This is on request from a reader of mine, MilkHasAccount. Cassandra is an OC from my fanfic Time and Time Again/Jumping at Shadows. She's half astrid, half human, daughter of the fallen astrid Tatiana. If you're curious, check it out.

One New Post

The dorm is small at best; the only window is a small hatch on one side, hanging open and allowing light to illuminate the dirty corners of the room. His bed, a messy nest of sheets, lies vaguely in the center of the room. The smooth stone walls are without both fault and decoration, excluding the small collection of speakers and CDs along one wall. A boxy TV sits on the ground, draped in sweaty clothing. In Seth's corner, he sits before a computer screen, scrolling through his news feed on Howlz.

Seth crunches down noisily on the bar of chocolate, the bitter taste of pure cocoa sharp on his tongue. Still, he gladly chew the candy, grateful for the burst of energy it provides his weary veins.

The duties of being the King of Shadows never seem to end. Not only does Seth have to train over five hours a day of vigorous activities, but he also has to accompany the other world powers on diplomatic missions and keep the dark forces in line. Chaos's job was to balance out the good dark creatures and the bad, to keep them in line, which was partially why the Society got so out of hand when he was on hiatus. The responsibilities never cease to weigh him down. Whether he's venturing into the clutches of a dark demon that'd upset the nearby villages one too many times or the small community of dark scholars that need to step it up, it's always exhausting.

Aches pound with each throb of his heart through Seth's muscles, his fingers tiredly tapping at the wireless keyboard. His eyelids sag. A contented sigh escapes his lips; at long last, he is alone, and free to do whatever he wishes for the next couple hours.

The first thing Seth goes to is Howlz.

Although initially skeptical in the Wolfen social media website, it'd proven itself worthy. It's sort of like Facebook and Tumblr in one killer combo; Seth enjoys scrolling through the memes as well as navigating the pages of his family and friends.

Seth especially likes checking out what Kendra's doing. As it so happens, the Fairy Realm enchants and bores her. She's always posting the most random pictures and ranting about the most unusual things. Seth smirks, scrolling past a picture of Bracken snoring on what appears to be a couch. Kendra had drawn a little unicorn horn on his forehead, as well as two horse ears at his temples. She'd then proceeded to etch buck teeth underneath his lower lip and draw a few wispy lines over his chin. Seth's sister had caption it as, "Look! Bracken in his true form!"

Seth snorts and clicks back onto his news feed. He smiles, mouse lingering over a picture taken by Cassandra, his maybe-kinda-sorta girlfriend. She's half astrid, and it drives her mad to stay in one place for too long, so they don't see much of each other. In the picture, it's a birds-eye view of Mount Rushmore. The shadow of a winged woman blemishes George Washington's brow.

He scrolls down further, smile growing. Below that picture is a picture of a pup with a covering of white fuzz. Two slits are only visible through the vein-webbed eyelids, and the irises underneath are aweing. One of the eyes is a deep, deep purple; royal purple, you may say. The other is gold, like the color of time energy. Seth grins, recognizing Fiona's profile pic in the little box beneath the picture. He reads the caption, grin spanning wider. It says, "Thank god we chose to call this one Cadeliah Jr! She did her first math equation today; Mommy's both proud and baffled!"

Smiling, Seth types the comment: "Is that… praffled?"

He clicks enter, and something catches his eye, something other than the updated comment jumping to the picture. Up in the top right corner, a little animated wolf howls and then fades into a textbox, telling him that there's one new post. Smiling, Seth refreshes the page, eager to see what else his friends have done recently.

A frown crumbles his uplifted attitude. Seth cocks his head, staring at the screen in disbelief. According to Howlz, he'd just updated. Quickly, Seth reads the text.

"LOL, Cassandra here! Just stole Seth's phone. Isn't that what cutesy girlfriends/boyfriends do? Then update cutesy messages onto their social accounts? Whatever. Seth, you need to shave, and that'll have to do. PS: who's Christa, and why is she texting you?"

