Accept the Challenge (23)

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     Aeress assessed the man. He couldn't be any older than she in appearance, yet she had a feeling he surpassed her age by decades. There was just something in the way he stood. The way he held himself said more than his words. 

     "Let me get this straight," Aeress absent-mindedly said as she regarded the blonde. "You're going to train me?" 

     He was a couple feet away from her, putting an unusual amount of space between them as they stood in the enormous room with high ceilings. So enormous that there was a full track, which they were standing at the center of. "Yes." 

     Aeress noticed another thing. He looked her straight in the eyes, revealing his light blue eyes. He didn't cast his eyes down as most did around her. Now he had her curiosity. 

     Aeress took a step closer and he didn't flinch. "You aren't afraid?" 

     His chin lifted slightly. "What do I have to fear?" 

     Aeress looked around quickly, glad to find that no one else was around. This made his eyes squint. "You're a skeptic?" 

     "It doesn't matter what I think," he responded as one would about the weather, "only that I train you." 

     Now she started to walk a circle around him. "Right, for the trials... Which I will fail, right?" 

      "Not if you are truly Godhead." 

     "Well I hope the trials aren't on manners, because I won't be learning shit from you," she scoffed, still encircling him. 

     His eyes cut to her, and she was satisfied by the small amount of astonishment he revealed. "I have manners. This is just honesty, if you want anything less, I will do as you wish. I have not forgotten that you are Premier's mate."

      She didn't know whether to be amused or annoyed that he judged her so quickly without a second thought. She recalled how much respect he had in the face of Warrick, yet regarded her as some jerk off the street, an imposter. 

     She laughed as a quick way to delay her temper. "You're going to listen to what I say, and remember that I will only say it once, bucko." 

     He crossed his arms, waiting.

     She counted off her fingers like she was making a numbered list, but it was really just her trying to make use of her hands. "If you are going to train me, it isn't out of respect for Premier or the fact that I may or may not be Godhead... It's out of respect for me, Aeress. And by the way, I have been dealing with the biggest asshole on this plant for the last however long it's been, and I am not looking for another one, so check those rude ass manners!" 

     He smirked. "Earn it."

     Aeress blinked. "Earn it?" 

     "Earn my respect." 

     Aeress felt her spine straighten. "How?" 

     He seemed to be measuring up every inch of her, calculating her abilities in one sweep of his eyes. "If you can touch right here," he tapped his left shoulder with his right hand, "you'll have my respect." 

      Aeress looked him up and down in the same analyzing manner. She wasn't stupid and knew he was her trainer for a reason. But that same instinct within urged her to accept the challenge. While she knew damn well where that instinct came from, it didn't stop her this time from listening willingly.  "Once only?" She grinned at him, still circling very, very slowly. 

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