Silas was furious, hearing her say that she resented him didn't exactly sit well with him.
"Can you blame her Silas, honestly?" Aldus asked, seriously. "She told you the truth."
Silas stayed silent, quietly brooding. He knew that he had faults when it came to how their relationship had begun, but he'd always hoped that eventually she would accept him into her life. He worried now that that might never happen.
"What do you suggest I do? Call off the wedding? Because I won't, I need her safe with me back in Calyx as soon as possible."
Aldus shrugged, not certain as to what he should say next. "I don't know brother, but you need to be more patient and a little less aggressive about her accepting everything. She will only continue to pull away and resent you, more."
"I just I don't understand how I can get her to become comfortable with me and the idea of it all. I don't want to have to force her, but she isn't giving me much of a choice."
"Her life as she knows it is being ripped away from her and all she can do is argue with you and push you away because she knows she can't leave without the consequences of her country losing its' wealth." Aldus explained.
"I did not want it to be this way, but Vassar never gave me much choice either." Silas said angrily.
Aldus looked to him in confusion. "You'd have had an easier time marrying Delacroix, what's so wrong with her?"
"She isn't Timena."
Aldus clutched at his chest jokingly. "I think I may cry."
"I am going to wring you by your neck, brother." Silas said through his teeth, Aldus laughed in response.
"All I am saying is that you chose a girl who isn't suited for the life you want with her, you have to deal with the consequences of trying to force her hand in marriage brother." He placed a hand to Silas' shoulder momentarily before leaving the room.
Silas sighed to himself, never in his life had he been more confused and helpless in a situation than he was right at that moment.
Timena had been quietly walking back and forth downstairs in the kitchen. For some reason she felt as though she had said too much, but he had continued to push and push causing her to reveal too many truths. She did not like that he was learning so much about her, analyzing her even...
"You resent him... well that I can understand." Eurina sympathized. "But I know you will choose the latter, especially since you know the stakes." She smiled sadly.
"That's why I resent him, for forcing me to do this. He's just bringing out a side of me that I, am not certain I like." Timena responded.
"You are afraid to be vulnerable Mena, you've always been that way and for that, you have your father to blame. He taught you to be strong and independent of course, but he made you believe that being vulnerable every once in a while is a weakness." Eurina pointed out.
"No dear, it's not a crime to have a moment of hopelessness or fear, you can't be strong every minute of every day and that's fine." Eurina laughed. "He wants to be closer to you but given how you two got together I don't blame you for being so resistant, but I think you also enjoy being stubborn as well."
Timena's mouth fell. "N-No, that isn't true."
"Hmm, I believe you've become almost fond of this little game that you and Silas play. He wants to be with you, but you won't be with him."
Timena sighed deeply before deciding to tell Eurina the truth. "I mean, I think I might be having feelings for him, but it's so complicated."
Eurina smiled, knowingly. "Child, I'm quite aware."
Quiet laughter sounded again. "Of course, I wondered how long it would be before you admitted it though. That's just one reason you're angry, even though he's forcing you into a marriage and trying to get close to you, your feelings are still growing for him." She paused. "I will not lie to you Timena, but he has feelings for you, and I am sure you know— I think they are genuine, he went about it completely the wrong way, but nevertheless he might just love you."
Timena acknowledged Eurina's words, feigning disgust. "He could calm down with his feelings a bit, I've never experienced this before." She said anxiously. "Am I fool for having feelings for him?"
Eurina giggled lightly. "You are simply a girl falling for a boy Timena."
"A boy who is going to take me away from my home, a boy who is holding a certain fate of my people over my head by forcing me to marry him... how can I have feelings for someone like that?" Her eyes welled with tears. "How am I going to part with my home and you, Norman, h-how am I supposed to-"
"When the time comes... everything will be alright." Eurina shushed Timena gently, bringing her to her side in an embrace.
Silas could try to speed along the process of marrying Timena all he wanted, but it would be useless. Once he managed to pry her away from the kingdom, he would be free to do whatever he pleased with her. He had help from the inside, so it was only a matter of when, the timing needed to be precise.
He remained hidden under the cloak of night, watching as the little princess cried into the side of the older woman. He wondered what exactly might be making her upset, but he pushed the thought away as he slowly began to disappear into the darkness.
His plan was almost ready.
Timena stared at herself in awe, she couldn't believe how beautifully the dress had turned out. It wasn't how she had initially envisioned the gown would appear, she had imagined it would be humongous, frilly and overdone, but she was astounded to be staring at the complete opposite.
"What do you think princess?" Ida asked hesitantly.
Timena gazed at herself for a moment longer. "It's... perfect." Pleased smiles appeared on the lips of everyone in the room.
Adelia clasped her hands together tightly. "I knew you would love it, you look beautiful." She smiled sweetly. "My daughter, getting married."
