Chapter 3: Twins!
I screamed, twisting around and knocking several things off the dresser.
"Whoa! Whoa! Hey, calm down!" The intruder jumped off the ladder, rising up into better light. His was very cute with his textured blond hair and big brown eyes. His suit, a dark purple with pink pinstripes, was a little rumpled since his journey. He grinned boyishly, revealing dimples. "I'm sorry I scared you. When I first came here, I used to crawl through these vents all the time. They connect all the rooms you see, and I was curious about the new girl."
He dusted off the dirt and cobwebs from his clothes. "I guess you're wondering who I am, right? Koren, at your service, m'lady." I giggled as he fell to one knee and kissed my hand.
"I'm London," I informed him, offering my hand to help him up. He took it, stumbling to his feet.
"Wow. Wowie wow wow," he said, looking me up and down. I blushed, turning away.
"So," I began, "You share this floor with Winifred?"
"And you," he added, lowering his head. "And I'm always here if you need me, if you get my drift…" he ended suggestively.
Okay. Pervert Alert! Apparently he noticed the shocked look on my face, because he immediately began to laugh.
"My God, I'm just kidding. Lighten up. I bet you're starved. Come," he ordered, locking his arm in mine. I felt so rushed around him, but already my mood was lightening around this stranger. We retraced my steps back to the Main Hall, then went through the wooden door and a couple more halls until we came to a grand, dimly lit kitchen. Koren flipped on the lights and illuminated...another Koren?
The blond sitting at the bar mirrored Koren exactly, save for he was dressed in casual, plaid pajamas.
"Kaiser," Koren sniffed. The other smiled, using a butter knife to spread some mayonnaise on a piece of bread he was holding.
"Why, hello, 'ole chap. How are you? Oh, and who is this?" He inquired, pointing the knife at me and dropping some mayonnaise on the floor. Koren sighed.
"London, this is Kaiser, my twin, obviously. Kaiser, this is London, the new girl. Let me guess, you've taken all the Hellmann's Best again, haven't you?"
"Naturally," Kaiser smiled, "Of course, there's probably enough for one more sandwich, but I think I'll use it all on mine. Make it extra special." He scraped some more out on his sandwich with "plop". Koren growled.
"Unhand the mayonnaise, you fiend!" he cried, leaping onto the bar and wrestling down his twin. It was like watching two puppies fight over a bone. I began to giggle.
"You think this is funny, girl?" One of them asked. I think it was Kaiser. "Well, I was going to share with you, but now I think I've changed my mind!"
"You wouldn't want any of his sandwich anyway," Koren said through gritted teeth, struggling to get out of a headlock. "He eats 'em with peanut butter, jelly, cheese, and mayonnaise!"
"Shut up, love, you know you enjoy them as much as I do! Now unhand my bread or I shall cut you to ribbons with this butter knife."
This continued for several minutes until the two finally decided to split the food.
"Yours is bigger than mine," Koren whined, staring at his half, but Kaiser patted his crotch lovingly.
Koren pushed him off the bar. "And what for you, doll?"
"I'll eat anything," I admitted, my stomach growling. He thought a moment, then opened the fridge, pulling out a large tray.
"How does cake sound for right now?" he grinned.
"Do you even have to ask?" I giggled. He set it down and began cutting pieces, giving the largest to himself.
"I would complain," Kaiser whispered, "but he'll get fat someday. It's in the genes."
The two looked adorable sitting side-by-side with chocolate smeared on their identical faces.
"You've got chocolate on your shirt, love, let me get at it," Kaiser offered, reaching for my chest. Koren smacked his hand down and smiled sheepishly.
"Please excuse him. He's going through puberty, and sometimes he can't control himself."
"Puberty?! Puberty?! That's the best you can come off with? Well, I'll have you know that if I've got puberty, then you do too, only you're obviously malfunctioning because you have no facial hair."
Both brothers were clean-shaven.
"How many people live here exactly?" I asked, licking some icing from my fingers. By now, the cake was nearly demolished.
"Quite a few," Koren said, "fourteen, I think."
"And everyone else is in the West Wing?"
He shook his head. "There's a lot of people from the East Wing you haven't met. Let's see, I take it you've met Bjorn, Winifred, me…
"What about Tobias?" I inquired. Koren shrugged.
"He doesn't live here. He's what we like to call a messenger. He lives on the outside, but he's employed under Bjorn, so I suppose he's a member of East Wing."
"And Kaiser?" I asked, turning to the other twin. Kaiser scratched his neck.
"I'm West Wing."
"Then should you be with Koren?"
"Well, normally we don't mix. I'm really the only exception, but don't worry. You'll meet all of West Wing soon. They're social enough," Kaiser explained.
"It's really the East that you need to worry about," Koren informed, "We're a lot more irritable and brooding, apparently."
"We're the partiers," Kaiser growled, doing a seated dance.
"As for East Wing, you haven't met Nalo or Amberly. Dahlia or December."
"You're lucky if you don't meet him," Kaiser said. I cocked my head to one side.
"You'll see. He's bound to show up sometime."
I was now very curious about the other East Wing members. "Who are Dahlia and Amberly?"
"Dahlia is a curly-haired goddess in body and mind. She rarely gives anyone a second thought. I guess we're just not good enough," said Kaiser bitterly. I sensed bad blood.
"Amberly is very business-like. That's really the only word to describe her."
"And curvy," Kaiser offered.
"And curvy," Koren said in a dream-like manner.
"And before you ask, Nalo is very elusive and cryptic, so we don't know much."
I tried to imagine these people according to their descriptions. In my mind's eye, December was some sort of Nazi with a funny mustache and a whip in his hand. Amberly was a very sultry businesswoman with a skimpy suit and spike heels while Dahlia had hair to the floor and a long flowing gown. She sat upon her thrown, never looking down. Nalo was pale and sneaky with a cape. I couldn't help but giggle. I wondered if these deductions were in any way accurate. Kaiser yawned.
"Well, I'm heading off. Don't have too much fun without me," he called, leaving the kitchen. Koren turned to me.
"So how was your first half-day here?"
"Not bad," I said, "for being kidnapped."
He laughed and later led me to my room. When I got there I fell into a restless sleep etched with dreams about the other East Wing members.