I almost said Staking of the Clams, which would be funny, as that might indicate there are vampire clams in an around the school. Not that their couldn’t be; around this place we know there are squid-like creatures living in the walls, getting ready to lash out at bad guys and maybe a misbehaving student or two. Vampire clams? Maybe Kerry will order them for his birthday dinner.
Also, in other news, with this scene over, the novel is just over six hundred and seventy words from hitting the four hundred thousand word mark, and that should happen sometime tonight while writing the next scene. That is a long time writing, and I can’t say if I’ll ever get up there again–okay, maybe when I write the D Level story, ’cause that’s a big one, too. And the E Level. Maybe. At least I think I can keep most of the B Level book to around one hundred and fifty thousand words. Until I really start going from meta to detail plotting, that is . . .
So Kerry gets a present–and I’m told Coraline’s being cheap, too, because a used hospital gown and a kiss? You can bet Coraline’s getting more than that for her birthday–unless she’s got like a dozen cats back in her room in the Instructor’s Residence, then maybe not. I would imagine that she gets a lot of offers for date, but being a romantic at heart, she’s probably picky about who she lets close to her.
The truth is, as we saw with Kerry’s gift to Annie, things are more from the heart around here. You’re a witch, you do magic, you’ve done some amazing things–I need to give you something to remind you that when you walked in the front door you were this gigantic mope when you started, and you fought monsters and lived to fight another day–literally in Kerry’s case. Every time you see this you’ll remember that day, which may or may not be a good thing, ’cause you could be suffering from PTSD in a few years. Here’s hoping you’re not. And also you get a kiss from the hottest doctor at the school . . .
That’s said, being the touchy-feely doctor she is, sometimes she’s not thinking about who’s around when she hands out the affection . . .
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
“Thanks.” He watched Coraline’s face as her eyes shifted towards Annie and locked with hers for just a moment. Kerry turned his head towards Annie just enough to catch the look on her face, which was something of a cross between surprise and annoyance. He wasn’t quite certain why she was starting at Nurse Coraline that way, but he was wise enough to know it had something to do with the kiss she planted on his cheek.
Coraline’s chuckle was almost inaudible at she continued looking at Annie. “I guess I should have asked permission first.”
Annie stood with arms crossed. “Yes.”
“I’ll remember that in the future.”
A smile began spreading across the girl’s face. “Thank you.”
With that over Coraline turned her attention back to Kerry. “You can leave those things here; I’ll see to it they get sent to your rooms. Wouldn’t do to have you carry them around for most of the day.”
“Thanks.” Kerry waited for Annie to returned her smock before he lay his folded hospital gown back in the box and turned back to face the somewhat blushing school doctor.
“Okay, you two—” Coraline nodded towards the door. “You better get off to breakfast. Oh, and Kerry?”
“Stop by the security office before you head off to class. Isis wants to see you as well.”
While he had figured that Coraline wanted them up to the hospital to give him a birthday greeting, he couldn’t figure out what the Chief of Security wanted with him. “Will do.”
First, why see Isis? You’ll find out. Second: Annie’s handing out the stink eye? Uh, oh. That doesn’t sound good. And you find out why just a minute or two later . . .
Kerry turned and was out the door to the first floor walkway with Annie alongside. He waited until they were at the stop of the stairs leading to the Rotunda below before he asked his question. “Why did Coraline look at you so strangely? Was it because she kissed me?”
“Can I ask why?”
Annie stopped half way down the staircase and turned to the puzzled boy. Her smile grew wider as she analyzed his confusion. “Still a bit clueless?”
“Just a little.”
“When we meet her the first time, after our E & As, she put her arm around your shoulders and hugged you because she wanted to force a reaction from me—”
He remembered that night well. “She wanted to see if you really loved me.”
“Yes, and she found out I did.” The smile wavered just a little. “All these months later, she has no doubt that I love you, and you love me—and she still kissed you.” She ran the tip of her middle finger over Kerry’s right cheek. “Right here.”
Yes, a long time ago, Coraline hugged Kerry just to watch Annie’s eyes open wider and nostrils to flare, because she wanted to know if the girl really was in love with Kerry. She got her answer, and has proceeded onward with that knowledge.
Months later, Annie’s even more in love, and–
Annie left her fingers against his skin, barely touching. “Just as I’m doing now, I’ve touched this cheek; I’ve caressed it; I’ve kissed it many times, mostly when we’re laying together in bed, comfortable in each other’s embrace. This cheek is as much mine as it is yours, my love.” She removed her fingers, taking many seconds to pull them away as she dropped her hand to her side. “When she kissed you there, she invaded my space—without my permission.” Annie shook her head. “I can’t have that, my love. Ever.”
Kerry knew that their love was deep and intense: he felt it from his end, and he was certain Annie felt it as much or more. It was only now, however, that he understood the full extent of her feelings. “I’m sorry.”
“I don’t blame you.” Annie’s stare burned into Kerry’s eyes. “But you’re mine, my darling, and to have someone else being too familiar with you . . .” She lowered her eyes and smiled as she gently straightened his jacket. “That is a problem.”
Annie’s marked her guy, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a grown-up ginger doctor–and Coraline is–in her thirties: get too affectionate with him in front of her, and there may be . . . trouble.
And though we know Coraline can take care of herself, because we’ve seen her fight Professor Chai, Annie might still have the advantage because death spells. It hard to say if she’d bleed out someone who kissed Kerry–unless said person is another ginger girl, this time from Colorado, and that fight might get a little ugly.
Let’s just hope Kerry doesn’t play the fool and let girls kiss him on the cheek, and then turn around and say, “Not my fault: she wanted to kiss me.” Yeah, he’s been warned, too, and I’m certain there are ways Annie can show her displeasure with him without resorting to violence.
That’s my hope, at least.
He’s a smart kid; he’ll figure it out . . .