I didn’t post yesterday because I didn’t really feel like it (broke my 8-day streak though, >:o) but here I am today!
Disclaimer: weird genre mash, but I really like it 😉
Orion let out a shivering breath, fingers curling into his palm. The courtyard was cold, chilly, midnight black and silvery.
He was here on a mission.
Orion was here to steal a fortune from the richest man in Faramonde.
He slunk past the gargoyles staring him down, creeping around the gurgling fountain, feet padding silently over the cobblestones.
Orion ran a lanky hand through his silver curls that spilled down onto his face, covering his dark, dark eyes before he pushed himself up against the brick wall, jogging to meet a young woman, short as a twelve-year-old but the mastermind of this whole plan.
“Hurry up, Orion,” she said, annoyed. Her voice was lilting but strong, sweet but coarse. Behind her mask hiding the bottom of her face, Orion could see skin like coffee beans and curls the color of honey. He knew her, he thought he did… But he didn’t know anything about her, really.
Orion knew that her name was Shana, and he knew that she was young like him. Maybe younger, though he doubted it from her voice.
The pair slunk around the grounds, reaching a window.
“You’re on guard duty. You’re too tall and lanky to do the actual robbery,” Shana said coolly. “Stay here and watch for anything suspicious. Whistle if you’re in trouble.”
Orion huffed but didn’t protest. Shana’s elite crew: herself, Callum the Seer, and Athene the pickpocket were perfect for this job.
Orion stood guard for several long, agonizing minutes. His heart thumped against his chest as he surveyed the dark courtyard, its only light being the full moon. If this mission went wrong, he’d be arrested and his brother, Otis, would have no future.
It couldn’t go wrong. Everything depended on it.
Of course, Orion wouldn’t steal from just anybody. Maybe it didn’t make it right, but Ian Thorpe was the richest, most vile man in the city. There were rumors that he beat his wife and had slaves. Really, there was nothing to feel bad about.
After all, Ian Thorpe had something that they needed. Something that Orion needed. He had the Necromanc, the tool that a Scryer could use to talk to spirits. Shana needed Orion, a Scryer, to use it for work stuff, but Orion had his own reasons for using it.
He wasn’t going to share them with her, though.
Orion was startled when Shana, Callum, and Athene quickly scuttled down from the window, Shana holding a sack with the Necromanc across her back.
They were ready to go.
The next day was chaotic- back at the Hollow, kids were getting ready for school- Otis, Kyle, and Autumn- while the others were getting ready for another mission- not as dangerous as last night, thankfully.
But today would be odd, Orion knew.
“Get out of the bathroom!” he could hear someone shriek. Probably at Louise, who took way too long in the girls’ bathroom. Thank god that Orion didn’t have to wait in lines for the bathroom like the girls had to. He would probably disintegrate.
“Orion, come on.” It was Shana again, her face now uncovered but her curls soft under a bright orange bandana. She had on a jeans jacket and short cowboy boots like she was a farm girl. Orion just wore a green t-shirt over a pair of worn jeans and sneakers. They would blend in fine.
Today they were going to the market. Shana wouldn’t tell him why, and Orion knew better than to ask questions.
They walked in silence until they reached the market, people bustling around stalls, the skies blue with white clouds as its freckles.
Suddenly, Shana grabbed Orion’s hand. Orion blinked rapidly, unsure of what was going on.
“You have to be my boyfriend,” she grunted. “Just act… nice, I guess.”
Orion blinked again, running a hand through his silver hair before squeezing her hand lightly.
They walked past the stalls where Shana stopped to pick up some vegetables. Orion had absolutely no idea why she needed bok choy or why they were even at the farmer’s market, but here he was, pretending to be Shana’s boyfriend.
It was awfully weird. But not in a bad way.
Her hands are warm, he thought. And very soft.
“I’m going to go and get something from the vendor, wait here.” Shana disappeared behind a stall.
So that’s why they were here. Of course, Shana had a contact in the farmer’s market who would be smuggling her something important. She had contacts everywhere.
Just then, a girl walked up to Orion. She had red hair and bright eyes. He couldn’t deny that she was pretty in a classic way.
“Hey!” she giggled. “I’m Holly, I love your hair!”
Orion self-consciously touched his hair again. “Oh, uh, thanks. Yours is nice too. And, uh, I’m Orion.”
She smiled sweetly, tilting her head, her red curls falling over her shoulder. “Could I get your number?”
Orion blinked a few times. Surely Shana wouldn’t care. After all, they were only pretending to be dating.
Holly added, “I mean, I think you’re really cu-”
“What’s going on?”
Orion felt someone lean on his shoulder. It was Shana, back from the vendor. He couldn’t help but notice the several dark curls from under her bandana.
Holly’s smiled wavered but then came back with full force. “Oh, I was just talking to Orion over here. He’s really sweet.”
Shana smiled thinly without any humor. “Oh, that’s awesome, babe. Do you guys go to the same school?”
She leaned on Orion, wrapping her arm around his waist.
“I, uh- no, we don’t. We’ve never met before.” Orion stammered. “Holly, this is my- my girlfriend, Shana.”
Holly’s eyes narrowed. “Hey.”
“Hey,” Shana said coolly. “Anyways, Orion, are we ready to go?”
Orion nodded. It suddenly occurred to him that maybe he wasn’t being the best boyfriend, even if it was fake. Shana valued truthful performances more than anything.
Orion nodded and swooped down to brush his lips across Shana’s cheek. She stiffened but forced herself to relax.
As they walked away, Shana was silent. She held on to his hand tightly even once they were out of sight from the market.
A block away, she let go of his hand.
Maybe he was over-analyzing, but Orion was sure that she held on longer than she needed to.
“We can go back to normal,” Shana said quietly. “It was just for a mission.”
It seemed like she was talking more to herself than to Orion, but he couldn’t just say nothing.
“I think…” he started, trying to ignore Shana’s curious gaze. “I think that we don’t have to go back to normal.”
She just looked at him, her brown eyes staring him down.
“I mean,” he hurried to amend. “Only if it makes sense. Because maybe I’m reading into it too much. And you’re the leader of a huge group of people and I’m just a random Scryer-”
Shana grabbed his hand. “I know.”
They looked at each other for a long moment.
“It’s complicated, huh?” Shana murmured.
Orion took a deep breath. “Not really. You know what isn’t complicated?”
Shana shook her head.
“Can I kiss you?”
They both looked at each other. Orion considered whether or not to kiss her since she hadn’t said anything, but was saved from the decision when Shana’s lips brushed his for a short, brief moment.
It wasn’t a real kiss, honestly. But it was worth it, and Orion felt his heart swell.
Shana looked at him. “I’m still your boss.”
He grinned. “You’re still my boss.”
“We still have to work together normally.”
Orion shrugged. “We still have to work together normally.”
“And this isn’t going to change anything.”
He looked at her for a moment. “Yeah, okay. This isn’t going to change anything.”
The small smile that tugged at her lips was worth it.
Ahh, I think it’s really cute! I haven’t written actual romance fluff in recent times at all, so I think this came out really well 😉 fake dating, anyone?!
How did you enjoy this short story? Is YA romance one of your favorite genres? Did the paranormal, mystery, and romance blend in well? Do you ship it?!