Chapter Two: Prince of Benders
I was surprised more at myself than at his general reaction to the news.Mazimillien was different from the boys back home in the states, he was sweet and caring; with a dangerous ability that could make me do anything at any time. Yet here I was captivated by his very presence. His face was inches from my own yet he was still so very far away. Veronica stood there dumbfounded, flabbergasted yet she couldn't do anything to pull us apart from one another.
"Mazimillien you're promised to another."
"But my soul belongs to you. I know it, I don't want to marry her; I want to marry you."
"Its forbidden I hear."
"Yet fate bound our souls together!"
"Fate has a cruel sense of humor." I retaliated, mimicking what my sister had said in her letter.
"But sometimes Fate knows best." Mazimillien didn't give me a chance to respond before his lips were on mine. I closed my eyes and let the kiss happen, afraid that he'd do something horrible if I fought it. It was pleasant, unexpected kiss one might find romantic if not in my shoes. I was a witch, a Merchant witch to boot; here I was kissing a Bender; the Prince of Benders! I was breaking every new moral I had learned in the few hours I'd known I was a witch. But somehow no matter how wrong I was told it was supposed to be, to be with a Bender, it felt so right to be held against his chest as his lips moved freely with mine. It had to be true then, that we were soul mates. We were kissing so passionately after just meeting a few minutes ago. After I dropped from the sky; the kiss ended much to soon- and Mazimillien took my hand instead;
"How long will you be here, in Ireland?"
"I don't know, I was flying to Bulgaria when your soul beckoned to me."
"You didn't, not physically but subconsciously you felt my presence."
"Where have you been all my life?"
"Maryland." I whispered.
"You're from the states?"
"Yes, well not originally. I was born in Bulgaria."
"Are you a Merchant?"
"Nothing; my father warned me the Merchant family was very powerful; not to be toyed with. I'm sorry about your parents. I met them once."
"How old are you?"
"I'm immortal; I lost track of time after my first seventieth birthday."
"That was I think, fifty years ago."
"I know I'm old."
"I'm immortal too, its alright I just have to catch up."
"Yes. I suppose you do. Unfortunately no matter how much my family claims to respect Light Witches, our relationship has to remain a secret."
"Oh I know that."
"When will I see you again?"
"Just call my name and I'll be wherever you are."
"Alright. I'll see you soon then."
"That you will Mazimillien Blackson. That you will." I grabbed Veronica by the hand and visualized us as a bird and worm once more and we were gone. Soon the castle was buried beneath the clouds and Veronica finally spoke.
"You-You promised me Maleficent!"
"I'm sorry Veronica, he's just so damn cute!"
"Maleficent!" We flew on in silence, and landed in Bulgaria. I saw my brother, well I thought he was my brother; he had black hair, and turquoise eyes with specks of green. "Nikolai!" Veronica exclaimed. I walked forward to meet the boy named Nikolai.
"Maleficent, its been too long. However did you get here?"
"I flew." I said sheepishly. Not knowing why I was so embarrassed.
"Thats amazing!" Nikolai exclaimed, "Wait until Bevtrovo hears of this!"
"Uncle Bevtrovo, how is he?" Veronica asked.
"Velvet Moon, you know as much as I that he's no better than he was when you left."
"What happened? I thought we were immortal?"
"We are, but Uncle Bevtrovo was hit with his own magic in a duel two moons ago." Veronica said. "He will not recover I'm afraid and we'll be once again without a mentor."
"Why did you choose the name Velvet Moon?"
"Random question, I suppose I chose it because I wanted to. It was just the two things I was thinking about that night and blurted out at the ceremony. Now I'm stuck with the name."
"Oh, can I see Uncle Bevtrovo?"
"Of course sister, follow me." Nikolai said, he placed his hand on my shoulders and led me to a small cottage just up ahead. "Veronica and I were thinking of moving to the Black Forest, unfortunately most of Europe is war torn at the moment, and it wouldn't be wise."
"This war has cost many lives. Why can't we just end the war with our magic?"
"Its not our war, its the human's war. If they wish to destroy one another without reason then so be it."
"Can't we just kill Hitler then? Isn't he the cause of all this bloodshed?"
"I suppose it would work, but does not mean that all will be put to justice."
"Veronica, she mentioned before that Bevtrovo was in a duel, who or what was he fighting?"
"A nasty witch people around here call Mama Yaga."
"Mama Yaga, is she dead or?"
"No she drained Bevtrovo of his magic and then hit him with the ball of Magick that sent him to his death bed."
"How terrible. Where is this Mama Yaga?"
"Don't know. Did Veronica explain what the accident was that killed Mama and Papa?"
"No, not really."
"Well they were researching dark magick when the accident occurred. Mama was hit full on and was transformed into the witch Mama Yaga, and she killed father with his magic and disappeared into the Bulgarian forest, the first time I saw in years was two months ago."
"Oh goddess. How terrible. Why were they researching dark magick?"
"They wanted to see what the appeal was."
"Did they find it?"
"Oh, that's it?"
"Yes. Afraid so."
"So Mama, she killed father and Bevtrovo for their power? The accident turned her Dark?"
"Unfortunately so. The curse she was hit with in irreversible. I've tried countless times to find a cure. With no luck."
"I'm sorry Nikolai."
"Don't be sorry my dear sister. The one who should be sorry is the witch who donated the curse."
"The curse was donated? By whom?"
"That I do not know. Seventeen years is a long time for me to remember. I was just two years old and you were an infant. Veronica would know everything, she was ten back then."
"She wouldn't tell the story would she? I mean it must be terrible to know your mother is a monster and your father dead because of a donated curse."
"Especially when it was your best friend's mother."
"NO! Veronica had a friend?"
"I know she comes off as being head strong and serious but the betrayal was too much for her and she cracked."
"Here we are, follow me." Nikolai walked into the small cottage and led me to the back room, where a man who looked only thirty five laid. His breathing barely visible.
"Nikolai, is that you? Has...Veron..ica returned?"
"Yes Uncle, and she brought Maleficent."
"Beautiful Maleficent...I have...so much to...apologize for. Unfortunately...my time here...is numbered...for that reason...I can only say...I'm sorry...my dear niece."
"Uncle Bevtrovo its alright. I understand."
"You...are so...forgiving....just as your...father was." Bevtrovo took a deep breath, it was labored and shaky, and continued, "And beautiful as a midnight sky. Just as... your mother had been."
"What does she look like now?"
"Mama Yaga is a grotesque creature. Torn within with stolen power and greed. She was once beautiful as a summer's flower and now she's barely recognizable as a fallen log." Bevtrovo said quickly. "You are luck indeed that you did not grow up here in Bulgaria. For she would have destroyed you."
"You were protecting me?"
"Yes my sweet child. You were pure, and light and good. The very thing that could cause the destruction of Mama Yaga. Now that you are here and I am almost gone you are in grave danger. I beg of you to leave and never return. Take your siblings and go."
"Uncle Bevtrovo, the soup is ready, would you like some?"
"Yes Veronica, thank you."
"Am I interrupting?"
"No, of course not my sweet. After I pass and you light my pyre, leave Bulgaria and never return. Do you understand?"
"Yes Uncle. I'll protect them."
"Good Veronica. Now for that soup."