Secret of the Tenei Star Chapter 3
"Emily. . ."
I repeated her name with hardly any sound, for I was completely breathless at her beauty, and even more at her warm personality. There she stood, seeming to be an open soul, yet she was still so mysterious in every way. And how could I describe her? She was perfect. No picture could capture her true beauty, no words could describe her kind, loving heart, and nothing could ever truly represent the way I felt for her. I loved her from the first moment I saw her.
"Okay, Emily," Teo was saying. "This here is Gremio."
Gremio didn't budge, his stare fixed on Emily. He was lost for words, for he was suddenly feeling weak in the knees.
"Oh, s-so you're, um. . .Gremio," she said slowly, nervously, as she held out the box to him. "I've, uh, got a package here for you."
Gremio's expression remained blank as he reached forward to retrieve the package, still as silent as ever, with his heart resuming a beat at last, but this time pounding like mad.
Teo turned around to the wide-eyed Gremio, and gave him a stern look. "Gremio! Say something!" he commanded him, practically shoving the boy forward.
As Teo introduced the two teenagers to one another, a thousand things were going through Gremio's mind. Yet he found that he was only able to say one thing.
"W-would you like to taste my stew?" the young servant stammered to Emily, his face turning slightly red.
Argh! What was that?! he silently demanded of himself. Stupid, stupid!
The girl stared back with an uneasy expression. "Um, I. . ."
Gremio swallowed hard as he tried to keep straight-faced. Good one, Gremio, he scolded himself. Now she thinks you're a total loser.
"Er, I, um. . ."
Great, he sarcastically congratulated himself, lowering his gaze to the ground shamefully. Now she hates your guts.
"I, well. . ."
She's going to skin you alive, he told himself hopelessly, his face growing even warmer. Skin you alive, season you, grill you, and have you for din-
"Um, well, all right. Sure."
Eh?! Gremio's eyes widened in shock. She actually accepted?! What the-
Emily's cheeks turned somewhat rosy as she nervously slid her hands into the front pockets of her uniform slacks. She didn't seem to take notice of how uncomfortable Gremio was acting. "I mean, if that was. . .an invitation for, um, you know, sure, I'd like to join you," she told the teenage Gremio.
"I-I-I, um, I-I-I, er, uh, th-think that-" the boy stuttered, continuing to blush.
"What he means is, come join us for dinner," Teo finished for Gremio. "It would be all right if you could." He gave Gremio a somewhat evil grin. "It'd be worth your while. Gremio's an excellent cook."
Gremio finally pulled his gaze from the girl and looked up at Teo. "M-master T-Teo. . ."
"All right, thank you," agreed the girl, a tiny smile forming on her lips. "I'd like that."
"Good," said Teo, turning back to Gremio. "Gremio, why don't you finish up what you were doing?"
Gremio was almost at the point of beet red. "Y-yes, Master," he replied, then rushed off to the kitchen.
Teo faced the girl once more. "Heh. He's one of a kind, don't you think?"
An interesting look crossed the girl's face. "Yeah. . ."
Gremio raised an eyebrow at Cleo. "What's so funny?"
Cleo covered her mouth with her hand, trying to stifle her laughter. "I'm. . .I'm sorry, Gremio," she said to him. "Ahem." She lowered her arm, trying to keep straight-faced. "So, uh, how did you end up getting together anyway?"
Gremio took a breath, and then continued on with his story. "Well. . ."
A few days passed, a strange few days, a long few days for Gremio. Long after dinner, after everyone had gone to bed, he decided to get out of the house, feeling that a stroll outside would help him take his mind off a certain something, or rather, a certain someone. All he could do was think of her. She had been on his mind ever since he'd met her. For days, he could hardly think of anything else. . .sometimes getting scolded for not paying attention to his work. And what was wrong with him? He had never felt this way before, not about anyone, not about anything.
During the meal a few nights before, Gremio kept stealing glances at Emily, but would quickly look the other way as soon as he caught her turning in his direction. She seemed to be the talkative type, but Gremio decided that it was mostly due to Teo's rapid-fire questioning. But that was probably the only thing that kept a conversation going, Gremio had to admit. Pahn didn't exactly say much as he greedily devoured his dinner. The Young Master only stared at the wall after taking a few bites of his food, looking a bit sleepy, obviously because his bedtime wasn't too far away. And Gremio couldn't say one word without stuttering! So, he remained silent as he took a glimpse at Emily from time to time.
Although he was mesmerized by her looks, he did manage to take in a few words Emily said, learning some interesting things about her. She was new in town, and worked for the delivery service. Despite the fact that she was quite young, she lived by herself in one of the apartments not too far from the palace. Apparently, she was striving to lead a better life, so she had come to Gregminster in hopes of just that. And so far, things were looking bright for her. . .
Gremio found his way to a bench, and slowly took a seat. From there, he relaxed, tilted his head back and gazed into the clear black sky. Letting out a sigh, he began to picture Emily again, her captivating looks, that lovely face.
Emily, he thought. I can't get you out of my mind. I don't know wh-
A disturbing noise broke him away from his thoughts. Completely alert, he jerked forward and hopped to his feet. "Who is it?!" he called out.
Only absolute stillness answered him. Gremio slowly turned and looked all around him, only meeting the coolness of the light breeze. He faced away from the streetlamp, staring into the black of night.
Hmm. My mind must be playing tricks on me, he decided. His expression relaxed for a second, then. . .
He spotted the figure slowly moving toward him. Gremio's heart nearly leapt out of his chest, beating faster as he looked down, the streetlight revealing a shadow that was creeping up behind him. When the figure finally came too close for Gremio's liking, he whirled around to face his opponent. Grabbing a hold of the arm, he glared directly into the face of his attacker.
"What do you want?!"
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