Winter's Child: Chapter 5

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Mitsuo is a promising martial artist and dating the most popular girl in school. Life seems perfect until his sixteenth birthday when he comes into his mother's heritage and his father's curse.

 
 

Winter's Child
Chapter 5
Four Seasons

By
Amethyst
He was still staring like a deer caught in the headlights. “Okay Miyuki I’ll see you naked.” He blushed and quickly corrected himself, “Later! I’ll see you later!”

 


 
Author's Note: Sorry this one is a bit late folks, it has been a rough week. On top of being jittery and not able to focus well until I can afford my anti anxiety meds and hormones next week, my computer crashed Sunday night and I lost all of Chapter five. I managed to rewrite it relatively quickly after a bit of an emotional breakdown and an anxiety attack. Thankfully it was only Winter's Child that was lost and I managed to remember most of how I had written it once I calmed down. I will hopefully be able to keep to my regular posting schedule this week unless something else happens. Thanks as usual to my readers and of course the Big Closet team who work tirelessly to give us all a great place to post and read TG fiction. ~Amethyst.
 


 
Chapter 5: Four Seasons

We arrived at Haneda airport and made our way inside as quickly as possible. Mom wasn’t sure but she thought somebody had been following us so she wanted us on that plane as soon as possible. As soon as we were safe inside the very public and crowded airport lobby we headed straight for the information desk where my father gave our family name to the lady there and told her we were guests of Gina Fox. She looked it up on her computer terminal and then nodded before making a quick call. “Your security escort will be here shortly Thompson-san.”

Waiting for the escort was the five longest minutes of my life. Soon two large airport security guards showed up with a well-dressed Japanese woman with hair down to her hips dressed in a red blazer and skirt with matching shoes and a white chemise. “I am Miss Fox’s personal assistant, Murai Natsumi,” she said by way of introduction. “It is an honor to meet all of you.” She took a quick look around, “We had best get to the plane so we can take off. Miss Fox is waiting for us on board.”

Mom nodded, taking her own cautious look around. “It’s a pleasure to meet you as well Murai-san, yes we best not keep Fox-san waiting.” Then we were on our way in the company of the two guards and Natsumi through the airport. Something about the way the woman moved made me think that she was more than just a personal assistant. Her movements were fluid, she seemed to have very good balance, and there was a confidence in the way she carried herself that I only ever saw in competent fighters. I decided that she was probably here to protect us more than the security guards were.

We didn’t go to customs or the departures gate as I had expected us to, not that I’m complaining as I wanted on that plane soon. Instead we were escorted to an exit by a private runway that I guessed was used for private planes and corporate jets, those that could afford and had need of privacy and discretion. The guards left our group at the exit and we walked toward the plane in the company of Gina Fox’s assistant. It was black with a silver lining and a silver fox emblem like that on Kei’s armor on the tail fin. Don’t’ ask me what kind of plane it was because I’m not much of a plane person and have no idea.

We followed the woman in red up the steps and into the plane. The inside of the plane looked as nice as the outside with wood paneled walls, plush blue carpet and all the seats looked comfortable and were upholstered in white leather. Toward the front of the plane was a door which I later learned led to the cockpit and flight attendants area. Toward the rear was a long narrow hallway and sitting in one of the seats was a woman with platinum blonde hair and green eyes who bore a strong resemblance to a certain Kitsune’s human form.

The door was sealed as soon as we were on board and the blonde woman smiled at us. “Thank you Natsumi, please inform the pilot that we are ready to take off.” As Natsumi nodded and headed through the door and beyond the woman smiled at us. “Welcome all of you, I’m Gina Fox. It is nice to meet you all face to face, my brother was worried we might be cutting things a bit close but I was sure you would make it here on time. As you may have guessed I am a Kitsune.”

Kei was staring at her. “You… you’re…”

“I see that my nephew knows my face and name,” Gina said with a grin.

“Are you famous or something?” I asked. I had thought she was some kind of reclusive millionaire.

“You really don’t know who Gina Fox is Miyuki?” Kei looked shocked at that.

“Should I?” I wondered aloud.

He groaned and quickly explained, “Gina Fox is one of the top fashion designers in the world. She is based in Montreal and a lot of girls want to wear her clothes.”

