Xaria

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Chapter 8

She was standing in front of the mirror, brushing her hair. She caught the silly smile on her face, and it reignited the giddiness in her. She squealed to herself, twirling around in her room.

“Do I have to report you as insane?”

She looked towards the door and her brother was leaning against it. “Shut up Lew!”

He scowled at the name. “I told you not to call me that!”

“That’s what you get for calling me insane,” she teased.

“Whatever! Where are you going all dressed up?” he interrogated.

She raised an eyebrow. “Why would I even tell you?”

“Because you know I’ll follow you if you don’t tell me,” he threatened.

She scoffed. “Would it actually kill you to be a cool brother for once?”

“It really would, because being a cool brother means letting you do whatever you want, and letting you do whatever you want means you could get yourself killed,” he pointed out.

She rolled her eyes at that. “If only it was really my safety you cared about.”

His eyes softened. “I care about you Xar.”

“And I almost believed you. I’ll be at the carnival!”

She stormed out of the room, her emotions all over the place. No one in the castle cared about her, she knew that much, but it hurt more coming from her brother than everyone else.

She left the castle unseen, sure that her brother would be sending people after her in any case. She didn’t have any freedom to do what she wanted. It had been that way since she’d had her first episode.

They were afraid of her.

Afraid of what she was capable of.

She often wondered if it were possible to take her own life. She’d never tried it, and she didn’t think she’d be brave enough to go through with it in any case, but the thought of no longer being a burden to anyone, herself included, always intrigued her.

Life would be better for everyone if she no longer existed.

She reached the portal taking her to the Faerie Kingdom, appearing a distance away from the carnival. Music and glee filled the air, and she felt her problems momentarily slip away. The bright colours and lights were enough to transport her into the moment, and she decided there and then that she’d just enjoy the carnival and ignore everything else.

Like a toddler, everything excited her. She barely knew where she wanted to go first, so she decided she’d go everywhere. She visited the stalls with the games first, before heading over to the rides.

She was unaware of the man following her. He was completely entranced from the moment he caught a whiff of her scent. He watched as her hair swayed with the wind, complete joy on her face as the ride spun her around.

He’d come for other business, but had found himself heading towards the carnival. He’d watched as she played the games, disappointment engulfing her with every miss, and pure joy shining from her with every win.

She was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.

When the ride had stopped, she stepped off, only to trip. She waited for the thud, but it never came. Instead, she looked up at the jade eyes looking down at her. She was taken aback to find the affection in them.

He cleared his throat, helping her stand up straight. “Sorry about that.”

Xaria was still captivated by his appearance. She’d been out and about many times before, but she’d never seen such a handsome man. He exuded grace, but there was a vibration of power that surrounded him.

She was absolutely hypnotized.

“No, thank you for saving me,” she finally spoke up.

She was momentarily blown away by the smile he returned. “Any time.”

“I’m Xaria,” she introduced, putting her hand out to him.

He brought her hand up to his lips, putting the softest kiss on it. “Gabriel.”

***

“You’ve lost your mind! That’s it! You’ve lost your damn mind!”

Gabriel rubbed his temples, listening to his sister continue to scold him for the umpteenth time. He was balancing his annoyance with everyone around him, with his worry for his mate, who wasn’t waking up.

“Why? I just want to know why?” Angela asked him.

He sighed, resigned. “I don’t know.”

“Guys, give him a break. He had no control over his beast, right?” Jamie surprisingly defended him.

His wife glared at him. “I could care less about his fucking beast. My sister is unconscious! We don’t know what him marking her means for her, and my mom is unreachable.”

“I’m curious. Is she the only one who didn’t know that she’s a supernatural?” Danica asked.

Leith shook his head. “I found out today too.”

Zortan raised an eyebrow at Angela, Cara, and Jamie. “So, the three of you are the ones with the answers.”

“I know nothing beyond the fact that she’s a supernatural,” Jamie defended.

Gabriel turned to Cara. “You’re her Guardian.”

“I am,” Cara confirmed, giving nothing away.

“What does that mean?” Danica questioned.

“You can stop interrogating us. We don’t know as much as you think we do,” Angela snapped.

“What do you know?” Leith was the one to ask.

“We only know one half of what she is, and only because I’m the same half, which is the half we share from our mother,” Angela explained.

“Which is…?” Danica prompted.

“We’re half angel.”

Angela watched as her audience took in her revelation. She watched it sink in, and watched as they put the pieces together. Xaria was a powerful being, and with the information she’d just shared, she knew that it was only a matter of time before they started their theories on what her other half was.

“That means…” Zortan trailed off.

