Zola Flash Chapter 10 - Pin's POV

“WAKE UP, PRINCESS!” I yell for a third time in a row.  If I had known dealing with this . . . this princess on a personal basis would be torture, I would have left her to Rican.  Or at the very least told my brother to deal with this himself.

If her rebellious, youngling hormones weren’t enough, the disobedience is.  On Payohlini, she would have been trained properly to obey her superiors.  To wake up the first time she was told.  She would have been trained to be a proper lady and princess.  But no, Yala and Dimi let her live a commoner’s life.

I watch the girl pretending to sleep on the bed.  She believes she can do what she wants here on this planet, and the story I told her last night has her believing I’m different than what she has been told.  Telling her that story was a mistake, especially since most of it was lies. 

“Zola, get up before you make me do something you’ll regret.” Or before I do something that will bring my brother’s wrath upon me.

She shakes her head without looking at me.  “You’re just saying that.”

This insolent, little . . .

I trek away from her before I do something I’ll regret, like strangle the child.  One thing learned during my time is that no creature likes the cold, except the Zooloozes.  Earth seems to have an abundance of resources most planets in my galaxy would kill for.  Water being one.  I turn on the well I discovered last night and wait for the water to get cold.  It may not get as cold as the water on Victian or Payohlini, but it’ll get my point across to the girl.

Heading back to where she pretends to slumber, I dump the container of fluid clean over her head.  My father did this to teach me a lesson once.  Instead of something as harmless as water, it was acid.  It took ages for the scar to heal and become unnoticeable.

Zola jumps up on the bed, gasping.  “I’m up, I’m up!”  She spins towards me, her stardust blue eyes pointed blankly in my direction.  “What was that for?”

“I told you to get up.  Your clothes are already laid out.”  I point to the stack of clothing lying on a chair.  It took me most of the night to find out how to blend in to this new society.  Girls her age go to high school.  It’s supposed to be a place of learning, but if these Earthlings are still in their learning stage at her age, these school must not be doing their jobs.  Younglings on Payohlini exit learning stage by their thirteenth year.  If going to school is how I will keep this one compliant and invisible though, that is where we will be going.

Zola glance from me to the pile of clothing.  She shoves pass me, her long wet hair slamming into my face.  Before I can stop myself, I’m inhaling the sweet scent of gushberries.  It’s a smell I know all too well, and she smell of it.  Sweet and deadly.  She comes to a full stop and glare up at me.  I let her witness me weak.  That can’t happen again.  Not if she’s to still be afraid of the cold-hearted Payohlini.  And I need her afraid.  If she’s fearful, we’re both safe.  For now.

I leave her to dress herself.  There is no way I’m going to allow her out of my sight for a full day.  Arrangements were made for me at this so-called school, and I need to dress as well.  I’m only halfway decent when she comes barging into the quarters I’ve taken for myself.  She stops in the doorway and stares as I pull on a shirt.  It’s a look of pure lust.  I’ve seen in multiple times on my admirers throughout the years.  But I cannot allow her to have such thoughts.  For one, Renz wants her.  And what Renz wants, he generally gets.  Secondly, those thoughts are dangerous for a girl like her.  I’ve watched her grow into the person she is today.  She’s too innocent.  Too sheltered.  She can’t handle the implication of such thoughts.  I can’t handle the implication of those thoughts.  I want her afraid, not in lust.

The admiration fades from her eyes as she remembers why she came barging in.  She throws the clothing she is holding at me.  “You have to be kidding me.”

I knew she would respond that way to the clothes.  Victian women aren’t known for their modesty, but I can’t very well have her on display.  I’m certain that wouldn’t equal invisible.  Stepping over the pile at my feet, I go over to where she stands.  So small and . . . I lean down until we’re level, and do my best not to inhale her again.  “Learn to like it.” I whisper in her eyes. “’Cause it’s your new best friend.”

She stiffens beside me, and the silence within the room makes it easy to hear her heart and labored breathing.  Gods, she like that.  Maybe training her to be acquiescent won’t be as testing as I previously assumed.  I jerk up right as her heart starts beating faster.  I got to get away from this girl.  I head towards the door, but stop.  I refuse to glance back at her.  It would be a mistake.  “You might want to get that examined.  Even for a Victian, your heart’s beating a little too fast.”

