~ Prologue ~
Charles has been working with his trainer for about two months and has absolutely blown him away with his skill. Not that he’d tell him or anybody else he had been fighting for well over a year. Almost nightly until he had to promise Sophie to stop. His teacher Arch proudly boasted to the other men who had students how quickly Charles was learning and the great expectations he had for him.
~ Chapter 1 ~
Charles was running as fast as he could to get back to his village. He and his mentor had been out for two days and he needed to see Sophies face. Charles preferred when he fought stuff at night so he wouldn’t lose time with her. He had a lot to tell Sophie about too. Sometimes he’d exaggerate things slightly to try and impress her more. Charles almost slammed into Sophies door he ran at it so fast. Sophies dad was outside and laughed “she isn’t here.”
“Where is she?”
“Probably still laying out in the field by the river”
“Thank you sir” Before her father could speak again he was in a full sprint to get to her. Sophie wasn’t by the river. Charles guessed she may be in their favorite tree. He took off again determined to find her. Sure enough he saw Sophie laying down looking up at the sky from her tree branch. “Sophie!” he yelled then held out his arms so she’d jump down into them. Sophie smiled at him then lept out of the tree and into his arms. He hugged her tightly then sat down. “How was your first time out over night?”
“Exciting, we fought a couple things I haven’t seen before. Thomas is jealous, he didn’t get to go out overnight until his second year.”
“Well this technically IS your second year isn’t it” Charles laughed but that was something he didn’t like to talk about. Sophie had been so upset with him when she found out what he was doing. Sophie pushed herself out of his arms and sat in front of him. “well tell me everything.” Charles told Sophie every detail of his training the past two days. Exaggerating a few things as normal. “I can’t wait to start learning magic.”
“Do you know yet who will be teaching you?”
“Nope, they are still deciding” Charles wasn’t looking forward to Sophie starting lessons next year. He’d have to worry about her when she was taken past the point for children. It would be hard to concentrate on his own lessons. Sophie noticed his expressions sadden. “Whats wrong?”
“What if they dont give you a good enough teacher and they let you get hurt.”
“Worry wart, jeez, I’ll be fine.”
“well anyway, why don’t we grab some lunch?”
“Sounds good to me.” Sophie and Charles stood making their way to Sophies house. Lunch was already on the table so they just sat down and ate. “You found her then” Sophies dad said smiling. “Yep.”
“That boy could’ve taken down our door looking for you” Sophie laughed then Rowne continued. “How was your first time spending the night outside?”
“Fun, I love it”
“I talked to your teacher before I made lunch. He’s very proud”
“What’re you two going to do today?”
“Not a clue” Sophie responded. “Would you mind helping Annalise by watching her children for a few hours then? She has some things to take care of.”
“That would be fun” Sophie said excited. “anything Sophie wants to do is fine with me.”
“Good, finish and then go straight to her home” When they got to Annalises house she hugged Sophie “thank you so much! You can take them anywhere you want to to entertain them. I’ll finish as fast as possible.”
“Thank you too Charles.” The kids ran up “Charlie! Oh tell us about the adventure you just went on!” Charles smiled and sat down. Two got on his lap and the other sat in Sophies. He told them the story and the kids got excited. “You’re amazing! You’re lucky you get to hangout with him so much Sophie.” The youngest girl added “Yeah, they are always together.” The little boy then asked “are you two going to get married?” Sophie laughed “You are some funny kids. What would you like to do?” Charles was disappointed she didn’t answer the question atall. He just told himself it was better than her outright saying no.
“Play hide and seek!”
“Alright lets go outside” Charles said. They all went out “Sophie climbed in a tree to make sure she knew where the children were. Charles stood against the house and counted to thirty. He began looking for them. He knew where two of them were but didn’t want to find them quickly. The little girl couldn’t contain her giggle as he walked by. He snuck around behind her and yelled “Found you Anna!” The girl screamed then fell down laughing. He found the other two in a similar fashion. Charles and Sophie took turns because that’s all the kids wanted to do.
~ Chapter 2 ~
Their mother soon returned. “where’s the children?” she asked seeing Charles and Sophie sitting alone on the couch. “All sleeping” Sophie responded. “wow! Thank you two!”
“Anytime” Sophie said. They left as she thanked them again. “Those twins are adorable aren’t they? Her youngest is a doll too.”
“Yeah, are you going to want kids one day?”
“Yep, I’m going to have lots of them. Hopefully who ever marries me will want lots too.”
“I’m sure he’d do anything for you who ever is that lucky” Sophie laughed. “When are you training again?”
“Tomorrow morning but after that he’s wanting to break for a few days to be with his wife.”
“That’s sweet of him”
“Yeah, that gives me all my time to hangout with you again.” Sophie grinned then added sounding slightly sad “we’ll have a lot less time when I start learning magic.”
“I’ll figure it out. A day without you is horrible.” Sophie felt herself blush. Charles smiled noticing. They just sat and talked the evening away. The two of them missed dinner. They said their goodnights then went to bed. “we saved some for you honey.” Charlies mom said as he went up the stairs “Thank you” He came back down “why did you skip dinner?”
“I just missed Sophie so much I couldn’t make myself leave her to come eat.”
“You are so cute. Ask that girl out already. She’s a catch son, another man will if you don’t hurry.”
“The other guys know I’ll kick their ass until they can’t walk if they do.”
“Sorry for cursing mother. They know better though.” She shook her head. “I just don’t understand what the hold up is?”
