"Mother?" I let the statement float between us, more as a question, than as a real statement. "So that is your lovely daughter, well, I can definitely see the resemblance. She has you hair, but your husbands eyes no doubt."

"Please, don't do this, I beg you, if you have chosen to ignore my plea, at least don't do this here." Neoma said, completely changing the subject.

             "On the contrary, I have  agreed to honor your terms." I said, and then smiled. "My Uncle has yet to arrive, caught up in some miniscule plans along his journey but, I see no reason to jump to conclusions just yet."

"Thank you, your grace!" her voice jumped enthusiastically. If only she knew what a twist I had for her next.

              "Yes but, there is more." I said, and took a moment to assess the amount of time we would have before the girl returned, and then continued. "I have enrolled myself in her school as a student. There, I will be able to observe her from a different aspect, while still judging all of the attendants before hand, and if this is the only way to do so within both sides of approval, than so be it."

"You're serious?" I could hear it in her tone, the disbelief. "You're enrolling as a student?"

              "Already had my first day today." I smiled. "I rather enjoyed it really, although I was forced to follow some human around like a puppet as I familiarized myself with the hallways. I begin my classes tomorrow, and I have conveniently secured your daughters presence in them all." The faint image of the girl called Hannah came to mind, and I shuddered. Aweful girl, I remembered to myself.

"Please, I beg you not to reveal yourself." Neoma begged. "She must not know about our people or Embress unless it absolutly necessary." By now I had grown more than weary to her plea's. I expected so from her human husband but, not from her. This is just pathetic.

                 "I warned you once about how I feel when people make demands, shall I change my mind to prove a point?"

"No, your grace." she was quick to respond.

                "Good, now your daughter approaches." I smiled, and turned toward the door as if something caught my attention. "It would be nice of you, to introduce us."

               "Of course,"

"Hey, I set them in Mason's section." I could hear the girls voice behind me. Steadying myself, I turned around. I hadn't expected to find her as attractive as I did. Not that her parents were ugly, and I only assumed the worst, just that, in my eyes none are as beautiful as my Axena. Yet, I find myself quizzically puzzled at my own self's response in seeing her just then. Even now, I cant explain this feeling. Its as if I have transported into a strangers body, and have taken on their own lustful desires.

                "Noah?" I felt Neoma's hand on my shoulder before her words registered. Snapping out of my inner babbling, I focused on the mother and daughter in front of me. A pair of tawny eyes, and a pair of stark green.

"I apologize." I said immediately.

                 "Are you okay?" She asked, and it was then, for the first time, I felt my cheeks flush with a heat so new to me, for the second time tonight I was at a loss for words. "Maybe you should join your father at the table, son?" Neoma offered me a way out.

                   Something I would remember, and appreciate once I can find a balance within myself, and this ridiculous rush of emotions. Nodding, I took the bait, and gave what type of a smile I could manage, and walked over to join Calimer at our table. His face a look of pure, and  utter confusion as I took my seat. "Are you ill, your Grace?" his question was immediate.

"No, yes, maybe?" the words poured from my mouth, as I took a sip from his glass. I did not need to drink to live, but it was more the notion of drinking to calm myself down, that seemed to do the trick. Imagining cool water running down my throat, killing off whatever heat had consumed me. I set the glass down after a few minutes, and looked up just in time to watch as our waiter came over to the table. His expression overly enthusiastic, which I found confusing for someone making barely minimum wage.

              "Hello, you must be the son!" the boy said, quickly, and threw a hand through his short auburn hair. His voice catching, and breaking as if he were nervous. He cleared his throat, and then continued. "Can I get you something to drink?"

"I would like a glass of water, and please be mindful about refilling. I fear, I will have quite a thirst as this night plays out."

               "Sure, no problem." he smiled, turned around, and then walked off.

"Are you feeling better?" Calimer asked, he was obviously concerned. With good reason too, I was most definitely acting abnormal.

               "Much, thank you for asking." I said. Then, even though my mind told me better of it, I snuck a peek over my should at Neoma and her daughter. My chest tightened. "Interesting," I let my words trail off as my mind pondered these strange new discoveries.

"Alright, here is your water, and your refill, sir. Can I get you two something to eat?" Our server has asked. "Maybe something sweet?"

             "I am alright with just water for now," I spoke first. "Car- I mean father you may order if you would like."

             Taking a moment, I paused my span of thoughts to focus on the boy in front of me. He looked confused, and uncertain, even more so than before. Had I said something wrong? "Don't worry son, I shall. I do not need your permission to order myself something to eat."

"How dare you-"I began but, then I caught on to what he was doing. I was playing the role of son, and no father need permission to order. How stupid I had been. Caught up in figuring out silly emotions rather than focusing on the task at hand. "Oh, right. I apologize father."

             After he finished taking Calimer's order, which was rather extensive I might add, he left us to ourselves. "Your grace, I apologize for overstepping you back there. I was-"

"No need Calimer, I figured it out." I smiled, and took another long sip. "A lot has happened tonight that I need to discuss with Uncle Phoenix. When you have finished your meal, and as soon as I introduce myself to the girl, we may excuse ourselves and return home so that I may send word to him."

              "Is she the Legacy?" he asked getting straight to the point.

"I'm not sure but, whoever she is, I am dreading now more than ever, signing up to spend the next few days in her presence."

               "Is she really so unappealing to you, my Grace?" He asked. His voice completely serious now, as if I sounded unsure. "I find her rather attractive. Not that I would ever try to court her, your Grace, that would be morally wrong. Just that, I could definitely see if she made you at least a little curious."

Inside, my head was spinning with ideas much like the one he just offered but, on the outside, I remained poised. "I cannot see anyone other than that of my love, Axena."

          "Of course," Calimer added immediately. "I would never mean to offend you nor her."

"No need to apologize." I said. Took a breath, and then relaxed back against my chair. Its hard plastic exterior uncomfortable, and I tired to understand what the purpose of purchase for them had been. I thought the point of having a restaraunt was to have people want to sit down and eat? With chairs like this, it's a wonder they're still in business. "I hadn't imagined you would."

             For a while, we sat in silence, and I took the time to think. Replaying what had happened back at the door when Neoma tried to introduce me to the girl, I second guessed my choice in meeting her tonight. I was being naïve to think these few minutes in between what had happened then, and my sitting here now, would change things. "I think I've decided not to introduce myself tonight, Calimer. I grow weary from all todays activities, and need to rest."

"Of course, your grace, I understand completely."

The End

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