(Wrong party but, shhhhh, just enjoy it.)
"All right, that was a good break. Who's ready for more questions?" I ask as everyone takes their seats again. "Nobody? Well, why don't we start with some of the more difficult questions so we can get them over with?"
Clara narrows her eyes, but answers, "Fine."
"To start, I have a question for Clara from Alyssa. She asks, 'Other than your children, what do you miss the most about Rizkaland?"
Clara frowns. "Difficult questions is right. It's the people that I miss the most. Our friends who we know we're never going to see again. Things can be replaced, rebuilt, but you can't replace people. Leaving our friends from here behind was the hardest part of going to Rizkaland, but we always knew we'd come back, that we'd see our family and old friends again. We don't have that same promise for the Klaranders, and it's painful."
I nod. "In the vein of missing things from Rizkaland, Morgan would like to know if it's weird to not actually be married to Andrew in our world after being Tied so long in Rizkaland."
"Very weird, especially when we're around Rhoda or his brothers," Clara answers. "With everyone else, the understand what we are to each other. With them ... well, we're supposed to be strangers, and we have to act like that. Kath's been helpful with Rhoda, though, so..." She shrugs. "It's weird."
"Kath," I turn to the brunette, "Question for you. Sarah Taleweaver asks, 'since you were shipping Clara and Andrew before they got together (or after, in some ways . . . weird time stuff is weird . . . anyway), do you ever have fangirl moments when you see them doing stuff together now?'"
"They're so cute, how can I not?" Kath answers, grinning at the glare Clara sends her way. "And with the way I break my back keeping Rhoda off of your case and arranging time for the two of you to spend together, I think I've earned the right."
Clara seems about to say something in responce to that, but Andrew leans over and whispers something in her ear. She shakes her head and rests her head against his shoulder, bringing a small giggle from Kath. Clara closes her eyes, clearly trying to ignore her.
"Tom WildRose would like to know what made you realize you loved the Fire Prince, Clara?" I then ask, though I don't really want to spoil the moment. They do look so sweet together.
She picks up her head, opeing her eyes. "It wasn't a realization, it was a choice," she answers. "I knew from the moment I met him that he had many admirable qualities that I could love, but I was so stubborn and deadset on not falling instantly for the Fire Prince when I met him, that I instead set about searching for all the things I couldn't love about him. I was fully aware of my heart betraying me and falling for him when I told it not to ... but it wasn't until the night of the ball when I chose to dive in and give him my heart."
"Well said," I answer. "C.B. would like me to ask if there's anything you wish you could change about your trip to Rizkaland."
"She wants me to say 'be less stubborn,'" says Clara, staring me deadpan.
"She might, I don't know."
"I've glanced through the reviews people have left on Goodreads," Clara continues, "I know that's the main complaint against me, my stubborness, but honestly, I don't want to go back and change that. Maybe it would have been better in the long run if I hadn't been, but how was I to know that then. I was a young girl thrust into an unfamiliar world without any friends that I knew I could trust. With Andrew, I'd just met the guy, I had no idea of his character, and Kath had already predjudiced me against redheads. Sure, the start of our relationship was rocky, but having that to look back on was what helped us get through harder problems later on. Sure, there are things that I wish I could have done differently, words I shouldn't have said, things I should have done ... but sitting around worrying about changing a set-in-stone past is a waste of time. I've lived a good life, and that's the important part."
"All right..." I say, once the storm has blown over. "A question for Kath, and then she can run and get Rhoda for her questions. Sarah Taleweaver wants to know if you fangirl over anything else - books, TV, movies, and if so, what?"
Kath grins, "Well, I do have a few..."
But before she can start listing, Clara flies out of her chair with a, "Nope, nope, nope!" hauls Kath out of her chair, and declares, "We are not going to sit here listening to that. You can go find Rhoda now."
So a dejected Kath sulks out of the room.
"You could have let her continue," I say, hiding a smile behind my notes.
"If I had, we would have been here all day," Clara answers, sitting back down next to Andrew. "Do not get Kath started on her fandoms. Proceed with the questions."
"All right, I have one from Amanda. It's directed specifically towards Andrew, but it's really for both of you. She wants to know when you plan to get married."
"I promised Clara that she can go to the Olympics first, and the next one is in four years," Andrew answers, so not until then. "That also gives me time to prepare financially,"
"Probably smart," I say. "And Sarah Taleweaver asks, 'Before the whole Rizkaland happened, what were your plans for your future? What did you want to do when you grew up? How have those plans changed now that Rizkaland happened? (Besides the obvious you and Clara being an item).'"
Andrew glances down at Clara. "I know I had plans ... they most involved seeing my brothers grow up, and either pursuing a culinary career or become a scientist like my dad. How have they changed? Most of the changes are because I'm now actively preparing for marraige in the near future rather than the hazy someday. Dad has even offered me a job managing his website, which I think I'll take him up on."
"Anna would like to know what was the biggest thing you learnt while in Rizkaland."
"Confidence with people," Andrew answers. "I was never a people person growing up, I kept to my family, and that was that. I let my dad talk to people, because that's what dad was good at. Now ... well, I won't say that it's always easier, but it's not as hard as it used to be."
"And Tom WildRose whants to know how tall you are, since the only semi-exact description of your height is being a head taller than Clara, who's just shy of five foot."
"I'm about 5'5" right now," Andrew answers. "But I'm going into a growth spurt which had left me at 5'7" by the time I met Clara. I was 6'2" when I stopped growing."
"He's tall, that's all you need know," Clara inserts.
"One more question before we get to Rhoda's," I noticed, glancing back at the list. "Clara, Amanda would like to know if you could meet any fictional character or author, who would it be."
Clara bites her lip as she thinks. "Peggotry," she finally decides. "It just always amused me that we shared a name."
And perfect timing, because the door opens and Kath enters with a Rhoda in tow. "Hi!" I say, waving.
"Hi," Rhoda answers, giving Clara and Andrew a sidewise glance before sitting down next to him. "Kath says you're an author and are writing a book about us, and need to ask us questions because of that."
"That about sums it up."
"Because I decided you guys were interesting," I answer. I decide to hit her with Sarah Taleweaver's question first. "First off, what do you think of the fact that Clara, Andrew, Kath, and Rich are all acting weird now? Do you have a guess as to why?"
She blinks. "I was not expecting that question. I was expecting something like 'how many hours do you train each day to get those amazing swim times!'"
"Sorry, but that's not the part I found interesting, what do you think of your friends being weird?"
She shrugs. "They're being weird. Kath had a concussion last year, and Rich probably hit his head, too, so it's par for the course that they'd go loopy, not that they were the most sensical to begin with. As for Clara. I guess love really does chang a person. Didn't know it happened this fast, but I guess I can now believe in love at first sight."
Kath starts snickering. Clara shoots her a glare.
"And on that note," I say, pulling out Hannah Roger's question, "What did you think when Kath was all the time shipping Clara with your cousin all the sudden?"
"Following the concussion?"
"I assume so," I answer.
"She'd had a concussion and went loopy," Rhoda answers, with another shrug. "What I'm more surprised about is the fact that Clara played along and actually fell for Andrew. And Andew actually talks to her. This was my cousin who never talked to girls unless they were related to him. Any other questions?"
"Nope, that's it. Thank you all for cooperating and I'm sure my readers will enjoy learning more about you."