“Let me go, you weirdo!” she yanked her hand away from me. Was she so aggressive because she was scared or because she was a psycho like I thought?
“Aw, are you scared of me, Belle?” I teased her.
“If you ever touch me again, I’ll break your fingers and twist your arms!” I laughed and held my hand out in front of her just to test the waters of her sanity.
“Try it, you bold girl,” I dared her. She deviously grinned, psychotic eagerness glinting in her coffee brown eyes. Her hand struck for mine. I quickly snatched mine back to myself.
She’s insane! I conclusively thought.
“Hmph!” she proudly snickered. “Don’t be hypocritical, Blondie.” My eyes pondered as I questioned my decision to take her home with me.
“Um, let’s go,” I finally said after an awkward moment. I whistled and patted my thighs. “Raymonde! Come here, boy!”
“He’s not here, coward,” she insulted me, then out of the nearby bushes came Raymonde as I expected. Anna seemed surprised.
“Raymonde is my backup. He’s there to protect you when I can’t, so he follows you around all day.”
“That answers a good few of my questions.” She looked into my eyes. “What’s your name, by the way?”
“I’m Ryder.” She eyed me down.
“That’s a lame name.” I rolled my eyes.
Liberation washed over me as we sped down the busy, illuminated London streets. I had never rode on a motorcycle before. It was one best experiences I had ever had. I definitely wanted one for myself. I admired the large mountain that rose up just below the moon we were driving towards. It was an outstanding view. That rare feeling of serenity was returning to me again. I may have been holding Raymonde in between Ryder and myself, but after hearing about his surveillance over me from his true owner, I developed a little respect for the dog. A tiny, uncontrollable smile crept up onto my face. This was what sanity was- what my sanity was.
Soon, we pulled up to a large cabin that resided on the mountain I was talking about earlier. Ryder, Raymonde, and I got off of the bike and went inside. I expected an old fashioned western style home, but it was the exact opposite inside. It was like an agency HQ; it was so high tech! Ryder looked at me and chuckled.
“I see you’re quite impressed by my bachelor pad,” he said.
“It’s okay.” I shrugged. He laughed again. Raymonde went over to his little red bed next to the fireplace and passed out. The little dog was probably exhausted after following me around all day. No wonder he always fell asleep so quickly at home.
“You can sleep in my bed,” Ryder said. “I’ll sleep on the couch.”
“Thank you,” I nodded.
Before I could enter the bathroom upstairs to take a bath, Ryder stopped me and gave me some pajamas. “The agency sent these here just in case you’d have to spend a night or two here.”
“Thanks again, Ryder.” He nodded and left.
This had to be paradise. I sighed from relaxation and sunk down deeper into the bubbly, warm water, watching my favorite sitcom on a tv that sat in front of the tub. I think that was the only thing that kept me from going completely crazy in Noon. The vibrant characters and humorous plots were just uplifting. I wished I could live in their world, a perfect world where my problems could always be solved by some funny, convenient plot device.
When I was done bathing, I dried myself off, got dressed, and went back downstairs to find a dark living room where Ryder was sprawled out in a deep sleep on the couch. Raymonde’s butt was in his face as he slept on top of the young agent. Raymonde immediately awoke at the sound of my arrival. I laughed and took a picture of the funny scene. Then, I knelt down and called Raymonde over. He cheerfully hopped down and warmly greeted me as usual. I affectionately patted his head.
“Thanks for protecting me, Raymonde,” I whispered to him. “I’m sorry for being so mean to you.” he lied down and rolled over, cocking his leg up for me to rub his stomach.
“Growing attached to him, are you?” I gasped as Ryder got up and joined us, crouching down to rub his dog’s belly. I blushed and shook my head, denying the silly comment.
“I was just going to bed. Is Raymonde your family?” He seemed surprised by my question. I was too; I wasn’t focused on people’s personal lives at the time, I was trying to stay hidden from the Noonian Royal Family.
“No.” He looked away. “That was a random question.”
“You’re an agent, so you can’t stay with your parents?”
“No, I might drag them into my work. I don’t want that. I can still see them. But it’s not like they’re proud of me or anything, so I don't go to see them too often.” He seemed hurt. I slightly regretted asking him about it then, but at least he could see his parents when he wanted.
“Ryder, I order you to go see them tomorrow,” I commanded him. He looked at me like I was crazy, which, who am I kidding, I am-well, I was.
“You think I'm your royal servant, Princess?” I felt embarrassed when I remembered I didn't have the power I used to. It wasn't much, but I still had more in Noon and Amerigon than I did at the moment. I felt slightly weak from the realization, but I was also happy that I didn't have the weight of the world on my shoulders anymore.
“It's a reflex,” I said. I smiled. “It's nice to not to be a princess for a while.”
“Your natural smile is a lot different than the one you use when you're in a professional setting,” his expression became a little frightened, “and your crazy smile.” I cocked an eyebrow.
“Crazy one? I may be a bit kookie, but I didn't know I had a smile for it,” I chuckled.
“Trust me, you do,” he smirked. I stood up and went to bed without another word.