. Audrey felt uncomfortable under his piercing gray gaze but she continued eating anyway.
Akol cleared his throat. The two looked up at him questioningly.
“There’s a lot that will be coming at you when you help save Pluto,” he said and scratched the back of his neck. “You two should sleep. As much as you possibly can. So that you can be well rested for everything that will be coming at you in the near future.”
Will tilted his head. “Like what?”
“Like Angels and the Attacks.” Akol said simply.
“What?” Audrey squinted.
“It’ll make sense. It’ll come in your dreams. It won’t be scary, but it’ll be like an explanation to whatever is in Pluto.” Akol explained.
Audrey nodded understandingly. “Also, about the little girl…” she trailed off when Akol’s jaw tensed noticeably.
“She’s a Human Slave. Children who live in the Realm of the Souls but their parents die before the child is born… then those children come here, to the Ditch and work for us. They’re just called slaves. They aren’t exactly slaves though. I guess you could say that they’re like our minion helpers.” Akol explained, surprisingly patient.
Audrey squeezed Will’s hand from under the table. They were both thinking the same thing: No parents.
Audrey's heart skipped a beat.
But neither of them said anything and silently continued with their dinner.