An involuntary laugh escapes me.  I shut it down and leave the room.  Why did I say that to her?  Stuff like that should not be spoken towards her.  I go to the kitchen and search for substance.  I haven’t eaten since before rescuing Zola from Rican.  If I had been sooner finding Zola after losing sight of her on the battle field, I could have saved her sister.  Renz might have ordered all but her dead, but young Cleo could have been saved.  No child of Cleo’s age deserved such brutality and death.

At the sound of approaching footsteps, I place my cup on the counter.  I glance up and freeze, eyes glued to Zola.  She prances over to me, looking very much a woman rather than a youngling.

“How do I look?” She asked.

“You . . .” I can’t seem to pull my gaze away from her.  She looks beautiful in the malformed uniform.  I can’t believe she turned one of the most reserved pieces of attire into something . . . something . . . “you destroyed it.”

“No, I made it look better.”

It looks definitely . . . better.

“Whatever.”  I look her over one last time before forcing my eyes away.  Get a grip Pin.  You are Prince of Payohlini.  A little covering will not be your undoing.  “Come, I need to talk to you.”

A pair of arms wrap around my neck and I stiffen.  Victian women have always been straight forward.  Zola has always been straight forward, even as a youngling when she didn’t get her way.  I don’t know why I didn’t think her pursuit of me would be as such.  “What’s wrong?” She asks.  There’s a bit of seriousness to her tone.

I remove her arms from around me and put some distance between us.  I wish I could put a planet between us but that’s out of the question.  “Nothing bad.  I just want to talk about our new life.”  I wait until she moves to the opposite side of the table to continue.  “We have to blend in with these people.  Luckily, I found out where we are.  This place is called New York.  Girls your age go to school.”  I pause again.  Should I mention the connections I have here on Earth?  I could always swing it to make it look like the Guardians have set this up.  “You have been enrolled into Manhattan Academy for boys and girls.  I will be one of the physical education teachers.”

I reach into my pockets and pull out the papers with our schedule on them.  I pass her hers.  “These are our schedules.  You did have a uniform,” I study the cut-up pieces she’s wearing, “but you destroyed it.  Don’t ask me how I did this, but we should now blend in on Earth.”

Zola studies the paper with a scowl.  Most of her classes are advance.  If she’s going to be re-entering her learning stage, I at least want her at the top tier.  “School starts when?” 

“Thirty minutes.”  I get from my seat.  We should have left a while ago.  If she would have awakened the first time, we would be on time.  I gesture for her to get up.  “Which means it is time for us to take leave.”

I go over to the exit and hold open the door.  Zola takes her own time exiting.  When she finally does, I lock up and join her down the alley.  Neither of us speak as we walk.  I’m too busying making sure no one notice her in that skin-baring covering.  She had to go and disturb a perfectly laid out plan.

It’s not until we’re close to the school that Zola speaks.  “So . . . um . . . are you going to tell me anymore about my life?”

Her question makes me tense, but I nod.  She needs to know what’s going on to understand the severity of the situation.  Or at least where she comes into play.  I can’t tell her about me or my brother.  “The other night, when you asked me why you needed a Guardian, I didn’t think it was the right time.  You’re only sixteen.  But as you’re out on your own, you need to know.”  I glance down at her as we walk on to campus.  “When you were first born, my people invaded your planet and killed all the shape-shifters.  All except you.” Truth.  “You were just a baby at the time, and the rulers of Victian, your parents, made a deal with the Payohlini rulers.” Truth.  “The Victians agreed to put you into hiding until you became of age. I guess my people never intended on keeping their end of the deal.” Lie.

I hate lying to her.  If only I could give her the full truth, she could prepare herself for what is to come.  Nevertheless, some truth is better than no truth, and I’ve given her all I can without condemning myself and risking her trying to escape.

She comes to a complete stop and stares up at me, eyes wide with shock and some fear.  “If my parents were the rulers of Victian that would make me a princess.”  She stops walking as realization floods her mind.  “That’s why you call me Princess.”

“Yes.”  She’s the princess of Victian and so much more.  She’s so many things.  Things she will never be able to understand, and I feel bad for her.  At least behind her walls, she was protected.  She’s out in the open now, and my brother wants what he’s been promised.  Her life will never be the same again.