Guy dropped in at the local kindergarten after going to the bookshop and found Mrs. Ghazo looking tenderly through a window
‘Good afternoon.’ Guy said.
She turned her head to him. ‘Ah, Guy, good afternoon.’
As he stepped closer he saw what she was smiling about; Avia sat on the floor with a couple of children around her. She was reading to them and the children listened attentively.
‘The kids really like it when she comes in.’ Mrs. Ghazo said.
Guy nodded. ‘I’m glad she found something to do. We take her with us when we go anywhere for the exchange program, but since she’s not on it she had nothing else to do.’
‘Can’t they put her on the program?’
He shook his head. ‘Her country is on cold terms with us. It’s more of an accident she came here, and they’d like to have her back, but she prefers to stay with us.’
‘Nothing can be done?’
‘It seems her status of citizen is on hold or something. She can’t even write to her family because they block contact.’
‘Poor thing.’ Mrs. Ghazo said.
‘Yeah.’ he said. ‘But she said she didn’t regret it. And we won’t let her.’
Avia looked up and saw him, smiled and waved quickly, then returned to reading.
They were almost at the end so he didn’t have to wait long. She hugged the children and stepped out of the class waving at them.
‘Thanks for your time.’ Mrs. Ghazo said.
‘I’m glad I can help a little.’ Avia said.
Guy held out his hand. ‘Shall we go home?’
She nodded and took his hand.
‘It’s good to see you having fun.’ Guy said on their walk back home.
‘I like children. They’re still innocent.’
‘It’s like..’ she started, then looked up at the sky.
Guy looked up. ‘Something wrong?’
She looked for a moment, then shook her head. ‘No, thought I saw something.’
They continued walking and back home Guy started dinner together with Mami while Avia set the table. She walked out onto the small balcony to take the dry laundry from the line when she got the feeling someone was watching her. She looked out at the sky and the street but saw nobody looking at her.
‘See something?’ Ara asked.
‘No, felt for a moment that someone was watching me but nothing.’
Ara looked out at the street. ‘Right.’
They went back inside and got ready for dinner. Afterwards they all made themselves comfortable around the couch watching an action movie.
Halfway Guy noticed Avia listeing for something.
‘The nothing again?’ he whispered.
‘Feels mmore like something now.’ she whispered. ‘I get that feeling of being watched again.’
‘You might be right.’ Cani whispered. ‘I get it too and I see Feli as well.’
‘Ara?’ whispered Guy. ‘Think you could find out?’
Ara nodded, took the bowl with crisps and ate the last couple. ‘Do we have any more?’ she asked holding up the bowl.
‘Should still have a couple of bags.’ Guy said.
‘Just be a minute.’ Ara said and went into the kitchen.
She slipped into the bathroom, opened the window silently and crawled through it. Outside she climbed up to the roof slowly. She peeked over the edge seeing nothing abnormal. She climbed up all the way and checked the length of the roof. With still nothing she moved carefully to the street side. She heard a bird flying away but everything else was quiet. When she reached the edge she looked left and right but saw nothing out of the ordinary again. She lowered herself onto the balcony and stepped inside.
‘Feels like it left when you got onto the roof.’ Feli said.
‘So far I saw nothing strange. But I’ll set up some signal threads before we go to bed.’
‘Thanks.’ Guy said.
‘No problem.’ Ara said. ‘If there is someone sneaking around, he’s mine. Nobody messes with my family.’ she said, went to the kitchen for more crisps and came back snuggling up back at her place on the couch. ‘Now go back to the part where I left. I don’t want to miss anything.’
After the movie they prepared for bed, turned off the light and Ara sneaked outside to lay down some signal threads.
‘Done.’ She whispered after crawling back inside and into the futon. ‘If anything tries to get close tonight I will know.’
‘Thanks.’ Guy whispered and kissed her. ‘I don’t want anyone stalking you girls.’
‘Maybe someone’s stalking you?’ Mami whispered poking his nose.
‘Why would anyone stalk me? You girls are the cute ones.’
‘Maybe a secret admirer? Or maybe an ex-girlfriend?’
‘Heh, I never had a girlfriend before.’
‘No?’ Cani asked.
He shook his head. “I never was popular.’
She stroked his chest. ‘I never would have guessed looking at us now.’
‘It really must be animal magnetism.’ he said.
‘You calling us animals?’ Feli asked giving him a poke.
He nodded. ‘You’re my pets, my living plushies, my girlfriends, my lovers, my brides to be.’
The girls all stared at him.
‘Did you just say..?’ Mami asked.
He nodded feeling a little embarrassed. ‘I still have things I worry about, but I know I want to marry all of you. If you’ll accept.’
‘Seriously?’ Feli asked.
‘I asked miss Thesa on any information about the laws in your countries and looked through it all. I found no objection to this situation. So it all depends on wether you will accept my hand in marriage.’
‘Natalie and Tobias got you thinking, eh?’ Mami asked.
‘I thought about it before, but that time I knew I had to make a decision. I made mine. But you don’t have to answer right away.’
‘I-signal.’ said Ara.
‘What?’ asked Mami.
‘Someone’s on the roof. I feel my signal thread.’
‘All right. Let’s see if we can’t catch our stalker.’ whispered Guy.
