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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wish - Chapter 7

VII

Liam sat by himself on the school lawn between the middle and high schools. He was vaguely watching Sarita eat lunch with her friends, but wasn't close enough to actually see her. It was more like he could see her glow emanating from a group of girls.
You're that new kid from Ireland, right?” Ianto asked, startling him so completely that he practically jumped to his feet. “Oh! I didn't mean to scare you!”
Liam stared at Ianto with a red face. He was immediately confused by the rush of warm feelings that washed over him. He had a crazy urge to hug this guy he hadn't even talked to yet!
Are you okay?” Ianto asked in concern.
Unable to speak, and flustered because he couldn't understand why, Liam nodded his head sharply twice.
Are you sure, you look like you're about to be sick,” Ianto murmured, tempted to check the boy for a fever.
I... I... I'm... Fine...” Liam finally managed to say. He took a step away from Ianto. If his lunch and backpack were not on the ground, he'd be very tempted to run away.
Deciding to drop the matter, Ianto smiled at Liam. “I'm on my way to eat lunch with Sarita again. I'm sure she wouldn't mind if you joined us.”
Liam looked down. He really wanted to run and hide, but he also wanted to stay by Ianto's side. This made it hard for him to do anything at all.
Ianto gave up with a soft sigh. “Well... see ya!”
As Ianto walked away, Liam gathered up his stuff and rushed after him. He really didn't want to embarrass himself in front of Sarita and her friends, but he just couldn't seem to let Ianto walk away. Gathering up his courage, he tugged on Ianto's sleeve.
Something wrong?” Ianto asked in concern, stopping to look at Liam.
H-h-here!” Liam forced himself to say as he handed Ianto a coconut almond cookie he had baked that morning.
I can have this?” Ianto asked, trying to encourage Liam to speak.
Liam nodded, and then wobbled awkwardly as his need to run away fought with his need to stay close to Ianto. Deciding not to press the issue, Ianto simply smiled. He also beckoned Liam to keep following him as he ate the cookie.
Thank you for the cookie, it delicious,” Ianto praised. Mentally, he sighed. Why do I always seem to attract the painfully shy ones?
Sarita spotted her boyfriend walking over to her and lit up like a christmas tree. Then she noticed Liam marching stiffly behind him. Her smile faded just a bit as she watched Liam. For some reason, he had been on her mind a lot.
I think I'm just worried about him,” she muttered to herself.
Did you say something?” Talya asked curiously.
Nothing important,” Sarita said with a dismissive wave of her hand.
Ianto stopped in front of Sarita and smiled at her, and then checked the time on his cellphone. He sighed in disappointment. “Well, I was hoping to eat lunch with you, but now I realize that I just don't have enough time.”
Sarita leapt to her feet. “I brought leftover cherry cheesecake for my dessert today. You want some?” She held it out like an offering to a God.
Of course!” He stated as he took it. He then leaned over to kiss her on the cheek.
Sarita could hear her friends all purring or squealing softly as if they found this scene adorable. She blushed. Strangely, she was highly tempted to look over at Liam.
Do you want to go to a movie with me tomorrow?” Ianto asked.
Sarita looked around, mildly embarrassed to be so lovey dovey with her boyfriend in front of everyone. She noticed that Liam had made himself comfortable under a nearby tree and now practically glared at her.
I'd love to!” Sarita replied, grinning at Ianto.
Great! I'll come over after dinner tomorrow,” Ianto stated with a happy grin.
No, come over before dinner. I'll make stirfry,” Sarita suggested, and then added a little honey to the pot. “And I'll bake cupcakes.”
Sounds perfect!” Ianto agreed, and then gave her a tiny kiss on the lips. “But I should run, the warning bell is about to ring.”
Later!” Sarita called out after him as he rushed away. She couldn't help but stare dreamily at him. Her hands clasped together in front of her chest.
Her friends all burst out giggling – except for Talya. Sarita turned to look at them. “What's so funny?”
The only thing more adorable than watching you with your boyfriend is watching the expression on Talya's face as she videoed the entire thing!”
Sarita shook her head and rolled her eyes. “Talya's always taking pictures of or filming me!” She chuckled. “I'm really used to it by now!”
