She’s right here.
Right in front of me.
And she was in my arms only moments ago. I swore not to leave her broken and I won’t break this promise. I can’t break this promise, I swore on my life’s magic. She stands by the window with a little blonde boy in her arms, completely ignoring my gaze. He looks like her but his hair is blonde. None of her family has blonde hair, that I know of. The only one who has blonde hair like his is the Adrian guy.
The little boy doesn’t even seem to be that old. I’ve been gone for over two years. Could they have gotten together so quickly? Is that even possible for her?
The little boy looks over her shoulder and smiles at me before saying something to Aszurya. I can tell by the way she stiffens it had something to do with me. Nothing is going to be the same as it was before because she’s too scared of being broken again. But then again, who wouldn’t?
I try to smile at the little boy but I can’t bring myself to do it. I know I shouldn’t feel this way because I have Hailey. By the end of this year, our lives will be joined together in holy matrimony. I can smile about our marriage as I look over to the bedroom where we hid Hailey and Kitoshy. Yet I still feel half empty.
Alaric steps between Aszurya and I, making sure he has both of our attention. I watch in silence as she eyes me closely while holding the little boy closer to her body.
“Before we get down to business, a few things need to be discussed. First off, I think Aszurya deserves to know everything that has happened in your life while you two have been apart. The same goes for Theodore.”
I narrow my eyes at the green man before taking a seat on the couch. Alaric gestures for Aszurya to do the same, which she does, hesitantly. Once we are all seated Alaric clears his throat and sits between the two of us with his legs crossed as though he were a couple’s counsellor ready to get to business.
“Aszurya you ought to go first. I’ve filled him in on the big events but I wasn’t there in those 18 months you were alone with Aiden. Do fill us in.”
“What do you want me to say? Not much happened. We trained 20 hours a day, 6 days a week. We took one day off to rest and visit a nearby town to restock on essentials. We came back a few weeks ago because I felt it was time for me to come back.”
“Oh please, Aszurya. Spare us the parental guidance and dish out the smutty details. It’s obvious you two hooked up quite a few times. I’m surprised you haven’t told me you were expe-”
Aszurya cuts him off with just a look alone, but after a few seconds, I don’t think it was just a look that stopped him. I think she used her magic to immobilize his tongue. She’s done it to me before. The only confusing aspect is the fact that she made no detectable movements. I was watching her the whole time and she didn’t even bat an eyelash. I frown but continue to watch her.
“Is he yours?” I find myself asking in the silence of the moment. Aszurya’s attention finally snaps over to me, her eyes travelling about my body. Her blazing green eyes land on mine and confusion settles deep within a sea of hurt.
“What are you talking about?”
“The boy. Is he-”
“Oh no, Theodore. The boy is her little brother, James. Aszurya has never been pregnant, though I figured that might be the reason she came back so suddenly.”
A pillow comes sailing over in the warlock’s direction hitting him right in the face. I smother a smile with my hand as Aszurya’s brother bursts out laughing. He has a quite contagious laugh just like his sister’s. I watch as the fabric covering her face moves slightly before looking into those eyes of hers once more. It’s all broken. It’s so obvious in her eyes. Her face.
“I’m not pregnant and this is my little brother as Alaric said before. I’m not having any children. Period.”
Alaric snorts earning another glare from the beautiful woman sitting across from me. It’s crazy how close we are compared to a month ago when we were in different realms. It’s absolutely magical. A miracle at best.
“Well, that’s all she wants to share with us for now. So, It’s your time Mr King Jr.”
I grimace, not only at the name but at the three pairs of eyes landing on me.
“I resigned from my job and got my shit together.”
Aszurya nods her head and looks away as if she can’t bear to look at me. As if just looking at me will break her. I hate it. This new distance between us. I would give anything to go back to the way we were before. It was so peaceful. Stealing this dreary moment away from me, Alaric clears his throat and wriggles his eyebrows.
“Aren’t you forgetting something?”
“No. What are you talking about?”
“The event that happened circa 7 months ago.”
“Why don’t you just say what you are talking about, Alaric. He obviously doesn’t know what you are thinking of.” She snaps. Aszurya clenches her fists and bites down on her lip. You can see the muscles in her jaw tighten as she glares at the green warlock, trying to hold back the flaring temper.
“Well, our friend, Theodore, here, has made big plans to settle down with his girlfriend. Or, should I say fiancee?”
My thundering heart drops to my stomach as darkness begins to cover Aszurya’s face. This darkness is different from the one she had when we first met. There was no immediate danger then. But now, I just want to run away and hide with fear of this woman in front of me. The thing is, just as quickly as the anger and danger appear in her eyes it disappears under a mask of nothingness, which, to my surprise, is even worse. She’s hiding how she really feels. From me.
She disappears right before my eyes with her brother in arms. Just like that, it’s like she never was here. Like I didn’t just hold her in my arms. Just like that, an empty hollow buries itself deep in my chest. And I want her back again.
“Why the hell did you do that? Why in fucking hell did you have to tell her about me and Hailey? Everything was fine until you fucking ruined it.”
I storm out of the apartment and up to the rooftop, not waiting for an answer. The darkness that surfaced when she heard the news comes back to my mind. Her sea of hurt deepened and became uproarious beneath those eyes. Betrayal. Hurt. Despair. Everything she felt during those years was mirrored just now. And this time the cause was me.
I need to calm down. Being angry isn’t going to get me anywhere at all. I sit on the edge of the building and stare up at the dark cloudy skies, sighing. It was just sunny while she was here and now it looks like it’s going to storm. I remember something about this in the archives. It said something about how a protector has different holds over the realm. Her’s just happened to be landscape and weather. This must be how she feels.
The first few raindrops begin to fall from the sky. As the intensity increases, I stand and look up into the sky, letting the cool rainwater roll down my cheeks. It’s like being bathed by her tears. But is she really crying? Or is this rain really representing bloodshed?
“She didn’t need to know about the engagement, you know,” I say to Alaric as he walks over to me from the rooftop entrance.
“You don’t understand how badly she wanted to kill your girlfriend before. The only reason she didn’t act on instinct was because of you.”
“And how does that help Hailey’s case now? Her knowledge of my engagement just gives her even more of a reason to kill her,” I growl at Alaric without even sparing him a glance.
“She won’t because you care for her. You care enough to marry the woman.”
“You know that’s a load of bull. You along with everyone in this fucking realm thinks I have some mysterious hold over Aszurya when I don’t. She could be plotting to kill everyone I love and I wouldn’t be able to fucking stop her because I’m a useless piece of shit.”
“You’re not useless-”
“I don’t even have my fucking powers and you along with others expect me to go up against this old ass guy and convince Aszurya not to turn evil or whatever. You guys are asking the impossible of me. You all think I’m some special being who can control Aszurya when she gets out of hand. Well, I’m sorry to tell you but you’re all fucking wrong.”
Alaric begins to say something but I don’t wait around to hear anything. I leap from the roof, landing onto the nearest with unimaginable power. Instead of stopping to think, I continue to run across the rooftops from building to building.
I’m tired of this place.
It doesn’t take long for the buildings to disappear and suddenly I’m leaping from tree to tree with a speed I’ve never seen before. I don’t know where I’m going or where I am. I just keep going until I’m out of breath and completely lost.
I just want to be at home with Hailey without all of these responsibilities I didn’t ask for. Why did my mother have to marry my father? Why is it their mistakes all affect my life more than theirs? Why couldn’t I just be a normal guy with a normal girlfriend who can finally settle down and start a family?