“Yes. This is how you make a deal. To get what you want, you have to give the other person something that they want.”
“What is it?” Hir asked nervously. He looked scared at what her answer might be.
“Wait for it.” Lila grinned mischievously to the child, teasing him. Hir looked ready to run. “You have to give over your night to me.”
“How do I do that?” Hir tilted his head, unsure of what she meant.
“I don’t know. It’s really hard to do. You might actually hate it.” Lila was quite amused with teasing Hir. She was worried that she might be scaring him too much with all of the possibilities. But HIr’s reaction was completely different from what Lila was expecting.
“Ok, I’ll do it!” Hir shouted. “I’ll give you whatever you want. I don’t care what it is.”
“Hir, I want you to spend the night with me. It has been a while since we last got to cuddle and that is all I want for tonight.” Lila felt like she was tearing up. She was going to miss this small boy.
“That’s it?” Hir was definitely expecting something more challenging.
“That’s it,” Lila confirmed. “You do want to stay, don’t you?”
“I really, really do!” Hir’s change in personality was extreme. All of a sudden, joy had overcome the small boy. “I really like that I can sleep with you for the first time in a while. Really, really!”
“I noticed that you are wearing such pretty clothes,” Lila mentioned.
“Yes. This is a gift from the Duke. I got them a few days ago.”
“You mean Lacias?” Lila hadn’t expected this. Lacias hadn’t always been the nicest to Hir, but it appeared that he was starting to grow fond of the boy. She was excited that their relationship seemed to be improving.
“What else did he give you?” Lila asked.
“A sword, more everyday clothes, a pendant, and a training outfit. There were so many gifts, I can’t list everything. I’ll show you everything in person later, if you would like to see them.” Hir was so excited to show off his new possessions.
Lila smiled. “I really do.”
“If you would like to do it, then I would like too also!” Hir said, smiling.
I should thank Lacias for taking care of Hir, Lila thought. Hir had always been a depressed and sad looking boy, but now his face could not contain all of the glee within him.
“Hir, come here.” Lila spread out a soft blanket on the bed. She hoped that the gifts Hir got were the start of him getting all of the best out of the world. Hir smiled brightly and ran towards her. He jumped into the air and flew onto the bed, landing within Lila’s embrace.
“This is so good! Can I give you my night again, from time to time?” Hir asked.
Lila began to nod that he could and then stopped herself. She didn’t want to make any promises that she knew she would not be able to keep. Instead, she asked an important question that was weighing on her mind.
“Hir, are you happy?”
“Of course! How can I not be happy? You smell nice and your arms are so warm and the blanket is fuzzy. The bed is soft, it makes me feel so happy!”
“Oh my. When you say all this, it makes me feel so happy too!” Lila replied.
Hir had an incredibly huge, cute grin plastered on his face. “I really, really like it. It’s much better than sleeping alone. It seems like you’re giving me a gift rather than me giving you one.”
Hir laughed as if he made the funniest joke in the world. The feelings were overwhelming. Lila embraced Hir and hugged him tightly. She regretted that it had been so long since they had last done this. She had been so busy. But she worked hard strictly for Hir. He was everything to her. Sighing, Lila stroked his soft hair.
“Will you be able to sleep?” Lila asked.
“I feel tired. I’ll be able to sleep soon,” Hir mumbled, already drifting off.
“That’s good then.” Lila laid down on the bed next to Hir. She was also exhausted from all of the work she had done that day. Her head got cloudy as slumber tried to take over. It had been a while since she had a good night’s sleep. Often, she had napped on her desk or curled up like a shrimp on the small couch in her office. She had almost drifted fully into the realm of dreams when Hir moaned beside her.
“Hir, what the matter?” Lila asked, instantly alert once again. “Are you not comfortable?”
“No, it’s not that. I can sense something strange.”
Lila listened carefully, but didn’t detect anything. “Maybe you felt it wrong? I don’t feel…”
“It’s coming towards your room.”
“What?” Could there be an intruder in the mansion? It would have to be someone extremely skilled, to evade all of the security. Lila didn’t want to upset Hir by ignoring his feelings as a flight of fancy by a child. She decided she would check the halls outside of her room.
Lila stood up nervously. “Hir, I want you to stay here. There may be a fight.” She didn’t want to scare the child, but she also didn’t want him in harm’s way, should he be right.