Updated: Mar 29
"Purity leads to safety. Safety leads to security. Security leads to stability. Stability leads to order."
Following in his grandpere's footsteps, The Solar King is forced to restart the raids as a new threat to the realm arises. But, while he lives and breathes and fights with the Darkness, using all of its power and control to keep order, his heart feels the pull to the Light... in the form of a Dyad. Clarity from the Oversoul, Eaden has shared countless nights with her in their shared Soulscape. His Lady is everything his heart desires... (to the point he's willing to rip the Aether apart to find her and love her the way she deserves).
While Surrielle Sunsprite's father may have told her "you will change everything", this half-Human half-Fae does all that she can to stay hidden. And though it has been many years since she accepted that her life would be that of solitude, it doesn't stop her heart from breaking. Because, after moving into the Trade District of Ville De Lumière three years ago, she's had increasingly lovely and special dreams of Le Garcon - a manifestation of what her hopelessly romantic heart truly wants.
While The King and the Impurity cannot deny the truth that is their families, Eaden and Surrielle cannot give up hope either. Within this first part of Rosalie Thorne's Hall Of The Fae King, the first seven chapters reach through the beams of darkness and shadows of light and conclude with these two soulmates meeting each other under the most horrible of circumstances.....
"Here she is… and he is blessed. But strickened for he must choose. Either they can be painfully, desperately apart forever… sending her far, far away, a different plain, a different realm… excommunicating her to save her life and only ever seeing her in his dreams if she lets him. Or, they will become inseparably together, forever, regardless of consequence."
THE HALL OF THE FAE KING
“Let the past die.
Kill it if you have to.
It's the only way to become
who you were meant to be.”
- Kylo Ren
The haze of the Aether lifts.
A floating world shows itself amongst the cosmos and mirrored shadows. The height of the center is close enough to grasp the sunlight, the circular width traced by the moon. Like the hands on a clock - creeping, crawling... seconds, minutes, and hours. Though, human time is irrelevant here.
The grand, royal city is center stage, a mountain of gold and power. The palace a monument to the eons of leadership from the royal family. Its legacy as dynamic - but predictable - as the phases of the moon.
Waterfalls help form a natural guide to city limits. The rivers then flowing to the edge of the world. The water drifts into the nebula, like leaves on the wind. The last of droplets shimmering, reflecting, and refracting the sunlight to create new stars. The temporary beauty is short-lived, like a dying ember, until the water is no more...
Evaporating into the haze of the Aether.
“You cannot deny the truth that is your family.”
– Lor San Tekka
His inhale is so intense it stretches and expands and pains him, the freezing air shards against his throat. Stretching muscles, his lungs and stomach against ribs and skin, he breathes in so deep that the pain is deliberate. The pain, the pressure, the beating of his heart felt in his head, all intentional, and he holds it.
Bawling his sheets in his fists, he holds the breath. He holds the pain, incidentally feeling a release in this… a freedom. He closes his eyes, wanting the moment to stop, to stay this way forever. He should have the power to do that right? As the Fae King of this realm? But no… not quite.
As long as his body lets him, he doesn’t let this moment end. They had shared a dream again… and it was getting louder, clearer - the images, the thoughts, the ideals… echoing through his mind, spreading through his soul like a crack in glass.
In their last encounter, their last meeting in mutual Soulscape, it was made very clear she thought it all a fantasy. She had no idea who he truly was… who and what he was, had become, and continues to be. She smiled and spoke with him happily, unabashedly… and in this blip of time he felt truly himself - felt not as The King, but as Eaden… just Eaden.
He exhales his breath through pinched lips until there is nothing left. His body void of all air, his chest and stomach caving in on itself. Then with a desperate, ragged gasp, he whispers to her, “Because darling without you…,” though, she is far away.
The King holds this world, this realm, the city and beyond, all in his hands. He has the shine of The Sun, the control of its power, the gift of magiks only his bloodline manifested from the Oversoul, and yet…. It will never be enough.
All rays of The Sun above, all the stars he could steal from the night sky, would never be enough. This towering kingdom of gold, this realm and all its people – the influence, the honor, it had never been enough.
Open eyes unseeing in the pitch-black bedchambers, he wishes he had the power to make his dreams a reality. That he could change himself so fundamentally, so quickly, that from one moment to the next he would be someone else. But no… the Darkness suffocating - literally surrounding him, literally shrouding him while he moves through this existence; the deepest, Darkness parts of the Oversoul had started creeping in long ago and made quite a home there.
