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Little Cherine Book 02 - BPost070 by arthur.grafo4

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Little Cherine Book 02 - BPost070
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<sup><h6>I saw that funny mysterious smile on the lips of little Cherine, but she refused to speak. Rob was amused, but did not speak either. My own girls all quickly posted privacy signs and giggled amongst themselves. I got annoyed with all the tittering and went to my office.</h6></sup>
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<p><center><a href="https://steemit.com/sfandf-fiction/@arthur.grafo4/little-cherine-book-02-bpost069">Previous Post 069</a></center></p>

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<p><h3><center>1391</center></h3></p>
<p>Dommi came in. “Don’t get upset with us Robert. It is not our place to explain, it would upset Dominique.”</p>

<p>“So you just want me to blunder along in my typical male fashion?”</p>

<p>“Not you Robert. Sorry, strike that out, yes, I can see you will - you really don’t have a clue do you?”</p>

<p>“This is worse than dealing with you before Cherine, okay, go have your laughs. I’ll have the last laugh.”</p>

<p>As she walked out she threw over her shoulder, with a smile, “Somehow I doubt it Roberto mou.”</p>
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<p>If I had written these last few pages earlier I would have seen the truth. As it was I spent over two hours at my computer before the light went on in my stupid brain. If they were only suspicions at first, the amusement of the girls confirmed it for me. I put my face in my hands and groaned. What do I do now?</p>

<p>Let me start off by stating that I was not attracted to her, her attacks had not piqued me - they had been an irritation. I wished I could do as the void did and shrug her off to another part of me (Rob). I amused myself for a few minutes with visions of me as the void bouncing her around.</p>

<p>It brought one thing out into the open, none of my girls loved her. If they had, I was convinced I would have loved her too. They sobered at my thought, they had only thought of how it affected me till then.</p>

<p>I’m supposed to be this good and kind guy, so understanding with my Cherinian empathy, so I do not understand why now that I knew the reason I felt my irritation was far stronger whenever she cut into me. I called to Themi for help.</p>

<p>“From what you say it would be safe to assume that Rob has no chance any more, however long you keep her here. He will always come out as second best, she will keep comparing him to you and since she cannot have you, he will be up against an idealised Robert.”</p>

<p>“I cannot send her back as she is, what do I do?”</p>

<p>“If it was a case of one loving and the other not loving there are numerous answers. None of them would be suitable in this case. If you reject her or she rejects you, she will also reject what we have to offer. She has identified Cherinianism with you.”</p>

<p>“It will also cost us her brother. I only mention it as a fact, we will not let her go as she is. At least here her soul is safe, even if she refuses to join us.”</p>

<p>“This safe soul business Robert, I do not fully understand. You say the void does not kill souls, it just throws them back to another life. So what is different about what we offer?”</p>

<p>“You have not felt the pain of the void. The normal human is thrown and often sent to other worlds. I have a lot to understand about the void still. Does it throw the soul to a world that can give them life or is it just at random? Considering most worlds of matter are dead worlds, I would like to think there is some judgement or law of nature used.</p>

<p>It seems to me most souls are thrown back to their own world, but the pain traumatises them and they lose all they learnt in their previous lives. With us they will have a choice and even should they not recall all details of their previous lives, forgetting as foetuses, they will recall enough to avoid making the same mistakes again - I know, you will tell me most people tend to make the same mistakes repeatedly. I suspect that Cherinians will fully recall this life and their present personalities will continue to exist.”</p>

<p>“Some time and effort must be spent on this, we need to understand what we offer.”</p>

<p>“If I am given the chance.”</p>

<p>“Your intuition still bothering you?”</p>

<p>“Yes. Please think about my problem with Dominique, I must solve it first.”</p>

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<p><h3><center>1392</center></h3></p>
<p>So much for a lifetime of studying psychology! I set two goals in my mind: Make her a Cherinian and kill her love for me.</p>

<p>I called Cherine to me. “I don’t care if you have to manipulate her, just make her like you.”</p>

