A/N; Gah! I am so sorry about not updating. School holidays always turn my brain into mush and I've had no inspiration. However, two days at school have fixed that and voila! Here's chapter 7... please review!
"The easiest way to explain what just happened is to say that we were teasing Sophie for having a crush on Luciar," Ivan began
"The easiest way to explain what just happened is to say that we were teasing Sophie for having a crush on Luciar," Ivan began. "But I've got a feeling you'll want to know why, what, how and when. Am I right?"
I nodded, suppressing an uncharacteristic smirk. Of course I was interested. I was a sixteen-year-old girl for goodness' sake. At school, I didn't have any close friends because I was so quiet. Most people had a tendency to forget I was there and I found out more gossip and bits of personal information than most people in achieved their entire lives. Though I never had anyone to tell, it made me feel better. To know things so secret made me feel like I was part of something.
"Where to start?" Ivan mumbled to himself, running a hand through his hair. "I suppose 'when' is the easiest question. Basically, it was love at first sight for Sophie but Luciar isn't interested in her. However, Sophie being Sophie refuses to give up and recently she's become a little… illogical in her reasoning."
'Illogical in her reasoning', I repeated to myself. I didn't mean to think badly of Sophie, I was certain that she would become a good friend of mine later on. However, I couldn't help but think the phrase sounded like a euphemism for 'getting desperate'. I stayed silent, keeping my thoughts to myself as I waited for Ivan to continue. While I was caught up in my thoughts, he'd paused to think about how to phrase the next part.
"Luciar won't even let Sophie into this house without a good reason," Ivan resumed his explanation. "I think Sophie is using you as an excuse to stay here. Not that I would really blame her for it. But with the Child's Moon coming soon, I think she may be up to something."
I titled my head to one side. Child's moon wasn't a term I recognised. I heard of the Hunter's moon, which was another name for a full moon. Never a Child's moon though. Ivan, ever observant, noticed my confusion.
"You haven't been outside yet so you wouldn't have seen," Ivan pointed out. "But we have two moons and three suns. The three suns are significantly further away than the one in the Mortal Realm, which means we don't fry from the heat. The two moons are the same size but move in different orbits. The closer moon, which looks bigger, is referred to as the Hunter's moon because when it becomes full several races are at their most feral and tend to lose control. The smaller is called the Child's moon because Werewolves go into heat when it's full."
For a few seconds I couldn't piece together what Ivan meant. When it finally dawned on me, my cheeks coloured with embarrassment at the thought.
"B-but why doesn't Luciar like Sophie?" I asked, desperately trying to change the subject. "She seems nice."
"She is," Ivan agreed. "But it's too much contrast between their personalities. Luciar can't stand her to be honest. Sophie maintains that he doesn't like her because his parents would be against the match."
"Are Luciar's parents strict?" I asked, thinking momentarily of my own father.
Ivan gave a short bark of mirthless laughter.
"Yes but that's not really the problem," Ivan said. "They're Werewolves so family and breeding mean everything to them. A Werewolf spends half their lives checking up on who they're related to because they would do anything for a family member, even if they hated them. You also never find a part Werewolf crossbreed, it's considered a sin among them and therein lies the basis for Sophie's logic. Both factors have caused major problem for the Werewolves."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Well, to stop themselves from being obliged to too many people, Werewolves are encouraged to mate with distant family members," Ivan explained. "However, inbreeding causes genetic problems and difficult births which leads to even fewer Werewolves. It's no wonder that Werewolves would rather have human mates."
"I thought you said crossbreeding was considered a sin?" I asked, confused by the contradiction.
"It is but even with a human parent, an Immortal is still pure-blooded," Ivan stated.
"How?" I contested him. "Do you mean as in people still think of them as pure-blooded Immortals?"
Ivan shook his head. "I'm not sure if you know so forgive me if I go over something you already understand. A simple way of looking at genetics is that a baby receives a copy of a trait from both of its parents. If the trait isn't the same, then the dominant version of the trait masks the presence of the other, recessive trait. A lot of what makes you human is recessive when compared to the DNA of an Immortal. So much so that a child of human and an Immortal can not even be considered partially human."
I frowned. Somehow, that struck me as unfair. It didn't seem right that a child should have nothing from one of their parents, even if they were considered disadvantages.
"Of course, rank doesn't help in this case," Ivan muttered.
"What do you mean?" I said, distracted from my previous thoughts. "Like nobility and stuff?"
"Pretty much," Ivan agreed. "Luciar has a high rank among the Werewolves which would mean that Sophie's rank among the Demons would either have to match or exceed Luciar's for them to even date."
"And Sophie's rank doesn't?"
"Sophie doesn't even have a rank," Ivan corrected me. "She's the younger sister of the Demon Prince's Doctor and Chief Adviser. Which means absolutely nothing to the Werewolves."
"Chief Adviser?" I repeated.
A knock on the door sounded and Ivan shouted a quick 'come in' before quickly answering me. The door opened but I didn't bother to see who was entering.
"Despite appearances, Max is actually quite smart," Ivan replied with a smile. "He's the sort of guy who has no common sense to compensate for his brain power."
"Then he must be really smart," Marcus drawled as he stood in the doorway. "Because when I asked him for the time earlier he said he didn't own a watch because he couldn't tell the time."
"Yup, that's Max for you," Ivan agreed, struggling not to laugh. "Is there something you wanted?"
"For either Sophie to suddenly disappear or for you to go downstairs and sort her out," Marcus replied sourly.
"Why?" Ivan asked, suddenly serious. "What's wrong?"
"She seems to have found out that Mia hasn't been assigned a room yet," Marcus informed him. "And she's throwing a fit downstairs. Max is having to restrain her but she won't be polite for much longer."
