OK folks! They have been long. They have been torturing. They have made you suffer the worst torture of your life – sweet but painfull, waiting, anticipating, yet not recieving. And now they ended: The long months of waiting for the next chapter.

*sigh*

I'm sorry for making you wait so f*cking long, but I really had no inspiration, couldn't express myself, and then there were the exams, then I was in stress, then away...but now, after rereading both Attention and Fatefull Encounters, my mind wheels (like a wheelchair) and my fingers are moving with lightning speed while writing this fanfic. Hope you like this chapters and the ones to come!

Overflowing Emotions

It has been only two days since her mommy left on a mission, without taking her with him and Marianna felt already annoyed as hell. And bored. Annoyed and bored. And if there was something Marianna hated the most in this world, besides men who couldn't put up a good fight, it was boredom. Her daddy was always working, finding only little spare time for her. Not that she wasn't gratefull, but she wished he would have less work. Thankfully enough she had El. El was so sweet...and so nice...and he loved her so much... So since her father was lost behind mountains of papers and her mommy was away, he was the first person she thought about heading to. She found him in the gardens.

„El!"

The boy looked up from the book he was reading and upon seeing his love, his face changed from concentrated to happy. „Miss Marianna!" he stood up and as soon as she was in his reach, he kissed her hand. At first it always made Marianna blush, but now she could only grin.

„Sir Ernest." she said teasingly. He gave her a smile and she smirked, before she threw her arms around him and kissed him. He responded immediately. Actually, it wasn't their first kiss. They kissed for the first time right the day they met and left the ‚adults to their boring politics'. Thankfully, Fran and Nicola were understanding woman, who let them have their privacy as soon as they reached the gardens. And the bold youth didn't see a reason to hesitate, since their affections seemed to be mutual. It didn't take them long to start dating either.

They broke apart only because their lungs were already screaming at them to stop. Flsuhed and breathless their eyes met and they smiled at eachother happily.

„You know..." Marianna started, a quirk on her lips, „I guess there is some good to it that Maa left me behind."

„I'm happy to hear that."

And they kissed again, both of them oblivious to the smiling person watching them from behind the corner.

Young love was so wonderful, Conrad thought as his honey-brown eyes rested on the two youths kissing in the gardens, in the same gardens on the same spot where he and Yozak used to kiss for hours and hours. He wondered if somebody was watching them then, like he did now.

He sighed. Yozak. Always there, invading his thougts, his life and his heart. Even far away he never let go of him, always thinking, wondering... Conrad knew, Conrad felt that back then, as Yozak rode off, out of the castle and out of his life, taking his little girl with him, he left something behind, in exchange for the sadness he brought – his heart. Because Yozak's heart was always there with him. He was sure of it – if it wasn't, he would've benn dead by now.

Watching those two reminded him of himself and Yozak. He too used to kiss his hand and used to know ways how to make him blush. He also wooed him with every phrase or action he could ocme up with. And he was sure that Yozak enjoyed every bit of the attention he paid to him.

Attention. Attention was something he didn't pay later and now he saw how much of a fault that was. They were happy as Conrad wooed him and spent every minute of his free time with him. But as he turned his back to him because of enjoying himself with somebody else and refused to see the sadness in those blue eyes, it led to Yozak's leave. One can have only as much patience. And as he looked at El and Marianna, he hoped history wouldn't repeat itself. He shook his head vehemently at that thought. No way in hell that was going to happen! No. They had many people, who cared and would prevent it. Yozak wouldn't let his daughter be hurt like he had been. He loved her too much for that. His gaze wandered towards the flower garden. The Love of Marianna's Mother, indeed. He touched his cheek with his hand, remembering how the light touch of those soft lips felt and the words „We'll talk about this when I return" resonated through his mind.

„When I return." He whispered. Not if I return, but when.

*

Later, as El went to attend to some of his duties and her father was still hiding behind those white square mountains, she was still sitting in the gardens, but now throughoutly bored, wishing for something, anything to break her out of it. She didn't even need to wish for long. She looked up as she heard light footsteps approaching and saw a golden-haired, esmerald-eyes woman stand in front of her, a soft smile on her lips. She heard she was her grandmother, which she really found hard to believe, but the occassion to talk together never really present itself. Until now.

„May I sit?" the woman – her grandmother, asked with a soft and kind voice and suddenly Marianna felt very awkward.

„Uhm, sure..."

And so she sat down and leaned on her hands, her face towards the sky, basking in the sunlight. „We have wonderful weather today."

Marianna nodded. „Yeah." She didn't know what else to say. Quite an achievement, she vagualy thought.

Cheri-sama turned to her. „You probably already know, but I would still like to introduce myself: I'm Cheri, your granny." And she extended her hand towards her. Marianna simply stared at it and suddenly her unwashed hands felt very dirty. She should've listened to her mother as he told her that clean hands were the top rule of interacting with people. Clean hands and fresh breath. White teeth and a good smell helped a lot too.

Slowly she raised her dirty hand to shake the clean hand, but suddenly she felt a tug and before she knew when or how, she was pressed tightly to the chest (rich bossom) of the former Maou.

„My baby..."

Surprisingly, those words didn't spur Marianna, even though she always snapped at her mother when he said that. But coming from the mouth of her supposed grandmother the sound of it felt so good... Sudden emotions overwhelmed her and she threw her arms around Cheri-sama's neck. „Granny..."

„I'm so happy that you're back..."

They parted and as Marianna looked into those esmerald orbs, she saw so much love and care and it felt so wonderful...She wondered if this is how it feels to have a grandmother.

„I missed you...The last time I saw you, you were a baby barely a few hours old. And now a little woman sits in front of me... Such a long time has passed..."

„But now I'm here, right?" a smirk spread across Mariana's lips. „We have loads of time to spend together!"

Cheri's eyes shone like stars as she heard that and she pulled her grandchild into another hug. „That's so true! How about we go shopping for dresses! Though, I suppose you have tons of them, since Yozak is always collecting them...But that doesn't matter! Blue and red would suit you so much! Let's go now!"

At the word ‚dress' Marianna paled. If there was one thing on earth she hated more than boredom (besides Weller and von Kleist) it was dresses. She hated them just as much as her mother loved them. „I'd rather..." she started, but she was already being dragged away by her granny, moaning silently. This would be one hell of a torture.

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