Chapter 20: One Way Mirror
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Noel had arrived back home, a mess. The entire ordeal from Lady being attacked to his hospitalization and release had left her incredibly shaken. She was glad he was okay now but also slightly sad he wouldn’t be staying with her. She felt like she had made more progress in getting over her fears last night than she had in the last year

Standing up to and yelling at the man that attacked Lady was something she had never thought she would be able to do. What's more, she even held lady's hand and kissed him last night. Her desire to protect him had, momentarily at least, allowed her to conquer her condition. She blushed while remembering the kiss. While it sadly wasn’t her first, It was still the first kiss she had given out of her own free will. 

Sitting down at her computer, Noel booted up the program on her computer that allowed her to remotely access Lady’s computer. She activated his webcam and microphone in order to check in on him. Despite knowing it was wrong, it was the only way she knew of that allowed her to be close to him. She noticed that he was removing something from the fridge and microwaving it.

Noel quickly got up from her seat and began pulling things out of the fridge. She didn’t even bother to look at what it was she had grabbed as she stuck it in the microwave and began heating it up. After it was done, she grabbed a fork and carried the steaming container back to her computer. 

She returned just in time to see Lady sitting down at his own table, ready to eat. Zooming in on the image, she smiled as the two began eating dinner together. Separated only by a screen. His melancholic expression as he sat alone didn’t fail to escape Noel who wished that she could eat with him in person. 

After he finished eating, the boy sat up and winced slightly due to the slight pain in his chest. Noel felt guilty seeing him in pain, after all, he had been injured in her store. Under her care. I should have been faster, she thought as she looked at the boy with moist eyes. I should have shot that filthy man dead 

Despite her apparent heroics, Noel still believed she could have done more to protect Lady. She glanced at the gun safe in the corner of the room. Last night was the first time she had opened it in a few years. She was certain though that if someone threatened Lady, she wouldn’t hesitate to open it again. 

She suddenly got a notification on her computer 

NekoGirl: You down to game rn?

Of course, the notification hadn’t been sent to her but instead to Lady. The program she had open on her computer allowed her to view the messages Lady sent and received. Noel was vaguely familiar with this NekoGirl. An online streamer and friend of Lady’s

She watched their conversation for a while before deciding to follow the three in the game. Since Lady wasn’t streaming, she had to get creative. She logged into the game with a bogus administrator account she had created and used the included tools to follow the group. NekoGirl and MagicalGirlLover were the two people that Lady played with and chatted with the most. 

She had always felt suspicious of them but, seeing as how they were two of Lady’s only friends, she had let them be. Tonight though, she felt differently. I’m just protecting him. I’m just making sure he’ll be safe, she thought as she pulled open yet another tab.

The program she had opened allowed her to find the ip address and location of the two. She began running the program and seconds later, had found their locations. Both of them were playing from less than 10 minutes away. 

This can’t be right she thought as she ran the program again in order to double check. The results were the same. She was certain that it wasn’t a coincidence. Just who are you two? She wondered as she set to work to uncover their identities 

___

Rachael had returned home after visiting Lady’s apartment. Her father was waiting for her by the door. “Where were you?” He asked “I received a call that you skipped school.” She tried to ignore him as she walked by but he grabbed her arm. “Tell me where you went,” He said sternly. 

“I was visiting a friend.” Rachael replied. Her fathers eyes softened as he said, “I’m relieved you’re making friends at your new school but that’s no excuse to skip school. If they pressured you into skipping or..” Rachael grew furious and cut him off. “He didn’t, he was in the hospital. I was just visiting him!” 

Her father watched as she stormed off. “So, It’s a boy huh.” He headed back to his study while shaking his head. At some point, his daughter had become rebellious and angry. He could only hope as a parent that she didn’t do anything foolish.

Rachael meanwhile made her way through the winding halls of her father's manor before arriving at her room. Her family’s head butler was standing outside her door. “My apologies young miss, I was unable to deter your father when asked why you missed class.” 

He gave a slight bow and Rachael dismissed him. She entered her room and fell onto her bed. She felt like crying but restrained herself and began changing into her loungewear. She hated the frilly pajamas she was changing into but put them on regardless. 

In truth, she hated all of her clothes. All of her furniture, the photos hanging on the walls, her bed and sheets, she hated all of it. Despite living what most would call a lavish lifestyle, she felt like she was constantly suffocating. 

Ever since she was little, everything she owned had been chosen for her or provided to her. She had never bought her own food, clothes, or toys. She had yet to even spend money on her own. Even when she was given a choice, it felt like an illusion or façade. Asked to choose between two dresses her father presented her with when she hated them both equally. 

When was it that she had started to feel this way? Was it the tear in her birthday gown when she was eight? A battle scar she felt proud of that signified she had finally climbed the old tree in the garden. Sewn seamlessly shut the next day. 

Was it the Pomeranian her father had bought her for her eleventh birthday?  The one she loved dearly that never listened to her and only obeyed her father. Killed by a reckless driver because it ignored her warnings and reprimands when it ran out into the road. 

Maybe it was when she dyed her hair black with the butlers shoe polish? She had simply wanted to try a new look at school and had nearly made it out of the house when her father caught her. The maids spent the rest of the morning working it out of her scalp.

It wasn’t until middle school when she finally found something she could own. Something she could control. Something that would belong to her. People. Her classmates at her private school recognized her status and wealth. They followed her orders and did everything in their power to get into her good graces.  

While some may have found a posse of bootlickers rather annoying. Rachael reveled in the attention. She began to mold her classmates into the instruments of her will and shape them into toys she could play with. For the first time in her life, she had found something she considered her own. A sea of impressionable students she could pick and choose from.

And yet, all that hard work had been erased when her father had decided to send her to a public school. Once again, he had taken away something she owned and left her with nothing. 

The children at her new school were far more uncouth. They didn’t have the dignity of servants but instead, the rabidity of wild dogs. They were still eager to bend to her whims because of her status and beauty but they were far harder to mold into the tools she desired. 

She had nearly given up on using any of the students there until she found Lady. For the first time in what felt like forever, she was filled with a forbidden desire. Like a poor child looking through the toy store window, she was entranced by him. Maybe it was his quiet defiance or his unassuming physique but regardless, she wanted to own him. This time, she wouldn’t let anyone stop her.

___

It was growing late but Noel had finally succeeded. She had the names of both of Lady’s online friends, MagicalGirlLover and NekoGirl. Her palms felt slightly sweaty as she looked at the information displayed on her screen. Her mind raced as she wondered what these girls could possibly want. Anna and Maria

The two of them had been among the group that visited Lady at the hospital and went to his apartment today. Judging by their chat logs with Lady, it seemed as though nobody admitted to knowing one another in real life though that seemed impossible. Do they both know that Ladykiller is Lady, and does he know who they are?

She tried to put the puzzle pieces together but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t make them fit. Regardless of their intentions, Noel couldn’t help but feel suspicious of the two. She created two new folders on her computer and set to work collecting information about the girls. 

It was still too early to tell what they wanted but one thing was certain, she wouldn’t let them hurt Lady. 

20 chapters. wow. Thanks for sticking around and reading the asinine garbage I pump out every week.

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