Peter Leftgood, Who are you?
Peter sunk down the wall, landing somewhere at Anna's feet. The memory of her tongue in his mouth. He wasn't used to that. Where those bread crumbs he could feel?
Anna sunk down with him, lips on his forehead, nose, and mouth again. "Peter, I may not get this chance after tomorrow."
"What do you mean? I mean, I'm no...I..."
"Shut up and kiss me, you moron."
At first he didn't argue, but then he pushed her away. "No. Sorry, it's not right, Miss Goldeyes."
"What's not right?" Peter didn't answer. He hid his face, like always, turned away from Anna as if afraid to show himself. "Peter, when I was out there, out of the city, I finally got this murderer off my mind and all I could think of was you."
"I'm...nothing, Miss Goldeyes. Don't you think about me."
She turned his face to her's. "You don't get to decide that." He couldn't meet her eyes. Their blue hue turned red with tears. She backed away, putting her hands up. "Okay. Okay, I don't know you. But I want to. I really do. Every since you picked me up when I was falling over from the Petal." Her hand seemed drawn to his. "You saw me as someone who needed help and didn't pass by. That means something, Peter."
"Even when it was out of your way, you took me to the library. Not a word. No ask for praise. How could I not love that?"
"You...Don't wanna know me, Anna. I'm...wimpy. I mean...not as strong as you. I mean-" Her fingers covered his mouth gentaly. Taking the time to kneel to eye-level, Anna took a deep breath.
"Tell me about Peter Leftgood."
The rain turned heavy and rose as mist off the sandstone cobble between them. A white sound playing it's music and cutting off the outside world. Anna could feel that, even tho they were out in the open, there was no city around them.
Peter's face twisted and shook with tears. "Don't..." He turned away, unable to stand her eyes anymore. "Don't ask me that. I'm not...anything. I'm just a guard! Just a stupid guard."
"No one is forced to become a city guard. You must have joined for a reason."
"No. I just... I needed something to do. And. And I thought this was... I mean... No." He got on his feet. "Stop this! Stop caring! I don't want it!" He turned around, his back to Anna. She didn't take her eyes away, even as she got up to be close to him. "I never wanted it. I just want to be that mume in the background. I mean, the one that no one notices. Why can't I just be that guard?"
He flet her hands on both his shoulders. "Because no one is no one. You're more than just any guard. You've proved that again and again. You helped us with catching Lily. You helped me when I needed it earlier this month. You-"
"That was such a mistake. I should'a stayed clear." He yelled over his shoulder, "You hear that?! I was OFF duty and should'a just let you alone!" Peter began to bang his head against the wall. "WHY," Bang, "couldn't I JUST" bang, "leave it ALL" bang, "alone?!" Bang.
Anna spun him around and pulled him into her arms. Her shakes told him she was crying too and he fought to get away. Anna wouldn't let him go, her arms like chains around him. "No! Don't care about me!"
"Shut up, Peter Leftgood!" She tightened her grip around him, shoving his head over her shoulder. "You shut up or I will MAKE you shut up!"
Sob and whimpers were lost in the sound of the rain. No one knew where they were or who they are. How many times had this scene played before and no one in the world noticed?
The next morning, Anna heard the rain through the window. Her hand instinctively reached out, but all she felt was the warm spot where Peter was on the fur bedding. Still warm. She sat up. Peter was afixing part of his leather armor onto the chest plate. Her tongue tasted like his skin.
She wiped the morning from her eyes. "It time, isn't it?"
"Yeah. It's time. I just had a summons by Captain Erick. I mean..." Peter finished strapping on his helmet and looked Anna, "Is this going to work?"
Anna smiled. It was one of the few times Peter met her eyes. "I've made my best guess from the knowledge I had, Peter. Just stick near the Captain when you're at City hall. I'm sure Lily will be there and try to shut the process down." Anna reached for the blanket to wrap around her.
"How... I mean, when did you send word. You must have told them where I would be."
"Ha. This place belongs to my friend, Brishah. She takes care of her guests. Say...Peter," He made a noise, looking outside the door/curtain, "you said you made something beautiful on your time off. At your house."