It is simply in his blood, sweat, and tears - his primary makeup of being, of soul, of heart - or lack thereof, of the source of his magiks. From his father, to his grandpere, and beyond… a long, heartless, and rather cruel line of kings that in their ‘questionable’ acts made this realm, this world – their home safe, secure, and stable.
A Fae Kingdom is not something to be tampered with; the connection to the Oversoul and its subsequential magiks needing to be of pure source and continued essence… needing to come from one source and one source alone. In this case: The Sun. Therefore, the people who decide to stay within the realms’ boundaries have to follow the rules. Purebloods, pure practices, pure intentions… as pure as the white light of The Sun’s core.
That is the only way. As king, as the ruler who resides in The Solar Palace, it is easy to tell when someone isn’t right, when something is not pure, not stable, not safe.
And so the Darkness creeped into his heart, making him realize that like his father before him, like his grandpere even more… he had to keep the land pure. No humans, no half-breeds, just Solar Fae and only Solar Fae.
Purity leads to safety. Safety leads to security. Security leads to stability. Stability leads to order.
Eaden hadn’t even given a second thought on how to achieve this. The King has been doing the same thing for generations, so why change something that’s not broken? Though the last Raids had been done some five years previous, it had been one of his first acts as The King.
His late father had been proud. His late father made him feel worthy of the position he was given. His late father made him feel like in these hard-to-understand-actions he belonged.
At the thought Eaden’s hands come to his face and he rubs his eyes. These dreams… this female…. They had a connection. A connection that only started three years ago, sure, but a connection, nonetheless. A connection, in fact, that seems to strengthen every wakeless night.
Clarity from the Oversoul: A dyad.
She is so obviously his equal. He can feel the magiks within her, clearly and purely and strongly as he feels the magiks within himself. She calls to him… and yet… is she even real?
Or… had she just been a new hope, now long lost. The forgotten dream that he could follow the path of Light, follow the beliefs of the Righteous, that he could change the way he rules, casting rays of light through every inch of darkness. Is she just a manifestation, perhaps… that last little part of his heart searching for peace, for sanctuary, for truth and honor.
Perhaps… just a dream.
Pulling the kiln goggles off her eyes and tossing them across the wooden slab of a table, her chest heaves with exhaustion and she wipes sweat from her brow. This was the quickest deadline to date but a significant one at that. Misses Lionheart needed the set of twelve plates (four of three different sizes), eight bowls (four of two different sizes), and eight teacups with matching saucers as a gift for her petite fille’s wedding.
Misses Lionheart had been one of her first customers way back when she’d come to market from The Farmhouse, recognizing how unique and how magikal her items were within moments. Within the last five years since her first trip into the city, Misses Lionheart proceeded to buy her stands’ stock more than once. The elder Fae always nice to leave a tip for all her hard work - blood, sweat, tears, and Oversoul magiks that went into each piece that was made.
It was that sweet lady’s word of mouth that made her stand so popular and that matriarch had been the first of many to suggest to Le Conseil that she be allowed to live and work and sell in The Trade District. Surrielle had this life - the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly, all because of her – living the last three years solely in the city.
Though, all this time within Ville De Lumière’s limits were quite nerve racking if she was honest. Any time she must venture out for supplies or even take a walk around Fontaine De Torche Solaire on her time off, she was alert and wary of passersby. Any time an Official or city guard was in her vicinity she tried to make herself as invisible as possible.
Luckily, her carefully chosen clothes covered her so thickly that her true body shape couldn’t be recognized. Plus, when choosing the colors, she stayed as far away from white and pastels as possible for they make her less-than-pale skin more vibrantly tan. Most of the time others saw her in her work garb, anyway, which included a heavy protective apron and a mess of soot and material everywhere. No one had ever noticed she was not a Pureblood. Really, with having such strong magiks… why would they ever guess she was less than such?
But… as a matter of fact, not even just a little less than Pure, but straight half-and-half: Her late Fae father having died in The Raids for bringing her mortal mother to live at The Farmhouse.
Surrielle’s existence had always been kept secret, however… almost as if her parents knew this was to be her future - that she actually had a chance, that she could actually live a life worth living, worth having.
She hadn’t any close friends growing up, she had a mixed education from her parents, and any trade or skill she may have learned and practiced was practical and helpful to their day-to-day life. Rarely did her father help her connect with the Oversoul, putting to use her power of intuition, creativity, and observation. (Those were things she had to learn on her own as she matured.)
This was all purposefully done not just to give her freedom to follow the passion passed down to her from her father for crafting beautiful works of art out of clay or whatever material that was paid for, but living in the realm, safe in the walls of Ville De Lumière. Her father had always looked at her with twinkling eyes, a calloused palm against her cheek, often saying “My dearest… you will change everything.”
