-Three Months Later-
‘Wow. How long has it been?’ Asper stretched on her couch and flicked the channel on the telly. ‘Ooooh look! Pretty little liars!’
‘Three months?’ I grimaced at the blondes fighting on the telly while Asper shot me a pointed look. ‘What?’
‘I meant in Iroria time.’ Asper played with her bracelet. It was an encased Rowan bud on a silver chain, complete with charms of her choice. I wore a similar one, but stuck with the option of having no charms at all. Asper always teased that I was no fun but I couldn’t help it, I’m a guy. It helped cover our magical traces and energy, making us seem like normal human beings. It works. The moment Asper slipped it on, it was as if I couldn’t see her at all.
‘Hello?’ Asper snapped her fingers in front of me. ‘Staring is rude.’
‘Uh. Um. Three years I guess.’ I mentally counted.
‘Why is he taking so long?!’ Asper grumbled.
‘I didn’t think you’d be so eager to see him.’ I joked and she glared. ‘Alright, alright. I’m just kidding.’
Asper took in a deep breath and sighed heavily. She was tired and I didn’t blame her. Everyday she’d put a glamour on the three of us; Orion, herself and I, and she’d have to hold it up till the school day ended. Our cover in school was that I was her long lost brother from Britain and since I didn’t quite look like her, she had my hair colour changed and my built a little smaller, against all my protests. We managed to pass Orion off as a Savannah cat, but she still had to keep a glamour on him since he was still far to humongous. Asper didn’t spare herself either. She changed her height so she could fit in nicely beside me, just at my shoulder. Her eyes were no more green, but a dull brown. She even wore a short-haired wig everyday, just so that she’d look plain. In short, she made sure we looked so different, we couldn’t even recognize ourselves the first time we glanced at ourselves in the mirror.
It was all fun and games at first, laughing at how Xavier would never be able to find us. Whether we should throw in bucked teeth as well. But all these glamours were taking a toll on Asper. Without being near nature, she couldn’t recover as quickly. I tried telling her that being near or with her mate would not only boost her magic recovery but her powers as well.
Asper being Asper had flat out refused, arguing that Orion was enough for her. It was true to an extent, since Orion was under her glamour almost 24/7 and never used his magical energy, she could draw magic from him like the huge magic reserve he was. There was only one flaw. She could only do so when he wasn’t under her glamour, which was practically never since she babied him so much.
Yet it showed me another thing about her. She was downright terrified. She didn’t want to be near Xavier at all. There was once a boy named, Xavier, who transferred over and she had jumped right out of her skin.
‘What’s going to happen when he comes?’ Asper whispered as she hugged Orion, who was in his original form. She must have been desperate.
‘We’ll have to face him I guess.’ I shuddered at the thought of seeing Xavier furious and crazed.
‘Can’t we run?’
‘We’ve been over this, Asper. If you leave him here on Earth, he’s going to screw it up big time.’
‘That’s a lot of pressure on just one little girl isn’t it?’
I laughed humorously.
‘Babe, I don’t care how you count your years here on Earth, but you belong to Iroria and Iroria says you’re ancient.’
Two months ago in Earth years.
‘Xavier, honey.’ Her hips swayed temptingly ‘Why are you frowning when we’re so close to our goal?’
‘Go away, Bethany. I don’t want to talk to anyone right now.’ Xavier clenched onto a snow-white feather and stepped into the rune circle.
‘I can’t believe you! After all the pains I went though just to get those feathers. I could have died you know.’ Bethany huffed an tapped her foot. ‘Do I need to remind you how I got those?’
Xavier squeezed his eyes shut and hissed under his breath. He met Bethany shortly after his rage-fit in the palace. She came to him as a palace maid, claiming to be one of Asper’s personal maids. He had his doubts at first, but when she had recounted about all the pranks mischievous Asper had pulled on all the servants, he’d thought twice. She told him Asper had been plotting to leave the very night Eliza had arrived but had no way to since she had no idea how to get anywhere from the palace. According to her, Asper had alerted the vampire horde to create a scene big enough to escape by herself. Being a rare Witch, Lady Furie had appeared in her dreams and handed her one of the white feathers he had in his hand, helping her escape.
It was said that the feather was from Lady Furie’s Lynx’s wings itself; a one way ticket to Earth, not that he cared. He’d find his way back later. Bethany and him had gone through hell just to get those feathers, chasing the lynx over mountains and deserts. He had managed to yank just two from it’s wings before he fell straight into Siren’s Cove and proceeded to fight his way out of Sirens’ claws. Bethany wanted to go as she wanted to return the necklace Asper had paid her with to keep her mouth shut. The girl was too sweet for her own good. Xavier on the other hand, wanted Cobalt dead and Asper wishing she’d never lived; again.
‘Well?’ Bethany’s hands were on her hips now.
