Location: Rec. room
Time: After Kintarae stormed out and Duke followed her
"What?!" Wildwing's expression conveys his shock. "Dive, you don't even know if she's still the same Kintarae that you knew!"
"Yeah, I do...We were up really late last night talking and I realized that I still love her...That no matter how much she changes, I always will." Dive looks up at the ceiling. "I lost her once because Duke sent her away...I don't want to lose her again and have to go several more years waiting to get her back." He looks at Wildwing.
The expression on his face makes Wildwing realize that his brother has grown up. He sighs. "If she means that much to you Dive, then I'm all for it...Just be careful that Duke is unarmed when you tell him."
Nosedive grins. "That for sure. First, I gotta get a ring. Wanna come shopping with me bro?"
"No way, Nosedive. Ask Mallory or Tanya to go with you."
"I don't want them to know yet. Please?" He practically begs Wildwing, who finally sighs and agrees to go.
Location: The Ice Rink
Kintarae glides across the ice on her skates, humming to herself and lost in thought. Wonder where Nosedive's gotten off to...I haven't seen him all day. She speeds up until she is going as fast as she could safely go.
Her face darkens as she thinks. Duke's put me in a bad mood today...not even skating at top speed is helping. I want to talk to Dive, but he's not here and Duke would slaughter him. Or try to. Why does my brother have to get so protective all of the sudden? He used to-
Wildwing's voice cuts into her thoughts. "Sorry to interrupt such dark thoughts Kintarae, but Tanya's looking for you."
She skids to a stop, just short of a wall. "Okay Wildwing. Thanks." She skates over to him. "Can I ask you a question?" she asks, sitting down on a bench to take off her skates.
"Sure." He leans against the wall, watching her.
"You have a younger sibling so you are probably the best person to ask this. Why is Duke suddenly being so over-protective? I mean, he never used to mind me dating Nosedive. But know he's having a fit about my loving him."
"I think part of it is the fact that he found the two of you in the same bed."
"Nothing happened!" she exclaims indignantly.
"I believe you. I was upset about it too until Nosedive reassured me of that," he says soothingly. "I think it's also the fact that the last time he saw you, you were just a kid...Now you're all grown-up and he's having trouble getting used to that fact. I'm speaking from what my own reaction might be if it had been me and Nosedive in the same place. But I can't be sure that that is why Duke is behaving so oddly."
Kintarae smiles. "Thanks Wildwing...I appreciate it."
"Anytime Kintarae." He says.
She gets up and they head for the locker rooms. "Wildwing?"
"Call me Kin."
Wildwing grins. "Okay, Kin. By the way, Nosedive is looking for you as well."
She nods and steps into the elevator. Wildwing follows her. "Why?"
"Umm...You had better ask him."
She looks at him suspiciously. "Why do I get the feeling you know something I don't?"
"Probably because I do."
"Nope. I promised I wouldn't say anything."
She steps out of the elevator and goes to find Tanya, then Nosedive.
Location: Comic book shop
Time: An hour and a half later
Kintarae nods to Mook and sneaks up on Dive. He yelps in alarm as she hugs him from behind. "I thought you were looking for me."
He grins and puts down his comic book. Then he turns and hugs her back.
"I was, but I decided to boost my courage with a little comic book reading."
"So what did you want to talk to me about?" She looks up at him curiously.
He reaches back and brings her hand around. "Remember the promise ring I gave you?"
"Well, I'm keeping my promise." He slips a delicate silver ring set with a small black opal onto her left ring finger.
She looks at it, then at him. "Well, I was picturing someplace more romantic than a comic book shop for you to keep your promise...but I guess it's okay...How long did you rent this for?"
"Forever...How long did you want to wear it?"
"About that time length."
"Ya like it?"
"It's perfect." She giggles. "Duke's gonna lay eggs."
Nosedive grins. "Then he's gonna kill me."
"And risk his baby sister's wrath?" She snorts. "I doubt it." She loops an arm through his as they leave.
Location: Rec. room
Time: Fifteen minutes later
"You heard us big brother," says Kintarae sweetly. "We're getting married."
"Lighten up, Duke," says Mallory, stepping forward. "Wish I could stick around for the rest of this conversation but I better make sure we have first aid supplies to take care of Phil. He's gonna have a heart attack when he finds out. Congrats you two." She leaves.
"Who is Phil?" asks Kintarae.
