Adventuring through twisted time.
Alright and… we are all set! Thank you for your purchase Monsieur.” With a graceful smile, Madeline’s charming and naturally raspy voice penetrated the air, her pure blue gaze that was slightly tainted with the colour of grey smoke close her pupil and scattered throughout the rest of her iris, stayed glued to the table monitoring the transaction and waiting for the receipt to print. “So now that this is done…” the man who had just purchased hers fathers painting began to speak “… maybe we can go out for a drink or something.” He offered as he approached her. Madeline was, special, different from most ladies, she had the innate ability to avoid people, being anti-social, and physically distancing herself from people without them getting offended. So as he stepped towards her, she stepped away in such a way he did not even catch on to the fact that she was putting space between them both.
“I..” I ripped the receipt from the attachable printer on my tablet and handed it to him “… am too young to drink Monsieur but thank you for the offer.” I offered him a smile with my lie because I was, in fact, older than him by at the very least a hundred years. ‘Tea, or coffee then’ He insisted but I just shook my head gently “I do apologize Monsieur but I am here for business not pleasure; I do not fraternize with my father's buyers.” I locked eyes with him at last and though I could see his disappointment I could also see his understanding ‘So what do you plan to do here during your free time?’ I looked around the art studio I had rented for my time here thinking, debating on if I should share. “I thought I might explore Thistlemoon Forest.” I glanced to him from the corner of my eyes a faint smirk growing on my lips as he just seemed to deflate ‘No one dares go in there unless they want to contract some sort of sickness.’ And that was exactly why I was going.
There was a spark in her eyes that seemed to catch the mans attention for a moment and mesmerize him as she closed her eyes and let a very faint laugh escape her lips. He cautioned, begged and pleaded with her not to go, telling her all the tales of the people in the past who ventured out and came back all the more worse for wear. Though she listened or entertained his words really her heart was set, it had been for many years now, so with grace, she walked him to the door “Your concern is truly endearing Monsieur but I have to go. "She said before bidding him adieu and shutting the door behind him. It took hours to get from the studio to the forest but she still had the whole rest of the day as she had met with the man at dawn, just as the sun was rising. So now she stood at the threshold of the forest clutching a mason jar to her belly as she stared in before at last trekking in.
It was beautiful here, hard not to stop every few steps, close my eyes and just take in the sounds and smells, and cool summer breeze that passed by ever so often. It was peaceful here for me, which for me was an enigma as I was the peace for everything and one else. It was nice to find my own form of peace; I took a deep breath at that thought, a breath I never thought I would be able to take. For the first time in my life, I felt free of the chaos I called a life. But, I was here for a purpose and I would not let myself fully enjoy the forest until I was successful in said purpose. I peered into the mason jar I had been holding to my belly, gazed at the flower floating atop the water I had inside with it, letting my eyes trail down to the vine-like roots that grew beneath the water. I got this flower from my father the day of my birth; he plucked it right from these woods. For decades I watched as it adapted to its different environments much like myself but now it was time to return it home because every living thing deserves a home, deserves freedom.
She wandered around for a long while, only stopping to compare her flower to others, realizing she was taking a risk here as her flower was a century and just a few years shy of two decades old as here plant was just a bud when her father gave it to her, much like her herself. She often wondered throughout the years on whether these flowers still grew or if they did and she made it here if she would find this flowers family. She often tried to recall what her father had told her of this place, hoping that somewhere hidden in his vivid description of Thistlemoons beauty hid a clue as to where this flower belonged. Yet, the hours passed and the sun reached its highest point and her search had come to no avail. She let a breath vibrate passed her lips as she sat down at a pond she had stumbled upon, sitting right in the suns rays that peeked through the trees above. She held the jar to her lips, silently praying, hoping she would find where her flower belonged, promising herself that she would return whenever she had the chance to return it if she had to.
I set the jar down before I nervously began to play with the necklace I wore taking the rings that hung from the rawhide string and gently brushing them against my lips. I soon caught myself in this act and dropped the rings, letting them fall back to the hang around my neck, it was just an old habit I had, one I mostly never caught or realized I did. I stared out at the water, taking in the beauty of the water glistening in the sun. At that moment I forwarded my brow as I caught a glimpse of something near the water’s edge, slowly rising and approaching and squaring down above it to get a better look. I could not help the buoyant laughter that fluttered out of me. I rose and trotted back to my mason jar only to return to the spit by the pond seconds later, quickly opening my jar and gently removing the flower. I knelt down and held my flower in my hand comparing it to the flowers at the water’s edge “I found them…” I stated to myself in pride but mostly relief in disbelief, carefully I dug in the moist dirt a hole big and vast enough for the roots of the flower that had grown with me. Planting it, returning it home as I now patted the dirt back on top of it.
She stared at the flower for a moment before she felt the shift in the forest, like something, had been restored as if life had in some way returned to the already lively forest. She knew Love and Life would one day be her duty to uphold and restore so she adored this feeling, the feeling of all being right within the woods. Death and hate? Well, though those would someday be her duty as well she did not know that, nor would she accept it. In fact, she would hate having to be a reaper or provoking someone to hate so much they scream or cry or do anything to get the feeling out. Her father saw that darkness, but it was not his place to tell her and neither of them knew that it would take her mother nearly killing her to wake the angelic genes in her up fully. As far as she knew anyway her mother was dead, murdered the day she was born so, for now, she was kept in the dark about her future and what she would become, what her mother would be revived as.
I closed my eyes to the feeling of this newfound life around me and could not help but literally backflip, allowing myself to just plop back onto the grass beneath as I landed. I took in a deep breath of relief letting my eyes close once again, this time actually letting myself enjoy the forest. I enjoyed the breeze, the sun peeking down in streams on my skin, the wildlife I could hear running and flying all around, the sound of the water turning in the wind. That is when it hit me, my fatigue, my body suddenly realized I had been running and moving for decades and never truly got a moment to just unwind. I could feel my eyelids grow heavy even while they were closed, and how my body melted into the grass beneath me. I wish I could stay here forever in this moment but, I had some much to do and I should probably start my long drive back to the city. I opened my eyes with that thought and sat up with a burdened breath only to stop short so I would not bump heads with who was now right in front of me.
She swallowed hard as she came face to face with the King of the forest unbeknownst to that fact of course. Their faces so close to each other that her nose gently brushed against his as her eyes that showed the perfect balance of life and death living in harmony within her stared into his bright blue ones before she moved back. She forwarded her brow and blinked a few times while letting a sharp breath from her nose wondering if she had in fact fallen asleep and he was just apart of some odd dream, soon coming to realize she was in fact awake. A swirl of questions flooded her mind suddenly because she knew that no human could enter this forest unless they were like her or something even greater. She admired him or rather studied him for a second something telling her that somehow he belonged here and suddenly she swallowed hard again because now she felt as though she were trespassing. She opened her mouth to speak *Uhm…” she closed it again for a moment as nothing really came to her mind. “… Hello!?” she, at last, managed to say not wanting to be awkward or rude by just getting up and walking away.
