” Nee, aunt Saya, what does your Chevalier look like ?” Asked the young queen with eagerness.
It was in the morning and the Chiropteran family was gathering in the dining room, ready for a hot, delicious and normal breakfast. Except Kai since he has to be in the kitchen to prepare the breakfast.
” He must look cooler than Kai. He must. Kai is no more than a disaster of fashion. He hasn’t updated his wardrobe for a century.” Added the other queen, followed by her sister’s string of laughers.
” Hey, the fact that I’m in the kitchen doesn’t mean I can’t hear you guys badmouthing about me. No dessert for you two, Rikka and Rikku.”
” Meanie !! ” Said both girls in unison.
” Jeez, next time, lower your voice, Rikku ! ”
” I can still hear that.”
For someone who hadn’t enjoyed the happy atmosphere of family for years like Saya, this moment was truly invaluable. “Haji will like it.” She thought, eyes closing to imagine when she got Haji back and they could be together forever.
” Aunt Saya, you haven’t answered us.”
” Please, we’re so curious.”
” Uhm…he’s tall, has long, dark hair, pale skin. He’s not muscular but not skinny, either. He’s lean.” Saya blushed slightly as she reminisced the warmth of his body when he held her in his arms, so close that she could even feel his skin underneath his shirt.
” He must be very handsome ! ” Said both girls with admiration.
” Uhm… that’s not… really…” This time Saya blushed even harder. Her Chevalier was indeed very handsome. There were times when they walked on the street, Saya noticed many girls secretly followed and admired her Chevalier. There must have been some reason why the first Joel had chosen him to be her mate. If Joel had wanted to test her reproduction, he would have just simply picked some random man, probably a male servant in the mansion. Why had he had to go so far as to raise a little boy till he grew up ?
” Aunt Saya, you’re blushing. ” Rikka said matter-of-factly.
” No, I’m not ! ” Saya protested.
” Yes, you are ! As red as a tomato. Kai, please tell her that it’s true. ” Said the other queen with amusement. Despite the fact that none of these girls were in teenage and they were aunt and nieces, they were taking like three teenagers discussing about a hot guy at school.
” Stop teasing your aunt ! Because that’s my job ! ” Declared the redhead Chevalier, who was bringing many dishes and putting them on the table. There were all their favorite, sandwiches for the the twins, bentou with boiled egg for Saya and fried rice for himself. And last, a cup of blood for each of them
” Not you too, Kai ! ”
” Kai, you met aunt Saya’s Chevalier, right ? Is he handsome ? ”
” All I know is that he has problems with facial muscles. He never smiles once.”
” Kai’s just being jealous. ” Rikku hissed.
” I wonder how our father was like.”
Rikka’s sudden question startled both Kai and Saya. The twins had never asked about this before.
” Why don’t we ask aunt Saya ? He was Chevalier, too. Like Kai and the cool guy. ”
The girls decided to call Haji ‘the cool guy’ since they didn’t know his name and assumed that he was cool and handsome.
” He was… a sweet, loving guy. He loved to cook and cooked very well. He used to made lunch for me.” Saya refered to Riku as ‘guy’ instead of ‘boy’ to hide the fact that their father was merely a 14-year-old boy who hadn’t got himself a girlfriend.
” And our mother ? ” Rikku added.
” She was a beautiful and great singer.” And she wanted to make me her Chevalier. This time, it was Kai who answered. ” Why suddenly brought this up ? ”
” Because this is the first time we’ve met aunt Saya, who’s closest in relationship with our parents.”
” She used to be the first one to pick you up when you were born. You just don’t remember since you were just two crying and eating machines back then. But you’ll have plenty of time to ask her later. Right now, finish your breakfast so you won’t be late. Moreover, I have to start the restaurant at 8:00. No one likes to be kept waiting.”
” Late for what ? ”
” We want aunt Saya to meet our boyfriends…oops ” Soon realized that she had just said something she shouldn’t, Rikku brought a hand to her mouth.
” Rikku ! It’s supposed to be a secret. Now we can’t surprise her anymore.”
” Boyfriends ? ” Saya asked.
” Some guys they want to be their Chevalier.” Kai explained.
” What ? Kai, they couldn’t…”
” Relax, Saya. Creating Chevalier, it’s the queens’ instinct, like tadult humans choose their spouse and get married. Not that we can stop them. Besides, these guys aren’t strangers. They’re David’s and Joel’s son.”
” David’s son and Joel’s son ? ”
” Yes. Eight months after you had gone into hibernation, Julia gave to him. Also named David. I didn’t know David was so sneaky. Our David ! ”
” Joel got married ? ”
” No, not yet. Joel said that a man like him couldn’t have children, couldn’t make any woman happy. Therefore, he’s still single. This son is actually a result of cloning technology. Law forbids that but he somehow managed to do it. The boy’s probably 20 now. So, when you meet this Joel, don’t be so surprise.”
” I see. Things’ ve changed since I was in the cocoon.”
” Maybe. But one thing will never change : This is your family and they’re still your friends. We’re always to support you.”
