XXII. New Profession
Until he took a class and taught children of Norkins.
Darla came through with his suggestion and the next thing he knew, he was teaching a class on Learning New Language. The first class was focused on Common, why they have to study it and it was a part of the kingdom that would use in order to do business with each other.
There were some other classes that he taught as well on the introduction to the Foreign Languages; Zirnese and Pachadian. Since those countries were Caga's neighbors, it will do good for the children if they wanted to explore them later in their lives.
If they lived long enough to be there themselves.
After a few hours of trying to make sure that the children were well-behaved and good in his classes, it was time for luncheon in the dining hall. And the children were asking him to come with them.
I never thought they would like me, James thought when he saw that Darla was walking with her students. Unlike someone that I know.
James stared at her as she was laughing with one of the students while she was trying to tell a story to her headmistress. Darla patted her head before the child was making her way to the dining hall and James walked side by side with Darla.
"Well, that was something to see," he said as Darla turned to look at him. Her amber orbs held warmth before she blinked and Darla was staring at him, arching her eyebrow.
"So, how was your first day of teaching? I know it was nothing like the academy would offer but...it would do them good to learn from the best," Darla smiled at James that made him stopped and stared at her. She blinked her eyes.
"Is something wrong?" she asked James before James shook his head then he pulled Darla's hand and settled it in the crook of his elbow.
"No, nothing. I'm not...accustomed to you smiling at me is all," he said before Darla turned away from him. James could see that she was blushing red right now. Then, she cleared her throat.
"Right. So, I hope you are not complaining about the children. It would be a shame to shut the classes down after one day," Darla teased him before James shook his head.
"No. I think I want to continue it until I am sure they can speak it fluently," he said and this time, it was Darla that stopped and stared at him.
"Nothing, I was just not accustomed to you being generous is all," Darla said before she went ahead into the dining hall, leaving him at the entrance. James smiled before he followed her pursuit into the hall.
"I see that you are smiling a lot these days," Rosie said as Darla turned to look at her. They were having a picnic with their students on Friday morning as it was a custom to make sure that the children will still be children.
"What do you mean? I've always smiled," she said as she was looking around for a familiar silhouette that was known as Lord James Flemington. She said that she pretend betrothed will be at the orphanage for a few days. Now, it has been a few weeks and she was used to James of their banters and teasing.
No fighting whatsoever. It was a change that Darla never thought could happen.
Perhaps it was because you don't want your students and colleagues to know that you and he are mortal enemies, her mind concluded before Darla can dwell more on it.
"So, when is the date for your wedding?" Penelope asked while Darla was pouring some tea into the teacups. They were sharing their meal together while the children were playing around them.
"I haven't discussed it with James yet. Our parents have agreed a long time ago that I don't know—"
"She doesn't need to tell us, Penelope. Darla's a grown lady. I know she would tell us and invite us when it is time," Rosie said before she was staring at Darla, a warning that she knew too well.
"Oh no, I need to help Ian. He's stuck again," Penelope said before she rushed over to help one of her students that were stuck in the mud.
Every time, Darla mused before Rosie was focusing on her again.
"Well, when are you going to tell Baron Laderhurst about your secret sweetheart?" Rosie asked before Darla was biting her lower lips.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Darla did not know that her friend knew about it.
"Come on, Darla. I am not blind and I heard things. I know that you and the baron are close. But it's not a good idea to keep him in the dark about your parents' decision of your husband to be," Rosie said as she turned to look at her dear friend. Darla sighed.
"I have something to tell you, Rosie," she said instead of telling about how she planned to give Ruben the answer that he will not be looking forward to.
"What is it?" Rosie asked before Darla was contemplating the idea of James and her were mortal enemies. It would look like she was trying to hold the grudge that has been there since they were children.
"Well?" Rosie asked before Darla took a deep breath and about to speak up when the rake himself showed up at the important moment.
Nice timing as always, Flemington.
"Hello. May I borrow Lady Darla for a moment?" James said as he offered her his hand. Rosie turned to look at Darla as she nodded but her eyes told Darla that they weren't done with the conversation yet.
"Of course," Darla said as she was taking the offered hand and stood up. Then, James was putting her hand on the crook of his elbow and they went for a walk around the yard.
"So, I have received a 'gram from my grandma," James stated as Darla turned to look at him. She blinked.
"Lady Ashley?" she asked like a doxy. Of course, it was Lady Ashley Flemington since James only had her as his parents/grandparents. She cleared her throat before looking around.
"What did she say?"
"She said that we need to go to the Tempest Ball in the Walled City together. Your parents will be there as well as my brothers, Magnus and his wife plus Will," James said as Darla nodded.
"Is Lady Ashley coming as well?"
"You know she will. Grandma would not miss it for the world," James smirked before he turned to look at her mortal enemy that was known a rake that broke hearts whenever he went.
Perhaps he will break mine, she thought before James turned her so that they were facing each other.
"What is it?"
"Huh?" Darla asked him as James was stroking her cheeks with his thumbs.
"You're thinking about something. Do you want to talk about it?" he asked before Darla shook her head. As if she would ever tell James that he would break her heart when he returned to Fiktown and left her behind.
Why do I have to fall in love with my mortal enemy?
"Are you sure you don't want to talk about it? I can help if you share it with me," James said before he was holding her face between his hands. Darla looked at him and then slowly, he dipped his head closer and closer as their hot breaths mingled together. Then, they were kissing as the children were shouting encouragement to them whilst Darla's peers were looking from far away.
"Aren't they romantic? I never knew that Darla would have a sweetheart, considering that she focuses on this orphanage like it is her child," Penelope said as Rosie gave her a sideways look.
"And you sure like to spend some time here as much as at Red Cast," she said before Penelope was chuckling at her statement.
"I am and I do love to do some commission in the city. But teaching children what I'm passionate about is more satisfying," her friend said before Rosie rolled her eyes.
"I heard that you got your position at the healer's hall in the castle. Congratulations. Your father must be proud," Penelope said before Rosie bit her lower lips. She never told anyone about that.
"How did you know?" she asked her friend before Penelope shrugged.
"Walls have ears, perhaps you should remember that," she said before standing up and went to collect her students. It was time for their next lesson. Rosie turned to look at the couple that was surrounded by the children before Darla ushered them inside the manor. Rosie fingered the locket on her collarbone, remembering the deal that she had when she interned at the healer's hall last summer.
"You wear my locket as proof that you're my betrothed. And then, I can avoid my aunt's machination to get me married to one of the ladies that she fancies,"
Am I not fancy enough to be with you then? She thought before shaking it off from her mind as Rosie made her way to her next class, ready to forget the deal that she made with the devil.