<p>“You are thinking if she likes me she will feel guilty?”</p>

<p>“Something like that.”</p>

<p>She grinned at me. “This is not like you Robert. Not about the manipulating, somehow that does not surprise me. I mean that you are thinking like a Normal human. If she liked me she would feel better about joining us. You are thinking in terms of Normal relationships. Worse than that is that to make her like me I have to like her, become fond of her. Do you really want that?”</p>

<p>“I did not think it through. Doris did not manage to panic me and one silly girl manages it on her own!”</p>

<p>“We’ve had our laugh, we’ll help you now.”</p>

<p>“How?”</p>

<p>She shrugged. “I don’t know, we’ll think about it.”</p>

<p>“Write off any ideas that would stop her becoming a Cherinian. That is far more important.”</p>
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<p>A few days later, after she had been incredibly sarcastic, trying to wound me, Claire let us know that when she returned home Claire heard her crying in her bedroom. The thought of her hurting upset me. I decided I have been stupid, not acting in the way I usually do. After talking to Meli, I jumped to her bedroom.</p>

<p>“How dare you!!”</p>

<p>I took off my jacket. “Relax, I’ve come here to take you somewhere. We’ve told you about Meli’s world, I think we should go there and have a chat.”</p>

<p>“What for? You think your stupid flowers are going to impress me?”</p>

<p>I grinned. “That was a low blow. Actually I need to talk to you about your brother. Dominique, you can leave there, return here soon as you decide to, it is that easy. Please?”</p>

<p>We arrived as two golden eagles. The sun glistened off our feathers and we were truly beautiful.</p>

<p>“Fly with me.” It felt weird, to be an eagle and speaking in Greek.</p>

<p>I took off and sent to her the glorious feeling of soaring, the rush of wind and the beauty of the world beneath me. After a long hesitation she flapped her wings and joined me in the sky.</p>

<p>Her voice was sarcastic but her emoting betrayed her. “What is this, are you trying to impress me?”</p>

<p>“Of course. Just fly and enjoy it, it will be over too soon. We can talk afterwards.”</p>

<p>I guided her to a peak, a slab of rock sticking out of the mountain top. We found the shelf Meli had shown me and landed. My sweet girl had kept her promise, there was a basket to the one side filled with delicacies from Daniel.</p>

<p>She shared a beer with me while eating bread and cheese. To end it off I unwrapped a bowl of raspberries and mulberries. I let her have the raspberries since she did not want mulberries and we ended our meal without having said a word. I rested my arms on my knees and looked down upon this magical world of Meli, my heart responding to it as it does every time I come here.</p>

<p>“Are you going to say anything?”</p>

<p>“No. This is too beautiful to spoil it with talking.”</p>

<p>“Are you trying to seduce me?”</p>

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<p><h3><center>1393</center></h3></p>
<p>I sighed. “Okay, we talk then. Dominique I need to ask a question, but please do not give me a knee-jerk reaction. Pay me the compliment of looking into your own heart and answering me truthfully.”</p>

<p>“Why do you have to ask me anything - I thought you had all these amazing powers and you could pick my brains.”</p>

<p>“Have you given me permission to enter your mind?”</p>

<p>“No.”</p>

<p>“Then how could I? Last time I tried something like that, to help Wendy, Dommi broke us up as a family. She may have overreacted, but she was also right. I have no wish to repeat that experience. Anyway, you are neither my wife nor my daughter, I was only hoping we could become friends.”</p>

<p>“How could you hope for that! After abducting me and keeping me here against my will. You were hoping what happened to that rich American girl would happen to me?”</p>

<p>“Wasn’t that Patty Hearst? So it happened on your world too. Dominique, it has not been my wish, it has been my biggest fear. Friends yes, lovers no.”</p>

<p>I was looking at her as I spoke and saw her eyes flinch. I felt a deep sadness.</p>

