Osiris stands across from me at the entrance of his house. His arms are crossed and for the first time he looks at me like I’m an actual opponent in the fighting ring.
Tears start to run down my face, and I sniffle, “Osiris. I am so sorry. And I know it doesn’t make up for what I said in the past,” I look him dead in the eye, “but I promise you, that I want to be a part of the orc culture. I promise that I believe orcs are more than just fighting machines. That your culture is so loving and family oriented and peaceful.”
I duck my head to my chin, “I’m sorry that I said any of those cruel things to begin with. But I need you to understand that I was drunk and surrounded by some people I usually wouldn’t be caught dead with.”
Osiris uncrosses his arms and sighs. It gives me hope to look back to his face, “I am so embarrassed Osiris. And I know your family probably hates me and won’t accept me again, but I just want you to know that everything I said was false.”
When he doesn’t make a move to speak, I wipe more tears from my face and take a step backwards.
“Wait.” Osiris stares at the ground when he speaks but I stop nonetheless. He clenches his fists, “Prove to me that you want to be one of us. What do you love about orcs,” he looks at me with his lips sealed together, “what do you love about me.”
I take a deep breath and look to my hands, “I love- that every day,” I fiddle with my hands, “you re-braid your hair and miss the strand on the left side. So you pin it to your braid with a bobby pin.”
He takes a step towards me and I continue with more confidence, “I love that every morning you get right out of bed once you stop your alarm. But,” my mouth begins to wobble into a smile, “you always wiggle your feet under the covers. And I can’t tell if it’s because you don’t want to get out of bed or because you're trying wake up your feet.”
He takes another step closer and I pause. I sniffle and my throat closes up as a sob tries to come up. But Osiris speaks again, “What else?”
His voice is softer and the sob finally breaks through, “And- and I love you.” I clasp a hand over my mouth. I didn’t want to tell him like this. Not when we are fighting.
But Osiris doesn’t seem to care. He walks up to me and wraps me in his arms, “I understand Olivia.”
I lean my head on his chest and wipe away my tears. Osiris runs his hands over my shoulders as I continue to shake with sobs, “You don’t have to be embarrassed about my family. Cassandra told me not to tell anyone.”
“What about Cassandra? I know she was hurt by what I said, I have to make it up to her,” as I pull away from him, a head pops out from the kitchen entrance.
Osiris gives me a smile, “She heard everything.”
We walk into the kitchen where Cassandra retakes her seat, “Yep,” she starts, “And you took forever to get here. I had to stop Osiris from heading to the fighting ring five times.”
She rolls her eyes at Osiris before looking at me. I walk up to her and give her a hug, “Thank you.”
She squirms out of my grasp, “Olivia! I know you have just as much snot as tears on your face.”
I release her after a quick squeeze and return to Osiris’s side. Her cavalier attitude makes me frown, “Why aren’t you more upset Cassandra?”
I look to the floor as she sighs, “Olivia it’s obvious you love my brother. Not only that, but I’ve been watching you in our fighting sessions every. Single. Day.” She exaggerates, “You’re almost twenty five and competing with a bunch of thirteen year olds.”
I nod and laugh as she continues, “Olivia...” she sighs, “There are a lot of orcs who won’t complete training if they have to repeat a level. Mainly because they have to fight with someone younger.”
Osiris wraps an arm around my waist and pulls me into his back, “She’s right.” He whispers into my ear.
I look at them both with confusion and Cassandra smacks her head, “I’m trying to say that you obviously care about orcs or you wouldn’t have tried to join our fighting sessions. Something my brother wasn’t understanding a few hours ago.”
I stiffen against Osiris at being reminded how mad he was. He feels it and picks me up so I can wrap my legs around his back.
He turns to Cassandra, “Tell me before you leave tomorrow morning.”
Cassandra scoffs, “Yeah, yeah,” she walks into the living room, “I’ll be sleeping here tonight,” but I think she says it more to me than to Osiris, “and I don’t want to hear or smell anything.”
I gasp and both her and her brother start laughing. I bury my face in Osiris’s neck as we walk out of the living room and into his bedroom.
Osiris removes our clothes and shoes before sliding into bed with me on his chest. He pulls the elastic from my hair and begins running his hands over the tangled strands.
I place a kiss on his cheek and face him in the darkness of the room, “I still feel bad.”
Osiris holds me closer, “I know Olivia. But I also know that my Olivia would never say those things,” he does his best to place a kiss on my cheek with his tusks squishes between us, “and since the moment we’ve met I’ve only ever seen my Olivia.”
He laughs when I press myself closer to him. He continues, “You and all of your human ways. Every time you kiss my tusks makes my heart pound,” he yawns and my own eyes become heavy, “Every time I’ve seen you discreetly try to change the settings on my alarm clock so you can sleep longer.”
He laughs and my whole body moves, “I didn’t know you saw that!”
“I’ve counted seven times so far.”
I shake my head, “It’s been eight. You’ve been waking up a minute late every day because I changed the general time on your alarm.”
Osiris looks at his alarm clock in betrayal before giving my butt a slight smack.
We laugh quietly and my breathing becomes deeper. Osiris sinks further down in the bed and nips my ear, “I love you Olivia.”
“I love you too Osiris.”