I shrugged, “Kei I have been a girl for all of two days, please cut me some slack here.” Then I decided to move the subject away from my fashion ignorance. “Your assistant isn’t just an assistant is she? She is far too aware of her body and movements to not be a fighter of some sort.”

Gina gave me a broad smile at that. “Very astute Miyuki-chan, Natsumi is a form of Yōkai called Harionago. She may look human but I assure you she can be quite deadly. Each strand of her hair is tipped with a razor sharp barb and her skin does not cut easily. So not only does she make a great cup of coffee and do a wonderful job of keeping my affairs in order but she also makes a good bodyguard. I believe you two ladies could have done an admirable job protecting yourselves but I felt better being cautious until we got you on the plane.”

Mom nodded at that. “I appreciate your concern and your caution, Fox-san.”

“Please call me Gina Yuki-san,” the Kitsune woman replied. “My nephew and Miyuki can call me Aunt Gina if they like, as we will all be spending a lot of time together once you are all settled in at home.”

“And where exactly will home be?” my father asked.

“Well I should think that would be obvious, you will all be living with me at my home in Montreal. I assure you that you will all be quite safe and comfortable there,” she replied.

My mother frowned at that but after a moment’s thought she nodded. “I hope we will not be intruding Gina.”

“Of course not Yuki,” Gina was quick to assure. “it gets lonely sometimes in that big house with just myself, Natsumi, Zoe and Jenny. You will meet Zoe and Jenny when we get home. Besides, Kei is my nephew now so he’s family and since you’re his legal guardians and Miyuki is his intended that makes you all family too. I have taken precautions to ensure that my house is very safe for you all. Also I have all the facilities and equipment you will need for training the children on hand. If there is anything you want or need that I don’t already have please don’t hesitate to ask.”

“Thank you Gina we appreciate your help,” my mom said as we all belted in to get ready for take-off.

Gina just smiled and replied, “Think nothing of it, you and these kids need to be kept safe until they are properly trained. Speaking of training there are a few things that my nephew should know about being a Kitsune.” She turned her smile to Kei as she continued. “Kitsunes use Divine magic which I will start teaching you as soon as possible. We also have three base shapes that we can take at will. We can learn to take other shapes in time but it takes both power and practice. Finally, Kitsunes remain young and live practically forever unless someone manages to kill or seal us.”

Kei’s eyes widened at that. “Forever? Doesn’t that mean I’ll stay the same while I watch Miyuki grow old and die?”

My mom sighed at this but she seemed to have the answer for his question and after a long moment decided to provide it. “Yes and no. You’re actually well matched now. Miyuki do you remember how I told you that feeding on heat can give us extra magical energy?”

“Hai Okasan,” I replied.

She nodded and looked me right in the eyes. “It also rejuvenates us.” She saw the question in my eyes and didn’t even wait for me to ask it before adding another as she said. “Haven’t you wondered why I still look to be in my early twenties while you, at only sixteen, look closer to eighteen than sixteen?”

“I didn’t really think about it,” I admitted. “But there has been a lot on my mind the last two days.”

She nodded gravely, “I know and I’m sorry that you have had to go through all this. I’m glad you’re adjusting well to it. All Yuki-onna look a certain age when we first manifest, this age varies amongst us and I think it has something to do with the level of maturity we have when we manifest. Feeding on heat not only gives us extra magic energy but it causes us to return to the form we had when we first manifested. This can be used to heal any injuries we have and keep us young. If we feed when pregnant we will return to our manifested form but the fetus will be preserved. So long as we keep feeding on heat once in a while we can be as long lived as Kitsunes.”

I looked at her suddenly very confused. “But Grandmother grew old and died in that mugging.”

She reached out to take my hand, “My mother decided when she married my father that she would stop feeding on heat so she could grow old with him. If we don’t eat heat we age just like a normal human. Had she fed she would have healed and returned to her youth but she was old and her reactions were slowed when the human Yōkai Hunters attacked her.”

“Yōkai Hunters killed Grandmother?!?” There was a fury building inside me at that. Who the hell gave them the right to decide that all Yokai deserved death.

I was trying to calm myself down when mom squeezed my hand. “Yes they did. It’s one of the reasons I don’t like or trust human Yōkai Hunters. Did you have any other questions? I might as well answer them all.”

