"And just who is this?" Caroline's voice snaked out of her mouth with as much venom as a viper. I cleared my voice, and stepped forward.
"This is Arya." I said with a veiled grin, and motioned in her direction. Then watched as the majority of the group stood there as they usually do when newcomers arrive, except for a select few who moved to greet her.
"Hello Arya, my name is Lorane." Said another one of our newest members. Her bright raven-like hair pulled up into another misshaped bun.
"Hi Lorane." Arya smiled, and took her outstretched hand. The two barely had time drop their embrace before others members pounced on her with introductions of their own. After a few, rather prolonged minutes, her eyes found mine again, and I could see she was struggling to keep face.
"Alright, everyone. Arya has traveled far, and is probably in need of some rest." I said, and almost instantly the room grew silent as if they were all waiting to see what would happen next. The few stragglers still surrounding her began breaking away as to clear a pass from me to her. When suddenly I was all too aware of Caroline and her judgmental gaze.
"She's all yours Killian," Caroline smiled, her voice coiling as if ready to attack. I knew then it would be easier on the both of us, if I wasn't the one to show her around. The last thing she needed was to make an enemy on her first day, and one like Caroline would be almost too much for anyone to bear. No, I better not. But if not me, than who?
"Ah, there you two are." A voice broke through the silence then, and I sighed as a weighted relief, visibly, lifted off of me. I had never been so happy to see Sue in my whole life. "I was wondering how long you might be." She continued while moving to stand in front of her. "So, Arya, tell me. How was your first time Spectoring?"
"No, no. Spectoring." Sue corrected, and took Arya's hand in hers. "It's one way we can move around, by bending light at our will to take us where ever we need to go. You know, Spectoring." She finished, her hands moving up in front of her face. Fingers exploding outward as if her hands had been tiny pale fireworks.
"Right," she said, her voice cautious all of the sudden. Almost like she didn't believe any of what she was hearing. "It was, um, nice?" Nice?
Suddenly the room erupted with a few other members laughing amongst themselves. I caught some of their eyes as they did, looking to others throughout the room, and gave them a disapproving notion to stop. Once the room settled, I checked the time on the old clock, which hung in a massive heap above the fireplace mantel. Shit- it was nearly ten o'clock. "Sue, will you take. . ."
"Of course." she interjected my question, and waved me on already knowing what I would ask. "I know what to do."
"Okay," I smiled and turned afoot. "See you around, Arya." I added as an after thought. One I instantly regretted as Caroline's face came to pass. Quickly I nodded in her direction, and offered a half-way smile as if to appease any inkling of doubt she may be harboring over there being anything between Arya and me. After all, Caroline was my girlfriend, although not by my choosing, but her own. What is it with women and their need to call dibs. It wasnt as if her gestures were returned. Maybe they had been at one time, but as of late I find myself straying to see the point of it all. Dating, I mean. In truth we were all dead, so the primal necessity to find someone and mate makes dating sort of obsolete. What was the point?
"Goodbye." Arya's voice broke through the distance, silencing my rambling thoughts. She had a nice voice, I thought. It was soft, and angelic, and that's saying something since I've been living with the living dead for almost a hundred years now. How could anyone dead sound angelic?
Slowly making my way out of the Library. The purple parchment of the walls cast a foreboding sense about my leaving her alone. Not with Sue, but with the others. With Caroline. Unsure of the reasoning, I continued down the hall, until I came upon the large rounded out door to Marcus' office. Reaching out, I run my hand along the wooden grooves, and remember how only ten short years ago it had been Jameson's. The eldest among us, until his passing, in which Marcus took over rule.
"Spooky huh?" A voice called through the crooked space between the frame and the door itself. It was Marcus. "Please, do come in." Making my way to a chair placed meticulously in front of his desk, I sit and wait for him to begin. "So how did things go with the girl?"
Of course he would ask. I roll my eyes within myself, and take in a deep breath. My inner mind reeling as, yet again, he doubts my loyalty to his rule. He knew Marcus had favored me over him, and that if it had been up to him and not the accords, that I would be the one pacing behind his chair and asking meaningless question just for the sake of hearing my own voice. "It went well." I said. "The girl is taking the tour with Sue as we speak, and should be ready for training within a few days."
"Splendid." His voice was strained. "So what do you think of her so far?"
"What do I think of her?" The question was one unlike him to ask. Within reason, I stared blankly at his face trying to see what game he might be playing at. I found nothing.
"That is what I asked." Marcus smiled, and took his seat; the beaded lining along the seam of his chair, catching in the light of the fire as he twist until comfortable in his seat.
"I am not sure what you mean." I say in earnest. "She was young of age at death, which is not uncommon. And she. . ."
"Yes, yes, but what does she look like?"
"What does she look like?" I repeated the words as if I hadn't heard him correctly. Why would he need to know that?
"Yes, is she fair? What color is her hair? And her eyes, are they blue? Brown? Green?"
I sit silent for a moment, as an image of her fills my mind. "Um, well she has long blonde hair. . ."
"She is not fair-skinned, in reference to pale, if that's what you mean." I say, and think back to the two of us standing in the field. The light pulling in around us to reveal more of a sun-kissed glow to her olive colored skin. "She has more of a summer's glow, I guess you could call it."
"And her eyes?"
"Her eyes?" I say the words aloud, and as if on cue, I am met with the image of her once more within the light. Each eye a bright hazel green, like two emeralds, and I am unable to look away. They had been the first thing I noticed about her.
"Yes, Killian, her eyes. What color are they?" Marcus grumbled as if a displeased man, enraged with jealousy. And that's when something inside my mind snapped. What the hell was all of this about? What game was he getting at? And why the hell did he care so much about this girl?
"Marcus, what is going on? Why such an interest in our newest member?"