Riches and Spoils that decay with Time. Chapter 6

Chapter 6

A date to remember.

Settling in nicely to our new room, Fabio and I had plenty of time to catch up the following days I wasn’t around for him. He also explained to me what he went through while he was under Sagaki’s care. Though I knew most of what he had already done from the previous phone calls I’ve had with Sagaki, there were a couple of things I learned from his perspective that Sagaki didn’t know about.

When he’s not with me, he’s busy being popular with the residents and maids alike since he always carries a positive attitude with him. Helping the maids out whenever he felt it was needed. Or when he keeps the older residents company by being a gentleman and listening to them vent whenever they have issues to talk about.

The other kids also got along with him whether they were playing games together or learning together from the several retired teachers that live in the mansion. From what they’ve told me, Fabio can easily catch up and be enrolled in public school by the time he reaches thirteen.

Meanwhile, my relationship with Cassy had gotten rather steamy even before the inevitable first date I have planned for her. Whenever we had a chance to be alone, we’d start making out with Cassy usually being the one to start it.

At first, Cassy wanted to avoid me till our first date out of concern that she’d lose control of herself as she did before. Her attempts quickly failed though after I kept pestering her that I was fine and was happy to do that for her. Since then, anytime she had a craving, she’d awkwardly whisper into my ears and ask me to go either to her room or somewhere private.

I wish we could go further than just making out, but since neither of us has much time to ourselves given Cassy’s position as the head of the Mansion and me tending to Fabio as well as my job, we have to wait until we’re both open. As luck would have it though, a phone call from Sagaki as well as convenient timing afforded me the perfect opportunity to finally get the first date I’d planned for days started.

“What? Nanako’s birthday is coming this weekend?” With Fabio currently attending classes, I’m sitting down on my bed after my shift was over. Shortly after, Sagaki texted me and asked me if I had time to talk to her.

“That’s right. Nanako’s turning nine years old this Saturday. Normally, she’d hardly ask me for anything other than a couple of books along with her friends from school. But this time, she’s constantly been pestering me about inviting Fabio over.” She sounded exhausted. Nanako’s probably bugged Sagaki more than once about this. Though if anything, it made me happy we both already knew just how fondly Nanako thinks of Fabio.

“I have no problem with him coming over. Though I have to wait until Fabio gets back from his classes before I can ask him if he wants to come over or not. I don’t doubt he will though given their relationship.” I could hear a sigh of relief from Sagaki.

“Phew…that’s good. As soon as he gives you an answer, let me know alright? I’ll go pick him up too since I know you don’t have a car yet. Does two o’clock in the afternoon sound good?”

“That’s perfect actually. In a way, I should be thanking you Sagaki. Cassy and I hadn’t had any time to ourselves given how busy we’ve been the past few days. But with you giving us this chance, I’ll finally be able to get a date planned out for her!” A soft, sultry giggle is all I could hear before Sagaki spoke up.

“I’m glad I can give you the chance to finally make your move. So again, I’ll be picking Fabio up this Saturday at two in the afternoon alright?” Making sure I got the date right, I pulled my phone away from my right ear for a moment to look at the date. It’s Thursday, so I have two days before he gets picked up. I pull the phone back to my ear and replied to her after

“Got it. I’ll text you his response as soon as I get it. Take care Sagaki.”

“You too Valery. Thanks again.” After that, Sagaki hung up. The first thing I got to do is let Cassy know. I’m fairly certain she’s free on the weekends, but you can never be too sure. Excited, I headed over to where Cassy would be at this time of the day, in the backyard admiring the garden.

Making my way there, I bumped into Chandice who was doing maintenance checkups on the light fixtures of the Mansion. In particular, there’s a small general lounge area under the first-floor stairs. With a wall TV, a small table with several magazines, and comfortable chairs scattered about, it’s an area where people can relax or wait on.

“Hello, Chandice. I could’ve sworn you’ve already checked up on the lights yesterday.” Turning around, Chandice smiled and waved at me with her right hand where she was holding a pen on it while holding a notepad in her left.

“Oh, hey there Valery. And yeah, I already did this yesterday, but as you can see…” Pointing at the light fixtures hanging under the stairs, the lights started flicking on and off at random intervals. “A sick Raiju recently came around here. I guess she caught a cold and that affects the control of her static discharge. So now I have to call a former tenant here to fix the lights.” Usually, whenever there’s a problem in the Mansion, there’s always someone that’s either working or living in the Mansion that can resolve the issue, so the Mansion is nearly self-maintained by the people living in it.

“A former tenant?” Being here long enough, I’ve seen a fair number of people come and go around the Mansion.

