“Welcome, to my humble abode.”
Each word was weighed and took its own space, each buying a little more time for the elf with the sharp eyes to look around and analyse every detail he could. Lifting his goggles cautiously and assuming a discretely defensive stance, his actions contradicted his words. Angel thought that they might not be as welcome as his words suggested. This was confirmed when she saw the telltale glow of magic around his fingertips, it was almost imperceptible but before she could react to it Marissa stepped forward
“Who are you?” She demanded.
He redirected his piercing stare towards her, at the way she stood, the way she looked at him, the way she spoke and the way she was dressed. It didn’t take him long to answer.
“I’m going to call you Princess.” He declared with a spark of sarcasm, or was it playfulness? Likely a bit of both. A smile tugged at his lips when he saw Angel about to speak. He didn’t give her the chance.
“And I’ll call you Queen.” He continued in a mockingly respectful tone. “And to continue the family you,” he was now looking at Arthur, “can be Prince.”
He looked quite satisfied with himself and no-one knew how to react.
So he went on: “But you’re no king,” was directed towards the blacksmith. Then he paused before turning to the last member of the party. “And you’re an orphan.” He finished more seriously, and more respectfully than for any of the others.
Everyone was shocked, the being in front of them had just discovered things about them that he should never have been able to know just by looking at them. Or so they thought, because you can find those things if you know how to look, and having an elf’s sensibility Sasha had even more reason to know how to look.
It was Harry’s turn to step forward, “so you’ve told us who we are but we still don’t know about you.” The veteran pile of muscle was imposing even without his armour. He still had his huge axe on his shoulder and daring as Sasha was he couldn’t help but take a small step back. He quickly won back the lost territory and said simply “I’m Sasha”. It was all they needed to know.
• • •
They were in a cave, a small fire was dying in the centre. Sasha had taken them through tunnels under the mountains and they were now behind enemy lines, he’d decided to come with them at least until they were past the mountains. They were hiding in a cave, sitting around a dying fire. Sasha was outside on lookout, Marissa was staring deep into the fire, Nikke was staring through the fire at Marissa. Her childhood friend had grown into a beautiful young woman even with the frown clouding her face at the moment. She wondered what else had changed and what had stayed the same. She felt fiercely protective of her old friend who knew nothing about the outside world and very little even about life outside the castle walls. Angel came to sit near her. “You love her?”
Nikke was so taken aback by the question that she didn’t know what to say, she just stared at the woman, horrified.
“I see the way you look at her, when you think no-one can see you. You should talk to her about it, or you’ll never know if she feels the same.”
Arthur had just come back from some training with Harry. Everything hurt. He was concentrating on not moving and he was looking at the girls around the fire, it was like they were in their own world and he wasn’t invited. They intimidated him, and Angel of course but that was normal, she intimidated everyone. There was something about Nikke and Em, like a secret world they shared and the world revolved around them at times without them even knowing it. And the way the looked at him disarmed him completely, he had always been used to being ignored, eventually glanced at, told stories at most. The men at the tavern never thought twice about him, he was the guy at the bar. When Em looked at him she looked hard, watching every detail with scrutiny, trying to find out who he was. And Nikke was even worse because her curiosity didn’t stop there; when Nikke looked at him it was as if she were drawing him on a blank sheet, discovering bit by bit and he had no control over what she saw. She wanted to know about his family, his ambitions and dreams, how stupid he looked when he fought or how close she could get before he noticed her in front of him (close enough to hug as she said but then she’d have a funny look and he knew she wasn’t thinking about how easily people could hug him). She was friendly most of the time, but she was also concerned and sometimes she’d be incomprehensibly distant.
Nikke was troubled. She had no idea what she felt. She was troubled by Angel’s words, yes she loved her friend, as much as you can love a friend, but that didn’t seem to be what she was saying. She had suspected that maybe she was different, a freak of nature because boys only love girls and girls only love boys and that was the way life was. She never thought anyone could even suggest anything different, yet that’s what Angel had just done, and because of that she had to reconsider everything from the beginning. There was great turmoil in her spirit but she let none of it show. She only stared intensely into the fire until it slowly died and became glowing embers.
The plot thickens… sorry for making this harder and harder for you DragonSpark it was just too tempting, you always find something to do with the tricky situations I give you… so now I’m stepping this up a notch and I’m impatient to see what you have in store for me 😉
I’m sure you’ll find me another impossible situation :p