When she's ready

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III

When Elianne woke up this morning it was already past nine. She knew she had to go to school, but she didn’t feel like going. Thankfully, the rest of her family already left, so she was on her own. After getting dressed and having breakfast quietly, she decided to grab her things and head to school. Just as she closed the front door, she heard the roaring voice of the Captain behind her. He startled her to death, then gave her an earful about staying out of trouble, being on time at school and being a warrior. She has never, ever been so embarrassed as she was at that moment. She decided to hurry to school, afraid he would come after her and reprimand her again.

Now it’s after school and she’s about to saunter home. But before she leaves, she rummages in her backpack, looking for that little box that she took from her brother Thymen’s desk. He won’t notice it anyway, he has plenty. After a quick search, she finds it, takes one out and grabs her lighter too. She puts the cigarette in her mouth, lights her lighter with her left and protects it from the wind with her right. She inhales deeply, closing her eyes for a moment. God, that’s so good. Slowly she walks home, enjoying the sun, the freedom she experiences and the quiet.

“Aren’t you a little too young for cigarettes, Harris?” A deep voice from behinds startles her. She quickly turns around and sees the deep blue eyes she has gotten familiar with the last two days.

“Captain, you are startling me again!” Her cheeks begin to burn. God, this man is getting annoying with startling her. Now he smirks, he just seems to enjoy this. She keeps her cigarette low, not daring to take a drag of it.

“You’ll learn to be more aware of the things around you once you get your warrior training. And you’ll learn to go unnoticed as well.” He raises an eyebrow. “But you didn’t answer my question.”

“I don’t know, sir.” She knows she can’t look down, but she really wants to, this man is making her feel so uneasy.

“Isn’t the legal age to smoke, like eighteen?” His eyes have a glint she can’t decipher.

“I guess it is, sir.”

“Then why are you still holding it? Throw it away, you’re not allowed to smoke yet and besides that, it’s not good for your health. My warriors need to be in the best shape possible, that means that they have to take good care of their bodies. That includes you, little one!” He looks at her sternly.

She looks down, drops the cigarette, and puts it out with her foot. Dang it! This man! He is taking over his life. She would love to scream at him, right now. Just tell him to fuck off, that he can put his warrior training somewhere the sun doesn’t shine! She looks him in the eye, not able to hide her annoyance. “Happy now?” She asks him.

“Very,” he smirks, “now go home. I’ll see you tonight,” he raises a finger, “don’t be late.” He walks around her and walks away.

Pff, this man! Seriously! Why does he care so much? She thinks about lighting another cigarette, but doesn’t dare to, what if he comes back again? She starts to walk home, an angry look on her face.

Once home, she bursts through the door to the kitchen and slams the door. “Wow, careful girl! What has gotten into you?” Her second brother, Thymen, quickly turns to her when she comes in. When he sees the look on her face, he frowns. “Hey, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing, I’m going to my room.” And just as loud as she came in, she is out of the kitchen.

She and Thymen were always close. They know each other through and through. Elianne has three brothers. Daniel, who is her oldest brother, he is fifteen years older than her. Then Victor, who is eleven years older than her. And then comes Thymen, who is seven years older than her. She’s the youngest and the only girl.

A little while later, she hears a knock on the door. Thymen looks around the door. “Hey, can I come in?”

She shrugs, so he opens the door a little more and comes in. He drops down next to her on her bed. “Hey sis, what’s going on? Do you want to talk now?”

“Pff, it’s this guy.” She shrugs.

He raises his eyebrows, “a guy? Ooh, tell me more,” he laughs.

She slaps him on his shoulder, “not like that, silly. He’s our head warrior, the Captain.”

Thymen looks curious now. “What’s with him? Do I have to give the guy a beating? You know he is one of my best friends.”

“No, you don’t need to. He’s just annoying. I haven’t even started training with the other warriors-in-training and he is already on my back, nagging about me smoking, about me being late at school and so on.”

Thymen grins, “you smoke?”

