Kit was exhausted. Between keeping up with his studies at school while staying on the honor roll, practice meets, games (which his team had not lost one game yet), and homework, he also trained every night with Chaine. Chaine taught him how to fight in the style of the Guardians.
"The Guardians," Chaine explained, after a particular grueling session, "they are our PeaceKeepers and Healers, rolled into one. They have a more specialized training, even more so than our Warriors, the ones that keep our borders, or expand them, whatever the case may be. The Guardians have the skill to nullify a Warrior's attack, they are the Elite of the Elite. Always, our mission is to serve, guide, protect, and heal. We only kill if there is no other recourse."
"Were you a Guardian, then?"
"I am a Guardian, yes. There have only been a handful of people who have been both Guardian and Royal. I am privileged enough, to be both."
"So," Kit was doing his best to put the fairy tale pieces together. "With all this power, what safeguards are there against a rogue Guardian?"
Chaine smiled at Kit. "I am so pleased you asked! We swear fealty to our King, of course, our Sacred mission that was handed to us from the beginning has been thus, we protect and ensure the line of the Great Uther. It was his command that created us, and his command that we follow to this day. The training is rigorous, and while many try to become a Guardian, most fail."
Kit sighed. "Why do they fail? I agree this constant battling is wearisome, I hurt in places I did not even know I had. Between this training of yours, and Football, my body hates me."
"Being a Guardian is not all about fighting, Kit. We just start there, but the higher forms of warfare are not revealed until the test is passed."
"You people are awfully fond of your tests." Kit complained. "Is it to be some sort of impossible physical challenge then?"
"That would be too easy." Chaine replied. "No, this test requires one thing, and one thing only. Sacrifice."
"I don't like the sound of that word." Chaine only smiled at him. "Well, " Kit decided, "I have decided I need a break. I am killing myself here, and I notice that Gramps has been locked into his room for weeks. I think that woman broke his heart, when she kept refusing to actually be a part of his life, and then she ended things. I am so mad at her, I'd like to say a word or two, or three to her." Kit glowered. "It's not good for him, to mope around like that. Mama says he is regressing. I have just the thing to get him out of the house though, and give me a break as well."
Chaine quirked an eyebrow at him. "Indeed? How will you reach him, where we have failed to do so?"
"Easy. I need to get my license, I'll have more time to do stuff if I am not always having to catch a bus or beg a ride. I'll just get Gramps to teach me how to drive. I think we should go visit Aunt Keilani as well. I cannot believe she is married to that Van Gould person, and they already have two children together! I have not met my cousins yet, so all in all, I think it is a good plan and it will work."
The next day, Kit approached his grandfather. Kona found that while it was easy enough to say no to his daughter and son-in-law, saying no to his grandson, was impossible. He sighed. "Tell me again, why I am the only one that can teach you how to drive?"
Kit said patiently, "Because Gramps, Mama, well, she hasn't the patience for it. Besides that, she is a terrible driver. I am literally terrified every time I get into a vehicle that she is driving. I kiss the ground when we finally get to our destination and I am still in one piece. And Chaine, well, he is backlogged on work. He got a bunch of orders in for those miners. People think there is gold in the hills." Kit shook his head in disbelief. "They are crazy, but the end result is, Chaine is swamped with work. That leaves you."
"Okay." Kona finally agreed. "Let's go get that license of yours."
"Wahoo!" Kit exclaimed. "Now you're talking. Are you ready? I'm ready."
"I'm as ready as I'll ever be."
Kona said very little at the start, he only talked if it pertained to teaching Kit how to drive.
Kit glanced over at his grandfather. "Gramps, you look unhappy. Am I that bad at driving?"
Kona smiled at Kit. "No, Kit, you're doing a great job. You're a natural at this. Just ignore me."
"Well, I think she was stupid." Kit said bluntly. "I don't think she is worth your time. Anybody knows what a terrific person you are, it's totally her loss."
