“How did you know I wanted a room like this?” I whispered, still awestruck with how the room looked.
It was probably one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. The room was the same size as the room I woke up in, separated by a set of shelves that was filled with snow globes from around North America and Europe, and books I liked. The walls were the color of clouds and the roof was an off white. The floor was hardwood, but a snow white rug the size of a Smart Car was sprawled out. Random posters hung in frames on each wall.
The furniture was a beautiful mahogany, and the bedclothes were grey, black, and white with a little bit of deep violet mingled in. The pattern on the comforter was simple in its design, but beautiful, nonetheless. A stuffed Pikachu sat on top of the pillow sham, like it was waiting for me to show up. A nightstand was only a few inches away, with an alarm clock shaped like a Pokéball and a lamp with a Dragonite on the lampshade. My bulletin board was hanging just over the nightstand, and the desk (with my laptop plugged in, charging, and sitting on top of it) sat parallel to doors leading out to a balcony. A plastic palm tree swayed in the light breeze outside.
“You designed it when you were fourteen,” he said, shrugging. “Caitlin showed Percy the layout, Percy kept a copy, and showed me. I took one back. Theresa was willing enough to give up her old room for you.” He grinned. “I like how it turned out. With your skills, you could be an interior decorator.”
“The Pikachu must’ve been hard to get,” I noted.
“One that size? Found it on a whim. I guess the mall was getting ready for the release of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. You said something about being a huge Pokémon fan?”
“You’re kidding. Never missed a single episode yet. I like Team Rocket way better than Ash and his friends. The bedclothes, though. Where did the color scheme come from?”
“Atlanta saw the set while shopping with Theresa. She’d been one of the first to see your layout, and she found something that reminded her of you. I guess Lanna was right about it.”
I sat down on what he called my new bed. “It works with me?”
“Definitely, but my pjs make it look a little awkward.” Jay smiled that lazy smile. “Warning about me: You diss Digimon, and you’ll be sorry.”
“You prefer Digimon over Pokémon?”
“Anime-wise. Digimon Adventure 01 and 02 are the best. I have a stuffed Patamon and everything. I really admired TK, even when TK was a little kid.”
“Didn’t TK carry the Crest of Hope or something like that?”
“That, and the fact Angemon is so freaking powerful. Almost alienated Myotismon the one time, by himself.”
I grinned. “Myotismon is a prime example of a vampire. Why couldn’t Stephanie Meyer make Edward Cullen like a Digimon?”
Jay laughed. “You got that right. Myotismon would have Cullen schooled.”
The conversation lulled into silence again. Jay always seemed to make things awkward. “Question: What made everybody think I’m the subject of this prophecy? I asked Herry, and he said something about being the perfect candidate for the thing. You mentioned something about being odd. What made Cronus target me?” I asked. It seemed valid at the time.
Jay sat down beside me. “Trust me, the whole damn prophecy is twisted. Maybe you’re like Theresa – having abilities no one else has. Maybe it’s because of your physical qualities. Or you know so much about what actually happens behind the veil of Mist that supposed to protect mortals.” He shook his head. “Whatever made Cronus go after you, he’s in it for the short term. Like I said, we – as well as Cronus – were looking for something odd. A particular mortal, if you will.”
“I heard that before.”
“You’re like me. You can see things no one else can.” He wrapped an arm cautiously around my shoulders. “I don’t think Theresa would’ve seen monsters if she were you.”
“Probably. Probably not. It’s difficult to tell.”
“And when do you want your pjs back?”
“Soon, hopefully. Have you seen your closet, yet?”
“Show me, since you’re so eager.”
He stood, an arrogant grin on his face. “You’re forgetting the magic word, Miss Bossy.”
I rolled my eyes. I stood up. “Please, will you show me?”
“You’re annoyed,” he noticed.
“So? You’re the one being that way.”
“You know what I do to further get on some girl’s nerves?”
I shrugged, crossing my arms. “Here’s the thing, I don’t wanna know.”
He opened a set of mahogany doors, much like a similar pair I found when I awoke. “I take her,” he answered anyway. He pulled out a pair of jeans and a T-shirt advertising tour dates for Lights. He arranged them neatly on my new desk chair.
I found myself pinned down on my new bed by him, his left forearm at my throat. “You heard me. To further get on your nerves, I would tackle you.”
We stared at each other. Jay’s eyes were absolutely beautiful, and there was a joyful twinkle in them. He moved his arm off my throat, and gravity started to pull on him.
“And, yet, you never horse around with me. So much for fulfilling your duties as a brother,” a pixie-ish voice called out. We both jumped.
He let me go as he looked at the door. “JD, what do you want now?” he asked. “Besides that, you’re the one filling in your civic duty as a sister.”
“And sitter, it appears. You cheating on Theresa? I’ve been hearing rumors,” the pixie voice called JD sang.
“And rumors are generally unreliable. I was just messing with her, that’s all. Colbie has a nasty personality.”
“Please. Jay’s too mean for my liking,” I retorted. “It’s unlikely he would cheat on Theresa anyway.”
“Either way, I’m coming in,” the younger girl announced. And the door opened.
Jay grabbed the girl and gave her a nuggie. They had matching eyes, and the same nose. As much as they looked similar, they were completely different.
The girl I was staring at was petite, and her chin-length hair was a real dark brown. It hung in her eyes, and she wasn’t as arrogant as Jay. She squirmed to get out of his grip, but she was grinning from ear to ear as she watched him.
“I take back what I said about not being a brother,” she giggled.
“And that statement about Theresa?”
“Yeah, yeah. I take it back, too.” It was then she finally noticed me. “Oh, my gosh, you’re Colbie Mangas, aren’t you?”
“Yep. The one and only.”
“Oh. The way Jay put it, there’s supposed to be some girl–”
“JD, shut up,” Jay hissed.
“–that’s supposed to be the be-all and end-all for the team, or something like that,” JD continued merrily. “Anyway, it’s nice to know you could be the face of her. To be honest, you very well could fit the part. There’s obvious chemistry between you and my big bro.”
“What part of shut it don’t you get?” he growled at her.
“Honestly, you can’t expect me to understand it,” I said, shooting the evil eye at him. I smiled sweetly at JD. “Besides that, I like you. I’ll see you again?”
“You can count on that,” she answered cheerily as Jay shoved her out of the room.
“And you can get dressed,” Jay mentioned, leveling his gaze with mine.
I couldn’t resist nodding as he shut the door.