"You'll meet him when he gets back from L.A." says Wildwing.
"Don't try to change the subject," snaps Duke. "You could have at least talked to me before you went and said yes!"
"Dissension in the family is best left within the family," says Grin, making a hasty retreat.
"I'd better see if I can help Mal." says Tanya, following him.
"We knew you would say no, Duke," says Nosedive. "My bro doesn't mind. Why are you so upset?"
"You aren't mature enough to know what love is," snarls Duke.
"Now that's enough, Duke L'Orange!" snaps Kintarae. Her golden eyes blaze with anger and her voice is so authoritative that Duke falls silent. "I wouldn't have said yes if I didn't know he could handle me on a permanent basis."
"Um...Can I talk to Duke alone?" Nosedive asks, looking at Wildwing. His big brother nods and starts towards the door. He pauses near Kintarae, who is looking at Nosedive with an expression of concern.
Nosedive smiles. "I'll yell if I need help."
Wildwing gently takes her arm and steers her out of the room.
Once they are out of the room, Nosedive says, "I may not act all that adult Duke, but I am mature enough to know when I'm in love. And I'm head over heels about Kin." He sits down. "I've waited for four years to ask her to marry me and if I have to I'd have waited for another hundred. I love Kin, Duke. I have since...I don't know when, but it's been along time. I don't want to risk losing her again to your orders, to someone else...to anything." He looks at Duke. The look on his face is beseeching Duke to understand.
Duke sighs. "If you do anything to hurt her Nosedive, I swear I'll find the worse torture I can and use it on you."
Nosedive grins and leaves the room in search of his fiancé.
Wildwing walks in and sits down on the chair Nosedive had just vacated. "From the look on Dive's face you gave your okay."
"You can't tell me that you don't mind him marrying Kin,"
"You're right, I'm canít. I wish he had chosen someone more law abiding, but this is what they want and they are adults. Whether you or I want them to be."
"Am I too protective of her?"
"She's your baby sister. Believe it or not, but I am just as protective of Dive. I just don't show it like you do."
Wildwing stands up and places a hand on Duke's shoulder. "Don't worry. Nosedive will take good care of her."
"That's what I am worried about," says Duke, grimacing.
Location: Kintarae's room
Time: three days later
Kintarae models the dress she bought. It's a lovely simple creation of silver and ice blue. "What do you think big brother?"
"Kinda fancy, don't ya think?" he asks looking dubiously at the knee length skirt and the long loose sleeves.
"This isn't a robbery bro, this is my wedding! It's okay for the dress to be fancy. And it's not like one of those huge white gowns with a long veiled train." She laughs as Duke shudders. "Besides, it's suitable for the simple ceremony we are having."
"Please tell me I don't have to wear a tux or anything."
"You don't. Just a nice suit. Mallory, Tanya and I are dragging you guys out shopping tomorrow." She checks the fit of her dress in the mirror. "Phil volunteered, but he has lousy taste when it comes to clothes for others."
"How much of my money did you spend on that dress?"
"Less than it should have been sold for."
"In other words, more expensive than the other dresses that would have worked just as well."
"Duke L'Orange, you are such a cheapskate."
"Yeah and I am gonna be broke after tomorrow too."
"Oh go away. I have to figure out which hair style will look good with this dress."
Duke gratefully makes his escape, muttering about her taste in expensive clothing.
Location: A small chapel
Time: four days later
Kintarae admires her soon-to-be-husband as she walks up the aisle. He looks so handsome. Mallory was right. The dark blue with the silver shirt does look good on him...Out of the corner of her eyes she sees a bluish gray cat sitting on one of the pews.
Then Duke hands his little sister over to Dive and takes his place. Then the two turn to the priest who begins the ceremony. The priest looks at Nosedive. "Do you swear to love her, cherish her and-"
He is cut off by Siege, Wraith, the Chameleon and several robots teleporting in. The Ducks turn around, ready to fight. The fury on Kin and Dives face would send anyone smarter running for cover.
Unfortunately the Saurians are not that smart.
"We have an objection! These birds are about to be toast!" says the Chameleon.
"Don't you know it's not nice to interrupt a wedding?" snaps an unfamiliar female voice. "Twilight Illusion!"
The robots shatter into several frozen pieces. The Saurians whirl around to face their attacker.
To be continued in 'The Huntress' series...