Dad and Mom was discussing rapidly with Marissa and Vergile. They can’t believe we’re already saying we give her our vote. At last mom got enough of talking with Marissa and Vergile, and walked out angrily.
“ADRIAN!” I ran to him and hugged him. “How is she?” I whispered.
“She’ll be fine” he whispered before letting me go. I ran back to my drawing. Vergile hates that I love drawing more than anyone else. He always tells me to study. If it weren’t for Crish I would be. He always tells everyone body that it’s my life, and I choose what I do with it. But he trains me anyway.
“I can’t believe you are her defender! Has this family gone mad?” Vergile started. Adrian took some food in the fridge, before sitting down beside me. “Sorry Uncle, but no. Rachael aren’t her dad”.
Vergile with his big nose, and a little grey hair looked irritated at Adrian. “I know you always have fancied pretty girls my boy, this girl is not worth it!”
Adrian looked stunned. I pushed my drawing to him. “What do you think?”
Adrian took a deep breath, looked at my drawing and smiled. Rachael on a drawing. I couldn’t capture her beautiful eyes.
Crish walked to us in the kitchen. “Uncle, Ant”. Marissa gave him some food. He have been out training most of the day – he couldn’t make himself come home or to the trial. Mom told me I shouldn’t go, so I was placed here. No one lets me see the trial.
“Don’t tell me you support her too,” Marissa said.
Crish laughed and smiled at them. “Even when she thought she was a human she was willing to give her life for Quinn, I don’t doubt she shouldn’t be marked dark”. In fact I heard him talk about that incident with some other protectors. They all listened so surprised, and stared at me after that. She saved me, and I still feel quilt after it. I should have been prepared. Marissa and Vergile didn’t look as impressed as the other protectors. I also gave my share of help by talking with my friends, who would tell their parents about her.
“Rachael aren’t bad” I mumbled for myself.
“SHE killed a lighter!” Marissa pointed out.
“You shouldn’t be pointed fingers ant!” Crish noticed “You have killed a dozen Lighters!”
“All dark!” Marissa defended herself.
“So was the lighter she killed, but she killed to safe her family” Crish took an arm around me. “I would do the same for any part of my family”.
Adrian took a deep breath and looked at Crish. “apparently none of the temper training we had with her have helped her. She admitted her temper make her say a lot of things she shouldn’t”.
“Really?” Crish responded “Didn’t you tell me that-“
“She looked controlled? Yes, but I was wrong apparently”.
Marissa got angry and walked upstairs.
“Look what you did!” Vergile followed her.
As the night came, we all went to the living room. We tried ignoring the trial and relax as a family, but it seemed hard.
“Why don’t we all go outside?” Vergile asked “And see who is the best fighter?”
As one of the kingdoms best fighter I always likes that.
“Sure thing!” Dad loves it. Even though he can’t beat me, he acts like he can. Mom is more realistic. I ran to my room, racing Crish. He almost pushed me down the stairs. I found my favorite clothing and ran down again. Mom and Dad – and Vergile and Marissa – had been faster than me. They were already outside.
Mom and dad decided that they would fight first. And like always, dad won. But mom aren’t that hard in battle. Dad have told me many times that if it weren’t for him, she would be dead now.
“Awesome!” Crish high-fived dad, and got an irritated mimic from mom. Vergile lost to Marissa. Then it was Dean and me. He’s a year older than me. It took me two minutes to fight him off, then he looked irritated at me. Vergile patted him on the back “Next year”.
As last year’s champion, Marissa and dad fought for the right to battle me. During the battle a man came and started watching with us – Dad won against Marissa.
“Can I help you?” Dad asked the man. He seemed perhaps 30, max 35.
“I’m looking for the defender of the Noble, Rachel?” Behind him two men was standing.
“That’s me” I noticed and smiled at him. “And who are you?”
“Gerimon, the 7th nobleman” He smiled at me “Nice to meet you”.