“Yup. Jacklin, a Gremlin that was fired from her previous job for being “Too nosy” lived here about a year ago. Living here for about three months, being here gave her the chance to build her own small independent business as a third-party mobile repair company. She now goes around wherever she’s needed, doing general repairs from appliances to computers, and pretty much anything else that requires technical knowledge. As thanks for helping her, we can call her at any time we need repairs in the mansion and she’ll do said repairs for no cost.” For free huh? I guess it shouldn’t surprise me. Cassy would have several former tenants come visit the mansion, giving her either gifts or coming in to help when it was needed.

“I see. I’ll leave you to it then Chandice. I gotta find Cassy. She’s still in the backyard right?” With a smile, Chandice nodded at my question.

“Should be. She’s working with the Elves and Trolls in the garden at the moment.” I found it odd that Cassy would be working at a time when she’d usually be relaxing. I hope I can still talk to her.

“Oh alright. I just need to ask her something real quick. Anyways, see yah Chandice.” Waving goodbye to Chandice, I made my way past the dining hall and straight to the backyard area. Past the balcony, I saw Cassy along with several fairies floating around her. She seems to be talking to them about something.

“Uh…Cassy…I didn’t come at a bad time did I?” Approaching them, I could hear the faeries talking something about housing.

“Valery! Girls, could you give me a moment to talk with Valery?” The three faeries around Cassy are local tenants here. They help the Elves, Trolls, and the Gnome responsible for the Garden’s upkeep by spreading seeds or using pesticide magic for the crops.

“Sure Cass! We’ll go help Effie in the meantime!” The faeries waved hi to me before they flew over to one of the Elven gardeners Effie.

“Is this not a good time Cassy?” She was carrying a clipboard with an extensive pile of papers on it.

“Don’t worry about it. The Faeries were discussing making a home for them out here in the garden is all.” A house outside the mansion? Now that I think about it, the Faeries, while friendly, didn’t always seem happy whenever they were in the mansion.

“A house out here in the garden huh? How are they gonna go about getting one made?” Moving closer to me, Cassy flipped a couple of the papers up from the clipboard until I saw a blueprints page of several small houses. Some were planned to be built similarly to a birdhouse, while some were planned to carve a house into the tree itself.

“I was showing the Faeries a couple of ideas that I had based on my travels back in my old world. Though I also called Elaine for any suggestions, and what she had in mind is what the Faeries settled on.” Flipping to another page, it showed a little hut akin to a treehouse, except instead of using a tree as a base, it’d use the branches and vines from the hedges that lined the garden.

“Whoa…that’s a pretty neat idea. Faeries normally like to hide in plain sight right?” Cassy couldn’t agree more with the idea when she nodded in agreement with me. Faeries are nice to people, but they only appear to people they chose, so being in a crowded mansion would understandably stress them out.

“Exactly. This way, the Faeries can have privacy since normally, their houses would often be attacked by birds or other critters if exposed out in the open. Still, there are other problems like some other bird species and insects that can get inside the hedges. That’s why the Faeries are working with Panama to come up with a solution to prevent said intruders from attacking their homes.” Panama’s a Gnome that’s in charge of maintaining the health and cleanliness of the front and back yard plants that line the mansion. She’s really quiet but gentle and kind to people she talks to.

“But enough about that for now. Did you need something?” Reminding me of the reason I came to her in the first place, I blushed with optimism before popping the question.

“Cassy, you’re free this Saturday right?” Looking up at the sky, Cassy pressed the end of the pen she was holding on her chin.

“I don’t have plans for the weekend. Why’d you ask?”

“Because…Sagaki invited Fabio to Nanako’s upcoming birthday this Saturday. Seeing as how we’ll both be free that weekend, I was wondering if you wanted to get that date I promise you rolling?” Blushing, Cassy seemed happy as she gripped the clipboard she was carrying tighter against her chest.

“Ehehe…do you have things planned out already?” I couldn’t help but squeal happily from how happy Cassy looked.

“I already had all but one step planned out. Now that I know you’re free though, I’ll have everything ready by the time it’s Saturday.” With a satisfied look, Cassy nodded at me.

“Sagaki’s gonna pick Fabio up around two o’clock in the afternoon this Saturday. To give us some time to get ready, let’s leave for our date around three-thirty. Does that sound like a good time to leave?”

“That’s perfect. I can’t wait to see what you have planned out Valery!” Cassy was giddy with how excited she was about our date. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one feeling anxious with excitement.

“Oh…uh while we have this private time for ourselves…” Grabbing me by my shoulder, Cassy led me to a taller set of hedges until there was no one else around besides the two of us. “…this is also something I couldn’t wait for…” Wrapping her hands around my waist, she pulled me closer to her before planting her soft lips against mine.

