I couldn’t remember a time in my life when I had been more nervous and excited at the same time. The bonding ceremony was in a week and I couldn’t wait for the anticipation to be over. I swung out my leg in frustration, desperately wishing I could kill time itself for not moving faster. My leg connected with the punching bag, sending it swinging. I let out a sigh of frustration, still as upset as before. I was working out at the gym, trying to release the pent up energy that was driving me insane. It was my first bonding ceremony-the ceremony where you bond with your spirit animal and find your soulmate. I sighed, hoping I would be one of the few that didn’t find their soulmate yet. I wasn’t ready to settle down, get married, and have children. Even the thought of kids made my frustration grow to a fever pitch and my arm flew through the air, striking the punching bag so hard the other people at the gym stared at me warily. A macaw screeched, breaking the uneasy silence. Still as upset as before, I beat up the punching bag until a light sheen of sweat covered me from head to toe.
“Slow down,” a gentle male voice spoke from behind me with a chuckle , “I think it’s learned its lesson!” I whirled around as I recognized the voice of my best friend since 1st grade, Fabian Maravalle.
He was five inches taller than me at 6’5 and had a dusting of light brown hair with blond streaks running through the soft wavy strands. His eyes were sky blue and he had soft ****** features, making him look friendly and inviting. His smile was bright and shone like a beacon of hope in my dark, hazy sea of uncertainty.
I beamed and threw my arms around him, catching him off guard and transferring some of my sweat onto his dry t-shirt.
“Hey!” he protested with a smile as I continued to hug him mercilessly.
“It’s so good to see a friendly face!” I exclaimed. I let go of him and stepped back, somehow missing the look of longing in Fabian’s eyes as I started spewing my frustrations in-between my loud gasps.
Fabian listened, used to being my confidant in all matters. Except the heart. I have never even considered romance or love. I wanted to be a strong powerful warrior like my parents and I didn’t want to deal with a clingy partner. I would have to face the facts soon though. Everyone found their soulmate during their first bonding ceremony. If their soulmate wasn’t human, they would travel the galaxy’s, their spirit animal leading them onward until their soulmate was found. Only a few people didn’t get their soul mates during their first bonding ceremony, which meant their soulmate was younger than them and hadn’t completed the bonding ceremony yet. Then you would wait till the next year, meanwhile training in the army, prepared to defend Traea, our home planet.
When I finally finished my rant I stepped back, out of breath and sucking air into my lungs. An older gentlemen looked at me condescendingly, his ostrich spirit animal looking at me with disgust.
“Are you done?” Fabian asked jokingly.
“Shut up!” I gasped with a smile as I playfully punched him in the arm. I grabbed my gym bag and headed to the women’s shower cubes (7×7 cubes that sprayed cleansing foam and water. Each building/home is allowed a certain amount of water and they must reuse it by filtering it.), Fabian following right behind me. At the door to the girl’s bathroom, I turned around and shoved him back.
“You’re not allowed in here!” I joked, knowing he only did it to get a rise out of me. I stepped into the second shower cube on the right and turned it on, placing my sweat filled cloths and my bag in a compartment created especially for them. The water poured over me, wetting me down in preparation for the soap. I waited expectantly, knowing it should only take a few seconds before the foam arrived. I looked up with a frown. Maybe there was a malfunction? I grabbed the robe and put it on, heading to the door when foam exploded from every crevice , filling the whole cube and spilling out into the hallway, carrying me with it. I screamed in fury knowing exactly who had done this.
“I’m gonna kill that mangy scrawny impish little…” I continued muttering threats as I stomped out of the bathroom, covered head to toe in foam. I focused on the skinny figure of my archenemy, Fox Harrington. At 6’2 he was one of the hottest, smartest, and most annoying people I had ever met. I growled low in my throat, glaring at him as he collapsed in laughter at my expense. I stalked towards him, ready to throttle him for daring to interfere with my shower. These pranks had been going on for years, ever since he stole my favorite book and I stole his”prized” baseball card. This time though, this time I was going to beat him into the ground instead of just pranking him in return. I finally reached him and grabbed his arm, dragging him into the teleporter (a box shaped like a phone booth that can transport you anywhere you want to go) and called out our destination, a park perfect for what I had planned for him, and was about to push the button that would bring us there when a firm hand yanked me out of the phone booth shaped box and spun me around.
“Watch it!” I snarled as I took in the sight of Fabian chuckling slightly.
“What are you laughing at?” I growled menacingly as his eyes took in my appearance. A few people and their spirit animals were gaping, obviously not used to people running around in robes.
“Do you really want to go out in public looking like that?” my best friend and lifesaver asked me, still smiling. I glanced down, noticing I was still covered in foam and only wearing a bathrobe, about to make a spectacle that was sure to be on the news. I rushed to a different shower cube, took another, more successful, shower and rushed back out. I marched over to where I had left Fox, frustrated with myself that I had let my guard down enough to be pranked. I reached the teleporter, looking around for Fox but not finding him.
“Where did he go!” I screeched, livid that he had managed to escape again. Fox had a way of finding a way out of even the toughest situations. I noticed Fabian lying unconscious on the floor, obviously knocked out by the slimy little cretin. Everyone else was crowded on the sides of the room, avoiding my gaze. I cursed, racking my mind to try and figure out where he might have gone. He wouldn’t go to an obvious place like the park or the library, and he wouldn’t go… Wait a minute, he might be desperate enough … A slow smile crept onto my face as I walked towards the teleporter. Fox didn’t know what he had coming for him.
Continue reading to find out where Fox has gone and what Elara is going to do when she finds him. Also, in a few parts will be the bonding ceremony and the adventure that follows! Stay tuned!!