Monday, August 4, 2014
Chapter 33: The Thing to Do
"If you've known each other a long while, why am I just meeting her now?" Izalee's jealous glare has the intensity of a couple of suns.
Reggie puzzles out what he should say. The truth? The truth was he didn't trust Perenna at first, and didn't want to introduce her to his family immediately.
Meanwhile, Izalee demands answers. "Are you being oversensitive about my feelings because my mother abandoned us? Are you going to marry this lady?"
"That'd be rushing things." The seasons have changed two times since he met Perenna last autumn. Now it's spring again. If this is romance, he's dragging his feet.
"Look at it this way." Reggie pats his daughter on the shoulder. "Miss Perenna is someone we don't have to keep secrets around. She's one of us."
"No she's not," his daughter sulks. "She can't even cast spells."
Izalee hasn't had any proper magic instruction since Greta passed away. Reggie never got past the failure with Rohane, and hasn't trusted himself to teach his daughter. It brings back too many sour feelings.
Greta died in the wintertime. She didn't live long enough to see Gysael come home, didn't live long enough to set things right... but for all she knew, she could live a thousand years more, and her youngest wouldn't have returned.
She missed Scarlett. At least, she thought, taking Grim's hand, she wouldn't have to miss him anymore. She wouldn't have to feel anything ever again.
"Aw, she's adorable!" Perenna is super excited to meet Izalee. "I'm so excited to finally meet you, Izalee!"
Venessa was way too excitable, too.
So you have a type, Izalee thinks at her father. But she can't concentrate hard enough for him to get the message right now. She's too busy feeling embarrassed. And resentful. And even a little scared.
"So you're a werewolf," Izalee blurts.
Perenna shrugs. "Funny name, isn't it?"
"Her parents cut her tail off when he was a baby," Reggie explains. "Sort of the thing to do, if you want to get along in human society."
They head to the arcade.
"My people are very territorial as well," Perenna remarks, after watching Izalee aggressively shoot the hoops for a while.
The girl blushes, turning her face closer to purple. "I'm not..."
"It's alright," Perenna chuckles. "I promise I'll win you over somehow."
Calling the kid out on her feelings and stating her intentions was a risky move, but it pays off. Izalee makes more of an effort to enjoy herself.
She doesn't even seem to mind that much when Perenna and Reggie stop paying near-exclusive attention to her for ten minutes so they can have a pinball match. (Ten minutes is a really long time to a kid.)
"Yeah yeah. You're a scary dragon. Stop it, Dad."
By the end of the night, Izalee and Perenna are tentative friends.
"You have so many books here!" Perenna marvels at the shelf in Izalee's room, as if it's a strange thing.
"Dad used to read one to me before bed most nights," Izalee says from across the room, as her father tucks her in. "The stories would start out with what's on the page, but then he'd start making things up halfway through."
"That sounds fun," Perenna says. "Do you mind if I try? I'm kind of an aspiring script-writer, if your father didn't tell you."
Reggie sinks down into the rocking chair and listens as Perenna weaves a tale for his daughter.
He hasn't been in the mood for fantasy stories since that day Venessa left them.
"You're good with kids," he whispers, as they leave Izalee sleeping in her room and wander towards the stairway.
"I'm not really," Perenna whispers back. "Your daughter is just very sweet."
"I'm glad she likes you. She's only had her aunts for positive female role models, since her grandmother passed away. I'm not trying to say guys can't be role models to girls, and I'm not trying to shit on single fathers... I just..." it's just, Reggie feels like he's been doing such an inadequate job with this parenting thing. He wishes he had someone to help him with it. But he can't say that; that'd be a very unsexy thing to say. "I don't know what I'm trying to say."
Perenna turns to him. "I can't be the love you lost. But I'd like to be just as important... if you'll let me."
It was only a matter of time before these two got together. Perenna has waited so long to find someone she could be honest with, this doesn't even feel like settling. And in the time it took to get to know this guy, and get him to trust her, she's fallen in love with him.
Lucky for our story, he feels the same way.
Etc.: Uggghhhh writing romance is so hard for me. x.x I hate it. Hate hate hate hate hate hate.
Big time skips are a rarity in my legacies. But I'm feeling lazy and I really wanted to get things going, so skipping over the boring part of Reggie and Perenna's relationship (the part where he slowly, slowly decides she's probably not going to kill him and his whole family) made sense to me.
I reset the seasons for this purpose. Izalee would be older by the time spring rolled around again normally, but [insert excuse here].