I wait on a patio of Jabeth's house-excuse me-wing of the mansion. The rushing sound of water underlines Jabeth's current events. He told me he would explain everything after he took a shower.
I know he will ask me questions. Like why I'm here and what I'm thinking. Maybe even if I'm mentally handicapped. I don't know.
Zuko sits nearby, keeping a close watch on me as I squirm in my seat. I'm not exactly the biggest fan of Jabeth's spirit animal, you know, since he tried to kill me and all.
An opening in the wall goes out to a patio, with iron railing and a perfect view of a massive garden. It's gorgeous. The Palace's garden back home is nothing compared to this.
So far, this is all I know.
Zuko is Jabeth's 'bodyguard' who is too, untrusting of women. This is the west wing of the mansion, Jabeth's current residence completely private. And, I am here to bond with Jabeth.
So far, I don't think I'm doing half bad.
"Okay." I hear my fiance's voice, and I look over my shoulder-
I clench my hands into fists and bore my eyes onto a rose bush in the distance. The sounds of his steps echo in my ears as my cheeks bloom with heat.
He come sinto view, and I try not to panic.
Jabeth wears nothing but a white towel, hanging low around his hips. He ruffles his damp, silky curls with another towel, much smaller. His creamy skin is moist and the well defined muscles of his slim waist and powerful chest visible.
He looks to me, his big brown eyes observing me.
I get out of the shower and head onto the patio. It's so nice out today, and I need to talk with Josie about her current.. 'ahem'.. situation.
I see Josie, sitting in one of the chairs, staring out at the garden in the slight breeze. It's dark, as usual. The stars twinkle above the garden, surrounded by the light of the moon. I wonder what she's thinking.
When have I ever wondered that?
She looks over her shoulder and gasps lightly before whipping her head back to the garden. For a second, all I can do is blink in confusion. Is something wrong?
I go around in front of her, drying my hair with a towel before I take a seat across from her. Two mugs steam in front of us, and I lean forward, handing one to her before grasping my own and leaning back in my chair.
Josie's eyes are trained on the garden, and a silence over takes us. Only moments ago, I woke up to Zuko chasing Josie through my wing. I won't lie, I felt a weird feeling in my gut.
"He-llo?" I draw out the word, raising an eyebrow as Josie avoids my gaze. She was fine only a bit ago, so why doesn't she.. look fine?
Sje swallows and meets my eyes. She's embarrassed for some particular.. She looks down and I follow her gaze to my..
I have the urge to smirk. Of course, but at least she has the decency to smirk. She gazes at my abdomen with wide eyes and a whole lot of shame.
"Enjoying the view?" I can't help but tease her, as if an instinct. If anyone were to look at me like that I would have a flip out. But for some reason, I find her expression amusing.
She swallows again, thickly before focusing her gaze to the mugs on the table. Her face is as pink as a rose.
I lean forward, crossing my arms for her own benefit before tilting my head and raising my chin. The muscles in my arms flex hotly.
I want to see how far I can push her.
Josie's breath hitches and she leans back, easing some space between me and her. "U-Um, did you have a l-lovely shower?"
She spout total nonsense. What? I feel humor envelope me, but I resist my urge to smile. "Yes.." I stand over the table and brace my hands on either side of her elbows on the arms of the chair, which makes her eyes widen even more. "Are you so curious what it's like for me to take a shower?"
She opens her mouth to speak, but stops when I lean my face forward, our noses inches away. Her breath hitches and I observe my fiance. Her eyes are such a deep set of blue, an ocean blue. Faint freckles dust her nose and cheeks, that I hadn't even noticed.
"If so," I inch a bit closer. "Then I don't mind giving you an eye opener."
She pales, freezing like ice. And I know I should probably stop. I pull away and set myself on the chair across from her, once she's sure I won't come back she relaxes, but her eyes are trained into the garden.
"Sorry about that," I smirk. "Anyway," I lean forward and hand her a mug of coffee, which she holds tightly.
"What happened to me?" Josie asks.
I sigh and look out to the garden too. "You collapsed."
Her eyes widen and her head snaps to mine. "What?"
"You collapsed," I repeat. "We had gotten off the bus and then across the hills. We entered the garden, but the second we did you collapsed from exhaustion and fever. Xavier went to his own wing, and then I went to mine." He juts his chin to his bedroom door. "I gave you my bed and slept on the couch."
I wonder what she might've been thinking, sleeping in another persons bed. "Oh.." she bobs her head. "Why did-"
"Augury Lag." The explanation is plain and simple. But she just scrunches up her nose and tilts her head. "What?"
I sip my coffee. "You like human things. Do you know what Jet Lag is?"
Josie nods. "When humans would travel from one time zone to the other, they would get sleepy or tired."
I nod, "Good. Augury Lag is sort of the same thing. When I entered the Heaven's, I had a headache all day long. Father thought he was a bird, and Xavier slept for twenty-four hours."
She giggles slightly, a bit shy. "I see."
"In a way, it's the affects of being in a different time of day. Everyone experiences it. When I had a headache, it was because I had crossed over into a different time zone. But mostly, I'm from a place with warm, dark magic. So inhabiting a place with cool, light magic was a sudden change for me that my body had to adjust to."
She nods slowly.
"When you came into the Hell's, you collapsed from a fever. That was a result of Augury Lag. Everyone has their own form of it. So when you go back to the Heaven's next week, you will most likely gain a fever." I sip my coffee a second time. I missed it, so.
"Okay." She hesitates before saying, "Don't you want to know why I'm here?"
I shrugs. "I don't need to know."
Her eyebrows shoot up. "B-But it's illegal! And y-you could get i-n trouble for it, a-and not to mention I almost die-"
"It's, fine." I hold up a hand to stop her. "I'm sure you had your reasons. I trust them." I stand from my seat, taking my coffee with me before heading into my bedroom to change.
Hehe. I like seeing her flustered.
It's better then seeing her cry.