Chapter 3:



To my good fortune the rest of the day went along without further complications but the sky quickly went from Middle Grey to a Prussian Blue that didn’t delay in down pouring a storm over the city. Storm that came with an even stronger and colder wind. Seeing the wind and rain from the classroom’s window I couldn’t avoid but comparing it with my own feelings. I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry but more than anything I wanted someone that would listen to me, that would care for me, that would make me feel safe and protected

Finally the bell gave another double ring announcing the end of the school day. Every student almost jumped, ready to leave, while the teacher was still giving the last instructions for the homework, that I copied almost without paying attention, while I kept looking how the storm was lashing at the world outside, feeling in a very similar way deep inside

In a day like this or when for whatever reason I wouldn’t want to walk back home, I’d call my mother and request they sent someone to pick me up. But I needed to talk to someone; I didn’t want to feel so alone

“Miss Sterling” the teacher called me from the door making me turn and return to the real world “would you please hurry up!” he said, I just replied with a positive nod and begun to gather my things “I’m going to be late” he said to himself “I’ll leave you alone, please turn off the lights and make sure the door is well closed when you leave” he told me before leaving

I remained where I was, without moving still looking in the direction where my teacher had been. Slowly I walked to the door and turned off the classroom lights, farther I could listen to some voices saying good bye or chatting about schools things. I returned to my place and finished packing my belongings and then took out my mobile device, but didn’t dial home, just remained there looking at my own reflection on the dark screen. On an impulse again I took out my pencil case and took the crystalline card, without another thought I touched with it the screen that immediately turned on, I could feel my heart pounding very fast and strong while listening to the sound of it ringing next to my ear

BLACK WOLF SECURITY SERVICES, Nightbane speaking, good afternoon” I heard the cavernous and rough voice in my ear, almost instantly making me perspire “good afternoon?” he said again after a moment without getting any answer

“This...yes...well...I” I babbled without knowing really what to say

“Kitten...Miausette, is that you?” asked, surprised, that voice on the phone

“Hello...yes...I, hi...wanted know...”I answered feeling my legs weak and shaking

“Are you ok? Do you need anything?”

“Well it’s raining very hard and...”

“Need someone to take you home?”

“Would it be possible?” I answered with faltering voice “I mean...if it’s not too much trouble”

Again I heard that soft and deep laughter by that moment I had already sat down, almost letting myself fall on the chair, feeling that if I remained standing I might faint

“Can you wait for me in a dry and safe place? I’ll be there in some thirty minutes” he answered in a calm manner

“Yes I’ll be in my classroom” I replied with a shaking voice

“Are you calling me from your own phone?”

“” I answered while my head was spinning around

“I’ll call you back as soon as I’m there, ok?”

“Very well” I managed to say almost sighing before ending the call

“Thirty minutes...” I whispered “thirty minutes...” thoughtfully I said again, I remained motionless and then like lighting recovered my sketchbook, took out a pen and wrote a couple of lines at the end of the page where I had made the sketches of Nightbane. With great care I cut the page free but left it inside the sketchbook so it wouldn’t get damaged. On the contrary I shoved all my things into my school bag and almost dragging it I left the classroom, stepped outside and exasperated turned around remembering I had to close the door, leaving my bag on the floor I locked the door, not before checking that I hadn’t forgotten anything inside and then closed. Grabbing my bag and hanging it by one shoulder I ran down the empty stairs towards the ground floor then opened my locker and taking the books I would need for my homework and the additional works I had to do. I closed the door with a strong bang that made a loud noise in the deserted corridor and then ran towards the girl’s bathroom on that floor. Once there I threw my bag on the row of elegant tiles that held the hand washers and after looking at my reflection on the wide mirror tried to preen myself as best as possible

I had been crying, so my green eyes were a bit red and swollen so the only thing I could do was to wash my face, since I didn’t use any makeup like the other girls did there was no risk that the cosmetics would wash get washed away, I didn’t carry neither a brush or comb so, with wet hands, I smoothed the thick braid that held my long and golden hair as best I could. Finally washed my glasses and dried them with my uniforms blouse to then set them over my nose. Checking the results on the mirror I was completely disappointed with what I was seeing: I was really pathetic

I was still looking at my reflection when suddenly my phone began to ring making me yelp a bit due to the fright it had given to me, my phone rarely rang because nobody beside my mommy ever called me. Nervously I took it out from the bottom of my bag and with shaking hands touched the screen that became active, giving me the option to answer the incoming call

“Y...y...yes” I said with a weak and shaking voice like the rest of my body

“Miausette?” asked that deep cavernous voice on the phone

“’s me...Nightbane” I answered and noted how my glasses fogged before my eyes

“I just arrived; I’m waiting for you just outside of your school”

“I’, wo...wo...won’t won’t delay” I answered and then ended the call, putting on my long jacket and adjusting my schoolbag over my back I quickly went towards the exit. Upon reaching the main door of the first building, where I had most of my classes, I had to stop because the torrential deluge continued to fall with great intensity. Without another option I covered myself with the hood, opened the door and ran across the front yard without paying attention to the puddles I was stepping on as I ran in a straight line towards the schools access gate

Once there and without wasting time I showed my ID to the guards that from their guardhouse deactivated the lock allowing me to pass. No student was allowed to exit the school grounds on their own, but the administration had received, some weeks ago, the request my mommy had sent where she authorized to leave on my own. I looked from side to side as soon as I got out without knowing what to expect, in silent answer the main lights of the biggest van I had ever seen until that moment flashed on and off a couple of times, I went there and the co-pilots door opened before I got there. Looking inside I was greeted by the warm smile, full of sharp fangs of Nightbane

