“Meeting the parents.” Z says hugging us.
“Morgana was a pain in my royal bottom. You take her.” he transfers me to Z’s arms.
“Was not.” I kiss him, “I missed you.”
“Oh Babe, we know how you can be.”
“Baby, not you too.” I fake sob.
“Samantha.” Draven calls out.
“Sire.” she appears a second later.
“How are you?”
She seems surprised, “I’m fine. Thank you. And you?”
I snort, “He’s fine. We’re going to the beach house Friday night.” I beam.
“We are?” Z asks.
“I won the bowling games in that Wii sport game station thingy.” Draven assured him.
“You won to Morgan, bowling in the Wii?” Z looked suspicious.
“Morgan, did you let him win?” Sam asks me.
“Of course not.” I laugh, “Why would I? I wanted my treat.” I looked down, hiding in Z chest.
“Wow, she asked for sex. I respect you even more.” Sam giggles.
“As I was trying to say. We’re traveling for the duration of two days. If you’ll be so kind to inform your brothers when you see them.” he nods.
“Certainly, Sire.” she bows and disappears.
“Baby, did you know that our Daddy likes Vanilla ice cream?”
“Yeah, babe. I know.”
“Does your beach house have a piano?” I suddenly remember.
“Yes. All my houses have at least one piano.” Draven answers.
“Where? I never saw one here.”
“Dining room. Didn’t you see it?”
“No. Really?” I look up, “Z carry me there?”
“You know Lana del Rey, Draven?”
“I don’t know Spanish music.”
I laugh aloud, “She’s American.”
“I don’t know her. I’m not a fan of Americans.”
“But she is so European inside. You should listen. You make me feel like her music.”
Azazel lets me down. My cell phone set on the top of the piano starts to play Burning Desire.
“Every saturday night I get dressed up
To ride for you, baby
Cruising down the street on Hollywood and Vine
For you, baby
I drive fast, wind in my hair
I push you to the limits ’cause I just don’t care
You ask me where I’ve been
I’ve been everywhere
But I don’t wanna be nowhere but here
I’ve got a burning desire for you, baby”
I slide me hand gently up insides Azazel's shirt, “She likes older man too.”
“Draven.” Z tenses.
“Kitten, you can’t. You’ll get yourself a physical breakdown. Your body needs to rest.”
“I’m only asking for a song.” I lean into Z and shrug, “I don’t know what you are referring to.”
“Can’t we just go outside a little? Have you ever visited our greenhouse? Sam puts a lot of effort into it.” Draven suggest.
I straight myself up, “You do?”
“We have. I never got a chance to show you the house. As you now know. This is ‘The Cold Palace’. I order for it to be built in 1597. They took 45 years to finish it. We added a few things over the years, like running water and electricity. The structure though, it’s original.”
I pick up my cellphone and suddenly Z was carrying me again.
“You renovated recently, right?”
“Just a decade ago. I was amazed by the quantity and quality of modern appliances. It’s amazing how easy to maintain a house is.”
“Yeah. It really is.”
“There she is the greenhouse.”
I look back at it. It is much bigger than I expected.
“It was built in the 1800s, the greenhouse glass structure is English inspired. The innovative structures were designed, to maximize light and create the perfect temperature for the plants inside. Ventilation was created by adding sliding frames at the top of the roof, while the roofs were made of glass angled to catch the sun.” Draven continues.
“It is beautiful, can we go inside?” I look at him expectantly.
“Certainly, Kitten. Maybe you should walk.”
I hug Z tightly and get off him, landing softly at the trimmed grass.
“Go on, we are right behind you.”
I open the glass double door and enter. Draven switch the lights on, but they are dim, giving the greenhouse an indescribable ambience. I see such different and beautiful plants, a few with flowers. Its winter, even in a greenhouse I bet it’s difficult for them to bloom. I sigh.
What a peaceful yet vibrant aura. I beam, “This is the perfect place to study. To read a book.”
“I wish we could spend some time here together during the day.” I hear the sadness in Draven voice.
“We can. I will suffocate your skin with +50 SPF sunscreen and clothe you fully. You can. That is what sunscreen was invented for. To protect delicate skin from the sun.”