Seth lets out a short incredulous bark. Last time he'd had his phone, it was in this very room. Somehow, it seems that Cassandra had stolen it. Strange. He hadn't known she was in town.

Laughing under his breath about her comment about Christa, Seth's homosexual friend, he rolls his eyes. Cassandra, though extremely intelligent, is a bit of a goof. Nah. She's a big sushi roll of goof; first there's that leaf layer of exquisite beauty, then the layer of rice silliness, but in the very, very center, there's that beautiful heart of salmon, soft and the most delectable thing in the roll. Without that salmon, the sushi would just be a pile of rice and leaf, devoid of any heart. Plus there's also that green stuff in the middle, which could be classified as more goofiness…

That animated wolf howls in the corner of the page. One new post. Snorting, Seth shakes his head, not doubting who's updating in the slightest. He refreshes the page, waiting patiently while the screen goes white and then reinstates itself.

Seth's eyes widen.

This time, a picture accompanies the text.

Seth's jaw drops.

The caption is, "Let's see how long it takes him to notice…"

The picture is of Cassandra taking a selfie with a face like a demented worm, her lips yanked back over her bared teeth and her eyes rolled back into her head. But the camera is focused on something in the background, a figure outlined by the white glare of a computer screen. The disarray of dirty clothes is alarmingly familiar, as is the figure lounging over the chair.

Seth jerks around, his swivelly chair rotating madly. And there she is, sitting on the end of his messy bed, tapping away at his phone with raised eyebrows.

"Cassandra!" cries Seth, bolting to his feet, heart hammering faster, blush coloring his cheeks.

"But seriously, though," she insists solemnly, turning those dark eyes up to meet his, "who is Christa?"

Seth strides forward gleefully, ignoring her question. Warmth ignites Seth's heart. His hands close around her smooth forearms, joy at seeing her again clouding his logic. Gently, Seth tugs Cassandra to her feet. He then wraps his arms around her and presses his lips passionately against hers. Cassandra makes a noise of soft surprise but responds to his kiss expertly, her mouth skilled in ways Seth has yet to learn. Her hands slide up his stomach and trace his pectorals, then grazing his neck on their journey to knit through his hair.

When they break apart, Seth's breathing heavily. His vision is unfocused, and Cassandra is feeble in his arms. Her chest moving against his is painful. Prompted by logic overpowering hormones, Seth releases Cassandra, stepping back and putting a careful amount of distance between the two of them.

Cassandra sticks out a pouty lip. Her childish tones, high and lilting, only encourage Seth to annoy her. "Oh, that's no fun! Come back here! Breathing breaks don't mean we're finished!"

Instead of directly answering Cassandra, Seth drinks in the sight of her after these long months of fatiguing work. Her white curls frame her face in a storm of frenzied ringlets, framing the heart-shaped figure of her features. Her height, a measly five-two, greatly accentuates Seth's own growing build. Seth proudly recognizes her perfect hourglass shape and the luscious light pink of her lips, the lips that always seem to be smiling. Her eyes, dark as night and seemingly having no difference between pupil and iris, always are sparkling with mirthful secrets. Her wings, usually folded at her sides, are white, streaked with the slightest hints of metallic gold.

Seth, ignoring her statement, jabs a finger at the phone clutched in one hand. "Give that back, please. And by please, I mean now, because I'm the King of Shadows and I can do stuff like that."

"You can't order me around." Cassandra's eyebrows perk. "Remember that, sir." The word is a taunt.

Seth sighs, shaking his head. "Let's not fight. It's been a few months since I've seen you. And, in that time, you've only gotten sexier." Stepping forward, Seth loops a finger through one of her buoyant curls.

Cassandra flashes him a nervous grin, her dark eyes glittering. Already, her wings fan the air in barely detectable movements, quivering feathers batting the wind. Encouraged by the gesture he knows well, Seth steps closer, his lips parting with anticipation.

