I walk through the library, it’s honestly magnificent. The Ruination is painted on the ceiling, with white and gold shelves and columns. Paintings of the past rulers are stationed on some of the second story walls. Sofa’s and chairs gather in certain areas around tables.
It’s massive but quiet. I honestly love it better then the library back in the Hell’s.
I think I’m starting to warm up to the Heaven’s better then I expected.
I pass some aisles, coming to a small area tucked away in the back. An old wooden arched door hides in the shadows of the shelves.
It’s probably an old storage area.
That’s when I remember what Xavier told em the other day.
“The enchanter keeps his shop in the palace, but since he doesn’t like intruders. He keeps it in the back corner of the library.”
So this must be the enchanter’s shop.
I have the urge to open the door and look inside, but I fight it. I am in their territory, he doesn’t like intruders. Wouldn’t want to cause offense.
I pass the door and go deeper into the library.
Suddenly I stop.
My ears prick up at the noise.
It’s the sound of rubbing paper.
Someone else is in the library.
I let out a strained breath. It’s okay, you have no reason to be nervous. You’re a guest just checking out their archives. No big deal.
Then why does my gut feel uneasy?
I move through the area’s, quietly. Like a lion ready to pounce as he stalks his prey. Although I’m not stalking anyone.
The noise gets louder, which means I’m closer.
I close my eyes and use my magic, reaching it through the library.
Shelves, shelves, a sofa, a column, the wall. Shelves, shelves. Aha! A person.
I open my eyes and walk in the direction I sensed them in. The person sits in a small area, guarded by an alcove of shelves and a curved wall. They sit on the floor while flipping through a book.
I look through a hold in a shelf where the book’s are loosely stacked.
Wait a minute. I recognize that hair.
I narrow my eyes until I see clearly the face that stares into the book.
I let out a sigh and peer at the book she’s reading, careful to go unnoticed.
It’s a book on.. gemstones?
I blink a few times.
A Risen, reading a book about gemstones.. how curious.
Gemstones are forbidden in the Heaven’s, due to them being from the ground, but whats even curious they use precious metals like gold and silver. Interesting.. But I’m surprised the Heaven’s has anything like a book involving gemstone sin their library.
She stares at a page, her jaw rested on her palm. The page she has is a whole page on, Chalcedony.
My brows shoot up. Chalcedony?
Chalcedony is the most rare gemstone in all the Hell’s. I have seen on only once in my mothers necklace as a child.
I prefer Jet.
The writing isn’t printed, it’s handwritten. The pages look centuries old and the sketch of the gem is remarkable.
Josie sighs as she looks wistfully at it. But why is she hiding in this corner?
I lean forward a bit more, when suddenly my chin knocks three books off their shelves to hit the floor.
I freeze and Josie whirls around, jumping at the noise and searching the space until her eyes meet mine.
They widen and she closes it and clutches the book tight against her chest. “W-What are you doing here?” She gets up from the floor and blushes deeply. “How long have you been standing there?”
I feel my face warm up, along with my ears. Shit no! Why am I blushing!?
I haven’t blushed in years.
I start to stammer as well. “I-I-I-”
“Why were you stalking me?” She asks, still disheveled but more nervous.
What the fuck is wrong with me? “I wasn’t stalking you.. I-I just saw you reading a book on-” I stop in my tracks. My face is still warm but my nerves are now intact. “Why were you reading a book on gemstones, when you know it’s forbidden?.. How do you even have one?”
Her eyes widen slightly and she backs up a step. Almost as if it’s natural, I take a step forward.
She takes a step back, I take a step forward. It goes on for some time until we both start walking, her backwards and me frontwards.
Every step I take I grow more confident in my question. She is really nervous, how suspicious..
Suddenly her back hits the wall and I’m a foot away from her. I stare into her deep blue eyes and ask the question again. “Why, do you have a book, on gemstones?”
She doesn’t answer, which makes my patience grow thin and my curiosity peak. I remember a tactic I would see my father use on my mother whenever she got nervous. So I decide to use it too.
I purposely slam my hand into the wall beside her head, making her jump. I lean my head forward a bit, so she is caged in. “I’m going to ask you one last time.. Why do you have a book on gemstones. When it is illegal?..”
The tactic works perfectly. She squeezes her eyes shut and blurts out. “Because I like Chalcedony.”
My brows shoot up. “You what?”
Josie sighs and looks up at me, pressing her head back farther onto the wall. “Because I like Chalcedony.”
I give a wry laugh of disbelief. “You’re.. You’re serious. You, a Risen, like something about the Hell’s?”
She scowls and crosses her arms over the book. “Yes. And? Is that illegal?”
I give her the look at Xavier gives me. The ‘You proved my point just now’ look. Josie’s blush deepens for some reason.
Suddenly I realize it too. Our faces are now inches apart, our noses almost touching. Her crossed arms are lightly pressed again my chest and my hand is still by her head.
I move away like lightning, clearing my throat while I brush my hands together. “S-Sorry..”
Why are you apologizing? Why are you stammering? Why the fuck are you still blushing, Jabeth get it together!
I can feel my face burn with the fire of a thousand suns. He was waaayyy to close for my comfort level.
Jabeth looks a little disheveled himself. I can’t believe he found me reading this. Why was he watching me?
Jabeth clears his throat and wipes his hands together. “S-Sorry.”
Wait, hold up. Did you just apologize to me?
Oh yeah.. we are supposed to be more respectable to each other.. B-But watching me mind my business is not respecting ones self.
I sigh and readjust my hold on my book. “It’s.. Thank you, for apologizing.”
Jabeth’s eyes flick up to mine. “Of course.”
Our eyes hold for a second too long before I sit down on a nearby sofa, the book still clutched to my chest. “You will find there’s a lot about me that would surprise you..” Like my complete interest in human objects and things related to the Hell’s.
He take’s a seat on the sofa beside me, turning to face me. “Okay. Go ahead.”
My head snaps to him. “R-Right now?”
He nods. “Better now then never.”
I just blink. Why now? Whats the rush? I just met you a almost week ago.
He sighs and crosses a leg over his other. “Okay. Fine. Don’t tell me. But just know I am rarely ever surprised.”
I snort. “Sure, okay.” A small grin spreads on my face. There’s no way.
He turns my way, “Why do you say that?”
I looks at him sideways. “Well for one, I doubt the engagement didn’t surprise you.”
He quirks his mouth. Bobbing his head up and down lightly. “Touche.”
Suddenly, out of nowhere. A sentence hits me like a slap. “You were hiding in the corner, because if someone saw you reading that you would be in trouble.”
I freeze, that air was so comfortable a few moments ago. Now it’s tense again.
I don’t say a word, hoping he will move on. But he just looks at me.
The Fallen have a naturally warm aura, except for in the winter time when it becomes cold. And right now, his warmth is making my stomach do flips. What the heck? Why am I being like this?
“I-I just.. it’s.. y-yeah.” I quiet my voice down, feeling a little shy.
He leans forward a bit. “So yeah, I’m right?”
He knows the answer, but he’s making me say it. I swallow thickly, “Y-Yes..”
He quirks a brow, “Yes... what?”
I blink. “Y-Yes.. you’re right.”
Jabeth grins and leans back away from me. Geez..
I swallow again. “Ok-Okay.. I’m going to uh, head out.”
Jabeth keeps his grin in place as he watches me get up from the sofa and scurry away from him and running out of the library.
Whew.. that was. Interesting.