What Silas was asking of her was not uncommon, as a matter of fact, it was quite a normal occurrence when people married. Timena just hadn't expected it to ever happen to her. Knowing it would be pointless to even bring the matter to her father, she decided against saying anything— she would just have to try to wrap her head around the thought of eventually leaving her home, she supposed.
A feeling of sadness overcame her for the rest of the evening and well into the night. She laid on the cold floor of her bedroom, gazing at the ceiling in silence.
"So dramatic." The voice interrupted her train of thought.
Timena looked over to see Clara sitting on the ledge of the window, smirking at her. She rolled eyes and continued to stare up at the ceiling again.
"What exactly is the matter with you?" Clara's stood over her.
"Don't you know already?"
"Know what?" She responded, sounding confused.
"Eventually I'll have to go back with Silas to Calyx, when we... marry." Timena said the last word with distaste.
Clara snorted. "Wasn't that to be expected Sadon?"
It was to be expected. It just wasn't supposed to be her. This was never the life she would have chosen for herself.
The thought made her want to cry, but she didn't want to do that in front of Clara.
"Have you spoken to your son yet?"
Clara grunted. "In due time." She replied dismissively.
A knock at the door caught Timena's attention and when she looked back, Clara was no longer there. Pushing herself off the floor, she went to see who was at the door.
"Your presence has been requested in King Vassar's study, princess." The young girl spoke quietly, offering a smile before disappearing down the staircase.
Timena sighed but went down as well.
King Vassar and Silas stood in the middle of the dimly lit room, only halting their conversation at the sight of Timena standing at the door awkwardly.
"Ah, Timena." Vassar gestured for her to enter.
She avoided meeting Silas' gaze as she went to take a seat.
"So, as the engagement has been announced, our alliances are growing stronger." Vassar said, smiling triumphantly.
Timena shook her head sadly, a feeling of uneasiness washing over. "I am so happy for you father." She replied, sardonically.
His smile fell as he looked away. "Well, we were discussing the wedding and-"
"It will take place in the upcoming month." Silas said sternly, cutting Vassar off abruptly.
The panic arose in Timena's body, he could see it. He smiled darkly, pleased that he'd elicited the emotion. She gripped the arm rests tightly as her mouth hung slightly open in disbelief. Anger began to build inside her as her body tensed, but she stayed completely still, mentally fighting with herself while trying to keep the anger at bay.
"Enough of this. You two will need to learn to get along." Vassar warned as he noticed them staring angrily at one another.
Now you want to try to delegate. Timena laughed at her father's harsh tone.
"You're certain this is what you want to do?" She turned her attention to Silas who was quietly brooding.
He analyzed her features for a moment. "And then we'll have the rest of our lives..." He smiled warmly, and it made her even angrier.
Nodding in understanding, she got up from her chair before excusing herself. Slamming the door behind her, she leaned against the wall feeling yet again, utterly defeated.
Timena's vision was a bit blurred and she had a slight headache, from crying only hours before. It had left her feeling groggy as she pushed herself out of bed that morning. After many tears that night, she had decided that all their marriage would ever be was an alliance. She did not want to be anywhere near him unless she had to and if she was near him, she would be a little bit more than sarcastic.
Timena turned all of her anger and rage to sparring. She hadn't bothered to go against Samuel, instead she fought against the very men who had trained her since she was a young girl. She wanted no restraints and no mercy as she went against them both.
"Guard up." The men demanded loudly in unison. She followed immediately.
They began to circle around her, and she paid close attention to their movements. Holding the sword in her hands, Timena gripped it as tightly as she could as her palms were sweating heavily. Her chest rose and fell heavily underneath her breastplate as she anticipated who might move first, if not both of them.
A sword came at her suddenly and she shot back only to duck as another just nearly missed her head from behind. Jumping backwards, they stood in front of her now and in the blink of an eye their swords were jutting out in her direction. The blades clanged against each other loudly and she kicked the chest of one of her opponents before turning her attention to the other. Timena felt herself do a series of ducks and jumps as she narrowly avoided being sliced by the blades.
The sounds of their heavy breathing were all she could hear, everything else had been drowned out.
"You attack now, no more assessing." The larger of the two spoke.
Ugh, I really don't wish to do that. Timena complained to herself, but followed instructions.
Running forward, she went for the other first and blades connected before sliding down against one another and from Timena's peripheral she could see the larger one nearby and very easily she blocked an expected attempt with her blade facing sideways and she kicked the other man's knees forward. Running backwards, she focused on her next move. His sword shot forward and she moved over just barely before ducking her head underneath the blade and trying to connect the steel with his abdomen.
Just as Timena stood up and turned her head sideways, a sword just swiftly passed by her face. Her eyes bulged in shock and she moved backwards, and before she could grip the hilt properly, her blade was knocked out her hands. Her elbow connected with one chest while her knuckles met a hard face, she immediately shook her hand around frantically as she ran in the direction of her sword.
Everything seemed to move in slow motion as Timena bent down to place her fingers around the sword— her one knee on the grass and the other still bent she quickly turned around, and all three swords met with a loud clang, the reverberation sending shivers through her entire body.
The men looked at one another before nodding, clearly pleased and they retreated slightly. Timena's body visibly sank as she let herself fall to the grass. They all chuckled lightly before helping her up.
"Always be on guard, from every angle." They warned and she nodded.
