Chapter 10

Blacklock and Shawn almost collapsed in relief when they saw Jyp sitting on the library steps. It was well past nightfall and they'd had no choice to but venture out into the town to look for Kore. They'd managed to do so without attracting attention to themselves too, which was a feat in itself for two gladiators.

“Jyp the library should be closed.” Shawn nodded at the open wooden doors. “What's she doing in there? And couldn't she have damned well let us know?”

“Shoon hushing up nasty voice.” Jyp stood up and towered over the gladiator. “Not to be swearing at this time, Little Lady is very sad.” He warned.

“Yes.” Shawn sighed and nodded. “I'm sorry. Of course she's sad. Who is she with, Jyp?”

“No one. Jyp removed all others so not to see Little Lady crying. Her is sleeping on floor now.”

“Hell. Poor Kore.” Shawn looked at Blacklock.

“It's easy to forget that she cries like the rest of us.” Blacklock said. “May we go in Jyp? I promise you we'll be very quiet. We might get the Military over wondering what we're doing if we stay out here in the street.”

“Jyp coming in also.” The Nellatian closed the door once they were all inside the library then lifted a solid oak bookshelf against it that would have taken four regular men to lift. “Leo still having door keys, Jyp makes own lock. Not waking please.” The three men stood and looked at Kore who was in a fitful sleep under Leo's desk. Her eyelids were red and swollen and her cheeks were still damp with tears.

“Leo will be fine, surely she must know this?” Shawn was rather surprised and the level of distress this had caused Kore. Obviously she was upset about her brother's arrest, and worried, but it just wasn't like Kore to make herself as ill as she looked lying there right now.

“It's the separation, Shawn.” Blacklock told him. “Right at this moment it would be impossible for her to go to Leo if she needed or wanted to, that's probably never, ever happened before in their whole lives. She's lost.” He crouched down and covered Kore with his cape. “He'll be in a similar state in the jailhouse. It's a good job you're here Jyp, you've done a wonderful job in looking after her.” Kore probably wouldn't have tolerated any other company at all when she was in such an uncharacteristic mood of despair. Jyp was different. He never asked questions of her because he saw no need. She was sad, she cried. It simply would never occur to the big Nellatian to try and assure Kore that there was no need for tears, nor would he ever suggest doing anything other than she was doing already, like going home, for example. Jyp just stayed with his Little Lady and made sure she was safe from physical harm, no matter what she was doing, and he'd stay there for the rest of his life if necessary.

“Jyp knows. Jyp also very ... pfft ... with fancy-man. Him sack of shite for not being with Little Lady right now.” Jyp tutted and planted himself on the floor in front of Kore.

“Fancy-man?” Blacklock looked at Shawn who was blinking at Jyp in surprise. “I think you have the wrong phrase Jyp. What fancy-man? Who?”

“Not knows.” Jyp shrugged. “Him need tipped anyhoo.”

“Dumped.” Shawn corrected. “Jyp are you saying Kore has a man? As in a ... partner?”

“Useless man. Little Lady went to party in big house to see him, all pretty too. Him not even seeing her home.” Jyp frowned at the floor as he thought. “Maybe him not can though, him is soldier.” Shawn let out a incredulous gurgle and Blacklock dropped his gloves.

“Jyp are you sure?” Blacklock didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or walk out. “Think very hard, my friend. Kore is seeing an Azorian soldier? Blue and grey uniforms?”

“Oh yes.” Jyp nodded seriously. “Little Lady go see him in soldier house today also. Her being pissed off about Leo though, so Jyp thinking them fighted.”

“The ... the barracks?” Shawn stammered. “Blacklock, she went to Governor Toller's banquet? Why?”

“As a guest of this soldier, according to Jyp. What happened to 'I wish Kore would get a man.'?” Blacklock looked at Shawn's outraged expression.

“Yes but not a frigging Azorian soldier! Blacklock you know her opinions on the Military in general. Does that sound right to you?” Shawn exclaimed. “She's ill, she must be. Concussion, a seizure, insanity.”

“Jyp do you have any water in here? Kore seems to have a raised temperature.” Kore had nothing of the sort and Blacklock knew it. Jyp nodded and ambled off through a side door. “Shawn please bear in mind who's telling this tale, for shit's sake. Jyp is in no way, shape, or form, a liar but he'll tell a situation as he sees it. Kore has obviously met this man and agreed to go to Toller's party because of him, not necessarily with him. I may be wrong but I don't think the armed, on duty guards are allowed to take guests to a Governmental dinner.” Blacklock explained.

“No, of course not.” Shawn nodded and settled down slightly. “So why would Jyp think they were a couple?”

“Because he's Jyp.” Blacklock sighed and smiled. “He sees Kore and this man having a private conversation, Kore's mood changes, so does her behaviour and the next thing she's swanning off to the Villa dressed to the nines! He took her, remember? It doesn't take much working out why she might go and see him again today, her brother's just been lifted and he's in the Military. Jyp added two and two together and got seven, that's all. Ah thanks Jyp.” Blacklock watched Jyp gently lay a cloth on Kore's forehead. He really did think the world of her.

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