Adding to the Flame

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8

Princess Naia stares at me from inside my bedroom as I awkwardly climb through my bedroom window.

She grasps my arm and swats the dirty material of my dress, "Where were you? We've been waiting for over ten minutes."

She starts to tug on my dress as Princess Dew begrudgingly holds another white dress in front of me. This one is engraved with thousands of diamonds on the bodice. The material of the lower-half flows out like ball gown.

"You don't even like him. I don't get why he bought you such a nice wedding dress," Princess Dew meant to belittle this marriage. Instead she shocked me completely. The wedding... my wedding, was not supposed to be until the end of the week.

Princess Naia seemed to understand my unspoken thoughts and placed a hand on my shoulder, lightly this time, "You both need to return to your Kingdom, Princess Annabel. The wedding has been moved to today."

Princess Dew leaves the dress on my bed as I begin to undress numbly. There's grim on my skin that is washed away with their powers until the hovering puddles of muddied water are thrown into the bathtub to drain.

I move numbly into the tight-fitting dress and wonder which of Prince Hennel's mistresses is due to have her child. There is no other reason for the wedding to be moved to a closer date.

A sick feeling sits in my stomach during the entire 'ceremony'. Lines were given to both of us inside of the throne room by my father. Prince Hennel's father, now the former King, listed off our vows in a demeaning manner. Leaving my six sisters as our guests to witness the wedding. My wedding.

It sure doesn't feel like my wedding. Covered from head to toe in white, my black hair concealed under a thick veil. The marking on my arm buried deep under my gloves. Even the classic band that is placed on my finger shines white.

I want to make it burn. If only emotions could burn away as easily as paper.

Prince Hennel places his hand on my lower back as he leads me away from the throne room and to my bedroom, "Pack what you want. We leave in half an hour."

He pauses for a moment giving me the chance to ask 'why', but I couldn't bring myself to care. My life just got turned up on its head, the exact moment I had decided that I would embrace my abilities.

The second my bedroom door is shut, I hurl myself through my window. Running toward the only person who would understand my pain of being locked away.

Ignis.

"Back so-" the words freeze in his throat when I open the cell door in my wedding gown, "Ah. Marriage couldn't wait I see."

I flop onto the ground in a bundle of white material. Burying my face in my hands to cover my fading resolve. Ignis watches me for a moment, sympathy in his gaze as I nearly break-down on the dungeon floor.

"It's so unfair." I mumble into my hands. My voice is clogged with emotion but my eyes remain tear-free in front of Ignis.

Ignis rattles the chains behind him, "Everything is unfair. But what you do because of the unfairness is where your value comes through."

I shrug my shoulders, "I'm still waiting for some grand plan to fall into my lap."

Ignis opens his mouth like he wants to say something but snaps it shut just as quickly. Probably something to do with this woman he wants to find.

We fall into silence and remain that way.

Over the next few minutes I turn to the side and lean back against the side of Ignis's cell. Leaning my head back against the bars in the same manner that Ignis leans his head against the wall.

From this angle I can see the burn marks on the dungeon wall from years of practice. Ten minutes must pass in complete silence, my butt becoming numb on the floor, before I let out a little laugh.

Ignis props open one eye, finds me staring at the wall, and closes it again, "Try not to go crazy on me, they'll find you soon."

I roll my eyes, "I'm not going crazy... just remembering."

Ignis is silent for a moment and then he sighs when I giggle again, "Alright Annabel, what is so funny about the walls?"

"Been staring at them for weeks and don't find them interesting?"

Ignis grimaces at the walls and my cryptic answer, "They're black walls. Actually they look like burnt walls."

He shakes his head with his eyes falling back on me, "Care to explain Princess Annabel? Do you harbor more people from the Kingdom of Fire than you let on?"

I gasp at his declaration. He thinks these marks are from a prisoner. A prisoner with my exceptional ability to control fire.

"No," I pick at my white gloves, noticing the ring resting on my finger. With a quick tug, the ring slips off of my finger, "Want to know a secret?"

Ignis remains silent as I toy with my glove. I look over to him and find his gaze intensely resting on my face. The dread that is locked in my gut from my two-second wedding, overruns my irrational thoughts to show Ignis my arms. Or rather, show him my ability to control fire.

Like a sick game, I wanted him to see. To see his reaction in comparison to all of the other people in the Kingdom of Water and Ice. To feel wanted.

A little smirk curls my lips as I rip the glove clean off my arm, exposes inky black hands, and tendrils of black markings running all the way up to my elbows.

Ignis huffs out a grunt, "Unbelievable." With a quick tug, his chains clatter to the ground, melted. He stands to his full height, even more daunting as I remain on the floor, and stretches his arms over his head.

His arms that are completely inked in black.

He chuckles when he looked down at my face, kneeling one knee on the floor before gripping my chin with his thumb and forefinger, "I've been looking for you for a while now," he grips onto my hips before flinging me over his shoulder, "Honestly didn't think I would find you."

I gasp and jostle in his grip, not liking the amount of blood flowing to my head, "I thought- you said you were from the Kingdom of Nature! Who the hell are you?"

My hands begin to itch with the need to conjure flames, but I hold back the temptation as Ignis responds, "You guessed that I was from the Kingdom of Nature. I never said you were right. As for who I am," Ignis slams the door to the dungeon open and starts to run in the opposite direction of the kingdom, "I am the King of Fire."

Oh.

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