<p>“You belong to your world Dominique, I belong to mine. I have a responsibility to too many people for me to allow myself to give in to emotions I should not have. I suppose they have told you I do not like milksop maidens, I want and admire girls with spirit. Since I brought you to my world you have done nothing but fight me, never showing fear, you have shown yourself to be a true Dominique and I cannot afford to carry on with this. I need your help. If you truly hate and despise me, tell me so. If not, then please have mercy and open up, allow me to do all I need to, for you to become a Cherinian. You do not need to love, fall in love, with anyone. I’m certain that someday you will meet the man of your dreams.</p>

<p>You have seen how beautiful it is to be a Cherinian, please do not throw away this opportunity because you wish to spite me. First look to help yourself, you’ll find many other ways to spite me in the future.”</p>

<p>She turned her head away from me, as if looking at the scenery. When she turned back to me there was no sign of emotion on her face. “Not that I care, but why would your emotions matter?”</p>

<p>“Maybe not to you, but to my Dommi, my daughters and loves, to all of them it would.”</p>

<p>“You lied to me again, you said you had to talk about my brother.”</p>

<p>“He wants to become a Cherinian, but will not if you don’t. On our world it was exactly the other way around, it is strange how small changes in our histories can lead to such opposite results. You have noticed how deeply affected he was by Alexis and Pearl. We wish to let him have his own two girls to love, but we cannot do it if he does not become a Cherinian. The girls would need to link to him.”</p>

<p>“He is free to do what he wants. I never asked him not to join you.”</p>

<p>“I know Dominique, but we both know he will not without you.”</p>

<p>“Take me back home and let him do whatever he wants.”</p>

<p>“We are all going to live hundreds of years, you think we could be happy seeing you grow old and have you die on us?”</p>

<p>She had not thought of that and it shook her. She recovered fast, as my Dommi would have, and seeing my face was turned away from her asked me softly. “Are you trying to tell me you are attracted to me?”</p>

<p>“You know the answer to that. Dominique to ask me to speak may be asking me to betray people I love.”</p>

<p>“You love your Dominique very much?”</p>

<p>“I adore her. I’ve loved her since she was a little girl and I fell in love with her when she was sixteen. I never recovered from that.” I gave her a half smile and she returned it - her first ever smile for me.</p>

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<p><h3><center>1394</center></h3></p>
<p>“But you love Cherine more!”</p>

<p>“Ask the girls about that. For me to answer would not be right. They make certain claims about how I love them.”</p>

<p>“I’ve heard. Are you saying it is true?”</p>

<p>“Dominique, if you could see all the colours, but everyone else could only see black and white, how would you explain colours to them? It seems normal people are only able to fall in love with one or two people at a time. That is not true of me, every time I fall in love, those I already love say they feel my love for them has grown. It is true that Cherine is my biggest love. If I lose her I will die. I did die because I thought I was losing her. Apparently my love for her is the key to my ability to love so many other girls.”</p>

<p>“I don’t understand it, I would want the man who loves me to love only me.”</p>

<p>“Once you can see into the minds and hearts of the girls I think you will change. Ask Dommi, after all she was the same as you - until she met Cherine.”</p>

<p>She tossed her hair back and looked at me, directly in my eyes. “Roberto, we must never be alone like this again.” I nodded. “Before we leave, could you at least kiss me once - or would it upset the others?”</p>

<p>I cupped her face in my hands and felt a sweetness flowing from her directly into my heart. She was at her most open state since I had first met her and I let waves of love pour out and into her. She stared, her eyes wide open in amazement and I pulled her face to mine, brushing my lips softly over her face. As our lips met she sighed and melted into my arms.</p>

<p>Perhaps because of procreation possibilities most people think of having sex as the most intimate sharing of their bodies. To me kissing is far more intimate. To share our saliva, to breathe in the scent of her breath, these make me feel as if I am truly becoming one with the other. The eyes, as has been said by so many poets, are the windows to the soul, the face the part of the body that identifies the other person to us - if I think of Cherine for instance, the picture I get in my mind is of her face, not that cute sweet body I adore. So kissing the face, the joining of the lips are definitely more intimate.</p>