‘I know, I know. Now can we just get a move on?’ Xavier managed to calm his nerves. Bethany nodded, stepped into the circle and finished drawing the circle. It started glowing, bright and brighter. Xavier felt as if he were dissolving. Slowly fading into nothingness.
‘Are you sure they’re here?’ Xavier asked for the hundredth time.
‘I’m sure, silly!’ Bethany chimed as she came through the airport.
‘That’s what you said while we were touring the whole of… what was that place called again?’
Time barely moved on Earth. ‘No wonder these humans didn’t seem to age at all.’ Xavier thought to himself.
‘Where are we going again?’ Xavier was irritated ‘I don’t want anymore pointless trips, servant.’
‘Walter town.’ Bethany turned, her sundress dipped low as she enjoyed the attention mortal males paid her. ‘It’s only been 2 months, sweets.’ Xavier growled.
‘Only 2 months? It felt like an eternity!’ Xavier thought to himself.
Bus rides were even worst for him, not because he had motion sickness, but because mortal girls felt like they had the right to stare at him. Some even asked for his number. Whatever that was, he didn’t want to know. Bethany had been a huge help though. She’d been much prettier than all of them, being an immortal and elven. She had them intimidated and away from him in seconds.
‘Are we taking the subway again?’ Xavier shuddered at the thought. When he was in Japan, the rushes had everyone packed tighter than sardines. He even got groped a few times. There were only a few things he could do with his powers, especially since Bethany was so hell bent on not hurting the humans for some reason.
‘No, this time we’re taking a taxi. Walter town is a little out of the city so the buses don’t go there.’
Xavier pulled a face. Apparently, going by a taxi was the best mode of transportation on Earth, besides planes. He never exactly had a good time in them though. They always smelt funny and the drivers talked too much. The traffic was horrible and the fares weren’t too fantastic either. If there was one thing Bethany would let him do, was his mind control. Humans had no shields up to his mind-play so they were too easy to take advantage of.
The ride seemed to take forever, though he managed to get some shut eye. He guessed the people here were different. They only wanted to talk money and nothing more, which was good enough for him. Getting out of the car, he noticed that Bethany had directed them to a school. With mortal teens. As if he hasn’t had enough of them in Asia.
‘You’ve got to be kidding me, servant.’ Xavier groaned. ‘Not this again. I know people don’t pay you a lot of attention back at the palace but you don’t have to let yourself go this much.’
‘Sir.’ Bethany turned. Her green eyes were on fire. They shone, but not as brightly as how Asper’s had. ‘I happened to have come here to help you. Not whore myself out!’ with that, she jabbed a finger right in his chest.
‘Don’t talk to me like that, servant.’ Xavier grabbed Bethany by her wrists and squeezed, hating how her eyes were the same colour as Asper’s ‘We may be on Earth, but I am still your Prince. Do you hear me?’ She sobbed and nodded. When he finally let go, her wrists bore his hand print and she rubbed them.
When he turned, a wisp of short black hair ran straight into him, knocking both of them off balance.
‘What the, watch there you’re going you little bi-‘ Xavier pushed himself off the ground, cursing but the words never left his lips when he saw her.
‘Sorry!’ she gathered herself and dusted her hair. A peculiar thing to do to one’s hair, Xavier noted. The clumsy girl looked up. She seemed to have been smiling before because he could still see traces of curved lips. Her eyes were a deep hazel as she tried to make eye contact for her apology. But once she focused on him, her beautiful smile faded immediately and she visibly paled. He looked at her in confusion, before he recognized that look. A look of betrayal, hurt, fear and panic all at the same time.
Where had he seen it before?
The girl panted and she seemed to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
‘As..ther. Esther!’ A male voice called and Xavier heard footsteps galloping towards them. A boy with black hair dropped down beside her, checking her injuries. Xavier stood there awkwardly. The only time he had people on their knees for him was when he was holding court hearings and the palace. Even then, that was ages ago.
The boy had given up trying to comfort the girl and had scooped her up into his arms effortlessly. Xavier inwardly wonder how much she’d weigh as he stared at her shivering petite figure.
‘What’s wrong with her?’ Xavier lifted a hand to touch the girl. He felt a pull towards her and he didn’t know why. Before he could touch her, the boy sidestepped and Xavier missed, rather lamely.
‘I’m sorry. Esther here grew up without a father and she got bullied by boys a lot so she gets panic attacks.’ He said all too quickly. He seemed to be shaking a little as well. ‘I should get her home. She needs her um… medicine.’ Without another word, he brushed past Xavier cooing words of comfort into her. For some weird reason, Xavier felt jealous. Somehow, the fact that he couldn’t be the one comforting the girl was bothering him.
