Pumpkin King

Chapter 32

"No. I don't know who you were." He hissed maliciously. "I know who you are."

With a start Erk practically jumped out of bed. He frantically checked himself for injuries, but was surprised to find he didn't have any. He took a shaky breath. "Was it…just a dream?" The image of that pale face flashed through his mind and his body quivered. He wasn't sure if he wanted to run or scream. He knew the face from somewhere but he couldn't remember. "Were my memories trying to come back in a dream?" He wondered out loud. Then he thought of something. "Wait a minute!" He said, louder this time. "When did I get in a bed?"

"Shut it, creep. Can't a girl sleep in peace?" A disgruntled voice muttered.

Erk blanched and looked to his left. Her back was pressed against the wall and she was entirely under the blankets which is why he hadn't noticed her earlier. The blankets shifted as she sat up, revealing her nude form. Erk ogled her for a moment before screaming and crawling to the other end of the bed. "W-W-W-W-What are you doing here?" He shouted, turning as scarlet as her hair. In his mind he was chanting, 'Look at her eyes, look at her eyes, look at her eyes' as quickly as he could, but he could still feel his eyes wandering over her anyway. "And why the HELL am I always seeing you naked!?"

Tamashi didn't even bother covering herself. She seemed more amused by his reaction than anything. Leaning back, she closed her eyes stretched, making sure that he was looking. "I'm here because this is my room. You're the one that came sneaking in last night and got into my bed." Grinning wickedly to herself, she got out of bed and sauntered over to where her clothes were sitting on a dresser. She had no doubt his eyes were glued to her. "And it's not my fault you enjoy seeing me so much." She looked at him over her shoulder and saw that he was indeed staring at her. "Pervert."

Erk's face grew so hot it felt like his brain was roasting. He finally managed to turn away and keep his back to her as she started dressing. "Not a pervert." He mumbled. "And what do you mean I came sneaking in? I don't even remember getting here!"

Tamashi tugged her shirt on and turned to him fully clothed…in what little she wore. She shrugged. "I don't know. I woke up and there you were, sleeping like a baby. And I was too tired to bother kicking you out."

Turning around, Erk felt himself cooling off now that she was dressed. "Well…think we can just forget about the whole thing? I'm sorry if I came in here without thinking." He rubbed the back of his awkwardly.

The red head rolled her eyes. "Sure. But you're still a pervert." She winked at him. "Not that I mind though."

Erk felt his face reddening but luckily Tamashi was already at the door. So he snapped himself out of embarrassment and followed her into the hall. There was no one else out there. He sighed in relief. He really didn't want to explain how the two of them ended up sleeping in the same room.

"Come on or I'm leaving you behind." Tamashi said, walking away from him. Erk scrambled to catch up and the two walked in silence for a while.

The place was a maze of hallways, but luckily Tamashi seemed to know where she was going. Erk wanted to talk about something to lift the silence, but he couldn't think of anything. Besides, after the awkward scene earlier, he wasn't sure what he could say that didn't sound like he was hitting on her.

Luckily, they rounded a corner and found Dante kneeling on the ground with his back to them. But as he heard them walking, he turned to them, quickly hiding something behind his back. "Oh, it's you guys." He said, relief seeping into his voice.

Erk had a feeling that usually, Dante would make some snarky remark about the two of them walking together. But he didn't do that. Instead, he looked very serious and said, "We have a problem."

He pulled what he was holding out from behind his back and showed it to them. It was an apple. It looked like it only had one bite taken out of it.

"An apple." Tamashi said dryly. "That's the problem? You're not drunk are you? Cause I saw Sissy and Milo and they had a bottle of-."

Dante cut her off by rapidly shaking his head, making his shaggy hair sway with the motion. "No! But…this is the apple I gave Lorelai last night." He looked really worried as he said it. "Why would she leave it on the ground like this?"

She shrugged. "Maybe it was bad?"

Erk snatched it out of Dante's hand and took a bite out of it. "Nope. Tastes fine to me." He said with a mouthful of apple.

Dante glared at them. "You guys don't remember her, but I do. Lorelai isn't someone to just waste food like that."

"You're right, we don't." Tamashi said with annoyance in her voice. She barged passed the Earth wizard and headed for the doors at the far end of the hall. "But why don't you ask her? She's probably waiting like everyone else for the assignments Master is giving us."

Dante still looked worried. "…Right."

The walked and Erk wanted to cheer Dante up. He like it when he was joking around and cheating at cards (which Erk discovered he always did the previous night). He didn't like seeing him so worried. But even though he liked him, he didn't really know him. Even if they were friends before, without his memories Dante was a new person to him. A stranger.

So they walked in silence. When they finally reached the doors that lead to the chamber they'd been in the other day, Erk and Dante each opened one and let Tamashi go through first. But when they did, no light greeted them as the doors opened. The whole room was pitch black. The three looked at each other in confusion.

They walked in tentatively, careful to stay in the light that the open doors let in. "Hello!" Erk called out. "Anyone in here or am I talking to myself?"

The moment he spoke, the doors slammed shut behind them. There was a pause before Dante said, "A trap…How the hell did we fall for this?"

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