Lancer and Rei arrived at the Ellis’s home by quarter past five.
In the morning.
Lancer wasn’t pleased, in fact he felt he would have loved those few extra minutes of sleep, but Rei took advantage of his semi-consciousness in his half awake state and herded him out of the house early.
He couldn’t very well complain now. Finding out they’d arrived fifteen minutes before their necessary thirty minute early arrival was just fine and dandy. Oh, yes, nothing wrong at all. People shouldn’t expect you to arrive at six when they wanted to leave at six, no, never.
His lack of complaint attracted attention, probably because instead of speaking he kicked the ground and grumbled.
“That boy’s always so ornery,” Mr. Ellis said, packing luggage atop the carriage.
“Would you like a muffin, Lancer?” Mrs. Ellis asked, holding out a tray of various muffins.
Lancer took a muffin. “Thank you, Mrs. Ellis,” he said in between stuffing his mouth.
“Any time, dear,” she said. “Cheer up, alright? It’s going to be a beautiful day and you can sleep on the ride if you’re tired.”
Saying that, Mrs. Ellis added that whenever she traveled she found it dreadfully difficult to sleep because of bumps in the road―they needed to fix that, someone should pave it like in the big cities―but since he was young he shouldn’t have problems catching a wink.
Lancer stopped grumbling because he had a muffin, but he started again a moment later.
“Do we need anything else, daddy?” Jaylee asked from the front porch.
“Should be set. Thanks, darling,” Mr. Ellis said.
“We don’t need this catalytic charge displacer, dad?” Jared asked from inside the house.
“Next time, Jared. This isn’t a business trip.”
Lancer paused mid-muffin chew. He stared at Jaylee, who smiled and waved then looked down shyly when he didn’t stop staring. Jared told Lancer he’d help him with the schoolwork he’d missed. Rei stepped to the side, whistling, until Lancer jerked his head towards her and glared.
“Oh,” Rei said. “Did I forget to tell you Jaylee and Jared are coming?”
“Mmmffmmrrhhh,” Lancer said, then swallowed his mouthful of muffin. “Yes, you did! Why didn’t you say something? Seriously, Rei?”
Before Rei could answer, Jaylee waltzed up and stood next to him, hands in her pockets. “I’ve missed you at school, Lancer.”
“Yeah,” Lancer said. “Sorry.”
“Is that a muffin?” she asked. “Can I have a bite?”
Mrs. Ellis happened by with the muffins again. “Jaylee, hurry, take a muffin before your father and brother eat them all. I swear they act like I never feed them.”
Jaylee frowned and took a muffin from the pan. “Thanks,” she said in the most disingenuous way possible.
“Of course, dear.”
Before more awkward moments could commence, Mr. Ellis said, “Time to hit the road! Last one in’s the spoiled cheese.”
Jaylee looked at Lancer and rolled her eyes, gesturing towards her father. “It’s rotten egg, dad!”
“Spoiled cheese is worse, trust me.”
Lancer cared little for rotten eggs or spoiled cheese. He also no longer cared much for this carriage ride into Garde. Having to deal with Kanin was difficult enough, but Jaylee was another story.
Now, he didn’t hate her, far from it. He thought she was fun sometimes in larger crowds and an overall interesting person, but that didn’t mean he wanted her attention, which she gave him fully. It also didn’t mean he wanted to sit next to her in the crowded carriage, but the seats were so small that one of the boys needed to sit next to one of the girls for everyone to fit. Rei, his evil demon sister, jumped in before him and sat next to Jared.
Jaylee blushed when Lancer sat. “I can help with your schoolwork if you want? Since it’ll be hard for Jared to do if he’s not next to you?”
Lancer grudgingly accepted, Jaylee not noticing his ire and Rei feigning ignorance by refusing to look at him, humming.
Homework help was alright. Besides the fact that Jaylee kept touching him, playfully slapping his hand when he messed up, squeezing close and smiling whenever he did something right, and putting her arm around his to guide him if he took too long to write an answer. Those things bothered him, but it was better than the alternatives.
Imagine if he’d slept? He knew he would’ve woken with a tousle-haired Jaylee yawning, curled up on his chest. “Did you have a nice nap?” he pictured her saying. “I dreamt of you, Lancer.”
Bump! Creak! Crack! The carriage stopped.
“We’re here?” Lancer had never visited Garde so he had no clue how long it took to get there, but this seemed like a really short ride. Only a couple hours?
“Sorry, kids. Wheel’s busted. Going to take a few to fix. Stretch your legs for now,” Mr. Ellis said from the rider’s stoop outside the carriage.
They got out. Lancer relished his freedom from Jaylee.
“Help me out, Jared?” Mr. Ellis asked. Father and son went to work replacing the wheel.
“Isn’t that a nice lake?” Rei said to Jaylee, pointing out a small lake at the end of a willowy grass field.
Lancer suspected something.
“Daddy, can Lancer and I go to the lake while you fix the carriage?” Jaylee asked.
Ah, that’s what he suspected.
“Don’t be gone too long, darling.”
Lancer didn’t expect that.
Nor did he think Jaylee would take his arm in hers and rush off to the lake. Why was he going to a lake? Better yet why were they going to a lake?
Rei giggled and Lancer would have yelled at her but he was too busy being made to run towards some lake that he didn’t have time to do much else.
Posted on 02/29/2012, in Fantasy, Fiction, Story, Writing and tagged dialogue, fantasy, fiction, genre fiction, Jared, Jaylee, Lancer, Mr. Ellis, Mrs. Ellis, Rei, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.