Chapter 18

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Buddar's eyes were wide with shocked realization as she put Shadow's journal back in its hiding place, then closed the drawer. She turned to walk out of the library, only to find Navy standing in the doorway, a sad look on her face. "Oh! Uh..." Buddar stammered. "I-I was just... Um...."

Navy held up a hand, signaling for her to stop. "Don't try to make excuses," She said. "I know exactly what you were reading."

Navy put her hand down. "He really cares for you, you know." She said. "But all you do is push him away, and it upsets him."

She looked up at Buddar. "He's not a bad person," She said. "Perhaps you should give him a chance?"

Buddar glanced down at the ground. "How can you possibly say he's good when he whips you?" She asked.

Navy sighed. "He doesn't actually whip me," She said. "I only said that to make you stay."

Buddar looked up at her, a confused look on her face. "He's lonely." Navy said. "He wants to know what it's like to be cared for, and he thought that you would be the person to show him. That's why he asked me to bring you here in the first place."

Navy's pink eyes suddenly turned a deep shade of ocean blue, slightly startling Buddar. "Give him a chance." She said.

The she turned and left the library. Buddar watched as she left. What was that all about? She wondered. Why did her eyes turn blue?

She then remembered what she was supposed to be doing, then ran into the hallway. She ran down the hall, searching for the kitchen. She finally found it, and ran inside, hoping there was some water somewhere. Luckily, there was a small basin of cold water sitting on the countertop. She quickly grabbed a small cloth, which was normally used for cleaning the counters after preparing meals, but was clean, off of one of the shelves. She took the basin and the cloth, then walked down the hall as fast as she could without spilling any of the water. She quickly came to the massive room that the palace opened up into, Shadow was still crouched in the corner. She quickly ran over to him and knelt down in front of him.

He looked up at her as she dampened the cloth with the water. She brought it up to his cheek, he winced at the sting of the water against his burn. "It's alright..." She said. "This will make it feel better...."

Buddar carefully pressed the cloth to his burn, and he didn't flinch this time. She gently began to rub the cloth across Shadow's burn, she could tell that it was beginning to feel better when he let out a sigh of relief.

"I'm sorry," Buddar said. "I caused this..."

Shadow looked up at her. "It's not your fault," He said. "I... I shouldn't have kissed you in the first place. I just... I don't even know...."

"You thought it would make me care about you," Buddar said. "Perhaps even convince me to stay."

He looked up at her, a surprised glint in his red eyes. "You understand?" He asked.

Buddar nodded. "After all," She said. "I've tried to make people care about me, but I'm surprised that you went as far as to kiss me."

Shadow's cheeks turned slightly red. "That shows me just how much you really care." Buddar said. "I'm just sorry I didn't see it sooner."

Shadow smiled at her. "All is forgiven," He said. "Even though there wasn't really anything to forgive in the first place."

Buddar smiled warmly at him as she cleaned his burn. Shadow gently ran his fingers through her fiery red hair. And this time, she didn't flinch.

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