“Our mother is the famous fallen angel.”

Silence once again settled onto the room as they registered the weight of Angela’s words. The story of the fallen angel was a well-known story throughout the supernatural realm. There had been myths and rumours about her for thousands of years.

“I’m half-angel and half-elf. My father was an elven soldier without any true powers. I’ve got some powers from my mother, but nothing like Xaria. All my mother told us was that her father is someone powerful, and that they’d hunt her down if they knew she existed,” Angela continued.

“And? What are Cara and Leith? We know Jamie’s a werewolf,” Zortan questioned.

“I’m part of an ancient bloodline of light witches who draw their power from the sun. You wouldn’t know anything about them though,” Cara replied.

Danica gasped. “You’re a Ludmia witch?”

Cara scowled. “How the hell do you know that?”

“We are Trachba Royals. All witches who served my father were captured and imprisoned. Considering how long ago that happened, and how old you are, you can only be a Ludmia witch. They’re the only other witches who draw their power from the sun. I thought your kind was wiped out?” Gabriel queried.

“Wait a minute! Xaria mentioned Trachba earlier, but I didn’t put two and two together. You’re thee Dark Prince?” Cara instead asked him.

Gabriel nodded. “The very one.”

“We don’t know much about the supernatural world since my mom didn’t want to risk us getting exposed to the wrong people, but your reputation precedes you,” Angela commented.

“So, about the witches?” Zortan prodded.

Cara sighed, leaning forward in her chair. “Most of my kind was wiped out, and those who weren’t, fled and went into hiding. My great grandparents were a part of those who went into hiding. The bloodlines have obviously gotten weaker with the generations getting together with different species. For my family, I’m the first hybrid since my grandparents were also pure blooded. My mother however, got together with a human, and I was the result. I’m a hybrid, but my powers aren’t as weak as you’d expect them to be because of that.”

“And what about Leith?” Gabriel asked.

“We don’t know anything about what Leith could be. When we met him, he already had the magic shrouding whatever he is,” Cara replied.

“And before you ask, his parents wouldn’t know. He was adopted,” Angela added.

“What?” Leith whispered in shock.

Cara turned to her best friend, taking his hand in hers. “They weren’t going to tell you, and they asked us not to either. They admitted that they don’t know what you are either, but they were asked to take you in and never tell you that you were adopted. It was apparently safer for you that way. I’m sorry we lied to you Leilei.”

Zortan was unsettled watching Cara’s clear affection for her best friend. He’d never before felt that way, and he wasn’t sure if his jealousy could be seen on his face. He was hoping otherwise because he hadn’t yet had time to deal with the situation before him.

He’d finally met his mate, and she was oblivious to the fact.

He hadn’t had time to tell his best friend either.

“I wish I could say it’s ok, but I haven’t exactly had a chance to truly deal with everything that happened today. However, I’m asking you to help me figure out what I am, especially if you’re saying that my parents don’t know,” Leith said after a while.

“Things are about to get interesting for all of us, so finding out what you are is definitely on the list. I can’t imagine my mother is going to be impressed to find out that Xaria got marked though,” Angela noted.

“We don’t even know if she’s been marked,” Leith tried to argue.

Gabriel shook his head. “She’s definitely marked. I can feel it.”

“To be fair, it’s been forever since Gabe and Xaria were meant to meet. His primal side was going to go rogue at one point or the other,” Danica pointed out.

“What exactly happened out there? Weren’t you meant to calm her down?” Angela asked Gabriel.

Gabriel was confused. “You mean you didn’t see him?”

“See who?” they asked.

“Miguel – he was here,” Gabriel informed.

“He was?” Cara asked.

Gabriel nodded. “He was. He said some words to Xaria that ultimately pissed off my primal side. I had no control whatsoever. If anything, it came down to either killing him or marking her.”

Everyone was astounded by what he’d told them. “Well then, we won’t know the true effect of anything until she wakes up.”

***

“Would you like to come watch the show with me?” Xaria asked Gabriel.

“I’m supposed to be leaving soon,” he replied.

She was visibly disappointed by that. “Oh.”

“You can come with me, and we’ll come back later. I just have an errand to run,” he offered.

He laughed when her eyes lit up. “You want me to come with you?”

“Unless if you have other plans,” he said.

She shook her head. “I’m good with anything.”

He led them away, leaving the carnival and instead heading towards the Faerie Castle. Xaria had never been before, but she could tell in how he carried himself that Gabriel had definitely been.

When they reached the gates, she was surprised when they were easily let in, with the guards bowing down to them. She knew it had nothing to do with her, because not many people knew who she really was.