“I know I’m your baby boy and all but I want to be more than this before I ask her to be mine. She’s amazing, deserves a strong and smart man. I want to be what I know she deserves before I go asking her out.” His mother hugged him “I love you, you’ll make a wonderful husband. I know that much for sure.”
“I hope so, I love her so much mom”
“It’s very obvious”
“Do you think she loves me too?”
“Yes, why else would she spend all her time with you.” Charles shrugged. “I just don’t know what I’ll do if she tells me she wants to just stay my friend.”
“I think she loves you too sweetheart”
“I’m going to bed now, I’ve got more training in the morning”
“Ok, sweet dreams” Charles laid in bed looking at the ceiling. He was going through all his memories with Sophie. All her laughter, her every word. There probably wasn’t a thing she ever said to him he didn’t remember verbatim. It was always hard to force himself to sleep. He wanted Sophie with him, which even if they were dating wouldn’t be possible. The closest their parents would let them get to that is sleeping on eachothers floor and they couldn’t do that very often. Charles felt it was unfair but he reminded himself that once they were adults that if she loved him too he could be with her every night. Holding her near his heart, he’d be able to fall asleep to her breathing. Whisper how much he loved her. The thought of it was enough to make his tired eyes shut.
~ Chapter 3 ~
Charles woke in the morning a little late so had to hurry and get ready. Nothing made his teacher angrier than tardiness. He ran down the stairs and started out to the place he was supposed to meet Arch. He had to pass Sophies home to get there and he heard her laugh. He wondered why she was out, she was normally inside on mornings she knew he wasn’t coming. Then he heard why, Philips voice came to his ears next. He was talking to Sophie about his own training.
Charles felt jealousy swell up inside him. He wanted to go over there but he couldn’t be late. He grumbled to himself all the way to his mentor. “what’s wrong?”
“nothing sir.” Arch laughed “well I’m sure whatever it is it’ll get better.” Philip stood “well let me get this sugar to my mother. It was nice talking to you.”
“Charles will be busy today and your mentor isn’t teaching you until tonight right?”
“yeah, he wants to sharpen my skills in the dark.”
“will you hangout with me?”
“I’d love that. Just let me take this to my mom and I’ll be right back”
“I’ll wait here.” The air that morning was cool and damp. Philips favorite kind of weather. He was glad Sophie invited him to play. She was so much fun but Charles made him nervous to ever ask her to do anything when he was training. Philip thought Sophie was really cute and would go after her if he didn’t like being alive so much. He hoped he wouldn’t die just from playing with her today. Charles knew he liked Sophie which is why he had gotten his life threatened in the first place. Most the other boys were smart enough to pretend they didn’t but almost all the other guys wanted Sophie.
They knew they couldn’t beat Charles in a fight though so they moved on to other love interests. Philip came back to Sophie as quickly as possible. He was very excited about hanging out with her without Charles practically stabbing him with his eyeballs. Philip understood though, Sophie was amazing, she was sweet, funny and beautiful.
“What do you and charles normally do on your own?”
“Eh, it’s too cold to go swimming so we could climb trees. It’s my favorite.”
“Trees it is then. Lead the way my lady” Philip bowed theatrically making Sophie laugh. They walked into the woods after she told her parents where she was going. “Most girls hate climbing trees.”
“I adore it, I’m going to show you mine and Charles favorite tree.”
“Ok” Philip said happy and excited. It was nice being around her without fearing for his life. ¬†They climbed up the tree. Philip had some trouble because it was so big. Sophie laughed “you’re a warrior in the making and you almost let a tree beat you”
“Ha ha Sophie, we can’t all be as amazing as Charles” Sophie laughed again. “No you boys can’t” she said to herself softly. Philip could tell she wasn’t saying it to him so didn’t say anything. Just smiled knowing Charles had nothing to worry about when it came to another man taking her. The two of them talked and talked. There was ¬†alot to talk about since they never really spoke to eachother much. “Ready for lunch Sophie”
“It’s lunch already?”
“I dont feel like going home. Want some blueberries?”
“Sure, lead the way.”
~ Chapter 4 ~
A commotion was going on in the village but Sophie and Philip couldn’t hear it. They were too far out. Sophies dad and Philips dad were looking for the two children. A pack of wolves were attacking their village. Some idiot from another village had stolen some of their pups to sell and the surrounding villages were paying the price. They were searching for their babies that were already dead. Charles and his mentor didn’t know either. They were busy mock fighting.
The poor wolves were being slain one by one because they were angry and attacking anybody in sight. Philip and Sophie were sitting down eating ¬†until Philip said “I better get going home, charles should be back in about an hour anyways.”
“Ok bye Philip.”
“Bye Sophie.” When he made it back into town he noticed nobody was outside. Philip found that very odd until he heard his father screaming for him “where’s Sophie Philip!?”
“She’s by the blueberry bushes why?”
“Just go home to your mother. I need to go get her and I will run faster without you.” Philip was now really worried and ran home to ask his mother what was going on. Philips dad raced through the woods. He knew Sophies father would forgive him for not finding him to bring along. Sophie hadn’t started lessons atall so would have no way to protect herself. She needed to be found quickly before a wronged and angry wolf found her.
Charles and Arch started heading back. Arch felt uneasy whentown was so quiet. He heard growling and turned to see Sophies dad flinging a wolf off of him and piercing it with his sword. “I’m sorry wolf. I truly am.”