That’s right. I didn’t have a chance to kiss her today did I? Accepting her kiss, I wrapped my arms under her arms, locking my hands together behind her neck to pull myself even deeper against her lips.

No matter how many times I kiss her, the cool sensation of her lips and cool saliva is something I’ll never get tired of. I yearn to taste more as I push my tongue deeper inside her mouth in an attempt to suck and lap up more of her intoxicating saliva.

Cassy on the other hand, would try and pull away whenever I tried to pull her in for a deeper kiss, breaking away from our kiss soon after.

“Va-Valery…you’ve gotten so assertive with our kissing sessions…” Cassy’s face was as red as a tomato while breathing heavily from our kiss. Noticing the small trail of saliva still hanging on her chin, I stuck my tongue out and licked it off her chin. “Valery?!” Cassy backed away, hitting the hedge behind her.

“Sorry! I couldn’t help it…” As the excitement inside me that was stirred from our kissing earlier starts dwindling in intensity, the lethargy that I usually feel from our kiss starts kicking in.

“Remember Valery, I’m still in the middle of helping the Faeries here.” Looking at me with a serious expression, I shook my head to wake myself back up.

“S-sorry about that…” Seeing that I had calmed down, Cassy smiled and shook her head.

“It’s alright. I’m at fault too since I chose to kiss you when I really should’ve waited until I was done here. If you want to continue…we can do so after dinner okay?” Tempting as it was to go on, I shook my head after getting my composure back.

“It’s fine. I gotta get things ready for our date Cassy. I can wait until then.” Getting things back on track, Cassy hugged me before she went back to help the Faeries that patiently waited for her.

“…I have to make sure everything’s ready…but first, I need to find Fabio.” Going back inside the mansion, I start to get things all prepped for my upcoming date with Cassy.


Excited as can be, two days had passed by before I knew it as Saturday came. Standing outside the entrance gate of the cemetery, I thought I’d at least walk Fabio to the entrance of the graveyard so that Sagaki wouldn’t have to walk to the mansion to get Fabio.

“Are you nervous son?” Wearing a casual company logo T-shirt along with knee-length short-length blue jeans, Fabio shook his head and smiled back at me.

“Not really…well…maybe a little…” I could tell from how much he was squirming that something was bothering him. “I’ve never met Nanako’s friends before, so I’m a little nervous about meeting them…” Kneeling to face him directly, I gently patted Fabio on his head.

“Honey…you’ve made lots of friends here in the mansion right? I’m sure you’ll befriend Nanako’s friends too.” Talking about Nanako reminded me of something I was curious about. “Speaking of Nanako…is Nanako more than just a friend to you?”

“Of course she is. I’m her best friend. We both promised each other that.” Best friends huh? I’m not sure just how bright Nanako is…but regardless, I doubt they’ll stay as best friends. Give them four or more years, and I’m sure that’ll change.

“Is that so? Well, I’m happy to hear that sweetie.” Along with a backpack that had his video game console, he has a gift that he wrapped in a box for Nanako.

When he agreed to come to Nanako’s birthday two days ago, I offered to take him to a toy store to get her something, but he insisted on making a gift for her instead. Seeing as how he knew her better than I ever could, I trusted Fabio with making a gift for her. Whatever it is, I’m sure Nanako will be happy with it.

Arriving just a minute late, a familiar car came by, parking at the temporary parking space to the side of the road. Rolling down the window, I saw Sagaki sitting in the driver’s seat. She pulled the sunglasses she was wearing down to lean forward to get a better look at us.

“Valery, and Fabio? You guys didn’t have to walk all the way here, you know?” Considering that she’s already driving Fabio, I thought that this was the least we could do to make it slightly easier on her part.

“Don’t worry about it. We weren’t waiting long anyway.” With a nod, Sagaki leaned further forward until she reached the front passenger seat door. She opens it and waves her hand at Fabio.

“Alright. Fabio, let’s go. Nanako’s eager to see you again.” With a smile and a nod, Fabio hopped inside Sagaki’s car. After closing the door, he lowered the windshield and waved at me.

“Goodbye, mommy! I’ll see you later.” Waving back at him, I gave Sagaki a nod before she closed the windshield and drove off with Fabio.

“Alright then…I’ve got about a good six to seven hours before Sagaki plans to drive him back here…” Raising both of my arms as high as I could, I stretched my whole body before letting my arms fall naturally. “Time to get ready.” With only an hour and a half to go before our date, I rushed back to the mansion to get ready.


I’m glad I asked for an hour and a half to get ready for the date since the time I took to take a shower and get gussied up for the date nearly ate up all the time I asked. With about ten minutes left to work with, I had everything planned out and ready.