” Thanks , Kai ! ” Although she was lowering her head, Kai could see hints of water sparkling in corners of her eyes. ” And you’re always our Saya.”
Saya enjoyed the day with her nieces and their boyfriends, Joel and David. During her long lifetime, she had known some men under the name of David. But this David was somehow different. He inherited the tall figure and calm attitude from his father, although he was funnier and less serious. He also inherited the intelligence and beauty of his mother, Julia. It wouldn’t surprise Saya that he was working for Red Shield hospital, a hospital opened under the name of Goldschmidt and ‘our food provider’, like Kai said. Joel, on the other hand, reminded her of the young leader of Red Shield, who used to support her during her battle with Diva. Polite, calm and gentle. Just like the former Joel. But, the most important thing was they got along well with Rikka and Rikku., although they knew these girls were never normal 16-year-old girls no matter how much they looked like. They were Chiropterans, creatures that fed on blood. And yet, they were accepted. Suddenly, she thought of Diva, the cruel, evil and poor sister, who had been born to the same mother as her. Though Diva had killed Joel, Riku and many innocent people, Saya could never bring herself to hate her. Diva deserved more sympathy and love than hate. If only they hadn’t been separated that day at the Zoo, things would have been far different. Diva and her would have been all happy and together like Rikka and Rikku.
In the evening, they all gathered at Omoro, with Joel and David, to have dinner. After 30 years of practicing, Kai’s cooking skill had improved tremendously as he was the chef of Omoro.
“ So Rikka, I heard that you can play music ? “ Saya asked the older twin, who was blessed with maroon eyes, like hers.
“ Uhm… I can play piano, cello, guitar and I’m studying violin. Kai thinks I play cello the best. Since I can’t sing beautifully like Rikku, I think it would be better if I can play some kinds of instrument.”
The blue-eyed queen smiled at her sister’s compliment, her eyes shining with pride. Not only did the girl inherit her mother’s look, she also inherited her mother’s talent.
“ The night before, I heard you play some piece. ”
“ Oh, it’s ’s Prelude. My favorite. When I was 7, I heard it for the first time and I totally liked it. “
“ You heard it on TV ? “
“ From a strange man. “ Rikku quickly answered. “ We both saw him. Playing his cello on the street, under the moonlight. Back then, we didn’t know much, but we could feel that he kind of… lonely “ Pausing a second, the younger twin managed to find the right word.
“ That was also the reason why I’ve studying music. I hope that someday, I’m able to play that well. ” Rikka added.
What the girls had just said made Saya’s heart shudder. Cello. Alone. These descriptions matched him perfectly.
“ Why have you guys never told me about this ? “ Kai complained.
“ You would have scolded us for staying late if we told you. “ Rikka said matter-of-factly.
“ Did you see his face ? What did he look like ? “ Hasty as her voice was, the queen found her heart beating at the same speed.
“ We were watching through the window and it was dark so we couldn’t see clearly. Besides, he was wearing some sort of robe. “
“ Then, how did you know that he was a man ? “ His sister’s strange reaction caught Kai’s interest. They were probably thinking about the same thing.
“ When he stood up, he was very tall. No woman could be that tall. “ Rikka replied.
“ Unless that was a super woman. “ Rikku intended to crack a joke but found out that her adopted father and aunt weren’t laughing, so she decided this wasn’t the right time. Her sister, David and Joel just smiled so that she wouldn’t feel embarrassed.
The rest of the dinner was spent in quiet. Though they didn’t know the reason, they all realized that Saya wasn’t in a good mood. Only Kai knew why.
“ You think that was him ? “ Kai asked, while putting the last plate into the dish washer. The boys and girls were outside watching TV, therefore, there were just Kai and Saya in the kitchen.
“ I don’t know. Just a feeling. “
“ It could be any guy. He isn’t the only one who can play the cello. “
“ I know. I just can’t shake that thought off my mind. “
“ You’re leaving tomorrow ? “ Kai changed the subject.
“ I’ve prepared everything I need. “
“ Don’t you think it’s little too soon ? I mean, you haven’t dropped by to see how David and Julia were doing. Okamura, Mao and Lulu have just returned from their trip to Tibet. Who would imagine that Lulu could be able to make this far ? Maybe, she can live the way we can. Moses and the others would be very happy to know this. “
“ Please tell them that I’m sorry. I can’t wait any longer. The more I stay, the more I feel that he’s drifting away from me.
“I’ll visit them when I come back. With Haji.“ Saya said firmly.
“ You won’t let anything slow you down, huh ? OK, just don’t forget these ! “ Kai pointed at the blood bags didguised as normal juice bags. “ And these. “ He gave a cell phone and a credit card with her name on it. “ I’ve save my number as well as our friends’ “
“ You’re more and more like Dad, Kai. “ Saya smiled. “ I remember that Dad used to stuff my pack back with many things when I went on a field trip. “
“ If you’re a father of two trouble-makers, you will understand. “ Kai shrugged his shoulders.
“ Don’t forget to phone me, OK ? “
“ I won’t. “