Lizzie’s Diary – Entry 36

18th day of December in the year 2140

I’d be lying if I said that I trusted Chief Dane. The way he acts and speaks, the formality between him and the rest of the tribe–I think he’s hiding something. I don’t know what, and I doubt I’ll ever figure that out. Nevertheless, I’m grateful for the aid he’s given us… Even if I wish it had been demons with more experience.

In exchange for the four Phebeans that were lent to our cause, Monty assigned Sam, Gordon, Natalie, and Sal to the Semes Tribe’s expeditions. The council was against this, but Monty had already made the deal. Apparently, breaking a deal made between spirits is grounds for starting a war between the groups involved, and none of the elders were going to ask the prince to take things that far. The Jesup gang is still our biggest issue.

Since Tawni, Benji, Gabby, and Koji returned to Savannah with us, they’ve been staying at the halfway house. Koji moved into Kaine’s old apartment, while the other three returned to Gabby’s place. I wish I could say it’s been fun having them back–like old times, or something like that–but we haven’t had the chance to relax. Monty called us and Maggie, Lori, and Hank out to his cul de sac to plan our next steps with the council and the rest of the court.

“Looks like everyone’s waiting on us,” Maggie pointed out as she parked her minivan on the curb before the prince’s home. Her naturally curly fauxhawk was dyed a deep blue and bounced with her every move; the sides of her head were shaved short.

“I said I was sorry for takin’ so long!” shouted Lori from the passenger seat. Her onyx curls were twisted into thick braids pulled back into two ponytail poofs, one on top of the other so that her hair appeared a lot longer than it was. She had already removed her seatbelt and hopped out of the vehicle before Maggie could say:

“I wasn’t talkin’ ‘bout you–”

SLAM! Lori had shut the door to the van, ignoring her older sister. Maggie let out a frustrated groan. “Jesus H. fuckin’ Christ, what the hell is her problem?”

Lizzie and Hank shared an uneasy glance as they clambered out of the vehicle, demons in tow. While she had expected it to be difficult for her siblings to assimilate to colonial life, Lizzie never thought she would witness the day when Lori would rebel against Maggie. From the time they were little, the bandit children were segregated by biological sex, so Hank and Tuck followed Clint around while Lori, Lizzie, and Addy followed Maggie’s example. Lizzie and Clint’s close sibling relationship was not ideal per their upbringing, but even she understood that Lori’s rebellion toward Maggie was just another part of growing up.

Had Clint stuck around here with me, would we have become distant, too?

Monty was with Alexa, Chris, and Tony when they pulled up, and the prince tore himself from his friends and jogged over as the humans and demons piled out of the van. “You made it!”

Lori crossed her arms and grumbled unintelligibly, prompting Maggie to shoot her a warning glare. Hank bit his bottom lip and exchanged amused glances with the Phebeans, all of whom stifled chuckles. Well, at least Hank doesn’t see them any different.

“Yeah, sorry about that,” Lizzie said dismissively, making an effort to dart her eyes over in Lori’s direction.

Monty’s eyebrows rose as he nodded, taking the hint. “No worries, most of the court only just arrived a couple minutes ago.”

Lizzie gestured for her siblings and friends to join the court, and she was about to lead the way when Monty suggested, “Why don’t you guys go on ahead?”

While her siblings did as the prince wanted, the four demons glimpsed back at Lizzie, as if awaiting her approval. She nodded assuredly, and the group walked on, converging with the humans and angels.

“You’d think the demons would at least do as I say, seeing as I outrank them,” Monty muttered.

Lizzie shrugged. “They’ll warm up to you, sweetie. Just give them time.”

The angel leaned down, meeting the tip-toeing human for a brief kiss. “Dinner with my parents still on for tonight?”

She beamed. “Yes! I can’t wait.”

The couple interlocked fingers and walked side-by-side, moving away from the van and toward his court and her charges. They only made it a few feet before she asked:

“Oh, I almost forgot! What do you want for your birthday?”

“For this conflict to be over,” he sighed.

She frowned. “Can you think of something I can realistically give you by Thursday?”

“You don’t have to–”

“I know I don’t, but I want to,” insisted Lizzie. “Even if it’s a date night or an experience.”

Monty cocked an eyebrow in her direction. “ ‘An experience,’ huh?”

She rolled her eyes, cheeks burning. “Shut up, perv.”

“Who’s a perv?”

They were a couple of meters away from the rest of the court’s leadership when Chris interrupted himself mid-tale to throw the question at their prince. He and Alexa were hand-in-hand and previously engrossed in their conversation with Tony, who kept throwing looks over his left shoulder to peek at Vince. The newest recruit to the court was having an animated discussion with Gordon, Cassidy, Cooper, and Ricky; their group stood a couple meters east of the leadership, making them the nearest to the prince’s immediate subordinates.

Both groups had put their discussions on pause to shoot nosy gazes over at Monty and Lizzie. She opened her mouth to dismiss their suspicions when the prince answered, “Apparently Lizzie. Her birthday present to me is an experience. I’m a little scared.”

Chris and Gordon’s jaws dropped; Cassidy, Cooper, and Vince giggled. Ricky and Alexa shook their heads, knowing smiles on their faces. Lizzie sputtered nonsense noises, giving the impression that she was short circuiting.

Tony, on the other hand, raised his eyebrows and stared at Monty, as if he were passing judgment. “So do you, like, try to be the most annoying, embarrassing partner? Or is it just instinct?”

Lizzie blinked, studying the light sky blue streak that appeared along the edges of the younger teen’s aura. I get that Monty is just teasing me like always, but is Tony actually defending me? Tony?!

Monty scoffed. “Easy, asshole. At least I’m not afraid to be with her.”

Lizzie gasped and wrenched her hand from his. “Monty! That was uncalled for.”

The angels in those two groups watched the cousins warily, waiting for the oncoming storm. It didn’t take long; grey clouds accumulated above, and thunder rumbled overhead as Tony’s green eyes darkened.

Lizzie’s eyes widened. This is what the elders meant when they said Tony lacked self-control…

Vince broke away from his group and joined the leadership, sliding his hand into Tony’s and holding on tight. This action startled the royal advisor, wrenching his eyes away from the prince so as to stare questioningly at his not-so-secret lover.

“It’s okay. It would have come out eventually,” Vince remarked. His dark eyes were filled with a gentle confidence, and pink energy ate away the brown on the outskirts of his usual orange glow. Lizzie couldn’t help but feel ashamed for ever doubting him. He seems nice.

Tony, who had met Vince’s eyes uneasily, sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. “Sorry,” he mumbled, his eyes downcast. The storm clouds were still over their section of the colony, though they had begun to drift apart, allowing sunlight to seep through.

He’s really trying, Lizzie realized.

She then dealt Monty a sharp elbow to his side; he clutched himself and sucked in a sharp breath, rubbing the spot as he addressed his lieutenant. “Nah, I’m sorry. That was messed up of me–you guys are entitled to do your own thing at your own pace.”

With that, the clouds began to clear at a much faster rate, and Lizzie threw the prince an appreciative smile just as Matteo cleared his throat, garnering their attention.

“It’s time.”

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

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