Jacob goes on talking all class period, and all through lunch.
But I couldn’t stop thinking about spar with Jordan this morning, how did he beat me? Stop Sara think about it. Now what was going on just before? I popped up on my toes on my right foot to kick with my left I over kicked a little and had to spin around to face him again giving him time to rebalance himself. I landed my footing slightly wide and kicked with my right foot quickly before I could think about it, losing just enough balance to Jordan to get the advantage, but, I kicked him knocking him back then landed with square footing and stepped forward I reached my arm out to knock him down well he was off balance, he grabbed my arm and pulled me forward then spun me around him then just as he let go he kicked hard to my chest knocking me down, I had a second to jump up but he was ready to knock me back down if I tried that so I stayed down breathing hard in defeat. Shit. My footing really is getting lazy I lost balance multipule times, he could have beat me a lot sooner but he was going easy. Damnit! I hate it when he goes easy on me, I am not weak!
“Have you ever been ice skating?” Jacob asks.
I haven’t heard anything from the Hunters yet and it’s killing me, I need to know what’s going on with Zac. What if he’s not okay? The Hunters would never agree to a war with the Knights unless they knew the Knights had just as much at stake as Luke did, aka if his only son might die, if his legacy might end or worse be trampled with bad rumors then that’s what had to be at stake for my father, if I don’t marry Zac the Guardians will continue their stolen leadership of the Protectors, the Knighthood should be the leaders not those prissy Guardians who ask questions before fallowing orders. The Knights know when it’s not their place to ask, when lives are at stake there’s no time for that silliness. If Zac doesn’t come back unharmed we could risk leaving them to lead all the Protectors for another generation.
“Sara?” Jacob pokes my shoulder and I jump a little surprised, “you’re so ADD.”
“No it’s fine, it just gave me the perfect idea for your super hero name, Distractible Dude!” he cheers proud of himself.
“No,” I say.
“What I think it’s a great super hero name,” he says.
I smile and fake a slight laugh.
“Thanks for the pity laugh,” he jokes.
The bell rings and we stand up and he starts walking me to Josh’s class.
“So, I’ll pick you up at 4?” he asks.
I nod, “yeah okay,” I say.
I gave that rose back to Jacob, agreeing to go on a date with him. I can’t believe I did that, if Luke or anyone else finds out about this, I could be putting the entire Knighthood at risk. Why did I have to be so selfish? I wanted Jacob, just for one night, I wanted to be with him like that. I wanted him to love me, I wanted to love him. But I can’t. I’m a Knight my heart belongs to the Knighthood and after today I need to put these stupid feeling behind me.
Jacob looks down at my hands and takes one in his. He’s a new student here I met him less than a week ago yet, his hands feel so perfect in mine, like I’ve never not been holding his hand, but as soon as he smiles and walks away my hand immediately notice’s what’s missing. I hold the hand he had just let go with my other trying to replace some of the warmth Jacob took with him. Am I crazy?
“Miss Knight,” Josh says behind me, “will you be joining us?”
“Can I skip your class?” I ask.
“What now?” he says surprised.
“Not this one,” I tell him.
He bites his tongue then speaks, “I cannot lie to your Uncle if he asks,” he warns me.
“I know, I’m not asking you to lie, I’m asking you to not say anything.”
“And what do you suggest I do well you are on your date?” he asks.
“Work on your project,” I say.
Josh nods then leads me into the class.
Maybe this was a bad idea, I think of everything that could possibly go wrong until the bell rings then I run all the way home to get ready.
I’ve never had to worry about what I look like, I’ve never cared what people thought, but Jacob is so flawless and as I look at myself in the mirror I see my frizzy hair and dirty face. I take a shower and put my hair in a braid to try and control it, and I thoroughly clean my face and body know I probably still smell like I fought an ape, then through on an outfit that looks good but also casual, I don’t want to look dolled up in case I run into someone on my way out.
There’s a knock on the front door. I run down stairs and open the door before Percy can get out of his room.
“Hi Sara,” Jacob smiles brightly, with those adorable dimples that make me melt.
“Hey,” I say tearing my eyes off his smile and rushing to get away from the house.
He takes my hand making me stop then smiles at me making me light up, “What’s the rush?”
“I’m trying to protect your life,” I joke, “my father would kill you if he knew your intentions,” I say.
Jacob laughs, “what intentions I just want you to have a good time.”
“Exactly,” I say.
“Well then I have to make sure you have a terrible night,” he says.
“That’s the only way to preserve your life,” I say.
“I should warn you,” Jacob says strapping up the laces to his skates, “I’m awful at this,” he smiles.
“Well at least you’ve done it before,” I laugh.
