Today is Day 23 of NaNoWriMo and I'm super stoked! My total for day 22 of NaNoWriMo was 3,897 words. This means.....I make it to 50k words! *party dance* Actually, I'm now over the 50k mark, and still have 8 days remaining. There is still a lot of this book that still needs to be written so I will continue to write for those 8 days and see what my ending count will be.
All passages were in order from yesterday's post, so here's what I wrote:
I could see his hopes dropping for a chance at a mount as easily as the other two had managed, so I had encouraged him to try doing reputation gains since they had guaranteed mount gains as long as he worked at it long enough. He agreed to do that in his down time, but I could tell he really wasn’t excited for the reputation mounts. I’d have to make extra time to help him with raid and dungeon drops. I didn’t like seeing him so sad at the idea of not having a cool looking mount.
“You’re starting to care a whole lot about him,” Rashta said.
“I’m starting to show signs of him being a friend to me,” I responded back. “Nothing more. Stop dreaming.”
“It’s no dream, Rinneth.”
I rolled my eyes and headed for my door. I didn’t have time to argue with her. A movie I had been waiting to come out in theaters was playing tonight and Ramos had agreed to sit through the movie with me. With a two hour drive, I needed to leave now if I wanted to beat the line. My movie wasn’t going to be hugely popular, but there was another movie, some low budget horror movie, showing tonight that was, and I didn’t want to miss my movie because people had poor taste. Not that mine is much better…
I opened my bedroom door only to be taken aback by Ramos standing just outside my room with his arm up and ready to knock. “Nice timing...I think?”
He didn’t smile or laugh, making me uneasy. “I have bad news.”
“Don’t say that.”
“I can’t go with you to the movies.”
“Don’t say that.”
“Sorry, Rinneth, you father needs me to do something an--”
“Ramos, you promised!” I whined. “I’ve been getting excited all month for this. I just wanted to see a movie in a theater for once. Like I used to with my mom.”
“Rinneth, you still can,” Ramos said. “Just not with me.”
I took a deep breath. “Who did my father assign in your place?”
He smiled weakly. “Sirath.”
My heart stopped. “No. No, no, no, no, no! I love him, glad he’s in the clan, but I will not watch anymore movies with him unless he personally asks me because it’s the only time he won’t talk during a movie. And because of his taste in movies, I’m sitting there wishing he would!”
“I’m sorry, Rinneth. I wish I could g--”
“Save it. Just go do what my father ordered you to do. It’s the only thing you’re good at anymore.”
I slammed my door shut and went to my bed to sit down.
“Was that reaction necessary?” Rashta asked. “Seeing a movie with Sirath isn’t the end of Lumaraeon.”
“It’s not that,” I replied. “I can live with the fact that my viewing will be obstructed by Sirath’s constant talking and criticism of the movie. It’s the fact that Ramos promised me. He promised nothing would get in the way of us going to see it together.” I touched the necklace I rarely ever took off. “But I really shouldn’t be surprised anymore. He’s proven to me he’s more loyal to my father than me.”
“I don’t think that’s true.”
“Then you really haven’t been paying attention.”
Rashta sighed. “Why don’t you ask your guildmates to show up too?”
I snorted. “Yeah, I don’t think any of them would be interested in seeing a romantic comedy.”
“You won’t know unless you try.”
I looked at my messenger and figured she was right. Couldn’t hurt to try. so I set up a group message and wrote something out.
Help! Need a huge favor from you guys. Are any of you in Lumas and free in two hours? Ramos and I had plans to see a movie but he can’t go now and my father assigned someone else to go with me and he’s a horrible movie partner. It’s a romantic comedy, so if it’s not your thing I’m sorry and I’ll try to make it up to you somehow. I just don’t want to see this movie with Sirath alone if I can avoid it.
No need to tell them the real story. They didn’t need to be dragged into my problems.
I have plans, sorry.
Big family get together. Would rather be at a movie though. Sorry.
Sorry, Rinneth, I’m back home. That’s a genre I’d be happy to watch with you, but there’s no way I could get to town in time. Sorry.
That response surprised me. Vamir didn’t seem like a romantic comedy kind of guy.
Sorry, lass. I also cannot join ye.
I shrugged. Figured this would be the result.
I’m free. I’ll join you.
That response surprised me. After seeing all the other guys decline, usually the last guy remaining also bails. Maybe he doesn’t want to look like a jerk.
“Maybe because he wants to see a movie with you,” Rashta said.
“I really doubt that.”
I typed out a message to reply to Vesser’s offer.
Thanks, but don’t worry about it. I can see my father going on a rampage the moment he finds out only one of you guys showed up. I’ll save you that headache.
“Really?” Rashta exasperated. “That’s really going to be your excuse?”