She followed Gabriel as he navigated them through the castle. They’d been walking a while when they finally reached a massive door with intricate designs on it. Gabriel knocked on it three times before they waited a while.

When the door finally opened, Xaria didn’t expect to see the golden eyes that met them. The man was tall, but not as tall as Gabriel, and it was in that moment that Xaria realized that while the man was attractive, Gabriel had become the standard.

She blushed at the very thought.

“My, what a beautiful woman,” the man spoke.

Both the man and Xaria were surprised by the growl that rumbled from Gabriel. “Careful.”

While Xaria was still confused, the man seemed to have caught on, grinning. “Well, about time.”

“I’m not here to discuss this,” Gabriel warned.

“And what exactly is it that you are here for?” the man asked.

Xaria coughed, looking at both men. “My apologies. The name is Leith.”

“Xaria,” she happily introduced.

“I’m here for the scroll,” Gabriel told Leith.

“I already told Danica that I do not have it. It’s not in the castle,” Leith informed.

“If you don’t have it, then who does?” Gabriel questioned.

“Beats me! I don’t even know who had it last, and before you ask, no I won’t do it. She and I aren’t on talking terms currently,” Leith added.

Gabriel sighed out in frustration. “This is not going well.”

Leith seemed to soften at the sight. “You’re trying to do a good thing Gabe, even if many people won’t see it that way.”

Gabriel said nothing to that, choosing instead to nod. “We’ll be going then.”

“Are you headed to the carnival?” Leith asked them.

Gabriel smiled down at Xaria. “She wants to.”

Xaria frowned at him. “You don’t want to go?”

He chuckled at that. “I’ll go anywhere you want me to Ria.”

Xaria blushed furiously at the shortened name. No one else had ever thought to call her Ria. Everyone called her Xaria or Xar, and to know that Gabriel was the only one to call her by a different name felt right.

“Would the two of you like to join me for dinner tonight when you’re through at the carnival?” Leith offered.

“We’ll come for dinner tomorrow night,” Gabriel replied, hoping Leith would catch on.

“We will?” Xaria asked. She wasn’t aware that she’d be seeing more of Gabriel, much less Leith.

Gabriel grabbed her hand and laced their fingers, kicking off a flutter of butterflies in Xaria’s stomach. Her heart was beating so quickly, she thought it would explode. She couldn’t understand what was going on with her.

“We will.”

With that, Gabriel bid Leith farewell, with Xaria silently trying to calm her heart. She was rarely allowed to leave the castle, but she knew that she’d never felt anything like this with anyone else she’d met before. Her feelings had never been this haywire before, and she wasn’t the only one confused by her state.

Gabriel continued to watch her as they made their way back to the carnival. His only business in the Faerie Kingdom was to see Leith about the scroll. The last thing he expected was to finally meet his mate.

She was certainly more beautiful than any woman he’d ever seen, but it was her aura that was most captivating to him. He didn’t know if other people could sense it, but she glowed. She was an absolute vision.

He watched the bewilderment on her face, curious about what was the cause of the clear storm. He was enjoying the electricity flowing through them, and he wondered if it had anything to do with that.

They eventually made it back to the carnival, but Xaria seemed miles away. “Ria?”

“Hmm?”

“What’s on your mind?”

She looked up at him and once again found herself lost in his gaze. She watched how the different swirls in his eyes moved around each other. She was in absolute awe of him, enraptured by his beauty.

Gabriel held his breath at the unexpected touch on his face. Her soft fingers travelled down the side of his face. She still looked lost, but this time in him, and he’d never seen a more captivating sight.

“Do you feel the sparks too?” she asked, in almost a whisper.

He nodded. “I do.”

“What do they mean?” she asked.

His suspicions were confirmed then – she didn’t know they were mates. His thoughts had been dancing around the possibility given how confused she seemed to be by their instant connection.

“They mean we were meant to meet,” he said softly.

She took his hand, placing it on her chest. “I have never felt like this before.”

He brushed a strand of hair away from her face. “Neither have I.”

“I don’t even know you,” she said.

“My name is Gabriel Jankovic, Crown Prince of Trachba.”

She froze at his words, something that caught him off-guard too. He hadn’t expected that reaction, not from her, and he didn’t know how to feel, besides feeling rejected. He was pulling away, something she very quickly noticed.

“Trachba?” she whispered.

“I should go,” he instead said.

“I’ll come with you!” she blurted.

“You don’t even know where I’m going,” he pointed out.

“I’ll come anyway,” she insisted.

He cocked his head to the side. “Why?”

“Because Riel, I’ll go anywhere you want me to.”

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