I returned the squeeze and thought for a moment before nodding. “You told me that we’re very sexual and fertile so I was wondering why you and I are both only children.”

Mom laughed as the question left my lips. “I am not an only child. My mother was a Yuki-Onna for centuries before she had me and I’ve been told I have a lot of older sisters, I’ve even met one of them. When she decided to grow old with my father she also decided that I would be her last child. She had one of the Mages at Department Nine cast a spell to make her infertile after I was born. If she had fed on heat the spell would have been dispelled when she returned to her younger form.”

“Okay, I understand that. Why am I an only child then?” I asked. “I’m pretty sure you feed on heat regularly so a spell like that wouldn’t work for you.”

She smiled at me and nodded, “When you were born your father and I were worried about how being a Mixed would affect you. We couldn’t be sure that you wouldn’t have serious physical or mental problems when you manifested so we decided to wait and see how you turned out before having any more children. We may try for a little sister for you now that we know there aren’t any major problems from the mixing of our bloodlines. Until you manifested I was on a very strict birth control plan and I was working out a lot to cut down on my urges, or I would take matters into my own hands.”

What was it with my mom and talking about masturbation? The topic itself didn’t really bother me as my new nature didn’t have a problem with it but I don’t think anyone wants to think about their parents having sex or the alternative. “I imagine I’ll be doing a lot of the same,” I mumbled.

By this time we were at a good altitude so we were allowed to remove our seat belts and Natsumi returned with two flight attendants. The flight attendants had some cold drinks and a meal prepared which I for one was very grateful for. As we ate we began to discuss what would happen once we reached Montreal. It was going to be a sixteen hour flight with a brief stopover in Vancouver to refuel. We expected to arrive after dinner sometime on Thursday. On Friday we would all go to the Paranormal Defense Agency’s headquarters for Quebec in Montreal’s Old Port. The PDA was Canada’s version of Department Nine and each provinces branch functioned independently rather than being federally run.

Gina continued to explain things to us. “The PDA shouldn’t have any problems getting you all registered since David is a Canadian citizen and that makes Yuki and any children or adopted children Canadian citizens as well. You might even be able to get work with them David, they can always use an experienced counselor.”

My dad nodded in agreement. “We’re always needed, I’ll be sure to ask when we’re there.”

Gina quickly continued on. “Once we have things sorted with the PDA Yuki will begin training the children and I will teach Kei Kitsune magic. The sooner they are used to their new bodies and can keep themselves and each other safe the better.”

“What about their schooling?” my mom asked.

“Their English seems to be quite good but they should start learning French as well. There is a private school in Montreal exclusively for Paranormals funded by the PDA and interested parties with enough money to make sizable donations,” Gina replied. “I will make sure they get into that school. Department Nine has already provided me with falsified school records for them both.”

My mother actually smiled at that, “I suppose that you are one of those interested parties?”

Gina mirrored the smile, “However did you guess? Being wealthy has its benefits and I try to help out the Paranormal community whenever I can.” I was beginning to think that my mom and Gina were developing a mutual respect and starting to like one another. I was also getting tired, a fact that was hard to hide when I let out a large yawn.

“Perhaps Miyuki and Kei should get some rest,” Natsumi offered. “I would imagine the past few days have been tiring for them both.”

“Good idea Natsumi,” Gina replied. “Please show them each to a room and then we can continue planning while they get a good night’s sleep.”

Her assistant nodded and led Kei and I down the narrow passage at the rear of the plane. There were three doors on each side and another at the end which we were told was the bathroom. She opened the first door on the right and ushered me into a small compartment which contained a large padded chair with blankets and safety straps and not much else. Once the door was shut I quickly stripped out of all my clothes and climbed under the covers naked. I got the covers in place and secured the safety strap. My chest hurt and I could tell that I had a huge bruise on it from being shot but I was pretty sure that that was preferable to a gaping hole. Somehow I managed to ignore it and was soon fast asleep.

>^..^<

I awoke to knocking the next morning. I looked up a bit confused at where I was before the events of the past few days came back to me. Finally I unfastened the strap and stood up sleepily to go get the door and opened it up to find Kei standing there. “Ohayou Miyuki, Aunt Gina told me to tell you that breakfast is ready and you should…” he trailed off.

