Part 2: Chapter 2
I spent most of the day trying to sleep. It didn’t work out very well.
My mind screamed at me in all directions saying it was a good thing that she couldn’t remember me, because I could settle the score now. Other parts of my head wanted to know more about her new personality. But there was a small part of me that was furious and frightened about the fact that we would never be one again. I didn’t know what to do. I finally gave up on trying to sleep and just lay awake, thinking about things.
Hasten had kept guard at my door the entire day while the Day class attacked the Shrines that were on Guard today. He wanted to make sure I would get some rest. Later that evening, he went off to find Aralisa and make sure she had really lost her memories. He wanted to make sure she didn’t know who I was.
It was his excuse to not only try to give her some clues about her extracurricular activities, but to also get me to take my things back out of her room again. It was too late for that though. She would question who was taking things in and out of her room while she was asleep. It wouldn’t matter. I would still go in and check on her when I could.
In fact, I was on my way to watch her. I wanted to know what she was doing.
Mir passed me in the hall, as she was throwing teasing looks at one of the new boys, Hirk. She was acting like Aralisa, but that was before Aralisa lost her memories. She was now the Day class tease. I sighed at her as she came over to greet me.
What’s up, little brother? she asked me within our shared family bond. She gave me an affectionate kiss on the cheek.
I glanced at her. I’m on my way to find Aralisa.
She’s eating, and then she has class. She glanced at me. Hasten went to find her. He’s going to relay his thoughts to you.
She was glancing at Hirk again. He smiled at her. He was young, for being a student. He probably didn’t even know who she was. Some of the Shaper girls passed us and gave her mean looks. Mir didn’t care about them.
“Caiden,” one of the girls asked. I paused and turned around to greet them. By the way she pronounced my name, I knew her father or mother was of high standing within her tribe. Most of the commoners called my name with a ‘sir’ at the beginning, out of respect.
She batted her long eyelashes at me. Her red hair bounced in ringlets as it fell down around her shoulders. She was wearing a tight sweater today, but I stared at her face, not trusting myself to glance anywhere else. I was on a mission. If Aralisa was lost to me forever then she might be my type.
“We’re having a party tomorrow, you’re invited.” She blushed as she gave me the verbal invite.
I smiled at her and turned away. “I have things to do, Kelsy.” I made my way back down the hall, thinking about Aralisa. If she were around to witness that, she would’ve put the girls in their place. But she wasn’t, and now they pounced on me like fresh meat, even if we were still together.
But to them you’re not. Mir was listening to my thoughts again. I turned back to stare at her. She was smiling coyly at Hirk. Poor guy, he had no defense. Down the hall, I saw Darson staring at them both. He looked jealous.
Sighing, I went back the way I came, and grabbed Mirabella’s arm. Come with me, I offered.
She pulled her arm out of my grasp. What are you doing?
What are you doing? I bellowed into our link.
She sighed. Darson doesn’t want an exclusive relationship, so I’m making him jealous.
I blinked. That’s what this was all about? You’re driving him crazy, you know. You two should talk again.
She rolled her eyes. Look, I think I know how to hook a guy. I’ve had Aralisa as a mentor for the past several years now. You know they all want me. Hell, they want her even if she has lost her mind.
I didn’t want to hear that. Deep down, I knew it was true, but I still didn’t want to hear it. It hurt, even more so now because she had lost her memories.
I’m sorry, that was hateful, she apologized. But you know what I mean. I’m the Queen of the Day class now, because she can’t remember them. I have to live up to the standards.
So make new standards! I yelled at her.
“You know what, you’re right,” she spoke out to me. “I’ll make my own rules.” She turned from me and flounced down the hall towards Darson. She reached him and took his hand. “Come with me, lover.”
I don’t think anyone else heard it, but I did. I turned from the hallway and headed off toward the gardens. If I couldn’t be seen down the Night side of the Academy then I would go where I could watch her.
In my mind, Hasten spoke out to me from where I stood in the Twilight Grove. I’m sorry Caiden, but she’s not going to remember you at all. I think you might have to give it up. He relayed the events to me in my head. She had reacted, more quickly than I expected. The years and years of defensive training showed itself. Maybe she would remember me, but then again, she didn’t answer Hasten like he expected her too.
I thought about how I would approach her. It wouldn’t be easy as my first instinct was to take her in my arms and kiss her passionately. I kicked a stump in anger, mostly because what I wanted to do I couldn’t. It was frustrating. I was going to have to relearn how to be with Aralisa.
I climbed one of the trees and lay in the boughs. The purple blossoms were blooming all around me that I soon focused on them and fell asleep.
A sound woke me up as I heard footsteps approaching. I glanced down and saw Aralisa walking through the Night courtyard that was squashed between the Twilight Grove and the Arena. She was walking towards the forest.
I jumped down and followed her. She sat down on one of the benches in the courtyard on the edge of the forest and pulled out her white book. She was alone, as the other students were still inside the school.
Why was she out here alone? I circled around into the shadows of the trees, to watch her closely from the darkness that cloaked my presence.
What amazed me about her sudden appearance was the fact she was dedicating time to reading that white journal. I leaned against a tree and watched in awe.
Mir poked into my thoughts and saw her image. She’s reading? she asked.
Yeah. Shocking, isn’t it? I relayed it back to her.
Mir closed off the connection again. She would open it just to check on me and what I was doing in regards to the present situation.
I glanced back at Aralisa. She seemed slightly confused as she read. Her face clenched up and I chuckled, not bothering to mask my presence.