<p>Having said that, I question why it is more acceptable to kiss someone, but to make love is considered a betrayal or a commitment that far outweighs a kiss. I knew my girls would not be upset whatever I did, but for Dominique herself, a kiss would be something for her to treasure as a memory, whereas to make love would poison our future friendship. </p>

<p>Our lips started off as soft and tender but as they opened and our tongues caressed each other the fires lit up and I pressed myself to her, my hand straying down to her body. Without breaking the kiss she took hold of my hand and held it. My lips strayed away, covering her face with loving kisses and she broke away.</p>

<p>“Please Roberto, we must stop.”</p>

<p>I stared into her eyes, the need laid out for her to see and then I visibly pulled myself together, shuddering just once, and moved away from her. I knotted my jaw and sat deep in thought for a short while.</p>

<p>“It is better we are never alone again. Dominique, thank you for not laughing at me. I just knew that deep inside you were a sweet and loving person.”</p>

<p>“Are you going to tell your Dommi?”</p>

<p>“She will know, as will all the girls. Once back in the real world they will be sharing my mind again.”</p>

<p>“How do I face her?”</p>

<p>“They will not mind love, all they wish is to feel you open your heart to them too.”</p>


<p>The girls were all waiting for us as we returned. Dommi went to Dominique and hugged her.</p>

<p>“Thank you. We felt the pain in Robert and we all suffered too. The way you handled it you have taken the pain away. Dominique, I want us to be like sisters, will you please let me show you how to come into my mind?”</p>

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<p><h3><center>1395</center></h3></p>
<p>“Then you will want to come into mine!”</p>

<p>“Never. Only when you invite me. None of us go into any minds where we are not invited. Ask Robert,” she added with almost an evil chuckle, “he’ll tell you.”</p>

<p>“He has already.” She pulled Dommi away from us. “Does he really fear you?”</p>

<p>“Him? He fears all of us. I do not need to be a mind-reader to guess your thoughts, how come he did not fear the spider and her army, but he fears us? He did not love them Dominique, he loves us. By us, I do not mean only us girls. It includes all of us, Socrati, Marian, Jonathan, Henry, those of your world, Rob, Cherine and so on. He has a weakness that is not normal - he cannot bear to sense pain in any person he loves. You do not need to wonder, yes, he fears you too.”</p>

<p>“Then why won’t he take me home?”</p>

<p>“Because his fear of what could and would happen to you is far greater than his fear of your unhappiness. That means he has to suffer because he knows it is for your own good.”</p>

<p>“I would not like to be like that! If you become a Cherinian, do you also become like that?”</p>

<p>“Only to the extent that you are able to sense the pain in others. Not like Robert. His weakness, remember, is what created the protector. He comes as a package and we love him as he is, so it means we have to be careful not to abuse his weakness.”</p>

<p>“It sounds too complicated.” She looked across at me and all the girls who had crowded around me. I was holding Irene and Candy in my arms and she smiled at the sight. “Is Rob the same as him?”</p>

<p>“In many ways, but not to the same degree. That may be why he does not have a protector.”</p>

<p>“But it is not necessary to live with the constant fear of saying something wrong and hurting him.”</p>

<p>“It is not a fear love, it is a sweetness. It also turns us into nicer people.”</p>

<p>Her gaze was penetrating as she softly asked, “You knew, didn’t you?”</p>

<p>“Yes. Only he did not.”</p>

<p>“You are not all angry with me?”</p>

<p>“For what? For loving our Robert? None of us can understand how any woman could not love him. You fought your own feelings and that showed us that you tried to do what you thought was the right thing. What has changed for you now?”</p>

<p>“Nothing.” She realised how ridiculous her answer sounded. “Will you mind if I do not tell you?”</p>

<p>“Of course not. We will all presume that our Robert, being who he is, found a way to resolve this without hurting you.”</p>

<p>She became thoughtful, Dommi having more or less given my game away. “He said you would all see what happened in his mind so please tell me, did he only pretend? I must know the truth.”</p>