‘Don’t let it go, c’mon… Hold on to it.’ The boy was chanting it over and over to her as he jogged away. He was about a few yards away when Xavier heard him say. ‘Hush, I won’t let him get to you.’
Xavier whipped around to see the girl had calmed down a little. She was hugging him with her arms around his neck and strangely, staring at Xavier himself. He locked eyes with her and for a moment, he swore her eyes flashed that magnificent green. His eyes widened and his heart skipped a beat.
‘W-wait!’ He dropped his luggage, earning a squeal from Bethany whom he forgot was still there and gave chase. ‘You there! Wait!’
The boy who had obviously heard him, broke into a run and turned a corner into a busy street. Catching up, he all but swung himself around the corner, only to have lost them completely.
‘Cobalt to bastard!’ Xavier screamed into the crowd, earning himself a few weird looks. He look left and right, ran into a couple of stores but they were no where to be found. He ran his hand through his jet black hair in frustration and roared.
I was challenging Cobalt to a race back home as usual. It was one of the things we always looked forward too. I’d be able to take of the glamours and head to the gardens to relax. At least I had a proper reason to get home. Cobalt only had his ego. As usual, I was winning. Cobalt had taken a liking to Earth food and hasn’t stopped pigging out for the past three months. We could eat anywhere we want, since we were plain looking and mortals being shallow mortals, didn’t want anything to do with us. Which was more a blessing than a curse.
I turned to look behind, surprised to see Cobalt actually gaining on me. I guess all the track and field was finally starting to pay off. I sped up. Coming to Earth had allowed me to nurture my ego and I wasn’t about to let a boy win just because of his gender. Laughing, I turned back, just to slam right into a wall. Or so I thought.
I bounced off, pushing the wall away while I was at it, landing in a heap on the ground.
‘I’m sorry!’ I blurted without even looking up. I had a bad habit of apologizing to inanimate objects and Cobalt never let me off about it. But this time it was different. As I dusted my wig, I noticed how my wall was connected to a pair of shiny and expensive looking leather shoes, which connected to a pair of faded Levis’ that ended at deliciously sculpted hips. Said torso was covered by a basic black muscle tee and a blazer. Yum.
I looked up to apologize again, seeing that my wall was indeed human. I caught sight of tousled black hair, a perfect nose, kissable lips and purple eyes. Wait.
My eyes focused and my breath hitched. I felt all the blood drain from my face. Oh Allura, I knew my failed math test was a sign. He gave me a look of confusion which made me feel a little better, knowing that he didn’t recognize me. However, it wasn’t helping that he hasn’t bothered covering his aura, which was now seeping into me-as much as I hate to admit-because he was my mate. The aura of a royal was simply overwhelming, let alone a crown prince. I had felt it many a times in the palace and had reveled in it’s power. It made me feel warm and strong in an instant, making me crave being near him.
Strangely, this time was different. I felt sick -like I was about to boil over and die-. I felt the bonds for the glamours shake and worry stuck me. What if I broke them? Xavier would see who I am. Cobalt would be running over here any second to his death and oh Allura, what if Orion was sleeping in my room right now?
I dropped my head as the shivers got worst. Squeezing my eyes shut, I used whatever was left of my own magic to concentrate on keeping my glamours up. I heard Cobalt rushing over. Oh no, was he going to expose me with my name? Could he not feel the waves of energy Xavier was giving off?
‘As..ther! Esther!’ I sigh in relief through my sobs and he practically tumbled to my side. He cradled my face in his hands to check me for any injuries while I checked to see if his hair was jet black and not fading back to brown.
‘Exploding.’ I managed to choke out and thank Allura that my guardian here on Earth understood me so well. He gave me a nod, scooped me up and pressing my body against his, he started to absorb the waves of energy I was transferring to him. I noticed that he got significantly stronger. He used to be a little shaky when he carried me but now his grip was unwavering. However, I could feel how Xavier’s aura was too much for even the both of us. Neither of us had been training so we never had the chance to widen our energy storage and as dirty as it may sound, Xavier was really stretching us out. Cobalt was already starting to shake.
Just when I calmed down a little, Xavier spoke and I started shaking all over again.
‘Need to get home.‘ I sent Cobalt a mental message and he nodded as he dodged Xavier’s hand.
‘I’m sorry. Esther here grew up without a father and she got bullied by boys a lot so she gets panic attacks. I should get her home. She needs her um… medicine.’ His reply came too soon and I mentally scolded him. Xavier looked like he was about to say something, but Cobalt had practically made a dash for it, jogging and switching my position so I didn’t hurt my back. I could feel Xavier’s stare on me and it burned. My teeth chattered and I whimpered.
‘Don’t let it go, c’mon… Hold on to it.’ Cobalt cooed into my hair. He was referring to the glamour on both of us. If it broke, we’d both probably be dead. All the energy we absorbed from Xavier would never let us close to out running him.