“What’s going on?” Arch asked¬†“Have you seen my daughter, I’ll explain after I know where she is.”
“No I’ve been training Charles. What is happening?” Just then they heard Sophies piercing scream. The village was so quiet it came out crystal clear. The three men ran towards it. ¬†Philips dad was almost to her. He could see two wolves walking around a tree. he looked up seeing Sophie sitting on a branch clinging to the tree. She had run up it trying to get away from the wolves. She sat up there crying for her dad.
The wolves saw Philips dad and bared their fangs running at him. He cut them down then expressed his apologies. “Sophie, it’ll be ok.” He yelled up at her. Sophie didn’t look at him. He climbed up and sat beside her on the branch hugging her “it’s ok sweetheart.” He then noticed a shoe was missing and her foot was bleeding. “where’s your shoe? Are you hurt badly?” She turned and hugged him instead of the tree. “It drug me back down the first tree I tried to get up. It ate my shoe and nipped my toe. This was the second tree I dared stop to try and get up.”
“You must have made fast work out of it to be able to stop without the wolves getting you.”
“Yeah, I climb all the time with Charles.” Philips dad felt so bad for Sophie. She was rattling like a snakes tail and she had a death grip around him. “can we get down Sophie?”
“No no no no no” she said continually until Philips dad said “Ok ok, I’ll give you a second.” He offered her comforting words until her dad called from the bottom with a very worried Charles by his side. “Her foots bleeding and they ate her shoe. Besides that and rattling like a snakes tail she’s fine as far as I can tell.”
“why are you still up there?”
“she freaks out when i try to take her down.” Philips dad started talking to Sophie “Look your dad is here. Don’t you want to go down to him?” She nodded her head. ¬†Philips dad cradled Sophie then jumped. Sophie let go only for the few second it took Philips dad to pass her off. Then she had a death grip around her father. She hadn’t had her head up long enough to see Charles. He was just looking at her shake as they walked. He was really worried about her.
~ Chapter 5 ~
They got home and Sophies father tried to set her down in a chair. She wouldn’t let go. Her father sat down so her mother could clean Sophies wound. Her mother gave Sophie somthing to drink to heal it up after it was clean. Sophies dad walked upstairs with Charles close behind. He sat on Sophies bed “I’ve got stuff to take care of so I need you to let me go but Charlie is here. I bet he’d stay up here and hold you if you let him.”
“Charlies here?” Sophie hadn’t lifted her head long enough to see him following her father. “Come on Sophie” Charles said. Sophie almost knocked him back she went to him so fast. Sophies dad laughed “should have told her you were there sooner. You are obviously who she wanted.” Sophies dad left the room shutting the door behind him. Charles had been filled with nothing but worry but he couldn’t help the small smile that flitted briefly on his face. Sophie had wanted him the most when she was afraid. “They really should’ve told me you were there sooner.”
“I’m sorry, I thought you realized.” Charles said softly. “why’d you go out there alone Sophie?”
“I wasn’t at first, I went with Philip. I should’ve went home when he did.” Charles had forgotten about her being with Philip because of how afraid he had been. “what did you do with Philip today?”
“We climbed trees and talked.”
“Just random things, nothing big. I teased him because he had a hard time climbing our favorite tree.”
“The tree probably didn’t want him up there.” Sophie giggled for a brief moment making Charles happy. “I hope my dad will let you spend the night tonight.”
“I’m sure he will. Want to do anything now?”
“No, I just want you to hold me if you don’t mind.”
“What’re friends for?” Sophie held tighter. “If you get too bored feel free to go.” Charles had to refrain from laughing. Charles could never get bored with holding Sophie. He wished it wasn’t because Sophie was upset but he was happy he was getting to just sit in her room talking to her and holding her. Even if it was about Philip hanging out with her. He was glad she didn’t mention anything about him flirting.
“How was your training today?”
“Fun, we fought eachother.”
“Yeah, I’m glad you thought to climb up a tree.”
“I’m good at climbing. I love it. It’s all I could think of to do.”
~ Chapter 6 ~
Charles and Sophie just sat in her bed and talked until Sophies mom called them for dinner. They ate then her dad said “your parents said you can stay.”
“Oh good, thank you” Charles was relieved to hear that. He didn’t want to leave. Sophie was finally starting to relax. They sat at the table talking until Sophies mother yawned “we should all get to bed.”
“Goodnight sweethearts” she kissed Sophie and Charles on their heads then went to get an extra blanket and pillow for Charles. Once Charles had what he needed they all went to bed. Charles made his spot on the floor wanting to be in bed with Sophie. He decided to wait to make sure her parents were asleep then he’d lay with her awhile. Sophie was sleeping almost instantly. The comfort of Charles in the room after being so afraid was enough to knock her right out.
When Charles was confident Sophies dad was asleep he quietly went over to Sophies bed “are you awake Sophie?” He whispered. The silence gave him his answer so he got on the bed and held her. She could’ve died, he was glad they climbed trees so often. If she wasn’t so fast and good at it she probably would have been dead. He pushed away the thought. He didn’t want to think of a world without Sophie in it. HIs life would no longer have a purpose. He lived and breathed for Sophie, he trained for her and tried to be the best person he could for her.
Now he was looking forward to her learning magic so she wouldn’t be defenseless if something came after her. Sophie shifted herself so she was facing him. Her mouth only inches from his. He could easily move just slightly and be able to kiss her. He wanted to, longed to but he couldn’t. Their first kiss had to be amazing and special. She had to be kissing back. He instead kissed her check tenderly. Holding the kiss for a few moments then pulling away. Just holding her was plenty. He liked her face at such peace as she rested.