<p>Dommi looked in my mind and saw what I had done. She was forced to lie. “I will not look, none of us will, unless he invites us to. Is he likely to?”</p>

<p>Her mind was just as quick and she gave a grin. “Either way I suppose not. I’ll have to wait until I can do so myself.”</p>

<p>Dommi told her about Cherine’s magic smile. “Robert has a full copy of her mind within him. He refuses to look in that part of her mind, he says the mystery and magic of her smile belongs to her alone and he would only spoil it for both of them if he looked.”</p>

<p>“I get the hint. No promises Dommi, I’ll decide at the time.”</p>

<p>“Roberto heard you and says you will have to decide now. He wants to take you into his mind. Go and see why he is so special to us - faults and all.” As she was talking I came closer to them.</p>

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<p><h3><center>1396</center></h3></p>
<p>“What faults Dommi, are you trying to insinuate that I have faults!?”</p>

<p>“Many my love.”</p>

<p>“You must point them out to me sometime, maybe I can correct them.”</p>

<p>“Never! If you start looking into each of us and try to make yourself perfect for each one, you would no longer be the Robert we all love. I do not want to have to love the ideal Robert of the other girls, just as they would not want to love mine.”</p>

<p>I chuckled, amused. “You girls must be the only females in the whole world, no, throughout history, who do not want to change their man.”</p>

<p>“Do you try to change them Robert?”</p>

<p>“They will not let me Dominique. They sense, each of them, how they are my perfect Dommi or Cherine or Candy and so on and they adapt themselves. I cannot find a way to stop them. Don’t look at me that way, I’m serious, I do not want them to change. How can they stay interesting to me if they do? I want them to be able to surprise me, at times to be a mystery. Not just to be copies of what my infantile brain sees as perfect.”</p>
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<p>We made her lie down and Dommi lay next to her, an arm around her so that she would feel safe. I relaxed myself and went to her. As is usual, the first time it took a while for her to respond to me. Once she saw me she seemed to recognise me from the void and came. I led her to my mind and showed her how to dive in to my memories. I monitored her from within for a short time so as to teach her to handle my mind gently and then left her to it. Cherine joined us, half sitting next to me.</p>

<p>“She is not a Cherinian Robert, are you sure it was a good idea to let her in?”</p>

<p>“Cherine love, we all have to take calculated risks at times. At least I can rely on you girls, even if she were to damage me, you would repair the damage.”</p>

<p>“Have you blocked off any parts?”</p>

<p>“Only my subconscious, I don’t want to give her the fright you had.”</p>

<p>“Robert how could you! There are many private memories that only belong to us!”</p>

<p>“He is right Cherine. Either you let her see all or nothing. To hide parts from her will convince her we have some dark secret to hide from her. I will also let her see all.”</p>

<p>“How do you think she will react Dommi when she sees our conversation in Meli’s world from my perspective, with all my motives bared to her.”</p>

<p>“That is taking a chance. You could be undoing the good you did.”</p>

<p>“And I would be walking around with the guilt that I lied. I am hoping that when she sees that I lied she is also able to understand my reasons.”</p>

<p>Wendy asked, from where she stood at the door, “How much of it was a lie Robbie? You did respond to her when you were smooching.”</p>

<p>“Nothing is ever entirely black or white Wendy. It will be interesting to see how she sees it.”</p>

<p>The mind is not structured in a linear manner. Not like a film, one scene straight after the other. More like the hard disk of my computer, memories being scattered all over with my ‘program’ keeping a map of some sort I suppose. Just as the speed of my hard drive improves after defragmenting so had my mind improved in certain ways when Cherine and the girls sent my memories back to me. This made it easier for Dominique to follow my life in a chronological order. She would not have it so easy with the girls.</p>

<p>She must have been reacting to my memories at different points for I would see scenes flashing through my mind every so often as she mishandled them. When I concluded that she must be about ready I prepared myself to go in and show her how to get back to her own mind, but she opened her eyes so I relaxed. She turned and gave Dommi a peck on the cheek and got up slowly, as if slightly disorientated. We all understood her need to be alone and to reflect on what she had seen. </p>