Vergile and Marissa was staring at us. I could feel the admiration glowing off my dad.
“I’m Adrian, how can I help you?” I asked smilingly.
He gave me a little jewelry box and a letter.
“I noticed Rachael’s Vytma wounds during the marking. I already have this approved by the king, therefor the letter to show the guard. Tell Rachael to wear the bracelet in the box, and she’ll feel much better”.
I looked at the box and nodded. “That’s all” he said “Enjoy your evening” Then he walked away again.
“What just happened?” Vergile was staring after him.
“I guess he’s a friend of Rachael”.
We walked in the house. I placed the things on my bed, refusing to open it, and walked downstairs to the others. Everyone was quiet. Eating dinner the same night has never been so lonely and silent. When we all decided to go to bed, I walked to my room and laid the things in my dresser. As the night went on, I couldn’t sleep. The coldness of the open window and the silent felt good. I want to know how the bracelet looks! “ARG-“ Quinn’s hand slapped over my mouth.
“Come on! I want to see it!” Behind her Crish was standing with a light. I bit my lip and nodded. Together we walked down to the kitchen and sat down there with a candle lit. I shouldn’t do this…
I opened the little simple box. The bracelet seemed childish. It was silvered, with little figures around. Seven in total. One of them looking like a teddybear, another one like a cloud, and a third one like a bed. All of the things looked like something you would use during sleep. Studying it closer, without letting it leave the box, I could see letters on everything. Together giving her name. Rachael. He must be a dear friend.
The next morning I walked up with her breakfast. As the first thing, I saw her wounds, they are getting worse than ever. I could see under her eyes that she hadn’t slept much.
“Here’s your breakfast” I gave the little plate to her. Some bread and some weird sauce, I don’t know. She only took the bread – the sauce didn’t look very tasty in a good way.
“I got something to you” I gave her the box. The plate was sat beside us, on the hard and dirty ground. Slowly she opened it, and smiled a bit for herself. “Gerimon, aren’t I right?” she asked.
I nodded, and tried not to look curios.
“One of your dad’s friends?” I asked.
She smiled at me. “Gerimon and I met before I was One, and before he was Eleven” I starred at her.
“So he’s your friend?” I asked confused. She nodded smiling. “Ferike lighters remember from an earlier age than other lighters due to our ability with the mind”. After I helped her get it on, she smiled a bit for herself, and kept eating the bread.
“Am I even going to say one word on your behave?” I smiled at her. She laughed. I bit my tongue, not trying to tell her I felt hurt. She always let Tyler fight for her. In the Omicron… when she should be angry with me… Again and again…
“Is this my punishment for telling on you?” I asked. She looked confused on me, then she smiled. “I’m not mad”.
That’s even worse! Does she not understand the betrayal this would be for other people? Can’t she understand how bad I feel?
After the bread, a man came in to put her in chains again, this time I felt my heart sink to the bottom of the sea. So many chains to one who doesn’t want to fight them.
“The king is going on my nerve” she noticed. The man laughed. “I’m sure you’re getting on his nerve too”.
“Can’t you be just a little bit…. Less provocative?” I smiled at her. She looked like I had said a joke, she started laughing, and the man had problem getting one of the chains one her.
“Stand still!” It was hard for her anyway, but he didn’t want to hurt her, so he let her laugh it out.
“Done” he said “Ready for your crowd?”. We started walking out the hallways. The halls were polished more than ever – not a single spot seemed dirty.
“Why is here so clean?” I asked him “It’s kind of creepy”.
He nodded. “The king had the kingdom polish, no matter how he treats her, she is a noble, and deserves a big standard”.
She laughed a bit for herself. We reached the gate.
