Chapter 10- Perfect Girls Talk Love
Andrain and Cat shared some classes together, the only few classes they didn’t have together was gym class, which she shared with Karl. She observed that he wasn’t the most athletic person in the group, but, he looked decent enough to hold his own. During one of their many discussions, she learned he was a purple belt in karate, when Cat revealed herself she was a black belt in it as well as others, the guys freaked.
Cat then asked what the big deal was since if Karl was a purple belt, he must surely be aiming for a black belt as well to which he replied. “Well, I quit a while ago. Exams and all that, my parents wanted me to focus on studies so they pulled me out. Haven’t really thought about going back to it,”
George scoffed and added. “You’re just too wuss cause you know Cat will kick your ass, you’ve been out of karate for two years now,”
“And you never even took it up because you know I would have been better than you,”
“Here’s an idea, why don’t you fight Cat and we’ll see?”
“Please, I can never do such a thing to a girl,”
This made Cat arch her brow, she stared at their exchange while she can sense Andrain and Damien growing uneasy, waiting for her response. She grinned at the two and somehow this made them even more nervous.
“Sure, where do you wanna do it?”
George clenched his stomach as he burst into laughter, while Karl was just simply speechless and Cat was sure she heard Andrain and Damien facepalm behind her.
“Are ya sure?” Karl didn’t seem like he wanted to.
“Yeah yeah, I’m positive. We’ll see what a purple belt is made of,” Cat confirmed.
George then suggested they held this ‘fight’ in the Crowne manor where they had a sparring room and everything, apparently this was news to Andrain since he had no idea such a room existed. Then asked George how he knew about it when the supposed ‘owner’ of the house didn’t.
“I guess that means I spend way more time in your house than you do,” George said with a smug smirk on his face.
“I don’t think you should be proud of that and I really regret giving you guys the key codes to my manor,” Andrain rolled his eyes. “Which we will need to seek out Vera for, she re-set them and confiscated our key cards,”
“More like threatened us, the woman twisted my arm, literally,”
“Well, maybe you shouldn’t have been such a little bitch about it,”
Vera seemed like the type of person would get physical to get what she wanted and Cat respected that, Vera knew what she wanted and acted accordingly to get it. What did Cat have? A directionless need to be away from her responsibilities? Even with all her lessons, Cat never felt like she could be queen. Was it because she felt like she didn’t know her people well enough? Was it because she felt like she didn’t want to be in an arranged marriage? Was it because she wasn’t perfect?
A perfect queen could have achieved everything, she could have understood what was expected of her and took her rightful place on the throne where her people will accept and love her. Or was Cat afraid they would resent and abhor her simply because she didn’t fit the mould? A perfect queen would have given her hand in marriage to a stranger for the good of her kingdom and always stay loyal to him. Even if she didn’t want to.
“Catty,” Andrain snapped his fingers in front of the redhead, she looked up at him, were they preparing to leave the apartment? “Vera should be at home now, she lives in Waterlily Street, wanna come with or meet up with us at the manor?”
“I don’t know where that is,” Cat reminded him.
“Oh right! So I guess you’re coming with us,” Andrain facepalmed again, Cat couldn’t help but chuckle at how cute he was. “Come on.” He gave his arm to Cat and she took it, a ghost of a smile on her face.
“Don’t make me throw up please,” Damien pretended to gag at the sight of them.
Andrain glared at the boys while they snickered, however, he didn’t loosen his grip on Cat, she felt her heart flutter and smiled at the ground.
One smooth transaction later...
Vera was in the alleyway of Doux for some odd reason, with Issac by her side, apparently, he was on a break; the girl seemed distressed and her usual black attire was replaced with a shirt that seemed too big for her frame and a pair of ripped jeans. Issac and she were leaning against the graffitied wall of the cafe, he was holding onto her hand.
“Vera?” Andrain called, his former babysitter jumped and pulled her hand out of Issac’s which made him frown a little. “What are you doing here? I thought you would be at home until Le Chats opened?”
Vera stared at Andrain and shifted slightly to see the rest of the gang behind him, she cleared her throat and spoke. “Yeah, well, something came up,”
“Well more like a person,” Vera stilled herself before looking at Andrain’s honey brown eyes. “Lucas is back,”
Cat could see how this news affected Andrain, she saw how he balled his fists and she could feel the boys beside her stiffen as well when Andrain looked up again, his eyes were filled with rage.
“Why now? I thought you had a restraining order on him,” Andrain took a step forward, his muscles tensing, he suddenly had the strong urge to punch something.
“That restraining order is just a piece of paper, his bound to come back sooner or later,” Vera wasn’t even phased by Andrain’s reaction as if she had expected it. “Maybe you should move to Texas with your cousins for the time being,”
“You’re asking me to run?”
“Until I have settled things with him,”
“There’s nothing to settle! He should be in jail right now!”
“I was told he was pardoned early for good behaviour,”
“‘Good behaviour’ my ass!”
Cat didn’t like how weak she was in this situation, she had no idea what was even going on, she glanced at Issac, who has stayed silent throughout the exchange, the boys didn’t say anything either; they knew something. She noticed how Vera stood a little differently as well, she was hunched a little and seemed stiffer, she hardly moved.
“Why don’t the rest of you head inside?” Surprising it was Andrain that suggested this. “I’m gonna go get the codes from my parents instead,” He left without another word while Vera’s eyes were downcast, defeated.
