Shopaholic Succubus Shenanigans
[Twelve Shots of Summer: Gotta Write 'Em All! 2-6 A]
Free from classes for the day, Noelle Daelman made her way across the Fiburst Academy campus towards the mailroom. Not much of a crowd had yet formed, and Noelle flashed her student ID at the mail worker and waited, taking in the peace before students started celebrating their freedom from lectures.
"Oh, there you are, Ells!" Ambár's familiar voice sang out and echoed against the mailroom walls. Noelle held her balance as best she could as Ambár attached herself to Noelle's back, squeezing her shoulders. "You ran off without saying anything. I had to ask Eli where you went."
"I just had to pick something up," Noelle said, nodding at the mail worker approaching the counter again, package in hand. Noelle accepted it, enjoying the texture of cardboard beneath her fingers.
Ambár leaned forward, her dark curls tickling Noelle's cheek. "A package, huh?" Ambár squinted at the label. "Didn't you just see your family like last weekend? Did you forget something when you were doing business or whatever?"
Noelle sighed at the lack of any form of discretion. Too bad scolding never did any good. "No, I did not." She shrugged her shoulders, and Ambár obeyed the signal, though not without a pout on her lips. "I went ahead and ordered something offline, that's all." Noelle stepped away from the mail counter, and Ambár followed, though not without a bewildered expression.
"Offline, offline…" Ambár snapped her fingers. "Oh! You mean like the Internet? You can do that?"
Without any concern for the students wandering in, Noelle stopped in the doorway. Being Ambár's friend, roommate, and girlfriend meant you were prone to hearing ridiculous things, but what she'd just said was on a whole other level. Ambár's brow furrowed in concern. "You okay, Ells?" she asked. "You're giving off all sorts of weird emotions…"
"Are you telling me," Noelle said with all the poise she could muster, "that you've never ordered something offline before?"
"Well, no, I didn't really…" Noelle just stared. "Oh, what?"
"Don't you what me! I'm the one that should be asking that."
What followed was easily one of the top ten most frustrating exchanges of their relationship that Noelle had ever experienced.
"I'm not overreacting, am I?" Noelle asked in the dining hall over dinner a few days later. Elias sat in his regular spot across the table, with his back to the wall and bag in the seat beside him. His skills at nodding at all the right places had served his well in the conversation at hand. Noelle ran a hand through her hair, hoping that working out tangles would get rid of some of her energy. "It's weird, right?"
Eli fidgeted with his spoon, bouncing it in nonsense patterns through the air. "Well, it is unusual," he said, easing some of Noelle's worries. "But Ambár is a succubus and all. Even without knowing that, you can tell she grew up totally different than us."
"Okay, yeah, that's true." Noelle knew more than anyone else just what Ambár's true nature was, though for any other purposes she acted like any other teenage girl. Noelle put her hands back to work with her cutlery, spearing a forkful of green beans. "I was just really thrown off guard, I guess."
Eli nodded, the spoon ever in motion in his hand. "What did you do after you found out anyway?"
"Hm? I showed her how it works. She was all curious." Noelle tilted her head. "Why do you ask?"
"Well," Eli said with a surprising amount of control in his voice, "that might not have been the smartest idea."
"What do you—" The question hadn't even fully formed before Eli's gaze flicked up. Noelle spun around to find sight of a stack of boxes seemingly navigating the dining hall tables of their own accord. It was only the thigh-high boots underneath the pile that proved the carrier was Ambár. "Oh, you've gotta be kidding me."
At first it had seemed funny that Ambár had gone a little overboard and ordered more than she needed to. But that was only the first round of boxes. Every few days Ambár would tote more into their dorm room, and there seemed to be no signs of stopping. Noelle knew Ambár had a penchant for over purchasing—the number of items they had from the Jassey's was ridiculous—but online shopping just cranked those tendencies to new heights.
"This is getting out of hand."
Ambár's head popped up over the stack of boxes surrounding her bed, and the sounds of tearing cardboard and packing tape halted. Considering the near obstacle course of packages scattered about the room, Noelle was surprised that Ambár even heard her. "Sorry, Ells, I'll clean these up in a bit! I didn't mean to make your side a mess, too."
While it was nice Ambár was considering it, that wasn't even anywhere close to the real issue. "That's not what I was talking about." Remembering that communication was the cornerstone of successful relationships, Noelle sucked in a breath and strode across the room, pressing her palms into the box wall and leaning over Ambár seated on the floor. "I know you have money, but don't you think you're buying too much? This is a little more than treating yourself." Ambár blinked, her red irises bright against her dark bangs and skin. "I know online shopping is fun, but you're going overboard."
"Hmmmm…" Ambár looked back to the box before her, which looked to contain another member of the ever-growing army of silly knickknacks that had taken over their room. "Sorry," she said after a little bit, "I was having a lot of fun and got carried away." Taking care not to knock her skull into Noelle's, Ambár stood up and stretched her arms to the ceiling. "Before I came to school here, I came in a place where you could get whatever you wanted without having to wait for it. Picking out something and waiting for it to arrive…I just thought it was a lot of fun."
A rare wistful expression washed over Ambár's face, leaving Noelle speechless and feeling like there was very much about her girlfriend that she still didn't understand. Even so, the sentiment of enjoying not getting what you wanted right away—with her affluent family, Noelle understood that feeling all too well.
"I didn't mean to cause too much trouble, I promise!" As if fearing a scolding, Ambár dived right into apology mode. It didn't last too long, and she pinched Noelle's cheek within seconds. "Still, it was cute to see you all worried about me. I like it."
"Oh, knock it off." Noelle batted Ambár's hand away from her face but let their fingers intertwine. "At the rate you're going, there wasn't going to be enough room for either of us in here." Ambár looked over the stacks of boxes, but her laugh was anything but ashamed. "What were you even planning on doing with all this junk anyway?"
Ambár grinned, the mischievous light in full sparkle in her eyes. "I'd say I could return it, but most of these are for you, after all. Heiress or no, I gotta give my all to treat you, you know?"
Noelle snorted. "Dork."
Maybe later she'd try to see what they could return. But for the moment, she was more content to take the gesture to heart.
I generally do not write comedy. In fact, I don't know how people write comedy and make it work, at least in prose. This whole episode played out as a 4-koma type comic in my head. I'm not sure if it worked or not, though. Do let me know.
Anyway, Noelle, Ambár, and Elias are my precious children from This Broken Eternity, and they seemed like the perfect candidates for my missing [Twelve Shots of Summer: Second Raid] prompt, "Mail Order Awesome"! Given that the Fiburst trio over here are kind of supporting cast in the main book, I don't get much opportunities to explore their dorm life. So, here we go!
If you want to know more about TBE, you can check out the first two (multi-part) chapters preview over on my profile! The rest of the story is currently updating weekly on my Patreon if that's something you want to get behind, too.
Regardless if you want to read more of my works, you should definitely read anything you ever find with a [Twelve Shots of Summer] tag on it! Those folks are amazing, let me tell you.
Thanks for reading!