Aella sits excitedly in the back of the jet, her hair flipping frantically to the side of her face as she strains to see out the windows at the front of the air craft.
"Do you even know where he'd be?" I ask Aella, staring back at her, my hands positioned underneath my legs. She looks at me and nods confidently. If there's one thing about Aella that I know for sure, it is that she loves Cassius. And that he loves her back. Just as I thought Brenton and I might....No, I can't think about that, at least not now. Besides, Brenton may still stand with the Royals. Just thinking about it makes me shiver.
"Of course I do." She says strongly, glaring at Como's back just like she's been doing for the past 10 minutes. Como told us that before we should do anything, we must fly as far away as possible from the association. Just in case they come searching for us. Both Como and I had thought that the association was a safe place, but clearly we had been wrong. I mean...they had imprisoned my sister!
"And where is that?" Como asks, his eyes never leaving the control panel of lights and switches covering the front of the jet. It makes me dizzy just looking at it, and I can't see how anyone would be able to figure out how to fly this thing. But Como is very intelligent, and had been taught since a very young age how to control an air craft.
"The outskirt gardens of AirDale." Aella answers confidentally. "We were caught running from BloomsRidge." She looks at me with her words, "But no matter how far away AirDale is from there...I just know that he'll be there." The look in her eyes says everything. It must have been the place that they agreed to meet if they ever got seperated. Why? I have no idea. But they must have been there together at least once before, to agree on a specific spot to meet each other.
"You do know how to get there...don't you?" I question Como, my long jet black lashes scratching against my face with my words. He just stares at me, his hands still resting on the controls of the jet.
"Anna, do you really not trust me that much?" He smirks, eyes wandering back to Aella, who stares at us with disgust. She hates Como. That much is clear. But of course she would, if I were her I'd hate him too. Because of how he had treated her, like an ungrateful spoiled brat, when he hadn't even met her before.
"Anna?" Aella asks, her eyebrows climbing up to her forehead in disbelief.
"Yes. That's my name, isn't it?" I say sternly, and I shoot her a look that says don't say anything stupid before turning back to face the front of the jet, my hair whipping at my face harshly, even though its up in a tight ponytail on the top of my head.
"Sure." Aella shrugs, sinking into her seat with silent defeat. She looks tired and sad, she's been through so much. Much more than anyone should have to experience in their life.
"Well, how do you know that he's there. What if he isn't? Then we would have wasted this old jets energy. And for what? For another bitchy Royal?" He huffs, and it takes all of my self control not to slap him silly. His words stung me much more than I'd ever admit to anyone. Because deep down, I am still a Royal. Nothing can remove that title from my head.
"Oh shut up!" Aella groans from her seat, and I can see her fists clenched in her lap, bone white from her grasp.
"No fighting! We are going to find Cassius, and of course Aella knows where he is Como! They are betrothed after all." The words tumble from my mouth before I can even make sense of them, and I pull a hand over my face when I realize what I have done.
"Wait...your engaged?" Como asks Aella, dumbfounded. "Isn't he like 8 years older than you?" He chuckles to himself.
"And what does that matter? We love each other, and that's why we are getting married." Aella glares at me with her words, and I lower myself in my seat, ashamed of what I've done.
"Sorry, I guess I'm just shocked is all." Como laughs, looking back at Aella, and like me he shrinks down into his chair with the weight of her stare.
"And I'm sorry that your a lonely jerk." Aella replies, crashing one of her fists down onto the armrest of her chair, making me jump.
"Oh, someone's got some attitude." Como says still grinning, and Aella looks even more annoyed than before by his happiness at her sudden outburst.
"Whatever." Aella finishes our conversation, resting her head on her shoulders and closing her eyes softly, her body going limp as she falls into a deep sleep quickly.
Como fly's the jet silently, and I stare out the window as we pass forest after forest, the clouds swirling beside us as we glide along the air with a grace only an air craft can have.
"So...you knew about the Prince and Princess and yet you didn't think to tell me, even after you revealed the truth about your life to me?" Como asks, the silence around us breaking with a sudden crack.
"Well, we just got out of a pretty scary situation. And besides, that wasn't really on my mind..." I trail off, staring back at the young girl sleeping at the back of the jet. With Aella's sassy attitude and powerful aura surrounding her, it's hard to realize that she is only 16 years old. Far too young to be getting married. At least in commoner society, which only let's you get married at the age of 18. For Royals though, it is acceptable to get married by the age of 12. Yeah, Royals and commoners are very, very, very, different.
"Yeah, but you were going to tell me eventually. Right?" He stares at me, his eyes wide with anticipation at my answer.