“Ohayou Kei,” I offered before I noticed that Kei was staring at me. I briefly wondered why before I realized that I wasn’t wearing a stitch. I knew I should feel embarrassed by this but having people see me naked didn’t seem to bother me. The fact that it was Kei seeing me this way actually could feel my nipples harden and a dampness between my legs. Still I was trying to avoid sex for now and my parents might not care for me pulling Kei into my room to join the mile high club, so I took a deep breath and said, “I’ll be out in a bit.”

He was still staring like a deer caught in the headlights. “Okay Miyuki I’ll see you naked.” He blushed and quickly corrected himself, “Later! I’ll see you later!”

I giggled as I shut the door and went through my purse to place my boots and combat armor inside and pulled out a pretty pale blue backless halter dress with a hem just above my knees and a pair of powder blue panties. Once I had those on I added my snowflake pendant and a pair of white wedge heeled sandals and then left for the bathroom to relieve myself and brush out my hair. Then I joined the others for breakfast. Aunt Gina immediately smiled upon seeing me. “You look lovely in that dress Miyuki, come eat and then we have some work to do.”

Work turned out to be Kei getting an introduction to Kitsune magic while my mother worked with me on learning to feed on heat. She was very clear that I would not be learning any Ice magic until I mastered feeding. This was much harder than it sounds. I was able to sense heat sources well enough but narrowing it down to only one was troublesome at first. She had me practice looking for specific sources of heat while trying to ignore all others. It was kind of like trying to pick out a single scent in a spice cupboard while blindfolded and not knowing all the spices. It did become easier once I figured out that each type of heat had a different mental taste. It was lunch time before I got to that point.

After that she had me practice feeding on a cup of hot water by breathing it in followed by another one through touch alone. Breathing it in is far easier, especially when I place my lips on the heat source, but we can do it through touch as well. It’s not as easy or satisfying but it can be done and it allows us to feed on multiple heat sources at the same time. I was able to do it after a while but Mom said I still needed a lot of practice before I could do it without effort and that it would always take a bit more concentration than ‘the cold kiss’, as she called it. There was one good thing about all that practice; the bruise on my chest disappeared after my first successful conscious feeding.

>^..^<

It was after eight o’clock pm when we landed at Saint-Hubert airport near Montreal. Again we managed to bypass customs and I was very grateful for that since I was getting more than a few looks from the men waiting in the hangar to maintain the jet and rather than bothering me like I thought it should have it pleased me immensely. We went outside the hangar to where a long black limousine sat waiting. The blond man who got out to hold the door for us was over seven feet tall and a wall of muscle. He smiled at our group and said, “Welcome back Miss Fox, I see your trip was productive. Welcome to Montreal.”

“Thank you Hans, it’s good to be back. This is my nephew Kei and the Thompsons; Yuki, David, and Miyuki.” Gina then turned to us, “This is my driver Hans, he’s half Já¶tunn.” Then were all ushered into the back of the limo while I wondered if all of Aunt Gina’s employees doubled as bodyguards. As we drove through the snowy streets of Montreal Gina explained where we were going. She lived in a large shore-front home in the Pointe-Claire area of Montreal. Many wealthy English speakers lived in that area and there were a number of English speaking private schools there, including the one we would be attending. It was also a fairly short and simple trip to the Paranormal Defense Agency’s head office for Quebec from there. The head office was located in Old Port and from home we could get there by taking Lakeshore Drive and then Boulevard Saint Joseph.

We pulled up to a pair of sturdy looking steel gates at a complex surrounded by a ten foot high brick wall roughly half an hour after leaving the small airport. Once the gates had opened we continued along the long driveway to park in front of a large two story house. I stepped out onto the driveway which had developed a light layer of snow. I should have been cold wearing only a flimsy dress and open toed sandals but it didn’t bother me in the slightest, in fact I found the feeling of the snow touching my bare toes somewhat comforting as we walked toward the front door. Kei, Aunt Gina and Natsumi were all bundled up though. The limo pulled away and around to the back of the house and Aunt Gina explained, “Hans lives in the guest house in the back and he keeps the limo there.”