Peter smiled, perhaps for the first time in his life, thought Anna. "Yeah, my designs. I paint and such. I guess...I mean, you know, it's a mume inclination. I guess we can't help it."
"I'd like to see them. Maybe if this all goes as planned."
"Yeah. Maybe. Uh...Anna." He was halfway through the curtain. "Good luck." And he was gone, off to guard the Captain.
Anna fell back into bed. He body shook uncontrolably. That had been the hardest thing she had ever done.
The crowd was thick, made mostly of those protesting the city guard, but also of those who received word that Lily had already been caught. Word had spread like lightning a few days ago that Lily was already in prison or exhiled. Some even told that Lily was executed, tho the church denies that it would happen.
The people of Annalow, Borc, Mume, and even Ixxar and Marf were loud enough to hear over the rain. At the front doors of City Hall, a stage was quickly erected for the Captain and company. He lead a small troop, including Peter, onto the stage. Some of them carried things under a tarp. On the otherside, however, to the crowds surprise entered Major Eleanor and three other Red Guards. By the time she stood beside Captain Erick Crateshift, the noise died down, as did, it seemed, the rain.
Madeline, Cherry, and Anna stood at the back of the crowd. Anna and Madeline were tall enough to see over the people, but Cherry hopped up and down. "What's going on? Why is everyone quiet?"
"People of Annalow!" The Captain yelled, "Why can now say for certain that the rumors were true! We HAVE Lily Ripper in our custody!"
"We've heard that before!" Someone in the crown yelled.
"How can you be sure?!" another yelled.
The Captain ignored them. "This took a joint effort between both Red Guard and City Guard!" Erick held up his and the Major's hands. "Because Lily Ripper was so crafty and so evil I think we can say the City had never seen his like before!"
"I thought she was a girl!" Someone yelled.
"Please, people of Annalow, let us finish!" The major yelled, removing her hand. "We have proof that Lily Ripper was not who he appeared to be! The stories you heard and the rumors told was part of his disguise!" A Red guard handed a bundle to the Major. "Over the last year, our agents have kept track of Lily and the designs he's carved on the Children of Annalow!" She held up Duffworm's book for the people to see. Another Red Guard held her cloak over the Major to protect both from the rain. "As you can see, this show the wounds and pictures Lily Ripper had cut mercilessly into our children!"
"Mandra save us!" Someone whispered near Anna. "I recognize that...that thing." Other murmers washed over the crowd. "They had been watching for Lily all this time?" "Great Bear! Is that Lily's work?"
Anna's legs began to go weak. "Madeline. Help me." Madeline looked confused.
Cherry had found a purch haning onto the awning of a building. "What's wrong, Goldy?"
"You idiot!" Anna fell into Madeline's arms. "You took it yourself?"
"Had to." Anna's eyes rolled back in her head. "It's starting."
Madeline cradled Anna on the ground. To everyone else, it looked like a womume in a red cloak fainting. Cherry knew better and hovered over in alarm. "What's wrong? What happened to Goldy?"
"Don't worry." Madeline checked the under of Anna's eyes. "In a moment she'll be telling us everything."
"She took a truth drug."
"p-p-p-" Anna stuttered on. "Peter. I-"
"Holy Living Goddess!" Cherry "She's gonna spill the beans?!"
"Peter- I...Wanted to love you." Anna's eyes became red with tears. "S-s-so much."
Madeline stood up to see the stage.
"We worked out WHO Lily was!" The Captain said aloud, "But we wanted to prove to EVERYONE this person could ONLY have been the killer! And we found Just that!" A City Guard handed a bundle of papyrus to the Captain who unrolled it to show to the crowd. Another guard held his cloak over to protect both from the rain. The scrolls had the same designs that were in the book Major Eleanor was showing the world.
Peter stared in shocked surprise. It didn't last long, because his eyes rolled, his knees shook, and he fell to the ground, stuttering.
Another guard went to help peter up.
"K-k-kissed...him." Anna stuttered. "I kissed him with it on my t-t-tongue."
"And who's house did we find these scrolls?" The captain asked. "THIS MUME!"
The captain pointed at Peter's limp body. His mouth stuttering. "C-c-cut them...m-make them pretty...mother..."