“Lawrence, I would very much like one.”
“Why?” She sneered back at him.
He sighed. “We already went over this.”
“Yes, and you know I will pay you back it's worth.” She leaned in, bearing her fangs.
“I understand that, but I have things to do today. Things that will likely involve that money.“
“You say that as if one watermelon will cost you everything. Hmpf, if you are worried about losing such a small amount of money, I can only wonder if the time I have so graciously spent with you has been for naught.”
“As I recall, you were the one who wanted me to take you to Yoitsu. In fact, it seemed as if you were practically begging me to. I believe you we-” She punched him on the arm.
“-Do not speak so casually about it!” She snapped, before looking away downtrodden. “You make me feel as if I am a burden...”
Lawrence looked over at her, his eyebrow furling. “That isn't going to work.”
“What do you mean it isn't going to work?” She replied with anger.
“I know what you're up to.”
“So are you saying you do see me as a burden?”
“When you constantly beg me for expensive and exotic things, maybe a bit.”
Her ears, tail and face sunk. She slowly turned away and looked toward her lap. “O-oh.”
Lawrence looked at her, and his eyes widened. “Wait, I didn't mean it like that. It just... came out wrong. You aren't a burden.”
“Yes, but I am a bother, that much is clear. I am embarrassed for not having seen it sooner.”
“Holo, no, you're not a bother at all. Even when you're begging. Even if I have to say no a million times, it isn't bothersome. In fact, it is charming.”
“It is charming?”
“Yes,” he blushed. “It is.”
“Hmm,” she looked over at him. “I suppose I can forgive you. But I think I would be more confident if you did something to show me your sincerity.”
He sighed again. “Holo...”
“How am I supposed to believe you then!” She barked back.
He looked over at her in annoyance. “So you were trying to trick me.”
“Hmpf,” she crossed her arms over her chest. “As if I would be off-put by such a meaningless remark.” Her expression softened as she leaned in, inches from his face. “Oh, Lawrence, please take pity on a poor wolf.” She placed her hand on his leg. “Please tell me how pleasant I am. I want only to hear your praise...”
“Would you stop it?!” He snapped.
She pulled away from him. Her ears sank again, but her expression remained defensive. “I do not see what the big deal is. 'Tis only one watermelon. How much could it possibly cost?”
“Holo, in all my years of travel, this is the first time having ever even seen one. Yes, I could probably afford to let you eat one, but it would leave a mark, and that would affect what I could buy in the next town, and that would affect what I could sell later. It is a big enough mark so that I would notice it today, and regret it tomorrow. Do you understand?”
“I do understand.” She replied calmly, but with slight defense. “But you forget I will make that money back for you, and if you are so cheap as to demand interest, I will pay it!”
“You are not-”
“-If they are as rare as you say they are; then I must have one. This may be the only time I ever see one myself.”
“Unlikely for a God.”
She growled. “I plan to bother you about this until you give in.”
“Hmm, you must be really desperate then. You hardly ever make your plans obvious, at least on purpose.”
“If you believe that to be my plan then you'd best prepare yourself.”
Lawrence scoffed. “Terrifying.”
They remained in silence for several minutes. Holo sat with her arms crossed, looking the opposite way of him. She occasionally glanced over in his direction, but he deliberately avoided looking back. After several moments, she sighed.
“Do not make me beg.”
“Holo, this is becoming embarrassing to watch.”
“Yes, but I want one!” Her eyebrows furled and her voice wavered uncharacteristically, as if she were on the verge of tears.
“That much I've gathered... What I am not getting is why you're acting like a child.”
“It would be different if I could remove them from my thoughts, but I cannot. I can smell them back there, taunting me. I've already told you I would make whatever amount of money back for you. I do not see why you are being so stubborn.”
“Somehow I find it hard to believe I am being the stubborn one.”
“You have nothing to lose. I would practically do anything for one simple fruit, and you refuse me again and again.”
Lawrence remained silent for several moments, his eyes lids lowering in contemplation.
“One watermelon. One, a single one. I am not ask-”
She looked up at him.
An amused smile crept up on Lawrence's lips as he closed his eyes. “I will make a deal with you.”
“And what are the terms of this deal?” Her voice was cautious, but Lawrence could detect masked excitement in her tone.
“You may eat a watermelon, but only if you agree to not use the bathroom until we arrive at the next town.”
Her eyebrows furled. “That is all? I must simply wait until the next town?”
“Yes, that is all.”
She squinted and thought about it for a moment. “Judging by the name of this fruit, I am guessing it makes one need to pee after its consumption?”