Before I left, I took one last check at myself by standing in front of the body-length mirror in my room.

Checking my hair first, I decided to straighten most of my hair, styling it into a left-side ponytail. The ponytail itself was left curly unlike the rest of my hair though.

As for the dress, an emerald green one-shoulder dress that Chandice picked out for me when I went shopping for a dress with her yesterday was what she picked out for me after I told her about my upcoming date with Cassy. Aside from the design, the vibrant streaks of glitter that lined the seams of the dress were almost too flashy for what I’d usually wear, but Chandice insisted that I wore this for our first date.

In her own words. ‘Valery, you’ve got a stunning beauty underneath all the drab you usually wear. I’m sure you’re well aware of your assets, so this dress will show off a portion of your lovely chest and arms. Make sure you wear a yellow bra of sorts too to match the green of your dress!’

“…I feel a little uneasy wearing something like this…” After the constant abuse that I suffered from my previous dates, I’ve grown to hate wearing dresses seeing as how no matter how hard I tried, I always got hurt in the end, physically and emotionally.

This time is different though. I’m not dating some insensitive jerk. Instead, I have the sweetest, the most adorkable person who saved me from the hell I was in. I have to make an effort to get over my past inhibitions.

Aside from my dress and yellow undergarments, I was wearing flat heels. Dull brown, I wanted to feel my heels by the end of the night rather than feeling miserable halfway through our date.

I also decided to bring a dull red leather jacket so I could look more modest for the other part of the date I have planned for Cassy.

With a sling large purse on my exposed right shoulder, while carrying the jacket under my left arm, I made my way to Cassy’s room.

On my way there, I could feel people boring holes through me from all directions from how hard people were staring. Thankfully, those stares only lasted a few seconds given that those who were staring were either other women or men who had wives or girlfriends that scolded them for staring too long.

Making it to her door, I knocked on it twice before hearing Cassy on the other side of the door.

“Just a minute!” From the tone of her voice along with how she sang that out, it sounds like she’s in a happy mood. Though to be fair, after asking her about the date, she’s gotten even more frisky the last two days when we were making out in anticipation for today.

Hearing the door open, the first thing I saw peeking out the door was her slender legs. Wearing high heels, the dark purple rose-designed stockings she had on her leg already made my heart race in anticipation of what the rest of her looked like.

“Sorry if I made you wait, Valery.” Stepping out for me to see, Cassy went with a light blue sheath dress. The top of her dress had a rose petal design on it with her cleavage fully exposed this time around. I can even see her bra peeking out of her dress’s top, matching the color of her stockings.

Going down to her waist, she had a white metal buckle belt which only further showed off her hourglass figure. On the bottom half of her dress, a slit opening on both sides of her dress showed off her bountiful hips. The stockings on her legs had a belt that connected up to her hips. Is she wearing some sort of garter belt under her dress?

Aside from the small purse in her right hand, she had a long, fluffy white scarf that stretched from one side of her hip to the other.

Finally, like me, she had her hair mostly straight except for a long ponytail styled into a single screw curl that reached down to her butt.

“I’m not too flashy am I…Valery?” I was so preoccupied staring at Valery that I had barely noticed her calling out to me.

“Oh! Uh…no not really. I mean look at what I’m wearing.” Stretching my arms and legs out to give Cassy a better look at what I was wearing, I was anxious to know if she liked what I was wearing or not. Thankfully, her smile quickly put me at ease.

“It looks great on you Valery! I didn’t peg you to be the type to wear something so flashy, but what you have on in particular suits you perfectly!”

“Well, Chandice was the one that picked the dress out for me. Otherwise, I would’ve worn something more casual. I’m glad I got Chandice to help me though, now I won’t make you look bad when we go out tonight.” Walking up to me, Cassy grabbed my exposed shoulder and shook her head.

“Hey now. I wouldn’t care what you’ve worn for our date. That said, the dress you’re wearing now looks really good on you, so I’m glad you went out of your way to wear it for our date.” Chuckling, I couldn’t keep the smile that crept its way from my lips from forming.

“No worries. I want to make sure this date goes well, so I’m glad the first part of it is already a success.” Cocking her head to the left, Cassy looked confused.

“Ehehe…you’re enthusiasm rather contagious Valery. Our date just barely started, but here I am already getting excited.”

“Of course! I need to make sure this date is perfect for my special girl! And making a first good impression was a great start.” Aside from blushing, Cassy just giggled before I did the same. After getting our laughs out of the way, Cassy held her left hand out for me to grab hold of.

“Alright then, shall we get started?” With a nod, I took her hand as we left the mansion. Since we kept our relationship secret up until just now, the shocked faces that we came across from maids to tenants alike made leaving the mansion a bit awkward.

