Once mom was done expressing her admiration for the beauty of the fox, Kyro opened the door outside so the fennec could explore the fenced off grounds when it wished, and they all made their way out. Lucy was nowhere in sight, but Kyro didn't worry for him much. The cat had been here numerous time, so he knew his home.
It was evening, and so they all went out to the terrace behind the house from which they could admire the sun setting in the horizon. For a time, they talked about nothing in particular: them asking about his job, him saying it was fine, then him asking how their days went by here, and them saying they enjoyed the quiet peace.
Soon though, mom said she was going to cook something, and dad turned on him with hawk-like eyes. "So are you going to tell us the real reason you're here?"
Kyro had been deliberately vague about the matter, not wanting to lie, but the truth was just too outrageous to be believed. "Can't I just stay here for a week without being interrogated?"
"You can, but it's not like you to run from your problems. Your mom and I, we worry that something real bad happened," dad said, looking straight at him. "I know we can't help much any longer, but…"
"It's nothing like that," Kyro instantly said, covering his father's hand on the table. "I meant it when I said I'm happy with how my life turned now. Right now, I just want a break. My life's been hectic since I found the fox, one trouble coming after another, and work hasn't been quiet either, so I just want a break."
And he wasn't lying; he could use a break. Every week, something happened, and he hadn't taken a holiday in close to a year, besides a couple days here and there to return to celebrate the important days back home.
"But you're still going to work?"
"From home, yeah. Gale agreed to hold the meetings for the week while I'll deal with all the paperwork."
Dad smiled slightly. "Nice to have someone to throw all the work on, but can't say you got the better deal in this exchange. I thought I taught you better."
"I thought so too," Kyro agreed with a laugh. "But clearly, your lessons weren't as memorable as you believed."
Iris couldn't believe they just up and left, abandoning her in the beautiful cage. It was large and full of wonders, but it was still a cage. What was Kyro thinking?
For a couple minutes, she explored the grass field outside, but it wasn't that large when you entered it. Or well, it was large, but there was nothing in it. She could run around it like an idiot if she wanted, but that was it. There wasn't even a single flower there to admire.
Bored, she decided to take a nap. It was weird to sleep on the grass, but she didn't want to return to the princess house. She wasn't going to entertain them if they were heartless enough to leave her alone.
She was woken up sometime later by Lucifer meowing from the top of a tree that looked over her cage. Her eyes narrowed into slits when she saw the cat lounging high above, but she didn't betray her sighting of him. There was no point to give him more ammunition against her. It was enough that they both knew that he could move freely and she did not.
In time, the cat left, and Iris rose to her feet. They thought to lock her up? And the black furball even came over to mock her? This was a bit too much for her to take.
With annoyance boosting her moves, she ran full speed at the wooden fence. Most of it was hidden behind bushes, but there was one corner where it was in plain sight. She chose it and jumped with as much power as she could muster, then ran up it like there was an army of demons chasing after her.
One step, two steps, three… and crash. 'Too many steps,' she decided instantly while eyeing the fence. The way for her to climb it wasn't through the use of complicated moves, but the foxes' innate high jumping ability and the burst of speed that they could use right after.
From the numerous attempts at climbing the sofa's backrest, she had learned a lot about her own capabilities. That thing at home was curved backwards, so she always had trouble with it, but the wooden fence here was ruler straight. It wasn't overly tall either, around a meter and a half.
'You can do it, just jump higher and run faster.'
It was simple to say, but not so easy to execute. She tried again and again, but to no success. There was always an extra step done at the wrong time, or her first jump wasn't made at the perfect moment, and she didn't get high enough. In a long time, she managed to master what she thought was the perfect set of moves, but by that time, she was too exhausted to accomplish it.
Right when she thought about how to go around it, she heard footsteps getting closer to her room. Swiftly, she returned to the room and fell down in the middle, faking sleep. Her sides were rising up and down from the exercise, but she hoped Kyro wouldn't be paying too much attention.
"Hey, sorry for forgetting your food," he apologized as he came into the room, closing the door behind himself. In his hands, he held two bowls.
'No apologies necessary, I didn't remember it either,' she told him.
When he placed the insect-filled bowl before her, she knew why she hadn't remembered to eat. With this kind of diet, not eating was often preferable to having a meal.
He urged her to eat, and just for him, she ate a couple insects. They weren't that bad, but the idea of eating them still didn't sit well with her. It was just somehow wrong.
The other bowl held fresh water, and she drank to her fill before looking up at Kyro. He was smiling at her with a strange expression, like he was seeing her, but was looking right through her at the same time. It sent a shiver down her back.
When she came over and rose on her hinds legs against his leg, his gaze moved over to her, yet it was unseeing. But then he blinked a couple times and patted her head out of habit. "I hope you like it here since we'll be staying here until I figure out what happened with that girl."
Before Iris could reply with anything coherent, he stood up and left the room. She watched him go, wondering why his last statement sounded a lot like a threat. Did he suspect something? Or had he simply remembered what had happened that morning?
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