Wow, this is like a record fast update for me! But don't think they'll all be up this fast! I just had too much fun writing this chapter lol

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Recap: 

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He froze in his actions and returned his gaze to me, his hands dropping limply to his sides. His eyes swept slowly up and down my body in surprise. I expected him to stop, or start in on his sarcastic comments but he continued to stare. I felt myself turning a bright red under his meticulous gaze. It seemed I had lost the ability to speak since I couldn't find the voice to make a rude comment. I shifted nervously, which he seemed to notice because his lips tugged up into a smirk. 

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Chapter 22 - Homeward Bound

He opened his mouth to say something and in a panic, I frantically jumped in before he could having finally found my voice.

"Didn't anyone ever tell you it's rude to stare?" I asked haughtily.

He wasn't at all fazed by my comment, nor did his eyes stop roaming my body.

"A skirt?" He asked teasingly.

"Don't even start with me" I snapped back annoyed.

He finally raised his eyes to mine and I could see them twinkling in amusement. I glared at him and turned away abruptly, flinching when the skirt whipped around me from the action. I could hear John's husky laugh behind me and stomped away to Coriolis being careful not to make any more sudden movements.

Lousy skirts.

I lifted my hand to rub Cori and murmured softly to him. This was why I stuck to practice clothes; you couldn't get into any trouble with them.

I heard John walking up behind me and stubbornly kept my focus on Cori. Suddenly I felt a pair of arms wrap loosely around my waist, freezing me in place. Heat rushed up to fill my cheeks as John leaned in dangerously close to me. Now I had another reason not to turn my head even slightly in his direction.

"I was only teasing Cece, you look really pretty."

I frowned in confusion and cocked an eyebrow in disbelief, even though he couldn't see. All the humour was gone from his voice and he actually sounded... sincere? I wiggled out of his grasp and murmured a quick 'thanks' feeling awkward.

Why did he keep doing this to me? It was always so unexpected; he could go straight from teasing to serious in the blink of an eye. I didn't know whether he meant anything by it or if it was just his usual personality.

I held back a sigh of frustration, I didn't even have anything to compare it to since he never talked much with the court ladies, or at least not that I had seen. I suppose I just never paid attention, thought I had a funny feeling I would notice from now on.

Even worse than all that though, was that I couldn't be sure how I wanted him to feel about me. It was all too complicated. And forget how I might fee--

No, I wasn't even going to think about that. Not now, in the glaring light of the day... maybe there was something about the night that let you get away with such thoughts.

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