Her friends continued to giggle for a few moments, and then one of them sighed in disappointment. “I've got to run to the computer lab and finish up an assignment.”
We'll go with you,” the other two insisted. The three of them stood up and waved to Sarita and Talya.
Perfect!” Talya exclaimed, waving at her friends as they walked away. “We can talk about what you're going to wear on your date! I have a new outfit that I would just love for you to wear!”
Before Sarita could respond, one of her friends stopped suddenly, just barely within hearing distance. “Grr! I wish my phone would stop acting up! It just randomly called my dad at work!”
Sarita waved and called out: “I hope your phone behaves for you!”
Talya – not having paid any attention to the fact that Liam was lurking under a tree behind her – gasped softly. “Did you just grant her wish?”
Yep!” Sarita answered with a happy grin.
But Indigo usually tells you not to grant those little wishes!” Talya blurted out incredulously.
I decided to do it anyway, and Indigo said that I would probably be alright doing it because I'm me,” Sarita explained. Indigo purred softly from where he sat invisibly on her shoulder.
I still say that it's stupid of you to use your magic like that in public,” Liam grumbled, crawling closer to them.
Liam knows?!?!” Talya gasped in astonishment.
He can see me using my magic,” Sarita explained with a shrug. She turned to talk to Liam directly. “I've decided that I don't care who knows, I'm going to use my magic anyway. I like making people happy.”
Really?” Talya asked with a tone like this was the best news she'd heard in a while. “Then I have a friend you should talk to. Her parents refuse to give her a car for her birthday, but she really wants it so that she can get a part time job and save up for college. Maybe you can – I don't know – hope she wins one or something.”
Sarita grinned at Talya, kissing her on the cheek for a change. “That's brilliant!” She then rummaged through her bag and handed her friend a business card. “Give her that and tell her to call me.”
Talya read the card:
Wishes by Sarita
Let me grant your wish
Call or text
Is it a good idea to give out your cellphone number?” Talya asked, frowning in concern.
Sarita shrugged. “Why not? If I get a lot of prank calls, I could always grant my wish that only serious callers get through.”
Talya laughed. “Have I told you lately how awesome you are?”
Sarita rolled her eyes and muttered: “Whatever...”
Liam growled softly. “I just wish – uh! I mean I pray that you'll be careful!”
I will,” Sarita promised him with a soft smile. She then handed him a business card too. “Just in case you have any friends who have wishes for me.”
Liam stared at the card blankly for a moment, and then tucked it in his pocket. A light blush betrayed the fact that he realized that he now had her number too. He really wasn't sure how he felt about that.
So what about you?” Sarita asked, changing the subject. “Any idea what it is you're supposed to do here?”
Liam glanced nervously at Talya before shaking his head. “No...”
Talya was keenly interested in the way the two of them interacted. They seemed very comfortable – like childhood friends – and yet just a bit awkward. She had no trouble at all seeing the way Liam stared at Sarita as if she represented a profound enigma... And Sarita mildly avoided looking directly at Liam, which suggested that he troubled her in some way.
Oh...” Talya exhaled softly in understanding. “Interesting...”
What's interesting?” Sarita wondered with a puzzled frown.
Oh nothing,” Talya denied airily. “Hey Liam, since you're still new here and probably haven't made too many friends, why don't you come over to my house with Sarita after school?”
Er...” Liam droned for a second. “I... I guess I could...”
Excellent!” Talya cackled in a way that made Liam extremely nervous. Sarita laughed almost silently, shaking her head because she knew exactly what was on Talya's mind.
The warning bell for the middle school rang just then.
We'd better get to class.”

***

After school, Liam rode silently with Sarita and Talya in the back of a limo. He was strangely calm, even if he still couldn't understand what he was doing with them. It just felt right somehow.
Talya giggled abruptly. “I'm sorry if riding in a limo makes you nervous. I can't help it though, if there's going to be enough room for everyone, I either need to ride in a limo or a van.”
I've ridden in limos before,” Liam admitted with a shrug. “Why do you need bodyguards?”
