HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN? YEARS? WELL, HERE YOU GO!
Disclaimer: My sister hates Cai and loves Valek. Why don't people like my original characters? Yo, Snyder, there is a problem if your Master Assassin is lovable.
The next few days flew by in a haze of Vivian-Valek banter and Ayden-Chiara drama. Before anyone was ready, it was time for Cai and Vivian to leave. On the eve of their departure, Yelena finally asked the question she'd wondered about since she'd first met Cai.
"So how did you all meet?" She asked over dinner.
Vivian, who was in the middle of feeding Chiara, stopped and grinned. "Oh, it's a good story. So-"
Valek cut her off. "No, Vivian. Stop spewing lies. I'll tell you, love." He began before getting cut off by Cai.
"Oh, let me tell you! Right, so, Vivian hunted down Valek when they were children and wrestled him into submission so he would allow her to stay with him while he trained to become the Ultimate Creeper-"
"That is absolutely incorrect." Valek interrupted.
"I never thought I would agree with the shriveled old raisin, but he's right. Cai, nothing you said was even marginally close to the truth." Vivian rolled her eyes.
"I would appreciate it if you would stop getting jealous by my incredibly good looks. And I would like to commend you for telling the truth for the first time in your life." Valek gave Vivian a condescending smile.
Vivian snorted. "Incredibly good looks? Valek, I'm not one to hyperbolize but you seriously look like a bloodless corpse."
"Really? And I suspect you would know all about bloodless corpses, correct? That's probably how you spend all your free time while Cai is slacking off on his kingly duties."
"Oh, please. You jealous caveman. Simply because Cai lives a lavish life without overworking himself doesn't mean you need spew filth. Grow up-"
"Alright! Back to the topic at hand!" Yelena cut in before Valek and Vivian could attack one another.
"I truly believe I should be the one to start out this story." Vivian said. "I found Valek and if it hadn't been for my intervention, the three of us would never have met."
"Your backstory has little purpose." Valek waved his hand in her face. "Really, Yelena, allow me. You know I give accurate reports." He winked.
Yelena rolled her eyes and grinned. "Fine."
"Favoritism." Vivian growled beneath her breath and went back to feeding Chiara. "You better tell it right, Valek." She gave him the hairy eyeball.
He smirked. "So, during the time when I was training to become an assassin, I was residing in a small town on the border of Sitia. The people I was training with actually move around quite often so I got to experience many climates and types of people.
"So, while I was staying in that particular town, my fellow students and I each got our own little hovel to sleep and keep out sparse possessions in. Mine was nearly empty as I didn't travel with anything valuable and didn't actively carve until after most of my training was complete.
"A few days after moving to that town, I came home on night after completing a beginner's assignment and found a little girl sitting in my bed." At this point, he raised an eyebrow at Vivian.
Vivian gapped at him. "A little girl in your bed? You pedophile!"
"Oh, shut up." He rolled his eyes and turned back to Yelena. "The little girl was, of course, Vivian. Though at that point, I had no idea who she was and didn't even know I had a cousin. All I knew was that there was an unnerving child sitting on top of my covers, staring at me. So, I did what I had been taught to do once I saw an intruder: I attacked her."
Yelena gasped. "You attacked a little girl?!"
Valek rolled his eyes. "Love, I was training to become an assassin. I've killed children before, you know this. And, she was an intruder that showed no intention of behaving like a normal human being."
Cai snickered. "Showed no intention of behaving like a normal human being." He repeated and shook his head. "I see you were pretentious even then."
Valek huffed but otherwise ignored Cai. "As I was saying, I attacked her. I thought I would simply be able to tackle her, tie her up, and toss her on the streets to become someone else's problem but unfortunately, that was not the case. Even at such a young age, Vivian had received training but since I had no idea, you can imagine my surprise when I found myself on the floor with a little 11 year old sitting on my chest, beating my face with her tiny fists.
"Eventually, Vivian either got bored or tired and her attacks let up long enough for me to flip over and pin her to the ground. At that point, it occurred to me that if I could befriend the little beast, this girl could help me train and perhaps have my back, should one of my fellow students decide to attack me in my sleep."
"That happened?" Yelena asked with a frown.
Valek nodded. "It was competitive training. Everyone wanted to be the best and the most efficient way to ensure success is by wiping out the competition. Of course, it wasn't so bad in the beginning days of training, but by the end, only three out of the twenty-five original students were alive."
