It's been a little over a month since Olive entered his life, but Cube is never quite sure how to treat her, or how to interact with her at all.
Although he knew that he should get on with finishing up the day's housework, he couldn't stop himself from stopping to just close his eyes and listen to the storm build. He'd always found comfort in the sound of the wind and the rain, and that day, the first time his master had had business to take care of out of the city and left him alone with the mistress all day since the night she'd appeared in their lives a little over a month before, he rather needed the chance to relax.
It wasn't that Olive had been any trouble at all. She was always warmly affectionate, always eager to help around the house in any way that should could, sweet to the point that he worried a little what would happen in a year when her father started sending her to school and to work and people outside their home began having an influence on her. It felt like it would be such a shame if anything were to change her.
But Cube never knew quite how to treat her, or how to interact with her at all. He was a demon, after all, no matter how redeemed from his roots he might consider himself to be. He didn't know if the gods would appreciate his getting close to a child who had spent her entire life growing in the light of heaven, entirely untainted by the human realm and certainly never once stained by the sins of his kind. She was a rare and precious thing, and he would never want to risk being the first person to tarnish that.
As he thought all this, there was a roll of thunder loud enough that the house seemed to shake around him.
Then the screaming started.
"Mistress!" Cube shouted, instantly breaking first into a run, then pushing off the ground into flight, towards her room. As he flew, scenarios about what might have happened to Olive flashed through his mind--maybe a fighter the master had beaten during his days as a wandering swordsman still carried a grudge and had decided to harm Olive as revenge, maybe the untrained magical potential that Cube was sure he sensed in Olive had gone out of control and she'd set herself on fire, maybe, maybe, maybe.
He was so caught up in imagining up horrible things that might be happening that his brain came to a complete stop for a moment from the surprise of opening her door to find everything looking completely normal, aside from Olive herself sitting up straight in her bed, trembling all over hard enough for him to see it from across the room. "Mistress? Did you have a nightmare?" he asked, unable to see anything else that it might be.
Without answering Olive wailed and flung herself from her bed, at him. Her arms clinched around his stomach with a surprisingly tight grip for such a slight girl and she buried her face in his chest. "Cube! Cube," she finally said, her voice muffled by his shirt. "The world's /breaking/. Didn't you hear it?"
"Mistress?" he asked, confused. Then there was another crash of thunder and Olive began trembling harder, whimpering like a wounded animal, and understanding dawned. "Why, Mistress, have you never been in a storm before?"
Under normal circumstances it would be hard for him to believe that anyone could live for nine years without ever seeing rain, but Olive's life had been far from normal. What were the chances that the realm of the sun god, of all deities, would ever have anything but bright balmy days? If he stopped to think about it, it was really more surprising that she'd already known what night was when Sol had brought her to them than that she'd never before heard thunder.
"Mistress, do you trust me?" he asked, and Olive's complete lack of hesitation before nodding as well as she could in her current position warmed his heart although he wasn't sure what he might have done within the previous month to earn that faith in him. "Then believe me when I say you have nothing to be afraid of."
As if his word was the only thing she needed to know everything would be okay, her shaking finally began to still and she pulled away enough for him to see her tear-streaked face. "You promise?"
"What sort of butler would I be if I lied to my mistress?" he asked, hoping that his small fangs didn't ruin the affect of the comforting smile he tried to give her. He produced a handkerchief from his pocket and began to dab at her cheeks. As he looked at her staring up at him with large, affectionate, eyes he suddenly felt compelled to add, "You will never have to fear anything, Mistress Olive. If you're ever in any danger, I swear that I'll be there to save you before you can be harmed. May your god Sol strike me down if I break my word."
Olive managed a smile and a giggle. "He doesn't need to do that. I know that you wouldn't say something you didn't mean."
Cube shuffled his feet, a little embarrassed with himself, and quickly changed the subject. "Anyway, Mistress, come stand by the window. I'll tell you about thunder and lightning."
As he began his explanation of the god Jupiter's work he tried to think of other things it would be good for Olive to know about before she experienced them for herself. He realized suddenly just how much there was to teach her before she entered society on her tenth birthday.
He thought perhaps he had finally figured out where he was supposed to fit in her life.