I slid off my bed and headed for the door. “You know as well as I do, it’s valid. He’ll blow a gasket if he found out I was meeting up with a guy for a movie. Doesn’t matter his race.”
“But Sirath will also be there.”
“Won’t matter to him. He’ll still see it as some sort of archaic, chaperoned date. And that’s the last thing that it needs to been seen as.”
I opened my door and headed down the hall. If I stalled anymore then I’d be stuck in a long line and miss my movie. My father and a tall, muscular man with black hair and blue eye were sitting in the kitchen at the island speaking, which immediately ended when I entered the room.
“Ready, Sirath?” I asked.
“Ready?” Sirath asked. “Ramos said you decided you didn’t want to go.”
My brow rose. “I never said that.”
“He said you were pretty pissed off.”
“Yeah, at him.”
“Why’d it take you so long to come down?”
“Because I was asking friends if they wanted to see the movie too. Ramos doesn’t like it when I try to invite others, so I figured since he was bailing on me, I’d see if I could actually have friends join me. But they were busy, not surprising since it was last minute.”
“Ramos didn’t bail,” my father tried to defend. “I needed him to do something with a few others.”
“Ramos gave me his word we’d definitely see this movie together tonight. He chose to follow your order instead. He bailed.”
Sirath stood up. “We should leave before we’re actually late.”
I nodded and turned to leave but my father spoke. “Who are these friends you asked?”
“Doesn’t matter. They couldn’t go.”
“Rinneth, who in the clan did you ask and they said they couldn’t go?”
I turned around and stared at him with amazement. “Are you kidding me? I know this is hard for you to believe, but I do have real friends. You may not approve of them, but at least they actually give a shit about me without being forced to.”
“Rinneth, don’t you start this with me,” my father warned.
I left instead of arguing. Was never worth it. Sirath followed me out and once we arrived in the garage, he tossed me the keys. I smiled my thanks and hopped in behind the wheel. The one good thing about Ramos not tagging along, I actually got the chance to drive.
“Rinneth,” Sirath said as I drove down the long stretch of road through our territory. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” The car was quiet for a few minutes and I sighed. “I’m sorry you were forced to come with me. I know you don’t like these movies.”
“Rinneth, I volunteered,” he said. “Fallon was going to tell Ramos to convince you to go another day since he didn’t want to listen to reason and let Ramos go with you. I knew how much you wanted to see this movie so I offered to go with you.”
“You didn’t have to do it. You don’t have to keep forcing yourself to do thing because of me.”
He sighed and pinched his nose. “I’m not forcing myself to do anything, Rinneth. I willingly choose to do things for you.”
“You gave up happiness for me. You shouldn’t be here with the clan. You should be with her. How was giving her up a good thing? How was that not forcing you to do something?”
“Rinneth, we’ve been over this. She didn’t like you based on what you are. She didn’t know the first thing about you but already determined she hated you and believe you didn’t deserve to live. I tried to make it work. I tried to get her to see she was wrong, but I failed, and I chose you over her because I was loyal to you first.”
“You were better off choosing her.”
“No, I definitely wasn’t.”
The air stilled as neither of us was willing to speak anymore. The most irritating trait of a Black Dragon was their stubbornness, and I had also inherited that trait. I knew I was right. He would have been better off not dealing with the crap that came with the territory of being Dragon-Phoenix.
I turned up the stereo to keep my distracted from the silence that would continue for the next two hours.
I took the popcorn from the counter girl while Sirath paid and then the two of us slipped into the proper auditorium to find a seat. The movie was a bit more popular than I had been expecting, so picking out seats was hard, but we managed to find two empty ones near the middle of the room.
Sirath dug into the popcorn before the opening credits started rolling and I shook my head. “Really? You couldn’t wait?”
“If we need more I can go buy more,” he said. “But I’m hungry. Besides, the credits are about to start rolling anyways and it could be worse. I could have already eaten half of this before we even sat down.”
I laughed, since it was true, and focused on the screen. The room darkened slowly and the opening credits began to play. My attention was ripped away when the bag of popcorn Sirath held broke open on the bottom and popcorn spilled everywhere.
“The hell?” I said. “Did you jam your hand in there too aggressively?”
“No,” he growled. “My eating hand wasn’t even near the bag. Cheap, overpriced bag. I’ll be back. I’m going to complain.”
Before I could stop him he was out of his seat and heading for the auditorium doors. Something wasn’t right here. I smelled foul play. Foul play with popcorn? Well, could be weirder.
“Rinneth, Vesser is here,” Rashta said.
Before I had a chance to continue our conversation, someone swooped into the empty seat next to me and held up a bag of popcorn. “Popcorn? It’s extra buttery.”
I stared at Vesser with confusion. “What are you doing here?”
“You invited me,” he replied with a cocky grin.