Issac hastily declared that he needed to return to work and left, so did the boys, well, their excuse was more like ‘we’re gonna make sure Andrain doesn’t do something stupid’ which Vera has a curt nod to. It was just the two of them then, Cat didn’t really know what else she can do besides waiting for Vera to speak first.
“I bet you wanna know huh?” And she did speak first.
“If you’re uncomfortable with it I don’t mind either way,” Which seemed like the perfect thing to say. “But, ya know I’m curious,”
Vera forced a laugh and the redhead in front of her titled her head at it, Vera gestured for Cat to follow her, so she did. They were in Issac’s house and while Cat wondered how Vera had the keys, the princess didn’t question it, if this Lucas guy was really dangerous, Cat could see why you wouldn’t wanna live at someplace he can easily find.
She pulled a chair while Vera prepared coffee for them, Cat didn’t like being useless so she found a tray of strawberries in the fridge and laid them out, Issac was obsessed with the fruit, he always had some lying around. Or dried in the oven, he liked doing that sometimes, it made the strawberries even sweeter and healthier. Vera placed the tray on the table with a soft thud and Cat took the mug to the right.
“I didn’t know if you took sugar or cream, I just added both in there,” Vera took a seat across from Cat, who was sniffing the liquid before taking a cautious sip.
“I like it. Thank you, and here,” Cat pushed the tray of strawberries towards Vera, who popped on into her mouth.
“So where do I begin? Well, you should first know who Lucas is... my ex-boyfriend. My very first actually, I never really had a serious relationship with anyone other than Andrain, much less one who was interested in me like romantically. I was about... 17, he was 20. The bad boy that was totally out of my league,”
“But you’re amazing Vera,”
“Thank you Cate, but, I wasn’t always this person you see in front of you. I was the good girl, till he tainted me, he got me to skip school, my grades dropped, my parents didn’t care, I was told by my teachers that I wouldn’t have a future if I didn’t break up with him. So, I tried,”
“That’s awful, they didn’t have the right to tell you that,”
“But they were right. Lucas couldn’t accept it and hounded me for days until I finally took him back and well, he convinced me to give him my virginity. Less of convinced and more of demanded, to the point where I got scared of him, he was already very physical towards me in our relationship. And stupid me thought it was normal, I went along with it for the longest time, and I honestly didn’t wanna leave him, I thought I could help him redeem himself. But, his too far gone for me to help him,”
“I’m sorry for what he did to you,”
“Yeah well, it wasn’t the worst thing he did... he used to rape me, I don’t like to talk about it much... and like I said before, I was scared so, I learned to kept my mouth shut. He was short-tempered and dealt with the black market and like the dark web and all the illegal stuff, still, he was still my boyfriend, I overlooked all of it for him.
“One day, things got outta hand and he was high... he got ahold of a few weapons, not blades thankfully, but... more like bats and stuff. I was in so much pain I remember not even being able to sit up for days. Andrain was the one that found me when he decided to make a house call, I told him not to fight since that would land him in jail. The only thing he could do was call the police, I’m just thankful that Andrain wasn’t hurt, when it was all over, he filed a restraining order against Lucas and he was out of my life... till now.”
Cat cannot even begin to imagine doing such a thing for someone, maybe it was because she never truly committed to anyone, on a deeply emotional level. What Vera described was what she personally thought love was, ‘sticking by them through everything’ only she was unlucky enough to think that about someone that obviously didn’t feel the same.
“I don’t know if I truly loved him, however, I do know that if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be who I am today, someone stronger and braver, I’m done being naive and dense about my notion of love. Take it from me Cate, from one girl to another, ’never let your love break you′ if he does anything to hurt you, cut him off, you deserve someone better,” Vera didn’t seem to touch her coffee, her hands were balled into fists resting on her thighs.
“So do you, Vera,” It was true, Cat wholeheartedly respected Vera for her strength, for being able to live her life even with her past experience that would have probably put Cat out of commision.
“What do you think he wants?”
“I don’t know, he wants to get back at me or something, he would never come to me directly, his the type of scum that would go after people I care about, Andrain being the first. That was why I suggested he live in Texas, for the time being, so Lucas can confront me and be done with it,”
Vera paused for a moment, before smiling at the redhead. “I didn’t wanna make this about me, but, I have had enough of serious stuff for today, are you planning to meet the boys?”
“Oh yeah! Karl was going to fight me in the sparring room in the Crowne manor,”
“‘Fight’? You go whoop his ass girl, and maybe we can go out for a shopping session one day, just a typical girls day you know?”
Cat would love that since she barely had any female friends, Cat couldn’t believe that she was finally going to get one and that friend even invited her to a ‘girls day’, Cat was beyond ecstatic.
“I would love that!” She may have said that with a little more enthusiasm then she anticipated, hopefully, she didn’t already come off as weird. “But, isn’t your ex kinda dangerous?”
“He wouldn’t bother us for a while, even if he tried, Andrain should just stay on school grounds where Lucas can’t get him. Lucas wouldn’t wanna pull anything that would cause him to get thrown back in jail this early. No his not that dumb, I wouldn’t be alone either, after all, Issac is letting me stay here now,” Vera gestured to the room.
Cat wanted to voice her concerns about this, she wanted to get closer to Vera and didn’t wish harm upon her or Issac, however, having them both here? Where can they be found easily? Was that such a good idea? Cat could only place her trust in Issac, he has been trained in hand to hand combat much like her, she knew she could depend on her attendant to keep him and Vera safe. He better keep her safe.