"Yeah, yeah. Impress Yelena with your barbaric stories later. Back to how we met…" Vivian prodded.
"Right, so I asked her what she was doing in my home and she started rattling off in another language. And after talking the entire night long, I came to the realization that she could understand what I was saying but didn't know how to speak my language. It took another arduous week for me to get pieces of her story and I nearly kicked her out when she tried to suggest we were related. It wasn't until I looked through her pack one day that I saw proof of her words." Valek paused to take a breath and Vivian completed his thought.
"I was out filching dresses and jewelry, (because that was what I'd been doing all my childhood) and on Valek's rare day off, he was looking through my stuff because he still wasn't convinced that I wasn't out to get him. When he opened my pack, he saw that I had a small painting of my mother and his mother. They were sisters and though the painting was old and smudged, the faces were recognizable." Vivian explained.
"It hadn't even occurred to me at that point that my aunt could have been Vivian's mother because she had been abducted years before my mother even married my father. I'd never met my aunt and my mother rarely talked about her because we had other things to worry about." Valek's eyes clouded momentarily before he continued. "But after seeing that picture, I finally understood and came to terms that perhaps Vivian might be telling the truth about her identity."
"And by the time he finally got his act together, I'd learned enough English to finally communicate with him and so there wasn't as much confusion." Vivan concluded.
"Wait, how did you find Valek?" Yelena asked.
"Oh, that was easy. I'd always known where my mother was from and I had more family left so once I was old enough, I went out searching for them. My father was power hungry and so all his children were trained from the moment they learned how to walk. I was the runt of the pack, so to speak, so he didn't care much what happened to me. After my mother died, there was nothing tying me to him and I figured now was as good a time as ever for me to pack my bags and get out of there." Vivian smiled and winked.
"Just like that?" Yelena asked incredulously. "You just got up and walked away from your home across the mountains and hunted down Valek?"
"Well, it was difficult, obviously." Vivian said with a calm shrug. "But it's the past, we move forward. As for finding Valek-"
"I'm just that magnetic. People can't stay away from me." Valek grinned smugly.
Vivian rolled her eyes. "This is true, unfortunately. You smell so terrible people travel all across the world simply to beg you to take a shower and put the rest of us out of our misery. Yelena, did you know Valek only used to bathe once a month? It was so disgusting." She gagged.
"More lies, Vivian?" Valek raised an eyebrow. "Don't you ever run out? At this point, I'd say you have an addiction. Have you gone to a medic to get your brain checked yet? This can't possibly be healthy…"
Before Vivian could respond, Yelena cut in again. "Alright. Wonderful. Now how did you guys meet Cai?" She steered them back on topic.
"Hm…I met him for the first time while stealing all the money in his pocket, I think." Vivian's forehead furrowed in concentration, trying to think back to their first meeting.
Valek snorted. "Have some shame, Vivian. It's one thing to be proud of one's profession but pickpocketing is the lowest level of crime."
Vivian glared. "Simply because the rest of us don't hang around dead bodies as much as you do, doesn't mean our jobs are any less taxing, Valek. Your lack of respect for others is rude and inconsiderate."
Yelena sighed, wondering if she would ever find out how the pair had found Cai. While waiting for Vivian and Valek to stop verbally attacking one another, she saw Cai gently pushing Ayden and Chiara out the door and into the hallway. "Have fun!" He said with a grin before closing the door and leaving them to wander the castle on their own.
Yelena gawked at him when he sat back down. "What did you just do? Something could happen to them!" Yelena exclaimed worriedly.
Cai shook his head happily. "Oh, don't worry. Nothing will happen. They wander around all the time." He assured her. "Besides, you forget my men walk around the castle too. They'll watch out for Ayden and Chiara."
Yelena was beginning to realize that Valek's issues with Cai were very relevant. But at the same time, she wondered how Vivian didn't know (or perhaps didn't care) that she was married to the most irresponsible man on earth.
"So how did you meet Cai?" Yelena asked Valek once there was a lull in insults.
"I was on a job. And while waiting for my prey to arrive, a drunk young man literally fell into my lap and puked all over my shirt. Being the youthful hothead that I was, I got up and punched him out. I thought he would attempt to attack back but instead, he just laid on the floor and burst into giggles. And then he introduced himself to me, as if I wanted to know." Valek shook his head in disgust.
"You did want to know who I was. I could see it in your eyes." Cai grinned and winked. "You simply stood there, arms tense, waiting for something. So I couldn't leave you hanging."