Kona chuckled. "You have inherited your mother's plain speaking, I see." Then he sighed. "No, I, uh, " Kona paused, feeling a bit embarrassed. "Crissy is only part of it. That last night, right after we broke up, I, er, well, I had met this other woman, at the bar. Emilie. She, well, let's just say she made her interest in me well known, but I let her down as nicely as I could. I was interested in taking the next step with Crissy, but Crissy was not. She has been upfront about that from the beginning, so I cannot blame her. But I just keep thinking---"
Kit's eyes sparkled with glee. "Go Gramps! You've got another woman on the hook! Then why in the world are you sulking in your bedroom for so long?"
"I was not sulking!" Kona said testily. "I was thinking. I was thinking I am getting too old for such nonsense. I was thinking my heart is a fickle thing, I just broke up with Crissy, how could I even be tempted by Emilie? I was thinking she, Emilie, was way too young. I was thinking..."
Kit finished for him, "That you think too much. Life is short Gramps, you got to live every moment you have. Take a chance, you're never too old or too young for love. Maybe Crissy isn't the right one, maybe this Emilie isn't either, but it should be fun to find out!" Kit grinned at his grandfather.
Kona stared at his grandson, nonplussed. He shook his head in amazement. "You know Kit, the older you get, the more of your father I see in you."
"Thanks Gramps. That is the best kind of compliment you could ever give me." Kit pulled up in front of a mansion, and parked the car. "Here we are."
Kona looked around him. "Where is that?"
"Aunt Keilani's of course. I am just dying to meet my cousins." Kit jumped out of the car. "Are you coming Gramps?"
Kona got out of the car, muttering, "Too much like your father."
Kona had to admit though, that Kit had a great idea. He really enjoyed spending time with his grandson, Aiden. He taught him how to walk.
He even took over diapering duty, for which Ayden Von Gould was thankful for.
Kona spent some time with his granddaughter, Priscilla as well.
Kit spent some of his time getting to know his new Uncle.
When Keilani finally came home from her job, she was flushed with excitement. She gave her father a big hug, and kissed her husband. "I'm so glad you are here Daddy! I have terrific news! I'm expecting another baby!"
Ayden's eyes glinted. "That is excellent news, m'dear." He gave his wife a not so proper kiss, then gently pushed away from her when he remembered he had company. "The more the merrier I always say."
After the Congratulations had been given, Kit told everyone that it was time that he left for home. He still had a mountain of homework to finish. Another round of hugs, and Kit and Kona finally managed to get back to their car.
Once back home, Kit climbed out of the car, and paused to wait for his grandfather. Kona waved him towards the house. "You go ahead, Kit. I think I am going to go for a drive."
Kit grinned at Kona. "Have fun Gramps."
"It's just a drive."
"Whatever you say." Kit agreed with him, as he turned around and headed for the house. Kit noticed that his girlfriend was waiting for him on the front side yard.
"I've missed you." Mina said as she kissed him.
Kit kissed her back. "You see me at practice."
Mina pouted. "It's not the same thing, and you know it. I swear, lately you haven't had any time for me at all."
Kit sighed. "Mina, I've got a lot on my plate right now."
Mina ran her fingers through his hair, and made sure she was as close to him as physically possible. She wanted him to feel every curve, and remind him of a few things while she recaptured his attention. Mina was pleased that so far her strategy was working. "I understand." she told him. "I just thought I'd come by for a little while, I wouldn't want you to forget about me."
Kit wrapped his arms around her, and let his hands wander down her backside. Mina didn't stop him. "You are impossible to forget." he said.
Mina fluttered her eyelashes at him. "You always say the sweetest of things." She made a show of reluctantly pulling away from him. "Well, I wouldn't want to interrupt your plans for the night. I'll just go then."
Kit stopped her. "Why don't you stay the night Mina? We have plenty of room here. We could do our homework together."
"Oh Kit! What a wonderful idea! I'd love to stay over."
Mina didn't get to spend very much alone time with Kit, however, as his siblings had a birthday.
