Sabir leads me down a long corridor and up an elevator to a quiet room filled with a small pool of clear water. Steam fills the room with a sauna like heat and I watch as Sabir takes off his clothes until he is completely and shamelessly naked. He jumps into the water and disappears under its depths, moments later.
I consider running – but there was nowhere to truly run to.
I hold one elbow with a hand – feeling weak while standing. I was so thirsty.
Sabir slowly comes to the surface after what feels like a time he won’t be able to breathe any longer, but he doesn’t come up any further than his eyes.
He stares at me – hair glistening black as he very slowly rises his head above the surface of the water.
I stare back at him, very unsure of what to do. Did I have to get in the water? I didn’t want to – and he hadn’t said anything yet. I felt already the distance between the cultures of his race and my own. Humans would consider this silence awkward and one would expect him to say something.
Instead he just waits, looking at me.
“Umm...” I trail off, “What?”
He tilts his head to the side, slowly smiling, “Are you so forgetful that you would not remember the conversation in the other room? You can’t be my Sapphire from so long ago – she was quicker,” I feel like he is voicing a challenge in his overly-masculine voice.
“I remember the conversation,” I reply, irritated, “I don’t want to go swimming.”
“So you are just defiant, then?” Sabir slowly stands up to his full height in the pool, water trailing down his muscled torso – the water only comes up to his waist, which meant I would probably have water up to my neck in the pool once fully submerged.
“I am majorly confused, actually,” I snap, waving my hand around to point at the space ship’s walls, “One second I’m doing homework for school, the next I’m in a spaceship. But yes, defiant is a good word to use,” I add, proudly, “Because humans are very independent creatures and we know our own mind. Unlike your kind – which seem to follow orders far too easily. You can’t be so superior if you follow each other like sheep –” I stop talking as Sabir all too suddenly starts walking up the stairs of the pool towards me, his eyes narrowed and a freakishly determined look on his face. I freeze in fear as he walks up behind me and puts his hands on my elbows, grabbing them in a warm grip. He bends down to speak into my ear and I gulp down a quickly forming lump in my throat.
I was terrified.
I still didn’t know how violent their race was, would he hurt me?
“Males have a hierarchy – we keep to that order. Females – such as yourself, were born to serve us,” he says dangerously low, a hair’s breadth from my ear. I bite my bottom lip, so far – I was unharmed; just majorly insulted.
"Human females do what we like,” I respond through gritted teeth, glaring at the pool. It was far easier speaking back to him when I wasn’t staring into his intense alien eyes.
“Some females need to be tamed,” Sabir explains with complete honesty but with a hint of menace to his tone, “I will not warn you again. Step into the pool.”
“Did the Sapphire you used to know follow your orders so willingly?” I ask back in a challenge.
Sabir quickly spins me around and grabs my chin in one hand.
“Sapphire was always good at playing games,” he growls, ”Just like you.”
“I am not her,” I whisper, slowly and clearly, “Get that through your thick head. I just look like her – and for some damn reason our names are the same,” I jerk my chin out of his hand and he grabs my free arm once more, walking me backwards into the pool, “let me go,” I hiss, struggling to get out of his hold, but he just holds me in a vice like grip. When I nearly slip on the first wet step, he puts an arm around my waist instead and hoists me up against him.
“Careful...” he hisses, walking down the steps and submerging me fully into the water with him. He lets me go and I angrily push away from him, floating back a couple of feet from him. The water was warm and embracing. I glare at Sabir, annoyed that the only clothes I had, were now drenched.
“You were worried that I’d slip,” I point out, surprised by him not wanting me to get hurt.
Did he have some trace of human sympathy or empathy within his soul? Maybe.
Sabir doesn’t smile and chooses not to respond to my statement.
“Get under the water,” he commands instead. Rolling my eyes, I decide to follow this one order. After all – the water was warm and I wanted to do that anyway. I hold my breath and drop down below the surface, feeling quite at home while embraced in the all encompassing liquid.
When I swim back up to the surface I can’t help but smile. When I catch Sabir’s blank face, and his deep eyes looking at me with confusion... I frown instead.
“What?” I ask.
“Your eyes should have changed colour,” he murmurs. I turn around in the water and swim to the edge of the pool – staring into my reflection of the metal wall at the end of the pool. My eyes were the same Sapphire blue.
“Well,” I add, happily, “That proves I’m not –” I spin around to see him stalking his way out of the water. Sabir scoops up his clothes and leaves the room, not saying a word “...I’m not her...”
Sabir was pissed off that he found out that I was not the Princess he thought I was.
I turn around and look at my reflection once more.
My cheeks were pale – my hair was a mess even while wet. I rest my chin on my hands at the edge of the pool. I was tired and confused. I was still scared.
As I wait in the warm water, contemplating what just happened, I start to feel different...
A tingly sensation seems to race up my spine – a shiver. I feel my mind flood with warmth and... some sort of unknown... power?
I look at my reflection again and stop breathing.
My eyes have started to sparkle a light greeny-silver.
Okay... um... crap.