LN Part 35: It's Not What You Think by RedPhantom ()
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“Andrew Stephen Mathis! Just what do you think you’re doing?”
Andy jumped. How is it that mothers can yell and whisper at the same time?
“I’m going to get dressed. I have things to do,” he said and started to his room.
“You couldn’t even wait a week? And in her parents’ house no less,” she scolded him.
He sighed. “Mom, come on.” He led her to his room.
“What would her parents say if they found out you two are sleeping together?”
“They know, Mom.”
“They know? And they’re okay with it?”
“More or less.”
“More or less? What does that mean?”
“Mom, we’re sleeping. We’re not having sex. Ann has terrible nightmares and has a tendency to cast spells to fight whatever she’s dreaming about. My being there helps keep her calm. She sleeps better and doesn’t try to strike the palace with lightning. Her parents aren’t thrilled with us spending nights together, but they agreed that this is safer. And, we have a chaperone.”
“Yes, one of Ann’s old nurses is sleeping in the maid’s chamber in there with the door open. Besides, you didn’t raise me to be stupid enough to sneak around behind the king’s back with his daughter.”
“You better not be!” Carla scolded.
“I’m not. Now, I need to get dressed. I’m going to be late. Why don’t you get dressed too? Ann will be back in a little while to take you two to breakfast.”
“She’s up already?”
“She only sleeps about four or five hours a night. Sometimes she only sleeps two. Now please, Mom, go. I’ll see you in a few hours.” He all but pushed her out the door.
He needed to hurry. He had overslept and was already running late. He and Ann had stayed up talking after his parents had gone off to bed.
She had still been worried that he was mad at her. He wasn’t sure why. She said it was his comment about all that trouble for a lousy gift. But he knew it was more than that. He had assured her that he wasn’t mad and that it wasn’t a lousy gift but a great one. He explained it was the sudden shock of not feeling her that had hit him and the feeling of helplessness knowing she’d have a nightmare, and he couldn’t do anything about it. He also had worried that the loss of the bond would worry her. They agreed that they would make sure the other knew if they were going to be doing something that might disrupt the bond.
Ann also explained their alternative reason for going, to check on Mishtali, to see if it really had been him. Nim, Ann had said, was pretty sure it was him. She also told him of their concern that if Mishtali had survived, then perhaps Nor’than did too.
He had stayed awake long after Ann had fallen asleep to make sure she was okay. She might have had four hours of sleep, he sure hadn’t. So he had overslept. If he hurried and skipped breakfast, he wouldn’t be late. Well, not too late. Perhaps Nim wouldn’t be too upset since he was tired. Not that being tired was a good excuse for being late, but Nim wanted him to have distractions. This would qualify. That might mollify the dragon enough that he wouldn’t take it out on him during his Augmenter lesson, maybe.
There was a knock at the door. He sighed and finished dressing. He opened the door half expecting his parents. It was Pt’this.
“Ann said you might need these.” He handed Andy a pastry and a cup of coffee. Andy had been thrilled to learn they had coffee here too. It wasn’t quite the same as back home, but it was close enough. Most days he couldn’t get milk for it, and they sweetened it with honey rather than sugar, but he was getting used to the taste.
“Thank you,” he said taking the breakfast.
“Come on, or you’ll be late.” Pt’this led the way through the room to the balcony leading to the garden. For the most part, the gardeners had the garden off limits these last few days while they made it ready for the wedding. Apparently, Pt’this didn’t care. As he led Andy through, one of the gardeners started to say something, and Pt’this growled at him. The gardener jumped back in surprise.
It wasn’t like Pt’this to growl at the servants, except for Kortu, the chief steward. Kortu was afraid of dragons, and Pt’this seemed to like to torment him.
“Are you okay?” Andy asked.
“What? Oh, yeah, I guess.”
The dragon man sighed. “This wedding, it means a lot to Sapphire. I want it to go well, and I want her to be happy.”
“But...” Andy prompted.
“But I don’t know what I’m doing. I never thought about getting married. There are just so many decisions to make that I just don’t understand the importance of. I’ve let her make most of the decisions, but now she thinks I don’t care.”
“Did you talk to her about this?”
“I did. I don’t think she understands though.”
“Girls back home would dream about their weddings a lot. Some would plan them even before they found the groom. Some want to make all the decisions and have the guy just agree. Others want his input. Sometimes they expect the guy to have thought about it as much as they had. Few guys have. Sometimes it’s hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand how they think.
“Talk with Elos on the whys of all the parts of the wedding. If anyone knows, it will be him. Then, maybe you can make better decisions. And, when she asks your opinion, and you don’t understand something say so right there. Make her explain it to you.”
“That way you can act even more like a human,” Nim said with a grin.
Pt’this surprised them both by sending a weak magic blast at Nim. It was the equivalent to a playful shove. Nim sent one back. On impulse, Andy reached out and deflected it back at Nim. The dragon wasn’t expecting it, so it knocked him off his feet.
“Oh, man, I’m sorry,” Andy said helping Nim up. “I didn’t mean to knock you over.”
“How did you do that?” Nim asked.
“The same way you send energy to someone. When it hits your hand, just push it back.” Andy shrugged. “Why? Can’t you do that?” Andy asked seeing Nim’s look of surprise.
“I’ve never tried. I never even thought of trying that.”
“Yeah, well, when you have a troll throwing these things at you in a fight, you do what you can.”
“You used that against Thilgat?” Pt’this asked surprised.
“I didn’t have much choice. I had no shields.” Andy wondered if he had done something wrong.
“It’s okay. Remmy just said you knocked him out with a kick. That’s all.”
“I did. The blast just disarmed him. He stopped throwing them after that.”
“He threw more than one? What did you do with the others?” Nim asked.
“Absorbed them. They’re just energy.” Andy shrugged.
“Show me,” Nim said. He sent another energy burst at Andy. Andy absorbed it, then another and another, each one getting stronger. Andy absorbed the energy and held it rather than letting it dissipate.
“Put your shields up,” he warned Nim. When he saw the shields, he sent the energy back to him in a blast. Despite the shields, Nim staggered back but was unhurt.
“Impressive. This time don’t hold them. Let’s see how much you can handle.” He sent stronger and stronger blasts until one burned his hands. After finding Mila for healing, they continue the testing until it was time for Andy’s etiquette lesson and then onto his karate lesson.