Kyan woke up sprawled out on his bed with a hangover from the tree sap wine he'd been drinking the previous day. He turned over with a groan and saw the blue haired nymph he'd been with the night before still contently asleep. Kyan made a face of displeasure and nudged her with his foot roughly on her thigh. "Get out," he said as she groggily opened her eyes and squinted at him with her all black pupils. She looked at him in hesitation to which he huffed out with exaggerated annoyance. "I said, get out, Adora." The nymph made a noise of displeasure as she moved the sheets off her bare body and Kyan quickly rolled on his side to smack her behind with a firm grasp. The nymph squeaked and scowled over her shoulder at him as he gave her a sly grin. She beamed back at Kyan and bent down to kiss him deeply to which he grabbed her thighs and pulled her onto his lap in the bed once more.
"Your Highness," came the familiar voice behind his bedroom door. Kyan ignored it as his hands ran up Adora's skin, tracing along the nymph's silk like wings and into her waist length hair that engulfed her whole body. She shifted her weight on top of him and gasped against his mouth. "Your Highness, it's important." Kyan continued to ignore the centaur on the other side as he gripped the nymph's waist tightly to control her movements against him. "Sir, an angel has broken the perimeter."
Kyan pushed Adora off of him, causing her to nearly fall off the bed with a yelp. The king waved his hand at the door causing the gust of air to open it where his general stood impatiently. "An angel? How?"
"I'm not sure. We have eyes on her at the moment, but we were waiting for your instructions on what to do with her. She's currently at Mirror Lake with a fire flower in a jar."
Kyan's head quirked to the side at this. "Is she now..." His gaze looked over with a raised brow to the nymph who lay on the bed in a heap. "Why are you still here?"
Adora glared at Kyan and stood from the bed to gather her belongings and rush out passed the general. The king motioned for the centaur to enter the room as he swung his legs off the bed and placed his feet on the soft, mossy carpet. He stretched widely before walking naked over to the several intricately carved, wooden wardrobes that lined one of the walls of his massive room. The sounds of the soldier’s hooves clicked on the floor till he came in and met with the carpet himself. “Your orders, my king?”
Kyan decided on a pair of simple, black, flowy, linen pants and nothing more. He moved over to one of three floor to ceiling glass doors that led out to the balcony, opening it. The sun was beaming brightly on a cool summer day which pleased him. He leaned on the railing of the balcony, looking down at the Mapleshade staff that moved about his home. “I will talk to her.”
The centaur followed him outside and stood beside his king. “I had the feeling you might. It has been some time since we’ve had someone cross over the border, let alone an angel.”
“Hmm,” Kyan replied simply, seeing his younger sister twirling around in one of the gardens below, before her momentum had been enough that she lifted into the air like a giggling cyclone. “Tell one of Doelynn’s handmaidens that I will play with her later. I will meet you at the gate in a few minutes, Gwainar.”
Kyan climbed on the bannister and dropped off to the floor below him, landing on the balcony of his parents’ room. His mother gave a yelp and nearly spilled her tea as she sat in one of her ivy twined rockers. “Honestly, Kyan!” The king gave a smirk in response and kissed her cheek.
“Good morning, mother.” He bowed to her slightly before leaping off the balcony again to land lightly on the earth. He gazed up at the Mapleshade Tree that was the source of all power in Thistlemoon and could feel its energy pulsing lowly like a heartbeat. It held strong and powerful as he closed his eyes and felt the connection between it and the tattoo that thrummed on his back.
A few minutes later, Gwainar was approaching and the two set out for the border. When they arrived at Mirror Lake, Kyan easily scaled a tree where he saw some of the fae scouts scattered about the area, all with their weapons drawn. Little did the angel know the danger that faced her as they were all glamoured from sight as was the true nature of what Thistlemoon Forest looked like. Yes, it was still beautiful, but once the veil was removed from her eyes she would see the magic it truly held.
Kyan watched the woman move to the lake and pluck a fire flower from the water as it floated near. He was intrigued as if she instinctively knew to plant the one she carried in her jar. His head quirked to the side as he realized the flower had some meaning to her. It was clear in her body language. “My king?” Gwainar asked from below in a hushed whisper as he waited for his command. Kyan put a finger to his lips and walked across the branch, moving from tree to tree until he finally stood above the angel who lay in the grass. He removed the glamour from himself and dropped silently to the ground right over her, a leg on each of her sides.
As the dark haired intruder remained still with her eyes closed, Kyan squatted above her and let his eyes wander the length of her body slowly before suddenly being interrupted as she sat up and came within an inch of smacking into his face. She leaned backwards from him and his gaze did not waiver while he continued to stare at her with bright, blue eyes. He ignored her greeting and nodded behind him after a moment, towards the lake. “Why have you stolen one of the fire flowers, angel?”
"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear."
To say she was taken aback by his question was an understatement, not only was it his question but also just how he called her what she was, angel. Despite her being an enigma to most people, even those that she had come to know still knew little to nothing about her. Yet here this stranger was seeming to know the very thing about her that she herself did not have a full grasp on. Sure it could have just been a "nickname" she had been called many things in her past and line of work: Doll, Angelface, Dollface, Angel but something at the back of her mind told her this was not the case here, but she decided to leave that alone as it was not a conversation she wanted to have. Especially with a stranger. "I did not." She retorted as she forwarded her brow and reached to grab the mason jar she had brought with her. She placed it in the grass between them, the water inside swirling around showing the evidence of the flower having once been in there. "I was returning the one that had been stolen many moons ago."
I showed him the palms of my hands that were still covered in soil from when I planted the flower. Studying his stern gaze with my own "Fireflower." I distracted myself for a moment as I looked away and chuckled to myself for a moment. "That flower was stolen by my father over a hundred years ago. He had the right intentions but it was the wrong thing to do." I looked back to his steady gaze and could feel my smile fade as he just seemed to stare at me with an air of seriousness. "All these years that flower and I grew together and I never even knew what it was." I took a faint breath of contentment, my hands naturally sinking into the grass beneath me and suddenly I could feel the life all around us and it was not just the wildlife I had felt before.
Her nerves returned to her as she brushed her hands off on her jeans and began to play with the rings on her necklace once more. Taking a deep breath she looked at him once more, returning the serious gaze he was looking to her with. "I see now that I overstepped my bounds, overstayed my unwanted welcome. For that, I do apologize Monsieur, I was getting up to leave when I almost headbutted you." She laughed faintly before growing serious once again. She looked around and rose slowly, she could not see anyone else around them just Kyan but she could feel them, she could sense the slight danger and the want for her to leave. She collected herself and her things and began to slowly head back the way she came, a swirl of question spinning in her head but she found it best not to ask them under this circumstances. "I apologize for my father's wrongdoing too. He should have never stolen something so precious. I only wish I could have returned it sooner, but " Lord, What fools these Mortals be!"" And with that, she smiled, nodded and head off on her way to her car.