Natsumi opened the door and we all followed Aunt Gina inside where a pretty girl about my own age dressed in Jeans and a light blue peasant blouse with bright copper hair and golden eyes was waiting. “This is Zoe, she’s one of my rescues,” Aunt Gina said. “Her parents died eight months ago when a crazed sea serpent attacked them. The damned thing killed twenty Paranormals and almost a dozen humans before the PDA Hunters finally managed to stop it and cover the incident up. I took her in after that. She can’t speak since Mermaids are mute, but she can communicate in another way.”

I heard a musical voice almost like singing and harp strings and I knew it was Zoe even though her lips weren’t moving. ~Welcome home. It is very nice to meet you all. If you need any help with anything just think my name and I will be able to sense it. Aunt Gina, should I call Jenny so you can make the introductions all at once?~

“Please do Zoe,” the Kitsune replied. “Jenny is another rescue and has some unique circumstances. Like Miyuki she is a Mixed but she has a lot of trouble fitting in due to her differences. Her father was killed four months ago by a human game hunter, and when he realized that he had killed a human he decided it would be better if there were no witnesses and killed her mother who was weeping over his body. Jenny’s mother hid her with Earth magic and I found her in the forest. Jenny’s testimony enabled the PDA to get the hunter prosecuted and he will spend the remainder of his short life being hunted by the Fey. They were not happy when they heard he had killed a Nymph.”

I clenched my fist at that and hoped that the hunter suffered. “She’s a Mixed too?”

“Yes,” Aunt Gina replied, “You two have a lot in common actually. Her father was cursed to be a deer whenever the sun was up and return to being a man when it set. Her mother was of course a Nymph, Her nature and his Curse didn’t mix well and Jenny was born manifested and with some physical issues. Nymphs appear fully human and while her nature is completely Nymph her body ended up with some deer traits. A word of warning, she doesn’t tend to wear clothes around the house.”

“So we both had a Cursed father and a Paranormal mother, what else do we have in common?” I asked.

The Kitsune chuckled as she answered. “Miyuki, there is a reason the root word of nymphomaniac is Nymph. She, like you, is highly sexual.”

“Who’s highly sexual Aunt Gina?” asked a new voice and I turned to see another girl my own age with long brown hair and brown eyes. She looked mostly human except for the large doe ears, tail, and the fact that her long legs ended in hooves rather than feet. She was also very naked.

“Miyuki is deer-one,” Aunt Gina said with a smile. “She’s also a Mixed like you.” Then she went on to make all the introductions.

I noticed that Kei was blushing quite a bit when he finally asked Jenny, “Aren’t you uncomfortable like that?”

She shook her head and casually replied, “Not really. Nymphs don’t have a sense of modesty. In fact, I get uncomfortable in clothes and I have an allergy to synthetics. The only things I can wear are silk and clothes that have been specifically enchanted not to bother my skin.”

I nodded in agreement and before I realized what I was saying I said, “I’d walk around the house naked too if I thought I could get away with it. Mom said that our kind doesn’t like to wear clothes unless we’re in human society and when we do we’re drawn toward clothes that will make us look more sexual.”

Mom shrugged at that, “I used to go around the house naked all the time when I was your age and before you were born. I only stopped because we didn’t want you thinking anything was odd about our family until you manifested. Your father and I were actually expecting you to pick up the habit once you were more comfortable with yourself. I don’t have a problem with you and Jenny doing it so long as Gina doesn’t object and so long as you are not alone with Kei without clothes until you have a better handle on your abilities.” My father nodded to give his silent agreement. Obviously they had been talking about this.

While Kei was blushing and awkwardly trying to cover a certain part of his anatomy, Gina didn’t seem bothered in the slightest. “I already have one streaker in the house, what’s one more? Though, I do agree that we should not allow her and Kei alone while she’s like that until they are both better trained. I will give them rooms on opposite ends of the house as well, just to keep them from becoming too tempted. Miyuki will have the room in the west wing beside Zoe’s and across the hall from Jenny and Kei will be in the east wing beside my room. Yuki and David, you will be across the hall from Kei and beside Natsumi’s room. Zoe and Jenny, would you please show Miyuki to her room and help her get settled?”

