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Chapter 12 - Prep Time
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     It’s a nice morning as I stand out on the balcony. The light dances across the trees and the birds sing their morning songs. The breeze carries my hair in to the air, it’s rather relaxing.
     “Boo!” a voice shouts.
     “Didn’t work Titus,” I say staring out at the trees.
     “How did you know it was me?”
     Smiling I turn to him, “You really want to know? … What the… Titus what are you doing?!”
     “Now I got you,” he retorts.
     “This isn’t funny; get yourself in to the balcony before you fall.”
     “You know how I like to climb. Besides, if I fall you can catch me,” he says with a wink.
     “Titus,” I clinch my fist. At this point he’s pushing my buttons.
     He laughs. “Alright I’m coming in, don’t get upset.” He climbs up into the balcony and brushes off some dirt and leaves. “Shaina, you… you’re… uh.”
     “What?” I look over myself, “Is there something wrong with my clothes?”
     “No there’s nothing wrong with them.” His face is turning red.
     “Titus, are you feeling alright? Your face is a little red.” I feel his face to check for a temperature.
     “Is it red? I have no idea why? But uh, Shaina, could I ask you something? Promise not to get upset for asking it though.”
     “Sure, what is it?”
     “Why are you dress like, well… a girl?”
     I take a deep breath so not to lose my temper seeing as how I said I wouldn’t. But why must everyone question me when I decide to wear feminine clothes. With a shift of my body I head back to the edge of the balcony and look out at the trees.
     “Sorry, I know it bothers you to be asked that, but it’s just… you look so different like that.”
     “Am I really so unappealing dressed the other way?”
     “Of course not, it’s just…”
     “What? I like what I’m wearing. While I was asleep I remembered how I wanted to beautiful like my mothers. Not only were they beautiful on the outside but on the inside as well. And I want to try and be like them, is that so wrong?!”
     “You were always beautiful, Shaina. Anyone who knows you can see that.” He makes his approach. “It’s just that when you dress this way, in that little skirt and cute shirt with a vest, the people who don’t know you will only see your outer beauty.”
     He takes my hand, pulls me to him, and embraces me. “It’s hard for me to want to share you with the rest of the world when you look this way.” My eyes start to fill with tears of happiness listening to him say that. Gently caressing my face with his hand, he brings his forehead to mine. “I’m a selfish person. I can even become jealous; but only when it comes to you. I love you so much Shaina.” Our lips join, so soft and filled with love.
     A voice intrudes, “Oh I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt. I’ll come back later.”
     “No it’s alright Sarca, you can stay.”
     “Oh, so you want her to watch?” Titus says jokingly. Sarca and I glare at him. “Alright, I’m leaving.”
     “You can stay Titus, this won’t take long.”
     “What’s going on Sarca?”
     “I found a spot!” She’s practically glowing while saying that.
     “Thank you, I knew I could count on you.”
     “Wait, what are you two talking about? What spot?”
     “I suppose I should explain, but I’d prefer to have both Becca and Titian be present.”
     “I’ll go get them. Where would you like us to meet?”
     “Have them meet us by the large fountain in the royal garden.”
     “You got it Sis. Oh, and Titus…”
     “Yes?”
     “Don’t get to carried away with my sister,” she says with a wink and darts out of my room.
     With a perplexed look, Titus looks at me and shrugs it off. I laugh, I just can’t help it. “Shall we go to the garden then?” He offers his arm to me and escorts me out.


     Walking through the garden is almost surreal. It’s filled with so many flowers and the pathways are almost maze-like due to the overgrowth. Still, the sweet crisp breeze of flowers is nice.
     “So what is this ‘spot’ that you had Sarca pick out?”
     “A spiritual one.”
     “That shouldn’t be too hard to find.”
     “A really big one, that is far enough away from any towns.”
     “I see…,” the grip of Titus’ hand tightens slightly.
     “Don’t worry.”
     “I’ll try not to be, but it won’t be easy.”
     We finally see the fountain. It’s one of the largest on the grounds and has a figure of the Great Spirit, Marubei. Marubei is a dragon-like being and is said to be one of the oldest creatures on the planet Versaii. The water that pours from the fountain attracts many birds and wildlife to the area as well.
     We go and sit on the stone bench near the fountain. I lean my head on his shoulder and close my eyes. Vanilla. I love that scent.
     “Wish it could be like this always; the two of us I mean,” he says sliding his arm over my shoulder.
     “Hey there love birds!” Titian shouts. Titus’ face scrunches up with annoyance. “Don’t give me that look. Besides, you knew I was coming.”
     “The rest of us laugh, even Becca lets a small chuckle. I stand up and proclaim, “Let the meeting begin!”

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