Status: Active

Heir of Night

Three

Solana sat on the edge of her bed staring out the window onto the stretch of the sea in the distance. Her chamber maid had just went to fetch Circe and her cousin Athahlia. The sun was just beginning to tuck itself behind the tree tops and beneath the water when the two girls walked in, both whispering in hushed tones. Solana looked at them, their hair braided and draped over their shoulders with flowers stuck in various places, their tan skin glowing in the wanning light of the setting sun. The door closed softly behind the two girls as they neared the bed where Solana was sitting, her eyes glazed over as she stared at the wall in front of her.

“Are you all right?” Athahlia asked as she neared her cousin, speaking softly as she rested her hand on Solana’s.

“I’ll be married by the end of the harvest.” Solana said flatly.

“It’ll be alright, he’s cute is he not?” Athahlia smiled at her cousin as Circe sat on her other side, arm around her sisters shoulder.

“It doesn’t matter if he’s cute or not. I heard that the boys from the night kingdom eat the heart of pretty girls” Circe said, her eyes large. Athahlia waved her hand and glared at the young princess.

“They most certainly do not, Do they Solana?” Athahlia looked at her cousin closely, patting her hand trying to comfort her.

“No, they don’t eat hearts.” Solana’s voice was thin and weary as she sat there, her body numb as she continued to dwell on the fact that she, a nineteen year old girl, was going to be married off to live in the kingdom of eternal night. There was no sun, and the monster that dwelled deep within the lands where something she had nightmares about since Erwyn told her of the first one at the age of seven. The voices of the two other girls in the room sounded as if they where miles away as spots filled Solana’s vision. A cold sweat broke out across her body as she sat, her sisters arm a pressure that made the pin prick feeling coursing through her body painful. She didn’t move, didn’t dare let the thought of running cross her mind as she stared, her vision tunneling as the two voices in her room got farther and farther away. She felt herself shaking and blinked, looking up at her cousin who's eyes looked at her full of concern.

“Are you alright?” Athahlia whispered.

“Fine.” Solana’s voice was thick and rough, her eyes brimmed with tears. She had known this day was coming for so long but she had always thought that her father would find some other way to bring peace between the kingdoms. She had let herself float in a sea of denial for so long that she never though this day would become a reality. She would have to leave her home, leave her family behind and marry Erwyn. It wasn’t as though he were a stranger, but he had become one in the last few years. His visits had dwindled as tensions rose between their parents, he and his brother often left behind when yearly meetings between leaders took place, and his father. Gods, he was always a man that Solana was afraid of since the first day she met him and his sons as a little girl. She had often jolted from sleep with nightmares of him ripping their kingdom apart with the darkness that made it possible for him to take over the kingdom of night from his brothers after their late father entered the eternal slumber.

“Sister, please don’t be afraid. It’ll be harder for me to convince myself that you’ll be happy.” Circe said quietly as she lifted her arm from around Solana. She looked at her little sister then, so much of their mother was in her from the bright round eyes to the delicate point of her ears and copper hair. A soft knock at the door made all three of the girls nearly jump out of their skin.

“Come in” Athahlia said, trying to made her voice more menacing than frightened. Solana let out a sigh of relief when she saw her mother. The Queen was a beautiful woman, small in stature but elegant all the same her eyes kind and wise. She smiled at her eldest daughter, who would soon share the same fate as her, being married off to a man she only knew for a few weeks time once a year.

“Circe, Athahlia, please leave us.” The Queens voice was soft as always, but stern. The two girls looked at Solana as they stood from the bed.

“If you need anything…” Athahlia’s voice trailed off as the two girls made their way to the door. Her mother stood quietly as they let themselves out and closed the door gently.

“My darling, don’t be scared” The Queen said, her voice laced with that comforting healing magic that she had wished she had been blessed with.

“I’m not afraid, mother” Solana lied, her voice shaking as she forced herself to sit still, though her trembling arms gave her away.

“Don’t lie. Remember, I was once you. I know fear when I see it.” Her mother made her way over to her, placing her delicate hand on her daughters shoulder.

“How did you do it” Solana asked, tears welling in her eyes that she tried to will back. Her mother smiled at her and placed a kiss on the top of her head.

“It wasn’t easy, but your father gave me time. We started as friends, and went slowly. I’m sure the prince will do the same for you, my darling.” A tear slipped from behind Solana’s lashes as she closed her eyes.

“I’ll miss you, all of you” Her voice was thick as she looked at her mothers bright eyes.

“We’ll miss you too, and I’ll make sure I force your sister to write you as much as I do” The Queen hugged her daughter tightly and let her weep in her arms, smoothing her hair as her body rose and fell with shaking breaths.