“Are you ready?” The main man asked. I could see she took a deep breath, before nodding. They opened the door, and she repeated yesterday’s drill. She walked so perfectly that it seemed hypnotic. From the morning light, her hair seamed glowing, and as I walked beside her, I could see her eyes. They looked wounded, wet and her cheeks was all red. I got down on the chair beside the box, and looked at her – waiting for her to bow once more. Once again she did it without leaving the king’s eyes. We have rehearsed none of this – when did she do this? While being with Tyler and her family?
“King” she smiled at him, but the smile didn’t reach her eyes.
“Any things, before we start?” he asked.
“I suggest you take my chains off” she noticed “As I proved yesterday, there is no reason for them to be on me, and they are awfully heavy”.
I can feel Mom and Dad’s eyes in my neck. They asked me why I weren’t defending her, yesterday. When I told them she had told me to let her lead the word, they just nodded.
“No” The kind answered without smiling. I took a look at Goldilocks again – she didn’t mention him yesterday. Why should she? There’s a soldier outside her room, and if he hears me yelling about the prince, he’ll know something he can use against her.
“That’s all I have to say for now” she said without smiling. The people behind us seemed as interested as yesterday, sitting on the tip of their chairs to get every word with.
“As the first point on todays list, we’ll have to go through your family members, you are aware that a lighter mom and a dark lighter dad are new to the markings”
She nodded, and I could see she took a deep breath.
“Let’s start with the dark one, shall we?”
She didn’t respond, but waited patiently on the next thing coming.
“Your Granddad, Marked himself Dark right?”
She smiled to the ground, and answered with a simple yes. The king looked irritated, he had obviously waited a longer answer.
“Before or after your grandmother died?”
“After”. She kept it simple, pissing the king of like never before. His cheeks was started getting red.
“Why?” The king asked.
“For the sake of not splitting up the family, and you now damn well why my dad couldn’t turn white” as she said it she looked up with the sharpness of a knife in the eyes “But I have heard from my current protector that not equal treatment was used”.
The king was about to speak but stopped before saying a word, his mouth stood wide open, searching for mercy in her eyes, before finally closing his mouth and taking a deep breath.
“I do not know what you are talking about, equal treatment is always used” Was the only thing he could come up with. She started laughing deep and coldly. “For the matter of the family, my dad had to go Dark, and by the same reason my Granddad decided to go Dark. The moment my dad is killed by her, Our family will once again go white, and you would stop sounding so stupid” My spine felt a chill. Who is ‘her’? I have never heard anything about this! But it is true, that if her dad dies, and her granddad only did it for the purpose of nut splitting up the family, then he can plead to get white once more.
The people seemed like they were made out of glass. They was sitting on the edge on the chair, waiting to fall down and crash for some part, and it seemed like they had stopped breathing.
“I don’t know where that came from” The king noticed Coldly “I would never hire a man who have been dark”.
Rachael started Laughing. “You wouldn’t, you say. My dad told me otherwise – before he turned dark you and him were friends, and my dad doesn’t keep secrets from me”. I stared at her. She is playing this dangerous.
“All about Tricia, and all about Maria, with her idea of a Dieume society”. The king turned completely red. His knuckles has started turning white.
“I know nothing about no Maria”. His tongue and voice greeted it otherwise like an old friend. He knows her name from end to start and the other way around. I wonder if I can get Rachael to tell me later?
“I know who she is, Just like I know why my family is dark” She scared me by turning around.
“How many of you know how my family turned dark?” she smiled at the people “Raise your hands”. Not a single hand got up, even though people was eager after finding one who did.
“Then let me tell you” she took a deep breath “My granddad worked as the former kings advisor, so my dad and the current king had lessons together, making my dad ready to advise him. One day, Maria, a girl they both know decided to make something called Dieume society” She took a deep breath “The idea of this, was to slowly take over every world including tipping the king of the throne. Both the King and My dad was chosen by her as an ally. But they did not want to be a part of this. So they declined. Making her angry, more than she already was. To get a good spot for herself, she would have to convince some people she had the strength to do such a thing”. As she told I could see how she started to lose focus.