Charles heard some movement and silently got out of Sophies bed and in his place on the floor. He was an expert at moving in silence. One of the things he trained the most at. It was very important to be able to sneak up on your enemies. He realized it may have just been paranoia at getting in trouble because he heard nothing more and saw no light coming under Sophies door. He sighed, he wasn’t brave enough to go back into her bed so laid there willing sleep to claim him.
~ Chapter 7 ~
A few days passed and Charlies lessons began again. The morning he had to start again Sophie crawled into her fathers lap “Can we go ask the elders if it’s ok for me to start learning magic early? Please daddy. I don’t want to feel defenseless again. I want to be able to always protect myself.”
“sure sweetheart. If they say no do not beg.”
“I’m proud of you Sophie. I want you to be strong and independent. Charles will always be there for you but I want you to be able to stand on your own.” Sophie nodded and walked with her father to see the elders. They welcomed them in. At Sophies request they spoke to eachother in hushed tones then elder Mona said “It’s a good sound to our ears you want to go ahead and learn to protect yourself. Too many women want to lean on a man. It shows much character you want to start early. Your only a year from when you would normally start so we dont see the harm in appointing you a teacher. You should be bursting with pride Rowne.”
“I am” Sophies dad smiled. “come back to us after lunch. We hope to have her a mentor by then.”
“Thank you so much” Sophie said excited. She followed her dad home. Sophie practically bounced the whole way. “I wish we didn’t have to wait until lunch” Rowne smiled “I’m glad you’re so excited.” Sophies mom came in “So they’ll appoint her a teacher?”
“Yes they are doing it now.”
“My big girl” She said dropping to her knees and hugging Sophie. “How am I going to waste time until then?”
“There are other children besides Charles. Go find another play mate.”
“Charles is the only one who is truly fun to be around though. When I’m with the other kids I’m normally thinking about hanging out with him so I feel rude.” Rowne laughed “well go try.” Sophie walked out of her house and went to see Philip. “Want to play with me again?”
“Would love to! Just don’t tell Charlie about it please.”
“Just don’t.” Charles and Philip had argued over Sophie the very next day after the incident with the wolves. “You’re weird but ok.”
“Not as weird as you’d think. Charles can be really rough around the edges to anybody who isn’t you. You soften him up quite a bit Soph. You’d be shocked to see how frightening he can be when he’s pissed.”
“He’s gotten mad with me around before.” Philip laughed “He keeps himself in check around you Sophie. If he wasn’t so observant I’d tell you to stalk him one day and see how he acts when he doesnt know you are watching. Hell go ask his father. He jokes about it all the time with my dad.”
“well I’m glad I make him a better person” Sophie said smiling. “Guess what?”
“I get to start lessons early!”
“Really!? That’s so awesome! If any girl could do that it would be you. Magic is really tough. I think it’s harder than dealing with a sword.”
“That’s why more women do magic and men wield swords.” Sophie said sticking out her tongue making Philip laugh. “Maybe”
~ Chapter 8 ~
Sophie had fun with Philip but it still felt like lunch time took forever. They introduced her teacher “Hey I’m Mizano”
“So nice to meet you! Can we go now and learn somthing!?”
“Eager I see, very good. I was going to start tomorrow but if you want to that badly we can for awhile. Atleast until your Charles comes back.”
“My Charles?” Her teacher laughed “That boy follows you around like a puppy. He belongs to you it seems. It’s cute to watch. I wont joke about it if you wouldn’t like me to.” Sophie laughed and slightly blushed. “It’s ok to joke.” She said with a smile. “Good now lets get going.” She took Sophie out into an open field. “Magic is also about controlling your emotions, the higher the emotion the more powerful what you do is. It’s hard to learn to be in full control of your emotions so we’ll start with wind so you don’t end up hurting yourself really badly.”
“Yes mam.” Mizano started piling up a bunch of leaves. “get in tune with the nature around you Sophie.” Sophie stood with her eyes closed. After awhile she could feel the world, really feel it more than she had. Her teacher could tell “wow, you did that quickly. Most students have to spend long days meditating before they can do it that well.” Ask the wind to blow these leaves away.” Sophie tried but nothing happened. She started to get frustrated. “Calm down or it wont happen. Deep breaths Sophie.”
She calmed herself and imagined the leaves moving. She heard the rustle and kept imagining it. The leaves suddenly were ripped away with wind. Her teacher gasped “That was amazing child. The elders were wise to let me start teaching you. You are bound to be amazing at this once you’ve gotten the hang of everything. I’m honored to teach you.” They did that a few times and Sophie got really tired. She felt like she had been running non stop even though she had merely stood still. “We need to break Sophie. Magic takes alot of energy to use.”
“alright, when can I learn again?”
“Meet me here tomorrow morning please.”
“Yay! Thank you! I will!” Mizano loved how excited Sophie was. Mizano was also very impressed. She went to the elders to tell them how much promise Sophie had in her. Sophies excitement over learning more tomorrow gave some of her energy back. She ran home to tell her father. “Dad!” She said bursting through the door. Her parents weren’t home, she sighed and decided to go lay by the river. They would be home at dinner and that was only about an hour away. Charles was supposed to be gone until a little after dinner. His mentor apparently had big plans for them today. She couldn’t wait to hear about what he had done and tell him about her day.