I have no idea!” Talya stated with a laugh. “My mom insists on them. Thankfully, she's loosened up a little in the past couple of months, but since she's gone so much on business, I guess she just wants to make sure that I'm not lonely.”
They arrived at Talya's house just then, a huge security gate opening to let them into the estate. Liam looked around at all the lush greenery and flowers. Without realizing it, he let out a happy sigh.
This looks a little bit like my home back in Ireland. The plants look so happy and well cared for!” Liam pointed to a huge old tree off in the corner of the property. “You even have a guardian!”
Talya bit her lip as she stared at the tree. “I'm told that my great great grandpa had an accident and died not too long after he built this place, and his wife buried him under that tree.”
That's probably him I see then,” Liam murmured. “A man in his 50s with short black hair and a nice suit.”
Wow...” Talya murmured, impressed. “I'll show you his portrait to be sure, but it sounds like you described him pretty well.”
G-g-g-ghost!” Sarita stuttered, clinging to Talya.
Talya delighted in putting an arm around her friend and stroking her hair. “Not to worry. He's never bothered us.”
B-b-b-but!” Sarita protested, burying her face in Talya's shoulder.
He's a guardian,” Liam stated with a confused frown. “He wouldn't hurt you unless you were trying to hurt his family.”
Still!” Sarita wailed, clinging to Talya as if her life depended on it. Talya simply grinned and wrapped her arms around Sarita.
Deborah shook her head at Sarita's silliness, opened the car door, and then stepped out of the limo. “Ojo-sama,” she murmured playfully. This was japanese for young lady, which is what the bodyguards had fallen into the habit of calling their charge.
Talya really wanted to continue holding Sarita for as long as possible, but she opted to grab her hand instead. “Come on! I've got so much I want to do today!”
Liam followed the two inside the large mansion. It was between a hundred and two hundred years old, and also reminded him a bit of his home back in Ireland. “Only my house is a couple hundred years older!” He whispered to himself.
Bring a pot of Sarita's favorite tea!” Talya called out as she dragged her best friend to her bedroom.
Liam looked around Talya's bedroom a bit enviously. “Okay, that's different,” he muttered. His family home was big, but it was also crowded. Therefore, he had a smaller bedroom that he had to share with a cousin.
Talya's room could almost be considered a small apartment. She had an area for her actual bedroom, a larger area that seemed to be like a living room, a corner full of bookshelves lined with books, and what looked like a design studio. Talya grinned at Liam when she saw him looking at her sewing machine.
I love to make costumes and clothing in general. Especially for Sarita! Then I simply adore taking her picture while she wears what I've made. Over there,” Talya pointed to a door. “Is a closet full of costumes I've made, and over there,” she pointed to another door. “Is a theater where I view slide shows of the pictures and any videos I've recorded.” She then shrugged indifferently and pointed at a third door. “And that's the bathroom.”
Must be nice...” Liam muttered, a tiny bit jealous. “Do you have to share all this with anyone?”
Nope! I'm an only child,” Talya stated cheerfully even though she was obviously disappointed by this fact.
Talya shook off her sudden depression and grabbed Liam by the hand. When he resisted following her, she turned him in the direction of her closet and pushed him quite forcefully. He made noises of protest, but ended up in her closet anyway.
You're the first boy that I've managed to talk into coming over, so you get the honor of being the first boy to model for me!” Talya announced with an overly innocent grin.
What?!?!” Liam roared in dismay.
Talya pointed to a cowboy outfit. It looked a bit old fashioned, done in shades of brown trimmed in white. Liam was reminded of a movie he had once seen set in the American old west.
Take that into the bathroom and put it on!” Talya insisted.
Liam inhaled deeply so that he could shout at her. Just then, it occurred to him that he really didn't have anything better to do today, and at least this way, he was making a new friend. He let out all his breath in a huge sigh of defeat.
Okay fine...” He took the costume and brought it into the bathroom.
Now for you!” Talya exclaimed happily. “You should definitely wear the matching costume!”
Sarita pointed to the fluffy pink and white gingham dress. “That one, right?”
Yep!” Talya confirmed.