"Wait." Cassandra pulls back, resting a hand on either side of Seth's face. Her fingertips over his skin send prickles of want through him, but, obediently, Seth pauses. Cassandra blinks, as if to clear her head. "I'm sorry, Seth," she apologizes. One hand slides from his face down his neck, looping over his nape. "I'm only here for a few minutes. And I'd like to have a conversation with you. Novel idea, I know. Let's see if your hormones can handle it."

His mind sliding to a new objective swiftly, Seth thumps down on the bed. He drags Cassandra along with him, tugging her petite body into his lap. She reclines in his arms, head resting against his bicep, fingers playing with the edge of his cloak.

Contrary to Cassandra's original intention, she doesn't breathe a word. Nor does Seth. Her eyes meet his and there is no need for conversation; Cassandra's presence is all Seth desires, and apparently, all Cassandra needs to. Of course, kissing isn't bad, not bad at all. But neither is this. Seth finds himself stroking her bouncy curls, relishing the silky quality of the ringlets.

A sudden screech jars both of them to life. Cassandra bolts upwards, and, before Seth can flinch, their foreheads smack together with a resounding crack.

"Ow," moans Cassandra, jerking away from Seth.

"It was your fault!" grumbles Seth. He releases her, the magical moment gone. "What was that unholy noise?"

"Alec, most likely," Cassandra speculates. Still rubbing her forehead with irritation, she gives Seth a quick peck on the jaw. A bolt of electricity runs through him where her lips meet skin. "We've got to go. A bunch of Seraphim just made themselves known. Ever dealt with a Seraph? They're six-winged snakes. Should be fun!"

"It should be," agrees Seth. He kisses her on the forehead, placing his hands on her shoulders. "Stay safe, will ya? Don't get captured. Then I'd have to play Prince Charming, and God knows I hate doing stuff. Don't seduce any men that you can't handle, if such men exist. Make sure to lock the cage if you ever get a pet iguana."

"Same goes for you," giggles Cassandra. She squirms from Seth's grasp, backing towards the window. "Remember, no seducing women, because then I'd have to hunt them down." She chortles with her high, childlike tones. "Don't get a pet iguana in the first place. Stay away from angels, they have fangs. Literally; those are some wicked jaws. Stay far, far away from Fanfiction-dot-Net, you would not believe the kinky stuff people post on there, and I don't want you getting ideas. If you kill yourself by training too hard, I will hold you personally responsible, and I will write that on your grave. Not that I want you to have a grave, I might also write something sad… wow, I'm babbling." She waves from her perch in the window. "Hey, after this whole Seraphim thing is resolved, you wanna meet up?"

"Where?" inquires Seth.

"I was thinking someplace cool. Someplace only a magical astrid girl and shadow boy could go."

"I can do Atlantis. How does Atlantis sound?"

Cassandra laughs, a musical noise. "Good enough for me, Seth! Bye!"

And with that, she's gone, ducking out the open window and flapping off with a gust of wind. Seth smiles at the empty window for a few second, happiness bloating his esteem, before he crosses the room. The metal clasp slides into the lock, shutting the window.

Still grinning and eager to plan the date to Atlantis (which he really doesn't know how to find, maybe that leviathan would help), Seth collapses back into his swivelly chair. He grips the mouse and moves the cursor up to the search box, ready to look up some cute date ideas she'll love, but something else catches his eye.

An animated wolf scurries onto the screen and howls. One new post. Seth eyes the text box with trepidation. His mouse moves over to the refresh button, and Seth clicks it twice.

Of course.

The picture is of Cassandra again, taken from what obviously is a phone, making an odd face, with the blue backdrop of the sky behind her. Her white and gold ringlets are like Medusa's mane, and her dark eyes twinkle like black stars. Pale feathers crown her, and tongue stick out between her lips. Cassandra's eyes cross.

The caption reads, "I can't believe he didn't notice…"

I hope you enjoyed!

Okay, here's the thing: I live off of the reviews of my readers, so I'm not sure I'll make it all the way until summer for the third installment… So there will be "trailers" (basically just little snippets of the story) and they will be posted irregularly and removed after a week.