Kyan watched as the woman became flustered and reached for the jar he had seen her holding with the fire flower that seemed to have some sort of sentimental value. His eyes continued scanning her quietly as she went on in her words, making it seem like he couldn't be any less interested in what she had to say. The fact of the matter was, he wasn't. He'd already made his decision on what he wanted to do with her the moment his eyes laid upon the angel.
As she began to back out from under him and head in the direction of the human world, Kyan stood up and sighed nonchalantly. "No." The king snapped his fingers and the glamour which the rest of his kin around them held up melted away. The guards appeared all around them with their bows and swords aimed and waiting for Kyan's command. He walked to meet where the angel had stopped in her tracks at the sudden revealing of his guards, standing in front of her path. "You may not have stolen the flower, but you will pay for your father's mistake." He motioned his hand quickly and sent a quick gust of wind under the woman's hands, pushing the jar into the air. Kyan caught it and lifted it to his face closely, examining the water inside. He motioned for her to follow him without looking back, knowing the angel would do as told seeing as the weapons being pointed at her gave no other option.
He came upon the edge of the large body of water and kneeled down to where she had put the fire flower into the ground. Turning his head slightly and not seeing her there made him impatient. She was moving entirely too slow. Kyan sucked his teeth in annoyance which simultaneously gave the angel a hard push forward in the rear with a jarring breeze. As she stumbled next to him, he grabbed her wrist roughly and pulled her down, placing her palm on the ground. "Do you feel it?" She seemed to understand what he was saying as he had seen her reaction to putting the flower in the dirt before. It was curious to him how this angel was so in tune to his forest. He'd never seen anyone outside of the fae so connected to it in his thousands of years of existance. Kyan placed his palm over her hand, intertwining their fingers together into the moist earth, and felt the pulse underneath grow as he pushed his fae abilities into the ground that all of his kind possessed; the ability to help grow life. It was a feeling he could never get tired of. A pleasant warmth washed over his body as his eyes began to glow a slightly brighter blue which bored into her own gaze. He knew she was feeling it too as his powers went through her skin and into the earth. Though it wasn't visible, he knew the roots of the fire flower were now a part of the forest and would help to do what it was meant to do.
Kyan suddenly released her hand and stood up. His eyes scanned Mirror Lake and then went back to her. "You see, your father committed a very terrible crime by coming and taking the flower." The king wasn't sure why he was telling the angel any of this. Something about her was different and it was annoying him that he felt inclined to tell her. "These flowers give nutrients to the water of the lake which in turn we use to help grow things in the forest. Your idiot father upset the balance of this and caused irreparable damage to some of the life here. Therefore, you will be punished in his stead." The king shrugged matter of factly and motioned towards the vines that enveloped around a massive tree. The vines snaked their way over the ground and began to crawl up the angel's body, wrapping around her wrists and legs. "Gwainar."
"Yes, your Highness." The centaur general walked over and easily picked up the angel, laying her over his back.
Kyan walked around and lowered his head to the angel's turning it sideways to look at her. "I would behave if I were you." He started walking deeper into Thistlemoon Forest to head back home.
"Shall we bring her to the stockades, sir?" Gwainar asked as he motioned for his soldiers to move out.
Kyan pondered on this for a moment and shook his head. "No, I have more... questions for her." He suddenly stopped and nodded towards the pouch on Gwainar's hip. "Give me a starberry." The general furrowed his eyebrows at this, but did as was commanded and handed the king the small purple berry with orange spots as a group of small pixies came to gawk at the stranger in the wood. The king walked over to the angel and all but shoved the fruit into her mouth. "Eat this." Once she did, she would see Thistlemoon Forest in its true and wonderous form.
Everything was suddenly happening so fast, from the glamour being removed to the jar being plucked from her hands by the wind. Her smoke-filled blue eyes widening faintly as she stared up to see the danger that surrounded her breath turning shallow as fear began to build within her. She did not even process that Kyan wanted her to follow him until a few seconds a later but she soon yelped as the gave her a swift kick to the ass by his command, stumbling to his side. She whimpered very faintly as he pulled her down finding it hard to focus on what he wanted her to with everything but she tried and soon she did not need to as the sudden euphoric warmth of life overtook her soul.
I took in a hitched gasp at the feeling, the feeling that pulsed through this man, through me, and into the ground. My fears for just one-second melting away from that feeling and overwhelming me. My already shallow breath becoming ragged as I tried to process the powerful feeling, I closed my eyes to sort it out as he let my hand go, I heard his words but they did not entirely register as I came to realize that my flower, or rather the flower I returned was now apart of the forest entirely once again. My eyes opened slowly as I realized I wore a smile about my face, one I knew not was there and so had no control over but of course, it was gone the moment I heard what this man said about what my father's actions had done to the forest. Yet before I could reply or do anything for that matter he was condemning me as vines slithered around my body to bind me "Wait! No! I.." I cut myself off as a centaur approached me, gulping and trying to squirm away before he picked me up and flung me on his back.
She twisted and writhed around on his back before finally stopping as Kyan "suggested" to behave and the only reason she listened was that she did not want to do something that could result in them firing at her or giving them a reason more to kill her. She growled and fought him as he stuffed the starberry in her mouth even tried to bite him, her reaction surprised even her because it was uncharacteristic of her, though she had never been in a situation like this before so not even she knew how exactly she would respond. She held the berry in her mouth at first out of spite playing out her already very limited options in her head before chewing it slowly and swallowing it at an even slower pace. Jerking on Gwainar's back as a pixie flew right up to her face causing her to begin to look around and see the forest for what it truly was then.
I stilled for a moment, contorting my body to look around in amazement. I grew up knowing about the supernatural world being half myself but what I knew was very black and white. Angels and Demons, Vampires and Werewolves, Gipsies and Witches and even a Banshee or two. But this, what I saw before me now was a chaotic world of colour all its own and though I still found it to be the most beautiful place I had ever seen I was also petrified. It was a fear of the unknown, what was my punishment to be, what damage had been done thanks to my father and would I ever make it out alive? Just some of the thousands of questions that bubbled inside me. I dropped my gaze in shame faintly as some of the creatures glared at me making it ever clearer that I was now a prisoner a convict to the forest and its people. I closed my eyes to that shame, the lady thing I ever wanted in my life was to do this to any living thing, cause damage or even death, and though it was not my crime it was a crime committed for me though I knew not why so I would regretfully but willing serve out my sentence whatever it may be as it was the honourable thing to do. Though clearly, I had no physical choice in this matter I could still choose in my heart, so I did. I just hope it was the right choice.