The two of them were used to changing quickly, so they were done before Liam emerged from the bathroom. He looked almost adorable in his costume, and blushed lightly. He even wore matching boots, which he stared at as he ground one toe into the carpet.
I look ridiculous!” He groaned.
No you don't!” Talya assured him. She gestured for her bodyguards slash assistants to come closer. “Hair and makeup please!”
Sarita simply sat in a chair that she always sat in while an assistant guided Liam into the chair Talya normally sat in. Liam fought slightly.
Guys don't wear make up!”
Talya laughed. “Yes they do! Models and actors wear make up all the time, and so do a lot of other guys. It's just usually not noticeable at all, and I promise, it won't look like you are wearing anything.”
Liam sighed and caved into her will. He had a feeling that she wouldn't actually force him to do anything, but that he'd end up doing exactly as she said anyway. It seemed easier to just not fight her.
When the assistants were done, both Sarita and Liam looked like they could really be in the old west. Talya dragged Sarita to the corner where she had set up her photography equipment. The lighting and backdrops hid the bookshelves and made the corner look like the outside of an old west building.
Test shots!” Talya called out and Sarita responded by striking a couple of random poses. Talya squealed happily that her equipment was working perfectly, and then beckoned urgently to Liam. “Come on already!”
Liam walked into the area hesitantly. “And what is it that I'm supposed to do?”
Pull out the prop gun and pretend to shoot things,” Talya suggested.
Liam shrugged and then did as suggested. As he did so, Sarita stood behind him with an expression like he was shooting something amazing. Each time he turned slightly to pretend to shoot something else, she'd change her expression. Sometimes she looked frightened and sometimes she looked like she was congratulating him.
God I just love you so damn much!” Talya squealed when Sarita had a comical expression of: Oh my!
Sarita laughed. “I love you too!”
We have to take this shoot outside!” Talya decided abruptly. “I want to get a couple shots of you two dancing like in an old black and white movie. After that, we can take a break and change costumes.”
What should we wear next?” Sarita wondered.
I want to stick to the theme. Hmm... OH!!!” Her face suddenly burst with joy. “I know exactly what I want you two to wear, but it's a secret for now!”
Sarita laughed. “Oh...kay...”
Out on the very well-tended lawn – as far away from the scary tree as possible – Sarita held out her hand to Liam. “Do you know how to dance?”
Yes...” Liam admitted hesitantly. He wasn't entirely sure that he wanted to hold her so close so soon after befriending her.
Good!” Sarita exclaimed. “That'll make this easier!”
One of the assistants walked them through the basic steps for a dance that might have been popular during the time of their costumes. It was a sort of lively square dance, but made for a couple to dance rather than a crowd. Liam was concentrating so much on the steps that he forgot to be shy about dancing with Sarita.
The same was true for Sarita. Normally, she'd be too embarrassed to dance with a boy she barely knew, but the fact that she was making Talya so utterly happy was more than enough to push her embarrassment aside. Plus, dancing like this was surprisingly fun!
When Talya announced that she was satisfied with the shoot, they took a break and drank some tea. The three of them had warmed up to each other now, and chatted amicably about anything that came to mind. Liam told them a bit more about his large family.
Fairly soon, Talya beckoned them both back into her closet, and then handed Liam a costume inside a protective black bag. “Go put this on.”
Liam nodded and wandered over to the bathroom to change. While he was gone, Talya unzipped another protective bag to reveal Sarita's costume. It was an elaborate maroon, wide-skirted gown trimmed in black lace. It even had a matching bejeweled black lace collar and a bunch of hair ribbons to go with it.
Sarita exhaled in awe, absolutely loving the dress. She put it on quickly, Talya helping her lace up the corset and bodice. Talya placed the collar around Sarita's neck, and then slipped a matching silk rose around her wrist.
My assistant can put all the ribbons in your hair,” Talya stated, gesturing for Sarita to go sit in the chair.
Liam came out of the bathroom looking nervous again. “I look like I'm about to go to “prom” or something,” he muttered, using the American term so they'd know what he was talking about.
He was wearing an old fashioned black suit that might have been worn by a dashing gentleman in the Victorian era. He looked over at Sarita and saw that she was also wearing an elaborately fancy dress. “Oh...”