Still, a small part of me felt pride that out of all the times Cassy could’ve been with someone else, I got lucky and ended up winning her heart. Wearing a stupid grin on my face from pride, we eventually left the mansion doors. Once we got to the canal bridge where we first met, I stopped for a moment to look at the spot where I was sitting on.

“Cassy…this is where it all started huh? Me standing at the edge of the bridge with the intent of killing myself…” While I was still holding Cassy’s hand, I felt her grip tighten before turning to see her smiling face.

“Indeed. At the time, I didn’t know anything about you, so I didn’t know what to say to you to stop you from killing yourself without sounding insensitive. Seeing as how I’ve seen similar scenarios before though, I’d rather risk having someone hate me than seeing them kill themselves.” Always selfless and caring, it’s one of the many qualities she had that I fell for.

“It may sound a bit depressing…but I don’t want to forget about that day. I would’ve made a lot of mistakes if I had gone through with it. Thanks to you though, I’m alive and happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life.” Embarrassed by the praises I sang for her, she turned her gaze away for a moment, her cheeks turning a deep red color.

“Oh, you and you’re flattery…” Giggling at her reaction, we moved on from the bridge as we reached the graveyard front entrance gate. There, the cab driver I had called ahead of time was waiting for us.

“Hello. Miss Valery and Miss Cassy yes?”

“Yup! Take us to our destination please.” With a smile and a nod, the driver opened the back seat for us as I took the right side while Cassy took the left. When we got settled in and buckled up, the driver got in the driver’s seat as he started driving us to the destination I told him ahead of time.

“You got a taxi called in advance?” While I was checking my phone to check the time and check off a list I made on it, I heard Cassy before turning my head to her.

“As I said earlier, I want to make sure this date is perfect. We’re heading somewhere to eat now since I know neither of us had anything to eat today. I made sure to pick a place that serves food you can get something out of other than taste too. Oh, and of course, I already reserved a seat for us.” Gasping in surprise, Cassy had her right hand on her mouth with a worried look on her face.

“What? Valery, places like that are usually expensive! Do you have money for yourself still?” It’s sweet that she’s worried about my finances. Since I planned this date out though, I already had the money situation figured out beforehand.

“Don’t worry about it. I still have money, so stop being such a worrywart and let’s enjoy our date alright?” Holding herself back, Cassy nodded before eventually smiling back at me.

When we got to our destination, I talked to the driver for a bit before he left. I reserved him for the day, so he’ll be driving us around for the rest of the day.

“This is the place you picked out for us to eat at?” Turning around to face the same direction as Cassy, the restaurant I brought her to was a local Mamono friendly restaurant that had options catered to Monster girls that feasted on spirit energy.

“Yup! The place is called Hollow Knights! It specializes in meals that undead and other spirit energy reliant Mamono can eat.” The restaurant ‘Hollow nights!’ was modeled to look more like a medieval tavern from the outside. Aside from the hanging sign above the reinforced wooden door that had the restaurant’s name on it, several vertical rectangle windows gave us a small glimpse of what was inside.

“Shall we go in then?” Making our way inside, the first thing we were greeted with was a podium with a sign on it that read ‘Please wait to be seated.’ Aside from that, the dark atmosphere inside was lit just enough by the floating wisps of blue flames to give the patrons and employees enough light to walk around with. The walls were lined with a four-person booth table while especially large groups of people sat at the eight-seat tables scattered around the interior.

“Sorry for the wait…” Hearing someone call to us, Cassy and I turned to see a floating suit of armor. I swore I could’ve heard a woman’s voice somewhere around us. “A Human female and a Wight…do you happen to have a reservation by the name of Valery?” The voice came from the armor?!

“That’s right. If there’s a two-seat booth, we’ll take that.” I replied as politely as I could before the armor pulled out two menu pamphlets from the podium.

“Understood. Please, follow me…” Floating ahead of us, Cassy followed her first before I followed her from behind.

Passing through the other patrons, many were Mamono with about a majority of them being undead or spirit-type monster girls. The groups either consisted of gals hanging out with each other or their dates who were all men. As for the servers, the theme that seemed to revolve around here was similar to the patrons, with many of the waiters I see walking around either being ghosts, ghouls, or zombies.

When we got to our table, it was next to an elevated part of the restaurant. A blue wisp that floated above our table grew in intensity to further illuminate the booth before we took our seats.

“Your server will be with you shortly.” Giving a menu for each of us, the armor floated away, giving me and Cassy some privacy and a chance to talk.