Kaji saw Sophie laying there and walked over “I heard you got to start taking lessons early.” Sophie sat up to the boy who was nearly double her height and was about five years older. He had very tanned skin from always being outside working with his father. His hair and eyes were dark. Kaji sat down next to Sophie. “That’s impressive, especially for a girl.”
“what’s that supposed to mean?” Sophie asked offended. “Girls just aren’t normally as tough as boys.”
“I’m going to kick your ass Kaji.” He laughed knowing she meant it. “Calm down Sophie. You make it too easy to mess with ya.” She crossed her arms and he laughed harder. He put his hand on the top of her head. “It was nice chatting with you for a second beautiful. I really do wish you were older.” He had Sophie honestly confused about what he meant. “what would change if I was older?”
“Nothing.” he said hand still on her head. He pulled it away to hug her as he noticed Charles coming back out of the corner of his eye. He wanted to leave hopefully before Charles noticed his presence. That boy would challenge anyone for Sophie and Kaji didn’t want to risk the embarrassment Thomas went through. Charles had noticed him, his eyes were always scanning for Sophie when he’d come home. Charles grunted and crossed his arms “whats wrong?”
“Nothing I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“alright” Charles ran over to Sophie. It now seemed like everytime he left Sophie some man was talking to her. “You’re back early” Sophie said happily and Charles wrapped her in a tight hug. “Yeah we caught the beast earlier than my mentor thought we would. What took the longest was releasing him again. What did Kaji want?”
“To congratulate me on starting my lessons today.” She said proudly. Charles hugged her again “that’s great! I’m glad they let you start early! I bet you’re already doing well.” He said and pulled her down to sit with him. “why was he hugging you?” Sophie laughed “I dont know, its a normal thing to hug people. You hug me all the time. Why do you do it?” Charles laughed “sorry”
“why are you so funny about other boys talking to me?” Charles blushed a little “You’re my best friend, I just. I don’t know.” Sophie smiled “Lets go get some dinner”
“That would be good.” Charles stood, happy she didn’t make that awkward moment keep going.
~ Chapter 9 ~
The next morning Charles got up before the sun. Kaji started work with his father then to get their animals all fed and tended to. “Kaji!” charles yelled as soon as he could see him. Kaji sighed “Jesus Charles, I just talked to her and gave her a hug. I told her she was beautiful but in no way tried to win her over.”
“You’re too old for Sophie anyway.” Charles voice almost in a growl. “Yes I am right now but you listen to me before you go into one of your little rages. I am too old for her right this second but when we’re both adults that little age difference wont matter. I’m letting you get first shot at her and if she says no you better believe I’ll be asking her. You have until Sophies considered an adult. If you keep a level head with me I promise not to ask her to be mine until you’ve found the balls to. You pick a fight right now and if I beat you I’m going to take Sophie by surprise and kiss her. She may push me away but I’ll still win because you wont be her first kiss so are you going to try and kick my ass or walk away?”
Charles stood there more pissed off than he ever felt. He wanted to beat the sense out of Kaji and was very confident he could win a fight with him but he wasn’t willing to risk Kaji forcing a kiss on Sophie. Mainly because it might upset her. It added to it that he wanted to be her first kiss but he was mainly concerned with Sophies feelings. She deserved to have a magical and wonderful first kiss. Not a stolen one from Kaji. “Fine you bastard.” Charles walked to Sophies hoping to see her before she went to her lesson.
Kaji stood there and took a breath of relief. He really didn’t want to fight Charles. Anybody who ever did lost. Kaji wouldn’t really force a kiss on Sophie but he knew the threat of it would make Charles back down. He knew Charles would waver since he was older and had been training longer. Currently he was the strongest child in the village which was also why he didn’t want to fight Charles. If Charles won he’d lose his title. He could tell Charles would kick his ass one day but Kaji wanted to hold it off as long as possible.
Charles heard Sophies footsteps when he knocked on the door. “wow, you’re here early.”
“I wanted to make sure i saw you before you started your lesson.” She hugged him “Aw, whens yours?”
“In a few hours so we wont have much time together again today”
“Don’t look so sad, besides it’ll give you some time to romance the ladies. You spend all your time with me. How will you ever get a girlfriend?”
“I’m not looking for one. You’re the only girl I need Sophie” He was taken back by his own words. That was far too near a confession for him. Sophie hugged him again and kissed his cheek. They stood there until she said ‘I have to go.”
“Can I walk you?” Charles said not wanting to release Sophie from his arms. “sure” He lifted her and went where she told him to go. His cheek still tingling from her kiss. Anytime she kissed him somewhere he filled with butterflies and that spot felt different from the rest of his body somehow. He could never really figure out how to describe the feeling. It was one he loved though. Sophies teacher smiled as they approached. Charles stood Sophie on her feet then sat down “can I watch?”
“If Sophie doesn’t mind.”
“Course I don’t” Charles was happy he was allowed to stay. He enjoyed even just being able to watch Sophie. He decided to get in a tree so he could make sure he could see everything perfectly.He was impressed she could move the wind already. He couldn’t help but smile at the happy and excited look on her face when she did somthing right. He sat up there just admiring her. He lost track of time and missed his appointment with his mentor. He didn’t realize it until a very angry Arch was under the tree “So this is where you are instead of class?”
“Oh god, I’m so so so so sorry.”
