Aliana looked at Milos in disbelief. “You, you are ...”
“From an anecdotal point of view, I would be the Green Sapphire.” he said.
“How long have you known?” she stammered out.
“A little over a year. That was the time I moved to Evan and started breaking into the palace. I too had an issue with my temper. Whenever I got angry I thought I saw the rocks around me shaking. First time it happened, I thought I was hallucinating. Then it happened again.
“I was watching you in the training arena with Doranand. You’d been wrestling and he flipped you over on the back. You then kicked his feet from under him taking him down as well. The both of you started laughing and then he got up and brushed your hair out of your face. You gave him one of your shy smiles. I couldn’t explain the sudden wave of fury that overcame me.
“All I did was to slap my hand against the earthen seating. A small shock wave spread around the entire room.”
“I remember that day. The engineers had said that a fault had developed in one of the tunnels running under the palace. However, that was only a theory as they never did find a fault.”
“I went home shocked at what I’d done and tried to see if I could repeat the feat. Nothing happened. It was after some time that I noticed that my powers were only triggered when I was within the palace or close to you. So, I spent a great amount of my time in the palace, mostly in your room or outside of it. Practising and watching you and that earl boy as you two were inseparable.” he said softly.
“That is how the Queen knew that I was there. I think she somehow can sense our power and I had really let myself go that day I heard you making that plan to elope with Doranand and run off to Garion. I knew that I couldn’t allow that to happen. So, I made my own plans. I wrote the letter to the Earl of Whitby and left Evan. You know the rest.”
“So that was why you never left my side because I somehow was your trigger? You probably could have escaped to the Ashlands if you wanted to, but you stayed pretending that I had you cornered.” Explains so much. Men were all the same. They only kept her close because of the power she offered. “I understand.” she should feel anger, but all she felt was a growing hollowness. “You used me just like Doranand planned to.” she said walking away.
“Aliana no! It isn’t like that.” he said grabbing her hand.
“Then what is it like Milos! Please explain it to me!” she shouted.
“Doranand wanted you for the title you could give him. I wanted you because you were mine!” That line got her attention immediately. How dare he lay claim on her, like she was a possession of his! But before she could speak he cut her off.
“Somehow I knew that I was to be with you and no one else. That was why almost every minute that I could spare for over a year, I watched you. I wanted to talk to you but knew that I couldn’t. All that time I had to watch the soft looks you gave to your beloved Doran, watch him touch you when I couldn’t, see you laugh at his stupid jokes knowing that it would never be me. That was made me so angry in the arena. If I was as strong then as I was now, the entire palace would have fallen.” he sighed heavily and continued.
“My first instinct Aliana has never been to own or use you but to protect you, to cherish you, to love you. All that time I spent watching you, I fell in love with you. Many people saw just your temper, but I saw you in your quiet and thoughtful moments. I saw the way you treated your staff. You spoke kindly to them, afforded them an education which because of their station they would otherwise have been denied. I saw your determination, your skill, I saw you! Not the Crown princess Aliana. I saw Aliana and I fell in love with her.” he let out a strangled laugh as it seemed that he’d an epiphany.
“I think I was denying what I felt for a very long time but when my father said that he was going to kill you I had to tie you to me in a way that no one could take you from me. I had to have you as my wife. I wanted you as my wife because you are mine and because I love you.”
“You love me?” she said.
“God’s above my mother had been hinting at it since I got home, but I was just too stubborn to realise it, much less to admit it.” he said softly. “I am imperious, stubborn, foolhardy and totally undeserving of you Aliana, but gods above I love you.”
She was quiet studying his face for a while. He said that he was a thief and liar to her from the very beginning, but when he said that he loved her, she believed him. She didn’t think that she felt the same but after the tenderness he’d shown her last night, she could see where she would in the future. “That is a very good explanation.” she said as she kissed him.
He visibly relaxed, his eyes held unspoken tenderness and it made her a bit nervous but in a good way. “Does your family know?” she asked.
“No, but with the amount of earthquakes recently they will soon find out. If they haven’t already started to suspect. The last Green Sapphire in our family was five hundred years ago. He married the Blue Sapphire and together they’d created Dykelands.”
“But you weren’t angry last night or this morning either, so why so many earthquakes?”
“You weren’t angry either when you burned the curtains.” he smirked. “I am beginning to think that anger really isn’t our trigger, but each other. The first time you flamed up you were with me. The power is latent in our blood until we find each other.”
“Your Highness, we are here.” said the Captain coming up to them. “It is the strangest thing but water is coming between the pass connecting it to the sea.”
“I expected as much, the dyke has been breached. Arnay had flooded the Dykelands and they’re currently trying to create a passage to Turion.” said Milos.
“What are we to do Your Highness?” asked the Captain alarmed.
“I am going to close the pass. You are going to take my wife back to Turion and warn my father.”
“But the dock is underwater Your Highness. How are you going to get to shore?” asked the captain.
“I could swim or I could simply do this,” a pillar of stone shot out of the water. His aura when using his power wasn’t as flamboyant as Aliana’s. His form never shifted, but his eyes had twisted from a dark brown into a brilliant green which pulsed with an energy of its own.
“Gods above, the power of the Green Sapphire.” exclaimed the captain and the crew ran to the railing to see what the excitement was about.
Milos climbed onto the pillar.
“I am coming with you.” said Aliana.
“No, you must go back to Turion. I am going to create a diversion. The Arnayans will be forced to make landfall. I need you to convince my father to send reinforcements to Vacillian coast.”
“But if I am not there, how will you...?”
“I have been doing this a year now. My powers are much more developed than yours. It wasn’t your spark that brought me to the palace every day. It was you. Even if I was a continent away it would be like you’re standing beside me.” he said kissing her.
Holy heavens! It really was going to be hard not to fall for him, thought Aliana. A blush crept up her face. “If not me at least take the guards.”
“They won’t be of much help.” he contended.
“One man can’t defeat an army Milos.”
“And twenty-one can?” he rebutted.
“No, but it would make me feel better if you had someone else with you. Please.” she begged.
“The eyes thing,” he muttered. “Fine, I will take them with me.”
“Be careful Milos.” she whispered.
“You too wife.” he said turning from her. He said walking over to the other boat. It was like he was walking on water as with each step a pillar appeared when the previous disappeared. There was an uproar and as the men on both boats watched in awe at the spectacle.
“Captain, you have your orders from my husband. We need to get to Turion now.” I said after seeing that he was safely on the other boat.
“Your Highness,” he bowed lightly. He then called out to his men sending them back to work.
As they sailed away, she felt a heavy lump in her throat and felt as if her heart had constricted in her chest. Please be safe, she prayed.