She opened her eyes, shaking her head faintly as her blood had been rushing it and making her feel a bit faint. Her movement although slight causing her to slip off Gwainar's back a little, she grabbed some of his fur just out of reflex to catch herself which seemed to earn her a viciously stern glare from him. She frowned a moment "sorry." She told him before placing her tied hands over the spot she had just grabbed. As the angel of life, she had the power of healing, or she would if her angelic genes were fully active but since they were not all she could really do was soothe, which worked to her advantage here because from the look of it Gwainar did not need healing. So she simply soothed the area with the palms of her hands to further show she was sincere in her sorry. A few seconds later she back in the position he had strewn her on his back in trying to look around and not pass out from the blood rushing to her face. Her eyes scanning over Kyan for a moment or two it took A LOT to actually get Madeline angry and even more to get her to show that said anger but there was something about Kyan that got under her skin and she could not quite place it. It could be the disregard for her words or even her face as she spoke, or maybe it how rough and commanding he was with her. Honestly, it was probably both and while she was not angry with him for she was annoyed and that annoyance would only grow to anger if he kept it up. Eventually, she sighed and stopped looking around to just focus on not passing out.
Kyan recoiled when the angel tried to bite him which made him smirk at her. "I enjoy your feisty, but I promise you it will only end in your demise if you keep it up, thief." He watched as the group of pixies rushed over to her and began tugging at her clothing and hair, shredding the fabric with their razor sharp nails. The king angled his head to the side to watch in delight while she struggled helplessly. It was only when one of the pixies drew blood on the angel's face did he order them all away with a forceful fireball.
He walked over to her and used his thumb to wipe the blood on her cheek. After inspecting it thoroughly, he placed his finger in his mouth and tasted it, noticing the odd flavor. Kyan's eyebrows furrowed and he looked down at her or more, he looked down at her bobbing head of dark hair. "What's wrong with you?" he inquired, sniffing his thumb. "Your blood is not how angels should taste. I've had my fair share." Before she was given the chance to answer, his mother's voice interrupted him as they had made their way back already without him noticing.
"Son, your sister has been asking for you. Would you please go and..." His mother suddenly stopped and recoiled slightly. "What on earth is that?"
Kyan looked from his mother and down to his prisoner. "An angel, mother. Have you forgotten so quickly what they smell like?"
"Of course not, but she smells funny. Different. Not like her kin," she said matter-of-factly, turning her head to the side along with her son to peer at her closely.
They continued talking about her as if she wasn't even there. "I thought the same. Her blood tastes weird too. Something's wrong with her, but I have yet to figure out what. Come, Gwainar."
His mother placed her hand on his arm to stop him. "Where do you think you're going?"
"Not with that thing. She's a stranger to our land and I will not allow her inside the Mapleshade Tree. Not our home." His mother wrinkled her nose at the angel who still lay there bound and in tattered clothing.
Kyan dismissed her concerns with a wave of his hand. "She's my prisoner and I will do with her as I please. I am king. Now come, Gwainar." His general did as was told and followed the king inside the Mapleshade Tree.
They ascended the spirling ramp up the massive structure that housed at least one hundred fae; most being those that worked for the royal family. The large wooden entrance opened for him and they passed through. The servants all bowed as they passed by them until he reached his bedroom and blew the door open. Gwainar walked around to his bed and picked the angel up, dropping her roughly onto the bed.
Kyan moved to his closet with his back to her, rummaging around. He snapped his fingers and the vines released from her limbs, falling away and shriveling up to die around her as he continued in his search without turning around. Gwainar remained at the foot of the bed with his arms crossed, scowling at the angel. "HA! I have found it!"
He crossed back towards her and dropped the long, flowing gown on the bed for her to change in before standing next to the centaur. "Well? You will wear it. Hurry up!" The look on her face made him remember that other creatures of the world had some sense of modesty which he never understood. The king groaned and tapped his general on the arm to follow suit and turn around for her to undress. When both of them had their backs to the angel, he put his hands on his hips impatiently with a thought. "By the way, what is your name, thief?"
She grimaced, wiggled and whined as the pixies tore at her, more concerned with keeping herself covered now that her clothes were torn than the cuts on her face. She watched Kyan with a cautious glare as he wiped the blood from her cheek, dropping her gaze and tightening up when his question was asked, only made worse by the words of his mother. She shut her eyes and shook her head now trying to focus on the present and not on the swirling memory trying to invade her mind.
"I am broken, aren't I?"
My words from my past hurdled into my mind and no matter how hard I tried that bitter memory just invaded, played it out though I tried to will it away. But the harder and more I tired in this instance the faster the memory stormed in, the more my captor and his mother's words dragged my mind away.
'You smell different you know.' His red eyes pierced down at me as he bent down on my desk that separated us, leaned in close to me and sniffed my neck. I stayed still as I swallowed hard, watching as he hummed to himself and pulled away. Strolling away from me deep in thought as he began to explore the art gallery again, his fingers stroking the paintings he liked most as he debated which he wanted to buy. 'Made a choice I see' my father spoke, oblivious to how this vampire dwelled around me more than the art until he tangled a finger in my hair 'Yes.' He answered my father. I pulled my head away and rose from my desk clearing my through, " If you will excuse me." I said with a nod and a smile before trying to step out my father stepping closer to put himself between me and the vampire finally realizing the threat. 'I want her.' He clutched my arm and yanked me close to him before my father could get in the way. 'NO!' It was rare when my father rose his voice so naturally, I flinched at the sudden burst of loudness from him but the Vampire just laughed. His ice-cold hand stroking the side of my face 'Oh come now Dimitri, what is a weak little half-blooded runt to you? You can always find a new secretary and I am sure you have plenty of other women wanting to warm your bed.' He spoke matter of factly and I could not help but flinch away from his touch and sneer in disgust.
"She is my daughter!" Dimitri growled as he pulled the vampire off of her, his response shocking both the vampire and Madeline. It was the first time he had ever told anyone who she was to him and the first time in a long time he had been this livid. The two men stayed in a still, Dimitri's hand still firmly grasped around the vampire's wrist as their eyes stayed glued on each other. Madeline sighed as she moved away from the vampire and placed her hands on both men's hands. "He did not know." Is all she said and as soon as she had touched them they melted, their anger faded as they both looked down at her. The vampire tore his hand away and fixed himself as he cleared his throat. "You are too kind, kid..." He spoke as he headed to the door, Dimitri following after him to see him out. "...That will be your undoing someday. " He spun on his heels once out the doors to face Dimitri placing his hand on the door to keep him from closing it on him. "Hey, look, I am sorry. Her blood is... Different... Brimming with the power of life. She could make people whole, just one bite and I would be human again." He looked passed Dimitri to Madeline who stood right behind him, clearly disconcerted by her but unsure why entirely. "Here." She spoke softly suddenly as she slipped under her father's arm and held her hand up for him to take that bite he mentioned. He took her hand and brought to his lips both Madeline and her father stiffening up for two separate reasons but instead, he kissed her hand.
