I wanted my Mate. I was feeling the effects of not being able to see her or hold her. Even our son had not been able to see her. It was like Aio had disappeared from the castle. the only reason I even knew she was still there was because she would always leave Kojiro little love notes. Telling him how much she loved him or how proud of him she was. How much she missed him. Nothing for me.
She was so angry with me she wouldn’t even tell me she loved me. I had tried to find her but it was like trying to find a wisp of smoke. I could sense her but I could never see her. It was always like she was there but never seen. I was starting to get very angry.
Becoming King and losing my Mate happened in the same day, was too much and I was about to lose all my composure. It all happened because I needed my son to act like the King that he is. I cannot have Kojiro show any weakness toward anyone because he will be thrown into a pool of sharks sooner rather than later and I need my son strong enough to take that.
I just wish Aio understood that.
It has been so hard for both Kojiro and myself without Aio. We have been doing fine because we need to be fine but we are both rotting on the inside and I can tell. It is not a happy thing to watch my very young son become so depressed. I was watching him play with his wooden cavalry toys I had made him a few days ago in the hopes of cheering him up when a small knock sounded on the door.
“Enter.” I called, a little annoyed at whoever would dare to disturb me and my son at this hour.
To my absolute surprise it was Aio, a sad look on her red face. Her eyes were puffy, like she had been crying for a long time. Her appearance had me actually worried as I flashed to stand just inches away from her, Kojiro just behind me.
“Aio, my love.” I said softly holding my hand out slowly, keeping it low so she had the option to refuse.
She held her hand up to me, it shook like crazy but she was determined for me to listen to her first. “I wanted to apologize for my actions. I have been so blinded by my own fears that I dismissed your ways and traditions. I will not make any more fuss about you training Kojiro. I trust you to make the right decisions when it comes to that side of his education.” she said, her voice soft but serious. She meant what she said.
I looked at her, knowing there were tears in my eyes. She had somehow seen things my way and it had changed the way she saw everything. What had happened?
“I forgive you my angel,” I said as I held my arms out to her needing her to come to me. “I have missed you so damn much Aio, please don’t do this to me again. Please tell me why this has upset you so much as to push you so far away from me and Kojiro?” I asked as she tried to pull away from me a little.
Aio looked up at me, her eyes filled with a deep sadness I don’t think I would ever understand if I were to live until the end of time. I reached out to gently place my hand on her face. A loving look in my eyes, “It’s ok, you can tell me anything and you know that I will love you always.” I said kissing her forehead and then her lips.
Aio looked at me and then down to Kojiro. “Come here to momma” she crooned to our son, who happily ran to his mother who he had missed terribly.
They hugged and talked for a moment before Aio sent Kojiro off to his room that was attached to our living room. When she had closed his door, she turned back to me and sank to the floor her face already filled with tears.
I flashed to her side, pulling her into my arms. Thankfully she didn’t pull away, she did the opposite she snuggled her way into my chest. “I’m sorry Ren. I have been fighting with this for too long. It is something that has been hurting me and I have been keeping it to myself because I’m scared.” she began her voice soft, to the point that if I wasn’t a Vampire, I would not have heard her at all.
I gathered her closer to me and just held her, making sure she knew I was there, “Aio, you don’t have to face your fears alone anymore. Kojiro is not just my son or just yours. If you are afraid of something, we need to talk about it together. I won’t do things by myself but I need to understand why it upsets you.” I said seriously.
Aio looked up at me thoughtfully. “I am royalty in my own right, Ren. My parents were the King and Queen of the Nekojin people.” Aio confessed to me, her voice filled with sadness.
To say that I was shocked would be an understatement.
“Um... ” I said trying to form the right words and coming up very short.
Aio actually giggled at me, placing her hand on my face like always. I loved the familiar feel of her skin on mine. “It’s all right my light. You don’t have to say anything. I know it’s a bit of a shock, and not something I am very proud of anymore.” she said the sadness very evident in her voice.
I could sense the anguish in her and it made me angry but it also made me need to comfort my Mate.
“Aio, please.” was all I could manage.
Aio smiled a little and took a deep breathe. “The current King of the Nekojin is my older brother Sohito. He took the Throne that was already his by bloodshed and at the tip of a sword. He went to study the ways of the mind and came back a monster.” she said with tears “All of it was my fault, I begged my parents to let him go. I wanted my big brother to play wooden swords with me.” she said, her tears flowing down her face as she told me what had happened. “It had happened so fast that Mother had only been able to get me out in the middle of the night. I don’t even know if any of my other siblings were able to survive that night.”
That got my attention. Did he go on a killing spree?? “What do you mean my dove?”
“Sohito was determined to kill the one possessing the magic of the gods. I had three younger siblings that had only been born a month before he had lost his mind. They were supposed to have been with my father but he had never joined me and my mother.” she said thoughtfully. “I had thought he had been with us at one point in time but I was wrong.” she said shaking her head.
“Do you want to go back and look for them?” I ask her seriously. I would do anything for her.
She giggled at me “That would be something wouldn’t it. An army of 7ft Vampires stalking through the trees at night searching for a bunch of people that may or may not exist. I am not exactly on very good speaking terms with Sohito at the moment as it is love and I would rather punch him in the face than agree with him. I don’t want to go back to that place of death.” she said softly.
I could hear the need to search for her lost family in her voice but the hatred for her older brother was deeply rooted in her voice as well. He did kill a bunch of innocent people looking for her power, for no reason after all. That was something that would always weigh on her mind.
“Love I will always be here for you to lean on. You can tell me anything, you know that. Kojiro’s training is not just about killing though my love. He is not learning about how to only kill innocent lives. That is not how a King is taught how to use a sword.” I said seriously.
Aio smiled at me and placed her hand on my face again probably for the thousandth time. “Pop showed me the difference and that is why I came to apologize to you about how unfair I have been to you and our son. I have been very unfair to the both of you and I have come to beg for your forgiveness.” she said pleading in her voice as she looked at me, her love for me in her eyes. She needed me to understand her fear but she also needed me to understand her need to be with us.
“Of course, I forgive you my sweet Aio. I ask that you forgive me as well. I was callous in the way I handled things and I should have been far more understanding.” I said taking her hands in mine. “You are my everything and I do not want anything to happen to us. I will always love you my little angel.” I said kissing her forehead.
I loved her so much and she needed to know that more than anything. Regardless of anything else in this crazy world Aio and Kojiro were my first priority and that was how it was always going to be.
A knock on the door ended our moment as my personal servant, Nelo, came in bowing deeply to both me and Aio. “Your Royal Majesties. Please excuse this one, but His Highness Draven would like a word with both you and the Royal Prince Kojiro.” Nelo said as he stood from his bow.
I nodded “Inform my father we will see him shortly in his study as usual.” I said, getting Nelo to quickly bow to us again and leave in a flash.
“I wonder what he has to tell us.” Aio said absent mindedly as she wrapped her hand around mine.
I smiled down at her, happy for once. “Well how about we go get Rio and find out.” I said with a bright smile.
She returned my smile and nodded before we went to get our son, together.