Hephaestus' Flame [Caprioli #3]

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Chapter 8: The X-Factor

I was trying to make it work and I know that I will be succeeding with this. It has been 5 hours since I was working the metal but I don’t think I have the X-factor that I was looking for. And it was also the time where Ryes was making his rounds as a judge.

“Hey, Elise! Are you doing okay?” He asked me as I was glaring at him.

“What do you think?″ I asked him as I was brushing my hair from my forehead. The heat from the coal and smoke was making me sweat profusely in this small space. Not to mention, I was not having the greatest idea at the moment now.

My mind was on that kiss with Percy that I shared. Damn it!

I was huffing and grunting before I was sighing again. Okay, this is going nowhere! I have to make sure that I have a clear mind to make this ring a success. I was looking at Ryes who has been calculating ever since he was in my booth.

“What?” I asked him before he smirked at me.

“Nothing,” he simply said as I scoffed at him. Okay, believe it or not, I was the one that would play with him when I was a little kid.

“Okay, now you’re freaking me out. Since when did you know how to respond that to me?” I asked him before Ryes was smirking at me.

“Well, it has been years since we meet each other on the same page and it has been worst now that Percy was not even your best friend anymore,” Ryes said before I blushed.

“What makes you say that? Of course, he’s my best friend, duh. Everyone knows that” I said as I was laughing at his statement. But Ryes simply arched his eyebrow.

“Anyway, good luck on the last set. I know you can do it,” he said before he was moving to the other booth. I was sighing before I saw that Morganite was coming out of Percy’s booth.

That bitch!

I was trying to control my anger when I saw that they were chatting with each other and I was trying to control my emotions. Do not let them have this moment, Elise. You are better than this, I thought as I was trying to focus on my current problem.

The Ring of Fire.

I was taking a deep breath before I was closing my eyes and exhaled it. I did it a few times and when I was opening my eyes again, Percy was looking at me. I stared at him before I went inside the booth and I was working again on my ring.

“Okay. You can do this. Remember what you learned and what your father told you, Elise. You can do this. You’re a Gallo,” I said as I was looking at the melting metal before an idea was coming into me. I was smiling like an idiot before I picked up my hammer and I was ready to rumble this metal.

After a few hours of hitting and hammering the metal into the shape that I wanted and the size of my finger, I was making the shape of the vines before I was decorating the centerpiece of the ring in fire symbol.

I was in my zone when I was remembering all the things that I have done with Percy when I was younger and this was the moment that I will show it.

My true feelings for him.

I was closing my eyes after I set the ring down and I was smiling. I don’t know how long I have not to smile when I was alone and I was remembering all the things that we have done together.

That a fucking 5 years long ago.

I was closing my eyes as I remembered that day when we were on the beach that Percy took me to his family’s private beach. I was laughing when we were playing by the shore. I was 18 at the time and I was happy with Percy by my side.

We were chasing each other before I was stumbling across the sand and I was laughing as Percy was on top of me with his electric blue eyes were looking at me.

“Will you be my best friend forever?” He asked me that day as I was smiling at him. I nodded before he was tinkling me on the sides. I laughed.

“Okay, okay. I will and I promise that nothing can come between us,” I said as I was looking at his handsome face and before I know it, he was leaning closer and that’s when my father was calling after us and we left the beach with blushes on our faces.

I was opening my eyes before I was staring at the garnet that was shining in my hands right now. I was smiling despite the memory that will only be a memory, nothing more than just my wish and dream that will be left unfulfilled. I sighed before I was putting the garnet at the center of the ring.

I was happy to know that my creation has come to life, as well as my memories that were showing in the designs. The vines that represent our friendship, Percy and me and the garnet that was on top of the fire symbol stated that my untold feelings for him, a wish that I hoped one day will be fulfilled.

But I know it will never.

I was looking at the ring as I was trying to make sure that it was immaculate and every detail was on point. I was smiling despite everything before I was happy to say that I gave my best shot on this ring.

It was my centerpiece of the complete set after all.

I was happy to know that my skills were not wasted on something else. I know my father asked me to make weapons but jewelry was kind of my thing. And I know that one day, the forge will be much more than the weapon making shop.

It will be a piece of custom jewelry making as well.

I was happy to send this ring on the judging community when I saw that Percy was coming out of the submission booth as well. I was smiling at him and he smiled back at me. I know that we have fallen apart since then but I know deep down, I will always consider him as my friend.

“I think I need to tell you good luck then,” Percy said after I was submitting my piece. I smiled at him before I saw that Morganite was coming at him. I know that I have no right to get mad since he made his choice. And I was happy to see him happy.

“I don’t think that would suffice but thanks anyway,”

“You did your best,” he said as I smiled and tucked my hair behind my ears. Morgan was coming closer and closer to me. I have to take this step and I have to take this courage for me to move on as well as be happy for my former best friend.

“You know, I have this idea for my creation from our time together. I know that we fell apart now but you will always be my best friend, Percival Hephaestus Caprioli,” I said as I smiled at him before I moved away as Morgan was calling after his name and he was torn to come after me or her.

But he made his choice and I made mine. With that, I walked away from him once more.

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