Secret of the Tenei Star Chapter 2
A sudden chill ran down Cleo's back. Her mouth remained open at the shock of hearing Gremio's confession, the astonishment on her face.
"You want to run that by me again?" she asked after a while, her tone unsteady.
"It was. . ."
"Yours?" she finished for him, still stunned. "B-but I thought-"
"No." The man forced a grim smile, but only shortly as he thought about Emily once more. "I'm sorry. I suppose I should tell you the whole story."
Cleo nodded at that, an uneasy expression on her face.
Gremio uttered another sigh. "Well," he began, "I suppose it all started over ten years ago, but then again, you already knew that." He forced a light chuckle, then continued. "I remember when I first met Emily," he said, contentment finding its way into his voice. "I just couldn't believe someone like her would even want to be with me. So when we began dating, I knew, or at least, believed, that she was truly something special." He lowered his face as the smile faded.
When I first saw her, my heart stopped, as I was struck to the bone by her beauty. I don't think I had ever been in love before meeting her. If there were any other girls who came into my life, they were all the same to me; they were kind and good, but I could never bring myself to love any one of them back. But Emily was truly something different. She was the only one I ever really cared for.
At that time, I realized that I had been missing a part of myself for a while. Then she walked in. Emily captured my heart, made me whole, tore me to pieces, and then. . .left my life forever.
"Gremio! Give Pahn a hand here!" Teo McDohl hollered up the stairs.
Not a second passed before a loud clatter of dishes was heard, followed by a thud, then a teenage boy stumbled down the staircase at Teo's command. "Y-y-yes, Master Teo," he stammered, springing to his feet, his shoulders square, his entire form taking a rather stiff pose.
Teo let out an amused chortle, half-expecting the boy to hand salute. "Gremio, loosen up, will ya?" he snickered. "You've been here about a year now; no need to be here at my every command. If you were in the middle of doing something, you could have just yelled down that you were in the middle of doing something." He took a few steps toward the boy, studying him. "And by the look of things, I think you were in the middle of doing something."
Gremio only stood there frozen, having no idea what to say.
Teo reached up with a cloth and removed a reddish-brown substance from Gremio's face. "I take it my son isn't enjoying your stew again?"
Gremio stared back with a sheepish look. "A-actually," he stuttered, "at the sound of your call, I rushed here as fast I could. I didn't see that the Young Master had placed his bowl on the floor."
"I'll say," responded Teo, looking at the food stains covering the front of Gremio's outfit. Bringing his arm back, he stared at Gremio for brief moment, his mouth trying to conceal a smirk, but he then burst into laughter again. "Gremio," he said, chuckling, "I'll say it again: you do need to calm down."
A horrified look crossed Gremio's face. "M-master?"
"Ha ha ha, it's okay, Gremio. I will go help Pahn," he told him, placing a hand on the top of his own chest in gesture. "You go change. And remember, you don't have to hurry when I call you. I don't pay you to stumble around."
"Y, yes, Master Teo." Gremio turned around and hurried off to his room.
Teo took another moment to snicker again. "When will he ever learn?" he laughed as he heard the slamming of the door. "I swear, at this rate, that boy will be all grey even before I am." With that, he turned back and walked out the front door.
"Thank you, Pahn," Teo told the young man. He had carried the last of the load into the house.
"No problem," Pahn replied. "Now where's my food?"
Teo raised an eyebrow at him. "Pahn, you're gonna eat me out of house and home," he informed the servant jokingly. He then looked down and pointed at one of the boxes on the ground. "Take this food package to Gremio in the kitchen," he instructed Pahn. Then, a devilish smile formed on his face. "And tell him to step on it, then see what he does, heh."
Pahn was a bit shocked at the thought. "Master Teo!" he said in exclamation. "That is cruel!"
"Oh, ha ha, you know I'm kidding," Teo answered. A pause as he placed his hands on his hips. Then his grin returned. "Do it anyway," he told him, snickering.
Both of their eyes lit up in wickedness.
Pahn lifted the box, gave Teo a smirk, then headed for the kitchen.
*Knock knock knock*
Teo whirled around as the rapping continued. "Now who could that be?" he wondered aloud. He stepped up to the front entrance, grabbed the knob and pulled the door open. He found himself staring at an attractive young girl of about sixteen, wearing a small white T-shirt, light brown slacks, and a matching beige cap. She held a white cardboard box between her left arm and her hip, and a clipboard in her other hand.
"Is this the resident of Teo McDohl?" she asked.
The man nodded.
"I have a delivery for-"
"Oops! I was just kidding, Grem-AAARRRGGHH! OH GOD, THAT STEW IS HOT!" Pahn was shrieking from the kitchen.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Pahn!" Gremio cried out. Even more clattering was heard, then the fast, rhythmic tapping of footsteps, followed by an abrupt slam of the wooden door. "Pahn!" Gremio called out again. "Please come out, I'm sorry!"
"UHHHHH, THAT'S ALL RIGHT, GREMIO; I THINK I'LL EAT LATER!" Pahn responded loudly. "Right now I've got to change!"
Teo laughed out loud. "Pahn, I hope you can forgive me for that prank," he sighed. Teo turned back to the girl, only to find her staring back at him strangely. With his smile quickly fading, he cleared his throat nervously and motioned for her to continue.
"Oh," she said. "Uh, I've got a package here for a Gremio-"
"Master Teo!" cried Gremio as he barged in the doorway. "There is something I need to-" He then stopped, taking notice of the guest in the room. "I need to-" Gremio only stood there with his eyes locked on the girl. "Um, I-I. . ." His mouth suddenly felt dry, his heart stopped in mid-beat.
"Oh, Gremio, this here is-" started Teo, then he realized he hadn't caught the girl's name. "Hey," he said to her, "what's your name anyway?"
The girl blushed as she looked away from Gremio and back to Teo. "My apologies," she replied, letting out a small giggle. "I am Emily."
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