As normal, I woke up with the sun. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I look at Eren. Only five, he doesn't have to follow the strict schedule Janice and I have to. Dressing, I open the door to the smell of Janice's cooking.

Walking over, I snag an apple from the basket. "I thought mum was doing that today."

"She's not feeling too good," Janice responds. "Hurry up and go do the stables. I could use some help in here."

Waving off her comment, I head out the door leading to the adjacent stable. V stands in a stall with a black horse with a white blaze on its forehead. She looks up at the sound of my entry.

We stand there for a minute, looking at each other. I decide to break the silence. "You're up early."

V snorts. "Surprised?"

"A little. If I may ask, why are you up so early?"

Making a face, she counts off on her fingers, "One, it's not that early, at least not for me. Two, if you must. Three, I prefer to take care of Frowin myself."

"Frowin? That's a nice name for a horse."

Frowin nickers in agreement as a black cat stalks out of the stall. "Is that cat yours too?"

V looks at the cat for a moment as it tilts its head. "Hardly. I opened my window last night and it let itself in. Then it followed me from the room to the stables. Rotten thing won't leave my side."

The cat hisses and V lifts her chin towards it.

"It doesn't seem to agree with your opinion of it," I comment.

"Well, it came into my room. It will just have to deal with it," she states.

The cat flicks its tail, as if impatient, and V simply looks at it. It stares back at her with its blue eyes.

"Do you need any help?" I ask.

V looks up from the cat to me. "No. I'm just about done. Thanks for the offer anyway." She says the last part, and ducks down. Standing back up she places the saddle and saddle blanket on the wall of the stall.

I begin to busy myself around the stable, trying to puzzle out V. She had to be a noble. No non-noble could throw money around so easily. But then no noble would do stable work.

Suddenly, the cat yowled impatiently. I look up in time to see V shove something into her saddlebag. Looking at the cat, she tells it, "Shut up."

The cat hisses at her and V hisses back before climbing into Frowin's saddle.

"Going somewhere?" I ask.

V smiles pleasantly. "Don't worry. I'll be back before dawn."

Without any apparent command, Frowin begins to plod towards the stable entry. The cat followed behind Frowin.

"You have a shadow," I call after her.

She raises her left hand and gives a curt wave. "I've gotten used to it."