"Good work little princess." Both men ruffled her hair before beginning to walk away.
Timena wasn't certain she had any more rage left in her for the rest of the day, perhaps if Silas had appeared, she could test out that theory.
After a much-needed bath Timena stepped out, reaching for her robe. Upon opening the door, she was startled to say the least when she saw her mother standing before her.
She sucked in a deep breath and rolled her eyes. "Can I help you mother?"
"Now that you're all clean, it's time to get your measurements for your wedding gown." Adelia said, joyfully.
"The wedding is a month away, why do I need to do that right now?" She sidestepped her mother, as she went to get her normal clothing.
Adelia shooed Timena's hands away, leading her through the door hastily.
"M-Mother, I'm not dressed." She tried to escape but Adelia would not allow it.
A few seamstresses busied themselves around the spacious dressing room. At the sight of Timena's arrival, they immediately took her from Adelia's hands and began another long and torturous process.
"Ow!" Timena yelled out again as she was poked by yet another needle.
"Just stay still princess, we're almost through." Ida said, reassuringly.
"You say that every few minutes, when are we actually going to be finished?" Timena complained.
"There, you can remove it now." Another older lady answered, exasperated.
Going behind the folding screen, Timena wiggled out of the material, handing it over to the floating hand. She sighed loudly. She had been in that room for so long that she'd lost track of time— fabric after fabric and needles poking her flesh continuously. It was tiring, and it was only the beginning.
The room grew quiet suddenly, and after dressing herself, Timena peaked her head out, seeing exactly why.
"Is something wrong with you? Well I mean there is, but is there a reason for you to be in here?"
"Just wanted to see my lovely bride-to-be." He strode towards her purposefully.
"Don't even think about it. You can get the hell out." She pointed towards the door, but Silas' steps only grew closer.
"I can't seem to get that kiss out of my head. Those lips, what they do to me." He towered over her, his voice thick with lust.
Timena shivered under the heat of his gaze, but she held her ground. "And you can just simply forget it ever happened." She replied.
Silas bent his head down to her ear, her jawline and finally to her neck. He didn't even need to touch her; the sheer closeness of his warm body was enough to elicit a response. His nose lightly traced along the side of her neck and she clenched her hands into fists, trying desperately not to touch him.
"I want you so badly." He whispered, his voice sounding deep and sultry in her ear.
Opening her eyes, Timena studied his face. "Hmm, that's just too bad." She said simply.
Pushing past him, she walked through the doors and down the hall confidently, not bothering to look back. At the corner of the corridor, she let out a heavy breath before she began to laugh.
Not too bad. Not too bad at all.
"How do you suggest I tell him?" Clara continued pacing back and forth, fully concentrated.
"Just walk up to him and say, my boy, how I've missed you so." Timena gestured with open arms, feigning sincerity.
She was met with an unamused glare, causing her to chuckle as she went back to brushing her horse's dark coat.
"Can you not see the seriousness of the situation Sadon, I don't know what to do." Clara whined.
"Who are you?"
Timena and Clara's heads turned in unison at the unexpected voice, Enoch stood at the threshold of the stable.
"I'm Clara. It's nice to meet you Enoch." She walked towards him, offering her hand.
Timena stopped Clara in her tracks, noticing the questioning look in Enoch's eyes. "She's an old friend." She laughed nervously.
"Where are you from? I've never seen you in Gabaden before." He inquired.
"Well I was born in Genika, but I spent most of my adolescent years in Calyx."
Timena glared at her, but Clara didn't acknowledge her.
"You must know Silas then?"
"Not very well." She replied sadly.
Rolling her eyes, Timena came between them. "Enoch, could you come back later perhaps, and could you not mention this to anyone." The seriousness in her eyes confused him, but he nodded before waving goodbye to Clara and running off.
"Are you mad?!" She shouted. "Why am I asking, I know you're mad."
"He's a nice boy. He looks up to you, did you know?"
Timena sighed. "I know." She smiled at the thought.
Needing someone to confide in about her ongoing plight, she suddenly couldn't stop the urge to tell it to the only other person in the room.
"The wedding is in a month."
Turning around slowly, Clara faced Timena's back. "I'm... sorry." She said.
She faced Clara now. "Are you?"
"I want him to be happy, with you, but I would have hoped he would have given you more time to get accustomed to it all." She spoke sincerely.
"He had promised me time, but I guess that's a thing of the past now. He began talking to me about returning with him to Calyx and I panicked. Mororcin is all I've ever known, it's my home. I never imagined I'd have to leave it." Timena was saddened, the need to cry was becoming urgent but she tried to force it away.
Clara rested her hand on Timena's shoulder. "It isn't ideal, and it is partially my fault you are in this predicament but think about your people if not Silas." She paused. "Love will come later— my son is stubborn and set in his ways, but I do not doubt his feelings for you. He is certain.”
How did she know- "Still the inquisitive being?" Timena looked back at her.
"I simply needed to know more." Clara smirked in return.
Gently patting Ephraim's snout, Timena tried to focus on what was at stake. It was more than just her not wanting to marry him, the lives of her people would be greatly affected if the marriage did not go through. This was larger than her— she thought back to the values her mother and father had tried to instill in her and Delacroix. Selfishness suddenly seemed to creep into the back of her mind. Have I been being selfish this entire time?