“No, I told you not to show up because you were the only one free. You are so dead when Sirath finds you in his seat. And when my father finds out--”
Vesser laughed. “You sound like some scared teenager.”
I opened my mouth but immediately shut it when I realized he was right. “Yeah, well, I am treated like a kid a lot, so I guess it’s not surprising I act like one.”
“That’s not what I meant.”
“No, but it’s still true.”
“How old are you anyways?”
I was taken aback by his question. “Didn’t your mother tell you it’s rude to ask someone their age.”
“No, she just said to make sure they know your age too. So, I’m five hundred.”
His brow rose. “Seriously? You don’t look older than twenty-five.”
“Like you’re one to talk. You don’t look much older than me.”
“I’m full Dragon.”
I giggled. “And I’m half. Those genes have their perks. Rashta says I’ll live a few centuries if I don’t do anything stupid.”
“Not bad, for someone with Human blood.”
“Thanks for not thinking I’m seventeen or something. Lot of people think that because of how I wear my hair.”
“They don’t look at your face enough then. You’re far too mature looking to be younger than twenty.”
I smiled. “Thanks.”
The two of us looked up when Sirath showed up with a new bag of popcorn.
“Hey,” Vesser said casually.
“What is going on here?” Sirath asked.
“Sirath, this is Vesser. Vesser, this is Sirath,” I introduced. “Vesser is one of my friends I mentioned earlier about inviting. He apparently cleared up his schedule.”
“Saw that this seat was empty when I showed up late and thought she came alone,” Vesser lied. “She didn’t get the chance to mention you were just out of your seat.” he looked at the popcorn on the floor. “Though I can see why you were. Do you want you seat back?”
Sirath shook his head. “No, I’ll go find another seat.”
We watched as he walked off to look for a seat in the dark and I found it suspicious.
“I was expecting more of a fight,” Vesser said.
“What do you think he’s doing?”
“Finding a good place to watch us and report back to my father. Most of the clan would do that.”
“Seriously?” Vesser asked. I nodded. “Is that why you told Erin Ramos wasn’t a friend?”
I played with my necklace. “He stopped acting like a friend some time ago…”
“Tell me about Sirath,” Vesser encouraged. “Why didn’t you tell him not to come with you?”
“Well, my father is so overprotective I had to have someone come with me since Ramos wasn’t, and he ended up volunteering.”
“But you said he talks through movies. Why didn’t you say no?”
I chewed on my lip. “It’s complicated.”
I sighed. “I’d feel guilty. I feel guilty letting him sit by himself.”
“Why? You had no issues putting that young dragon in his place.”
“Because I ruined his chance at happiness…”
“What do you mean?”
I licked my lips. “Five years ago, he set out in search of his mate, and found her, but…” I sighed. “But she was one of the Dragons who didn’t agree with my existance. He chose to leave the clan to be with her, and try to change her mind, but he never managed to. So he came back.”
“I don’t understand. Why would he bring her to the clan if she hated you?”
I shook my head. “He didn’t bring her with him.”
“He left her, Vesser. Chose his loyalty to me over her. Now he’ll be alone for the rest of his life, and it’s my fault.”
“You can’t fault yourself for a choice he made.”
“I can, because if it weren’t for me, he’d be happy. My clan would be happy. My father wouldn’t have to be so overprotective and force my clanmates to take time out of their day to babysit me.” I looked up at the screen and lower my voice as the movie began to start. “My clan doesn’t have strong ties. Not like most clans. It started as a mess of Dragons who don’t really belong anywhere else. Then, when my mother and I came along, it nearly fell apart. Only the most loyal to my father stayed.
“Being the Dragon-Phoenix doesn’t have many perks. I have enemies I’ve never met, and it puts a huge strain on everyone. They’d be better off without me around.”
“Why not leave?” Vesser asked.
“And go where? My Human grandparents, the only ones who accepted my parent’s pairing, are dead, and the living Human relatives I have don’t want me around. Same with any Dragon family I may have that I’ve never met. At least now, even with tensions high, I have a roof over my head, and I don’t have to worry about food of money. I stay out of everyone’s way as much as possible, unless my rank requires me to step in. I don’t need to be making things worse...”
Vesser was quiet for a moment and then held up his bag of popcorn. “Well, you have the team and me. The glue that keep us together is weird, but strong. Now eat some popcorn and enjoy this movie like you wanted to.”
I looked at him funny. “I know how Dragons work. Food sharing is done between family--”
“Mates, and clannmates,” Vesser finished. “To me, you’re clan, Rinneth. So eat some extra buttery popcorn.”
“Well, I do like extra butter.”
Vesser smiled and held the bag closer to me. I grabbed a handful and munched away as the movie plot unfolded. Unfortunately, this movie I was so set on seeing, seem to desperately want to play on over-used comedy clechés and romantic themes. The two of us laughed at the appropriate times, and not so appropriate times, warranting us some weird looks from other patrons, and Vesser managed to guess some lines based on the cleché themes. The two of us also couldn’t stop making fun of certain scenes.
