Annette Marie kanadai
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”What's a human doing here?"
”I don't know."
”I think it can see us."
”Humans can't see us."
”But it's looking right at us."
”What do we do?" (…)
She cautiously bent into a bow. ”My apologies for disturbing you."
”The human is talking to us."
”It bowed. That's very polite."
”Should we answer?"
”You should talk to it."
”No, you do it."
Aaron rested an arm on the bench behind me. ”Try not to worry, Tori. One guy, no matter how tought, can't win against me, Kai, and Ezra. We train together all the time and fight as a team."
I glanced at him out of the corner of my eye. ”I don't want you to get hurt."
His amusement faded. ”You're not worrying about yourself, are you? You're worried about us."
”Of course. I won't be fighting this guy."
He brushed his warm hand over my shoulder. ”We'll be fine, Tori."
”Why do you wipe poisons on everything?"
”It's called cleaning, and if you don't like it, you can leave."
He minced closer, his petite nose scrunching. ”You cleaned last week. The floor reeked all night."
”I clean every week."
”Humans are stupid."
”I thought you said you wanted me to bring you along for my next 'experience.'"
He winced, probably regretting that rash promise. ”I did say that, but it's also my job to protect you, and I can't let you leave after everything that happened this morning."
”Actually," she said cheerfully, ”you can't stop me from going wherever I want. You're not allowed to touch me."
His mouth fell open.
”Now, Emi of the shrine, tell me what you desire of me. I am at your command." (…)
”You saved me first," she said cautiously. ”There is no debt between us." (…)
”No," he murmured, his voice smoother and deeper and somehow older. ”You came back for me. I do owe you, and I will not accept your refusal."