“Just come with me! I’ll figure out how to punish you later” Sophie stopped, feeling bad for Charles. She hoped he wouldn’t be in too much trouble. She looked at her teacher who said “we should only let him watch on days he doesn’t have class. Arch is liable to kill the poor boy.” Sophie agreed it was best not to let him watch unless he had nothing to do that day.
~ Chapter 10 ~
Arch worked Charles hard all day. Charles took it as an opportunity to relieve¬†the anger he had at Kaji. It took a lot for him to walk away. Charles was actually glad to be punished so he wouldn’t lose his temper and fight Kaji. Sophies first kiss wasn’t somthing to risk. Kaji saying he didn’t have the balls really made his blood boil. He loved Sophie so much, just how he had her now was amazing. If he told Sophie he liked her she may get uncomfortable and not let him carry her or even want to play any more. Charles just couldn’t bring himself to risk his whole world crumbling.
He coudln’t think of what he’d do if she told him to not come over. He wasn’t sure he could even handle it. HIs world revolved around her. He’d go spinning into the dark and become out of control. She was the only girl for him, the only girl who interested him in the slightest. At the end of the day Charles and Arch walked back home “You impress me yet again boy. Most young men would’ve begged me to let them go home but you never spoke a word. No lessons for you tomorrow. Just rest from today.”
“Thank you sir.” when they seperated Charles got lost in his own world. He was still very pissed. Sophie saw Charles because she had been waiting on him. She ran up and grabbed his shoulder. Charles had been lost in his own world and didn’t realize it was her. He didn’t expect Sophie to be waiting on him since he came back so late so he turned and snapped at her “what!” He saw it was Sophie, Her face became heartbroken and she turned away “I’m sorry” She started to walk off and he grabbed her spinning her around into a hug.
“Don’t be sad, I’m sorry. It was a really hard day and I thought you’d be home. Please forgive me for snapping.”
“I bet, I’m sorry you got in trouble”
“It was all my fault. I should’ve paid attention to the time. Don’t feel like it’s your fault.” He looked at Sophies face. She still looked sad. “Oh please stop looking at me like that. I would never snap at you. It’s late for you to be out.”
“I know” She said brushing a hand on his cheek. I’m mainly sad because you got in trouble.”
“Well don’t be, I got some great training today and am very happy. Especially since I get to see you. This is the first time I’ve gotten back so late that I’ve still gotten to see you.” Sophie smiled brightly melting Charlies heart. That was much better than the face he saw at first. “where’s your dad?”
“Talking to your dad.”
“Want me to take you home?”
“Sure.” Sophie began just to walk then Charles stopped her “no, I snapped at you so I’m going to carry you home to make up for it.” It was a good excuse to have her close to him. “thanks”
“I”m glad you arent upset with me”
“Your face when you saw mine told me right away you hadn’t known it was me who grabbed you. It’s ok. I was surprised though, you’re always such a sweetie to me I didn’t know you could be so cross.” Charles smiled “well you bring me nothing but happiness.” He took her home then ran to his. “Rowne, I’ve had a really miserable and long day. I’ll do anything if you let me sleep at your house. Being around Sophie is the only way I’m going to be able to rest.” Both Charlies father and Rowne smiled.
“You’re a teenager now Charles so you’re more driven by those hormones of yours. I’m telling you now if I catch you in my daughters bed you will not be allowed to see her atall for a week. If that’s understood you may sleep on her floor.”
“I’ll ground your ass too son” His father added. Charles nodded then said “I understand, thank you.” He grabbed clothes from his room then him and Rowne walked home. “I hope you know I do like you Charles. She’s just my baby. To be honest with you if any young man was going to want to be with my daughter I’m glad it’s you. You treat my daughter the way she deserves to be treated. She’s a beautiful woman though so you’ll need to get that jealousy under control.” Charles looked at Rowne confused. “us fathers talk you know, you hand the asses to any man who even seem like they are going after her.”
Charles wasn’t sure what to say . Your dad tells me you talk about marrying her one day” Charles blushed “Please don’t say that so near your home.” Rowne laughed “Why wont you just tell her?”
“I’m still not good enough for her. Plus if she doesn’t feel the same it could change things between us. I would love more but life is amazing just being her best friend. Once I tell her I can’t take it back so if it isn’t the answer I want…” Charles couldn’t finish. Rowne placed a hand on his shoulder “You’re a good kid. I hope you always love my daughter this much”
“I know I will, my heart belongs to her always. Even when it stops beating it’s hers.” with that they arrived and Rowne smiled. The two of them walked in the door and Sophies eyes lit up. “Charles is spending the night” Rowne said as Sophie came up and hugged him and Charles. Sophie and Charles went upstairs and settled in for the night.
~ Chapter 11 ~
Sophie was out like a light. He remembered how tired he always was when he first started training so could only imagine how tired Sophie was. Magic took a lot of mental energy, even when it was just controlling the wind. He couldn’t believe how well she was doing. He looked forward to watching her tomorrow since he was free all day. He smiled remembering that excited and happy look on Sophies face when she did things well. He hoped to see it tomorrow too. In that same thought process he saw that sad look Sophie had given him only about an hour before. He sighed, he felt so bad even though she understood and wasn’t upset with him.
Sophies parents were still up, he laid there trying to will them to sleep so he could go over and hold Sophies hand. Her father never said he couldn’t sit by the bed and hold her hand but he felt since he didn’t know he shouldn’t. The punishment of not being able to see Sophie for a week was too much. He knew he could do it without waking her since she had been training. If she was anything like he was nothing short of screaming or shaking could get her up.
