Turner arched his back, yawning, willing the morning sunlight out of his eyes. From his plush chair he glanced at the human girl lying unconscious on his counter. Last night was the second time he had to chase her. It was his responsibility as the Guardian to keep humans on their side of the Fence and his people on their side – though, by nature his people were less likely to try exploring places they should not have been. But stubborn humans like this girl did not make it a simple task. Turner sighed, – what could he do now? – the girl had hit her head rather hard and hadn't woken since. All he could do was watch her. He ran his hands through his long brown hair, pulling it into a messy ponytail and away from the streak of blond, down feeling fur that ran down the length of his spine. The Guardian pondered setting his first meal while the girl was asleep. He was starving, and once he fed the girl he could send her on her way. It disappointed him to see her again to begin with; he'd been having such a good nap when she came across him.
Rolling off his seat, Turner made a choice. Actually, his stomach decided for him. He walked silently, unintentually as always, into the kitchen where he rummaged through the small pantry. There was not much at this time he wouldn't eat. He selected a knife from a rack. Without thinking he placed it next to the girl. Lifting the top of a coldchest he picked a plump fruit from the surrounding trees. Deciding what to have with it, Turner's spine puckered with the highest pitched scream he'd ever heard. The Guardian whirled, gripping at the curved dagger attached to his hip. He looked down at the girl, relaxing as he took in her horrified stare. It would have made him laugh if it hadn't have been cruel for The Guardian to find amusement in someone's fear.
"Calm." He said to the girl, easily keeping his voice light and even. "There is no danger with me."
Her eyes diverted to the knife beside her. She scooted herself against the wall, as far away from the knife as possible. Turner pushed the frightening object away from her. The girl was almost as tall as the knife hilt with was slightly longer then his palm, but he understood how she could be intimidated by the blunt object.
"There, now I said be calm" he repeated. "You are safe."
The words did not seem to calm the girl. "W-what are you going to do with me?"
Turner could not help but smirk which exposed two of the four sharp fangs that lined either side of his mouth. He had heard that question few times before when he caught un-permitted humans on this side of the Fence and it never failed to amuse him. But his stomach vanquished the expression. He reached for the knife causing the girl to shriek. Turner fought not to repeat himself. No, there was nothing else to say that would sooth the human's fear. He began peeling the ripe green fruit. Cutting small chunks to give to her. Once done with that, Turner sorted through a drawer until he found a thimble. All the while, in the rear of his mind, thinking he should have known to have it all prepared to begin with. He couldn't let his young age dominate his responsibilities. The giant took a red drink from his coldchest, then replaced it. Humans could not drink adbamen liquor.
"Will water suit you?" He asked the girl.
She blinked several times, as though not believing the question. "What? Water? You're going to drown me?"
Turner looked down at her. His skin was growing warm with agitation, but he remained collected. "Do not jump to unreasonable conclusions. I am asking if you want water to drink." He poured some drops into the thimble and placed the bits of fruit before her. "Eat this and then I shall take you to the Fence so you may return home."
"You mean, y-you're taking me home?" She looked around flustered, but calmed down considerably. "Where am I?"
"No, I don't have your mayor's permission to enter the city right now; I am taking you to the Fence."
"Where am I?" She repeated.
"You are in my home."
Turner could see the panic build in her eyes and how hard she fought to contain it.
The Guardian couldn't help but to laugh. Maybe to a human the home was large, but it was only five rooms. Four perhaps, he glanced into the living area that wasn't divided by a door, with not much in them. Silently he consumed his meal, making sure the girl did as well. With the time on his mind he considered probing her head with his fingertips – even his keen eyes could make out the large bump – though that risked panicking her. Reaching once more into the coldchest he brought an animal skin flask to his lips. Completing the food before the still petrified girl, he crossed to the living room to ready himself for the rather short trip. He tugged a leather breastplate over his cool weather shirt and exchanged the curved dagger for a simpler hip blade. He did not want to hear grief from the human mayor about bringing such threatening weaponry to the Fence where the humans could see.
"Have you finished?" The Guardian strolled into the kitchen, quickly seeing that she still had food in her mouth. "You can finish what is left on the way."
The girl's eyes grew large when the giant extended his hand. Turner reminded her that he was taking her to the Fence where she would return to her family safely. Still she refused to move. Carefully he cupped his other hand behind her, using it to bring the fiercely trembling girl towards him. She fainted. Turner sighed, rubbing the down feeling fur that lined to the tip of his pointed ears. Humans, so easily misinterpreting the simplest of things. 'Duty', he told himself as he use to when his mother was training him, 'responsibility'. The Guardian glanced at the window. It would be warm – Oh! Turner quickly strolled to the low table in his living room where he took hold of the girl's shoes. Perhaps next time she would make sure they were secure before she went sprinting beneath the Fence.