'You should be a danger to yourself but somehow... You are not...' The Vampire spoke with his lips against my hand indulging in my scent again. 'Your blood will be a burden to you.' He let my hand go as he spoke my father launching me behind him the moment I was free of his grasp and all I could do was stare down at the hand he held. Minutes passed before my father's angry words actually pierced through my bloodshot ears. "I am broken, aren't I? That is why he would not take my blood even though I offered it." I clenched my fist and shut my eyes, my father not really knowing what to say, or do. I opened my eyes as that thought faded lifting my head as I heard the tail end of my captor's conversation with his mother, flinching at how she referred to me letting my gaze fall from them again as they both looked my way with a tilt of their heads.
She closed her eyes as they trekked farther, refusing to look at anyone because she hated the way people looked at her. The eyes were the gateway to the heart, that was the one truth she found that carried through all beings and it rang true as she passed by all the creatures of the woods. Except, the moment they set foot in the Mapleshade tree she felt it, what? She did not know but it was something, something so strong it caused her to open her eyes and look around, ignoring all the glares and glowers and everything else for that as her eyes wandered around. Something was calling her name, something soft and faint and in her head but she knew this was not her. A faint glimpse of confusion playing at the back of her gaze because she was no one knew her name and even more sure no one cared because to them she was nothing more than a thief.
A natural growl escaped me as I found myself being thrown down. Partly relieved it was a bed and not the floor, I swallowed the growl and looked away from the two men in the room. The voice in my head now gone and replaced with just a mix of fear riddled thoughts and saddened realizations. My eyes met the kings' my captor as he laid a gorgeous gown down before me. My mind still so rattled from the news that this... Being... was the king and his warning from earlier when I tried to bite him echoing through my mind; I could only manage to give him a curt nod as I tried to now figure out how to change in front of the two but he turned around with Gwainar as I had come to know him as, as I opened my mouth to ask for some sort of privacy.
Relieved she quickly let her tattered clothes just fall from her and down onto the bed. Draping herself in the gorgeous white dress, that fit her a bit too well, she flinched at the name thief a pit forming in her belly as she sunk down slightly at it. "Madeline." She answered promptly the natural rasp of her voice cracking as she spoke at how softly she had spoken. "You can look." She spoke again her voice heavy with hesitancy and an air of sadness. She rarely wore dresses back home and the occasions on which she did were always reasons for sadness. She cleared her throat as she shook her head faintly to get that feeling away from her, picking up her tattered shirt she pressed it to a cut on her face that was still bleeding, hissing faintly as she closed her eyes and that voice she heard caught her.
A sudden wave of warmth encased me, it was almost like a warm embrace and the voice from moments ago was now loud and clear. I kept my eyes closed as I felt all my fears and worries all just deliquesce, returning me to my normal peaceful state of being if just for a second. I took a much needed deep breath as I came to realize this feeling was the tree we were in and it was welcoming me, calming me down. It did not last long, maybe in total it was just a few seconds but I would cherish the moment for a long time to come. I kept my eyes shut as the feeling left and the voice with it, feeling as the aura I knew was always around me though I myself could not see it, returned back the dull but balanced grey colour it had been since I was taken, prisoner. Slowly I opened my eyes, I had to be careful that aura did not turn black as both white and black were both infectious and caused those around me to react, black always got me hurt and the beings here were already glaring daggers at me, I did not need real ones flying at me too. Slowly with another steady breath I looked I opened my eyes and looked up to be greeted by the now-familiar bright blue eyes, but I looked away immediately refusing to look at him and keeping my eyes down. "Thank you," I said as I placed my old clothes down on the floor not wanting to further dirty the bed "for the dress and giving me the privacy to change into it." I continued though I was sure my words just fell upon deaf ears I would at least feel better having said it than not at all.
At the sound of her name, Kyan furrowed his eyebrows. "Madeline..." he drawled out and then shrugged. It sounded like one of those common, human names. He much preferred calling her thief for that fit her better than Madeline. When the woman announced she was decent, the king turned around and saw the dress fit her perfectly. He tilted his head slightly as he looked at her before eyeing her up and down slowly once again. Kyan had had his share of women, but never an angel who seemed to be out of sorts. He couldn't help but wonder what she tasted like as his gaze drifted along the plunging neckline of the dress. At her words of thanks, Kyan squinted at the kindness she showed despite being his prisoner.
"Gwainar, tell Lily to bring us food," he said with a dismissive wave as he walked over to the bed and nearly sat on top of her, giving the angel no personal space.
"Yes, my king. What of the thief? Shall I bring her the dinner of a prisoner; bread and water?" the centaur inquired with a sneer as he eyed the woman.
Kyan shook his head, but kept his eyes intensely on Madeline's. "No. She will feast with me, here. Have them bring up a table and chairs. The works. Oh, she'll obviously need a cup of willowbark sap wine."
A short silence in the room fell and he realized that his general was not walking away. There were no sounds of retreating hooves. "Your majesty..."
Kyan shot his head around with irritation. The tone in Gwainar's voice sounded like one of questioning. No one. Ever. Questioned. Him.
"Yes, of course, my lord." The centaur gave a short bow and retreated from the room, leaving the two alone as the door closed.
Kyan looked at her in the quiet for a few moments which would normally be awkward for humans, but fae were something entirely different. He took a deep breath in and closed his eyes before looking back at her again. The very familiar feeling of his tattoo thrumming on his back which connected to the Mapleshade Tree was giving off a pulse and it seemed to be in connection with the angel. This he found very intriguing, indeed. He needed to have eyes on her always. "So, I will allow you to be unbound so long as you listen to me. If you should try and even attempt at leaving, I will throw you in with the rest of the prisoners down in the dark caves of Blackstone Mountain, understood?"
Before she had a chance to answer, there was a knock at his door. "Come in. It better be food." Lily, an older faery woman with bright green eyes and frizzy orange hair came in followed by a line of other servants who carried endless amounts of trays and a table and chairs to sit on. Daven, the faun server, pulled the chairs out for them to sit and then began removing the tops off of the platters. The intimate wooden table was covered in different meats and breads, but mostly held sweets and a bottle of aged wine along with a goblet which he assumed was the sap wine. "You must drink from the cup first or the food will make you hallucinate. It's like being on mushrooms which the humans have somehow managed to manufacture outside of my realm after stealing from Thistlemoon." He made an annoyed sound by sucking his teeth at the thought of them in his kingdom without being caught. "Now they sell it like any other drug for a profit."