Ara, Feli and Mami went out the door silently and climbed carefully to the roof at three different spots. Ara gestured the stalker was still there and they moved silenty over the edge.
At the door Cani gestured she heard suspicious noises downstairs. Guy nodded and he followed Cani silently with Avia at his back.
On the roof the girls found a huddled figure and moved slowly closer. Mami let out a hiss when they were close enough and the figure turned around at the same time Feli jumped up. The figure reacted quick enough to jump out of the way except it was in Ara’s direction who threw several trap threads at it.
The figure couldn’t avoid getting hit and the sticky threads wrapped up more as it tried to turn away again. Feli pounced the figure and Mami used other thread from Ara to bind any limbs.
Cani, Guy and Avia had reached the ground in the meantime and Cani gestured what she heard was around the corner. Guy and Avia nodded and Guy counted silently to three.
At three they went around the corner quickly to find four men in black standing there. Cani and Guy recognised those for from the hospital.
‘I know you.’ Cani said and bared her fangs. ‘Remember me?’
The men looked at her for a second, then they remembered. Cani snarled and they stumbled to get away as fast as possible. Guy jumped on one while Cani punced the others hard on the ground. Avia handed more thread from Ara to Guy and they tied up the men while Cani made sure they had no chance to run away.
When they were done they heard the others come down.
‘We got him.’ Feli said and pushed forward the one they had captured.
‘Lieutenant Willard!?’ Avia said.
‘You know him?’ Feli asked.
She nodded. ‘My superior. He sent me here.’
Guy looked at the lieutenant dressed in black with equal black wings. ‘Tried to kidnap Avia again?’
The lieutenant smirked. ‘Actually, no.’
‘Then why are you sneaking around at night?’
‘I wanted to see if her senses had dulled, but it looks like they’re still good.’ he said. ‘Now, if you could untie me I will tell you why I’m here.’
Cani growled. ‘So you can fly off?’
He smirked again. ‘No, so I can take the papers out of my pocket.’
Guy nodded at Ara and she cut his bonds.
The lieutenant reached slowly into his colbert and pulled out an envelope. ‘We’ve been following you for a while now to see what you were up to with this exchange program. The ministers looked at the information and concluded there was no direct threat of allying against us by any of the participating countries.’ He handed the envelope to Avia. ‘You are hereby ordered to take part in the exchange as originally planned. When the humans approve of course.’ he said looking at Guy.
Avia opened the envelope and read the contents.
‘Is that true?’ Mami asked.
Avia nodded and smiled. ‘I can officially stay here with you guys.’
The girls hugged her while the lieutenant held out his hand to Guy. ‘Please take care of her.’
Guy shook his hand. ‘With pleasure.’
They heard a car stopping at the curb and saw miss Thesa getting out.
‘My my. Looks like things have been settled already before I needed to do anything.’ she said as she walked up to Guy.
‘Miss Thesa? What are you doing here?’
‘We got word of a trespasser. Then we followed the trail and ended up here.’
‘Lieutenant Willard.’ he said and gave a quick bow. ‘We had to see for ourselves if Avia’s still qualified for the job.’
‘All this trouble for just that?’ miss Thesa said and sighed. ‘Anyway, I can tell you that she has been accepted in the program like before.’
Guy smiled at Avia. ‘I guess that’s settled then.’
She smiled and nodded. ‘Yeah.’
‘Since we’re all here anyway, care for something to drink?’ Guy asked the lieutenant and miss Thesa.
‘Yeah, I can use some coffee now.’ miss Thesa said.
‘Thank you.’ the lieutenant said.
Guy led them up followed by the girls. He made coffee and tea and Feli set up the table.
‘It seems your government has warmed up a little.’ miss Thesa said to the lieutenant.
The lieutenant nodded. ‘There has been a shift in ministers and a more open approach to foreign nationalities. I think it’s better as well.’
‘I guess you don’t have to worry about them opposing the marriage now, eh?’ asked Cani nudging Avia.
Guy almost spit out his drink.
‘I take it you made a decision?’ miss Thesa asked sipping her coffee.
He swallowed. ‘Yeah, I kinda popped the question.’
The lieutenant looked at Avia and Guy. ‘Don’t tell me..’
Miss Thesa nodded. ‘But that’s not the whole story, right?’
The lieutenant looked at the other girls. ‘Seriously?’
‘I told them what I wish to do. But it’s up to them if it comes true.’ Guy said.
‘Don’t give him an answer yet.’ miss Thesa said. ‘Better to speak with your parents first so you can fully stand behind your decision.’
Guy nodded. ‘That’s the only worry I have. How will others react? So I’ll wait for answers until we know what we’re getting into.’
The girls agreed.
The lieutenant whistled. ‘When I think of my own marriage with my three wives and the trouble I had at first I don’t envy you at all.’
Guy chuckled. ‘Yeah, not just multipile mother-in-laws, but from all different species as weel.’
The lieutenant agreed laughing.
Mami looked at Cani who looked puzzled. ‘What is it?’
‘I get the feeling I forgot something.’ she said and shrugged. ‘It’ll come back to me.’
Mami nodded and drank her tea.
Down at the stairs one of the tied men in black tried to crawl up the stairs. ‘A little help, please?’
Mirror, mirror on the wall..
What have you done for me lately?
Enter at your own risk: