“So, what you’re saying is… You’re a caster?” I asked, slowly shuffling towards the edge of the bed.
“Yeah,” Brendan said, frowning.
“A-are you going to hurt me?” I leapt up from the bed and sidled towards the window.
“No, no I’d never hurt you!” He came towards me, and I backed up more.
“All I’ve ever heard about casters is that they’re evil and power hungry. Don’t try to do anything to me. I’ll jump out this window.”
“Lilliana! Why would I ever hurt you?”
“Because you’re an evil, good-for-nothing jerk!”
“You’re wrong! I’m not like that! I was tricked into it, like most of us were! I just need your help!” By then my hands were on the window sill and I was ready to jump.
“I’m going to jump,” I said, gritting my teeth.
“Lilliana!” Brendan shouted, lunging towards me. I had almost jumped out, but he grabbed my wrists. “Don’t ever do that. You could break a bone.”
“Get away from me! I don’t want to do anything you want me to do!”
“Why are you being so two-faced, Lilliana? I wouldn’t do anything to you, you know that. How does this revelation change anything between us?”
“You’re probably plotting something. I don’t want anything to do with you.”
“Lilliana! I need help from you, and I can’t do anything if you’re going to keep freaking out.”
“No, I won’t help you with anything! How long have you been plotting against me?” That was where Brendan snapped. He grabbed the necklace around his neck, the same as mine, and his eyes flushed bright gold. Suddenly I felt like I couldn’t move, and when I tried to move my hand my worst fears were confirmed.
“I need you to listen. I need your help. I know you don’t know this, but a village is in danger. And I think you’re the only one that can save it. You’re a princess, I know you can do it.”
“And what village would that be,” I growled.
“The village of casters. I haven’t visited it, but some people were here asking for help. I thought- maybe- I thought you’d be able to help. I mean, now I don’t think you will, but it was worth asking.” I stopped for a second. People were in danger, and I wasn’t going to help them. But they were casters, they were evil and jerks who were trying to overthrow the royal family. Or- were they really? How long had Brendan been a caster before I met him? He hadn’t had any drastic changes over the course of our friendship, and I wouldn’t be friends with him if he was an evil bad guy. It was a moral predicament. The day just kept getting better and better. Not.
“I might help. Just tell me what I’d be helping.”
“Women and children who were tricked into their fates. Girls like you who never intended to live their life the way they are but they fell prey to the allure of the chance at magic. Men who all they wanted was to be able to help their family. All of these people. All of the ones that succumb to any of the forces are exiled for good. You’d be helping innocents, and maybe some not-so-innocents, but those are few and far between.” I thought for a moment. My eyes shifted for a way out of the mess I was in. I knew it was hopeless, but I fervently searched anyways.
“Okay,” I sighed, hoping he would forget all about it.
“Oh, great!” he cried, and released his grip on the necklace. His eyes returned to their normal state, and I was able to move again.
“I still don’t trust you. Don’t get your hopes up.” I thought back to the boy who had just brushed my hair from my face earlier that day. How times change with knowledge. “And what’s up with the necklaces?”
“Well, I gave this one to you because I thought it might help keep you safe. I used my powers to imbue the one I have so I could use magic without having to have a staff. I didn’t do that to yours, though, I swear!” He sputtered out the last sentence when he saw my face well up with rage.
“You had better not,” I growled.
“I never would! Just… I did a bit to keep you safe from anything that wanted to hurt you,” he mumbled. He looked too innocent and sweet for me to get madder than I already was.
“Just tell me how I can get out of here without having my parents get worried,” I grumbled.
“Oh, I know how. We can just explain!”
“No we can’t. I don’t even want to go with you, my parents won’t let me go, are you kidding me?!”
“No, we can lie about it. Say you’re going away for school or something. They’ll believe you.”
“But I can’t just go up to father! He’ll- oh, I don’t know what he’ll do but it won’t be good,” I cried into my hands.
“Don’t worry. I’ll be there for you. In your head of course, I can’t be in the castle with you, but I know you’ll do well. Jst go to sleep now. We can do it in the morning,’ he said, and walked to the window. I stepped towards my bed.
“Really?” I asked, facing my bed.
“Really.” Brendan’s voice faded away as he leapt to the ground.