He picked up a piece of bread and ripped a part off to take a bite, watching her pick up the goblet. "So," Kyan began, casually eating the food and letting his eyes scan the table for cheese. "What's up with your blood? Why are you broken?" The others in the room all remained silent as he asked the personal question matter-of-factly. He watched as her eyes flickered to the fae in the room and he sighed with a wave of his hand. "Get out." As the sound of the varying types of footsteps left the room along with the metal and glass of the food platters being put down on the second, longer buffet table, the king grabbed his goblet of wine and raised a brow. "Well?"
She was not breathing with as close as he had gotten to her. She stilled, stiffened and dared not even breathe with him this close, her eyes never living his as a scrupulous look grew on her face. Even when he spoke to Gwainar, she just kept her steady gaze on him. Silence was not normally uncomfortable for her, she lived most of her life in it despite living in such and lively, jazz riddled, party-infused city. She and father admittedly did not talk as much as a father and daughter should and when people came around interested in his art well she only spoke when spoken to or if it seemed they needed help. Though, those could barely be counted as conversation as they were just a few words shared and she was just doing her job. She purely enjoyed silence and the peace it brought to her naturally chaotic life. That is part of the reason she had come here because she could have just returned the flower and left but no, she wanted to stay a little longer and bask in the peace, the silence. This silence though made her nervous and anxious; it put her on edge as if she were now expecting something to happen so she braced herself and that feeling only heightened when they were left alone. As his eyes closed she took the opportunity to let her eyes study the rest of him slowly much like he had been doing to her and when her gaze came back up and saw his big bright eyes she casually looked away like she had not just been looking at him, silently listening as he spoke to her.
I jumped and shut my eyes to get a hold of myself again as a knock came at the door. Finally, I let go of the breath I had been holding before clearing my throat. I followed him to the table now set and could not help but look at the others in the room with a slight infatuation growing within me about them and the others of this place. I tore my gaze away when he spoke to me again unable to help but wrinkle my nose at the mention of hallucinating, I had enough experience with it to now I did not want to experience it myself. From those that ate shrooms during Mardi Gras, and every other day for that matter, to my dad being haunted by the traumas of his past. I took a gulp of the wine as he had instructed with a deep breath, swallowing it slowly because my stomach was in knots. My eyes scanned the table, I was hungry but my system was too shocked to eat and soon I stiffened right back up when his question pierced my ears. "Uhm..." I did not really know how to answer that question mainly because it was a multifaceted answer that consisted of different stories of my life. Tales I wanted to tell no one. My eyes looked to the others in the room wondering if I would have to share with them too but once they were commanded I was still left with this same feeling and his impatience did not help. I knew I would have to tell him something so I chose my words carefully, hoping to tell him just enough to satisfy his curiosity but not too much to make him demand more.
She took in a deep breath, in the past, she might have answered his question with the question of why? Or with no response at all but clearly these were not options here, she knew that and had shown her some great kindnesses thus far. She did not want to betray that or take it for granted when she knew full well that one, he did not have to and two, others did not want him to. "I was... Made... I was originally supposed to be born an angel of life and... Love." She spoke upon an exhale her eyes remaining on the food at the intimate table. "But uhm..." She stared down at her lap now as she fought herself for a moment. "... My mother tragically passed away while pregnant and as a result, I passed with her. My dad could not handle the loss of us both so I was blessed with life to help him... And others." At last, she looked up again and into his eyes, she was trusting him with something no one knew about her, even though this was far from the full story and just one of two. "You can not be the angel of life having been touched by death and you can not be an angel of love if hate is what..." She hesitated here, wanting to bite her tongue knowing she just said too much here, but it was too late so she regrettably continued "Killed... You." A disappointed breath shot from her nose before she a slight deflation washed over her at the thought of her parents and who as a prisoner she might never see them again and so closely after getting just getting her mother back. So her heart fell into her knotted stomach.
"My blood was altered by death and hate" I shrugged at last plucking one of the smaller pieces of fruit from the table and biting into it hoping the taste would motivate me into eating. "So it broke me so to speak. I can not help the way I should be able to." I continued as I swallowed what I had just bitten before continuing to eat, the knots in my stomach slowly loosening up the more I did. "I understand by the way." I said as I stared right into his eyes " I will listen to you as best as I can..." I said cautiously because he could easily abuse that power. "... And I... I will not run or try and escape. I give you my word, which might not mean anything to you but means everything to me, especially since it is one of the few things I can give you." My words came with a heavy heart because I felt as if I had just willingly signed over my freedom to him, a man whom I know nothing about not even his name! I swallowed a piece of meat I chewed rather hard before examining him "So may I ask your name?" I gave a gentle smile, despite everything. "Or am I just to call you Your Majesty or Your Highness?"
Kyan picked up a piece of the square cheese on a platter and ate it, taking his goblet and slouching back in his chair to listen to her words. They were quite intriguing, but he could tell she was leaving much out. His finger ran in slow circles on the rim of the drink as he watched the way Madeline spoke. He had been alive long enough to know when someone was holding truths and speaking lies. Everything in her body language spoke of her uneasiness with the conversation and oh, how he relished in it. The king wanted to tear down every bit of that cautiousness and see the raw of her being beneath. It was a tale of woe for the poor angel, but it certainly wasn't the whole of it. He would be sure to figure out how the 'hate' of the story came into play in due time.
His gaze remained fixed on her until her own came to meet his with questions of how to address him. A smirk pulled at his lips as he took another sip of the sweet wine, placing it down on the table and standing. He let the question linger in the silence for a moment while crossing the room and opening one of the many floor to ceiling, glass doors that lined the wall of his enormous room. Pushing them open, the warm sunlight hit his skin and he felt himself immediately fill with the power the star naturally infused him with. Though fae usually took their power from either the moon or sun, he could replenish his power from both. It was a gift to have his bloodline.
He finally turned around to face her once more as she sat at the table. "My name is Kyan Raventhorn. I am king of this realm and have been for," he began, pausing for a moment and smiling, "a long time. My family has been the royalty of the fae for thousands of years." He leaned against the doorframe and gestured to the magnificent wood surrounding them. "You, dear angel, have wandered into Thistlemoon Forest. It is the largest, oldest, and one of the few kingdoms of fae in the world." The king waved his hand causing the chair she sat in to tilt forward and make her stand with a gust of air. He began walking out onto the large balcony and motioned for her to follow. Leaning on the banister, Kyan nodded towards the forest. "They keep to themselves. Fae generally want no part of the outside world." However, he was very different from his kind. "Humans are destroyers and can't be trusted. Our attempts to live with them in harmony have failed every time and so we have been secluded here for centuries." There were quite a few times his parents had insisted on trying to work with humans over the years, but every time they ended up in some type of war for land and corruption to gain fae magic. The king did not hesitate or mourn the lives he took in order to keep the fae safe by any means necessary.