Charles could still see Sophie¬†since light was coming in under her bedroom door. He got on his side and looked over at her completely serene face.If he couldn’t touch her atleast he could stare at her for awhile. It was often he just wanted to gaze at her beauty but of course there was never an excuse he could give to do that so he never got to. That was another thing about lessons he was happy about. He’d now have reason to somtimes just watch her.
Sophie was ridiculously beautiful. “god wasn’t being very fair when he made you so pretty”¬†Charles thought to himself. Finally he heard Sophies parents go into their room. Now he just listened for them to go to sleep. Charles heard Sophies dad get up and he closed his eyes so it would look like he was sleeping. Rowne opened the door slowly and closed it when he saw Charles was where he was supposed to be. In that moment Charles was glad he had waited. Her dad didn’t always check but you never knew when he was going to.
Rowne got back in bed. When almost an hour had passed with not a sound coming from her parents room he went over to Sophie stealthily and laced his hand with hers. He got that warm tingly feeling he always did when they touched. He sighed happily like someone who had been in the dessert desperatly needing water would once they got it. Somthing about Sophie rejuvinated him when he could have skin to skin contact with her.
She moved scaring him a bit but she didn’t wake up. How would he explain him sitting there holding her hand? He was a little nervous now but needed a little more time before going to sleep. He didn’t know when he’d be allowed to stay the night again. He decided to go ahead and get his kiss incase he needed to rush to his spot. Every time he slept over he would give her a long kiss on her cheek, forehead or hand. It was the only time he was ever able to give her a kiss. He slowly lifted her hand and pressed it against his lips. He savoured the moment. It was making all the stress he had been under fall away.
He stopped even though he didn’t want to and held her hand on his cheek for a few moments then placed it back where he had taken it off the bed. “sweet dreams my love. One day I hope to make you really happy as my wife.” his voice grew even softer “I just hope you let me…..please don’t turn me down Sophie.”
~ Chapter 12 ~
Charles slept late because he stayed up so late. He looked over and Saw Sophies bed was made. He changed then ran down the stairs. “where’s Sophie?”
“With her teacher. She didn’t want to bother you.”
“Do you know where they went?”
“Not a clue, sorry. I told her you wouldn’t be bothered if she woke you.” Charles ran out the door to find them. He was sad she didn’t wake him up. He could see the sun had been up a while. It was probably close to lunch time. He went to where he first watched them and was disappointed when they weren’t there. Kaji walked up “what has you so unkempt?” Charles glared. “Geez man I was going to tell you where she is but you are one moody man this morning.”
“where is she?” Kaji pointed “that way but since you gave me that look I wont tell you precisely where.” Charles took off running. He could finally hear Sophie talking to her mentor. “good morning” Mizano said “Hey Charles, I’m glad you slept well.” Charles smiled at her and sat down “you dont’ have anything to do today right?” Mizano asked. “No mam, I’m free all day I promise.”
“Good, no more watching when you have plans.”
“Yes mam” He sat down. “You can do it Sophie lets try again.” Sophie put out her hands in front of her. She was holding them palms facing eachother. They had a small amount of space between them. ‘Remember stay calm” Charles then saw sparks coming from Sophie “You’re getting excited”
“sorry” They stopped. He wondered what she was trying to do but knew he shouldn’t interrupt. Sophie sighed sadly. “It’s alright, I just wanted to try it since you were doing so well with the wind. You just need time honey. Maybe we’ve just been out here too long. Why don’t you run along somewhere with Charles.”
“Ok” Sophie said sadly. Mizano walked off and Charles held out his arms to Sophie “Come here.” She walked over looking at the ground with a frown. He opened his legs and Sophie sat between them. He wrapped his arms around her stomach and pulled her against him “why so sad?”
“She thought I might be good enough to make an orb and I can’t. The most I did was shock her once.” Charles had to stifle a laugh thinking about Sophie shocking MIzano. “It’s not funny Charles!” she said a little hurt and tried to get up. He held tight “I’m sorry, I tried to contain it.” Sophie sighed “I just really wanted to do it.”
“I hope soon.”
“You just started learning Sophie.”
“That’s what Mizano says.”
“by the way why didn’t you wake me up? You knew I wanted to watch.”
“You seemed to be sleeping so well. I couldn’t wake you. Besides how is it fun to watch me?”
“Magic is very cool to me. I’m glad you chose it. I’m going to come watch every chance I get. I’ll also be here to comfort you when your sad.”
“I’m already feeling better.” Sophie said smiling. “Good, then I’ve done my work as your best friend. Friends don’t let friends wear frowns on their faces.” Sophie went to get up “where are you going?” He said making sure the disappointment didn’t make a sound in his voice. “I feel better you don’t have to hold me any more.”
“Oh ok, well thats good.” he said pushing a smile on his face. He was happy he got to hold her like that atall so he couldn’t complain. Now he had yet another thing to love about her lessons. “Are you excited about the party tonight?”
“Sulna and Kovu are getting married silly.”
“Oh I must have missed that.”
“There is going to be a celebration tonight. Everyone will be going.”
“Now that I know I’m excited” Charles said with a smile. “Those are my favorite celebrations. I love when people get married.”
“we should probably see if our mothers need help getting ready for it.”
“That’s a good idea” The two of them walked back to Charlies home. His mother didn’t need help so they went to Sophies mom. “No you two just enjoy your day until then.”