Surrielle smiles softly at the memory… he had been so hopeful, so full of wonder, yet a little out of touch with reality. Surrielle is a Half-blood and if that was ever to be found out, she’d be killed without hesitation. In her mind there was no way she could make any change other than little ones in her customers lives. She sighs… knowing her father’s words were probably just a dream every father had for their child.
Stretching, wiggling, bending, cracking, she moves in all sorts of ways before lifting from her work bench. It was surely time to get into a hot bath, letting her muscles relax after such a long and intense journee. And maybe, she smiles to herself, maybe she’ll have another lovely dream about Le Garcon.
It was easy knowledge - and knowledge she had truly accepted after The Raids - that she is to live her life… her life and only her life. No romantic interest is in her future, there simply can’t be. Even if a male agreed to and could look past her blood status and physical flaws, it would endanger him in such a way Surrielle could never live with herself. So, her hopelessly romantic and desperate heart had created Le Garcon for her to dream with… for her to daydream with, to fantasize about… to give her some comfort that maybe after she’s passed on from this world, he would be waiting and she would finally know what love is.
In record time, she’s upstairs and easing into her bath, her eyes closing and her thoughts drifting go to Le Garcon. He was as perfectly Fae as one could be.
Not just one of the tallest, but one of the perfectly proportioned males she’d ever seen, his thin body strong with toned muscles. His skin pale and clear - no marks of any kind, not even laugh lines or frown wrinkles or dimples from a smirk, and in great contrast to his dark hair. Black like the night sky she could see beyond the edge of the world, his full – almost curly hair was a mane, a dark halo around his stunning face. The short but thick beard really was the only sign of any personality other than the expressions seen in his piercing, icy eyes.
That was most unique, most special, most… wonderful thing about him - his eyes. Not the way he carried himself, not the way he spoke about his education, not the finest of fabrics he wore. But his eyes… so intense, so pure, and the way he looks at her is always with a sense of wonder and love, lust and joy, fixation and infatuation, curiosity and patience.
With her gift of Etude, she was able to read his aura as simple as a recipe. He had power within him; he had a strength that was obvious. But it was seeded from Darkness and he hates this. So, Surrielle, in every dream, tries her damnest to let him feel Light, to let him explore the good in him! The goal that maybe, someday, the Light and Righteousness would expand to the point he no longer felt pained.
What was love without a little struggle? Surrielle was not a woman of perfection… down to her very core, and so neither would be her other half.
“Don’t give up hope. He still might show up.”
Cracking his neck, The King stretches and rolls all the body parts he can. His traditional riding armor is to come next and unfortunately it is rather restricting. It protects him, as intended, in addition to making direct Oversoul power seep through him. Drawing from the Darkness he gains confidence, his emotions seamlessly intertwining with the magiks the same as thread and fabric. He is The King and no one is to forget that.
Black robes with gold embroidery, the finest of materials and craftsmanship - only the best for La Famille Royale. Handed down from king to king, his bloodline reinforcing its status and structure, making it practically impenetrable. Next comes the black leather with burned crests and other designs that were kept only for Royale’s use. Finally comes the crown….
This is the best part, the best piece of all. This is what, at first, had made him feel like a true king, made him feel like the most powerful Fae ever known, made him feel invincible. It is a gold crown yes, with the largest and purest Sunstone right in the middle, but it also came around his face like a helmet. The intricate design of the metal leads for the strongest of magiks to spread, making his face unrecognizable - a golden statue.
But that was the point wasn’t it? He is The King. The King Fae of the realm. He isn’t a male, he isn’t Eaden, he is The King.
In this vingt-quatre heures, The King is to go with a small group of his most trusted men and locate and interrogate a man sourced to know not only a list of Impurities but was aiding and abetting in their safety. The King’s men had already done as much footwork as possible but now it is his turn.
His men’s duties were to find the man and bring him to The King’s feet. Then he would do what he was trained to do - raised to do: interrogate until death. It is one of the worst - maybe the worst - crimes against the Crown, against The King, the Realm… to help or be anything but a Pureblood Solar Fae.
There are many accounts of him helping the Impurities of all kinds - partial bloods, Half-bloods, mortals - finding homesteads towards The Outer Rim, (where there is almost no sunlight). There are accounts of him helping the Impurities having magiks put upon them to hide their ugly features, (if they have curves, if they have spotted skin, if they have dark or mixed eyes, etcetera….). There are accounts of this male opening portals to let Impurities out but also in.