~Sure thing Aunt Gina,~ Zoe’s musical voice replied in my mind. ~Let’s go girls.~

>^..^<

I followed the strange pair up the main staircase to the second floor where a long hallway went both left and right. We turned left and walked along the hall to stop at the last door on the right. Zoe smiled at me and said, ~The house has eight bedrooms in total and each room has its own private bathroom. It’s probably not what you’re used to in Japan but the Jacuzzi can be very relaxing.~

We entered a room decorated all in white and pale blue with a definite winter feel to it. There was a large glass door that led to a balcony overlooking the water. There was a king sized four poster bed, a vanity, a desk with a computer sitting on it, a large dresser and a walk-in closet. The room even had an altar on the wall where I could place Yuki no Hana, and I wondered just how long Aunt Gina had been planning this. The attached bathroom was huge too with both a shower and a Jacuzzi tub.

After I put Yuki no Hana in its new place I upended my bag and shook it three times to empty it. The birth control pills I put in my nightstand along with some of the condoms while putting the remainder back in my purse of holding. After that we started to put my clothes away which didn’t take long since I had only bought roughly a dozen outfits and six pairs of shoes. As we put away the last of it jenny shook her head, “We’ll need to take you out shopping for more clothes Miyuki. You’ll probably be busy tomorrow but after that we’ll have the whole weekend before school on Monday.”

“Don’t you have problems going out in public with humans?” I asked.

The Nymph shrugged. “I have a ring Aunt Gina gave me that makes me look human to anyone who’s not Paranormal. Zoe has it easier; she only has to wear colored contacts to blend in. I don’t like being in clothes that long but shopping can be fun and it’s a great way to spend some time getting to know each other. Wearing clothes for a bit will be worth it to get to know our new sister.”

~I hate those things though, they irritate my eyes,~ Zoe complained. ~But you’re right a little discomfort won’t be too bad if we can hang out with our new sister and get to know her.~

“Sister?” I wondered aloud.

Zoe nodded and her voice sang once again in my mind. ~Aunt Gina may not be our real mother but she cares for us all. She also seems to think that we all have some great purpose. One thing she made clear when taking us in was that everyone in this house is family and we protect and help one another as family. You live here too so that makes us sisters.~

“That sounds nice I always wanted siblings,” I admitted with a smile. “And does she really think we all have a great purpose? She and her brother have both told me and Kei that we have a destiny.”

~Aunt Gina is a Clairvoyant,~ the Mermaid replied. ~She claims that the four of us need to be protected until we can fulfill our purpose. She sometimes affectionately refers to us as the four seasons. I’m Spring’s Child and Jenny is Summer’s Child. She said before leaving for Japan that her nephew is Autumn’s Child and that you are Winter’s Child.~

At that point my stomach growled loudly causing both girls to giggle. “Sorry, we only had a light dinner on the plane and I was practicing feeding on heat all day. Heat might give me energy but all the effort of practicing burned a lot of calories and heat doesn’t fill my stomach.”

“That’s okay, I’ve heard that learning magic can be really taxing at first,” Jenny replied. “I don’t really remember myself since I’ve been studying Earth magic since I was old enough to walk. It’s one of the benefits of being born manifested.”

~I remember when I manifested,~ Zoe sang in my mind before sighing. ~ Damn do I miss having a real voice. Anyway, Merfolk manifest around twelve or thirteen when puberty begins. I burned a lot of energy when I started learning Water magic so I understand.~

“I baked some cookies earlier, how about we go down for a snack and a tour of the house?” Jenny asked.

I nodded eagerly. “That would be great if you’re sure you’re not tired or anything.”

She shook her head and offered her hand to help me off the bed. “No, it’s not that late yet so I’m not tired. Zoe wouldn’t be either regardless of the time since Merfolk only sleep for an hour or so a day in water.”

I looked at her as I stood and thought, what the hell, it’s not like it will bother me. “Just give me a moment to get more comfortable.” I quickly stripped and then smiled at the pair. “Much better, now we can go.”

Jenny just grinned as she led me out of my room. “We’re going to get along just fine Miyuki.”

~Great now there’s two of you,~ Zoe teased. ~Not that I mind, the view isn’t bad and Merfolk don’t have nudity taboos. At least I know you both won’t mind when I swim nude in the pool.~

>^..^<

Before heading downstairs Jenny showed me her room. It was a near duplicate of mine only it was decorated in earth tones. Zoe’s room was the same but decorated in an ocean theme and it was dominated by a water bed instead of a four poster like in Jenny’s and my own rooms. I don’t mean your typical waterbed, this was a pool the size of a king sized bed and about four feet deep. After that we went downstairs to the kitchen where we shared a plate of chocolate chip cookies and some had some milk to go with it while we got to know one another.

