Chapter 12 - Portraits

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She was printing the paintings. All of them. Each page was a full colored picture that took up the majority of the pane. Halfway through Reyna had to replace the color cartridge, but it was not a problem. Her dad kept several extra cartridges in the desk's drawer. Once replenished with ink, the silent hum of the jet ink printer once again penetrated the study room. It surpassed the cooking clanks that started rising from the kitchen and the blaring movie dialogue from the living room television.

Reyna watched in silence as the sheets piled on each other on the top of the printer. She would remove them when they threatened to fall, placing them in a neat pile on the spacious desk. She meticulously kept them in order. It was a mundane routine, but it helped keep her mind off of the painting that had caused her chest to ache. This pain wasn't the same fiery twinge usually felt upon Mundus' change. This one was a distinct and almost childish, like the sting one would feel when seeing her crush holding hands with someone else.

She shook her immature and foolish thoughts away. "Ayame," she whispered to herself. "That name was not in the school book. Who is she?"

"Reyna, hon, come eat dinner with us." Mrs. Felix's voice was soft and warming yet it pierced through the study room's tense atmosphere.

The dazed teenager turned to see her mom standing in the small hallway that connected the study room to the kitchen area. Simultaneously, the printer's drone whirred down as it completed its task. Reyna immediately seized the remaining papers and added them to the thick stack.

"Come on, Reyna," Kathy ordered one final time before heading back to the kitchen.

"Yeah," Reyna whispered. "I'm going." She gazed at the sheets, thinking of that one portrait again.

That girl, Reyna sadly though. I know Mundus supposedly fought a girl. Their battle was one of the stories I read in school, but the girl's name was never mentioned. Was that Ayame? But if it was, why do they appear like that in such a painting?

She closed her eyes and saw how well the dancing portrait had seared onto her eyelids. She immediately opened them. Her eyes –the same eyes that when gazed upon usually offered bitter and icy waters, submerging the individual's soul under the frigid, deep blue– were dimmed. The image in her head was downing her.

He loved her. Ayame.

"Mundus loved her," she whispered. Her head dipped with the heavy realization. The hair that draped around her face brought a soothing isolation.

"Reyna!" Mr. Felix's voice snapped into the room.

With a sigh she looked up. Her investigation of the portraits would have to come after dinner.

"Come on and sit with us, Reyna dear," Mrs. Felix spoke as she saw her daughter walk into the dining room area. The dinner's delicious aromas played with Reyna's nose and seeped to her stomach, but all that was pushed aside when she noticed Amon. Locking gazes with her, he curved his lips into what was his definition of a smile. The scar next to his lips arched grotesquely.

"Reyna, there's something I've been meaning to ask you," Kathy placed her hands on her hips. "Have you seen my favorite decoration pillow? I've looked everywhere and can't find it."

"Uh," Reyna froze at her mother's words. She knew exactly what pillow she was asking about. The one she had to throw out.

"I don't know, mom," Reyna said in a voice she hoped didn't sound too nervous. She inwardly smiled, briefly amused by the rush of emotions that gripped her at almost being caught red-handed in a lie. Such a feeling was so normal.  

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