“You certainly picked out an interesting restaurant Valery. Considering the demographic, are you sure there’s something in here you can eat?” Opening the menu, I pointed at a sentence that was highlighted in red on the first page before reading it aloud.

“Though our menu specializes in meals that energize spirits, undead, and any other Mamono that require spirit energy for sustenance feeling full and satisfied, our menu also takes Humans into account. As such, all menu items are nutritionally beneficial for the living as well. No one, dead, or alive leaves Hollow knights feeling empty and dissatisfied despite the restaurant’s name.” That was a mouthful to read…

“I see. The menu is certainly diverse…” Cassy said while she was flipping through the pages of the menu.

I did a bit of research on this place before making reservations, so I’m already aware of the kind of food they serve here. Even so, looking around at the other people here, I don’t see a single human girl here.

“Sorry for the wait…” Hearing a meek voice to my left, I turn to see our waiter. She seemed to be a Banshee based on her somber expression and gothic attire. “To start, what would you two like to drink?” The entire time she was talking, she had her notepad up and close to her mouth as if she was trying to hide.

“Hmm…I’ll have a glass of this…Phantom’s Allure.” With Cassy speaking out her order first, the waiter meekly writes down her order before turning her attention to me.

“Ah, for me…I’ll have a pint of Gnomes Enchanted beer.” Nodding, she jots down my order.

“I’ll be right back with your drinks…” Leaving to fetch our drinks, Cassy and I exchanged smiles before looking at the menu for what to eat.

“Valery…have you read the menu items here?” Moving my eyes up to peek at Cassy, she was smiling before turning her menu at me, pointing at the names of the items on the list. A lot of the food items on the menu along with the drinks were puns. Thankfully, you can tell what you getting since there’s a description below each name that tells you what the item is.

“Uh-huh. I already knew about the names from doing reservations for this place beforehand. It’s not too silly of a place for a date is it?”

“No, not at all. I find it quite charming actually.” We both giggled before Cassy started pointing at the appetizers. “So, what should we get for apps?” Looking through the menu, there was your typical fair of bloomin onions and wings. One app caught my eye though since I hadn’t had them in a long time.

“Hmm…why don’t we go with the Bloody Cheese Fingies?” Moving her head further out to read the menu, the ‘Bloody Cheese Fingies.’ were mozzarella cheese sticks. About twelve pieces for the app in particular with marinara sauce.

“The cheesy sticks huh? Alright. What about the main dish, have you decided what you want yet?” Turning her menu back around, I can see Cassy’s ruby red eyes glaring at her menu, scanning it for what she wanted to eat.

“Hmm…there’s a lot of choices here. Seems like they have a bit of everything…” Though the menu was fairly diverse, it seemed to have a focus on Italian dishes. Albeit with some creative names, some of the ingredients they use here are from Cassy’s world, so not only are they more nutritious, they can leave those reliant on spirit energy like her satisfied.

By the time the Banshee waitress came for our drinks, I made up my mind about what I wanted to eat.

“Here you are. One Phantoms Allure for you…” Handing Cassy her drink, Cassy gestured an appreciative nod before the Banshee went to give me my drink. “And here’s your Gnomes Enchanted Beer.” With a small foam still hanging on the pint, I gently grabbed it and set it down on the table to not spill it. “So, do you two still need more time to decide on your orders?” With a nod from both of us, we got our orders placed before the Banshee left to get them.

While waiting, Cassy and I would catch up on the days we missed talking to each other due to work. From what she’s told me, Cassy’s been having trouble sleeping lately. Even though she doesn’t need to sleep, she took my advice to heart and started sleeping whenever she felt she had the time. And it worked for a time, but recently, all she’d do is toss and turn whenever she got on her bed. As much as I wanted to know what was causing the problem, sleep wasn’t something she needed to begin with, so she dismissed it pretty easily.

Changing topics to how Fabio and I have been doing, the two of us have had a lot of time to catch up and exchange stories of what happened between us. Every time I mentioned her in particular, she’d blush with her occasionally butting in. I also joked with the idea that given ten years or so time, I’d have Sagaki as a sister-in-law with how Nanako was crushing on Fabio.

Our appetizer came soon after. The Banshee gives us a gentle bow before leaving again to attend to the other guests.

“Wow…the number of mozzarella sticks made me think that they’d be small but…” Chuckling nervously when Cassy grabbed one of the sticks, they were at least five inches long each.

“I’m sure if we split it six between us, we’ll have enough room for our main course.” Grabbing the other end of the mozzarella stick, I pulled it apart as the steamy cheese stretched out before eventually breaking off. Dipping my half on the marinara sauce, I took a cautious bite before going for another one.

