“I haven’t been in a real battle before, but I’ve had lots of training,” Hir said bravely.
It would seem that he was going to follow her, whether she wanted him too or not. She would just have to do her best to protect him. They activated their rings and creeped out to the greeting room. Listening carefully, she could hear the sounds of footsteps approaching. The intruder was apparently so confident that they didn’t even try to hide their approach.
Lila thought about who it could be. There were so many people that had a grudge against her. Why, with Hir being here, did they pick this moment to try and attack? Maybe she could negotiate with the intruder. It would keep Hir out of harm’s way.
The footsteps grew louder and stopped just outside her door. Lila jumped as the person outside knocked. If they were here on nefarious purposes, why would they knock? And politely, as well?
“Lila?” Lacias called her name from outside the door.
Lila didn’t realize until that moment that her legs had been shaking. She laughed at herself for being so nervous. Who else would come looking for her at this hour? She opened the door as she tried to calm herself down.
“What are you doing here at this hour?” she asked the man who stood in her doorway.
“Who’s inside?” Lacias could sense that there was someone behind her and tried to look over her shoulder. “Hir?”
“Yes, Hir is here. Did something happen?”
The cold chill that seemed to be radiating from him stopped. His eyes softened and became relieved. Lila had no idea why he had come or why he seemed so worried. He just smiled like a goof now.
“No, nothing. It’s good, that you are keeping Hir company.” He was clearly trying to avoid the reason for his arrival.
“Are you sure nothing happened? Why did you come?”
“It really is nothing,” Lacias insisted.
Lila crossed her arms and stood there. Lacias moved as if he was going to enter the room, but Lila stood in his way like a statue. In the end, Lacias caved. He knew she wouldn’t move until he explained.
“I feel a little embarrassed to say it,” Lacias admitted. “There was an unfamiliar feeling emanating from your ring. So, I thought maybe…”
“You thought I was cheating on you!?” Lila instantly jumped to the worst conclusion.
Lacias shut his mouth, his face turning red with embarrassment. Lila couldn’t believe it. He actually thought she had been cheating on him?
Hir’s voice piped up from behind her. “Mother always told me that women want to meet different men here and there.”
Now Lila was embarrassed. “See? There are things you should not say in front of children. Come on in.” She stepped out of the way to allow Lacias to enter. Lacias headed straight to the bedroom where Hir had returned to.
“You came to mother’s room because you couldn’t sleep?” he asked the boy.
Hir seemed nervous, but he managed to get the words out clearly. “It wasn’t because I couldn’t sleep. I just heard that mother was overworking herself and I was hoping she would sleep comfortably tonight. So, I came here to help.”
Lila’s heart beat at how much Hir had grown.
“I see. It was a good choice to come,” Lacias said, agreeing with Hir.
Lila still stood by the door, expecting Lacias to leave now that he found out what was going on. “Lacias, when are you heading back to bed? Why do you keep sitting there? We’re tired and wish to sleep.”
“Back to bed?” Lacias acted like he had never heard such absurd words. “Isn’t the last item on the agenda for today listed as sleeping together as a family? I can’t miss out on such an occasion.”
“Wait, you’re sleeping here with us?” Lila asked.
“That’s right,” Lacias said, as if it was an obvious answer.
“How are we all going to fit in this small bed?” Lila asked.
“It’s better small, we can all snuggle together.” Lacias hung up his robe on a hanger in the closet. It appeared he had made up his mind. Lila shook her head, giving up fighting him. Besides, secretly she wanted this just as much as he did. This would give him an opportunity to bond with Hir.
“What are you so worried about?” Lacias asked.
“I’m not worried. I just thought we might find it difficult to all sleep in the same bed.”
“My wife has a kind heart and a pretty face,” Lacias said, smiling at her. It was the smile that charmed everyone who saw it. Though usually it was only reserved for Lila.
They gathered around the bed and struggled to find the best placement where they could all sleep comfortably. Lila took the left side and Lacias took the right. Hir was squeezed in the middle between them.
“Do we have to do it like this?” Hir asked, squirming to find a good position.
“Why? Are you uncomfortable?” Lila asked.
“It’s not that…” Hir kept tossing and turning. Lacias took a look and realized that Hir was probably bigger than Lila now. He had grown significantly the last few months.
“You seem to be smaller than Hir, Lila. How about you come in the middle?” Lacias suggested.
“Yes! If You come in the middle, that would be the most peaceful solution!” Hir exclaimed.
Lila smiled that the two men were joining forces on something. She felt funny being between them, but it was what they wanted so she didn’t argue. She shifted into the centre of the bed, blocked in on both sides by the people she loved.
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