"Have you ever been in love?" I change the conversation completely, shocking him, and he blinks in surprise, turning away from me quickly.
"Yes." He admits with a short breath of air. But he doesn't allow me any more information and we continue to fly in silence until her speaks again. "What about you? Have you ever been in love?" He asks, his eyes fixed on the world in front of us.
"I don't know much about love. But...I think maybe. Once before." I blush with my words, and rest my head on the cushions behind me with a thump. I close my eyes like Aella, and pretend to be asleep. Because I can't answer any more of Como's prying questions. It would hurt too much.
"Cassius!" I hear Aella gasp out, as she wakes up from her sleep, rubbing her eyes against the back of her hands with an annoyed sound of desperation.
"You ok?" I ask my sister, reaching out as if to touch her hand, and I pull away quickly. But not as quick as Aella. Her hand entwines with mine, and her eyes thank me for my support through all of this.
"Yeah. Just a nightmare." She explains, yawning with a sigh. Her hair is a mess of undone braids, and her face looks flushed. Even her form is bonier than before, and it scares me on how starved she must be.
"Ok." I smile slowly, turning to Como as we lurch forwards inside the jet. It touches down to the safety of earth, and Como ushers us out, quickly opening the doors to the small air craft we've been stuck inside for a little less than a day.
I jump down to the hard dirt floor, and extend my hand to help Aella down beside me. She refuses, falling lightly beside me and looking around wildly to get her bearings on where the hell we are. Como smacks down to the ground beside her, and we all start on into what must be the outskirt gardens of AirDale. It's beautiful here, and as we pass each bush intwined with vibrant red roses, I grin with appreciation for the fascinating elegance of nature all around us.
It's hard to believe that Aella has grown up here all her life. Well...not here exactly, but in the actual kingdom of AirDale, which is said to be majestically beautiful. I've always wanted to see it, but I don't know if that day will ever come. Maybe, when the world is right I will be able to settle down in a small cottage in the middle of a vast garden. But that is just a stupid fantasy.
It is not reality. Reality is much, much worse. But still, I can't release the hope that one day, everything will be alright. In any way, it's probably just another story I have made up in my mind to help me relax, even through everything I have been through. I shake myself out of my thoughts, following as Aella leads both Como and I through a maze of delicate and intricate patterns of twisting trees that seem to reach out to the sky, and vines snaked around logs.
A rushing sound that can only mean a lake is near fills the silence all around us, and a foggy blanket settles in between Aella, Como, and I, and the stretch of earth in front of us, making it impossible to see what we are approaching. In the back of my mind, I screech at myself for letting a young Princess lead us through a thick forest-like fairy garden.
"Where will he be?" I ask Aella, and she stares at me, worry covering every inch of her face.
"We said we'd meet where the lilies meet the roses. But...I can't remember where they are." She cries, her strong mask breaking apart in front of Como and I, and I run to her quickly, trying to comfort her.
"We'll find it. Don't worry." I tell her, one hand gently placed on her thin shoulder. She nods, sniffling. And I smile at her trust in my words.
The three of us march on in silence, the only sounds around us the constant bubble of the stream flowing beside us. It must be covered by the bushes, I think to myself. If only I could run to it, and sink into the warm embrace of it's constant flow of swirling water. My element, my ability.
"We're getting close. I can tell." Aella squeals in front of me, and rushes on ahead in a graceful dance. The wind whips around us, manipulated by Aella, in what must be expressed as her excitement to see Cassius again. I grin, happy by my sister's abrupt joy.
"Their really in love. Aren't they?" Como whispers beside me, as I hear the pounding of feet against the uneven earth floor. I nod, watching as Aella disappears behind a thick oak tree. We follow her, and are greeted by the sight of Aella locking lips with Cassius, in a passionate kiss. I turn away, not wanting to interrupt the moment, but Como does the opposite, clearing his throat, and both Aella and Cassius break apart quickly.
"Who the hell are you?" Cassius shouts, pushing Aella behind him in a protective manner.
"It's ok. They got me here." Aella rests a hand on her lovers back reassuringly, and Cassius's face melts with the gesture.
"Thank you then." He bows his head at Como and I with great respect, and I do the same politely, while Como just stands tall, his face a mix of amusement and confusion.
But all I can think about in the moment is Brenton. Was he still living in the palace with the Royals or had he escaped? And if so, why hadn't he tried to find me. Is he plotting against the commoners, or is he trying to make things right? And most of all I wonder...
Even though we're so far apart from each other, is he thinking about me too?