INTERLUDE 9: “ASTRONOMICAL START.”
August 22nd, 1610.
Nahgi Llewellyn sighed as she lowered herself into the water of the pool on her family’s estate. Today had been a stressful day- what with arriving, telling her mother why, no, her father was NOT coming as had been planned, then watching after the kids and then putting them to bed? Kendal and Ayako were finally asleep as of an hour ago, and with Kana deciding to hit the nearby town to ‘see the sights’ after that success, that left Nahgi alone with her thoughts for the time being… well, her thoughts as presented after one too many glasses of beer at dinner.
She wasn’t even drunk, and barely even buzzed. Damned beers were too cheep to even get her smashed properly. She doubted she’d even have a hangover in the morning. Kana? Kana on the other hand likely would spend tomorrow morning sobering up in bed.
It was still a strange thing to think of Kana Mayoi as a mother, but she’d taken to it well, Nahgi thought. For all that Kana insisted during school that she’d never have kids of her own lest she become like her own mother… Adopting the young Lycan girl had proven that those unfounded fears were just that: Unfounded.
Kendal was almost a year older than the Lycan, but for the moment, both seemed to be hitting it off like sisters, or at least, cousins. They’d taken well to running around the Llewellyn Manor grounds like they owned the place- along with jumping off the diving boards with gleeful abandon.
Nahgi glanced upwards at the star filled sky- specifically the parts of it blocked off by the large wooden planks extending out from the decks attached to the waterfall’s rock-face.
Nahgi had no idea why one of her long ago ancestors had built the thing, but it, and this house, had been a part of the Llewellyn family ever since before the Cataclysm War.
There was history behind those wooden planks- a reason for them to be there that was now simply legacy. A legacy protected by extensive rune work and heavy warding designed to keep the thing intact and safe for use for centuries to come.
At least the kids liked it.
“Oh,” said a voice along with a footstep. Not many of those belonged here, so that meant…
Nahgi glanced over, and saw that Ranagi Kaie was standing there… nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist. “Well good evening, good sir,” She whistled at him in a flirty tone she hoped he’d take as joking. “To what may I owe this pleasure?”
Sadly, she was entirely serious with her flirting. That was something she’d cruelly come to realize today as well. She had a stupid schoolgirl crush on her former roommate’s partner, and likely had been holding back on it since they first met.
“I was coming to make use of the board that was being hogged all afternoon by a couple of energetic girls,” Kaie answered, dropping his towel onto a nearby beach chair, and then walking into the water. “But, since you’re already in the water, I’d rather not disturb you, so I’ll soak instead for a while.”
“Good idea.” No. NO. BAD IDEA. BAD IDEA. Now they were both buck ass naked sharing the water and—
It was only because it was dark, and that the only real light around came from some distant torches, that Kaie did not notice her face going red.
‘Mizar, look at me!’ she sunk into the water a little, putting her mouth to the edge and blowing bubbles childishly. ‘I’m better than this! Aren’t I? Damn it… this is just going to make everything really awkward…’
“Sooo…” Kaie began once he’d settled down. “Is it just me or did your Mother seem… paler than last time we visited?”
And there was another issue she’d been hoping to avoid.
Nahgi lifted her head out of the water, and allowed herself to groan. “No. You’re not imagining it. And for once in my life I’m really, really upset that we Lamias have extended life spans compared to everyone else. I never really realized how old she was getting until…” She growled. “Fuck. Him. Hit my Dad with a shovel upside the head until he realizes what he’s doing! He’s a damned coward! He should be here with us, not… off wherever the fuck he is right now.”
“I can agree with that sentiment,” Kaie shook his head. “He just left a note slid under the door. That’s not being rushed out on a case, that’s being a coward. That’s not how a father should act.” He scoffed, then echoed, “Fuck him.”
As they sat there in an agreeable silence, staring up at the stars, Nahgi wasn’t sure if it were the beers finally getting to her, or if she was just actually getting the courage up to confess, but something in her made the decision to remark:
“Or, we could stick it to him another way.”
“How’s that?” Kaie… Ranagi looked over at her.
“We’re both keenly aware that he doesn’t approve of you hanging around me at all,” Nahgi tilted her head to the side, letting her snake-headed hair rattle and hiss a little. “He’s thought I’ve had this stupid crush on you, and kept telling me to keep away from you. So… why don’t we prove him right and start sleeping together just to make him mad?”
And immediately her brain caught up to what her mouth had said, her face went bright red and she immediately sunk into the water- down to her nose.
Ranagi stared at her, blinking, dazed for a moment, then asked, “Are you drunk?”
Her response was to scream out some air through her mouth- causing the water to bubble something fierce. She was not entirely sure if she really was drunk or not but, hell, it was an out and she was going to take it. She only surfaced a moment later to breath in some actual air before dunking her head down again.
“Well-” He laughed- and it was a rare laugh from the man. One so rarely heard Nahgi wasn’t sure what emotions were behind it. “…If you still feel the same way tomorrow after you’ve sobered up, I’ll consider it.”
This honest answer had the poor Lamia flail in surprise and lose her seating on the rock she’d been sitting on. A moment later she burst from the surface, staring at him, awestruck and confused and–
“Are you serious!?” she asked, not really believing it.
“When…” Ranagi began, “when Kyoko was pregnant with Kendal, she was afraid she might die in labor. So… she made me promise that I wouldn’t hold onto her forever. That I’d move on some day, and maybe find Kendal a new mom.” He gave a semi-bitter smile. “You’ve already kind of helped me out with that last part pretty well, and… I think I’ve been putting off admitting that I already did the first half a long time ago.” He paused, then said, “I think I like you… maybe as more than a friend.”
Nahgi Llewellyn stared at Ranagi Kaie for a few hopeful moments, then breathed out, “Fuck me, I’m an idiot.”
“I thought that was the general idea we were discussing here?” Ranagi replied with a quip that made her heart race like she was throwing herself off of those diving boards.
She couldn’t help but start to laugh.