His thoughts went back to her words of obeying his command and not trying to find a way to escape her current predicament. Hearing her give her word felt like an invitation of trust which he genuinely believed she was giving... for now. "But yes," Kyan began, turning to face the dark haired angel with a coy smile and taking a step into her personal space to answer the question she had asked moments ago. "You may call me your Majesty or your Highness, Madeline."
She watched his movements intently, her eating growing slow as she began to lose her appetite once more. She tightened her jaw and held her tongue at the gust of wind he sent her way to knock her to her feet, swallowing the growl building at the back of her throat before she finally approached him and joined him on the balcony. From the moment the warm suns' rays hit her she closed her eyes, basking in its radiance as it filled her with comfortable heat. She took a deep breath as it soothed her, her smoke-filled eyes opening and blinking a few times as they adjusted to the light. She might not have been looking at him at first but she heard every word and continued to listen with her eyes on him.
My breath went shallow as he evaded my personal space, my eyes staring right up into his until I heard him say my name. I dropped my head and cleared my throat tucking the loose strands of my dark hair back as they fell before my face all to hide the shiver that had run down my spine. Despite my efforts to not have him see this response, I am sure he had, in fact, I was no fool to believe he did not notice every little thing I do or say or do not for that matter. I swallowed hard and it was only then that I realized how my breath had caught at the back of my throat. "Yes... Your Majesty." I said while managing not to blush or stutter, my eyes reconnecting with his. Kyan, I would have much rather called him by his name of course now that I knew but addressing him as Majesty or Highness was not so different for Monsieur or Madam. I cleared my throat once again fainter this time as I stepped away from and walked to the bannister of the balcony. At last, setting my gaze out on the beauty of that which is the forest. I took a soothing breath at the sight of it my lips curling up at the edges faintly before it dropped again at the recollection of his words. "They are not all bad you...." I took. The chance to speak up cautiously looking back at him over my shoulder. "...Humans. There are some few good ones and the ones that " are destroyers and cannot be trusted" you will find are just victims of their circumstances."
Slowly she looked away from him and back out at Thistlemoon letting the sun beat down on her as she relished in the beauty and warmth of her surroundings. Eventually, she dropped her head, taking up the rings she wore around her neck in her hand and playing with them before closing her eyes and letting them fall back to her chest again. "I do not blame your people though, many would die just to see this place and kill to take its secrets with them." She fell silent for a moment as the thought of her father coming here and stealing such a precious plant and for what? Her life? She clenched up in anger at the thought letting a sharp breath out strictly from her nose as her hands fisted up atop the bannister.
I was not worth it. If only my father knew what the consequences would have been, then maybe that would have stopped him. "Desperation is a dangerous mindset." I spoke not meaning to say it out loud. I sighed at myself, my body easing up slowly. I avoided Kyan's gaze but could feel it on me; I could feel an urge build up in me to explain before he could ask or demand to know what my words meant. Though they were not for him it was too late, I had said them out loud and he had already shown he was naturally inquisitive. "My father said that to me once... The day he told me where he got the fire flower from." I sighed looking up at him, locking eyes with him and shrugging. "I was not a strong baby... And without my mother to nurse me, I had no strength to hold on to the life I was blessed with. Somehow he found out about Thistlemoon and the plants here." I looked away from him in shame of my father's actions, running my hands through my hair and letting my fingertips dwell on a start of the scar on the back of my neck. I closed my eyes as I felt it reminded of my... Fragility once more... Stepping to the side to once again out some personal space between Kyan and myself. "The rest is history," I said just simply to make it obvious I was done talking but also, I really did not wish to linger on this topic any longer because my thoughts always came back to the ending sentiments I always had.
I was not worth it.
Hearing the angel call him by his proper title made him smirk as he saw the physical reaction it caused over her body. It was not unnoticed by him, especially when she felt the need to put space between them as a result. It was hard for him to be patient about this. It was hard for him to be patient about anything, but sometimes building a rapport and trust with someone yielded better results than torture and pain. And oh, how he did enjoy torture and pain. Therefore, the fae king would have to show restraint and he would be lying to himself if he said laying a hand on her may actually make him feel badly.
His eyes drifted away from her as she pulled back and he went to lean on the bannister until her sympathy for humans made him scoff. "Humans are a plague. All they do is destroy, the earth and themselves. They are no victims of their circumstance. There is nothing that justifies the crimes they've committed to the detriment of this world. I've been around for thousands of years, angel, and there is never a good reason for their atrocities." Kyan listened to her as she played both sides of the argument. The king could never understand or give mercy to those destroyers, but as she delved deeper into her past and the reason her father came to Thistlemoon in order to save her, he felt himself almost waiver at the idea.
A small giggle came from below them and he looked over the balcony to see his sister floating just within arm's reach. "Brother doesn't like the humans much, but I think they are rather enjoyable." The young fae girl who appeared to be 8 or 9 in human years, leaned casually on the railing and stared at the newcomer. "She's pretty, brother. Is that why you're keeping her?" Kyan smiled at the girl and offered his hand to help her stand on the bannister. Her ruffled dress billowed in the breeze as she looked down at the angel with a tilt of her head, her long brown locks falling to the side. "What's her name then?"
The king mused at the angel's reaction to seeing his sister. "Doelynn, this is Ma-de-line," he replied to her, stressing the syllables in her name. Human names were so odd to him sometimes. "You are in the presence of Princess Doelynn, my youngest and most favorite of sisters."
"I'm your only sister, silly." The girl giggled and balanced herself as she walked back and forth precariously on the balcony, studying the angel. The princess jumped to the floor and walked into Madeline's personal space, lifting her head upwards to study her face more closely for a few silent seconds. "I like her. You may keep the Madeline." Doelynn then turned on her heel and skipped into Kyan's bedroom to oggle at the food that still remained on the tables.
Kyan watched as his sister picked from the various delectables and smirked. "Well, now that that's settled, we will eat and I will show you more of the kingdom. Come." He walked back into his bedroom and motioned to her seat at the table before taking his and pouring more wine into his goblet, letting his gaze continue to linger on the angel.
“Lost in the woods again Mads?”
“Lost?” I laughed at the thought before looking up from my book and around for my father. I stood and peeked around each tree and up into their branches. “I am only as lost as I want to be and today I want to be adventurous and explore.”