“Wait are you serious? You’ve never been ice skating before,” Jacob says and I nod, “so does that mean I’m your first,” he bites his bottom lip to hold in his laughter. I punch his shoulder and stand up shaking unsteadily Jacob grabs my arm and hold me close to him, “I’ll probably just drag you down with me but I’m hoping if we work together we won’t fall down quite as much,” he says, “Ready,” he whispers, I nod and we step onto the slick ice together.
Jacob and I are doing pretty well until he lets go to show off and ends up falling. I rush over to him falling down next to him, “are you okay?” I ask worried.
Jacob starts laughing so loud people start looking at us, “well this is just great how are you going to help me up if you’re stuck down here with me?” he asks.
I try to struggle up but then Jacob holds his cold hand up to my face freezing my eyes on his, “if you could have any super power what would it be?” he asks snapping me out of my daze.
I laugh, “what are you talking about? Let’s get up.”
“No this is more important,” Jacob says.
I give into his wanting eyes with a sigh, “I’d want to power to get off this cold ice, I can’t feel my legs,” I joke.
Jacob laughs, “If I could have any super power I would want to be able to stop time, even if I could only do it once, I would freeze this moment of time and never let time pass again, I just want to be stuck here forever,” he says.
I search Jacobs face searching for a joke or lie, but I can tell he’s being completely honest as I fall back into his gaze.
“Sorry,” he says, “your legs are going to freeze off and it’s all my fault. I’ll give you mine though, if you ask nicely,” he jokes.
I slap his shoulder and we get back up together then go over and buy some hot chocolate to warm up.
Jacob talks about everything from his favorite music and movies to talking about his 3.8 that would be a 4.0 if his freshman geography teacher hadn’t had a vendetta against him, to ranting about his passion baseball; he was the left outfielder, he always played as an outfielder just like his favorite player, Ichiro Suzuki who was the reason Jacob started playing baseball in the first place, after going to a play offs game with his dad as a kid Jacob knew it was what he wanted to do. Jacobs home life is a bit complicated, he lives with his mom who he loves and adores but she is sick and can’t always take care of herself so a lot of responsibility falls on Jacob has since his dad disappeared when he was little.
The more I learn about him the more impressed I am with him, he seems practically perfect but of course he’s not really.
“Don’t think I’m a saint or anything just because I take care of my ma, I have to take care of her, I owe it to her, see her parents didn’t like my old man so when she got pregnant with me they kicked her out, they hated her because of me. Eventually everything was fine I guess we were a really happy family, but then, it’s my fault he’s gone, she loved him so much he made her so happy and now, because of me she can’t have him either. She’s given up everything for me, if I gave her the whole world it still wouldn’t repay the debt I owe her. So I do what I can to make sure she’s as happy as she can be, even with me,” he tells me looking distant and slightly sad, but as soon as he notices me staring he smiles again, “sorry I hope I didn’t make you sad with my sob story, usually I don’t tell people these things but, I don’t know, I don’t want to keep anything from you, you make me want to open myself up like I never have. I hope that’s okay.” He says.
I nod and smile, “I know what you’re feeling,” I whisper taking the last sip of my hot chocolate.
“Ready to go?” he asks noticing my empty cup, “or do you want to spill your guts too?” he jokes.
I laugh and get up, “let’s go,” I say throwing away the cup.
Jacob and I walk arm in arm back home, it’s late, late enough I can see my cold breath as I breath. I know Uncle Percy is going to be mad, but I can’t stop thinking about what Jacob said, he doesn’t want to keep anything from me, I know exactly how he feels, even though I know I can’t I want to tell him everything about myself just so he could know all of me.
“Oh fuck, it’s the Knight girl!” a clearly drunk teen yells to his friends.
“Who’s that?” another one asks.
“Her next victim?” one jokes.
“Wonder if she’ll cut ‘em up like her daddy did?”
I look up to Jacob hoping he didn’t hear but there’s no way he didn’t, but his face seems unaffected except the small smile that creeps on his face when he looks at me.
“Watch out!” one of them yells.
Jacob grabs my hand and we run turning around a corner just as one of the dumb teens throws a bottle shattering it on a nearby store wall.
Shortly after we stop running because Jacob needs to catch his breath then we sit down on the side walk. Jacob pulls out pieces of grass and ties them in knots. “You don’t have to tell me, we all have our dirty little secrets and you don’t need to tell me if you don’t want to. But if you need to talk about it, I’m almost as good at listening as I am at talking,” he jokes smiling sincerely at me.
I search his eyes then I can’t help the words that come out of my mouth like vomit, “when I was a kid my mother was killed, everyone went on a witch hunt thinking my Father did it, eventually they proved he was innocent but in all that time they never did catch the real killer, and deep down most people still think it was my Father. And you know what they say, like Father like daughter,” I look up suddenly realizing what I’ve said, “I don’t want you to feel sorry for me or anything, just, you should know so you won’t be confused when everyone talks about it,” I look up at Jacob staring at me, then look back down.
