I woke up sweating and trying to catch my breath. I closed my eyes tightly and reached out to the other side of my bed. Of course it was empty. I blew out softly from my lips, which formed a small ‘o’. The door creaked open.
“Aria?” His voice calmed me down and my shoulders dropped from their tense position. My fingers ached as I let go of the covers. “I’m sorry.” He kissed the top of my head, “I was only gone for a few minutes.”
I smiled, exhaled and leaned into his kiss, ”It’s okay. You’re here now." I signed. I finally looked up at him and saw his eyes, I knew they were pleading to kiss me on the lips. But I couldn’t, not yet.
“What was it now?” He grabbed my hand and helped me off of the bed.
I shook my head, trying to swallow the pain that tried to escape through little streams on my face, ”I’m beginning to forget what he looks like." I frown and shake my head harder. I did not want to talk about this. I had forgotten a long time ago what he felt like, the warmth he brought and the way he made me feel. The last thing I was holding on to was the memory of what he looked like. It was fading as well.
He nodded, I could see he still did not know how to act when I brought up Dastan. I apologetically placed my hand on his cheek and turned away, walking toward the bathroom.
“Um, I’ll have breakfast ready.” I looked over my shoulder and nodded before entering the bathroom and showering.
It had taken us months to convince Zenon and Adelaide to let us have our own house. Although, we didn’t really convince them anyway. Thijs helped us find a house and we just left the palace. I could not live in such a disturbing place, I’m not sure why I thought it was disturbing, but I was sure it was. We’ve been living here for almost 2 years now, and I have refused to see my parents since then.
Part of me knew I had to give them the space to explain what had happened and why I wasn’t raised here. Another part of me thought they didn’t deserve the chance. I hadn’t made up my mind on which part to agree with.
I left the shower and put on a pair of black pants, a long sleeved maroon shirt and a large sweater over all of it. I had become obsessed with covering as much of myself as possible. As soon as I walked into the dining room I came face to face with Jakko, who was whispering with Thijs. They stopped as soon as I walked in and they both looked at me as if they were hiding something.
Sarn sat by Thijs, they were engaged now but they hid it from everyone except Jakko and I. No one in this realm would accept their union. They almost killed Thijs when he announced that he would never marry a woman. I couldn’t imagine what they would do if they found out he was engaged to a man.
Sarn smiled softly at me and I smiled back before returning to frowning at Thijs and Jakko. ”What’s going on here?”
Thijs eyed my hand movements carefully but I could tell from his frown that he didn’t really understand what I was saying. Jakko sighed, “Love, would you sit down?”
"Not until you tell me what’s going on.” I signed quickly, making Thijs frown even deeper.
“I promise you we will explain as soon as you sit down.” Jakko stood up and pulled out the chair for me before moving over to the kitchen. I sighed and finally gave up, sitting myself down on the chair.
He came back with food and my stomach growled loudly. I chuckled at the sound, but when I went to put a forkful of eggs in my mouth I was met with wide-eyes and fallen jaws. Jakko swallowed loudly and he kneeled in front of me, cupping my face with his palms.
“That’s the first time I’ve heard your laugh since I came here.” He smiled. His eyes searched for something in me, but all I could feel was guilt. His smile fell when he realized the emotion that my eyes portrayed and he softly kissed my forehead. He sat back down by Thijs and looked at me longingly, “I-I have a surprise for you.”
"But it’s not my birthday.”
He chuckled, “I know.” He licked his lips and looked at Thijs and nodded before looking back at me, “Just listen to everything he says before you ask questions, okay?”
Thijs inhaled sharply and looked at me with a small smile before starting, “I just want to say that this wasn’t my idea. And your brute of a man basically threatened to out me if I didn’t- Ow!” Jakko punched him in the shoulder, looking at him with wide-eyes as if he had said something he wasn’t supposed to. Which is true, since I gave Jakko a disapproving look.
Thijs cleared his throat before continuing, “There’s a few things you have to know first, a history if you will.” I nodded, “Your parents, Zenon and Adelaide, have been King and Queen for a thousand years, in your time, if Jakko explained it correctly.” My eyes widened and I looked at Jakko, who only nodded, “Since the beginning of their rule, they have worked and allied themselves, peacefully, with the Alvinas. ” I frowned at the unfamiliar name, “They are powerful and magical beings. They are the ones that created portals to other realms, potions and spells that could heal and bring about good things.”
“The problem began about twenty years ago. You had just been born and your parents figured out that they were being betrayed by the Alvinas. You see, your people are known as the Bahi. They look like you, pale skinned, green eyes, black hair. Bahi Raven. Royalty and high class. On the other hand, you have the Deema. Dark skinned, dark eyes and black hair. Deema Raven. That is what Dastan is, I’m assuming.”
I put my fork on the plate and swallowed the food I had in my mouth, frowning at the pain in my heart from the mention of his name.
“The Deema wanted to take over your parent’s throne and they convinced the Alvinas to take part of their revolution. Chaos broke out. A year into the rebellion, the Deema had threatened your life, so Zenon asked for help from his last trusted Alvina to send you to a safer realm. The war lasted for 15 years after you were gone.”
I scoffed, shaking my head. Jakko reached over and grabbed my hand. I quickly pulled it away from him, though I knew he was trying to comfort me. ”Why are you telling me this? If this is the surprise, I don’t want it." I moved to get up, but Jakko grabbed my arm and pulled me back into my seat.
Thijs sighed, “The thing is, The Alvinas also sent Dastan over to your realm to find you and kill you.” I was visibly shaken from that revelation, “But he was just a boy, manipulated into believing what his parents did. Word spread that the portal faced some complications and he barely made it to your realm alive. I don’t believe he has any memory of this.”
I bit my lip as I took all of this in. Jakko was frowning, repeating something to himself quietly as he looked at the ground. Weird.
“Well, anyway. Your parents outlawed magic. Alvinas were slaughtered and enslaved along with the Deema. No one practices magic. But I found someone willing to portal us to your realm.”
The wind was knocked out of me, and everyone turned into blurry blobs. ”Us?"
Thijs and Sarn looked at each other with smiles as they held hands, “Jakko has offered us asylum in his kingdom. We can be together, without worry of being killed.” Sarn said.
"Home?” I looked at Jakko with teary eyes and he nodded.
For a moment, all of my worries and pain disappeared.