***

Solana gasped when she saw the door of the atrium, glass lining the floor as her fathers men worked quickly to install the new panes of glass. She could feel the power of the magic that had destroyed it and shivered at the anger and abhorrence behind it. The guard at the door looked at her with disapproval as she neared the men working.

“Princess, your father has instructed us to not let you out of the castle.” He said, squaring his shoulders. She sighed as she turned away from him and studied the plants closest to the door. Bits of glass littered the clay pots that held them, nicks from the apparent explosion on many of the stems. She frowned as the guard kept watch over her.

“Does my mother know that her lilies are damaged?” She asked him, still studying her mothers favorite flowers.

“She does, the herbalist should be here soon to tend to them” He answered. Solana gritted her teeth and stalked out of the room. She had always hated having guards watch her every move, though she understood the reason why her father was so careful with both of his daughters. She let out a groan as she flung herself into the couch in the sitting room. She kept her eyes closed and let the sun warm her skin through the window.

“Having fun?” Solana sat upright in an instant when she heard his voice. Her heart raced as she looked across the room to see Erwyn sitting, a book in hand. He smiled at her, his bright eyes flaring as he took her in. She looked down at the thin sun dress she wore. It had been her mothers when Solana was small. Sunflowers patterned the ivory fabric and she smoothed her hands over it, trying to make herself look more put together than she just was.

“Of course not. They won’t let me leave the castle and they all look at me like I’m going to break if I sit out there on my own” She looked up at his face, a white bandage covering just above his temple and on his muscled forearm.

“Not a bad thing, you know. The glass on that atrium is quite angry, I would know” He winked at her. She let out a chuckle, holding her hand to her chest as she tried to steady her breathing.

“Are you alright? It didn’t hurt you too bad?” She asked as she looked down at her feet. Her breathing steadied as she inhaled and exhaled slowly.

“I’m fine, nothing that I haven’t dealt with before. Elias used to do much worse to me when we were young.” His smile lit up the room and it took everything in her not to smile back.

“Where is Elias anyway”

“He’s with our fathers, trying to figure out who, or what, broke down your door and wounded me beyond repair” She laughed out loud.

“Ever the over dramatic one aren’t you?” Solana smiled as she looked at him.

“Only when I need to be” another wink at her.

“Oh, surely you haven’t been maimed to badly?” She tried to hold back her laughter. Erwyn set his book on the end table next to his chair and smiled. She looked at him and felt the warmth of the sun beating down on her back.

“What, or who, do you think could have broken the doors?” She asked him. His eyes narrowed and he brought his hand to his chin.

“I don’t know, but whatever it was doesn’t seem to like plants very much” He replied in a joking tone.

“Are you saying that because you really don’t know, or is it because you think I can’t handle it?” Her tone was bitter as she looked to the wall, avoiding his gaze.

“Honestly, I have no idea. It’s not because I think you can’t handle knowing my thoughts. I know you’re more than capable” His voice was soft as he answered her, keeping his eyes trained on her face. Solana let herself sink further into the couch, her head resting on the back.

“Can you really talk to the stars?” She asked. She looked out the window as the sun tucked itself behind the horizon, the dusky hint of night quickly approaching.

“I can” His voice was rough.

“What do they say?” She looked at him, her face bright.

“Whatever I ask them.” He looked down at his feet.

“That’s amazing” She looked at him, his head down with his hair hiding his face. She had always found him beautiful, but the way he sat there as if he were embarrassed by his ability made the feeling within her stronger. She kept a soft smile on her face as she looked up at the stars and admired their beauty. She had spent many nights in her mothers garden staring at the stars and whispering things to them, hoping that one day they would whisper back to her though they never did. The anxiety of being married soon left her as she stared at the vast expanse of night, wondering what it was like on the other side of the world in the Fae kingdoms. A movement in the distance caught her off guard, casing her to squeak and nearly jump out of her skin. She got on her knees on the sofa, staring off into the darkness. She could see nothing in the woods as she stared.

“There was just someone out there” She said as she continued to stare out the window. Erwyn quickly joined her, kneeling next to her. He cursed under his breath and looked down at his hand, bringing it near his mouth and whispering to it. His eyes closed and he leaned his head back as he looked up to the stars.

“What is it?” She didn’t dare turn her gaze away from the window, her hands trembling at her side.

“Nothing we want to deal with” He answered before he got up and stalked out of the room.
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So, this chapter isn't my favorite that I've written for this story so far but, I do quite like how the character development is going! Erwyn is quickly becoming my favorite character!