Timena was slightly stunned to hear her mother speak about her that way and thoughtfully gaze at her with such, pride. It was a change of pace, receiving Adelia's undivided attention and the little girl in Timena basked in it.
"Just one last touch." Adelia walked over to the young girl who held a small, copper box in the palms of her hands.
A jeweled crown came into view, the ornate patterns intertwined in gold, traveling around the length of it. The arches were pointed into the shapes of what looked like blades, and in the center of the crown was an oval shaped, green emerald stone. Timena was almost afraid to touch it.
"Silas said it was in the family for generations, he had it spruced up and let me change the stone." She paused, gauging Timena's reaction. "We can always, change the stone, if you'd like." Adelia suggested.
"N-No, there is no need." Timena shook her head, continuing to examine the crown.
Placing it on top of her head, Adelia tampered with it, to be certain the stone was directly in the center.
Timena felt a strange sensation in her stomach as she looked at herself. A mixture of emotions came all at once and she began to take deep breaths, attempting to quell her nerves.
"You look amazing." Delacroix said quietly, in awe.
Timena gave her a hint of a smile, and her sister smiled back, suddenly hopeful.
"C-Can I get out of this now?" She tried to gain back the sense of normality again.
Ida chuckled. "Of course."
Timena had practically run out of the room once she was fully dressed in her normal attire. The dress and the crown were a reminder of how soon the wedding was to come, it was only a matter of a few weeks now. She couldn't believe how fast time was moving and with each passing day, she grew more fearful of the future.
"I heard your dress was finally finished today, I hope you like it." Vassar's voice interrupted her thoughts as she stepped outside.
Aldus sparred with one of the guards nearby as Samuel watched intently.
"Timena, we cannot continue like this." He said sadly.
She sighed deeply, wanting to speak to him.
"I only have you here with me for a little while longer, I refuse to have you leave still angry with me." He said determinedly.
"I'm not, angry with you anymore. Am I upset that you traded me like a mule without my knowledge? Yes." She spoke harshly.
"I am so sorry, you have to know that this wasn't what I wanted, I had been trying to keep Mororcin afloat, but I had no choice but to ask Jarvis for help, that is how this had all begun. He owed me a favor."
"What favor?" She could see her father hesitating to tell her. "Don't lie to me." She said sternly.
"Dark magic, years ago. I'll never forgive myself. I helped him so it was only fair that he helped me." He tried to reason with himself.
"No no, what dark magic? What did you do?" She asked, worried now.
He sighed, defeated. "It will sound crazy, absolutely impossible but years ago I helped him banish Silas' mother.
Timena gasped, unable to believe what her father had just confessed.
"We were young, and Jarvis was cruel... that fact never changed. "
"Her name was Clarissa. She had appeared in the city shortly after King Danic had passed and was it a terrible time to have gotten involved with him." Vassar shook his head. "She was quite reserved, and I'd thought maybe she would have been smart enough to stay away, but I was wrong. Jarvis took a liking to her and began a little game, toying with her... and in the end she fell in love with him which was exactly what he had wanted."
"Go on." Timena waited to hear the rest of a story that she'd already known the ending to.
"He raped her, and she became pregnant with his first son. He was happy about it, and one night he said that once she had given birth, he would get rid of her and that's exactly what he did... with my help." He said sadly.
"Why would you help him? Why didn't you warn her? W-Why didn't-" Timena couldn't make sense of her father's words.
"He was my friend, and he'd never hesitated to help me. So, when she finally gave birth to Silas, he arranged to have her taken away from the castle and banished to an island far away. He knew that one day she might find her way back and that's when I brought in a friend, a witch to ensure that she would stay away."
Timena's mouth fell slightly, it seemed as though everyone had secrets.
"She helped put a curse on Clarissa to keep her away, I made her bind it to Jarvis' life so that when he died, the curse would be lifted."
"How could you do something like that? To an innocent person, you took Clara from her son." Timena said, sadly.
"Her name was Clarissa." He corrected.
"Can I confess something?" Vassar looked to her, with a bit of fear in his eyes.
"Well, you've already confessed quite a lot today father, so you might as well go ahead."
"I feel as though I've been seeing her in the halls of the castle, and that day, the witch had sensed an aura about Clara, something... what if she's come back? I know I must sound like I'm losing my head or maybe my conscience is bothering me. I can't seem to escape the past now."
Timena knew he wasn't crazy, Clara had been roaming the halls, but she wouldn't tell her father that, at least not anytime soon. She wondered if she should tell her, but she was fearful that Clara might exact her revenge on her father. As much as she knew he did deserve punishment, she did not want it to be at the hands of someone as powerful as Clara, and she wasn't certain that mercy would be shown considering what he had helped King Jarvis do so many years ago.