“And why do you ask for this, of all things? Wouldn't you prefer money?”
“Some things cannot be bought with money. And this, I would say, is one of those things.”
“But why do you want to see it in the first place?” She remained calm and curious in her probing, the lack of judgment in her wording and tone as off-putting as it was relieving.
“I believe it will make the rest of the ride rather entertaining.”
She frowned at him. “But I already have to pee. May I pee now?”
Lawrence blinked. “You may not. You must eat it now and wait.”
“But that is hardly fair!”
“As I said, these fruits are quite expensive. I would not give one away lightly.”
“Hmpf, to ask something so perverse of me and then remain stubborn and unreasonable. You are greedy. Though, I was beginning to worry you had no manhood at all.”
He blinked again. “And why do you think this is perverse?”
“Tell me, if I asked you why you found it entertaining, would you try to tell me you would find it funny? Would you say it is to teach me a lesson, or even to just embarrass me?” She leaned in smugly. “Or would you tell me it is because you would enjoy it?”
“Enjoy?” He replied offended.. “And what is that supposed to mean?”
“I am not young, Lawrence. You think you trick me with your rhetoric, but I am wise. Your tongue deceives you, as does your throat.”
He frowned and didn't respond.
“It seems you forgot I can tell when you lie. And while I admit that helped me conclude the obvious, I believe I would have noticed it otherwise. But there is no shame in your little perversion. I find it... charming.”
“You seem confident, but I haven't admitted anything.”
“And you do not need to.” She paused, waiting for the exact moment his face showed he was going to speak, and spoke before him. “But I will do it. I do so reluctantly, and only because something so sacred is involved, but I believe watching me squirm will make you entertaining for me.”
“I have never heard a watermelon described as sacred before.” He chuckled.
Her eyebrows furled at him. Lawrence caught sight of it and looked away, nervous.
“You are an idiot.” She frowned.
“... Don't you have a watermelon you should be eating?”
“But not a total idiot, it seems. “ She smiled and turned to the back of the cart.
Lawrence sighed. “You know not to eat the outside of it, right?”
“I may be ignorant to much in this world, especially fruit; but I am no fool. What I desire is in the center.”
“It seems you are quite wise.”
“I am wise because I know that I do not know things.”
“Yet, you just told me something you completely assumed.”
“And was I wrong?”
Lawrence did not respond. He did not care to argue with her, and winning an argument was irrelevant to him, as he had won the war. After having fetched a melon from the back, she wasted no time in slicing it open, breaking off a piece, and shoving it down her throat.
He looked over at her, envious. “How is it?”
“Quite... delicious.” There was juice running down her cheeks, and she answered between bites.
His eyes watched her, scanning the fruit, having never seen the inside of one before. “Do you mind if I try a piece?”
She looked over at him with pretension. “Only if you allow me to pee before playing your twisted little game.”
“Not worth it.”
She squinted at him and continued to eat the watermelon. “I shall eat it all, then!”
Lawrence didn't respond. He enjoyed the thought of her consuming more, but he felt one piece was in order, as it was likely a once in a lifetime opportunity.
After having reduced it to a single piece, Holo lifted it to her mouth, but stopped a moment before consuming it. “You are lucky I am sympathetic and you are so good-hearted.” She extended the piece toward him. “You may have it.”
He smiled and removed it from her hands. “Wise and generous, it seems.”
“'Tis for calling me charming earlier. You are beyond pitiful.”
Lawrence didn't respond. He ate the red part of the watermelon, his expression widening as his tongue processed the taste. “This is quite good, I see why they call it watermelon. Not as sweet as I expected, however.”
“Yes, it is not quite as good as apples. Peaches are better, too.”
“I hope you do not regret our deal.”
“I do not. In fact, I am happier this way. I got to try something new and rare, but I do not have to regret possibly never eating it again. If it were too good, I would be heartbroken.”
“Hmm, that is true.”
She turned to him and smiled mockingly. “I am sure you already regret them being so exotic. If they were not, I would certainly eat them, and then you could frequently see me squirm like a child.”
“You are having quite a lot of fun with this, aren't you?” He replied dispassionately.
“You are one to complain. I am doing it for you, am I not?”
“Yes, that is true, but I could do without the constant mocking...”
“Mocking was not mentioned in our deal. And I must say, it is quite fun for me.”
Lawrence didn't reply, he just kept his hands on the reins and continued down the path. He had won the war, after all. She went silent, keeping her better material tucked away.
