January 14, 2013 by Lyn
Fourth Week of School, 2003
“She doesn’t seem like a cy’Doug.”
Jaelie and Margherita were studying Lemon across the room, while the boys, wisely enough, stayed out of it.
“Do you think it’s because of, you know…” Margherita made a rude gesture. Jaelie rolled her eyes before she could stop herself. They might have been Kept by the same guy, but Ghita… well.
“She was cy’Doug before she got pregnant. And, besides, what would that have to do with it?”
“Well, Linden is Doug’s grandparent, isn’t it? I mean… that’s what ‘Deus said.”
“Hunh. I wonder if that’s why Doug didn’t break Linden’s nose for getting her pregnant. I mean, I saw a couple of the older guys nosing around that way, and he nearly ripped their lungs out for thinking about asking.”
“Overprotective much? Hunh, I always thought his Students were gay, but maybe they just don’t get to sleep with anything but him. I wonder if maybe the whole Linden’s-baby thing is a cover.”
“That seems a little far-fetched. I mean, accidents do happen in magic class.” Jaelie’s hadn’t led to her getting pregnant, but it had led to some rather uncomfortable revelations about her Intinn teacher and a couple of her fellow students.
“Yeah. Yeah, they do.” From the look on Ghita’s face, she had her own story she wasn’t telling. “Man. So pregnant before any of the older boys even got a chance to try. That sucks.”
Sometimes, Ghita was just too strange for words. “For the guys, I guess. Probably not for her. She gets to go through her first year without being… well. Kept, pressured, twisted around.”
“But she’d going to go through her first year alone. I mean, she has Crew, sure, but she doesn’t have anyone, not really /have/ anyone. Not like we did.”
Yep, Ghita was definitely an odd one. “You hated being Kept. I didn’t love it, either.”
“But there’s hating it, and then there’s knowing it was good for me in the long run.” She glanced significantly at Nilam. “You know. Figuring out that ‘Deus had helped me learn how this place was, and how I should be behaving. Being taught how the world really was.”
If she wanted to spread that crap to her Kept, Jaelie supposed it was her right. Even if it was a complete load of stinking bullshit. “So, even so. Lemon has the Crew to help her, and they’re a good crew. She’ll be fine.”
“I heard it was a stalker.” Æowyn still hadn’t quite figured out when talking was acceptable. She’d been looking back and forth between her Keeper and the girls in his crew for a few minutes now, but it seemed like she had to interject. Well, either Fafnir would be all right with it, or he’d shut her up. “She has a stalker. That’s why she’s cy’Doug.”
“Oh, come on, we all have stalkers. It’s the whole /point/ of this school.” Ghita was on a roll again. “Boys tripping over themselves to get the girl they all want…”
So that was how she was selling it to herself.
“Girls corning the guys they want in dark alleys.” Sylvanus was mild about it, but he had a point.
“Everyone hitting everyone else over the head with Workings.” Fafnir was never mild. Jaelie almost felt sorry for Æowyn. Almost sorry. Everyone had to do their time, after all. Ghita was right about that.
“So she might have a stalker.” Jaelie shrugged. “She’s pregnant with VanderLinden’s kid and she’s cy’Doug. I’d like to see anyone get near her with that combination.”
“Nobody’s even going to try.” Sylvanus had moved from mild to a bit sad. She wondered if he had been interested in Lemon, before she’d turned out to be the Untouchable Ninthie. “She’s going to have a lonely time of it.”
“Crew,” Jaelie reminded him: not just Lemon’s crew, but their crew. They weren’t, any of them, really alone.
“Crew,” he agreed. Lemon’s crew could worry about Lemon and her mythological stalker. They would worry about each other. It was the way the world work.
They shook hands over the table – even the Kept. They were in this together.
January 4, 2004
“Hunh.” Jaelie and Margherita looked across the Dining Hall at the man following Lemon around. Man He wasn’t a boy, not a kid like the rest of them. He was broader of shoulder than even their bigger boys, and more… well. Adult.
Jaelie wanted a guy like that.
He was wearing a collar, which was interesting. He was almost smiling, which was even more interesting. And he was giving off clear signals that if anyone so much as considered touching Lemon, he would rip their faces off and eat them for lunch.
Jaelie really wanted a guy like that.
She licked her lips. “So that’s the stalker. That’s not, say, Gregori or Hemlock.”
“Or ‘Deus or Kendon or Lucian.” Ghita looked, rather than turned on, a little nauseous. “He looks terrifying.”
“He looks awesome. I wonder how he got past the wards.”
“I wonder if he’s the one that’s been jumping people in the halls.”
“Jumping people in the halls? Oh.” Jaelie pondered that. “Well, Nilam would know, wouldn’t he?” She turned towards Ghita’s Kept pointedly, just to irritate the other girl. Ghita was supposed to be her friend, she knew that. But sometimes she just really wanted to irritate her. Sometimes she made it really easy.
Nilam shrugged. Of course, making him uncomfortable wasn’t all that kind, she supposed. It wasn’t like Ghita being a silly twit was his fault. “I didn’t see anyone. But um…” His glances at Ghita were part of what drove Jaelie so nuts, and the way Ghita liked it. Why would you like that sort of behavior?
She couldn’t imagine the man following Lemon around acting like that, collar or no.
“Go ahead, sweetie.”
She sounded like she’d swallowed a bucket of honey.
“He doesn’t look like the sort, does he? And I heard Tigg saying they had to ambush him in the halls.”
“Lots of people get ambushed in the halls.”
“No, I mean… Luke ambushed him.”
“Hunh.” Lucky Lemon, then, to have a guy like that. Lucky Lemon, to have him under a collar.
Jaelie wondered how long she’d want him for, and if, when Lemon was done, maybe she could figure out a way to get her own collar on him.
This story was written in response to Rix’s donation and request for people’s reactions to Lemon’s stalker
For every $5US donated, I will write 300 words on the character or situation of your choice. In addition, every donation will bring you to a small snippet of story – a new snippet every Wednesday! Want more?