Jacob puts a hand behind my head and pulls me into his chest then wraps his other arm around me, trying to protect me, “I know you won’t but it’s okay to cry,” he whispers.
Not me, I’m a Knight I’m already acting to emotional as it is.
“I’m fine,” I say pulling away from him and standing up.
“No you’re not,” Jacob smiles and pinches my cheek, “but you will be, I promise,” Jacob says then walks me home in beautiful silence.
We finally make it back to my house, “Oh no,” Jacob whispers and I turn back around to him, “we’re already here this is really going to be over, I’ve been so happy this whole time I don’t even know what I’m going to do without you,” he says.
I smile at his cheesy flirting, “you have bigger worries then that,” I say and Jacob looks at me confused, “my dad’s going to kill you, because I had a really good time tonight.”
Jacob beams, “really?” he asks.
I nod, looking down afraid if I look up at him I’ll be weak and run away with him.
“Sara,” he whispers forcing my eyes to betray me and wander back to his gaze, “please be happy,” he whispers then kisses my forehead. Before turning away and running back to his house only turning back long enough to wave to me.
I open the door as slowly and gently as I can and close it behind me just as carefully then tip toe up to my room. I slip off my shoes but don’t bother to change before crawling into my bed, my jacket still smells like the cheap cologne he rubbed on me when he hugged me on the sidewalk. I touch my fingers to my forehead feeling the heat from where he kissed me.
I wake up with the same stupid grin on my face that I went to sleep with, I can’t seem to make it go away. I hear the distant knock of the door again and realize it’s not my door, oh no what if Jacob came back? I worry.
I run down stairs and open the door and my jaw drops when I see who it is.
“Well thanks for the ride Ford, but my lil’ sis can take things from here,” Matthew says to the cop standing behind him.
He was a nice but goofy looking man who looked too trusting and naïve for a cop.
“Nice try Mr. Knight, but I need to speak with your father before I leave,” the officer says, “could you please go get him for us sweetie?” he patronizes me.
I nod, “Yes of course, please come in I’ll just be a moment,” I say.
“By a moment she means an hour, old man doesn’t leave his room for anything, but you aren’t allowed in his personal study either Ford, family secrets,” Matt says.
I glare at him; he’s not just raising suspicion he is flat out saying we are trying to hide something.
Officer Ford smiles, “can you please just get him for us?” he asks.
I nod and run downstairs stopping right in front of the door. I knock lightly, there’s a yell and a loud bang. Uncle Percy runs out of his room.
“What the hell are you doing Sara?” he yells.
“Upstairs, Matthew,” I try to explain but that’s all that comes out.
Uncle Percy’s eyes widen and he runs up the stairs.
I knock again then burst into the room just before the next bang, “Dad!” I yell.
Abraham looks up at me, confused, “Sara? What the hell are you doing?” he asks.
“Matthew is here,” I say.
Abraham sits down slowly, “he’s back?” he says, “he’s home, my son is home.”
“Yes, Sir, he is,” I say.
I shouldn’t have sad what I did earlier it was disrespectful, I need to address him as my superior. I slipped, I can’t slip.
Abraham stands up and stares at the door.
He can’t do it, he won’t do it. He absolutely loathes leaving his room it’s always a big deal when Uncle Percy has to drag him to a council meeting.
He walks to the door frame and runs up the stairs. I chase behind him. He did it. Good job sir!
“Sir?” Uncle Percy questions when he sees Abraham.
Abraham pauses in front of Matthew, his eyes becoming brighter.
“Sup pops,” Matthew says casually.
Abraham just stares then wraps his arms around Matthew, “it’s good to see you,” he says.
Matthew pats Abraham’s back, “you too pops,” he says.
Abraham pulls away and turns to Officer Ford becoming more serious, “hello, um, I believe you wanted to speak with me?” he asks.
“Yes, I just need to talk to you y;;really quick, shouldn’t take up to much of your time,” Officer Ford says.
Abraham nods and fallows the officer into the kitchen.
Matthew sits down on the steps and pats the spot next to him, “come here sis, let’s catch up,” he says.
I haven’t seen him in years.
Uncle Percy said he betrayed the Knighthood and so we couldn’t protect him after his arrest. The Knighthood will always protect a loyal Knight, but he wasn’t a loyal Knight, so he was left to defend himself.
That landed him behind bars for trespassing with a weapon and threatening a police officer. He was on a mission got sloppy and got caught. It was his fault and got what he deserved, but, why is he back? Why is he here?