After several minutes, Holo spoke up:
“I have had quite a bit of fun with you today, and for being such good company, I wish to share a truth with you.”
Lawrence's eyebrows rose, and he looked over at her curiously.
“I do not pretend to know much. As my wisdom is much a result of my acknowledgment of this. However, one thing I do feel confident on is that there is balance in this life, and while things may often seem unequal, I assure you they are not.”
“And what makes you say all this?”
“The fast acting nature of this watermelon. It seems it's rarity and expense are playing a part, and you are being paid back in full.”
“Already? It has barely been half an hour.”
“I have noticed. And I am assuming this town is at least more than an hour away?”
“... More than a few.”
She frowned. “You have tricked me.”
“I thought you could tell when someone was lying.” He gloated.
“Your maliciousness was already so glaring I could not even hope to see through it.”
“So am I to assume this is going to be an interesting trip?”
“It will be interesting for the both of us.”
“I can feel your gaze, and no, I am not asleep.” Holo's eyes opened as she lifted her head off of Lawrence's shoulders.
“That's good. I was worried you might sleep through the trip.”
“And then you would not have the pleasure of watching me act like a child?”
“No, I was worried you would wet yourself in your sleep and it would ruin your clothes.”
Her expression became deadpan, her lips morphing into a frown soon after. “How considerate of you. It isn't as if such a thing would be embarrassing. I am glad to know you care more about your clothing than my well being.”
He chuckled. “They were not cheap. Plus, I am sure you would live.”
“I am doubtful. I am also quite glad I did not fall asleep, as it has gotten much worse.”
“Oh?” He looked toward the sun. “It's been at least an hour... How bad has it gotten?”
“How bad? Hmm,” she pondered how to answer his question. “My legs are pressed together and I would not dare separate them.”
“And what if I said you could go? Would you separate them then?”
“Yes, I believe I would find the inspiration. May I?”
“Of course not.” Lawrence closed his eyes, and Holo frowned. “However, feel free to spread your legs, I will not stop you.”
“And if I do that and pee all over your cart, what will you do?” She smiled smugly.
“I would hardly mind.”
“Hmpf. It seems I've underestimated just how perverse you actually are.”
“Don't mistake my lack of involvement as perversion.”
“Trust me, I can see your perversion clearly without it. Your constant looking over at me as I napped was surely a sign.”
Lawrence blushed. “I was just curious.”
“It is a good thing, anyway. As I may end up making a mess of your cart yet.”
Lawrence did not respond. He kept his gaze straight and his hands on the reins. He swallowed, but immediately regretted it, as he knew Holo's sensitive ears would pick up on it.
Another half hour of silence went by. Holo broke it with a low grunt.
“Quite. How much further is the town from here?” Her legs were beginning to bounce, and her feet rested on her toes. Her torso was leaning forward while her arms were crossed over her lower stomach.
“At least a couple hours.”
“Ugh, that is what I was afraid of.”
“Hmm, it doesn't sound like you're holding up to well. You gonna make it?”
“Hypothetically speaking, what if I do not? I am not saying I will not make it, simply inquiring as to what will happen if I cannot hold it.” Her cheeks were darkening.
“Well, I suppose you will end up wetting yourself and we will have to find a way to clean your clothes.”
“You cannot be serious.”
“Those were the terms of our agreement.”
“I believe our terms were that I would wait. I never said anything about urinating in my clothes.”
“Yes, but if are not able to hold it, it seems hardly fair that you could just go. If that were the case, you could simply say at any time you could not hold it any longer, and leave me with one less watermelon.”
“I am hurt.” She sneered. “It seems to me you only enjoy causing me suffering.”
“Nothing like that. But I should remind you, regardless, we have an agreement, and I trust you will not redact on it.”
She sighed. “It seems my hands are tied then, as you cannot be swayed. I do hope you realize that if I do something like that for you, it will never leave your tongue in the presence of anybody else.”
“I have nobody to tell.”
“Lawrence!” Her sneer returned, ten-fold. “I am being serious. If you tell anybody of this, I will not hesitate to assume my wolf form and rip you limb from limb.”
He smiled. “So are you telling me you are going to pee on yourself?”
“I have no plans of it. I am simply making sure you know what happens if I do.”
“Don't worry,” he laughed. “I will not tell anybody.”
“You laugh now... Anyway, I sure wish this horse would hurry itself. I have not had to go like this in quite awhile.”
“I am skeptical.” He paused, and Holo looked over at him, annoyed. “I have seen you act rather childishly after drinking too much.”
