"Is this the place?" Kevida asked as she drew her horse to a more steady pace , side glancing at Maya, as they approached a small cottage so old and poor, crouched low into the grassy embankment that it was a surprise it was still standing.
It yet looked alive and warm with a thin grey ribbon of smoke rising from the chimney. Barely surrounded by other houses, it looked abandoned and if not for the smoke, many would have thought so.
"I gave you my word did I not?" Maya answered as she glanced at Kevida who paid little attention to her and more to the dusty looking cottage.
Kevida unrolled her hand from the reins of her black mane. The ground below her feet made a slush as she plopped down from her horse, the mud staining her boots.
Maya felt a temporary dash of relief as she felt Hunter's hands uncurl from that of the reins of the horse they had rode together and his uncomfortably warm chest detached from her back, leaving it bare, the moment he alighted the horse.
He stretched his hand out to her like a gentleman but she knew he was no gentleman, quite the opposite.
She scornfully disregarded his gesture, dismounting the horse herself. Maya's eyes scanned the familiar neighborhood, a sickening feeling dosing her insides as she looked to the few men behind her getting off their horses.
"Go on." Hunter urged her. She gave him a hard glare before advancing towards the old cottage, her companies, close behind her.
Stopping at the semi-circular wooden door, Maya glanced back at her captors only to find them beside the wall, away from sight of a person who opens the door. Maya raised her fists to knock but it was caught midway. Snapping her head, her defiant eyes came in contact with blue fiery untrusting ones.
"Do not try anything you think to be smart otherwise believe me when I say you will very much regret it." Maya dragged her willful wrist out of Kevida's cold and firm hand.
Taking a deep breath, she knocked.
Almost immediately, the door opened to reveal an elderly woman, her strawberry blonde hair traced with silvery strands of old age in a braided updo, she was well fitted in a black gold velvet trim trumpet sleeve gown. Her face wrinkled with worry dissolved the moment her eyes had set on Maya. A mixed feeling of happiness and anger swarming her.
"Maya? Maya!" Her aunt held her by the sides of her arms strictly assessing her.
"Where have you been girl? Do you have any idea how worried I have been? I had even organized a search party for you, I..." Her aunt ceased her words on noticing the wary expression on Maya's face.
"Maya? What happened? What happened to your glamor? Maya dear?" Maya's eyes pooled, her gaze unsteady as she looked into her aunt's eyes.
"I tried Aunt Melcrya but I could not, I just...." Hunter emerged through the door, his eyes set on Melcrya.
In an instant, Maya was set aside by Melcrya and out of the way. A spell set in motion, casting Hunter hard against the concrete wall, landing him onto the floor. He was picked by levitation but this time captured by the neck.
"Who are you and what do you want? Speak now or I will make you." Hunter merely choked before endowing Melcrya with his daring glare.
It was in that moment, Kevida had decided on making an entrance, coming into view.
"Se-miya?" Melcya voiced as she felt warmth shrivel through her. Laying eyes on Kevida, Melcya released Hunter from her hold.
"Se-miya is that really you?" Kevida was caught off guard as Melcya drew her into a tight embrace.
Kevida had attempted to shove the woman off but to no avail, though she had the strength but the way in which Melcrya had held her stirred something indefinite in her, only willingly had she been released from the arms of Melcrya.
"Oh Maya, you should have informed me on the findings of your sister, I had never intented on your reunion to take place so but none of it matters for at last she has been found." Melcrya praised as she smiled, joy glazed all over her face, her dark brown orbs gleaming like those of a child that had earned sweets.
Maya's eyebrows were drawn together as she stared at her aunt in shock and dismay, ignoring her words like the incessant ramblings of an old woman, Maya put a safe distance between Melcrya and Kevida.
"Aunt Melcrya, I have no sibling, you know that, why mistake such a thing? This is no sister of mine." Maya addressed her aunt, her tone laced with an unamoumtable venom as she side glanced at Kevida.