“So she murdered a man, and his family. That is a man, his wife and his three children. My dad tried at first to stop her, but he wasn’t as strong as her, and woke up caught by the guards…”
She took another deep breath and took a look at the people. Some didn’t believe her, I could see judging by their expression, some seemed in doubt, and someone looked horrified.
“My dad told the current king what happened, but he couldn’t get him free, and the former king didn’t believe what his son told. The current king made sure that my dad could walk away – like a criminal. He persecuted Maria, but she didn’t seemed to stop. She had killed a human family, and once again she blamed my dad. As the killings kept on going, my dad gave up finding prove of his innocent, so he decided to go on the dark side and try to figure out a way to prove himself”. As she said it her eyes went cold “The current king, do not believe my dad either. Blinded by the emotions he feel for Maria”. As she said it she turned around.
I took a look at the king. His knuckles looked bonewhite, and his face tomato red.
“So my dad is punished for you feelings for a dark lighter” as she said it the king stood up, throwing a ball of something. Before I really saw what is what, she was already hit. A dissolving wind ball – tearing up skin the most terrifying hurtful way. CRAC. Her chains broke and made her fly to the back of the room. Laying on the ground with her face to it, her hair covering it, blood flowing on the floor, with a trace of blood all the way to her. Her Chains still on her, but the chains laying broken in the end after her. People were in shock, I looked confused at the king for a moment, before running as much as I could to her. As I reached her a little group of guards followed me.
As I stopped and sat on the floor, touching her arm to feel any movement, one guard asked. “Is she still alive?”. I took a deep breath. It hit her around the stomach, her internal organs can be dissolved…
The silent in the room was scaring. I took my fingers to her Wrist. Smich. Her lips opened up with a little sound, before she made a scornful little laugh. Some breathed happy, some seemed disappointed. I wanted to hug her.
“How bad is it?” I asked her.
“Not deadly” she answered. Her hands that had been above her head on the ground, slowly moved to her stomach, searching for the damage. I stared at the hole, pumping blood out. Slowly I could see less and less, before finally only seeing her skin – like always.
I helped her up, but due to the blood loss, she couldn’t stand. I took her up in my arms and started moving towards the box again. The guards helped me by moving my chair into it. Slowly I placed her on it, and made sure she wouldn’t fall.
“Thank you” she smiled at me. Some of the girls behind me made some noise, telling me that they liked the fact that I helped her.
Then she looked at the king, who was sitting pale white on his throne.
“Why didn’t you move, you saw it a mile away”.
She laughed and almost fell down the chair. I decided to stand behind her, and hold her up by the shoulders. She didn’t comment it.
“I may have fallen back to the gate, but if I moved, the people behind me would have been hit. They can’t heal like me”. The people started mumbling, and I could see the people behind her started looking amazingly offended – that the king didn’t think of them. The other people seemed more interested in the fact she protected the people behind her, by taking what could have been a deadly hit.
“The marking is over for today!” The king declared and walked angrily out the door, with his advisors following him. Quinn ran to us, I told the guards to let her pass.
“ARE you okay?” She ran onto her lap and hugged her.
“I’m fine, don’t worry”. Dad and mom walked to her, they didn’t know what to say, so mom just hugged her, and Dad gave her shoulders a squeeze.
Quinn kept talking, obviously trying to make her tell her a lot of stuff, but Rachael only gave short answers.
“We need to get her back to the cell” a man noticed. I looked at Rachael and nodded. As before, I took her in my arms, letting her rest for a while, while the guards followed us down to her cell. Calmly I placed her on her mattres. The man got the chains of her, while she was still laying down.
“When will I get clean clothes?” She asked with her eyes almost closed “When will my stuff be fine?”
He smiled. “I’m sure that at least one piece of clothing will be fine tonight”. He closed the cell – knowing I wouldn’t leave her like this.
“You should have moved” was the first thing I said.
