She had wept with her mother, and had tried to be strong for her father.
But now, she needed to let out the storm She'd kept locked within when she was with the both of them, the storm that had quietly been gathering while she was in the throne room, the storm that was threatening to wash over her.
Her father, before she left his chambers, had sworn to keep her safe.
But she didn't feel safe. She felt like all hell was breaking loose, like the fires it threatened to unleash were going to come down on her, and she had to run... run very far away.
She walked hopelessly to the stables, holding back her tears. Not yet, she told herself. She walked past the horses, not stopping to greet them as was her wont, her heart in her throat, her spirit downcast.
She walked to the old supply room and opened it, not caring to close it behind her, not expecting anyone to be around as it was well after dusk. She walked to the corner of the room and dropped down in front of a wall, bringing her knees to her chest.
And then she broke.
The sobs shook her, not like when her mother cradled her. These were more violent. These were a flood she wished would wash away the fires of the hell she feared would come for her.
The tears seemed to come from an internal deep cut and she wondered that blood didn't simply flow with them. She cried, and her cries weren't soundless, these had a voice. She was like a child, lost, alone and afraid.
"Dear God, help me, help me please." She wasn't sure what help she was begging for, but she needed it, or she was sure the ache in her chest would be what finished her eventually.
She wasn't sure how long she sat there, her hands wrapped around her knees, her eyes closed and her head against the wall, but she didn't care. No one would be looking for her, and if they did, she was sure of one thing- she didn't want to be found.
When she felt a presence, she still didn't open her eyes. Whoever it was would get the message that they weren't welcome and then they'd leave.
at least she hoped they’d get the message. But the person didn't leave, instead he sat down beside her and drew her into his arms and then he spoke in little more than a whisper an ache in his voice,
"I thought you'd be here." Her eyes snapped open at his words, and she looked up to look at him with tear filled eyes, and his heart broke a little bit more at the sight of her.
"Me." They stared at each other for what seemed like eternity, before she simply wrapped her arms around him, welcoming his firm and yet gentle embrace, relishing it, letting the safety he offered quiet the noise and troubles of her soul, and at long last drifted off into sleep. Drifted into Abandon.
He had not planned on a situation as the one he found himself in at the moment. He only wanted to give what information he knew to the king, then be on his way to the island. Instead he was holding on to a broken princess. This wasn’t part of the plan.
But he didn't wish to be anywhere else.
She shook for just a moment and he held her closer. He didn't understand himself any longer. After the meeting with her father, on which they had decided that both guards and any willing to fight needed to be assembled and trained for the war that was bound to come, he went to the chamber assigned to him. Instead of resting, all he could think of was the princess, how her eyes had gone wide with fear when he had told them that The Athànatoi wanted her, how pale she had gotten. He had come here on pure instincts, hoping to find her here. And he had.
And after finding her, he couldn’t make himself leave.
Now he held her sleeping form, and had the unusual desire to take away her pain, and he couldn't. He wanted to take way her pain and couldn’t, and wasn't sure which of the two frustrated him the most, so he simply held on, for in that moment, it was all he could do.
She opened heavy eyes, and was all too aware of the body that embraced her. He'd held her while she wept, was her first thought. She felt a deep surge of gratitude towards him and was going to tell him so.
She looked up at him, and her eyes met his eyes looking down at her. Her stomach hummed at his deep gaze and she felt a bit self conscious, she must look a mess, she thought to herself.
"Thank you, Jasper."
"Anytime." Or maybe not, he thought to himself. There wasn't going to be a next time for holding on to a pretty little princess, the thought made him unusually sad, the small piece of sad made him mad at him self. His chest rumbled when he spoke, and it had a calming effect on her. He had a calming effect on her. She straightened up, making the hands that held her loosen, but not fall away.
"Why did you come?"
He cocked a brow at her question, considering it, not truly knowing how to answer her, before finally speaking,
"I don't know, I guess I wanted to." He considered the hands that were still wrapped around her, and loosened them. And then finally let her go.
She wanted to ask him to hold her again, to wrap his arms around her again and to not let go. But she couldn't. Instead she withdrew, and leaned once more on the wall, with him watching her.
"I do not want to endanger my people, Jasper."
He joined her, bringing his legs to his chest, and leaning on the wall as well, before responding,
"You must understand, princess, that whether or not you give yourself to The Athànatoi they will still come. You must be brave, you must survive, and when the time comes, you must fight." There was fire in his eyes when he spoke, and Hannah found herself entranced by it, drawn to him and it took great effort to pull herself from all of that.
"Then let me come with you." The words left her before she had had time to consider what she was asking of him. She had heard her father when he told her mother that jasper was staying at the castle and would be leaving soon. She hadn't feigned sleep really, but she'd awoken when her father came in, drowsy as she had been when she heard him speak of jasper's departure, she had heard the words he said none the less.
"You want to come with me to the Island of the immortalè?" He asked, astounded.
"Yes." She breathed out. "Please."
"Do your parents know this?"
"No, but they'll know soon enough."
"It isn't safe out there."
"Jasper, if what you say is true, if really The Athànatoi are coming, then nowhere is safe for me. Not in this castle, not anywhere."
"But the castle has guards, milady." He said softly, giving in to the desire to brush his thumb accross her cheek. She took the hand that caressed her face in both her hands and stared at him straight in the eye.
"But I don't want the guards of Brone trying to keep me safe." He cocked a brow, and tilted her head, trying to understand her.