Meanwhile, Kona found himself driving to a particular house, the address he had long since memorized when he had still been trying to talk himself out of pursuing a much younger woman.
He was nervous, and felt like he was Kit's age, all sweaty palms and shaky knees. He knocked on her door, and waited. He wasn't sure what kind of reception he would get, but he decided to take his grandson's advice and just enjoy whatever amount of time he had left to the fullest. He had his hopes on how the night may end, but he wasn't counting on anything. Emilie had been very forward in her words, he hoped he hadn't permanently chased her away.
Emilie answered the door, with a smile. Her eyes lit up when she saw him standing on her porch, in his towel. "Kona! What a lovely surprise! Come on in, I love the outfit."
Kona walked into her house, and glanced down at his outfit. "Er, about that, on my way over here, I almost hit a deer, and I had to slam on my brakes. I had coffee all over me, I made a really big mess. This was all I had in my car to change into. I could have gone home to change, but, well, I thought if I went home I would lose my courage to come over."
Emilie looked him over, and smiled brilliantly. "Oh no! Am I as scary as all that?"
"Well, I am not, well versed, " he stuttered over his words, embarrassment stained his cheeks a dull red, "in the dating scene. I find it quite frightening."
"How refreshing!" she declared. "I am glad it is not me in particular that you find frightening. For I have high hopes, that we can become, a lot, " she paused for effect, "closer."
"Er, yeah, me too. Well, I mean, you know. I'm making a muddle of this! Here." He thrust some flowers at her. "I brought you some flowers. That is still acceptable is it not? I have not dated anyone, except my wife."
"How lovely! You're quite the gentleman." She frowned. "Were you not dating that twit, Crissy?"
"Not really." Kona replied. "It was, uh, well, " Kona froze. He had no idea how to categorize his relationship with Crissy.
"Ahh, " Emilie said knowingly. "That type of relationship was it? Well, I will tell you, I am a lot different from her." She slid closer to Kona, and placed her fingertips on his chest. She smiled wickedly at him. "I do not scuttle about in the dark, and hide who I am seeing from the world. No, I am a very upfront person. I would like to someday get married, will you be the one?" She looked at him thoughtfully, "I do not know. But I love the finding out."
Kona was mesmerized. He thought maybe he should be more scared, but his inhibitions seemed to have left him. All that was left, was need, his mind felt foggy, but he didn't particularly care. Maybe she was an enchantress.
She kissed him, and he readily kissed her back. He could think of nothing but her, so when she led the way to her bedroom, he followed willingly. They fell onto the bed in a tangle of arms, legs, and kisses, tearing each other's clothes off in a flurry. "A towel, is so convenient." Emilie laughed.
They did not sleep, but spent hours exploring each other, straight on through the morning hours.
"Emilie, " Kona said softly as they lay cuddled on her bed.
"I don't know how it is phrased nowadays, but, do you want to go steady? You know, go out and see a movie, go out to dinner, uh..."
"I would love that."
And that is how Kona found himself with a girlfriend. He wasn't so sure on his ability to handle said girlfriend, but he was going to enjoy trying to handle her.
Notes---Kona never wanted to kiss Crissy, it was always a woohoo. He meets Emilie Van Gould, and he wants to know her sign, he wants to kiss her, so Kona really likes Emilie, lol. Just no thinking too hard on the fact that he is dating his daughter's step-daughter. lol. Creepy---though they are not blood related.
Also, I have absolutely no idea, what possessed him to change out of his perfectly ordinary everyday clothes, and switch to a Hawaiian print towel. That is not one of his outfits. And the thought bubble! Too funny.
I am aware that I skipped poor Rylan and Nira's childhood. There wasn't very much there, for the story, I have been too busy trying to get Kit into position to take over, to pay much attention to them. Kit is just a few days away. I have a pretty short time period for the child age, but the teen age is a lot longer, so Rylan and Nira will get their stories then. :P
Next: Chapter 22: Teenager in Love