Ivan winced and got off the bed. I, on the other hand, stayed on the bed feeling thoroughly confused. Marcus hadn't sounded sarcastic when he'd mentioned Sophie was being polite. How anyone could be considered 'being polite' when they were having to be restrained was beyond me. Marcus left the room, apparently satisfied that Ivan was coming and I hopped off the bed to see if it would help me understand the situation.
A few minutes later, Marcus had led us to a large room. It seemed to be modelled after a living room. There were around three sofas and various chairs centred around a flat-screen television hanging in midair. Although, I couldn't even imagine people actually living in the room, lounging around, making a mess. It seemed too pristine and beautifully put together, so much so that it made me nervous to stand there.
Sophie apparently had no such reservations. She was thrashing in Max's grip, kicking out at the furniture as her brother held her arms behind her back. She hissed and spat instead of shouting, reminding me of a highly vexed cat. She spotted us entering the room and stopped her animalistic behaviour. She glared at Marcus then turned to Ivan with narrowed eyes. Hesitantly, Max let go of his sister, keeping himself nearby in case he needed to grab hold of Sophie suddenly.
"I expected more from you," Sophie said in a low voice.
The comment was directed at Ivan and he flinched visibly. Personally I didn't understand what she was insinuating but judging from the Angel's reaction, it was bad. He started breathing in and out slowly before he could even say anything.
"I thank you for your faith, even though it failed at the last moment," Ivan replied, an undertone of venom in his voice. "The reason she doesn't have her own room – I assume that's the reason for this – is because we hadn't got around to it yet. If you feel so strongly about it then why don't you help her pick one out?"
Ivan looked over to the corner of the room where Luciar stood immobile. I started when I caught sight of him, having previously been completely unaware of his presence. He noticed and raised an eyebrow at my behaviour so I hid behind Ivan, blushing heavily. Thankfully, everyone else was distracted as Luciar entered the conversation.
"By all means," Luciar agreed. "There are innumerable guestrooms, if the young lady wishes to claim one for herself then she is most welcome."
Sophie nodded though her mouth was still in a deep frown. She stormed out of the room, grabbing my arm on the way and I was forced to follow. Her grip was stronger than iron and although she didn't appear to be using much force, she was crushing my arm. Eventually, she calmed down and her grip loosened, a smile returning to her face. After she'd led me up a flight of stairs, she turned to face me, letting go of my already bruised limb.
"Well, as Luciar said, there are loads of rooms to choose from," she informed me chirpily, oblivious to the fact I was clutching the injured area. "Most of them have themes but some of them are plain so if you want you can design it yourself. You can have anything you like."
I'm fairly sure my face mirror my confusion.
"You mean I'm allowed to choose?" I asked quietly.
Sophie blinked. "Yes," she replied slowly, acting as though I was being stupid.
I began to think. I'd never been offered a selection before, normally I was just given things and expected to deal with that. My father had supplied all of my clothes, all of the food that was bought and all of the furniture that was in my room. I only ever left the house for school and the only sense of 'choice' I got was when I took books out of the school library. To be suddenly told that I could choose anything was a daunting prospect and I didn't know quite where to start.
"Listen," Sophie started, sensing my distress for once. "I have a room that I normally stay in, next to it is a plain room. Why don't you have that one and you can start from scratch?"
Thinking this was probably the best idea, I nodded and Sophie wandered off to her room. She pointed it out as we went past and into my new room. I noticed that it wasn't too far from Ivan's, just down the hallway and around the corner if I was any judge. However, those thoughts were pushed to the back of my mind as we entered the room.
It was easily the same size as Ivan's room, with a large balcony window facing the south. The walls were purely white making the room seem even more spacious. A four-poster bed stood in the centre of the room, the white sheets and translucent white curtains neatly arranged. All of the furniture was wooden as was the floor, giving the room a natural look. I looked in awe at the beautiful sight and I found it hard to process I was just being given this room.
"Can I…" I asked, trailing off.
"Can you what?" Sophie asked. "Got any ideas?"
"Can I just… keep it the way it is?" I asked timidly.
Sophie looked surprised before smiling in agreement. I walked over to the bed, unsure of what I should be doing, and sat down. The bed was much better than the one I had at home and I squeaked in astonishment as I was suddenly bounced back to my feet. Sophie laughed from her position in the doorway and I felt the blood rise to my cheeks from embarrassment.
"I'm sorry to do this but I have some stuff to do," Sophie explained. "I'll let Ivan know which room you picked, do you mind me leaving you here?"
I shook my head without thinking about it. I didn't want to trouble Sophie, especially after she had been so kind. The female Demon smiled brightly before waving goodbye and leaving me in the room alone. I sat down on the bed, breathing in deeply before breathing out.
Normally, the only person who left me in a room on my own was my father. When he did it, it would cut out the only source of light and I would be plunged into darkness, both metaphorically and literally. However, here there was plenty of light and I didn't feel lonely at all. It occurred to me a long time ago that I should probably be kicking and screaming, trying to find a way back home. Even though my life wasn't perfect with my father, he had looked after me all my life and surely I owed him for that. Mother always thought so.
I grasped absentmindedly at the missing chain around my neck. Normally, I would wear my mother's ring on a silver chain as a necklace. It was too big to fit on even my thumb and I wouldn't have dared ask my father to have it resized, but I still wanted it near me. It seemed selfish that I missed a piece of jewellery more than my own family but it was the truth. It was the only thing my grandmother had allowed her to keep when she… moved out. Later, it was the only thing my mother had left to me when she died.
I sighed and looked around me. As selfish as it was, I wanted to be here rather than with my father. It was bright and beautiful, nothing like the tiny house I had lived in all my life. Also… no one beat me here.