She always knew her aunt had some loose screws in her head and mouthed strange words from time to time, even spoke to invisible beings sometimes during her sleep and acted beyond abnormal towards people but what she had proclaimed was simply ludicrous.
"A glamor perhaps." Melcrya turned to Kevida, a blazing intent burning in her mudded eyes.
"My face may resemble that of Maya but one thing that does not is who I am, witch." Kevida corrected, her cold eyes trained on Melcrya.
"Aunt Melcrya, she is Kevida, Queen Kevida." Maya admitted as she looked between Kevida and her aunt.
"No no, that is not true, she is Se-miya, your sister, she is no Queen." Melcrya argued.
"And who may this be, does she owe him money, no worries, we may not have much but I assure you it should be enough to pay any debt." Maya had never seen her aunt act as crazy as she had been doing for the past moments since she had arrived with Kevida.
She was starting to think practicing magic in a kingdom where it was forbidden had started to take a toll on her. She had always known what her aunt was but no circumstance had ever made her expose herself in such a way.
"I expected a lot of things from you Maya but never did I imagine you to be from a family of magic beholders, it appears Hunter was right, you are certainly not as ordinary as you seem and I am determined to find out what secrets are lurking behind those pretty face of yours even if I have to peel it off myself." Kevida ran her hands along Maya's cheek.
"I want these two back at Hubis, things just got a lot more interesting." The corner of her lip pulled upward into a beaming smirk before she exited the house.
Maya and Melcrya were rounded up like prisoners by Hunter and his men to be taken back with Kevida. Maya struggled all the way while her aunt kept calm without so much as a scream.
This scared Maya deeply as she wondered if seeing Kevida was the final closure for the revel of her insanity or mayhap she was waiting for something before she acted.
Maya had asked herself so many times on the way but no answer presented itself. She knew it was forbidden to use magic in the Kingdom but she had at least expected her aunt to fight back but nothing of the sort happened and when she finally felt the horse she rode on - blindfolded - slow down she knew her aunt waited for nothing.
Her whole body ached and burned to scream and yell at her as to why she had let them be captured but all she could do was sit silent and listen as the gates of the castle open.
Kevida was no where to be seen as their blindfolds were removed but something told her she was very closeby. Something in the place so called Hubis terrified her and the fact that they were prisoners who were not chained or tied only accompanied scared her more.
It was as if an invite to escape but she knew better, the last time she had attempted such, it threw her back to where she had started, literally.
On their arrival, they were immediately taken to the throne room where she found Kevida to be - sitting on her throne - in all gracefullness and pride, they stood before her like the prisoners she thought them to be, she saw them to be and they were seen to be.
Maya looked at Kevida intensely as fear and anger burned through her but her gaze could not be compared to the icicle pops Kevida beared for eyes as she watched, a slick look similar to one a cat gives a rat, its tail trapped between her sharp claws.
"Melcrya of Cavernalt, no, pardon me, I strongly doubt you are from around here, surely you were not born in a kingdom where the supernatural is forbidden."
"So then humor me witch, from what kingdom are you?"
"Se-miya." Melcrya called out and this angered Kevida in ways she herself could not fathom, the name, the way it was said, the person who had called her by it. All evoked a tamed demon she was fighting hard to put to rest.
In a split second, Kevida had Melcrya's throat in her hands as she raised the old woman from her feet, bringing her closer whilst staring into her chocolate colored eyes.
"I will tell you this only once witch and believe me when I say I do not repeat my words. My name is Kevida." Melcrya's dared to look into Kevida's eyes with the same churning intensity as hers.
"Kevida of what?" Melcrya retorted as she asked, taking the words one at a time. Kevida glared hard, narrowing her eyes to dangerously locked slits as she strengthened the clinch on Melcrya's throat, a ghastly smirk playing on her lips as she choked.
"And what would you know witch?"
"Please stop! You are hurting her!" Maya pleaded as she attempted seperate Kevida from Melcrya but was held back by guards.
"That is the point is it not?" Kevida fixed her attention back to Melcrya.