The King waits by the gate as his men kick down the door and spread through the house. Within moments the male is brought to the feet of The King’s horse and forced to his knees. The male, who looks The King straight in the eye does not waiver, does not seem fearful, does not lower his head in a makeshift bow. No, he stares The King straight in the eye letting him know that he does not feel he is in the wrong, does not feel he is beneath The King, does not feel anything but pride and spite.
What a pity, The King thinks, looking at the male’s features, he is so obviously a Pureblood. Pale skin, harsh bone structure, dark brown hair pulled into a low ponytail, and eyes the palest of sage.
The King in is his expressionless golden mask looks to his man holding the collar of the traitor. His knight nods and says “This is him, Sire, and he had already admitted to his crimes. The others are looking to see if we can find a list.”
The King sighs. With a wave of his hand, a slightly altered voice corrects, “There will be no physical list… he will have had it destroyed by now… it is all in his head.” Then the King slowly and gracefully comes down from his steed.
Towering over the male, The King opens a palm. The monotone, almost metallic voice speaks from the mask, “Will you speak when spoken to by your king or will you be insuring torture?”
The Fae, who suddenly looks very aged, spits, “You are not my king.”
Pacing, he gestures within his open hand and speaks clearly: “I am The King Fae of this Solar Realm, you live within my walls, you are to follow the proper code of conduct or be subject to the consequences.”
His lip curls, “Solar Realm perhaps, but you have plagued this land with nothing but Darkness.”
No longer having fun, no longer wanting conversation, The King raises his hand directly to the aged Fae’s face. Only needing to close his eyes for a blink, all magiks are focused and active. Instantly the criminal Fae writhes in agony, letting out howls of pain as his chest lifts towards the sky. The King is not only making his spine slowly twist, he is as slowly crushing his lungs, and causing his heart to feel such pressure it’ll burst right there in his chest.
Then, all at once, it stops. The male drops to the grass twitching as the Dark Oversoul magiks are lifted from him. Tears rolling down his cheeks, his mouth wide open, gasping for air, his hands curling to his chest…. Looking rather like a fetus, he curls himself like a worm in the dirt.
The King lowers to a crouch. “I do not have the patience to drag you all the way back to The Solar Palace. Instead, you will be dying here, in this very spot.
“But first, you will feel pain… worse than what I have just provided for you. The choice is in your hands…. Give us a list - names, just names, and I will make your heart burst within a moment. Or…” and his hand curls from one breath to the next and the Fae feels his body mangling within. “Your choice….”
Either the male is going to tell him these names of Impurities or The King is going to have to strip the memories, each process equal in time and magiks wasted.
Ringing of her shops’ doorbell brings Surrielle’s attention to Misses Lionheart’s entrance. “Salut!” she smiles broadly.
The elderly Fae shuffles in, in all the beautiful flowy layers of lavender, watercolor pink hair offsetting her grass green eyes. “Lady Surriel! How are you today, my dearest?”
Slipping off her thick, horsehide, heat-protecting gloves, Surrielle tucks them into her sturdy work apron and offers her hand. “I am wonderful, Madame Lionheart. And! Have all your pieces ready. Is Lilya excited?”
A tinkling laugh then she nods, “Most excited bride I’ve ever have seen, that one. So much spirit! Quite like yourself if you don’t mind me saying.”
Surrielle leads the wonderful matriarch over to the wedding dining set. “I even did the little roses… it took some time, but you can see them glinting there softly, subtly, just like you asked,” she explains softly shifting the plate up and down, side to side, to show of the iridescent designs around the edges.
The little old female puts a hand to her chest, “My, oh my…. I knew it, too, I was telling everyone. I knew that if anyone was ever going to get such beautiful subtle work done it was you! Some crafts people,” her nose wrinkles ever so slightly and she huffs, “too flashy. But you! Soft as a rose petal, just look!”
Surrielle bows and takes the last plate to the rest of the wrapped items. “Do you have your carriage or cart today, madame? I’ll carry out the items for -”
But then the shop bell rings again, announcing the arrival of another. A truly beautiful Fae walks in. Someone who had to be from one of the Purest Families… Surrielle vaguely notices some marks of The Household in her embroidery. Slowing, freezing, standing as straight and still as possible, Surrielle hides her petrifying fear with a smile, “Beinvenue,” she offers quietly.
Vibrant ruby robes, that are just slightly lighter than her complicatedly braided garnet hair, drift and flow as she glides through the display room before coming to the counter. Her long, flawless hands with painted nails of gold land softly together in front of her narrow hips, her pastel orange eyes blinking slowly as she surveys the crafts lady. “Miss Surrielle Sunsprite?”
