Sirasine glared at him. "Sir, I don't remember you at
all, and you're claiming you were my mother's closest friend and have been searching
for us for five years." She shook her head. "I'm not dumb enough to believe
Ryussin bit his lip. "Sirasine, would I lie about
something like this?" he said, looking hurt.
Sirasine tilted her head and stared at him. "I
don't know you, but judging from the 'information' you've given me, yes -- you
would lie about something like this."
Ryussin shook his head. "I'm not lying, Sirasine!
Why do you think I'm lying?"
Sirasine sighed and rolled her eyes. "Because
I have absolutely no memories of you."
"When you met me you were very young. That's
probably why you can't remember me," Ryussin said, an almost undetectable glint
of annoyance and fear in his eyes.
Sirasine slid her claws from out of her paws
and started looking them over. "Ryussin, when did I meet you?"
"When you were only five months old."
Sirasine nodded and continued looking at her
nails. "Was that the only time you met me?"
Ryussin nodded. "It was the only time."
"And you claim to have been one of my mother's
best friends." She shifted her gaze to Ryussin's face. "Then why did you never
Ryussin looked rather annoyed. "My dear Sirasine,
your mother and I did not live near enough to each other to get together often.
I was only there for the important events in her life -- your birth, for example."
Sirasine leaned forward. "Why weren't you there
when Brak was born?" she spat.
Ryussin's temper was rising. "Are you trying
to play investigator, or something?" he said, his voice thin with suppressed
anger. "I wasn't there because I was unavoidably detained. Now no more questions!
I have already taken the liberty of signing your adoption papers, and you should
"Adoption papers!" Sirasine hissed. "Don't
you need our consent before you can fill those out?"
A thin smile spread across Ryussin's face. "Since
you have no other home, your opinion is unimportant, unless you know someone
else who's willing to take you in."
Sirasine went into a silent rage. Her face grew
red, and her paws were shaking. Brak, who'd been quiet the entire time, used
to his older sister doing most of the talking, spoke up. "Sirasine, I think
we should go live with Ryussin," he said quietly.
Sirasine snorted. "We don't even know him! We
probably never did!"
Brak sighed. "Sirasine, which would you prefer
-- living on the streets, or living in a real home?"
Sirasine glared venomously at Ryussin. "Any house
he lives in could never be a home," she spat angrily.
Brak shook his head slowly. "Sire... don't you
think mom... don't you think she'd be content at least if she knew we were...
in a better predicament than when she left us?"
Sirasine stopped pawing at the tiled floor. She
looked up at Brak, her eyes glinting with anger. "She broke her promise. She
said she would come back for us. She promised."
Brak's eyes were full of pity. He had never really
known the white Kougra, but he suspected that she wasn't the type to leave her
children out on the streets without a good reason. He knew what her reason was...
"Sire... you still haven't accepted it." He shook his head. "Here's the straight,
the bleak, the cruel truth -- Sirasine, she's dead! You think she wanted to
leave us there?!"
Sirasine glared at him. "You don't know anything,"
she spat angrily. She touched the gold band around her neck and sighed softly.
She turned to Ryussin, a look of grim resignation on her face. "We'll live with
you," she said stiffly. "But if I ever find out that you weren't friends with
my mother..." her eyes glinted cruelly. "You will regret ever lying to me."
Ryussin's smile twitched for a moment, then grew
wider. "It's so nice to hear that you... believe me," he said happily, throwing
his paws up and laughing. "You can move in immediately! And I'll have the adoption
papers ready in less than a week!" He grinned. "You'll like my house."
Sirasine felt the cold golden neck band again.
"I'm sure I won't," she muttered under her breath.
Ryussin's house was something more like a mansion than a house. It was in the
residential area of Faerieland atop a fluffy purple-pink cloud. The front doors
were wide and made of polished thick oak. The floor of the great entrance hall
was pale milky off-white marble. At the center of the hall, a great oaken staircase
sloped up, branching off and leading to two hallways on the second floor. Ryussin's
office, his lounge and the kitchens were on the second floor. The great hall,
a dining room, and a sitting room filled the first floor, and there were four
bedrooms on the third floor. There was a fourth floor and a basement, but neither
Brak nor Sirasine saw them.
Brak and Sirasine's new bedrooms were at the
top of the third floor stairs. There was a narrow hallway connecting them. Brak's
room was quite large, though he didn't know exactly how it compared to other
bedrooms as he'd only lived in a house when he was very young. There was a queen-sized
bed against the east wall of the room, and a shelf full of books stood at the
south wall. There was a door to the hallway connecting his and Sirasine's rooms,
and a TV near the door to the main hallway.
Sirasine's room was the exact same size and set-up
as Brak's. The only difference was that the room were painted different colors.
Brak's was a warm minty green, and Sirasine's a creamy peach color.
Brak flopped down on his bed, wondering why Sirasine
disliked Ryussin so much.
He said he was mother's best friend, so how can
he be bad? Brak thought as he stared at the ceiling. And really, it was
pretty nice of him to take us off the streets like that. Sirasine should be more
grateful. He grinned widely. And how can she possibly keep being mad at
him when he lets us stay in this huge house!
But then he sighed. "But she knew mother better
than I ever did," he said aloud. "I guess maybe she has a good reason not to
like him if she never saw him with mother."
There was a knock at his door. He sighed and jumped
off the bed. "Who's there?" he called.
"Open the door, Brak -- it's me!" said Sirasine's
Brak reached out and swung open the polished
wooden door. "What do you want, Sire?" he asked.
"I want to tell you," she said, slamming the
door shut behind her, "I know now for sure that that Ryussin character is our
Brak cocked an eyebrow. "Eh? And how, dear sister,
do you know that?" he said suspiciously.
Sirasine glowered and gestured at her neck. "Look,"
she commanded angrily.
Brak stared at her neck for a moment, trying
to figure out what Sirasine was telling him. Then it hit him like a block of
lead. "Your bracelet," he whispered. "Where is it?"
"They took it!" Sirasine spat. "Those dirty thieves
stole while I was out of my room. I put it on the bookshelf, and when I came
back it was gone!" Her pretty features were twisted dangerously into an angry
snarl. "And do you have any idea why, Brak?" she said, lip twitching.
Brak shook his head slowly. "No..."
"It's because it's magic!" she spat vehemently.
"Why do you think mother gave it to me? It's for protection against ignorant
brutes like Ryussin and his lot." Sirasine's face took on a darker, even angrier
look. "And you know what else Brak?" she hissed dangerously.
Brak gulped. "No," he said quietly.
"They're the ones who killed mother."
To be continued...