Hraken just raises an eyebrow at me when I stare at him nervously from the pool.
“Don’t leave,” I plead, quietly, slipping forward into the water, I come to the edge closest to where he is standing. I tilt my head to the side, looking up at his gigantic form.
He smirks and takes two steps forward, dropping to his knees, trying to get down to my level, but still managing to remain enormous.
“Why do you need me? You’re doing what you have to already,” he reaches out a hand to my raised chin, he grabs it and a thumb brushes over my bottom lip.
Hraken and I had always had this weird chemistry. It was strikingly similar to the bond Sabir and I had.
It distracts my thoughts for a moment. Instead of thinking about the document I think about Hraken’s touch on my chin, sending shivers through me.
“Are you and Seraphine... truly bonded?” I ask in a whisper, confused by this feeling, multiplied and replicated only around two beings.
Sabir and Hraken. Always Sabir and Hraken.
“I was the only Dark Gem to defeat her,” Hraken says, “Bonded, though...?” he pauses, as if considering whether or not to admit the truth, “...there is no bond.”
“Then what? Everyone says you are bonded, you and Seraphine have acknowledged it time and time again –” Hraken shuts me up with his thumb over both my lips now, pressing down, shutting my mouth.
I glare up at him, both annoyed and a little bit too excited that I smell the saltiness of his skin. He smiles and pushes the top of his thumb between my lips. I’m about to suck on it impulsively – but then he answers my question.
“Seraphine is my sister,” he explains quietly.
A sudden shiver of disgust rolls down my spine and my eyes widen.
"What? But you slept together,” I hiss, pulling out of his grasp, I float back into the water, glaring at him this time with just plain shock.
Hraken tries not to laugh, shaking his head.
“No, princess, I did not sleep with her – everyone thought we did – to keep up the pretence,” Hraken growls, “Like I said... continue what you’re doing.”
“She’s Obsidian,” I gasp, stating the obvious. Hraken looks majorly amused as my brain plays catch up. They were both Obsidian. It didn’t necessarily mean they had to be related, but it could be a general indication, “Who else knows?” I ask, still consumed with shock.
“No one,” his face drops now, stressing the importance of this, “Except her and I. Don’t tell anyone, princess, or my hand will have to be forced upon your sweet ass,” he smirks as if the thought entertains him further.
“But why are we...?” the feeling of longing for his body consumes me in that moment, the heat of the water getting to me, making my cheeks pink, “I don’t understand.”
“Sabir and I were born on the same moon, equal and opposite to your birthday with your sun. Our magic lines and channels both cross perfectly, at the same point,” Hraken explains this like he has thought about it over and over again for a damn long time, “At that intercepting point, Sabir and I lose magic at the same rate. You were born on that day, exactly opposite to us, with magic that feels like it fits our natural disconnection with it. However, you’re not a Royal.”
I think I know what he is trying to tell me but that one thing he mentions at the end, bothers me greatly.
“That’s right,” I shake my head, “I’m not. Why am I not?”
“Work it out, Sapphire, it’s obvious when you notice the double interception of our birth days on Kiyr, affecting a magic channel that should only be affected by two people, not three. Sometimes our stars fuck it up, it’s just the way things happen,” Hraken stands up now, looking like he is ready to leave to continue his duties.
“Wait. One more question. Do you know about the document –?” I try to finish but Hraken puts up a hand.
“No... why would I?” Hraken’s sarcasm is a new level of extreme.
But he’s smart. He doesn’t want to talk too openly. He turns without farewelling me and he walks out the arched entrance.
My mind is full of questions.
Not only questions but want, desire and so much more as I watch him retreat from me. His leaves, the parts of metal and chains on his battle gear rattle as he goes.
I find myself just gazing like a love-sick idiot at the rippling muscles on his back.
Hraken was so strong, physically and mentally. He was in control.
Sabir was strong physically in the same way, but mentally tortured by the darkness that consumed him. He didn’t master it, like Hraken, he drowned in it.
I’m left with Hraken’s words of ‘work it out’ after his interesting explanation of why I was not a Royal Gem.
I bite my lip and wade around in the water, reminiscing of his words.
...double interception of our birth days... affecting a magic channel that should only be affected by two people, not three...
Dark Gems had a void where they lost magic consistently. Female Gems, being the opposite, gained a constant magic flow from a never-ending source.
If Hraken was telling me Sabir and him had the same birth day, at the same moment, under the moon. Corresponding to mine under the sun...
...then I had two Royal Dark Gem voids draining my magic channel.
I was only left with a pitiful amount to gain for myself.
“No way,” I put my hands on my forehead, blinking away the sudden realisation, “No, fucking way.”
The irony was mind blowing.
I was born to be a Royal Gem!
But due to the stars fucking up my birth and my other half... I had two bonded partners.
Yes, that was it! I was born to be a Royal, but I was left with only enough magic to be classified as a Gem.
That’s why it was so ironic. I had been chosen as a princess because I was thought to be a regular Gem.
So, the stars weren’t completely fucking it up if I still became the princess of the Gems even after my magic channel was corrupted with two male voids, making me appear to be nothing but a regular female.
But – oh damn.
This was too much but also it was too damn awesome.
Hraken was Seraphine’s sister. A pretence they were both keeping which meant he was in on all of this. He was on our side. But why would he be on the Female Royal Gem’s side? Duh, he was an Obsidian. He wanted to rule.
He was eating away at Traegr with his most powerful ally, his sister. Clearly it would have to be Seraphine. Hraken and Seraphine displayed similar leadership and they fought with similar techniques.
But then there was the messed-up side.
I had two bonded partners. Sabir and Hraken equally.
I had to satisfy both of them – but would never be able to achieve it.
I frown at the thought, wanting to tell Celeste so bad, to share some support with my best friend.
I had to spend the rest of my life with two brooding, constantly deprived Dark Gems.
And only Celeste would be able to make me feel better about that.