The Risen Pariah and Fallen Traitor (UNEDITED)

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~The Compromise

Jabeth’s POV

“D-Dance lessons?” I watch flabbergasted as Josie grins at me, hands planted on her hips.

“Yep! I’ll teach you to dance, if you teach me how to-‘ahem’-control my power. .” Her tone of voice goes from confident to sheepish.

Her powers. . I flashback to the scene in the Heaven’s where Josie was crying in the gardens. She had said she didn’t have good control of her powers and even. . hurt her friend.

I feel a little sympathy in my heart for Josie as I watch her awkwardly hold her arm, a little ashamed. And who can blame her? There’s a lot of pressure being the heir to an entire realm.

But of all the things I thought she would’ve asked for in exchange, I never thought she would’ve wanted training lessons. “I thought you said your mentor was a good one.”

Josie glances at me and lowers her hand from her arm. I can see a wall build up in her eyes. “Yes, he is. But I’ve told you already, I’m wired differently. .”

After a few moment of silence, a small, lopsided grin tugs at the corner of my mouth. It seem’s me and Josie have more in common then I once thought. We both need to use each other to fix ourselves. When I first started using magic I wasn’t at all too different from Josie’s current state. Using my magic was like trying to trap a hawk in a cage. It was a wild beats I didn’t know how to control.

“And in return for my training,” she adds, “I’ll teach you how to dance.”

Now it’s my turn to feel sheepish. Jabeth Jericho Blackwell isn’t incompetent, nor is there a talent he cannot master. He’s practically a god, or thats what everyone on the Demon Daily’s says. I’m a talented war hero who can use every method of defense and offense possible. I have an incredible sense of deduction, and my looks are killer. . but despite all of this, I don’t know how to shuffle my fucking feet in time with someone else’s while listening to music.

“I remember, actually,” Josie says, tilting her head to peer at me. “When you and you’re family were staying in the Heaven’s, on our birthday I promised I would teach you how to dance.”

Our birthday. That shouldn’t sound as nice as it does.

“But then you left so I wasn’t able to.” Josie immediately whips out one of her smiles, and I feel a little caught off guard by her sudden change in mood. “So now I’ll be able to keep my promise.”

“Was it a promise though?” I ask, trying to evade the topic.

Josie walks up to me until there’s only two inches between us. I lean my head back, trying to distance myself when Josie adds, “When I say I’ll do something, I intend to keep it.”

The hard determination in her eyes already gives hint to her firm resolve. “Words are powerful,” Josie says. Her eyes drift off past my shoulder for a moment, lost in thought, “and I of all people should know that.”

Her eyes meet mine once more, and all I can do is blink down at her, taken aback by this new side of Josie. “When I say I’ll do something, I mean to do it. That itself is a promise that I intend to keep-”

I open my mouth to interrupt but she cuts me off.

“-and so, Mr. Blackwell, I will teach you to dance. Even if I have to drag you across the floor the whole time, by the star’s I’ll do it!”

My eyes are wide and surprised, a little intimidated, much in contrast to the fierce look in Josie’s blue orbs. Everything about her screams, “I can,” and, “I will”. I can’t deny the small pang of admiration in my heart as I look down at her, although I feel as though she’s the one towering over me in this situation.

I take a step back, feeling a little heat flood into my cheeks as I put distance between us. I straighten my shirt and clear my throat. “Okay. . so we’re doing this?”

Josie curtly nods.

“Alright then. .” I drift off. “Now, about the magic lessons you requested-”

“This isn’t a request, this is a mutual interaction.” Josie stops me mid-sentence. Damn, when did she get so domineering? She plants her hands on her hips, “We made a deal, I help you, you help me, there is nothing else to negotiate from this point on.”

I bite both my lips together and awkwardly nod my head. "Okay! Okay. . soo, when do we start?"

Josie juts her chin to the open floor of the wing by the lounge area. "Now."

"Now?!"

"Yes," Josie walks over to me and places a hand on my shoulder, her deep blue eyes look into mine. "Now."