Halfway through the movie, I wasn’t sure why I had wanted to see this awful movie so much, but having Vesser there to make fun of it with me, helped.
I looked to my left when someone jumped over the seat and sat down. “Sirath?”
“Since this place has been slowly clearing out because of their disappointment with this awful movie, and seeing the two of you make fun of it, I thought I’d come and join you.”
I held up the mostly eaten bag of popcorn. “Extra butter?”
Sirath. “Plain only.”
“Your loss,” I said as I shrugged and shoved another handful into my mouth.
The last forty minutes of watching was full of criticism and laughter, later continuing as we exited the auditorium.
“I’ll be right back,” I said. “I need to wash my hands to be rid of all this liquid butter.”
The boys nodded and I ran to the ladies room to quickly wash up. When I returned I was surprised to find Sirath and Vesser still getting along. I had thought Sirath would use the time I was gone to grill Vesser...like Ramos would.
“Ready to head home?” Sirath asked.
I nodded and smiled at Vesser. “Thanks for coming. And sorry the movie sucked.”
Vesser chuckled. “Don’t worry about it. My sister wanted to see it so I can tell her to save her money.”
Vesser held out his hand in a fist and I knew exactly what he was looking for. Like the main protagonist and his love interest in the movie, we bumped fists and then opened our hands as we pulled away as if imitating an explosion. The two of us laughed.
“Catch you tomorrow,” Vesser said as he turned to leave.
“I’ll be there,” I said. As he walked off I yelled after him. “And I’ll make sure I have a list of raids for us to run!”
My outburst had several heads turning in my direction and Sirath chuckled. “Nice.”
I shrugged. “I try.”
“I’ll drive, okay?”
I nodded. “I’m cool with that.”
We walked quietly to the car. Once Sirath pulled out of the parking spot he spoke again. “I approve of you friend.”
I smiled. “Thank you.”
Sirath reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a popcorn kernel. “He broke my bag with this. If you can get him to fess up how, I’ll owe you.”
I took the kernel and looked at it. “He really sabotaged the bag with this?”
“So he claims.”
I shook my head. “He’s something else.”
“Do you want me to keep your father in the dark about his appearance?”
I shrugged. “I don’t see why he can’t know. It’s not like it’s a crime for me to have friends, regardless of gender or species.”
Sirath chuckled. “Alright. Just ease up on the flirting if your father is around.”
“Don’t you play games. I saw it all. They way you laughed. How much you laughed with him. That wasn’t the movie.”
I laughed. “I wasn’t flirting. I know better.”
“The Vesser fellow seemed more focused on you than the movie too.”
“You sound like Rashta.”
Sirath shook his head. “If Rashta and I are saying the same thing, then maybe you’re in denial.”
“See,” Rashta teased.
I punched his arm and he chuckled. The ride home was rather quiet, though it wasn’t tense like when we had been heading to town.
Once parked in the garage, I headed for the front door, a strange jump in my steps. I opened the front door just as my father was coming down the stairs to the second floor.
“You look happy,” he observed. “Movie turned out good?”
“Nope it sucked,” I said a bit too cheerfully.
My father looked at me funny, clearly confused by my good mood, and watch me as I headed upstairs. Once I was out of sight, I stopped walking to listen in on my father and Sirath’s conversation.
“Care to fill me in?” my father asked.
“I suspect it has something to do with her friend showing up,” Sirath admitted.
“What friend?” my father demanded to know.
“The Dragon from her game team. Vesser I think his name was.”
“What was he doing there?”
“Rinneth had invited him. Well, the whole team but he was the only one free. She originally told him not to come, but he decided to show up anyway.”
Apparently Vesser had decided to give Sirath the full story while I had been washing up.
“And he’s the reason she’s this elated?”
“It’s been some time since I’ve seen her laugh so much. It was refreshing.”
“Nothing weird going on between them?”
“Not as far as I can tell. All of it very platonic and normal.”
There’s the lie. I had begun to wonder if Sirath would actually tell one to my father. Maybe I had one Dragon in this clan that really was loyal to me.
I was surprised by my father’s response, as was Sirath. “You’re not mad?”
“I’ll admit, I’m not particularly pleased with the whelp’s appearance. But...I’ve missed seeing that spark in Rinneth. I feared I had killed it with my choices to keep her safe. I’ll allow this to continue and see what happens.”
I smiled and continued for my room. Maybe if this continued, I could start having a normal life again. It’d be nice to have friends again.
“A mate too,” Rashta teased.
“Shut up, you.”
She laughed but said nothing more, allowing me to get ready for bed so I’d be ready for my ride into Lumas again to meet up with the team.