Preview Into Expermia Chapter 27
“This is the sequel of my worst nightmare come true.” Xena played with her fingers.
Hunter snickered, covering his mouth with his hand. “I know it’s not funny, but that was clever.”
Xena cracked a smile.
“There’s got to be a way to use this to help us, but I can’t figure out how.” Hunter peered out at the mass of reporters.
Kathra appeared in the door of the kitchen. “Xena, what’s happening?”
“Nothing, Kat. Just go back in.” Xena peeked through the curtains. Cameras flashed in her face.
“Keep behind the curtain, Xena.” Hunter pulled her back.
“There are cameras all over.” Kathra joined Xena at the window.
Alsai walked to the entry. “What are all those people doing?” She gaped out of the sidelight. “They’re trampling on my garden.”
“I’ll take care of this.” Daion rolled up his sleeves. As soon as he swung the front door open, all the reporters shouted at once. He raised his hands to quiet them. “There is nothing to see here. Now, off with you. This is private property.” He swung his arms to shoo them, but his gestures made the noise of their questions grew.
“Oh, my poor garden.” Alsai clutched at one of her toagae.
Xena made sure Hunter was watching his uncle and peeked out of the window again. She saw a black hover car pull up. On the hood were two Expermian flags—a black background with a blue stripe outlined in silver running diagonal from the left to the right.
Out of this car stepped Marviot. Xena laid her ears back. He was not the one she wanted to see right now. He stood motionless, but his head trained from one end of the lawn to the other. Two other figures got out of the car after him. One stood with his hands on his hips, surveying the scene. The other put his hands in his pockets and turned his eyes to Marviot.
Marviot pushed his way through the crowd, stood on the porch, and held up his hands. The other two followed him. The reporters quieted and faced him, pens hovering over notepads and cameras trained on his face.
“You all are dismissed,” Marviot said. “A statement will be read tomorrow at the Council’s Headquarters. Until then you are to leave this home and its occupants alone.”
The reporters’ voices rose in protest, but soon they disbanded.
“Thank you for that, Captain Cunor.” Daion stepped inside. “Please come in.” He motioned them in.
Hunter leapt forward and slammed the door in Marviot’s face.
“Hairo! What is the meaning of this?” Daion scrambled to open the door.
Hunter whirled on his uncle, ears flat and teeth bared. “I don’t want that guy in this house, and I don’t want him near Xena.”
Kathra looked up at Xena. Xena gave her a reassuring smile, but she didn’t want Marviot in the house either. Not after what he had done to her in the temple.
“Don’t be ridiculous.” Alsai put her hands on her hips. “If anything, you owe him an apology after he went out of his way to help you into the Academy. He put himself on a limb for you. You owe him that much for running away.”
“I owe him a swift kick in the pants.” But Hunter didn’t interrupt when Daion opened the door again.
“I’m sorry about that,” Daion said.
“Never mind.” Marviot rubbed his nose as he walked in. “I’m sure you have an interesting explanation.”
“Maybe that’s the way Outsiders say hello,” said a voice that sounded like a laugh.
“That could be a plausible explanation,” another voice said, similar yet different. “We know what barbarians they are.”
The two figures Xena had seen following Marviot walked in. She gasped as she saw them. She had never seen twins before. They had the same red fur, the same brown hair that flipped up at the ends, and the same brown eyes. But one of them kept his hair shorter than the other. The one with shorter hair stood with his hands behind his back. His hair faded to blonde at the ends. The other one kept his hair long enough to cover the back of his neck. His hair faded to green at the ends.
“No way.” A smile leapt onto Hunter’s face. “Caileb? Jaicob? Is that you?”
“Bro!” The green-haired one threw his arm around Hunter.
“Hello, Hairo.” The other one smiled. “Nice to see you’re doing well.”
“I haven’t seen you in ages.” The green-haired one chafed Hunter’s hair. “Not since that party we went to in that Outsider—”
“That outside pavilion in school.” The blonde one stepped in between them. “That big party we had on the dorm lawn before you ran away. Right, Jaicob?” He glanced at Marviot.
“Oh, yeah.” Jaicob scratched his hair. “That’s right.”
“You’re still clueless, Jake.” Hunter flicked Jaicob’s ear.
“I just act that way to throw off the—” Jaicob froze when he caught sight of Xena. “Oh, hello girl with the pretty, silver fur.”
Caileb turned to her. His ears fell. “Oh, my . . . It really is silver.”
Xena took a step back from them, pulling Kathra behind her. She didn’t know who these characters were, but they weren’t going to get near her or her sister.
“These are my nephews, Caileb and Jaicob.” Marviot put a hand on their heads. “I brought them over here hoping to introduce them to this young lady. Hello again, Xena.”
Xena glowered at him.