“Hello Miausette! please get in!” he said while extending his hand to help me get inside. Upon seeing him a wide smile involuntarily appeared on my face and taking his hand I practically jumped to the warm and dry inside of the vehicle, almost climbing I settled on the seat and it was then that I noted that my tail was dripping wet

“oh sorry” I said ashamed picking it up without knowing what to do so as to keep it from gripping water everywhere

“I guessed you could be a bit wet” he commented in his usual manner while turning around and getting something from the back seat “here you have” he said handing me an ultra dry towel with which I managed to dry my tail

“if you’re ready, we should get moving” he indicated after I had finished using the towel and after putting it back in its case returned it to where it had previously been “which way should we go?” he asked after turning on the engine

Going from the school to my house by vehicle was only a matter of minutes but there were a couple of routes through which it would take us, at least, half an hour to get there and it was one of those that I told Nightbane he should take

“How was your day?” he asked casually when reaching the first of several traffic stops we would find along the route I was telling him to follow

“th...this all fine” I answered while looking elsewhere trying to hide my emotions

“I see” he said in a low voice while we started moving again and I felt as if my heart sank below the cold waters of the sea. I turned to see him for an instant before bending my head back again

“This...I...wanted” I said with barely audible voice feeling as if my face was on fire “ thank you”

“You’ve got nothing to thank me for kitten” he answered and I took notice he was looking at me from the corner of his eyes while driving

“I...I made something for you” I said without looking at him while opening my bag, taking out my sketchbook, carefully extracting the page I had previously set apart and with a shaking hand gave it to him as soon as we again reached the next stop signal

“What is it?” he asked while carefully taking it with the tip of his finger “well..., you did a very good drawing!” he exclaimed praising my sketch “and, what does it say here?” he asked paying attention to what I had written at the foot of the page:

For my dear knight

Thank you for saving me, I’ll be forever grateful

Your demoiselle M

He read it out loud and when I listened to his cavernous voice reading the simple lines I had written, I felt as the blush on my face became even more intense and how my whole body trembled with thrill. Again I felt his intense gaze over me and against my will I turned to see him, it was as if his eyes were a magnet that attracted mine. I looked at him directly and felt as if my head was spinning as I felt trapped in those deep black eyes. Thus we remained for a long while until the loud noise from a car’s horn brought us back to reality; again Nightbane set the vehicle in motion while I sank into the enormous seat where I was feeling more ashamed than ever

“May I keep it?” he asked while driving and I could only answer with a simple nod of my head while staring at my shoes “thank you! Those are very good drawings, you’ve got talent”

When we reached the next stop sign I noted how Nightbane carefully placed my drawing inside a black binder he had taken from the back seat

“Do you take art classes at school?”

All I could do was deny it with my head

“You should, if they don’t give that type of class in your school then you should take them privately elsewhere” he commented while moving onward “do you draw a lot?”

“a bit” I answered realizing I still had my sketchbook in my hands, for an instant I wished to show all my sketches to him but at the next instant I felt ashamed as if nothing I had drawn was remotely worthy for him to look at

“I hope that someday you might care to share your drawing with me” commented Nightbane noticing how hard I was holding onto my sketchbook as if preventing it from getting snatched away. I felt ashamed at my attitude, for not having the courage of showing him the other drawings I had made

“I’d like...” I suddenly said but my voice was lost before I could finish the sentence “would like to take art classes” I ended in but a whisper

“If you want I can recommend a place where to take those classes after school” he said and realized we were about to reach my house

“Yes! Yes please!” I said fully excited “I’d like that very much” I said lowering my head until I was almost curled into a ball

“Very well, perhaps tomorrow I can have the information of where those classes are given” he answered with a sincere smile

We continued slowly until I told him where to stop, a bit far from the outer gate of my house

“so you’re a little princess” Nightbane commented observing the luxurious outside of my house, without knowing what to say or do I didn’t answer, only remained looking down

“...from...from here you can window” I said without looking at him

“Yes? Which is it?”

“The one with the pink curtains and...” involuntarily I lowered my voice to almost a whisper “and...perhaps you could see some of...” the volume of my voice lowered even more “ toys that are near the window” I ended whispering and breathless

“ curtains, yes I see them” answered Nightbane “toys? Ahhh! Yes I can see some, they are rather cute!” he exclaimed smiling while looking at me

“Thanks” I said with a very audible voice, an intense blush covered my face; but something weird was stirring inside of me, something that almost against my will moved my hand making me touch one of his enormous fingers

“ccc...could...could” I stuttered without meeting his eyes “could...I...see” I asked with a shaking voice so agitated that I felt as if my heart was about to burst

“I’m completely at your command beautiful princess” he said while taking my hand in his, that in comparison were so fragile and small while his were so enormous, so strong with claws capable of ripping through anything. I was still staring at his hands when I barely was able to listen as Nightbane asked if I wanted him to pick me up in the morning to drive me to school

“NO...” I answered feeling as my heart wretched in pain “but...but in the the end of classes!” I said with hope he could agree

“Very well” accepted Nightbane “should I wait for your call to come for you?”

I only answered affirmatively with my head

“I have to go” I said feeling more miserable than ever, retrieving my hand form his, I turned around and opened the door, I was about to get down when almost jumping I stood on the seat where I had been seating, I turned towards Nightbane and without a though gave him a little kiss on his cheek and then almost escaped running

I kept on running without looking back until I got home and after they opened the door ran up the stairs to my bedroom, dropped my wet things on the floor, took out my pencil case and my mobile device. Took the card that Nightbane had given me, activated the directories memory and verified that the number was correct and later registered in a permanent manner, when the system requested under what name would it be saved I quickly wrote the word: Knight