The Crown that Was Never Meant to Be

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Chapter Three

As it turned out, Damon had fallen asleep in the time it had taken her to talk to Ember. So, instead, she decided to go check on the others.

Half of the town, it seemed, had come out to greet them. Mainly, all of the children and their parents. Some of the parents seemed skeptical of the new arrivals, Amber and her scowl especially.

Domino, however, they trusted almost instantaneously, with her being pregnant and making a sad attempt to reign in her children. Jackal, clearly marking himself as the two children's father, was also trusted. The children, Nyx included, were also trusted in an instant.

The others... not so much.

Angelica supposed it didn't help that Amber had decided to tie Lilac up and drag him into town, despite Diamond's protesting, and it didn't help that the two were arguing about it.

Thankfully, Maroon and her insufferable swagger and comedy skills distracted from the two girls.

It did nothing to help Amber or Diamond, but it did a hell of a lot for Maroon.

Although, Angelica wasn't paying attention to that at all.

No, her mind was focused on the two wrong winged that Angelica didn't recognize.

A male and a female, silver wedding bands gleaming on their hands, stood a few feet away, just watching.

One of them, the dark aqua green female with black and silver hair, waved with a smile. Angelica couldn't help but wave back, a grin of her own sliding onto her lips.

The female took her husband's hand, guiding him over. He didn't seem hesitant to meet Angelica. In fact, he seemed just as optimistic as his wife.

"Hello," the female greeted, holding out a hand, "I'm Serafina, and this is my husband, Diego."

Angelica took her hand without a second though, grinning as she replied, "I'm Angelica."

"The Angelica I assume Evelynn told us about?" Diego guessed, wrapping a golden arm around Serafina's waist, drawing her against him.

"Unless she met another Angelica, yes, I am," she replied.

"Might I ask where this Damon is, then?" Diego tilted his head, curious.

"With Ember," Angelica replied, "It's a long story."

Concern flashed in Serafina's eyes, and Angelica assured her, "He's alright. At least, he will be."

She nodded, the concern leaving her eyes. "Good. I was hoping we wouldn't lose one of the wrong winged before I had a chance to meet them all."

"That would be a shame," Angelica agreed, "Speaking of which, have you met the others yet?"

"Not yet," Serafina replied, "I was waiting for someone who matches your description to show up."

"Well, then let's go meet them," Angelica said.

Serafina glanced to her husband, who gave her a curt nod, and they followed Angelica over to the others.

Immediately, Amber was on edge, her argument with Diamond stopping. Diamond, however, bounded over, her eyes lighting up at the prospect of new people. Maroon walked over as well, Nyx in her arms. Domino and Jackal hung back, not weary, but not overly excited to meet the new wrong winged.

"Everyone, meet Serafina and Diego," Angelica said, motioning to them.

Diamond squealed, her excitement tripling. Somehow, she managed to hold back from throwing a million questions their way, and instead just said with her normal jovialness, "I'm Diamond! It's great to meet you!"

"It's wonderful to meet you too, Diamond," Serafina said, her eyes softening at the girl's joy.

Nyx wiggled out of Maroon's arms, skipping up to the young couple. "I'm Nyx!"

Serafina lowered herself to her knees, taking the little girl's hands. "Hello, little Nyx. And who's watching over you?"

Diego looked to Angelica, his lightening blue eyes almost demanding answers.

"She's my little sister," Angelica clarified, her smile widening.

She held her arms out to the girl, who broke away from Serafina, bouncing into her sister's embrace.

"I had Maroon watching her while I took Damon to Ember," Angelica said, her attention fixing on her sister, "Hello, little Nyx."

Nyx beamed, throwing her arms around her older sister, hugging her tight.

"I love you," Angelica said, kissing her hair.

"I love you, too, big sis," Nyx replied, nuzzling her sister's neck, "I'm hungry."

"We'll get some food here in a minute, okay?"

The little girl nodded.

"How old is she?" Serafina asked.

"Six," Angelica replied.

"Are your parents... do you have a home?" Diego asked.

"We do," Angelica replied, and at the couple's confusion, she added, "But the king would use Nyx as leverage, so my parents had me take her out of our city."

Serafina nodded, asking, "She's adapting well?"

"She is. And we've been taking care of her," Angelica said.

"Good," Serafina said, "Good."

"Well, I've been taking care of her, mostly," Maroon said, sauntering up.

"Oh?" Serafina raised a brow.

"See, Angel here got captured for a while, where she met everyone but Damon, Amber and I, and Amber's no good with anyone, so I had to take care of her," Maroon said.

"And you are?" Diego asked.

"Oh, my apologies," Maroon said, took a step back, and gave them a sweeping bow, "I'm Maroon Aria Veron-Estelle, a bastard in every sense of the word, and it's wonderful to meet you."

Amber snorted. "Says the woman who cries over a scraped knee."

"Ignore her," Maroon said, a half grin on her lips.

Serafina snorted, very much not believing her. "Alright."

"I mean, ignoring her isn't going to be a problem, but the man she has tied up... not so much," Diego said.

"Oh, don't worry about him. He's only tied up because Amber's paranoid and we caught him following us in the woods. No biggie," Maroon said.

Serafina and Diego glanced at Angelica, who promised, "I'll explain later."

Thankfully, they excepted the answer.

"Alrighty, then, do you think she'd let me around her children?" Serafina asked, looking over to Domino, who was trying to convince Nora not to harass the couple.

"Oh, Domino? Of course," Maroon said, "Best you meet them before they meet you. The toddler especially."

Serafina chuckled. "Well, then let's go meet them."

She and her husband walked off, and Maroon turned to face Angelica, suddenly growing serious. "This town's leader wants to have a word with you."

Well, that wasn't reassuring.

"But I'm hungry," Nyx protested.

"Well," said a voice Angelica did not recognize, "It's a good thing I'm inviting you all to dinner."

Angelica turned to see an older snow white Angel with a kind smile walk her way, his completely silver eyes almost unnerving.

The town scattered around them, the wrong winged growing tense.

He approached Angelica, stopping before her. For a moment, they just stared each other down. An uneasy pit opened in Angelica's stomach.

Then the man raised a hand, smiling. "I'm Cazriel. And you're Angelica Lynn Grave. I'd like to personally thank you for saving my town."
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