Subtly adjusting her work clothes to cover as much as her as possible, Surrielle nods, “Yes, madame. How may I assist you today?”
“La Famille Royale has requested your services. There is going to be a banquet held in honor of The King’s twenty-fifth birthday and… your reputation reaches all the way to The Solar Palace, I should say. It’s quite a work order,” she eyes the small work space behind the counter, “but it’s only a mois away.”
Knowing it would be a crime within itself to straight up deny such a request, Surrielle puts her hands firmly on her hips. “I have a larger work area in the back, this is just for demonstrations or quick requests.”
Le Servante’s already thin lips come together and form almost a straight and narrow line from cheek to cheek. “Hmm.”
“Would you like to see some items? Or I can sketch up designs to your specifications, see if I’m even close to what you’re looking for. I am, after all, one of many in The Trade District.”
Her gaze softens, “Sketches, that sounds nice. We would need matte black plates with find gold vines around the edge and his family crest in the middle of each item,” and she actually pulls out fabric swatches to help describe what is needed and luckily one of them is of La Famille Royale crest.
Surrielle nods and takes the swatches and goes to the little work table to the left of the counter. She is always quick in her designs and this is easy enough. With her tuned Oversoul magiks she is basically able to copy and duplicate the crest onto the paper. She comes back to the counter with all the materials and then with a few deep breaths and closing her eyes to focus, she lifts the image from the page and is able to visually make a three-dimensional rendering of what she would produce.
Just for examination, hovering in the air, but a good use of magiks to help customers understand what they would be getting. The Fae is impressed by this and starts nodding and actually smiles, “Perfect! This is exactly what we need.” She reaches for a paper within the many layers of her dress. “Here’s the work order. And again, we will need all of these in a mois.”
Surrielle looks at the list and realizes that yes, the numbers are high, but, it is a lot duplicates. In this case, three sets: small plate, entree plate, goblet. Easier than what Misses Lionheart needed, if she’s honest. And matte black? Like that was a challenge, com’on now. The gold vine work would need to be different for each of the three but then could be copy and imprinted for the mass production. Same with the crest… she truly could get all this done in half the time! Two semaines, maybe less.
She does look up though, “Ah… and… how will… payment for materials be provided?” She didn’t dare ask about payment of her time, that would just be stupid, but to do right by this request she would need the finest of materials and that’s not something she could afford even during her busiest season.
Le Servante’s fingertips drift up her sleeve, lightly gathering the fabric towards her shoulder. She then goes just shy of the elbow and slips the mass of golden bangles off her wrist. With the metal clinking and sliding across the counter, she replies, “That should cover anything you require. We’ve already sourced where your materials will come from, it’s in the work order. And…” she smiles, her whole face softening, “we have added a little something for your time. We, of The Household at least, understand what it means to be giving all your time to something like this.”
Surrielle bows. “I will do my finest work.”
The Fae bows in return and leaves quickly.
Misses Lionheart, who is clutching at her layers of necklaces, has eyes wide on her. “Well… well, my lady…. My, oh my….”
Surrielle falls to the counter, her padded elbows falling hard against the wood, “Oh, Misses Lionheart…,” her head shaking in shock.
The elderly Fae shuffles over to the counter and leans against it. Looking back behind her, she’s hushed in her speech, “It’s not just because of his birthday, you know…. There was, well not exactly another Raid… but perhaps soon.” Her eyes are wide and horrified, but she is sturdy, a survivor even in her old age. “They have names… a whole list is the rumor, of Impurities. Poor Kenaz… poor, poor thing. We told him though… we told him what he was doing was going to come around… was going to come right around - we told him,” she sighs. “Poor thing.”
Surrielle is shocked still, truly frozen in place. “Another Raid? I thought… five years ago,” when her father died… that was it. That was supposed to be it. But… then again… here she stood.
Did this Kenaz know of her? Did Misses Lionheart know? Is she on that list? Surrielle shifts uncomfortably and hides herself more behind the counter and her crossed arms.
Miss Lionheart’s hand came over the counter, “Don’t you worry dear… just focus on your work. I know it’s… maybe not the bravest or most noble thing, turning a blind eye….
“But what else are we to do?”
“Stop talking my hand.”
Desperate moments call for desperate measures. The King had long since retired for the night, leaving Eaden to wander the vacant halls of the palace. There is a heaviness on his heart that is making it hard to breathe, a Darkness in his mind that is making it hard to see. See if he is doing the right thing… the call to Light, confusing him greatly.
Not really sure where he is in the maze of corridors, he absent-mindedly turns the cuff on his right wrist. Different occasions required different wardrobes, but still the cuff remaines. He had been all of thirteen when given it, his mother claiming he was too young. But as soon as he’d taken up training with the cosmicsword he’d proven to be a natural.