Cassy didn’t dip hers in the sauce, saying that she likes to taste the cheese rather than the sauce I’m dipping it in. Oh well, more for me!

Even though I was the one that suggested we split the app half and half, I ended up eating eight of the pieces instead of six. I hadn’t even realized it until I saw that Cassy was giggling and told me the amount I ate.

“Why didn’t you tell me I was eating past my sixth stick Cassy?!” Finding it amusing, Cassy just waved her hand dismissively.

“Oh, it’s not a big deal Valery! You have a bigger appetite than most girls in the mansion, so I’m sure you still have room for the main course, hell, maybe even more room for dessert afterward.” Cassy rarely pokes fun at me, so while it was a bit embarrassing, seeing her smile and laugh at my embarrassment didn’t bother me all that much.

Seeing the Banshee waiter again, she was carrying two sets of platters in each hand before setting my dish first.

“Alright. One Fettuccine Afraido for you…” The waiter then turned to face Cassy. “And here is your Innerds and meatball spaghetti. Enjoy girls…” With another gentle bow, the Banshee waiter left as we both looked at one another’s meals.

Putting the puns aside which Cassy and I laughed off, the meal itself was really good. The sauce from the fettuccine was decadent and clung nicely to the thick noodles.

Cassy on the other hand was fiddling with the sauce and meatballs of her spaghetti. Along with her skeptical expression, she couldn’t be questioning if her spaghetti was made of innards is she?!

“Ca-Cassy…” Staring at me right in the eyes, the more I saw her fiddling with the food, the funnier it seemed. “You know the actual ingredients of the meal are right on the menu right?” Blushing a deep red color on her cheeks, she laughs my question off before swirling the spaghetti on her fork.

“I’m not a child Valery! I know damn well that these are not innards.” Unaware of just how loud her outburst was, the other customers turned to look at our table. Most of them were amused and giggled while a few were wondering what was going on.

Slinking back in embarrassment, Cassy avoided eye contact with me before taking a bite of her spaghetti.

“It’s delicious…” After her embarrassing display, we focused on finishing our meal. We’d banter every so often about random topics, so time flew by faster than we anticipated. It didn’t help that even after we finished our meals, we kept ordering drinks while enjoying each other’s company.

We don’t get enough time together to talk like this. Though that’s only because we kept our relationship secret up until now. So by the time we get back to the Mansion, we won’t have to be reclusive with our relationship which should make it easier for us to find time for one another.

When it came to paying the bill, Cassy and I argued for a solid minute on who’d pay for dinner. In the end, Cassy settled in giving the Banshee the tip while I paid the bill. When we got outside, the sun had already gone down as the waning moon lit the sky.

“It’s already close to nine at night. There was another place you wanted to show me before the end of our date right?” Putting her phone away after checking the time, there was one more place I wanted to take Cassy before heading back to the mansion. When the taxi driver came back to pick us up, I could barely hide the anticipation swelling inside me before we reached our other destination.

“Alright girls! I’ll be back here in one hour.” Taking his leave, I waved to the Taxi driver before I went to Cassy who had already walked to the entrance gate of a local park.

“A park huh? It’s certainly a nice place to relax and unwind after that delicious, but embarrassing dinner.” While Cassy had her eyes closed from giggling at our dinner earlier, I grabbed her right hand with my left, gently squeezing it before wrapping my right arm on hers. “Valery?”

“This isn’t just any park Cassy. This is the park that Fabio and I stayed in when we were homeless for a few weeks.” Without saying another word, Cassy went to hug me, nuzzling my face between her chest.

“I wanted you to see where I was at my lowest…when I gave up on everything…” I could feel her left hand gently stroking my hair.

“That’s all in the past you know? Though…I’m glad you’re willing to share this with me.” Looking up at her, she was teary-eyed as she could barely keep herself from crying.

“Of course. I want the person I love to know everything about me.” Finishing out a hug, I walked her through the park. I’d point out places in particular like the playground where I’d play with Fabio to the local bathroom where I cleaned him up. I’ve already told her about the times I spent here otherwise, but like before, she’d reprimand me every time I was being too hard on myself.

When we found a bench to sit on where there was a lamp under us, we took a break from walking around the park. A few minutes of silence follows as the only sounds around us were the crickets chirping and the light post above us buzzing.

“This reminds me…” Breaking the silence, Cassy kept looking at the light you to my world so you can see where it all started for me.” Cassy sounded unusually serious this time around. “Well…if I did bring you…it wouldn’t be as exciting as living here since there’s no cars, internet, or anything like that of the sort out there…” While she was distracted by the lamp, I took out a small box from my purse.

“I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Honestly, as long as I have you by my side, I’m happy to go wherever you want to go.” Before she had a chance to look back at me, I pulled out a silver necklace with a dark purple gem on it and put it between her head.

