“Did Giada talk with you earlier?” Kyron asked, when Giada wasn’t around.
“She talked to me,” Kristene corrected.
“I see.” He decided not to look into it, since she said it was nothing. The siren was an expert with human beings anyway. “She’s not that smart sometimes, don’t mind her if she says something weird.”
“Don’t worry, Master,” Kristene replied, smiling.
“Alright,” Kyron promised. “You’re still a divine creature, even if you’re my little robin. You should be able to handle people.”
The doorbell rang.
“Oh!” Kristene exclaimed excitedly, as if she really was a little girl. “Look who’s here!”
“Who?” Kyron raised an eyebrow. “The doorbell rings the same way for everyone.”
“It’s Danica,” Kristene assured.
Kyron opened the door. There stood a girl with long brown waves and gentle green eyes. She was wearing the most beautiful accessory in the world–a sweet smile that clearly came from the bottom of her heart, and not just a smile for show. “Hi!” she greeted Kyron. “It’s been a while, Kyron.” With that, she hugged the wizard lightly.
The wizard, who usually hated being touched, hugged her back. “Kristene is here,” he told her, gesturing towards the wall right next to the door.
“Boo!” Kristene’s head popped out from the side of the door just as Danica was about to turn her head that way.
“Wah!” Danica jumped, startled–even though, yes, Kristene was right next to her the whole time. “You scared me, Kristene! How are you?” Being unable to hug her, Danica gave her kisses on the cheeks instead.
“I’m fine, of course,” Kristene answered. “Come in, follow me, Dani, we have a lot of catching up to do!” Without waiting for an answer, Kristene darted off.
“Wait!” Danica followed her into a room, forgetting to say an “excuse me” to Kyron. Kyron didn’t seem to mind, he closed the door, and went back to his own business. Danica was one of Kristene’s only female friends that both of them liked–even Giada liked Danica, as far as Kyron could tell. It was wonderful.
Danica closed the door behind her. “How many souls did you eat today?” she asked, sitting on a stool in the middle of the room, cupping her own face and gazing at Kristene in curiosity.
“One today,” Kristene answered. “His name was Rob. Remember him? You haven’t come around for months.”
“I’m sorry, Kris, I’ve been busy!” Danica apologized, bowing her head. “Rob…I don’t really remember. Was he the strange one who kept proposing?”
“…There were a lot of those, Dani.” Kristene sighed in exaggeration. “Dani doesn’t remember my stuff!” she whined.
“No, no! I remember Kris! I remember all that I can, so forgive me, please? Look, I got you the ring you wanted last time.” Danica reached into her purse and took out a box. Carefully, she opened it, revealing an all-round red ring. “Would you like to wear it on your finger or around your neck?”
“Thank you Dani!” Kristene almost squealed. “If I leave it dangling around my neck, I might lose it.”
“Oh, that’s right. Here you go then, give me your hand.”
Kristene extended a hand towards Danica, who put the ring on for her. “Isn’t this kind of like a best-friend wedding ceremony?” Danica asked.
“It is.” Kristene chuckled. “Today, Rob asked me again.”
“To marry him?”
Kristene nodded. “I showed him the cave, and he was terrified.”
“I was scared too, the first time I saw it,” Danica recalled. “Anyone would be scared.”
“But he claimed to love me, and he knew I’m a siren,” Kristene argued. “If he knew that, what else would he expect from me? I can’t be an angel leading him to the golden gates of heaven. Love is accepting someone exactly as they are, right? You won’t believe how many people I’ve led to the cave. Every one of them claimed to love me before that moment came.”
“Hmm…well…death is terrifying for most people…?” Danica was hesitant, unsure of how to respond to Kristene’s claim.
“Love doesn’t exist.”
“I knew you would say that.” Danica pouted sadly. “I believe in love. Look, doesn’t Kyron know exactly what you do? Hasn’t he seen the cave too?”
“He has.” Danica and Kyron had to be the only ones who had seen the siren’s cave and came back alive–not because the cave itself was dangerous, but because the siren had no intention of killing them.
“Doesn’t he love you?”
“Not in the way the other people claim to.”
“Hmm…” Danica thought, and thought, and thought. In her mind, she had an answer, but seeing Kristene, she knew that the siren wouldn’t accept her answer, so she said nothing. “Oh well,” she let it slide, standing up from her stool. Danica put her palms on both of Kristene’s cheeks, beaming at her. “I came around just to check on you this time, I have to get back to work again soon. So tell me one thing, Kris.”
“Are you happy?”
“Mm.” Kristene nodded.
“That’s good then.” Satisfied, Danica picked up her purse again. “I’ll catch you some other time!