She didn’t answer. Away in dreamland once again I guess.
Knowing we would get in a fight if I answered, I kept my eyes closed. Dad didn’t raise me to move. Dad raised me to take the hit and deal with it. Afraid of failing into the dreamworld, where up is down and I can kill myself, I let the sweet cold wind from the window cool my body down. My body will heal faster than earlier. I can’t say it didn’t hurt. Dissolving my body cells, hitting a part of my stomach. I should be more careful than that, I don’t want anyone to get hurt just because of me. He didn’t leave. He just sat at the ground, besides me. Waiting for the sun to go down, and my eyes to open once again. Is he that eager after a fight? I opened my eyes. In the afternoon sun he was bathed in light, shining through the window. His eyes closed, and his breathing calm. He looks so peaceful… so calm. It seems that he worries more than me. Does he really like me that much? I bit my lip and crawled like a kitty on guard to my target, leaning over him, I kissed him happy. He woke up, taking his hand behind my head holding me close. As the kiss ended and the sparkles coming from my mind disappeared I took my finger to my mouth to tell him he should be silent. Then I crawled back to my mattress and laid down.
“Don’t you freeze during the night?” He asked “It’s already getting cold”. I looked at him and smiled.
“I’m half wind lighter… I can take temperatures lower than others”. He smiled at me, took his hunter jacket off, and laid it on me. “I didn’t ask what you can take”. He walked out of the cell, telling me he would come back in the morning to sit with me – and hear if I can take another day, or if I should have a day off.
When no eyes was on me, I crawled into a little ball and let the jacket warm me. It smells like him. Warm and sweet. I couldn’t make the smile leave my face. The sun isn’t completely gone yet.
I sat up the wall and examined it. It must have been his first hunter jacket. A jacket given in a very young age – always to big if I have heard correct. When on a hunt Lighters wear them – for good luck and to show their wounds later. There weren’t many holes in it. So he doesn’t get hurt often! That’s amazing. But then again, I have seen him in battle – he is one of the better ones.
“Rachael?” My favorite guard was smiling to me “A bath have been prepaid for you” He took a hand around my shoulders to help me walk. As a finally reached the hall and the bath, I could feel the hot air in the big room. Everybody left – the guards chose to stay outside. After taking my few pieces of clothing off, I decided look in the mirror. Behind me a big bath filled with hot water and different soaps were displaying. Behind it beautiful windows to the darkness of night. The wall was holding long bathing robes, and different kinds of soaps and lotions. Hair brushes and other hair accessories were displaying next to another mirror behind me, telling me girls use this room. I looked at my body. The scar on my left upper leg. I still can’t remember how I got that.
“Better get in” I mumbled for myself. Slowly I let my foot slip in, and the rest followed. The water was fantastic, and I could feel the pressure on my shoulders lifting off, as the dirt from the cell left my body. Slowly I got out, and dried myself off. The clothes were dirtier than I had been, so I took a morning robe. Someone knocked.
“Come in” I allowed, and made sure I didn’t look too unsecure.
“Thank you” he said, he smiled at me. “Sorry, we’ll by morning have some clothes ready for you. That will have to do until then, follow me”. I followed him, through unknown corridors. Covert in nothing but a bathing robe, he left me in a room. It weren’t hard understanding what the room was for. A giant bed, but nothing else. The door behind me opened, and I made myself ready to turn around and fight. Maybe he is an old tyrant, thinking he can do whatever he can-
I turned and was stunned. How-What?
“Hello” he smiled at me, as he reached me, his arms went around me, embracing me in a wonderful hug. Once again the prince-white shirt was on.
“How did you manage to get me out of my cell?” I looked confused at him. He let go of me and smiled.
“I guess you haven’t noticed me. I’m right next to my dad…” he took a deep breath “Please don’t hate me, for being my dad’s son”.
I stared at him, not knowing what to say. “Who is your dad?”