After our snack we went on to tour the rest of the first floor of the house. Aside from the large entry foyer and kitchen there was also a formal dining room, living room, a well-equipped entertainment room, a heated pool, and a four car garage. Inside the garage was a sporty looking red Prius, a black SUV that was a lot like my father’s, a dark blue Hummer, and two Kawasaki Ninja motorbikes, one in red and the other in white. I looked at the vehicles in interest and noted, “Aunt Gina sure has a wide taste in vehicles.”

~Aunt Gina doesn’t drive actually,~ Zoe corrected me. ~She prefers having Hans drive her and Natsumi around in the limo. The red Prius is mine, the SUV is for your father, and the crotch rockets are for you and Kei. She’s been planning your arrival for weeks. As for the Hummer she wants all of us to get familiar with it soon.~

“But Kei and I only manifested a few days ago!” I looked at the Mermaid with wide eyes. “How could she be planning this that long? And I don’t even know how to drive!”

“She’s a Clairvoyant, remember,” Jenny put in. “Whatever’s going to happen she’s serious about keeping us safe and having us survive it. That Hummer is a military model with a full communications suite, bulletproof glass, and reinforced armor.”

~I will teach you and Kei how to ride motorbikes and drive cars.~ Zoe offered. ~I tried teaching Jenny but she isn't comfortable driving, it goes against her nature. Once I think you’re both ready you can take the test to get your license. Now let’s show you the basement.~

The pair of girls guided me to the living room and pressed a brick in the side of the fireplace. This caused a part of the wall to slide away and reveal a long staircase. We went down the stairs and there was a hallway with two doors on each side. Jenny grinned at me and said, “This is the training floor. The first door to the right is the dojo and beside it is the gymnasium. On the left are the shooting range and the armory.”

They showed me the dojo first and It looked eerily similar to the one we had at home, the floors gleamed and there were plenty of practice weapons in the racks by the wall. The gymnasium was next and it contained punching bags, weights, other fitness equipment, and what looked like a full set up for gymnastics training. Then there was the shooting range which was basically just a large room with targets hung at the far end. The only room they didn’t show me was the armory because none of us could access it yet, but the pair assured me that from what they had seen there was munitions enough in there to start a small war.

I was in a bit of shock after all that and Zoe picked up on it. ~Aunt Gina said you’re pretty good with a sword and a good martial artist. Do you think you could start to teach us some martial arts? Neither of us has really had the chance to learn before.~

The distraction would be good for me and from the sounds of it they were both going to be learning sooner or later anyway so I nodded. “Sure Zoe. I’ll start you off with some basic kicks, punches and blocks.” So I showed them two different kicks, two blocks, an open hand strike and a punch and had them repeat them for the next half hour over and over again. Then I had them spar with me so I could see what I had to work with.

Jenny was quick and really light on her feet… hooves. Her upper body strength was nothing to write home about but that quickness and the power of her legs was. Those hooves of hers could deliver some powerful kicks. Foot sweeps wouldn’t work well for her but I felt that we could train up her upper body properly and those long powerful legs would be able to give her some breathing room in a fight when she needed it. Aikido would probably work really well for her with that lower body strength.

Zoe was another story. Her kicks were slow and awkward since she was used to having a tail and being in water. Her legs just weren’t much use for anything more than walking or running. Complex kicks and foot maneuvers were out of the question. On the other hand her upper body was well coordinated and powerful. I thought she was going to take my arm off with one of her blocks, and I’m stronger than a normal human. I decided she would be served best learning punches and blocks. I had some good ideas for weapons that she could use well.

Once I had finished with them both I shared my observations with them and we headed back upstairs to shower and prepare for bed. After showering I patted myself dry and carefully dried my hair with the hairdryer in my bathroom before getting into bed. I had another busy day tomorrow and a lot of thinking to do. I didn’t sleep for a long time as my mind went over recent events and tried to puzzle out just what was so important about the four seasons. I also wondered if Kei was alright and what he had been doing during my tour. Finally with no answers and more questions I fell asleep.

 © 2013 Amethyst Gibbs


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