"We have some information." Griffin said, mysteriously. To me, it seemed he rarely spoke, rarely put himself out there. "It's who..." He was interrupted by the fact that the doors were thrown open, so powerful that they crashed against the rock walls. Maro practically glided into the room, walking quietly yet strongly. She stopped in front of the Kings, looked at them then motioned with her hands for them to shoo. I bit back a smile. Maro stood and looked at us, standing straight, her arms behind her back. In the past few days, Maro was seeming less and less hateful and horrible. In fact, I was even starting to like her- not her exercises of course, those were miserable, but her. I could now tell she had a small sense of humor and even liked us a bit too.
"The information is on who is assigned to protect who." She said, glaring at the smaller table since half of it was gone, leaving the table much smaller than the first day. Maro was focused on each of the Kings for a silent moment before she continued. Suddenly, my heart felt heavy and I held my breath nervously .She pulled out a scrap of paper from her jacket and began to read. "With King Silas is Zahra," She looked up from the paper, "Good job Zahra. Zahra's dark face blushed and I could tell she was silently willing us to look away from her, which we did when Maro cleared her throat a second later. "With King Finnigan is Eliza, nicely done. Griffin has Florence, good. Izaiah has Vera, nice. Jasper has Nuru. Soren has Nora. And Bo has Livia." I looked at Bo, sitting across from me. He smiled slightly at me. When I looked back to where Maro was, she was gone.
The room erupted in noise. People trying to meet the other who they would either have to protect or be protected with.
"I guess I'm stuck with you then." I said, what felt like a thousand pounds of nervousness seemed to fall off of me, but it still had made me nervous for some reason.
"Forever." Bo said. Then people from the kitchen brought out plates and food. It was set before us, I thanked the person closest to me who brought things before they scuttled back into the kitchen. "Dinner is served."
"Really?" I asked, sarcastically.
"Yes." Bo said, seriously. A second later we were both grinning. I looked around the table. They would be my family now. We would all live together, eat together, talk together. For the rest of our lives. And It didn't seem that bad. I saw Finn grinning at Eliza, whose face was emotionless, as usual. I saw Silas interestedly talking to Zahra. Zara's blush had faded, and they were talking about themselves I guess. Talking about their likes. Dislikes. Because they would be stuck with each other for a long while. I knew that that was what we should of been doing. But Bo and I shouldn't of had to. We spent the past days with each other practically constantly. But then, I realized I didn't know a lot of things about him. His favorite color- if he had one. Favorite childhood memory. The things that made us us. I hated doing what other people were doing, but with what felt like a rock in my stomach, I turned to Bo.
"I suppose we better learn things about each other."
"Like what?" Bo asked. "Don't we know a bunch about each other already?" I spooned some delicious food into my mouth.
"I don't know your favorite color. Your favorite childhood memory. Favorite quote. Past romantic experiences. Favorite past King. Favorite brother," I listed. "Your favorite..." Bo interrupted me, his hands held up in a sort of defeat.
"Alright, I get it." He chuckled dryly for a second before he started. "I don't have a favorite color. I enjoyed doing things with my brothers- still do and I also enjoy hanging out with other people. 'They were brighter than every single light he could find in his entire life. They were infinite and comforting. Strangely dangerous and exhilarating. He could live off the feeling forever and never grow tired of it.' That is my favorite quote," Bo said. I nodded, I had no idea what it was from but it was beautiful. "I think I kissed some people traveling through the castle a few times." Bo said, "Nothing important. It was the experimental phase in my life." I nodded, understanding but I couldn't help but feel every so slightly jealous.
"I must say I enjoyed hearing about King Finbar, not just because his name was amusing- which is is, but also because he was just an amusing man. I must say, he pressured his brothers to ban milk for a year and a half because he was afraid of cows. One day he walked through the kingdom wearing a suit he wove out of flowers,- It was horrible." Bo said, interrupting himself. "By the way. Theres a picture. It's truly nightmarish. As I was saying, he then saw a school and thought it looked too drab so he had some ladies he found on the street, payed them ridiculous sum of money that put our land into debt for two years, just to have them strip down to the necessities for those poor school children who were forced to watch. It was not good." Bo said. I grinned.
"That didn't really happen."
"It did." Bo said, pursing his lips and nodding. "You can ask any of my brothers."
"I still don't believe you."
"You should. It's true."
"Whatever." I said, brushing it away so he could continue.
"He was a ridiculous person." Bo finished, "And I don't really have a favorite brother but if I had to pick one to be stranded on an island with it would be Finn, he is pretty bearable also I have very good ignoring skills." I nearly scoffed at that. Bo seemed to respond to everything. Well, everything I said, not Finn.
"Thank you brother!" Finn shouted from across the table. He was leaning dangerously close over the one I thought was Vera, her food. "I love you too." I turned to Bo and whispered.
"I pity Eliza. She has to spend the rest of her life guarding him." Bo grinned.
"What about you?" Bo asked.
"What about me what?" I asked.
"Answer your questions." He instructed gently.
"Umm...alright. No- for the favorite color. I liked playing with my brothers. Especially Zeke, he's my favorite. During the summers we used to go re-enact old adventure books, by sneaking into old warehouses -there is one by my house, and looking around. We used to play pirate, and we would treasure hunt in there. Once I found a silver ring." I said, "But then Pat," I scowled when I said his name, "He found it and sold it off. Got us a tomato plant with the money. It should've been mine anyway and I didn't even want to sell the ring." I scowled into the air. I was still bitter. Very bitter. "My favorite quote, hmm... Thats hard. I can't decide between 'The planets seemed to align perfectly. They were so large and compared to them we were smaller than stars. How could humanity be nothingness overall and yet everything?' and 'Huddled under the warm blankets, everything seemed to make sense. The world seemed to fit together like a puzzle and the warmth was the key.' And, while I'm thinking about it, I also like: 'The adoxographist wrote everything that was everything down and yet the everything was nothing.'"
