The Broken-Hearted Princess
« She’s taking it pretty hard, isn’t she? Sky! Damn him! I so want to wring his royal neck or, at least, lop off his right hand for stealing Bloom’s heart and then breaking it, » storms Aïsha telepathically to Ishandra, her expression filled with deep sympathy for Bloom.
« An appropriate punishment for a thief whether or not the theft is figurative or literal. I’ve already talked to Bloom about the possibility of paying a surprise visit to Eraklyon and giving Sky a taste of fire and ice where it hurts but she is dead against it, » replies Ishandra.
« But why? » sends Aïsha, momentarily confused. « I thought it would be a case of not being able to hold her back. »
« She wants to make a clean break of it and I think that, in this case, she is showing more wisdom than we are. I had to learn the hard way after taking vengeance against the citizens of Taranto who were responsible for slaying my mother. It brought me no satisfaction and left me an angry, cruel, spiteful, callus and cold-hearted young Witch who rightly deserved the name ‘Icy’, » says Ishandra, while looking gently down at Bloom who is dozing off on her shoulder.
« We should have known what kind of a person Sky is when he did his little identity switch with Brandon, » continues the Mistress of the White Ice Dragon’s Fire. « I don’t believe for an instant now that he did it so he could know what it is like to live life as a commoner. No. I think what is behind it is that he knew that, sooner or later, he would have to give into the wishes of his parents and marry Princess Diaspro. So, while he was here on Alfea, he switched his identity so he could have his little dalliances and keep his name clean and hopefully keep any knowledge of his secret love affairs away from his mother and father on Eraklyon. And Brandon is loyal enough to Sky to take the fall for him if there was any trouble. I don’t think that Sky expected Stella, Bloom and the others to sneak into the arena during the Day of the Royals and throw a spanner into everything. He could have kept it up indefinitely if it were not for that. All in all, the only one who seems to have benefited at all is Stella and her marriage to Brandon. As for Princess Diaspro, I feel sorry for her. »
« Why would you feel sorry for Princess Diaspro? » asks Aïsha, puzzled. « She is always being so obnoxious. »
« I think that to be truly obnoxious, she would have to take obnoxious bitch lessons from Chimera, » replies Ishandra, analytically and Aïsha mentally giggles. “Diaspro is just protecting what by royal decree is rightfully hers. I feel that in her hearts-of-hearts, she truly loves Sky and it must have caused her deep pain to learn that Sky had been cheating on both Bloom and her all this time. »
« I think I understand what you are getting at, » Aïsha tells Ishandra. « We practice arranged marriages on Andros as well. Often, a young couple has to be dragged kicking and screaming into these arranged marriages but, in the long run, they work out. Most on Alfea think that it is love then marriage but, often as not on Andros, it is marriage and then love. I have seen it happen so many times where a newlywed couple do not want anything to do with each other and then suddenly, like magic, they are madly and devotedly in love with each other and their marriage lasts until the day one of them dies. Some say that all it takes is one slobbery and passionate kiss whether heartfelt, sincere, or not from a guy on her mouth to have a woman swooning in love with him. That is why kissing between the sexes is forbidden on Andros until after marriage. »
« Strange you should mention that, »sends Ishandra. « We Witches have what is thought of as a love potion in our saliva. We prefer a more direct method for administering it, though. We accidentally on purpose make a small nick the neck being the usual target area then offer to make the wound better by licking the affected area. Well, continues Ishandra with a glint in her eyes, that is not quite the truth but is not entirely a lie. True, our saliva does have healing properties but the main thing is to get the love potion directly into the bloodstream. Besides making the guy fall crazy in love with that particular Witch, it also changes his scent which acts like a signal to all other Witches saying, ‘This guy belongs to me so all you others keep your paws off of him!’ »
« Ah! » says Aïsha with a smile. « So that is what is meant by the expression ‘bewitching’! » observes Aïsha and also setting Ishandra to laughing.
« Getting back to Bloom. I don’t think Sky’s parents would allow him to marry her even if he did insist, » says Ishandra.
« That’s a pretty mean thing to say, Isha, » replies Aïsha, her expression turning sullen.
« Look at it this way, » says Ishandra. « You know from the arranged marriages that exist on Andros that there is more to them than just whether or not the couple being brought together will live happily ever after. What does Bloom have to offer? She is beautiful and powerful. But what of her power? Up until recently, all she could do with her gift of the Dragon’s Fire is set stupendous fires and blast everything and everyone out of the sky and into next week. That might be useful during wartime but otherwise what practical use is it for running a kingdom during peacetime? Bloom may be royalty but she is a princess without a realm, she has no wealth to speak of nor does she own any land. Most of all, Bloom is not palace bred like you and Stella. I doubt that she could live the royal life of being in a glass house all the time and also being so intelligent and wilful she would argue and protest all commands she did not like from her father and mother-in-law and become for them and pardon the dreadful pun a royal thorn in their sides. Now, I’m sure that Sky’s parents love him and want the best for him, but, as King and Queen of Eraklyon, would you break a marriage contract that was most likely established when Sky and Diaspro were still in diapers so your son could marry the girl of his dreams and risk losing all that had been contracted and possibly touching off a war between two families that could go on for generations? »
« Yes, I see, » admits Aïsha, « that this is the cruel and unjust side of arranged marriages but I still wish there was something a little more concrete I could do for her. »
« All you can do for her for the moment is be there for her when she needs a shoulder to cry on and consoling, » says Ishandra. The rest she will need to work out for herself. And who is to say that this will not work out for the best for her? For all we know, Prince Right is waiting just around the corner for her. »
« That is optimistic but I hope that it will come true for her, » sighs Aïsha with a gentle look falling upon a sleeping Bloom.