I see a light green lounge armchair and a little light wooded coffee table. I smile widely and seat down.
“I want to grow old with you here. I will grow old with you here. WOW. Just wow.”
“Babe, we don’t age.” Z chuckles.
“I do.” I look into Draven’s eyes, “I certainly do.”
He places himself behind me, massaging my shoulders. “You certainly do and will.”
I look up and smile sadly.
“Babes, I think someone it’s at the main gate.”
I snap up, “My parents.”
Draven shush me, “It’s okay. Alessandro and Malacolm are not home. They can come inside. Sam and Azazel are the best in human interactions. Don’t worry.”
“Azazel let’s greet Kittens parents. Try not to be too obvious.”
I feel my stomach in knots but get up and walk. We walk through the garden, around the Mansion to the path leading to the main door. I see the gates opening. Sam probably.
“Mr. and Mrs. Mendes,” I hear Draven say.
“Draven, they can’t hear you from this distance. Wait until they’re at least 3 meters away.”
Z shifts, he’s behind me by my right. Draven is on my left, one step ahead.
I see my mom withher hands clap in from of her. She’s not comfortable.
“Mr. and Mrs. Mendes,” Draven tries again.
“Draven.” my father smiles to us.
“This is my brother Azazel and opening the main door is my sister Samantha. Please, do come in.” he smiles sincerely.
Azazel bows. I giggle, poking him.
I start walking to Sam, making scared faces to her. She chuckles.
When we’re all inside Sam bows, “Mr. and Mrs. Mendes, nice to finally meet you. Morgan talks about you all the time.” she bows a little.
“Nice to meet you Samantha, we appreciate the help you’re giving our daughter at driving theory. We are pretty rusty.” my father says.
Azazel continues one step behind me to my right and Draven one step in front of me to my left. What is this? The queens guard?
“Maybe you should give my mom the house tour. She’s a history teacher.” I tip Draven.
“Of course. I hope you have half an hour.”
“I accompany you.” Sam says, “I talk about art better than him.”
I giggle, “Dad, me and Azazel will introduce to you the greenhouse. You’ll love it. It is the perfect place to read.” I clap my had to my fathers and drag him to the back door.
“Z” I whisper.
I hear his steps behind us. My father is in awe, exactly as I was half an hour ago.
“Sam takes care of the plants.”
“It is harder than you think, honey. Every plant has a certain amount of water and minerals they need to be healthy.”
I smile to him, “I knew you’ll love it too.”
“M, they’re waiting on us.” Z whisper.
“Dadlet us go home. It’s late.”
“Sure, sweety. I need to open shop tomorrow.” walking straight to the doors of the greenhouse.
Z closes the doors and walks behind us.
“He’s shy. He usually talks a lot.” I excuse Z.
“I like quiet people. They listen more.”
“Yes, they do.” I smile up to my father.
We enter the house through the back door. They are talking and laughing at the hall.
“And then, Morgana screams at Draven. I’ve never seen him running away from anyone. She’s good.”
“Well, you know how difficult it is to be heard sometimes, but she overreacts, as all teenagers do.”
“Great. Now I’m a screaming overdramatic teen. Perfect.”
“Come on young lady. You have classes in the morning.” my mom replies.
I puff but hug Z and Sam before awkwardly move to Draven. “I’ll accompany you to the gates.”
He opens the main door and my parents stay behind to say their goodbyes.
“Fortunately, your mom likes Sam instantly. Sam also talked about Philippines vaguely. Planted the idea that we vacation there every summer, because of its cloudy weather in August.”
“Great. I see you both friday. Text me the time of pick up.” I reply him walking slowly next to him.
“I’m going to kiss your cheek. Don’t blush too much.”
I raise my brows, “What?”
He holds the gate with one hand and place the other on my shoulder, kissing my cheek tenderly and briefly.
“Mr. and Mrs. Mendes. You’re always welcome in our house. Have a pleasant night.” and he nods, smiling slightly to them.
I giggle and hold my mom’s hand walking in the direction of our home.