Adding to the Flame

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4

Prince Hennel stands beside me with unprecedented confidence. His hair is pure white, and so is his suit. His ability to control ice is marked by the stark white-color of his hands that ends at his wrists. Everyone is marked on their hands, but the color usually surpasses the wrist.

I'd like to assume that his power is weak if his markings are small.

I stand rigidly beside Prince Hennel, feeling like a black smear in the stark gold and white room. My father could hide the black markings on my arms with gloves, but he couldn’t hide my black hair.

We contrast so much that everyone in the throne room is holding their breaths, hoping that the Kingdom of Ice will accept myself when I am a defective to the Kingdom of Water.

My sisters are off to the side, listening as our father and Prince Hennel’s father make arrangements for our marriage.

Prince Hennel hadn’t even asked yet, he was supposed to, but instead allowed his father take the lead and merely declare our marriage.

Our father turns toward us, smiling tightly, “Prince Hennel. Are you sure you can handle my daughter?” This is the moment our families had gathered and waited for.

For Prince Hennel to embarrass me.

The heavy white dress I’m wearing is suddenly contricting against my chest. The fabric being held taught against my skin. I realize shortly after that the fabric is being held with ice.

Prince Hennel takes his time encasing me. If the sweat on his forehead is anything to go by, this is probably costing him a lot of energy.

If I had to encase someone in fire, it would be quick, with harmless little flames that tickled the skin. They would smile and laugh at the harmless trick.

I look back to Prince Hennel, who now has a bead of sweat dripping down his face. No one is smiling now, since this ice is definitely not harmless.

In the background I can here King Henry of the Ice Kingdom admiring the work, "That particular dress was woven of fine material that freezes easily. The skirt of the dress can also be manipulated with ice. To stop large movements."

I raise my gaze to my father’s when Prince Hennel finally finished. Raising my eyebrow just slightly. I want him to know that I could break out of this easily. That my ability to control fire would easily melt this attempt to cage me. That I cannot be controlled.

He doesn’t notice. Instead he claps his hands, “Well-done Prince Hennel. Your Kingdom will be proud of your ability.”

I choke down a snort, but my father notices anyways, “Princess Annabel. Retire to your room. I expect you to arrive to lunch in new attire.”

As I begin to walk off quickly in the direction of my room, the current King of Ice stops me, “Princess Annabel. You shouldn’t be able to move that much,” I turn around in confusion, but it’s too late, “Prince Hennel. Do it.”

I gasp and stutter as the ice begins to touch my skin. Sinking into my body until my muscles spasm and freeze as well.

“S-stop. Stop!” I cry out in pain. This is not part of the agreement.

My otherwise pale skin turns purple from the waist up at the sheer temperature of the ice. Prince Hennel laughs as his father huffs, “Now. Now she is subdued.”

My father nods. I can’t look at him or my sisters as I stumble out of the throne room. The only part of my body not frozen are the joints around my bones and the lower half of my legs.

The ice makes me feel numb, trapped.

But if I use my ability to encase myself in fire, I will be going against direct orders from my father. From my King. I am not to use my ability of fire inside the Kingdom, or in front of anyone.

I need to get to the dungeon.

My dress nearly gets stuck in the open window, but with a painful tug of my legs, the dress drops to the ground. Taking me down with it.

The dungeon proves to be a difficult door to open as I claw at the handle with my entire arm, unable to move my hands without first unthawing them.

My skin looks hazy, and I realize it is the ice slowly thawing off of my skin. But it is not fast enough.

I collapse to the ground, grunting in pain. Pressing my hands together and slowly letting flames burn from my hands to my entire body.

The sheer pain makes me scream. The tears that flow down my face aren’t even a distraction as I let the low heat melt away Prince Hennel’s ice.

By the time I finish unthawing my arms, I am a panting mess. Knocking my head against the dungeon floors a few times to regain the courage to continue.

I try to start on my chest but nearly puke at the sensation. The gasping and tears must’ve overwhelmed my senses because I could suddenly hear the rattling of chains.

I push myself into a hunched standing position as I remember Ignis.

Within a few steps toward his cell’s direction I can easily see his angry face, “Come here.”

I don’t know why he would demand such a thing. To want the disheveled princess to come nearer. He should not want me near him in this state.

Maybe he just wants to see me hurt. Use my weakened state against me. Humiliate me like Prince Hennel. Or break free once I’m locked in his clutches.

Ignis rattles his chained arms behind his back, drawing my attention back to him, “I don’t like repeating myself Annabel. Come. Here.”

I choke on a sob and open the cell door with shaking hands. The cold joints around my shoulders weakening my ability to move. With a slight push from my body, the cell door swings open without a sound.

My toes are still frozen, and between my intense eye-lock with Ignis and my inability to move properly, I fall. Straight into the lap of Ignis.

If I weren’t in so much pain the thought of my head on his groin would’ve been mortifying. Slightly erotic if I could turn my head to the side, but mortifying none-the-less.

Ignis seems too pissed off to notice the location of my head, and instead lowers his legs and chest until the majority of his body is near mine.

I hiss at the pain and lift my upper body until we are chest to chest. An unpleasant sound escapes both of us as Ignis bares the pain from Prince Hennel’s ice and as I unthaw ever so slowly without using fire.

But I know I can’t use fire anymore. It would only hurt me further. This type of ice is meant to unthaw slowly. This healing would be the same if I burned Prince Hennel’s skin. Using ice to ease the pain of fire would only worsen the issue.

Fire and ice just aren’t meant to mix. It would be a pleasant solution if we canceled each other out. But there is no equality when the want for power exists.

And Prince Hennel wants power.

Myself? I want to unthaw. To not feel this much pain because of what I am. Because of the ability that I wield. I pass out in a heap on top of Ignis.

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