Strangely, inspite of the rain, all four Guardians decided to either take a hackney or in Riyan and Junsu's case, ride Kiera's motorbike.
Cowards, Aristo thought as he put on his gloves and tried to ignore Kiera’s wicked glare. Really for someone who, despite all opinion, acted like a lady most of the time, she could be quite unlady-like when angered.
He glanced at her from the corner of one eye. Their tailor earned his exorbitant bills, her attire did a good job of covering up her feminine figure. If he didn't know her, if he didn't have the ability to see in the dark, he wouldn't have figured that she was a woman.
But then again, anyone looking at her face could never take her for a man; the dark eyes were too large and expressive, the mouth too lush, the chin too sharp and small and the skin too smooth-looking. Then there was the long willowy neck, the dainty hands and the way she moved. She mimicked men very well, but sometimes, as if she forgot herself, she would play with the curly ends of her chin-length hair, tilted her head and moved her shoulders or her hips in a movement that advertised what she was; a girl playing dress up.
“All right. Let's get this over with. I know you are dying to box my ears.”
She sniffed and lifted her chin, the very picture of feminine disdain. “I do not know what you are talking about, my lord.”
My lord?, Aristo mused. She must be angry indeed.
“You don’t? Then I am relieved.” He leaned back on his seat, tilted his hat to cover his face, crossed his arms and prepared to fake sleep. He smiled inwardly as he could practically feel her seethe quietly and wondered whether she was tempted to use the short sword that all Companions carry inside their coats; coated with silver and magic it was the only thing guaranteed to hurt the Guardians enough to slow their heightened healing powers.
When he heard her take a deep, long breath, he opened his eyes to slits and watched her. She was scowling out the window, right into the gas lit streets as if she was trying to burn the world with the power of her stare.
When he first saw her, when the beast inside him chased after the scent of her in the wind, when his mind returned from wherever it wandered off to every time he Turned, he thought that she was one of the Sihr priestesses that his mother often told him of; her dark skin and eyes brought the image of moonlit deserts and unruly magic. Sometimes, he even smelled the desert on her, which was strange because she’d never been to the desert, she’d never even been to Sihr although her ancestry was stamped clearly on her features.
He could still see her in his mind's eye, small and thin and dainty; the very picture of child-like innocence in her frothy dress, with her dark eyes wide and mesmerizing. At the sight of her, of those eyes, he could feel the Beast drawing back, his humanity returning as it supposed to when a Guardian meets his Companion.
Shock echoed through him as he realized that his Companion was a girl, but there was no questioning the connection that had snapped between them and that when she touched him, the magic that made him able to Turn into the Beast retreated into himself and that when he next opened his eyes, he was human instead of Wolf.
The connection hadn't lost its strength all of these years, instead it had strengthened, it had brought comfort and a sense of security to him. Kiera had proven herself time and time again that she was strong, clever and stubborn; three qualities that enable her to fight prejudice and earn the respect of their fellow Guardians and Companions and the men and soldiers that followed them. As he should, he trusted Kiera like no other, but he often wondered whether Kiera resented him for finding her, for choosing her as his Companion.
It was with this in mind that he tapped his boot to hers. He tilted his head and smiled when she peeked at him.
She rolled her eyes but smiled back.
Copyright © 2012 by D.F. Jules