Valek rolled his eyes. "Vivian, why did you have to marry Cai of all people, why didn't you stick with Hunter?" He whined.
"Who is Hunter?" Yelena asked curiously.
"Oh, yeah, why didn't you stick with Hunter? You two made a splendid pair." Cai remarked, smirking.
Vivian threw a piece of food at Cai. "Man up. You aren't supposed to want me to be with someone else."
"We already knew he wasn't a true man." Valek cut in.
"Hey! If you were with him, I wouldn't have to worry about you cutting my head off. Your wrath would be his problem." Cai said at the same time.
Yelena shook her head sadly. This was just the nail in the coffin. Something was seriously wrong with Cai. "Right, so who is Hunter?" She repeated.
"Oh, he was the man who was courting me before Cai. His real name wasn't Hunter, by the way. He didn't like his ostentatious birth name and made everyone call him Hunter."
"What was his real name and why was he courting you? I thought you were a kid!" Yelena asked, alarmed.
Vivian rolled her eyes. "Dear, you forget we were living in a lawless land. Age doesn't matter, the way you carry yourself does. Besides, he didn't know how old I was and it's not like we did anything. I matured quickly and knew how to act much older than my true age. For all he knew, I was short and only a few years younger than him." And then she grinned wickedly. "Poor guy's true name was Sirhan Ugo Titan. I don't blame him for trying to run away from that." She snickered.
Valek snickered as well. "He did the right thing by changing his name. No one would take him seriously if he told them his name was Sirhan. But really, why did you break up? You two seemed perfect."
"Too perfect." Vivian wrinkled her nose. "Too similar, too. We were laid back about the same things, got fired up about the same things, the more we were together, the worse it got. When we were good, we were great, when we were not-so-good…well, we got into enough life threatening situations that we agreed to go separate ways."
Valek's brows shot up. "Life threatening? He became abusive?" He asked in shock.
Vivian snorted. "Naw, usually he was on the receiving end. You know what happens when people get angry. Furniture goes flying, glass breaks, things explode, things like that. That doesn't happen to you?" She raised calm eyebrows, as if that was the norm.
Valek simply stared for a moment. "Well, I'm glad you found someone new then. Though, for the record, no, that is not normal. You seriously need to see a medic. You know what, if money or pride is a problem, I'll have someone here look at you. It'll be completely confidential, I promise." He said seriously, only the slight twitch of his lips giving his amusement away.
Vivian leaned forward and addressed him with the same sincerity. "Thank you, dear cousin. Your consideration means so much to me. But I'm waiting until I find someone properly qualified, you know. I mean, I don't trust anyone who thinks you're sane because there is just something inherently wrong with you. And until a medic can accept all the facts, I don't trust them to care for me."
Cai snickered and then glanced at the window. "Ah, well, this has been fun. But we have to leave tomorrow so we need rest. Let's go, Vivian!" He hopped to his feet and held a hand out to his wife.
Vivian rolled her eyes and rose up gracefully after him. "Well, we'll see you in the morning, I guess." She said a little sadly and hugged both Yelena and Valek tightly. "Good night."
"Good night." The assassin and soul finder said in unison.
And as they waited for the King and Queen to leave, they heard Vivian ask. "Cai, where are my children?"
HEHE. CAI IS IN FOR IT. LOSING THE KIDS…
SO, I THINK THE NEXT CHAPTER SHOULD BE THE LAST? I HAD A WEDDING AND YELENA FIGHTING REQUEST. UH…I DON'T THINK YELENA AND VALEK ARE READY FOR MARRIAGE AT ALL AND IT'S KINDA HARD FOR ME TO MAKE YELENA GO ON THE DEFENSIVE FOR THIS STORY. SORRY. I'LL SEE IF I CAN FIT SOMETHING IN THOUGHT. LIKE A LAST MINUTE FIGHT TRAINING THINGY…MAYBE.
IMPORTANT: KINDA…I MADE A CHANGE TO CHAPTER 4. I TOOK THE COWARD'S WAY OUT WHEN YELENA WAS SUPPOSED TO MEET VIVIAN SO I WENT BACK AND CHANGED IT. IT'S JUST A FEW PARAGRAPHS IN THE MIDDLE IF YOU WANT TO GO BACK AND READ THE CHANGES. IT DOESN'T AFFECT THE REST OF THE STORY BUT IS AMUSING :)
As always, please Review.