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<p><h3><center>1397</center></h3></p>
<p>It is important to understand that when going through the memories of another person in their mind you do not view them as a visitor. They become your memories for as long as you are directly viewing them. It takes a while to re-adjust to being yourself again.</p>

<p>I was touched when she stopped by Cherine and hugged her. We kept silent until she was in her own bedroom. All my loves joined us in the bedroom.</p>

<p>“She did not even turn to look at you Robbie!” Candy seemed upset.</p>

<p>“It’s alright sugar. You girls always look at me because you love me, do not expect her to love me that way. Also, not being a Cherinian, we have turned her whole world upside down. Just be happy, as I am, that she made a gesture to our Cherine. That hug did not belong only to Cherine, it meant that she accepted all of you.”</p>

<p>“How do you know all this Robert, is it from reading so much?” Theresa asked.</p>

<p>“Reading helps, but basically I only used common sense. Just as when she was cold and hostile to Cherine, we knew that she was using Cherine to hurt all of us because she sensed we all look to Cherine for the source of all our gifts.”</p>

<p>“You did not say love Robbie.”</p>

<p>“No I did not. The special closeness comes from her, but, for myself at least, my love for all of you comes from my heart, not from Cherine.”</p>


<p>We had a surprise visitor that afternoon, Pavlo. He is rapidly changing, starting to look like a young man. After the welcomes and hugs by the girls, he shyly asked me if he could bring his girlfriend to meet us.</p>

<p>“We would love to meet her Pavlo. I didn’t even know you had a girlfriend.”</p>

<p>He was amused, not at all offended as teenagers so easily are. “You see all the young people being gay and you thought I was too?”</p>

<p>“That I did not think, not after the way you kept ogling Cherine.” I teased back. His face turned a bright scarlet and I got kicked by Cherine.</p>

<p>“Don’t let him tease you Pavlo, he was worried that I also liked you too much.”</p>

<p>“Don’t go giving hope Cherine, unless you mean it.”</p>

<p>“Pavlo knows I love you. He is not stupid like you are.”</p>

<p>“Is there anybody who is?” Aganthi teased her back, her words having a double meaning for her, eliciting a smile from Cherine.</p>

<p>“Pavlo, when are you going to bring your friend?”</p>

<p>He turned red again. “I left her at the coffee shop, I had to ask you first.”</p>

<p>“That was polite of you Pavlo - with respect to us. What you did though was rude to her. You go and get her now. What have you told her about us?”</p>

<p>“I told her you are the man who saved me, that they called you the angel of Athens. Once she meets you and hears your name she would find out, so I had to. I have not said anything about…the Cherinians.”</p>

<p>“How will you explain to her there being so many young girls here?”</p>

<p>“I told her…you will not be cross?”</p>

<p>“How can I answer that if I don’t know whether I should be.”</p>

<p>“Just tell us Pavlo, he won’t be cross with you.”</p>

<br>
<p><h3><center>1398</center></h3></p>
<p>“I told her, Cherine, that Roberto is rich and when he finds a child in trouble he helps. That he is looking after a lot of girls whose parents did not want them.”</p>

<p>For a second I was angry, but then I thought to myself, at his age would I have come up with a better story? “Not a good cover Pavlo, first of all it is insulting to my girls, she will pity them. Secondly she will wonder why I only help girls.”</p>

<p>“Oh no, I did tell her that you help boys, but that Greek families want to adopt boys, it is more difficult to find families for girls.”</p>

<p>I laughed. “Pavlo you tried, but it would have been better if you had asked me for advice first. I presume your girl has good eyesight? Do you really think she will believe your story when she see my girls? Look at them, the one is more beautiful than the other. Do they look like miserable little orphans?”</p>

<p>Too sweetly Cherine asked, “What story would you have given him to tell her Robert?”</p>