“What ya thinkin’ ‘bout?” he asks.
I look up at him, am I supposed to say something? “Nothing,” I shrug.
“Well that sounds boring,” he says.
An awkward silence fills the air making me want to cringe in discomfort.
“You goin’ to May Canyon?” he asks.
“Yeah that’s chill, is Kelly still V.P., she was a total hard ass,” he says.
I don’t respond.
“What classes are you taking?” he asks.
“My generals and AP speech and Spanish 3 and AP French and German,” I tell him.
“Why so many languages?” he asks.
“I need to address and communicate with Knights, I can’t have a language barrier get in the way, that’s how people die,” I say.
“Uncle Percy’s makin’ you ain’t he?”
I sigh, yeah, truth is I am a terrible public speaker, but many Knights have gone on to become Politian’s and people of influence, they use that influence to help the Knighthood. Percy thinks if I don’t become a Knight I could do that. I just want to be a Knight get rid of the unnatural scum but that’s not up to me.
“So you’re going to be an ambassador for the Knighthood?” he asks.
I groan, “hopefully not, that would be so dull, I want to fight but, Uncle Percy doesn’t seem to think that’s, ideal.”
“Fight? But you’re a girl,” Matthew says confused.
“Yes but I’m far more prepared then most to fight, it’s not up to me the council will vote on it but hopefully they agree with me.”
“But,” he pauses, “that’s, you can’t,” he stutters, “you’re a Knight?” he asks.
“Not yet,” I say.
Matthew breaths in a sighs.
I look over and see tears running down his face, “are you, crying?” I ask.
Matthew laughs through the tears, “I haven’t been a Knight for a long time, so I think I’m allowed,” he says.
“You’re my lil’ sis’.”
The footsteps of Abraham and the Officer Ford come marching into the room. Matthew wipes the tears off his cheeks and stands up.
“So Ford, am I free?” he asks.
Officer Ford smiles, “Not quite,” he says then reaches down to put something around Matthews’s leg, “just a little something to remember me by,” he says.
“Thanks Ford but I’m not really the jewelry type of guy,” Matthew jokes.
“Funny,” Officer Ford says, “this is an ankle monitor, if you step so much as a foot outside your house it’ll start beeping and I’ll get a call to come pick you up and take you back to jail, if you have a parole meeting or work or community service or therapy or rehabilitation meetings it won’t beep but we are watching so don’t think you can run off on us.”
“Great I avoided all the guys in the big house just to become your bitch the moment I get out,” Matthew jokes.
“Yup,” Officer Ford smiles, “now you have a meeting with your parole officer at 3 O’clock Monday, if you make a good impression your parole officer will be your best friend, they can even get your monitor taken off, but even if it does end up coming off you need to be responsible, don’t do anything stupid.”
I wonder why he’s being so nice to Matthew. It may seem harsh but it really seems like Officer Ford just wants Matthew to stay out of trouble. Maybe he vouched for Matthew or something so if Matthew messes up it reflects badly on him?
Officer Ford pats Matthew on the shoulder, “stay safe,” he whispers then leaves.
Matthew sighs, and goes into the front room and jumps on the couch, “Damn it feels good to be free,” he cheers.
“You aren’t free,” Abraham says.
Matthew sits up and looks intently at our Father, “speaking of freedom, what the hell were you thinking making Sara a Knight?”
Abraham looks taken a back and somewhat confused, “matters of the Knighthood shouldn’t be discussed with an outsider, I understand your frustration, but matters of the Knighthood no longer concern you,” he says.
“That’s bull shit old man, we are gon’ talk ‘bout it now,” he yells, “she’s a little girl an-,”
“A skilled warrior who can fight for and defend herself,” Abraham snaps, “If, Sara, doesn’t want to fight, she has the choice to say so any time before her exams begin.”
“Yeah we know how that works out,” Matthew snorts.
Abraham glares, “if you have something to discuss it shall be dealt with, but now is not the time Matthew,” he says then Matthew opens his mouth to protest Abraham yells, “I order you to go to your room!” he booms surprising everyone, “I will request your presences later, but for now I have more pressing matters.”
“You haven’t changed a bit old man, still barkin’ orders instead a caren’ ‘bout us,” Matthew says.
He struck that nerve he was looking for.
“Leave, now!” Abraham yells.
Matthew holds his hands up defensively, “I’m goin’,” he says and he rolls his eyes and walks up to his old room, next to mine, it hasn’t been entered in years, not a thing has been changed, or even touched.
“You to Sara,” Abraham says.
“Now!” he yells.
I bow respectfully and run upstairs opening my window and crawling out to go over to Jacobs, this is something not linked to the Knighthood so maybe I can talk to him about it, besides, I want to see him again.