“Yes, but that is while drunk. This is quite a bit different. I also have the distraction of being drunk, while right now I can think of nothing else.”
“Why not try to get some more sleep?”
“I am afraid that time has passed. My concern lies more in not making a fool of myself.”
Holo's legs took turns bouncing, as the positioning or her torso and placement of her hands shifted restlessly. She didn't speak again for several minutes, and for Lawrence, all that he wanted to know was being communicated with her body language. After what he suspected to be another fifteen minutes, he spotted Holo's left leg cross over her right, both forearms resting uncomfortably on her thighs.
She seemed to find some relief in this pose, but uncrossed her legs less than fifteen minutes later. Her legs remained still for several minutes, and from the corner of his eyes, he could see her body tighten. He looked over and saw her eyes closed and a strained look on her face.
“Are you alright?”
“Let me concentrate.”
“If you have to ask you are dumber than I thought.”
Finding satisfaction in her response, Lawrence turned away, but kept his focus in his peripheries. She remained like that for several moments, before relaxing and recrossing her legs. Lawrence stole a glance at her expression. It had relaxed too, but was still annoyed, and now had a tinge of worry behind it.
Not even ten minutes later, her body tensed up again. She kept her legs crossed at first, but in what seemed like a deliberate, but hastily decided upon motion, straightened them out and pressed them as tight together as she could.
“I would like to find a place to clean up, even if I do not mess up my clothing.”
“... Why do you say that?”
“I do not wish to say.” Her voice was strained, and the embarrassment was painfully obvious to him.
Lawrence contended with different ways to reply, but ultimately remained speechless. He expected Holo to question his silence, but figured she understood his wordlessness – or was simply too absorbed in her own matters.
Over the next ten minutes, Holo's actions became erratic. She remained as couth as she could, and attempted to not move too widely, but her motions were sharp and oft involuntary. The movement of her legs no longer seemed liked bouncing, but more like uneven shaking. He noticed her hand perched diligently on her lower stomach, but pride kept her from going any lower.
Her body tightened up again, the shaking in her legs ceasing for a moment, then starting again, only to again cease. This lasted a short time, closer in length to her first wave of desperation. Her body did not relax, even after it passed. The decrease in desperation was only apparent by the shaking of her legs returning to a consistent unevenness.
“Alcohol aside, I have not done something like this since I was a young wolf.”
“What, hold it this long?”
“No. It seems I was not able to hold it all in, and I have left what feels to be a rather sizable spot on the back of my pants.”
Lawrence swallowed. “I... see.”
“I am guessing this is to your satisfaction?” She sighed.
“... No comment.”
She sighed again. “Unless this town is going to magically appear from nowhere, I suppose there is not much I can do. I am about to pee on myself.”
“You can't wait any longer?”
“If I could my butt would not be damp. Are you sure you want this on your cart? Remember, we will have to find a way to clean this before arriving at the next town, as I have no plans to be inspected or seen like this.”
“Yes, it is fine with me.”
She sighed yet again. “How perverse.”
Lawrence did not reply. He waited for Holo to say or do something, but she did not. Her legs continued to quiver as they had before, but her face seemed less tense. He grew worried when nothing changed after another ten minutes, but his worries were put to rest as her spine straightened and her hands lifted from her lap.
“I... I cannot believe this.”
There was the faint sound of water rushing, but Holo quickly realized it was not only her ears that detected it. She spread her legs a bit, but replacing the hiss was the sound of urine falling from her seat to the flooring of the cart, and even faintly from it hitting the dirt as it seeped through the cracks of the wood.
Holo did not move. She remained perfectly still, her face calm, eyes closed, and cheeks as red as her eyes. The urine continued to fall for what seemed like an eternity. Lawrence watched the fabric of the pants saturate as it overflowed from her butt and ran down both her legs. She lifted her feet in an attempt to keep the urine from filling her shoes, but kicked them off upon realizing it was not helping.
The urine stopped flowing, but there was still a slowing drip that could be heard against the soaked floorboards. Lawrence shamelessly stared at her, and Holo pretended to ignore his gaze, looking down at her lap ashamed, and mildly annoyed.
“This is quite disgusting.”
Lawrence chuckled. “It isn't that bad.”
“Yes, coming from the one who has not urinated on himself. This was not a fair arrangement.”
“It wasn't worth the watermelon?”
“Not one, no. I feel as though I should have at least asked for two.”
Lawrence squinted and scratched at his facial hair. “Hmm, maybe we can work something out.”