<p>I back-pedalled. “It does not matter now, go get her Pavlo.”</p>

<p>“Chicken!”</p>

<p>“I think I better not bring her. I’m sorry, I was stupid.”</p>

<p>“You bring her Pavlo, I want to meet her.” If he would not listen to me he had no choice when Cherine spoke to him. He left.</p>

<p>Claudia, as she often is, was the quickest to grab at the opportunity. “So, the one of us is more beautiful than the other eh? Which one?”</p>

<p>“Claudia love, that is just a way of saying you are all beautiful.”</p>

<p>“I don’t think so. I think you think some of us are more beautiful. Who, Diana? Theresa?”</p>

<p>I laughed. “Claw, relax. Stop trying to get me into trouble, we have a visitor coming.”</p>

<p>Until they arrived I had to endure their teasing. I cannot begin to describe how it made me feel. The more they teased the happier I was. For them to tease me this way it showed me how confident they were of my love for them. What else could I ask for? (I know I keep repeating myself, I can’t help it if I keep being overwhelmed by them.)</p>
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<p>His girl could only speak Greek so we all switched to Greek once they arrived. It was obvious she was at least a year older than Pavlo, the same height as him and pretty in a nice but homely way. While the introductions were being made and she was being helped to feel welcome, I knew Cherine was concentrating on her ‘vibes’ while I toyed in my mind with her features. It would not take much to turn her into a little sweetheart. I tried to sense whether the changes I’d thought of would be attractive to Pavlo and then I gave in to temptation and sent in my healer to check her and told it to make the first slight alteration, just a tiny narrowing of her nose and lifting of her cheekbones. I just hope that Pavlo really is in love with her and not just infatuated.</p>

<p>I had to speak to her because she was mostly nervous of me, so I tried to tease her. “Athena, you have the name of a wise goddess, are you also wise?”</p>

<p>She must have had comments on her name before, but she only raised one eyebrow. “I am too young to be wise, but I think I am clever.”</p>

<p>“That is how I met her Roberto, I was having problems understanding geometry and algebra. My parents cannot afford extra lessons so her mother got Athena to help me. She is the best in her class in all the subjects.” He was emoting his pride of her.</p>

<p>Cherine gave me the ‘ok’ sign.</p>

<p><i>*She is sweet Robert. She has a kind heart.*</i></p>

<p>I soon saw there was no need for me to stick around, once young girls have someone new of their age to chat to, old men like me become superfluous. I went over to Alki. He was out, but Marian opened the door.</p>

<br>
<p><h3><center>1399</center></h3></p>
<p>“Hello stranger, what brought you over?” I explained and she laughed at me.</p>

<p>“Marian, it is as if they are some kind of alien species. As well as I think I understand them, soon as they have someone of their own age to talk to, they are talking and laughing over the most incongruous things.”</p>

<p>“You are supposed to have that kind of problem with your kids Robert, not your wives.” She was teasing me and enjoying it very much, so she could not hide her grin. “That will teach you not to fall in love with little girls.” She actually giggled. “I guess I’m wrong, nothing will ever change your weakness for little girls, will it?”</p>

<p>I scowled at her and then grinned. “You are going to tell Alki and have yourselves a good laugh at my expense, aren’t you?”</p>

<p>She brought me a good strong coffee and put a packet of cigarettes by me without interrupting our banter. “Go on, smoke, it does not bother me. The rest of the world may be trying to stop, but the Greeks do not like giving up their pleasures, so I’m used to it.”</p>

<p>I took a stab in the dark. “Why are you hiding Marian?”</p>

<p>“What are you talking about?”</p>

<p>“I think you know, but you wanted to keep it a secret from me. Maria, you have been a Cherinian long enough to have developed some Cherinian gifts. Apart from the minimum, a healer, the jumping and so on, there has been nothing else - you are a unique lady so you must have a unique gift.” I smiled at her as she flushed.</p>

<p>“It is not intentional.” I could sense her mind was wiggling, trying to avoid me sensing the truth.</p>