He looked surprised, then he smiled at me.
“The king”. This time I could feel my jar drop to the ground, and my eyes open wide.
“What where you doing in the forest then?” The only thing I could come up with! He looked wounded. I bit my lip.
“I’m sorry” I smiled at him “I don’t even know your name, and I’m schooling you-“
“Jaime” he smiled at me “And you’re Rachael” He hugged me again.
The smell of him! I could feel the butterflies around my head coming from their hiding. How can he be so perfect?
“Hey Jaime” I whispered to him. I could hear him laugh.
“You still haven’t told me how you managed to get me out” I noticed smilingly, when he let go again. He still smiled, we sat on the bed.
“Well… during the ages the princes have always have this weird thing about sleeping with prisoners… I thought that I could use that to talk to you” He nodded towards the door. “The guards think you’re in here…. To do you know..” he blushed, even though he didn’t say the word. I smiled at him. “You’re brilliant!”.
He smiled at me. “You really think so?”. I nodded happy, seeing his golden hair and happy smile is so refreshing.
“I found an outfit looking alike the first one you were wearing” he gave it to me, promising not to peak, and I happily got some clothes on.
“This feels much better” I smiled at him. This energy – this happiness! I tried to get the smile away, but it stayed on.
“I don’t know where to start!” he looked like a little kid wanting to tell the most exiting story ever, I looked at him, happily waiting.
“Start with the beginning” I laughed.
“Okay… You know how we kissed, and you ran away for the Lighter appointment you had… I thought you might come back to the forest, so I waited for you” A strike of guilt hit me. “The last days of my Germocard, I used on waiting for you. When I didn’t see you, I feared I might never do again. Then the lighter showed up and told us about you, showing me a Videre of you! You can’t believe how happy I was to see your face, and know you were alive!” His smile seemed happier than any smile I have ever seen, the way he looks at me is hard to even describe! Like he is seeing something other than most…
“I couldn’t leave the kingdom, Guards everywhere… I wanted to warn you about my dad’s plan, so you could escape… but when I arrived at your house finally, you seemed out of danger…” He smiled once again “I got home, waiting to meet you! But I weren’t allowed to see you anyway, so the only chance were the marking, but you don’t see anyone else than my dad…”
I smiled at him “I actually never thought I would ran into you again”.
He smiled “I know! Isn’t it amazing?” He leaned forward, his lips not far from mine. I could hear his breathing, look into the depths of his eyes, and see the feelings rushing inside him. His lips slowly touched me, leaving me amongst clouds, fresh air and a scent of roses. I could hear butterflies flapping around us, feel the bed as the cloud. His lips disappeared. “I’m sorry” he said, looking me into the eyes. “I shouldn’t have kissed you… I know you’re together with Adrian”. The guilt strike hit me directly. I’m a terrible person! I could feel how parts of me was tearing me into pieces inside.
“I should have stopped you” I answered looking down into the ground. He smiled at me. “If you decide to tell Adrian, tell him I kissed you so fast, you didn’t have time to react. I don’t want you two fighting over me”. I stared at him, he smiled at me, messing with his hair, looking into my eyes. “If you love Adrian right now, I understand. And I have seen Adrian around the kingdom many times, I won’t be the one to destroy it. I just want you to know, that I’ll wait for you” he took his arms around me “When Adrian breaks your heart, I’ll be here to help you get through it”.
I looked at him once again. He looked warm and sweet and I felt a lust to cry. How can such a fantastic person be interested in me? How can two of them be interested in me? He yawned a bit, and my eyes started to close. “You should get back to your cell,” he noticed “Goodnight, and sleep well” his arms went around me again, leaving me with a feeling of loneliness and betrayal. It didn’t get better when I returned to the mattress, and found Adrian’s hunting jacket. I’m a terrible person! How can I do this to Adrian? To Jaime! I bit my lip and crawled up under the jacket of guilt…