An assistant changed his hair and makeup ever so slightly to fit the costume. He watched them fuss over Sarita in a large mirror; utterly fascinated by her. When she caught him watching her, he looked away with an embarrassed blush.
Sarita looked down with a blush of her own.
Oh hold still!” The assistant working on her makeup admonished with a huff.
Eventually, they were both ready. Talya studied them while biting her lower lip in thought. “Hmm... I think we need to move to the ballroom...”
Her assistants all sighed, knowing what she had in mind, and then quickly left to go ready the ballroom for her. Talya busied herself gathering up her basic equipment. This left Sarita and Liam basically alone with nothing to do for the moment.
So...” Liam began. “Do you do this often?”
You'd be surprised!” Sarita answered with a giggle.
I'm going to open a costume shop when I graduate school, and Sarita is going to be my best model!” Talya informed him from the corner where she was packing up her camera and tripod.
Sarita shrugged. “Actually, that sounds like something I'd really like to do.” She then gave Liam a look that was just a little bit sad. “My mother was a model...”
Oh, no wonder,” Liam murmured softly, then blushed when he realized that the rest of that sentence was: you look so pretty.
Talya smirked at them, and then beckoned them to follow her. Soon enough, they were in the ballroom. It was rapidly being lit up by an astonishing amount of candles. The candles on the chandeliers alone seemed to radiate like a small sun! A sparkly one.
To make the atmosphere complete, ballroom music was played. The speakers were permanently placed around the room and the volume was set to a perfect medium that allowed them to easily hear it while still able to hear each other and Talya. Talya had her assistant walk them through a waltz and a different Victorian style dance. They practiced each dance a couple of times before doing them for real.
Talya photographed the practice sessions – which looked real enough in the pictures – and then videoed the actual dances. She had to hold her breath to stop from purring from sheer joy. This here was what made her life worth living!
When the second dance ended, a jingle interrupted them, completely ruining the mildly lovey dovey mood they had cultivated. Liam blushed and rushed to answer his phone – which he had stashed in his bag in a corner.
I want a copy of those pictures immediately!” A woman demanded in a tone that allowed for no argument.
Ma!” Liam gasped in astonishment.
Oh don't sound so surprised! I woke up from a dream to call you!” His mother announced, sounding half grumpy and half cheerful.
Liam turned as red as he possibly could, and then looked to the floor as he mumbled. “Me mam wants a copy of everything sent to her.”
Talya was astonished. “How did she know?!”
Wow,” Sarita murmured, realizing that his mother must have powerful magic.
Talya took the phone that Liam held out for her. “Do you want me to email them to you? It might be better for me to simply send you a link to my cloud after I've uploaded them.”
Whatever works best for you, dear,” Liam's mother purred happily. “And you must teach me whatever magic spell you used to get m'lad to cooperate so easily!”
Talya laughed. “If I figure that out, I'll let you know!” She wrote down the email information, and then promise to send the link as soon as possible.
It's after me bedtime here anyway, so don't feel like ya have to rush,” Liam's mom lilted in her beautiful accent.
Talya said goodbye and handed the phone back to Liam.
Bye ma,” Liam grumbled.
Wait, who's the girl you're dancing with?”
I'll call you later!” Liam insisted, blushing again. He hung up before his mother could insist that he spill his guts.
Talya offered to have one of her assistants drive him home after he changed. Liam ran off to do so. He really needed a few minutes to calm down. Leave it to me mam to embarrass me like that!
When he was leaving, he waved to the girls. “I had fun. Surprisingly. I wouldn't mind doing this again sometime.”
They called out goodbye, waving as the car drove off. Sarita then sighed and looked to the ground as she frowned.
What's wrong?” Talya asked.
I can't figure out why I keep thinking about Liam so much,” Sarita admitted.
I think it's normal. He is pretty darn cute after all,” Talya stated with a smirk.
Yeah, but I have a boyfriend!” Sarita exclaimed.
So? You can still look,” Talya informed her, kissing her on the cheek.
I guess...” Sarita murmured with a sigh.

Go To Chapter 8 

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