<p>“Tell me another story mother. You are hiding something.”</p>

<p>She stuck up her chin, as if offended. Her voice was cooler than it had been, when she said, “That is the first time you’ve called me mother and I don’t think I like it! You did that on purpose didn’t you? Robert, I have no gifts worth talking about.”</p>

<p>“Then tell of those that are not worth talking about.”</p>

<p>I sensed her increasing nervousness as she realised I would not stop hounding her. “You can be an impossible pain in the backside. Okay, I’ll show you, but you better not laugh.”</p>

<p>She put out her hand to me, palm upwards and a tiny Mickey Mouse appeared, bowed to me and did a jig before bowing again and disappearing.</p>

<p>“Marian that was lovely! I bet you developed this gift because you wanted to amuse your kids.”</p>

<p>“You will not tell the others please? Cherine would think I am silly.”</p>

<p>“She will not. I think you are just afraid you will be asked to do it too often. All the kids will love it.”</p>

<p>“I knew I should not trust you.”</p>

<p>I chuckled, “Marian, you have known that from the day you first met me. Has Alki seen?”</p>

<p>“Of course! I don’t keep secrets from him. I couldn’t anyway, the kids keep asking me to do it.”</p>

<p>I straightened, in a panic. “Grab the kids, we have to go over to my house.”</p>

<p>“Robert, you’re not going to…what’s wrong?”</p>

<p>“They are getting ready to take Pavlo and Athena to the void. I’m surprised Dommi let them.”</p>

<p>“Why are you upset, is it because they did not ask you?”</p>

<p>My hands were shaking by now. “No, my protector feels uneasy, something is wrong - here, not in the void. Damn my stupidity, I’ve felt there was something wrong, some danger to my loves for a long time!”</p>

<br>
<p><h3><center>1400</center></h3></p>
<p>That made her hurry and we rushed over. The girls had already stopped, having sensed me and heard my words and were waiting for me.</p>

<p>“What is it Robert?”</p>

<p>“The protector feels a threat, I don’t understand it, the threat it says feels like Doris and Eddie. Both of them!”</p>

<p>I had no sooner spoken than Eddie appeared, his face sharpened and paled by his anxiety. Seeing him I instantly understood what the danger is. The protector immediately blocked him. He did not fight it, all I could sense was distress in him, so I sharply ordered it to stop and release him.</p>

<p>“Robert, neither Hettie nor I are planning anything, I’ve checked her mind. I do not understand what your protector feels.”</p>

<p>“I have been so incredibly stupid, I knew there was a problem! Not you Eddie, the other one from the alternate world. That Eddie is not like you, he is like Doris. They have both come to our world, they are here and getting ready to attack us. How do I fight both of them?”</p>

<p>“One moment.” He stood there, a look of concentration on his face. Sweat began to bead his face. “I cannot find Hettie, she has blanked herself. I fear that means she has joined them.”</p>

<p>It was not necessary for me to speak, the dismay on our faces spoke for us, but I had to ask, offer him the choice. “Eddie, what is your position this time, are you with us?”</p>

<p>He had obviously already faced the question within his mind as his tormented eyes showed. He stood staring back at me, his face bloodless, his thoughts blocked to me, then he dropped his eyes and bent his head, staring at the carpet.</p><br>

<center>https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmTkfmaxj6TvZQPecfTnXJnsNA38kN3NwPfrxy2KW4jZh5/END%20of%20LC%20Book%2002%20-%20title.png</center>
<br><br>
<p><center><a href="https://steemit.com/sfandf-fiction/@arthur.grafo4/little-cherine-book-03-bpost001"> Next [Book 03] - Post 001</a></center></p>


<p><center>I hope you enjoy reading this story of fantasy, adventure and love.</center></p><br>
<br><br>

<h6>Αλέξανδρος Ζήνον Ευσταθίου<br></h6>(Alexander Zenon Eustace)<br>
<sup>14th July, 2019</sup>
<br><br>

* posted on Steemit: 14th July, 2019<br>

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<center>For those who wish to be notified of sequels<br>

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