"You have truly forgotten haven't you? Who you are, you do not who you are, Se-miya."
"Pardon me Your Majesty," Sir Vrendore started. "Did you just say Se-miya, as in the house of Se?"
Murmurs erupted in the once silent room as Sir Vrendore said the words, a frightening realization hitting all.
Maya was beyond confused as to what was happening before her eyes, the revelations her aunts were putting to light were just too much for her to conceive. It was simply assinine how she spoke the words with so much surety, it terrified her.
"You are no Kevida, you are Se-miya, the first born by Lord Marlius and Lady Cantralyssia of Hodren."
"You lie!" Kevida barked but Melcrya took not to the warnings her tone held.
"Is this not what you want Miya? To know your past? your history? your heritage?"
Their hot breaths mingled as Kevida brought Melcrya's face closer to hers, her fangs protruding as she snarled. "You know not a damn thing about what I want."
"But I do Miya, I know everything you want." Melcrya whispered.
"I see the insatiable itch growing inside of you, I know you want to end it and there's only one way to fill that... Permanently as you would like to think, I know where you can find it." Melcrya said, the last part of her words an echoing ring in Kevida's head.
"Your Majesty!" A guard addressed as he entered the throne room.
"Who dare disturb me!" Kevida growled, releasing fully her hold on Melcrya to meet her defyer.
"Forgive me Your Majesty but there are some matters that need your attention, urgently." He spoke, his head bowed as he rested a hand on his bent knee, halfly kneeling.
"Very well then, I usually do not take prisoners, like I say, they have the tendency to escape and times when they do, they tend to meet fates worse than the executions that await them but just for you two, I will make an exception, take them to dungeons."
"Maybe I will start doubting you less and trusting you more if you spoke the truth more often Christian." Ania argued.
"What do you want me to say Ania, it has only been two days since I had been rescued by you from the cave,"
"You mean left for dead by Kevida." She lashed back as an unwelcoming surge of jealousy swam through her.
"You know that is not what I mean, I am just trying to say you never exactly gave me the opportunity to explain even when we were back at Hubis."
"That is not what happened."
"But it is Ania, I am sorry okay? I.. I just didn't know how to tell you, I myself had not known about it until the day before we went to the cave." Christian explained as he peered into Ania's eyes.
"I know, I guess I.."
"You couldn't help but want me to tell you,
You wished I had told you even without asking
And you wish I had talked to you about it and even after all I did you still wished it was from me you had heard it."
Christian lost focus of Ania as his mind drifted to a particular noirette haired vampire. His eyes wandering to nothing in particular.
"Do you still love her?" Ania could not help but ask the question for it had been burning in her mind. Her heart itched and yearned for the truth from Christian even though it feared deep down the truth.
"What?" Christian scrunched his face as he raised his eyes to meet hers.
"I mean Kevida, do you still feel for her?"
Uncertainty pooled in Ania's eyes as she gazed into his, dreadfully awaiting his answer and when none came she knew, she knew what his answer was and hated herself for wanting to hear the opposite for whatever she thought was feeling or had felt, she feared he would never see it. Not when his heart was filled with her.
Turning away from Christian, Ania made a move for the door.
"Ania.. Ania wait." Catching her arm in his hand, Christian whipped her around.
"She left you for dead, Christian, she does not give a care what happens to you, how could you still love her?"
Ania struggled against his hold but failed to free herself of him, she always found herself stuck in that situation. Whatever she had done to push him away, to push the thoughts of him away she had done it for her sanity and now she could do nothing to escape it.
"Do you trust me?" Ania's eyes locked with his on hearing the question but almost immediately sought something else to rest on.
"I.. I don't know." She admitted.
"I understand, but there are things about Kevida, things that nobody knew, things that not even she knew about herself, things I had been told to keep buried for hers and everyone around her's good but in order for me to tell you, I need you to trust me Ania, can you do that?" Christian gazed into her chocolate eyes as he hoped desperately for the answer he dreaded.
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