“alright mom, find us if you change your mind.”
“want to go sit by the river Sophie?”
“sure” Sophie looked so happy. She always was when people got married. Charles head filled with fantasies of the two of them married. Kissing her when he wanted, holding her every night. He was awoken from his day dreams by Sophie grabbing his arm “You’ll walk straight into the river.” She laughed pulling him down to sit with her. She let go, her hands slid off of him. The brief brushing of the skin threatening to make him day dream again but he kept himself anchored to reality.
~ Chapter 13 ~
They sat and talked happily until Kaji came over. Charles rolled his eyes and Sophie was confused until she heard his voice behind her “Hey Sophie and Charles.” She turned “Hey”
“Will you be at the party tonight Sophie?”
“Aren’t I always?”
“Yes, that was really a lead up to ask you to dance with me once. Every time you spend the whole night with only Charles. I just would like one dance with you.” Sophie really didn’t want to but hated being rude. It was only one dance she’d need to tolerate. “sure but only one.”
“Thank you” Kaji walked away happy because he thought she’d say no or get a swift punch in the face from Charles. He could see by the look on Charles face he wanted to. Kaji felt safe with his threat though. Now he was going to spend some time with Sophie and he knew Charles wouldn’t hurt him. “I wish you wouldn’t let him upset you so much Charles. Do you want a hug or somthing to calm down?”
“Can I hold you like I did when you were sad earlier?”
“How will that help you feel better?” Charles half smiled “It just will”
“anything for my bestest buddy” She laid against his chest with his arms around her stomach. Charles could spend his life holding Sophie. It was helping him not chase after Kaji. Charles felt like Kaji was pushing him on purpose. Maybe he wanted to fight after all. He didn’t want to share Sophie. Not even spare her for one dance. He worried about a fight with him though. Kaji was taller, maybe about equal built but still older and more knowledgeable in combat. If he lost and Kaji kissed Sophie he’d fall apart.
“Feeling any better Charles.”
“Yes, thank you.”
“It’ll be starting any second. We should get going.” Once again he’d have to let her go. It took a second but he opened his arms so Sophie could stand. They walked to the meadow where the event was being held in. Everything was already decorated and out. It wasn’t long before everybody arrived there and things got started. Sophie and Charles had a great time with many of the adults looking at them talking to eachother about how sweet the two of them were. Charles felt like it was a perfect night until Kaji came up to Sophie “You promised me one dance. if we don’t do it soon the night will be over.”
“I’ll see you in just a second Charles.” Kaji grabbed Sophies hand pulling her away. Charles clenched his fists and went to sit down. Sophies dad walked over to Charles “You know she doesnt really want to dance with him right?” Charles looked up at Rowne. “We just taught Sophie manners and she doesn’t like to be rude. If she was your girl it wouldn’t be rude for her to say no.” Charles sighed “I’m not trying to pressure you I’m just trying to help you relax. He isn’t going to sweep her off her feet. You are the only person Sophie talks about. When you had lessons and she didn’t most days she’d just mope until you got home. There isn’t a man alive that could win Sophies heart but you.”
“She really only talks about me?”
“Yes, very frequently too.” Charles smiled feeling a little better. “Thanks”
“well i wouldn’t want you to kill anybody” That made Charles laugh and Rowne smiled before going back to his wife. “why do you only hang out with Charles?” Kaji asked. “He’s who I have the most fun with honestly.”
“You could probably have fun with me if you gave me the chance.”
“I don’t want to hurt your feelings but I’d rather just be with Charles. You can hangout with me when he’s busy but he’s who I prefer to spend my time with.”
“He’s nice, funny, caring and can make anything fun.”
“I am all those things.”
“You piss him off knowingly so that makes you not very nice.”¬†
“Everything pisses him off Sophie.”
“That’s not true.” Kaji sighed “so then you’ll hangout with me somtimes when Charles is busy?”
“somtimes but not if you continue to insult Charles. Promise me you’ll never speak bad of him again and I will hangout with you from time to time.”
“I guess I promise.”
“good, Charles is an amazing person.”
“You’re an amazing girl. I don’t think you realize how many guys like you.”
“Well, Charles is the only one I’d ever accept to be my boyfriend. ”
“You guys think I’m pretty and like me but Charles, Charles loves me.”
“You know” Kaji looked genuinely shocked “Of course I know I’m not an idiot. I would ask him out but I know Charles better than anyone else. I’m not sure what he’s waiting on but he’s waiting on something. I want to date him when he’s ready to really be with me so I’m waiting on him to ask. I love him too much in return to start dating him before he’s ready.” Kaji laughed “I hope you let this one slide Sophie but Charles is an idiot. I hope I’ll be able to win you over when we hangout.”
“You can try but I promise you’ll fail.” Kaji laughed again “if you’ve known why do you tease him about getting a girlfriend sometimes?”
“Those are normally the days I’m getting impatient for him to ask. Sometimes I guess I try to encourage him to tell me.” The song ended and Kaji took Sophie back to Charles “Thank you Sophie. It was nice talking to you.”
“Nice talking to you” she said smiling. “what did you guys talk about?”
“Us hanging out from time to time.” Charles kept himself from frowning even though he wanted to. “want to go back by the river?”
“anything you want Sophie” They walked over and Sophie said “lets dance by ourselves now. We can imagine the music” Charles smiled “Ok”
~ The End ~