The Clockmakers Daughter


Aliya was irritated. She loved her men, every last one of them including her fathers, but if she did not get some space soon, she was going to take to hiding like Nightmare used to. That man being the worst of the lot. He checked in every few time changes, sneaking away from Gray himself just to do so as if she did not have the twins and Boris with Peter switching out every single shift of time. She knew that they cared for her and knew they meant well, but she was used to taking care of herself since well before her mother had passed.

Having enough, she went to her closet and pulled out an old cloak of her mothers. It was dark green with even darker ivy vines worked throughout it. They reminded her of Nightmares Island. All that was missing was the glowing blooms. Deciding it would make perfect camouflage, she slipped it over her dark blue dress that matched her and her Dad's hair. It was tight, clinging to her arms, breasts and waist, before flaring out from her hips, the stretchy material giving her free movement with the appearance of restriction. Now to do something crazy.

She slipped out of her room where she had told them she was going to rest. Aliya kept her aura low so that the heshire cat did not pick up on her leaving, sneaky thing that he was had caught her every previous attempt. Moving soundlessly, she made her way passed her father’s office where Peter and Boris were arguing for the fun of it, while Julius sighed and rubbed his head, his gaze often drifting to one spot in the room.

Once she passed the danger point, she swiftly let herself out onto one of the lowest balconies, still high enough to give the stoutest heart vertigo. Walking to the edge of the tower, she looked down letting out a breath. Damn, she hoped this worked right. She’d rather not wake up with broken bones and eight or more angry men staring down at her. Backing away all the way to the door, she took and deep breathe. Holding it, she ran, leaping over the black metal railing, falling rapidly towards the unforgiving ground.

Panicking for a moment, she almost crashed into the ground, using her power in the last moments to slow her descent. Still she landed hard on her ass, but nothing broke. Glad no one had been present to see the ungraceful landing, she winced and headed into forest that connected the tower to Bloods and the castle of hearts.

“Cute” came a voice to the right of her.

Aliya actually jumped. “Damn it Ace!”

“Aliya, hard ass extraordinaire, scared?” He laughed, pushing his mask up. “Where are you headed, lady?”

“I was not scared. I’m hiding and not expecting a sword wielding, masked, maniac knight to be on time for once!” She muttered, glaring at him.

“Am I?” He looked around, noting the tower just beyond the edge of the trees. “We can’t have that. I have a reputation, you know. So where can I escort you to, Aliya dear?” His tone left no room for argument. He was all for a little mayhem, but it was stupid of her to have left without extra protection, his bright eyes telling her so.

“I know.” She grumbled. “Take me to see Vivaldi, please. She is surrounded by solders, provided she has not beheaded them all. I just need a little girl time. Please?” She gave him her most pitiful puppy dog look.

“Could any knight resist such a face?” He chuckled, taking her hand, “Come on.” Ace started to drag her in a random direction.

“Ah, Ace. Hearts Castle is that way.” She said, rolling her eyes and pointing.

“No fun, Meanie, and after I was being all nice to you too.” He fake pouted and sighed, then went the right way. It was not a totally boring walk, one of the factions that were against Blood had decided to try and use Aliya against him. She shouted corny cheers from the sidelines while Ace had a grand time hacking away at them. When he was done playing, he added their clocks to the bag he already carried.

“You have to tell me how you came by such a charming job.” Aliya said as they began to walk again. She was sure that her guards at the clock tower were searching for her. She was making sure to keep herself in check so that her kitty cat didn’t use his amazing abilities to just pop up out of nowhere.

“No much to it” Ace said, adjusting the pack he carried all his camping equipment in. From the looks of it, he had not been planning to return to the castle for a while, and he had talked about her sneaking off. “Julius has always been a friend of mine and he gave me the job, saying that I needed something to do with my time. I think I was going a little insane. He kind of saved me by giving me a purpose, one that I could chose or deny.” He smiled at her.

Heart castle soon came in sight. Hugging him, followed by a sweet kiss, she told him, “I’m glad that he saved you. Wonderland would not be the same without her charming, perverted knight.” She winked at him before rushing into the castles rose garden. He chuckled and headed back toward the tower, knowing precisely where he was headed. The majority of the time, he just enjoyed being lost. And, well, he might be just a little insane.

Vivaldi sat on her large red velvet lined throne preparing to behead her newest recently replaced servant. Aliya jumped up on the dais and distracted her, “Hay, Aunty Dearest! Come have tea with me, I need girl time.”

“But the fool put lemon in our tea.” She said bad-temperedly.

“Well that was stupid, but can you kill him later, cause I don’t know when my guards will find me again.” She pleaded. The queen would likely forget the incident, but she doubted that would save the faceless long.

“Your men are being a nuisance then?” Vivaldi rose, “That is not so surprising. If it was not for their bodies, we would have no use for them at all.” She shot a glare at her much abused king who rolled his eyes. They had not chosen the match, but had been thrown together by the rules of the game. Sometimes Wonderland really was a bitch.

A few moments later the queen changed her mind, scolding the younger woman, “You died! Then you sneak out when they were trying to keep you safe. We will never hear of you being so foolish again.”

Aliya sighed. “Yes, mam.” She could almost hear her mother saying the same thing, but she was just so frustrated. When had everything got so complicated? Oh, yeah, Whites fault, the bastard. I’m going to wring his neck with his intestines the next time I see him! She thought, her eye flashing.

Nightmare suddenly appearing along with Boris, “she should be in her father’s tower right now with her protectors.” Boris just glared at her, tail swishing angrily.

“Alright, I’m sorry already. Ace escorted me all the way here and I have not been left alone, so technically I did not do anything you asked me not to.” She walked over, stopping just short of arms reach. Her arms crossed over her chest and she stared at him, defiantly. He just glared and pulled her into his arms, disappearing from sight.

“Where is he taking her?” Vivaldi asked.

“To his home. It is time to finish this so we can find a way to deal with White.” Boris said, his light eyes serious and hard. He wanted to skin that bastard like the rat he was. “We are going to surround the house now. Oh and Nightmare said to avoid the dreaming void until he tells us otherwise.”

“We will. Thank you for giving us the message, kitty. Won’t you eat before you go?” She got that sparkly wide eyed fan girl look and raised a can of cat food with a spoon, “you look so hungry.”

Boris yelped and backed away, “No thank you, gotta run.” He said, fleeing from the room at the same time he was fading away. He never heard the queen’s chuckle or sadistic smile. Males were so fun.
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