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Raina blushed, which drew a raised eyebrow from her mother, which increased the blushing to squirming. "It was just a little party," she protested, "and it was terrible. It doesn't even count as breaking the rules if you didn't have any fun. They fermented their own wine, Mom!" The expression on Raina's face made it clear exactly how horrifying a trial this had been. 


It was enough to draw a soft laugh from Rochelle. "You poor thing," she told Raina, patting her on the head, "your palate is going to be ruined at this rate. But I do belive you're right. It's like calories, if you didn't enjoy them, they shouldn't have to count against you. But what a shame to have no fun on Halloween." 


"Well, it was a little fun," Raina admitted. "I got to dress up, and Talya gave me the amaaaaaazing heels to wear with my outfit. There's this boy, you'll like him, he's completely hot and he comes from this great family and he has an accent, and I got to spend some time with him, once he actually started noticing me, and we went flying. So even if the party was a dud, it wasn't a total loss." 


Rochelle's antennae had clearly gone up at the first mention of a boy. "So there's a boy at this school?" she inquired, still playful but with a serious edge underneath. "Does this boy have a name? Does he have superpowers? You haven't been getting up to anything, have you?" 


Raina's face was now more blush than skin, the curse of the fair-complected. "Moooom" she protested in a whine. "His name is Anibal Hererra Miramontes. Of Hererra International and Miramontes Distilleries, if you really have to know. And he can control air, like wind currents and stuff, and he's really nice, and sweet most of the time, and he wants to be a hero." That last bit was almost defiant. "And we aren't getting up to anything. We're just dating." 


That drew a furrowed brow from Rochelle. "Just remember not to 'date' too heavily before your Initiation. You know the rules. And you have your whole lifetime ahead of you for boys and fun and magic, you shouldn't be rushing into all these things with nobody to guide you!" Raina just looked uncomfortable at that, like she wasn't sure what to say, or knew what she wanted to say but not whether she ought to say it. 

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"The school is very careful about chaperones and curfew," Talya interjected smoothly, as if she wasn't aware of either Raina's discomfit - or the fact that those were exactly the sorts of things that much of her teaching was about circumventing. The lie was smooth and flawless, as she added, "Were I the sort to have children, I'd be happy to have them attend Claremont's facilities. Alas, my life took a more circuitous path but I do so enjoy teaching. No where near the same, I'm sure."


The Espadas children were not often in the dojo but Talya had mentioned trick or treating with their toddler the same day that she'd given Raina those heels. Neither inflection nor expression, however, gave away their existence - or their importance to the blonde spy. Even if she'd decided Rochelle was trustworthy, which Talya was still far from that opinion, Talya had a very particular persona that she projected inside these walls.


"No one's rushing into anything at all," Talya added, her voice as smooth as silk, "I'm sure - temporary as it all might be - that you'd still like Raina to make friends. One never knows how useful some contacts might be as adults. Personally, I try to cultivate relationships along all walks of life. So useful."

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