Chapter 82:

Calling a favor

The Y-files [GL]

We thought we would have a relatively quiet afternoon until Ms. Lourdes called us to help. We were asked to go around school, to distribute career surveys. Ms. Lourdes really covered our intentions up by doing it for the entire school, when she only needed the FBY girls.Bookmark here

Anna and I separated making way from class to class, and in most classes where I stopped, the teachers asked me to explain the survey, since they all had to do it immediately. I really did not like talking in front of a class, and my celebrity status at the moment did not really help. Often, some girls started squealing when I entered their class. In one of the classes, I was even asked to give out autographs to everyone, making this task a lot more tiring than it should have been, and making me long for my kitchen. The promise of cooking tonight kept me going. This was the first free evening I had in ages after all, and the weekend was already completely booked, so I needed to make the most of my kitchen time tonight.Bookmark here

When it was the turn for Fien and Maura's class, I made sure to stress the importance of the survey, and that what they wrote down would help teachers know the direction they wanted their careers to take. I explained all this while looking Fien in the eye.Bookmark here

When I gave Fien and Maura their survey, I asked both of them to pass by the bureau after school before going to rehearsals. After all, there was a lot of stuff to talk out.Bookmark here

When I met Anna again in the hallway, she told me that Elodie would talk to Fien during the afternoon break.Bookmark here

Seems like we were on top of what we could do. I was glad Ms. Lourdes had put us again on the right track. Seeing how dependable she was, I could understand very well why she was mom's best friend.Bookmark here

Getting through all the classes and getting all surveys back to Ms. Lourdes, took all time we had this afternoon.Bookmark here

Now we had to hurry for our talk with Maura and Fien. I hoped Fien was not too angry at me. After all, it was mostly my fault that this was happening.Bookmark here

Anna noticed my worried look and took my hand and gave it a little squeeze. I looked back and Anna had a sweet and tender look on her face. I looked around, noticed nobody was in the hallway and asked for a hug. I felt part of my doubts fade away together with that hug. I felt charged again. Now it was time to face the storm that I created. Somewhere I still hoped it would be a drizzle and not a storm.Bookmark here

When we arrived at the office, Fien and Maura were already waiting in front of the door, in uncomfortable silence. This did not bode well.Bookmark here

We got inside and took place in the salon. Pussyni showed her head and took place in Maura's lap, who immediately began to pet Pussyini. The cat was purring away. Fien looked a bit jealous at the situation, but then just turned her head away. Acting tough, like she did not care.Bookmark here

“Girls, we are here to get out of this difficult situation. Fien, I heard Elodie told you what happened. So first of all I wanted to apologize. This is all my fault, and I did not want to transmit my problems to you. I had no idea you were such a math genius, and Anna's mom is well... you know...”Bookmark here

Fien looked clearly uncomfortable at a girl older than her apologizing to her like this. But it needed to be done. It was time to put all our cards on the table about what happened.Bookmark here

“That does not excuse her.” she pointed at Maura, who shrank even more. It was clear that Maura felt terrible about the situation. “She could still have planned it from the start.”Bookmark here

That is true but how to take away the doubt.Bookmark here

I just wanted to be friends with you. I had no idea about all this stuff. Who headhunts a 12-year-old. I did not even know that was a thing.” Maura started crying, but Fien just turned away and let out a “Hmph!”Bookmark here

Anna went over to comfort Maura. “There, there. Just trust Claire, I know she will be able to solve it.”Bookmark here

Putting all the pressure on me... Shouldn't Anna be the older and more dependable one... But an idea did come to me.Bookmark here

Anna, could you explain the favor system your family uses to Fien.”Bookmark here

Anna looked quizzically at me but started explaining how her family dealt in favors among each other and that breaking your word would be seen as a betrayal to the family, and could even disown you or worse.Bookmark here

Fien looked quite stupefied at that explanation. After it was done I said “Right now, I own a favor from Maura. I can ask her anything, and she would have to comply. Is that correct?”Bookmark here