She heard me. Her head glanced up at me. I could see her from where I stood, leaning up against the tree for support. I didn’t think she could see me clearly, but I hoped she’d come closer.
Luckily for me, she did. She put her book down and approached the tree line. She stopped once she realized I was a stranger.
I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to say to her. There were a million things I wanted to ask. There were a million things I wanted to do, but all of a sudden I couldn’t. Branella’s words reverberated through my head. ‘She may not choose you.’
“What are you doing here?” she asked me.
Her voice was much more calm from the day before. She was curious about me. “I was taking a stroll when I happened upon you. Your manner intrigued me so I stayed to watch.” She was reading. She never used to read.
She blushed slightly, probably when I admitted I was watching her. “How was I intriguing you?”
She wanted to know that? Why? I rethought what I first thought about her. Since when did she want to know what others thought? I decided to answer truthfully and see what she did. “You’re reading.”
“It’s a book the Headmistress gave me,” she explained.
She didn’t need to, for I had already read it. It was all about her as Mallie of the Night class, but she was Aralisa even if she didn’t know it. “About you.” I smiled.
You idiot. Mir’s thoughts were watching us. Oh wait. She was right; I just told Aralisa I had read it. Whoops.
“How do you know that?” Aralisa demanded.
She knew that I knew. I could tell that much from her tone. I had made her frightened of me. Tell the truth Caiden, I told myself.
Tell her about the Ancient language, Hasten spoke up to me. Great, the Instructors were watching as well. I’m making sure you don’t do something stupid.
“White journals are designed for the author of the book to read only. It is an Ancient language. Very few people can read them.” I hoped that would cover my butt.
“How do you know about them?” she asked me.
“We’re taught about artifacts and the languages of the Ancients in our magic classes. But I learned the languages at an early age. You’ll eventually come to learn them yourself in class. You’re only in level two I believe, and not very good at it either.” I had to remember what classes she was in. I knew she wasn’t good at magic, Guardian magic, expect Air. She excelled using Air magic. Earth magic was a different story and level two required one to use it.
“Why aren’t you asleep like the rest of your classmates?”
She had changed the subject. I wasn’t ready for her to buy my excuses easily. This was very different. I wanted to grab her, stare into her new eyes and kiss her. What was this? Why was she worried about me not sleeping? Why did she even want to know?
“I’ve been thinking about things.” I needed to change the subject again. What had she learned about herself? I glanced at the journal and nodded at her. “Learned anything interesting?” I asked her. Could it be possible that she remembered us?
“Just facts so far.”
It was a vague answer, but one that allowed me to hope. “Nothing else?”
I had to ask. “No memories yet?” My hope was trickling away from me.
“No,” she breathed. She was having trouble concentrating. I couldn’t tell if she meant her answer. I wanted her to remember. Maybe she needed help. I frowned slightly.
Watch it, Mir’s words cautioned me.
I moved towards Aralisa quickly and stood in front of her. She didn’t move. She didn’t flinch. She didn’t block me. She stayed still as I stared at her. She didn’t bother to push me away. She didn’t do anything. I stared at her body. She was awfully calm for having me standing so close to her. I know she saw me as something forbidden, beyond her reach.
I began to walk around her, noticing how she didn’t move as I made my way to her backside.
Hasten’s thoughts intruded on mine. Night class students heading in your direction. Cut it short. And don’t do anything stupid.
Great. I didn’t have the time to find out if she remembered us or not. I stopped just behind her back and leaned in towards her head cautiously. Our bodies were touching, but she didn’t react. I breathed on her neck as she went stiller than she was before.
“That’s a shame,” I whispered into her ear.
Now I heard the footsteps getting closer. I didn’t want to be caught by other people around us, so I ran away from her towards the Twilight Grove. I glanced back briefly and saw she still hadn’t moved. I briefly wondered if she was in shock by my actions.
I reached the Grove and slowed down. I began to casually walk down the dirt paths. The footsteps were getting closer. I rounded a tree as Isla, one of Aralisa’s Night class friends ran into me. She skidded to a stop, and backed away slowly.
“What are you doing here?” her friend bellowed at me as he caught up to her. “This is Night class property.”
“Cool it, Trayen,” Isla stated. She stared at me. “Have you seen a girl around here? Night class student, long wavy brown hair, green eyes.”
She was describing Aralisa, but she wasn’t. It was a broad definition. Her eyes weren’t green, they were hazel. And her hair wasn’t brown, it was chestnut.
“There was a girl among the trees near the outer courtyard by the forest.”
Trayen stared at me. He looked furious. Of course, he should be. “Come on, Isla,” he stated as he bypassed me and hurried off down the trail.
“Thanks,” Isla stated as she ran after him.
That was close, Caiden. Mir was inside my head again. I stared up at the Day side of the school. She was staring down at me from the fifth floor dorm. She shook her head and turned from the windows.
I heard them then. Hasten appeared beside me to give me an escort back. I shook my head at him and stifled a laugh.
You didn’t need to send out the troops. I could feel the presence of the Shapers around us. They were there, hiding.
You’re playing a dangerous game. She may not like you for it.
Oh please. That’s how our relationship started.
Hasten’s eyes glanced at me. I know. But you have to remember that she’s not Aralisa right now. She’s Mallie. She may hate you for it.
I rolled my eyes. She hadn’t said no, she didn’t even try to stop me. It was like she wanted me to keep going. The next time I saw her I would try again. Next time, I think she will give in to my advances.