What's That Sound
This Isn't The 1800s
Your Average Girl
Don't Make Me Go
Dress-Up Game
Alone With the Enemy
Some Strange Magic
You Only Live Once
What Are You?
A Wrong Turn
A Deal's a Deal
The Secret Inside
Helicopter, Helicopter
Mind Your Manners
A Maze and Delight
The Lost Seed
A Secret Escape
Getting Hot Inside
Seriously, What The
Got a Bad Feeling
Let's Try Something
Breathing is Overrated
In the Meantime
Nice Day for a Drive
Can't Turn Back
Seriously, What The
But it wasn't Chance that was waiting for me.

Of all the things I expected to see when I opened my eyes, a serpent wasn't it. I scrambled back against my pillows as a glossy, white snake at least as long as a car uncoiled itself from the corner and slithered across the floor towards my bed.

Forget the stupid fever, I had to get out of there. If it was anything like the animus I'd seen in the fighting ring, it had to be dangerous. I threw myself to the floor an flung open the door, not even caring how loud it squeaked as I slammed it shut behind me.

Inside, the giant serpent reared up against the glass.

"Clara?" This was my mother's voice, sleepy and muffled through both the patio door and the one to my room. "Everything alright in there?"

I took a deep breath and cracked the door back open just enough to call back that I was fine, even though a not insignificant part of me wanted to just jump over the rail and start running and never look back.

Except that, wait, the snake wasn't coiled to attack. In fact, she merely tilted her head to the side and looked at me rather curiously like she was wondering why I was standing out in the cold by myself.

Speaking of, a cool voice said from behind, "She won't bite." Then, "Unless I want her to, that is."

I spun to find Mercurius lounging with one arm against the rail, casual as if he'd been there the whole time. Which, sure as my sanity, he had not been.

"How did you--" I started, but he cut me off with a wave of one hand as he took a step closer.

"Lenora tells me you've been ill," he said, but his gaze and tone remained cold, almost bored.

It took me a minute to figure out that Lenora was the name of the snake. And what, had Mercurius snuck onto my balcony just to check in on me? Something didn't make sense. And I was pretty sure that wasn't just the fever clouding my mind. He'd become way too nice.

"Wait," I said, fanning the sweat from my face, "Why is she here?"

That signature sneer was now almost a smile, lifting at one corner when he said, "Another of Mother's ideas. I thought it was absurd, of course, to send my animus away on such a silly errand. But if you are indeed the Seed..." He trailed off, gazing at me in such a closely scrutinizing manner that my throat got dry and my face even redder than the fever had already made it.

Finally he said, "I'm certain it's just a flu. Nothing abnormal for a human." Then with a small gesture towards the serpent, "Come now, Lenora," and I watched in amazement as a glowing light enveloped the serpent and she disappeared into his open hand. Before he left, he turned and said, "No doubt Mother will suggest further surveillance."

And then he was gone, gracefully leaping from the balcony rail. Was that--did Mercurius just try to give me a warning?

But I barely had time to let that set in before Chance was back, swinging down from the roof.

"Finally, he's gone," he said, "Thought that snake would never leave."

How the heck--there was no way I could ever relax in my room now. Not when not one, but two guys had decided to make a habit of randomly appearing uninvited on my balcony. I mean, even if one of them was super cute in a way that just maybe I had developed a teeny-tiny crush on. Like, hey, of course I had. It's kinda hard not to when the first time you meet a hot guy it's him kissing you.

And the other wasn't bad to look at either. Not with that bad-boy smirk--

But I digress.

Point is, now Chance was back and I probably stared at him a good second or two before I could figure out any words to say. Maybe that was the fever, still messing with my head. I sure didn't feel any less shaky or sweaty and just standing took all the strength I could manage. I slumped against the door, wondering if maybe I could just lay down right there. A little nap wouldn't hurt. Right? I mean, it was the middle of the night after all.

Thank God my parents must have long since gone back to bed by the time Chance helped me back inside and shut the door.

We sat in silence a minute, me on the edge of my bed and him leaning against the wall, before he said, "Don't like it. Not one bit. Takes a real snake to send their animus off to spy."

"Technically he said it was his mother's idea," I offered, even though as I said it I wasn't sure why I was defending Mercurius. Thinking about it made my head spin, and I lay back on the bed.

"Well, you keep resting, yeah," said Chance, moving to leave.

"Wait," I said, then when he paused, "Can I ask you a question?"

He turned, one hand on the edge of the door.

"Does your animus--the lyoken--have a name?"

"She does," was all he said before he stepped outside and disappeared into the night.

- - -

Read ahead on Wattpad.

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© Hopeful Romantic ,
книга «Just a Kiss».
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Angela Everly
Seriously, What The
This is a good story. when do you update? ❤
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2018-08-26 02:03:55
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