Had Asadel been able to speak Dorian Arthru at the time, Katerina would have had insight into the problem, but it was Tegwin who figured out what drove the compulsion.
Asadel crawled out from behind the bookshelf having stashed a few jars of preserves he lifted from the kitchen. He was especially pleased about the peaches.
He was greeted by the pretty Tegwin girl, her large brown eyes wide with curiousty.
"Oh!" He said, as he poked his head out.
The Tegwin girl gabbled something at him, and Asadel shook his head not understanding a word except for his name and No. He heard that word a lot. So much so He was beginning to think it was his second name. He stood up in order to work out what the Tegwin girl was saying but she pushed him aside crawling behind the book case.
Minutes later, she came out covered dust with the preserves in her arms.
"No! What are we going to eat in winter?" He said in Moacai. His breathing became shallow and quick as he started to panic about how close winter was. He hadn't managed to store anything. These people were dooming him to starve.
He wrestled with Tegwin, trying to take the preserves back. They were about the same height and weight, but Asadel had the wirey determination of survival instinct on his side.
"Asadel! Stop!" Tegwin cried as a jar of preserved strawberries hit the ground, spilling it's contents out onto the silk rug. A sweet sugary scent filled the air.
Asadel roared in pure frustration at the wasted food, and collapsed crossed legged on the floor crying. He hated it here, stuffed into stiff clothing he couldn't move in, always having to sit still and be quiet. Tegwin crawled to him blind with the need to comfort him. Covered in strawberry syrup she went to hold him, but Asadel pushed her away.
"No!" He cried out in Dorian Arthru, lashing out at Tegwin and pushing her away.
"Tegwin, go away," Asadel said.
He pointed to himself, "Bad boy, no good."
He struggled to find the words in Dorian Arthru, "Always bad, want home. No like here."
Tegwin replied back in stilted Mocai, "Asadel no bad. Good boy. Asadel don't know, Tegwin show."
"Show me what?" Asadel said.
Tegwin mimed eating.
"Food?" Asadel asked, frowning.
They stood up, and Tegwin took his hand.
"Tegwin, Asadel? What in four corners is going on here!" said the nanny walking in on the mess. Tegwin ignored her, pulling Asadel along as they ran past her.
"You come back here and explain yourselves," the nanny shouted, as they ran across the foyer.
"What's all the commotion about, children?" Katerina Al'Davin said, they crashed into her.
"Oh, Mama!" Tegwin said.
"Good goddess, Tegwin, what's that all over you?"
"Strawberry preserve. I know why Asadel hides food everywhere. I figured it out. He's still trying to gather food for winter."
"You two come back here this instant and clean up that mess," the nanny shouted, "oh, Mrs Al'Davin."
"Ms. Belkin. Get the servants to take care of it, instead of bellowing at my children. I'm sure they didn't mean to make a mess."
"I want to show Asadel the food stores, so he knows he doesn't have to hide food," Tegwin said.
The nanny snorted, "That little savage will likely just steal food anyway."
Katerina pulled both the children close to her protectively so they were both peeking out from behind her skirts.
"You will not speak about any of my children like that," Mrs Al'Davin said, "now, get someone to deal with whatever the mess is."
Tegwin stuck her tongue out at the nanny, and Asadel clung to Mrs Al'Davin not really sure about what was going on.
"Tegwin, you're all sticky darling. Are you going to have a bath after you go to the kitchen?"
Asadel gasped, he knew the word bath and what it meant.
"Asadel no want bath!"
Katerina sighed, "you learned that quickly enough, kitty cat."
She smiled at him, dazzling him a little bit, and kissed him on the cheek. Asadel liked the way she smelled, and she was all soft. She reminded him of something he missed very much, and made his heart sometimes ache.
Tegwin stood up on tippy toes, as she turned her face upwards to her mother. Her mother stooped down and kissed her on the lips.
"Be a good girl and don't vex Miss Belkin so," Katerina said.
"It wasn't my fault, the jar of strawberry preserves just fell. It was an accident," Tegwin said.
"Accident," Asadel repeated, nodding with a serious expression on his face.
Katerina laughed, and Asadel smiled as he looked down, though he didn't understand why she was laughing. He was just pleased to see her happy.
"Go on then, children. Don't get up too much mischief, and don't forget to have that bath."
Marching through the kitchen, Tegwin towed Asadel behind her. Asadel's eyebrows knitted together, nervous because all the servants were staring at him. He really just wanted to find a nice quiet place to hide away from the hustle and bustle.
"Does your mother know you two are down here?" The cook said.
"Yes, I need to show Asadel the pantry," Tegwin said.
"That little ink squirt stole three jars of preserves this morning. Do you think it's a good idea?" The Cook said, wagging her finger at him.
"Yes," Tegwin said, her chin held high.
"Alright little Miss, if you think it's best," the cook said, "but I'll be checking with your mother."
Tegwin sighed in frustration.
Asadel was staring at the ham being carved on the bench, the tip of his pink tongue resting on his bottom lip. He like ham sandwiches.
"He better not be fixing to steal the ham for lunch," the cook said.
Asadel got the jist of what she was saying.
"I don't want your stupid ham, cabbage head!" He said in Moacai. When he first got here he hadn't understood meals were at set times. After all he just ate when he was hungry when he was by himself. He tried to tug his hand from Tegwin, so he could run and hide, but she wouldn't let go.
"Teg, let go!" Asadel said.
"No, be a good boy," she said.
"Teg, they no like," Asadel whined.
"Look at him. Guilty as sin," the cook said.
"Maybe you shouldn't say such mean things just because he doesn't know any better," Tegwin said.
"He's no better than an animal, child."
"You're horrible and I hate you, you smelly egg!" Asadel yelled at the cook in Moacai, tugging Tegwin's arm hard trying to get free.
Tegwin dug her heels in and showed her trademark stubbornness. Her grip on Asadel's hand was vice like.
"Tegwin, let go," Asadel said.
"Stop!" Tegwin called out in Moacai. Tegwin picked up words of Moacai quickly, "Be good, Asadel. Hurt Tegwin."
"Sorry," Asadel said, looking down at the ground.
"Come,"Tegwin said in Moacai leading him through the gauntlet of the kitchen. All eyes were on him watching to see if he'd lift anything. Tegwin stopped at the huge set of doors at the end of the kitchen.
"This is the pantry Asadel," she said in Dorian Arthru, and opened the doors.
Understanding dawned on Asadel, as he clapped with joy. He stepped inside touching the multiple cheese wheels, jars of pickles and other culinary delights. The weight on his shoulders disappeared, there was enough food to last until winter. He hugged Tegwin, laughing with relief,"Tegwin, food!"
"You won't go hungry, Asadel. I promise," Tegwin said.
The cook came up behind them, "Well I never. Is that what the problem was?"
Tegwin nodded, "He had go find his own food in the forest, and he always put some aside for winter. I guess he was worried we didn't do the same."
"Oh bless, what a silly misunderstanding. To think we could have solved the problem weeks ago,"
The cook shook her head.
"Sorry?" Asadel said.
The cooks expression softened, "he really must have had a tough life before he came here."