With only a flick of his wrist, the cuff expands as liquid gold, smoothing out all the Fae-like features of his hand. Then in his palm a hilt grows, extending greatly into an impervious blade. A physical weapon, absolutely, but also a weapon dripping with infinite Oversoul power.
Twisting the cuff one more time, he snatches his hand away, as if it pained him. Pushing back his hair and eying his current location, he pulls his mind far away from all the blade has done. Looking up and down the corridor for a sign or direction, sure enough - as if guided by Fate - he’s just in front of the door to the Aether Antechamber.
Shutting the door behind him, he takes a deep breath to center himself. Opening his eyes he can barely see in the tiny room. It is only a few strides to the door across the way, but a lot must be done to reach it. Only those with the purest of connections can access the Aether through the Oversoul. He has to focus… the Aether could only answer if there is a single question.
What does his heart crave for most? Her.
Forget what had taken him out of bed, forget what had toiled his mind, forget what had sunk his heart. In this moment of true transparency, all he can think about is Her.
That is the question for the Aether. That is what he anticipates to be on the other side of that door. One hand over his heart, his other is ready to push, and he breathlessly cries out for her. To know where…. Just where to find her.
The door dissipates into smoke.
But nothing is shown.
Not her hickory hair. Not her smiling face. Not even the lavender of her eyes. Not their cabin in the wood, not a home in town, not any place she might be found.
Just darkness. Everlasting, ever-expanding darkness with only the subtle, distant twinkle of stars.
Enraged, with the pop of his elbow and twist of his wrist his cosmicsword is corporeal. The raving anger and sickening frustration directing such an amount of magikal energy it shimmers and then glows. It is this radiant sunlight that tears along the black walls as Eaden cannot stop himself from destroying everything in reach.
Originally a slab of stone and a few steps of grass surrounded by an ivy-covered brick wall, Surrielle had turned her little patio into a secret garden: her little piece of The Farmhouse in the city, even bringing plants from the garden and furniture from the deck. Not having the mental capacity to deal with others, this was the second best to sitting at the café at the base of Fontaine De Torche Solaire. She had to make the tea herself, but it ended up feeling just as relaxing and serene.
Another long journee and she had to force herself to leave her workbench. It was reaching late into what her mother would have called “night”, the second half of vingt-quatre, almost starting new. If she didn’t break now, she would surely disrupt her sleep schedule. Which would disrupt her dream schedule.
Before her standing date with Le Garcon, though, she really needed to decompress. She’d stupidly taken another work order on top of what was required for the palace. But when all you have in your life is work, what else is there to do?
Closing her eyes, Surrielle’s head shakes. Her mother would be disappointed. Her mother, the Human living in a Fae realm, had always found something to spark joy. Gardening, cooking, painting… she made sure she continued with love-filled passions and was always passionate when she loved. Many times would Surrielle stay alongside her mother just so she could hear stories of the Otherworld called Earth.
Her favorite story, of course, being how they fell in love. Father had been summoned by mother’s mother in a secluded countryside in France. Mother was making her way to the America’s, to the grand city of New York, and Father was to watch out for her. A few weeks went by, then a few months. He fell in love with her and did everything in his Earthly power to protect her. But then, one late winter night, Death came for Mother in the form of evil men and instead of allowing that to happen, Father stole her away.
Throat suddenly tight, Surrielle blinks away tears. Just as he had told her she would change everything, her mother had insisted “you have a bit of savior in you – just like your father”. But who was she to save?
More exhausted than before, her gesture of rest and relaxation was poisoned. Gathering her things, she all but tosses them in the sink and stumbles her way into bed. Clothes off, she curls around the cold sheets and selfishly hopes for sleep to come as soon as possible.
Maybe she just return to The Farmhouse. Maybe she should just disappear. No expectations, no importance… never to be found.
“…there’s nowhere left for you to hide.”
– Kylo Ren
At least the Aether repairs itself. Having exhausted himself out, Eaden feels void as he finds his way back to his bedchambers.
Latching the door behind him he is greeted with the familiar shadow. The pitch-black is simply blinding. But, it is more than muscle memory he uses to make his way around. No… there’s a sort of energy everything has thanks to the Oversoul, so there’s a static he can feel that guides him in the dark.
His body is aching now, tired in so many ways… he just wants to sleep. To lose consciousness and see Her. Oh, he would give anything to see Her right now. His manifestation of a sanctuary he could not create literally, physically… it does not matter, just the taste of Her in his dreams gives him enough of a fix he can move on another journee, another semaine, another mois.