Anna nodded. Maura nodded a bit weary.Bookmark here

Fien looked at me to see where I was taking this.Bookmark here

What if I used this favor for your sake, and asked Maura to never lie to you when you ask a question, and to be always on your side if the Lyst group tries anything on you?”Bookmark here

Anna and Maura looked baffled. Apparently, that was not how these requests were usually used.Bookmark here

You would really use my favor to help me?” Maura asked full of disbelief.Bookmark here

No, I am using it to make it up to Fien, but she needs to agree.”Bookmark here

Would that not make her my puppet? That is not really a good basis for a friendship,” she answered.Bookmark here

No, that is why I specified it to 'when it has to do with the Lyst group'. That way the rest of your lives should just be as normal. You just would not have to doubt her intentions.”Bookmark here

Fien looked Maura reluctantly in the eye and answered “I will forgive her, only if she agrees willingly that you use the favor like that.”Bookmark here

Maura looked at me and nodded.Bookmark here

Okay, Maura, you heard the favor I am calling in. From now on, if you ever break your promise, you will face the consequences.”Bookmark here

I understand,” Maura answered.Bookmark here

Fien immediately fired a barrage of questions.Bookmark here

What did your mother say to you about me?”Bookmark here

At first she said that you are a disgusting harlot and that I should stay away from anyone that likes reading such ridiculous trash. That it is unbecoming for a lady. But yesterday, she told me it was okay to hang out with you since you had an important connection to aunt Kath and Anna.”Bookmark here

Fien looked a bit impressed by her brutal honesty and then probed “Is that all?”Bookmark here

Maura looked at Fien and shook her head. Then Maura said: “Mom said I should bring you over for tea some time to have a chat with her.”Bookmark here

Fien gulped a bit hesitant. I knew that feeling very well, having dealt with the Lyst family myself, and Maxima Lyst seemed to be a real pure-blood.Bookmark here

Fien chose to neglect that answer, and then like she had an epiphany she asked “Have you ever had a crush?” It seemed like she asked most stuff that troubled her, and was already starting to have fun.Bookmark here

The shy Maura turned completely into a dark shade of red. “You are completely abusing your power!” she shouted.Bookmark here

Answer the question or face the consequences!”Bookmark here

I think Mia was having somewhat of a bad influence on Fien... She was completely bullying Maura, wasn't she? However I could see that it was not meant to hurt, but just to tease.Bookmark here

Maura shrunk and turned red and said “Yes.” silently.Bookmark here

Fien squealed in response. “Tell me all about it.”Bookmark here

FIEN!” Anna interrupted the bully there. “I will not have you bully my niece like that. If you abuse the power we gave you, I will make sure you will suffer for it.”Bookmark here

Wow. Anna could be really protective, couldn't she. For being a bully and a tease she sure did not allow anyone else to be bullied.Bookmark here

Fien, obviously taken by Anna's fierceness looked a bit shaken. “Don't pick on Fien, Anna!” Maura interfered. Of course... Maura had to defend Fien when dealing with the Lysts... I made another mess, didn't I? So I decided to open my mouth hoping I could somehow get us to a reasonable conclusion. “Fien, just use it when you are in doubt. I don't think you really needed the oath to get answers from Maura anyway. I just wanted to create a way that you were sure she was telling the truth. Maura just wanted to be your friend from the start, but was afraid to approach you after you started hanging out with us at the FBY.”Bookmark here

Fien nodded. “But now I really want to know who it is she has a crush on...”Bookmark here

How would you feel if someone forced you to tell them that kind of personal thing. I am sure Maura will confide in you by herself once the two of you got close enough to share those kinds of secrets.”Bookmark here

Fien looked a bit apologetic at Maura and said “I'm sorry. I got carried away.”Bookmark here

Maura shook her head, waving Fien's worries away, and said “It does not matter. As long as you don't hate me. I plan to tell you soon.”Bookmark here

Then Fien remembered the cat in Maura's lap and got all excited ending up with Maura having to hold Pussyni again so that Fien could pet her. The three of them seemed so peaceful together. It was hard to believe that those girls were at odds only half an hour ago. This Y-file case was not yet solved, but at least we were back on track.Bookmark here

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