Practice makes perfect
“I can do this. I'll be okay.”
I wrap my arms around him and hug him tightly. “Please be careful and no matter what don't give up. I have faith in you Shan.”
“I promise you I will make it through this alive.”
I reluctantly let him go.
They were able to negotiate with the princes to let him rest/ prepare for 24 hours before and after the trials. There will be five. They also negotiated away some of the worst trials because Shan is so young and inexperienced. I can only hope for the best.
Vanez, the one eyed games master, offered to be Shan's Trial tutor. He will be able to help him prepare. When he is far enough away from Shan I say to him “Vanez,” bowing slightly. “Please...I have grown very fond of my new friend Darren. I am trusting you to help him.”
He smiles. “You are a very good standing young woman Catarina. He is lucky to have you as a friend. You will make a very good vampire.” Vampires value loyalty and honestly and trustworthiness very much.
I nod. “Thank you.”
Kurda smiles at me as we walk through the halls together. I get along very well with Kurda. He is soon to be a prince but it is difficult for him because he is teased a lot for his stance on no fighting. Despite, being in agreement with him on many things, I find myself going to Arra for help.
“Arra,” I bow.
She smiles. “You need not bow to me every time we meet.”
“I am aware of that but I respect you and that is how I show it. Do you object?”
“No,” she shakes her head. “You are a very good standing young vampire from what I have seen. There is no doubt in my mind that you will make an exceptional full vampire some day.”
“Thank you Arra,” I say. Her and Mr. Crepsley used to be mates. Seba told me this. He said vampires pick someone to be their mates by committing to them for five or ten years. If they do not wish to stay together after those years it is fine. Vampires don't usually stay together for long and they do not marry or divorce. Because of the way they live and how long they live it is just the way it is. “Arra, I came to see you today because I wish to ask you a favor.”
“A favor?” she inquires curiously.
I nod. “I was wondering if you would please, if it is not too much trouble, do me the honor of teaching me how to fight.”
“Why do you desire this?”
“As I have already experienced, many look upon me as weak because of my gender. I need strength to survive in this world as a vampire. It is not an easy life I have chosen. Please, I am asking you because you have been through the trials three times to prove yourself. You are strong and honorable. It would be a great honor to learn from you Arra,” I am using my heart's words right now and I am hoping she says yes.
She looks at me for a moment, thinking about it. “I will not go easy on you. Think about what you are getting yourself into.”
“I am not afraid.”
“You are very brave Catarina, many have seen this quality in you. But you are young and maybe foolish.”
“Please Arra, you are the best teacher I could ask for. Whatever you can show me will surely be a help.”
“Okay, since you went through all the trouble to flatter me then I guess I can help you.”
Of course the others think I am crazy and I know it does have it's truth to it. I am slightly nervous after seeing her fight with Shan but I know I need the strength to prove myself as a strong woman vampire, so I can survive in this difficult world. I respect Arra and that is why I asked her for help.
While Shan is practicing with Vanez for his first trials, an aquatic maze, I practice with Arra. The maze Shan has to do is he has to find his way out of the maze in time. There will be a rock half his weight tied to his waist to slow him down and meanwhile the maze will be filling with water. Seventeen minutes and it will be completely submerged.
Later we all meet to eat together. Harkat, the little person, tells Shan that some people are betting on him. He said that Kurda said to Seba that he will eat his cape if Shan fails. I have faith in him. “I'm so tired,” he complains.
“You need your rest,” I agree.
“How is it going with Arra?”
“It's hard but it's good,” I reply. “I am rather bruised now though.”
Mr. C asks Arra how she thinks I did. She smiles. “Catarina is doing better than I expected. She is very good at defensive moves because she is so agile but she needs to work a little more on her attack.”
It is true that I am very agile. I bounce around the bars and dodge attacks with ease. That ballet did come in handy for some things.
I walk with Shan back to his room. “I wish I could have seen you fight with Arra,” he yawns.
“No you don't,” I laugh quietly. “Now get to bed and sleep well.”
“Okay, Goodnight Catarina.”
“Shan....do well tomorrow, okay?”
He looks at how serious I am and nods. “I promise.”
I lean closer to him and quickly peck his cheek before hurrying away.
A/N: I would really LOVE it if someone would comment on my story PLEASE