"Those are good ones." Bo agreed. "But I can sense bittersweet themes in each of them."
"Yeah, I don't know why I like them so much, I just do."
"That makes sense." Bo said completely serious. It did make sense. I took a sip of water and swallowed it down. "Continue." Bo said impatiently.
"I will," I said, "My mouth is just dry." Which it was. I took another sip, swished it around my mouth and continued. "I don't have a favorite past King." I said, Bo cleared his throat, as if to say 'what about me?' "You are a current King." I said, "Not a past one, and I guess you are my favorite. You are the only King I've every kissed." The only person for that matter, too, but I wasn't going to say that. "And I said, my favorite brother of mine, is Zeke."
"Why?" Bo asked, his face serious.
"He's always been there for me. Played with me. Understood me." And as I spoke, I realized how much I missed him. It had only been a few days but I missed him so much anyone cold of guessed that we had been longer apart. Bo nodded, understanding. By then, people had started to leave the room, I hadn't realized. I took a deep breath in, trying to calm my sudden homesickness down, but then it turned into a yawn. I was tired. "I think I'm going to go to bed." I stood. Bo stood too. I was silent until the hallway. "Are you coming with me?"
"You are very warm when you sleep." Bo said. I looked at him, his lovely eyes, hair. It all was so beautiful. I had the sudden urge to kiss him. I grabbed his hand and ran down the hallways, to the safety and privacy of my room.
"That's odd." I said to him as we ran. "Usually, I feel very cold when I sleep." Bo shrugged, there was nothing for him to say back to that. We stopped outside my door.
"You are though, " he said, his lips close to my ear as he whispered."Very warm. Its very comfortable. And you make a very good pillow too." I grinned, toothlessly and opened the door. Inside, sitting on the bed, was Old King Isaac. Maro was standing next to him, I could tell form her eyes that she was slightly apologetic. My smile faded and so did my yearning to kiss Bo. Instead, I was filled with hatred. He held up a letter between two of his fat fingers. The one I wrote for Gran last night. I gulped.
"What's this?" He asked, "My son is here too? Interesting."
"We were just going to write some angsty poetry when Liv remembered there was a pen she liked in this room." Bo said, lying flawlessly. King Isaac waved his hand to push Bo's lie away.
"I don't care about that." He said, "The mistake is now done and can't be taken back. You ," He sneered at me disgustingly. "Are here and are staying." Suddenly, I got very nervous that he was going to murder me in my sleep. It seemed like the kind of thing he would do. The thing he had done in the past. "But I am more intrigued by this letter." He waved it around again. "I am offended by this." He said, then quoted. " 'Their father- who is an complete ass. ' That's not very nice Livia." He scolded, then his eyes skimmed the paper. "I can't really read your handwriting." He admitted a few minutes later. "But I can see some not very good words. "' Painful. horrible. hurt you.'" He turned even more serious the next moment. "If I catch you doing anything- anything at all, that is bad or suspicious, I will personally cut your throat." I gulped. He then stood and waddled out, Maro following him like an old wise dog. We stood in silence for minutes.
"That was a turn-off." Bo said, breaking the silence and he closed the door. "Nothing like your murderous father threatening to kill your girlfriend to really make the mood!" I looked at him. The first time he admitted aloud we had a special relationship. I was his girlfriend. But at that moment it didn't really matter. I felt choked up and like I was going to cry. 'Anything,' he said 'Anything at all.' The changes of me living to the party, I realized, were very slim. I gulped and fell on the bed, avoiding wherever he had been. I sniffled into the bed. It even smelled like him. Sweet and disgusting. My torso and up were on the bed and my legs were on the ground. Bo's hand touched my back, and rubbed comfortingly.
"You really need a cat." I managed to get out a few moments later even though it felt like I was talking through a rock in my throat. I swallowed and nothing happened. Bo chuckled dryly.
"You keep telling me that." I didn't respond to that.
"Even the bed smells like him." I said, disgusted.
"That's weird." Bo said, and then a second later, "Let me take you to my room tonight. He won't be there." Before I could consent he picked me up and threw me over his shoulder like a sack. I didn't feel like struggling. Shortly after, I was dropped onto his bed, my shoes were taken off and then Bo threw himself next to me. I stared up. On the bed at that moment, it felt like was tilting, like gravity was against me. I was being pushed to the bed by nothing but my own mind and the bed felt tilted. My body felt heavy. He touched my chin and turned it so I was looking at him. He kissed me gently, his lips were warm. And then he was asleep. He fell asleep so quickly, I was envious.
I started at the ceiling of his dark room for what felt like hours, but in reality, was probably less. I thought about the anything I would die from, this probably being part of anything. But at least I got a kiss before I would die. Then I thought about us killing Isaac. My eyes drifted close ,but there was one thing I had to ask Bo before I surrendered myself to sleep.
"Will you be sad when we do it?" I murmured, half asleep.
"Do what?"He murmured back tiredly. I didn't really expect him to be awake.
"Kill your father." Bo was silent for a moment.
"I embraced the idea a long time ago."
My eyes drifted shut.