“And get lost in a book..” I turned back to where I was sitting and reading, my flower gently floating in the pond beside where I sat. My father lurched down and plucked my book from the ground “mm” he hummed fumbling through pages but careful enough to not lose my place. “this is not The Bible.” He jested, or.. Or did he? I pondered that for the few seconds it took for me to get to him. I let out a breathless laugh taking off my reading glasses and rubbing my eyes as they refocused. “Se pa tout liv mwen li a pral papa (not every book I read is going to be…)” I stared up at him and smiled, my father was not a particularly tall man, but to an eight-year-old like me, he seemed a giant. I leaned my head against him still staring up at him as he smiled down at me and ran his hand through my hair. He was joking about the book, I knew now because he would be scolding, fathering me if he were not.
“It is time for today’s lesson.” He spoke suddenly with some caution pulling away gently, turning and crouching down to gently guide my flower back into its’ jar. The sight of it so confined making me wince; I now he noticed my responses each time, the shame is faintly written on his face and in his body language told me so. But neither of us spoke of it. Instead, I took both my book and flower in my arms and followed him farther into the woods. You could not hear the jazz from the city anymore and he was so… so terribly quiet…” you know the last time God told someone to take their child this far away from the public He also told them to sacrifice him… with fire.” I was a distance from him now not entirely intentionally. I just… I did not like how quiet or morbid he was being.
He flicked a lighter and I jumped and he chuckled as he lit a candle “How long have you had that!?” he laughed at my bafflement and looked at me confused. “I have had it in my pocket this whole time Collie-flower.” He closed the gap between us and messed with my hair “What is wrong?” he squatted down and stared into my eyes before kissing me on the cheek “I am sorry to scare you. Not many angels pass this lesson.” He spoke with a frown but then smiled in confidence as if he suddenly knew I would pass somehow. “trade you…” he spoke through his smile taking my book and flower jar and offering me the candle.
I took it but with scepticism, why did I have an open flame in the woods? “How does a flame tell you when you are in trouble?” He questioned and I thought for just a second “It dances in the wind. Licks the air in the wake of fear and anticipation. “ I stared at the still flame atop my candle but from the corner of my eyes caught his prideful smile no matter how faint. “ And if the trouble is not human? Then what?” “The flame turns…” the flame began to turn as I spoke “…blue.” And so it was, my eyes looked into the blue flame, a sudden uneasy fear knotting up in the pit of my belly as I took in a steady breath. “It is just a friend of mine helping for today, ” my father reassured as he came up behind me and sat down leaning his back to mine.
He fell quiet again and even though he literally had my back I was still scared. The blue flame danced around as the candle wax dripped onto the cardboard protecting the ground and my hand. The rustling in the trees, the deafening silence interrupted by the occasional growl or grunt of whoever my father got to help him had my heart racing and my thoughts reeling out of control.
“Imagine if you will…” my father spoke. The vibration from his voice against my back calming me enough to listen “You are in the woods with your friends. Enjoying the weather, the distant New Orleans jazz quintessentially playing at a distance.” The rustling grew closer and my eyes searched the trees. “You stop in a spot you all like to eat, laugh, play. You light a lantern as the sun goes down but as soon as you shut the lantern its’ flame burns blue; your friends think nothing of it.” The growls soon turned to snarls and their distance from us grew short. “ They are all human, some oblivious to the creatures of this world, some curious, some aware, all afraid of that which they do not fully understand. You warn them, telling them to take the light of the candle as a bad omen. They do not listen and as their friend and an angel, you stay by their side.” The rustling stopped short, they were probably trying to make it hard for me to determine where they were, where they would come from.
“It is late now, dark in fact and the only source of light… your blue flame. Your friends are scared now, hearing the sounds of the woods around them, unable to determine nature from the threat. Blissfully unaware that nature can too be the threat.” My candles flame flickered in the breeze and though our guest was silent I could now tell where he was. “You are trapped and your flame, the only source of light you have is leading the threat straight to you. You have two case sensitive options. Leave the light on risking you and your friend’s lives.” The sounds picked back up once more closer than before. “Or, blow the lantern out having your friends escape without you, drawing the unknown into you alone.”
I did not hesitate upon hearing the two peculiar options. As soon as he spoke them I knew which my choice would be. Some might call it foolish to not have come up with a third option but the first the thing I learned from these lessons was that everything about them was straight forward. Black and white. Yes and No. Heaven and Hell. Angels and Demons.
Except, maybe I was the exception, a half-human half-angle exception of a child. Wishful thinking…
I blew the candle out.
She was hurt by his words about human; she was half-human and more human than an angel; except she held her tongue. Deciding to meditate on what she might eventually say so it does not come from a place of anger and offence. She huffed looking once again towards the kingdom suddenly perking up at the sound of Doelynn's giggle. She watched the young girl with joyful wide eyes and when she invaded her space she welcomed it, she smiled from ear to ear unlike she had since arriving here. She started down, making herself slightly shorter than the princess for her to look down at her. “Bonjou Princess Doelynn.” She chuckled at the king producing her name because he pronounced it right “I am named after a French pastry and a beloved French Storybook character. I can not say you would like either but maybe your brother will allow me to show you both one day.” She spoke freely and fearlessly for the moment forgetting she was a prisoner.
I loved children and seeing Doelynn brought me back to the streets of New Orleans where I would go out of my way to keep the local children off the street because I was one of them. Suddenly she reminded me of the time I used to take them on hikes and adventures through the woods, egg hunts during Mardi Gras, art lessons after school and campouts in the summers; all just the tip of the iceberg of all those memories with them. Yet of course, with memories of those days come the day those adventures and my status as big sister to them stopped because it was the day I died to save them. Blew my candle out figuratively speaking.
Madeline froze for just as second as Doelynn spoke of keeping her and Kyan agreed, of course, the thought had crossed her mind a thousand times over. Just hearing it spoken aloud suddenly made it real, it brought it from a just a thought swirling in her mind to a physical punch in the gut. Her smile dropped a bit a small one stayed on her face as she nodded at the king. The promise of seeing his land the forest was for sure a dream come true, but it was a dream come true buried is a beautiful nightmare. If she did not tell the outside world that she was okay, soon they would come looking for her. She had rented a car to get here they would come look if she did not return it, the flat she rented would be up at the end of the month and then, of course, there was the mater of her father. Whom if she did not let him know she was okay, alive and a good reason she was not coming home for a while would literally burn the world down to find her.
I placed my hand on my belly and nodded my head to Kyan ad he told me to come, I did not want him to push me with the wind again. Like he knew its name and listened to his command because of it. I came and took another sip of the sap wine as I sat and plucked what I wanted from the table, slowly eating while my mind ran a marathon. A marathon I was in fact losing, I kept my gaze down at the food I ate well aware of being under Kyan's gaze. Ultimately… ultimately I knew I would have to talk to Kyan about returning to my world, if just for a day to disappear again later that day. I finally let my eyes meet his, knowing he was still staring, I examined his gaze for a moment before a timid smile grew upon my face continuing to eat in silence.