‘Don’t let him touch me. Don’t, please.’ I sent him another message mentally. He must have been overwhelmed with Xavier’s aura because he replied out loud and too loudly. I snapped my head up, arms coiled around his neck even tighter to show how much I wanted to strangle him right there and then. It was a mistake. The moment I looked up, Xavier’s eye’s locked on to mine and I felt my glamour cracking. Xavier’s eyes widened and I knew we were done for.
‘Wait!’ I broke eye contact when I heard the thud of his luggage on the ground and a yelp from that girl beside him. ‘You there! Wait!’
Oh Allura, I’m really going to die this time.
I didn’t have to look up to feel Xavier tearing towards us. His aura was just too strong and noticeable. It was like holding a candle towards yourself; it burned.
‘When I turn the corner, break our glamour.’ Cobalt’s voice interrupted my chain of thoughts.
‘Are you crazy?!’ I mentally screamed at him.
‘Look. Everyone here is either a blonde of brunette. Us being dark haired are only going to make us stick out like sore thumbs.’ How could he still be so calm about this?
Without another word or mind prod, I broke the glamour. It was just like a movie scene with special effects. We rushed past a lamp post. One moment Cobalt was a plain geeky boy, the other he was a dashing hunk of a Greek god. While I on the other hand, shrunk back down into his arms, blinked and my eyelids revealed my mysterious cat-eye green. My hair stayed short, thanks to my wig. We ducked into a book store and shot out from the back as I tore my wig and hair net off.
Pumped with royal aura, Cobalt practically flew toward our house but not before we heard him roar. It was a roar of frustration and somehow made my heart drop and eyes tear up.
‘He’s calling for you.’ Cobalt mused as he sat me down on my swing in the gardens. I nodded gingerly and hopped off the swing to call for Orion. The moment my foot touched the ground, all the flowers exploded, grew out again and exploded three times over. I would have thought it was a pretty sight of not for my gut that was killing me. I bent over and wrenched. Nothing came, but the more I did so, the more violently the flowers exploded.
‘I think we should take the bracelets off.’ Cobalt decided to rain on my pity parade.
‘Are you insane?!’ I screamed at him, not caring if I scared my little friends away. ‘This bracelet is the only thing keeping him from finding us and killing us!’
‘Think about it for a moment, Asper.’ Cobalt dug his ears. ‘You used to love being in his presence. Now you can hardly stand it. Neither can I. But that girl. She isn’t human, yet she can.’
‘Maybe she’s his new Queen coming back to help him exterminate us.’ I snapped back bitterly.
‘Asper, you aren’t being rational here.’ Cobalt grounded out as he inched closer to me.
‘I’d rather die than come into contact with him again!’ I waved whipped my hand towards him only intended to slap him or scratch him. Instead, a vine with menacing spikes tore through the ground, almost stabbing him. I paled.
‘I’m turning into a monster.’ I covered my mouth with my hands and I felt tears form. ‘I’m not a good witch. I’m a bad, horrible one.’
‘No, no. Listen to me!’ Cobalt was before me in seconds. ‘Tell me. What is a Rowan bud supposed to do?’
‘T-to compress our energy to one of a human so that we’re undetectable.’ I replied, having memorized the entire verse from the internet.
‘That’s why we’re like this, Asper!’ Cobalt almost cracked a smile. ‘The bud doesn’t cover our magic, it suppresses it, making it hard for us to keep energy in us or even use magic. We’re as good as human with these!’ He jingled the charm in my face before his hand started to fiddle with it.
‘W-what are you doing?!’ I whined and made a grab at him, stopping myself at the last minute in case I failed to control my powers again.
‘I’m taking this off to show you that my theory is right.’
‘But he’ll be able to sense you. Find you and talk to you through your mind link and..and…’ All other reason was lost when I saw the chain snap open. I stared at him for a long moment.
‘There, you see? I feel better alread-‘ Cobalt’s face scrunched up and he covered one of his ears. ‘Oh man. I forgot he could be really irritating over our mind link.’
‘What is he saying?’ I was curious.
‘Well, he says he’s going to kill me because of some affair we’re having.’ Cobalt seemed a little pale. ‘By Oden, he got my note completely wrong.’
‘Is he coming over now?’ I could feel my heart thundering in my chest.
‘I think you should really talk to him, Asper.’ Cobalt wasn’t pale any longer. In fact, he seemed furious and his eyes started to turn black. ‘All these false accusations are pissing me off.’
I gulped and stared down at my own bracelet. I really like it and customized it so nicely because I planned on wearing it for a long time. Hesitantly, I felt for the clasps and popped it off. A few tense seconds, I waited. Cobalt’s stormy eyes lightened and he breathed a sigh of relief. He look over at me intently.
‘Wow. Maybe he forgot about m-‘