Ditching his sweater and pants, he slips into the cool, silky sheets of his bed and with only a few deep breaths he’s asleep. He is alone for a while… waiting. There is still a part of him that wonders – against the evidence of the Aether - if she’s a real Fae… a Fae somewhere that he will somehow find and then they can truly be together.
But that is the stuff of myths, of legends, of historic tales of wonder you tell young children so they have sweet dreams and believe in things like ‘true love’. She could be real, it is not an impossibility. But, it is such an improbability he is unsure if he should let himself hope much longer.
The familiar scene fills in around him: it’s time. A little cottage of a place, with wide open windows letting in fresh woodland air and just enough sunlight. It’s quiet, it’s peaceful, and full of comfortable things. It’s real… in a way, it feels lived in. It does not feel like The Solar Palace; not every single thing is straight clean lines with perfect precision and everything in its place. He imagines this is what a warm, happy… home feels like.
And then she comes, walking around the wall from the kitchen to the sitting area he finds himself. She holds out tea, “It’s the wild berry one you like.”
Her hair is long and down and curly tonight - the way he’d only ever seen after his mother undid her braids. The brown reminds him of caramel chocolate, his favorite treat as a boy. Her skin is clean, clear, beautiful though slightly tan… unlike all the Fae he sees around the palace - all so pale in the blacked out structure. And her eyes! Oh, the most beautiful of lavender; when he sees them he can almost smell the flower… just magikal.
He always waits for her to sit before he speaks, he loves watching her move. She does not move with perfect fluidity, she does not move like falling feathers or… ghosts. She moves with strength, with purpose, her body actually looking as if she works to live.
Her clothes reflect that as well; though comfortable and light, they are not of the sheer material he is used to seeing layered on females, she’s actually wearing cloth of light cotton maybe. A pink dress with pockets, little straps up her shoulders, tight around her waist, flowy all the way to her knees.
She is so comfortable in this, so confident. He likes this… he likes her strength. It’s not just physical, but has proven to be mental, emotional, and most of all, magikal. The Oversoul magiks she holds within herself… he can see it, feel it, it is almost something he can grasp: they are equals, they are opposites, his Darkness, her Light… perfectly parallel.
She finally sits, curling in the large armchair, completely comfortable and most ‘un-lady like’. She sips her tea and then sighs, “You look rough….”
He closes his eyes. “Today was hard.”
“Yes, it was, wasn’t it?”
He peeks his eyes open and frowns, “It was hard for you?”
She throws her legs over the arm of the chair and squishes into the pillows. “Work is hard sometimes. Not because of what I do… but because the Darkness I try so hard to fight off or, jeez, hide from. It still comes to find me.” She heaves a great sigh. “I don’t like it. It scares me.”
Eaden tense up and puts his tea down. “I don’t what you to be scared.”
Dismissively, she waves her hand slightly and sips more tea. “It’s life. Life that I did not choose, life that was thrusted upon me… There’s nothing else I can do, I didn’t exactly have a choice in being brought into this world,” she laughs breathily.
He hates when she says the words he is feeling. He hates when his deepest thoughts are displayed so profoundly. This is not why he comes here. This is supposed to be an escape. He looks out the window, “Let’s go walk in the gardens.”
Her eyebrows raise, “You never want to leave The Farmhouse.”
He shrugs. “I could use the fresh air, I think.”
She shifts, “Alright. It’s only a small garden though, I’m sure you’re used to much more.”
Eaden sighs. Even in his dreams his clothes, his appearance gives away some of his status. He wants to be Eaden though, just Eaden, not The King. “I’m sure it’s perfect.
“Just like you.”
She blinks a few times but says nothing until they are amongst the flowers. “Really… what’s going on? You’re very different tonight.”
He rolls his shoulders back and for the first time in all their meetings, in all his dreams, he thinks about taking her hand. “Do you not like it?”
She blushes, “It’s different.”
He thinks about how he spent his time for just a moment and thinks about the list of names and all the dark and dirty and awful work to come. “I need different right now.”
She nods and is the one to offer her hand, “Trust me?”
He does. Always.
He takes her hand and in that moment, when they touch for the first time it is like The Sun bursts within his own heart. Light floods through his body, his skin glows and twinkles with golden illumination, he feels… he feels so much love for her, from her, that he forgets what it had ever felt like to hate himself, hate his life, to be so deep seeded in Darkness.
In shock, he looks to her. She smiles, eyes bright with life, “See… so much Light!” She sighs happily, “so pure…,” but then she is saddened. Turning, she keeps to herself and quietly guides him out of the garden.