“Jasper," she said, looking into his eyes, searching for the soul she felt she knew through and through. And he cursed himself for loving the way his name sounded at the tip of her tongue, cursed himself for he had slipped.
“I want you."
He stared at her like she'd grown a second head, at least that's how his steady, searching gaze on her made her feel."Your parents must know. You can't leave without them knowing." He said calmly, before looking away from her, staring into nothing and then looking back at her.He tilted his head- she found he did that when he had something worth wondering about on his mind- He reached out for her hair and held a handful of curls in his hand."Some of the hair will have to go." And she was right, about the crazy.Her eyes grew wide as she took in his words. He might as well have asked her to her to cut off a finger. Perhaps it was vain, but she took great joy in the long length of her curls."Why?!" She shrieked."Because, hair like this will be noticeable wherever we go. Any one will be able to spot you easily. We don't need you being noticeable. Not that you're very hard to notice." He added the last p
It was well after their breakfast before they spoke of why he was there with her in the first place."Why did you need to see me?" She asked after successfully biting and swallowing a blueberry."We need a plan. How do we convince your parents to let you come with me?"She had been shocked that he used the word 'we' and not 'you.''We' as in, we are in this together. But she didn't say as much. But it touched her, it mattered."Well, I guess we would have to convince them that leaving the castle would be the safe and right thing to do for me."He cocked a brow at her,"How do we do that?"There was the word again, we."Come with me. They'll listen to you. If you tell them that leaving would be safe, safer than it could ever be in this castle, they'd listen to you.""And if they don't? If they refuse and state the obvious, that there are more than a hundred guards in the castle to keep you safe, K
They had walked for several hours with very little stops. From time to time, he would stop to let him catch up with him, or when she needed to catch her breath. She was sweating profusely and was definitely grateful she had opted for a tunic and trousers instead of a gown."Are you tired?" He asked without looking at her. She looked up at him as she tried to keep up with his strides, stay by his side, which took much effort. His legs were long.She actually was tired, but she was not going to admit it. not now. Not yet."Naw." Was all she could say, she was literally trying to save her breath, And was glad beyond words when he stopped, though she wasn't about to say it.It was a small clearing with wildflowers and rocks that were big enough to sit on."Let's rest here a while." Jasper said, looking at her. Her cheeks were red and he was scared she was going to faint on him. She hadn’t complained since they started moving at dawn, he found it
Panic gripped at her and made her knees weak, but she managed to stay on her feet, although she no longer felt steady.She darted her gaze from left to right and looked, and turned around on the spot where she stood, before finally lookingback to where he had laid several minutes ago, and that was when shenoticed that both his sword and it's scabbard were gone too.But Where could he have gotten to? She wondered."Japser!" Her voice caught on the pronounciation of his name as she turned once more on her heels looking for signs of him or what could have happened. She walked to the rock where she had left him and was overcome by another wave of panic."Jasper!" she called out, this time louder than the first. She heard the sound of water and took slow unsteady steps toward the stream and she could have sworn her heart sighed in relief.But her relief was soon washed away with anger.
They made it to the tavern with no trouble and Jasper sighed a deep sigh of relief when they had their plates of food in their hand along with their jars of juiced fresh berries.They ate in silence. But then, Silence had been their company since the kiss they had shared earlier. Neither of them had wanted to bring it up, didn't know how to.They broke camp that morning and spoke at intervals, and even then, their conversation centered around what paths they would be taking, and since Jasper was the man with the map, he did most of the talking while she nodded. she mostly nodded."Good food." He said trying to break the ice. But He didn’t succeed.She nodded again and went back to her plate of fish and chips.He wanted to groan in frustration, but decided against it. it didn’t think it would yield any good.In any case, it was for the better no one heard her voice, regardless of the sweet femininity
She struggled with the desire to go out and be with him."How could I be angry with him and still want to be with him at the same time?" She whispered to herself in frustration.But however frustrated she was with how she felt, it was how she felt. She wanted to go out and be with him. and while one part of her wanted to beat him to bits for turning away from her again and again, another part of her, the part that yearned for him so much, wanted to kiss him till she lost all sense of what was meant and what wasn’t. And she would have willingly lost all sense if it meant she was tucked by his side, his arms wrapped around her.She groaned at herself, at her wants and turned on her side. It was Just her luck.
He believed her fine and good. But did he trust the whole situation?He could answer that easily. No, he did not.But he had not told Hannah that, he was not going to. The woman had diamonds in her eyes at the possibilities were before them, he wasn’t going to try to take them out of her eyes, and she genuinely looked excited at meeting this woman. He was curious, if he was being honest, and he wanted to share this adventure with her, but more than anything else, he wanted to keep her safe.He didn't take for granted that she wasn't completely stubborn, she understood his need to keep her safe, but she had a will of her own and not even him could keep her from seeking this woman, he wasn’t even going to try, didn't want to."Jasper? You're
"Thank you... For having us?" It wasn't a question, but it came out as one. she wasn't quite sure what to say to the woman, she found she had been more at ease in her dream, maybe because then she had not had the time to overthink the situation. In any case, they were there in the woman’s house and they were going to see it through. Hopefully get the answers they were needing."Come right in." Said the woman, as she opened her front door and made a sweeping gesture with her hand ushering them into her home. A warm smile playing on her lips.Jasper squeezed her hand again, when she hesitated, and she took that as an, it's okay, let's go.She took measured steps toward the woman and nodded briefly before walking past her and i