Hunter clicked his tongue. “If I had known you two were here, I would have let you in and only slammed the door on his nose.” He narrowed his eyes at Marviot.
“Hairo, stop being rude.” Alsai flicked his ear.
Hunter rubbed his ear but showed no other sign that what his aunt did bothered him. “What are you doing here, Marviot?”
Marviot studied Hunter’s face. “Hello, Hairo. It’s nice to see you again.”
“What. Are you. Doing here?” Hunter said through his teeth.
Marviot raised an eyebrow. “Why are you angry with me? Did I do something to you?”
Hunter growled a deep guttural noise that rose up from his stomach. His legs tensed, his fists clenched, and he ground his teeth so hard that Xena could hear them squeak.
“Hunter, no.” Xena held him back before he lunged at Marviot.
“Perhaps you are forgetting that incident at school, Uncle Marviot.” Caileb crossed his arms.
Jaicob rocked back and forth on the balls of his feet. “The same incident we quit the Training program over.”
“Oh, yes. That.” Marviot cleared his throat. “You can rest assured that I have been thoroughly disciplined for that, and the shame of that incident will follow my seed for generations to come. I apologize, Hairo. Sincerely, I do. I did it for Expermia’s good, but I was misguided.”
Hunter hissed through his teeth, but he let his fists relax. “If you guys weren’t here . . .”
“Well, then.” Marviot clapped his hands together. “Now that that’s over.”
“It’s far from over,” Hunter muttered.
“I didn’t think it was possible that you found your way back into Expermia without us knowing about it, Hairo, but they told me that you picked up this young lady from the Council’s Headquarters this afternoon.” Marviot smiled at Xena. “I see you’re doing well.”
Xena let a growl escape her.
“Geez, Uncle Marv.” Jaicob put his hands behind his head. “You sure make a good first impression.”
Marviot threw up his arms. “I honestly have no idea what her problem is.”
Xena’s tail bristled. “Maybe it’s shooting me with a gun, and then locking me in a room all by myself.”
“You shot her?” Hunter bared his teeth at Marviot.
“Oh, dear!” Alsai covered her mouth with her hands, and Daion furrowed his brows.
Kathra ducked behind Xena.
“Uncle Marviot.” Caileb faked a gasp. “How could you do something like that?” He covered his mouth with his hand.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk, Uncle Marv.” Jaicob crossed his index fingers, stroking one against the other. “For shame.”
“Knock it off, you two.” Marviot shook his head with a smile. “The gun was set to stun. I made sure of it. And I had to do it. I needed to subdue her before she electrocuted someone.”
“And as for the room . . . it was the only place I could think of where your abilities could be properly contained.” Marviot placed a hand on his heart. “I assure you, I had your best intentions at heart. You wouldn’t want to be guilty of killing someone, would you?”
“You sure do have a lot of people’s best intentions at heart.” But Xena couldn’t argue with his logic. She would have been devastated if she really had electrocuted someone. Her electricity had nearly killed someone once.
“Nevertheless, I came over here to see how you were faring and to deliver two messages to you. The first is that the Grand Councilwoman requests your presence for tea tomorrow at 10:30 am.” Marviot handed her a black envelope with silver writing on it. “The other is that your grandparents are looking for you. After tea you will be brought back here to pack your things and be escorted back to them.” He turned to leave. “Let’s go, Caileb and Jaicob. No need to overstay our welcome.”
Hunter snorted. “If her grandparents are looking for her, why was she being held for two weeks and no one come get her?”
Marviot glanced over his shoulder. “Because they knew where she was when she was with us and knew she was safe. I assume since you are a Trainer she will be safe with you for the night.”
“But then why didn’t they come visit me?” Xena stepped forward. “I was so lonely there all alone.”
“I can’t venture to say.” Marviot walked out the door without another word.
“Sorry about any offense my uncle may have caused you.” Caileb bowed to her before following Marviot out.
“My uncle isn’t a people-person.” Jaicob jerked a finger in the direction Marviot went in. “But I’m sure he wouldn’t hurt you or nothin’.”
“Jaicob, let’s go,” Marviot called.
“Good bye, my pretty Silver Fox.” Jaicob bowed with a flourish. “And good bye, little cutie I didn’t get introduced to.” He waved at Kathra.
Kathra peeked out from behind Xena and waved.
“Later, Hairo.” Jaicob walked out, waving to Hunter’s aunt and uncle as he went.
“Bye, Jake.” Hunter closed the door after him.
© 2015 M.R. Anglin. Do not copy or redistribute without author’s permission. Into Expermia (and other books) is available for purchase here: www.amazon.com/M.R.-Anglin/e/B…
A True Hero Preview
The old version for comparison:
© 2015 M.R. Anglin. Don't steal; It's Caileb and Jaicob. Who'd want to steal that?