“Ah! What did you wrap around my neck?!” Understandably startled, Cassy looked down at her neck to see the necklace around her neck. Pulling the necklace closer to her face for a closer look, her attention was focused the most on the dark purple gem. “Valery…you know you didn’t have to…” Did she not like the necklace? Maybe it was too generic for her? Right…if I think about it, she probably has jewelry far better than anything I could give her. Or maybe I was overthinking it and Cassy was just being considerate like she always is. When I looked back at Cassy though, she shook her head and smiled at me.

“No…forget about what I said earlier. I’m very happy that you got this for me, it means a lot.” With a gentle peck on my lips and a grateful smile, the doubts that were starting to fill my mind melted away.

“Cassy…” With the lingering sensation of her lips still fresh in my mind, the desire to feel it more intimately caused my body to move on its own.

“Va-Valery? We’re in public you know?!” Getting on top of her, I locked her legs together between my knees before leaning in for another kiss. “MMMPPHHFF?!” I know it’s wrong to be forceful like this, but I didn’t care. Digging my tongue through her lips, he relented rather easily, letting our tongue meet before I felt her arms wrap around my back. Whether we were licking or sucking on each other’s tongues, the relaxing sense of lethargy that I grew addicted to never gets old.

After pressing my chest against hers for some time, I felt something poking my chest. Knowing exactly what it was, I slid my right hand between her chest and mine to grab her supple boob. Flinching, Cassy pulled herself away from our kiss.

“Valery…I know this feels good…but you need to calm down now okay? We can’t do this here…” Gently pushing me away, Cassy was breathing heavily before placing her right hand on my forehead. “You little rascal. Remember, we have less than thirty minutes before Fabio is dropped back at the Mansion. We should get back before he does don’t you think?” Much as I hated to stop there, looking at the time on my phone, we didn’t have much time left.

“Oh alright…” Though the mood’s ruined, Cassy was right. “Getting off her, we met up with the taxi driver to get driven back to the Mansion.

When we got back, Cassy pulled a fast one on me and tipped the driver before I had a chance.

“Thank’s a bunch. If yah need a ride again, you know who to call ladies!” With a smile and a wave, the driver went on his way.

“Well…that was a fun date. I had a great time Valery, thank you for it and the necklace as well…” Holding the gem of the necklace, Cassy kissed me on the forehead.

“Stop being a tease, Cassy. You know where I want that kiss. But I understand why we ha-” Before I could finish my sentence, my phone started ringing. “Hmm? Must me Sagaki. Give me a sec Cassy” Answering the phone, I could hear Sagaki letting out a sigh before speaking up.

“Hello, Valery. Did your date go well?” Looking at Cassy for a moment, she was leaning against the gate, staring at her necklace with a smile on her face.

“Yup. It was nearly perfect, but times a bitch so had to cut the date short. Are you running late?” There was a few good seconds of silence before hearing something in the background. It sounded like Nanako’s voice.

“About that…Nanako’s normally well behaved, but this time around, she’s throwing a fit and wants Fabio to stay for a sleepover for the night.” So that’s the sounds Nanako’s making. “Fabio’s fine with staying for the night. He’s even doing me a favor and trying to calm her down…”

“Aww…honestly I can relate with Nanako in some way…” I find it amusing that just as I felt disappointed that Cassy and I couldn’t continue our make-out session, Nanako in turn is upset that Fabio’s leaving.

“Huh? What do you mean by that?” I shouldn’t tell Sagaki what I was referring to.

“Don’t worry about it. Anyways, if Fabio’s fine with staying there for the night, then it’s fine. I trust you. Or is keeping Fabio around not an option?”

“Wha?! No, Fabio’s very well behaved. I have no issues having him here for the night. Now Nanako can get what she asked for and hopefully calms down.” Letting out a sigh of relief, I giggled at Sagaki “Thank’s a bunch, Valery. I’ll bring Fabio back tomorrow around eleven in the morning. And this time, I’ll walk with him to the Mansion, so you don’t have to leave to pick him up.”

“Alright. I’ll see you tomorrow then.” Hanging up, I saw Cassy walking up to me with a blush on her face.

“Valery…did I just hear that right? Is Fabio staying in Sagaki’s house for the night?” Excited as can be, I nodded vigorously before hugging Cassy.

“That’s right! Nanako wanted a sleepover. Since Fabio’s okay with the idea and I trust Sagaki, why now right? And if that’s the case, you know what that means?” Blushing even more, I leaned forward and gave her a peck on the lips.

“We’ll have the rest of the night to ourselves…” Looks like my date isn’t over just yet…

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