Her cheeks redden, “Err, sometimes, yeah.”

“How-” His eyes lighten up, “you’re smoking my cigarettes, aren’t you? You little rascal.” He laughs. “You could’ve just asked, you know.”

She looks at him annoyed, “see, you can smoke, and he doesn’t say anything about it to you, why can’t he treat me the same?”

Thymen looks at her with an understanding smile, “because I am not a warrior and I don’t work for him, that’s why. He doesn’t really have a say.”

She looks down fumbling with her fingers, “still, it’s not fair.

That night she is early for warrior training, but she sees the Captain already busy with the preparations. “Hey,” she greets him.

He turns around to see who’s talking to him and frowns when he sees her. “Who are you talking to, Harris?”

“Err, to you?” She shrugs.

“To me?” He raises his eyebrows.

“Yes? I am talking to you.” She rolls her eyes.

Now he looks pissed. “Two things. One, when you talk to me, you address me as Captain or sir, not as hey. And second, you do not roll your eyes on me or anyone that outranks you, understood?”

Damn it, again! What does this guy have against her? At first, she thought he was nice and that he understood her, what changed? “Yes, sir.” She says obediently. She decides to confront him. This could either go horribly wrong, or it could go wrong, but hell, she doesn’t give a damn.

Leonard was back at his preparations again. “Sir?” She tries to grab his attention.

He turns around again. “You learned fast.” His brows raise a little. “What is it, Harris?” He puts the weights he had in his hands down.

“Err. I was wondering what happened between you being kind to me yesterday and you being quite the opposite right now.”

He frowns “what happened?” He shakes his head.

“You are not the same as you were yesterday.”

He is quiet for a moment, overthinking what he is going to say. Eventually he steps a little closer. “The only differences there are, are that you are now under my command, so I am now your superior. And that you,” he points a finger at her, “are behaving in a way that I cannot approve of. And because I am responsible for the wellbeing and the behaviour of my warriors, I need to keep them in line. The warriors are the ones that are responsible for the safety of the entire pack, I can’t afford to let someone slack off. I don’t treat you any differently than the others.”

“I’m sorry, I just thought-” she looks down at her feet.

Leonard steps a little closer. He raises his hand to lift her chin, so she has to look him in the eye. “You thought we would become the best of friends? BFF’s?” he raises an eyebrow. She shakes her head.

He pulls her even closer, his right arm around her waist, his left on her shoulder, he lowers his head. She feels his breath in her neck, and it makes the hairs on her arms stand up straight. Then he whispers. “Or did you hope I would fuck you?” He pulls himself back, looking her straight in the eyes. “I’ve had a lot of girls drool over me; you wouldn’t be the first.”

Her cheeks burn when he pushes her away. He must be able to smell how she feels right now. His look is stern, his eyes seem to pierce straight through her. She looks at the ground, a tear tries to escape from her eye. How dare he! This guy is such a jerk! She abruptly turns around and starts to walk away.

“Not so fast.” His voice stops her in her tracks. “I’m not done with you, yet.”

“You!” She shouts as she turns around and points a finger at him. “You-” she looks in his eyes. The aura that radiates off him makes her freeze in her spot.

“What?” He comes closer to her again. “Am I an ass? A jerk?” He smirks, but it doesn’t reach his eyes. “I’ve been called names a lot, so try to come up with something new. As of now, I am your Captain, so you listen and report to me! You are one lucky gal to be able to get this chance, that I still give you a chance after all the faults you have been making in just the last two days alone!”

She closes her eyes, trying to hold back her tears, she has never felt so humiliated before.

“Stand at attention, back straight, chin up.” He says, a little bit softer. “Don’t, ever, show your feelings, whether they are sexual, angry or sad. Trust no one, the enemy is everywhere, and your feelings are your weakness. Save your anger for training, you can use it.” He turns around and continues with what he was doing. “In the kitchen in the packhouse are multiple packs of water. Get them and carry them over here. Training starts in ten minutes.” He orders without looking at her.

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