There was no need to lock the door; no one would dare enter his home without permission. The cold autumn air wrapped around him and he flexed his fingers to better cover the unconscious passenger. The motion was accompanied by a shrill squeak. It hadn't taken long for her to wake.
"Are these my shoes?" She asked, somewhat breathlessly.
"I suggest that next time you keep them on. Or much more a sensible idea; don't let there be a next time."
He glanced down to see her nod several times. Good, he thought only halfheartedly believing she would stay where she should. Knowing no one was around, Turner looked all around him. He would need to reprimand himself for slipping and not doing his dawn rounds this morning, though making sure the girl woke safely was just as important. His stride quickened. Best to hurry. Feeling her squirm in his palm, his hand flexed. Silently he willed the girl to be still and soon enough she stopped moving.
"What's your name?" The question took the Guardian by surprise and he failed to immediately answer. "I mean, you are saving me – or helped – or are helping me-"
"My name is Turner." The giant cocked an eyebrow. "Hold on.-"- he leapt over the small rise that made up the boundary of his yard. "I did not expect an exchange of names."
"I just thought I should know," the girl stammered. "you know, incase anyone asks."
"I didn't expect you to tell anyone. Considering, I mean, how much trouble you will be in once someone finds out you've been here."
Turner could tell the girl had not thought about the situation in that way. He could only imagine what punishment might await her if her parents were to ever discover her explorations. She would have enough of a mouthful explaining her overnight whereabouts – or lying about them if it was part of her nature – but suggesting excesses were not part of his responsibilities. As the cool breeze died down, the young man relished in the feel of the morning sun. The fall tress allowed plenty of light to bathe the full bed of grass and flowers. Varieties of birds' nests scattered the branches. Peak-n-boa's popped their vivid colored beaks and scaly necks in and out of their nook homes as the giant passed.
Turner stretched his palm as he cleared the tress and the Fence came into view. The humans' lone security guard strutted back and forth before the locked opening. The Guardian changed course. He felt it best to avoid any complications that the haughty man might bring and take the girl straight to the rise where she came from. The space was well concealed by the park's brush on the opposite side. She would be safe, far enough inconspicuous, to cross without anybody seeing her. He placed her on the ground, noting how eagerly she clambered from his hand, and bent the rise in the chain links downward once she was through.
How easy it was to finally relax. No worries of the human girl or making his rounds. The knot in his stomach had been bested by the meal. He had the time to himself – if not for just a moment. His pointed ear twitched, causing him to stir only slightly. This time he ignored the demanding sign to wake. He knew well who was at his door. And who was at his door knew well that he could enter without making such a racket. But that kind of peace was not in the man's nature. Too soon the face was glaring down into his and Turner groaned loudly. After studying the playful malice in his friend's eyes, Turner decided that lifting himself out of the chair was best for them both.
"Morning Kiirn." Turner arched his back for the second time that morning. "When I said 'come when you feel best' I did not mean while I was asleep."
Kiirn's glare changed to his natural bright smile as the young man stood. "Oh, I know well what you meant. I came early to deliver some exciting news."
The Guardian wasn't interested in what news his friend had to bring. Because 'news' to Kiirn meant unnecessary work, and more often trouble, for him. But to Kiirn news was fun and fun was fun.
"The mayor thinks I am your manager." He blurted taking Turner by surprise. "We have agreed to an assignment for you."
"Pardon?" The Guardian didn't understand the term manager or what it had to do with him, but already the urge was stirring to rain in his friend's excitement. "You can't agree for me to do anything without my consent."
"That is what managers do, apparently." The Guardian's Descendent moved around him to take Turner's favorite seat. "It is beneficial to student… ed-cu-ation."
He studied his friend, turning the word over in his mind. Education. For someone who found such fascination with humans Kiirn had much difficulty keeping pace with the words they used. Though he was still excited about what the complete concept was, the Guardian did not grasp it just quickly. Turner could no longer be surprised to see the grown man bounce. Kiirn could just not contain himself.
"The humans are coming." He laughed when his friend went rigid. "Five classes from Minnion school for, um, history. You are to escort them through a small section of Village then just sit and listen as the teachers give the lessons on the knoll outside the gate."
"It has already been announced to the students."
Turner took his friend by the arm. Shifting his weight, he threw him onto the low laying table causing it to splinter beneath the impact. It was an effective move. His friend's snakeskin body would not be hurt as well Kiirn would understand his irritation without him having to repeat himself. Yet, still Kiirn would not take that as a no. The Guardian took back his seat, waiting for the man to stop his laughter long enough to tell him if there was anything else he was expected to do.