Xavier's POV

It's been more then thirty minute's since I started my secret meeting with Darby Moon, the enchantress-in-training in the Heaven's.
Darby sighs and shake's her head, deep in thought. "His Majesty is reaching his wit's end. I don't know how long we can continue to stall him."
I scowl, hesitant. "Stall him from what?"
"From sending a battalion. From scourging all of the Heaven's. From marching over to the Hell's and demanding for Josie to be returned!" I can see the stress forming a crease between her eyes.
I pull a blank. "Wait, he knows that Josie's in the Hell's, for how long?"
Darby roll's eyes eyes and conjure's a small spell, suddenly I fell a sharp sting on my forehead and the spark of blue and gold magic fluttering in the air around until it disappears with a sparkle. "W-Wait- did you just flick me?!"
"He doesn't know she's in the Hell's, genius. If so he would've been over there by now, train or not." Darby crosses her arms.
I rub the red skin of my forehead, feeling pitiful. "Then, why-?"
"Think about it. Josie is supposed to be on a vacation in the Heaven's to get away from all the stress of the recent engagement, right? If he can't find her here it's obvious that she has only one other place to be. If Josie was on vacation, she wouldn't hide from her dad, so if he couldn't find her here, he would conclude the only other place she can be is in the Heaven's." Darby's long and detailed evaluation fully informs me of the current situation in the Heaven's.
"Things are going over here. No one has discovered Josie's whereabouts except for Thaddeus and Henry, Jabeth's younger brothers," I say.
"Two people is too much," Darby bites on her thumbnail, a habit I've started to notice about her. It's evident she worries too much.
"You shouldn't do that," I say.
Darby snaps out of her daze and meet my eyes, genuinely confused. "Huh?"
I just my chin to her hand. "You shouldn't bite your nails, it's a bad habit."
Darby glance's her chewed thumbnail before clenching her hand into a fist and shoving it in her pants pocket. "Sorry, it's-"
"Why're you worried?" I ask.
My question catch's Darby off guard. "What?"
I ask her again, curious and concerned. "Why're you so worried?"
Darby doesn't say anything, instead she just stares at me. I wonder if anyone's asked her that.
She doesn't respond.
"Darby?" I call out her name, but she offers me a smile, a smile meant to reassure me, even though it does anything but. "Of course I'm fine, why wouldn't I be?"
"A-Alright," I drop the subject. It's clear that she doesn't want to tell me, and I won't force her. "I'll be heading out then."
The screen dissipates in a swirl of teal and red magic until I'm no longer staring into the face of a Risen enchantress, but rather the wall of my bedroom.
I sigh and lean back in my chair.
I know good and well the position Darby is in right now. She lied to the King's face, she's trying to annul Jabeth and Josie's engagement, and she's covering for her best friend who has committed one of the biggest crimes possible in the realms. If she's caught, then there will be more then just a smack on the wrist and a night without dinner.
Of course I'm sure she's more aware of that then anyone else. And part of me, a small part of me, want's to take the struggle away from her.
With a huff I get up from my seat and head out of my bedroom towards the west wing. It's been more then a day since I last saw Jabeth and Josie. His Majesty had given me plenty of tasks as the enchanter. Yesterday I had to go to the site of a augury spill where tanks of magic leaked onto the main highway, causing a ruckus. Then I had to chase down a gang of punks who were practicing Risen magic in a storage house.
I turn down the halls and pass by the library. I feel a chill climb up my arm just from being six feet away.
I've also been digging into the murder case per Jabeth's request. The case has already been filed as closed, but Jabe is much too persistent in it.
I arrive at the double doors leading into the west wing. I turn the door knob, and head inside.
So far I haven't uncovered anything too dirty-
"Woah!"
I stop in my tracks as Jabeth and Josie fall to the ground with a thump. Jabeth's flat on his back with Josie straddling his waist, two hands planted on either side of his head. They both look at each other before looking at me.
Well scratch that then.
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