“The pureness upsets you?”
She does not answer. She is focused on guiding him away from the cottage.
They come to a forest's edge, the sunlight making beams through the tree’s canopy. There is a little dirt path and she tightens her grip on his hand. He squeezes back and follows her. She leads him to a little river, well steam, with a tiny little waterfall, just about to his knee high.
There’s a patch of grass under shade where she asks, “Sit with me?”
They sit together, side by side. But before long he has maneuvered himself partially behind her, “Lean on me,” he murmurs softly.
She moves closer as his hand runs from her shoulder down her arm. Her skin so soft… the scent of lavender so clear. He is not ashamed about how much he needs her, how much these dreams are keeping him sane. “My lady…” he whispers softly.
She lifts and turns a little to face him. Her hand comes to his face, her eyes searching his. “You are hurting so much…, why?”
He closes his eyes and is not ashamed of his tears. “I struggle. The Darkness… it’s consuming. It’s so… controlling. And it has been my whole life - it’s comfortable, it’s easy to take strength from it. It’s easy to gain power through Darkness, through the….” He sighs, “My family learned long ago that you can only get so far with Light, just Light. So, they toyed with balance. Generations later and the Light is all but gone. And I struggle.
“I come here… to you, to this, because I need it. I need you.” His eyes finally open and he looks to the sunlight twinkling on the waters. “I am so tired, cherie… I am so tired.”
His eyes catch hers and he gives up. He gives in, letting the Light take over. He reaches for her face quickly, softly, lovingly, and then he kisses her.
Kisses her for the first time, unsurprised at how soft her plump lips are. His thumb caresses her cheek as he feels her strong hands on his torso, gripping his sides, bringing them closer together. He kisses her with eyes closed just letting their magiks spark, letting Light wash over them. They needed this.
… and he never wants to wake-up again.
Gasping for air, jolting straight up in bed, Surrielle wakes from her dream. The last thing she remembers is their kiss. Her fingers rise to her lips as the magiks around her settle like twinkling stars. “What... just….” her eyes search her bedroom, her brain not functioning at capacity. “What was that?”
Heart pounding, she is awestruck. That dream was something… else, something special. She had not been anticipating that at all. Though, given all the stress of course her brain developed something grand.
She eases back against the pillows and rubs her face with her hands. There’s an overwhelming need to cry. To just cry and cry and… die. There is so much pain in her heart… so much of that dream she wants. She needs him to be real; she needs him to be with her, she… just needs him. And so she cries, begging silently for Death to take her.
Her silence is only broken when the pain becomes too hard, too real, and she calls out for him in a sob, “Mon amour.”
Tears running down her cheeks, her eyes shut tight. One arm curls around her stomach as her face turns away from the pillow, and she holds out her other hand open air above her. “Please… mon amour, take me away. Let me die….”
Instantly, she feels it.
The ever subtle touch of magiks, of flesh against flesh, a hand against her hand. Suddenly, it is held there by an outside force. While her body stills, she focused on their touch. Like in the dream… his hand is warm, calloused, strong. Like in the dream, their touch sparks something in her – but something more, there is shift in the universe, a long needed alignment.
There is a little whisper on the wind, his voice ever so far away but so clear: “Je vous adore,” and then he is gone, her empty hand falling against her breast.
Surrielle feels as if she may vomit. She truly wants to die, to be done with this life, to be beyond… to be free of the hardship that are her impurities, to be free of Darkness, to be free of hiding or feeling scared, to be free to love and be loved. She did not come from much and sure she had a talent, but her father was wrong… she could not change anything.
She is no one. She is nothing. She is an Impurity. She is powerless when it comes to what really matters. There is no way around the fact that in the end she is going to either hide long enough to die of old age or be found out and be killed. Either way, is it a life worth living?
“Please…” her whisper is raw. But then, like a spell, she falls asleep once more.
After enough sleep, Surrielle has mostly forgotten what happened in the night. She remembers the pleasantries of the dream, but not the horrible aftermath. She does not have time to waste on such matters anyway, her workload now becoming so important.
After bathing and getting dressed, she sends letters to her regular clients. Explaining that she now has a request from The Solar Palace and La Famille Royale, she hopes they are understanding that she cannot take any more orders at this time. If last night proved anything, it’s that she needs to focus.
Standing at the back door to her large workshop she waits for the deliveries. The matte black stone is to arrive first, which she would unfortunately need help loading into the building. Then the gold thread, that is supposed to be weaved into the vines, and solid gold, that is supposed to be liquefied to be pressed as the crest, comes after. Another long journee ahead, she needs to remember to set her alarm for meals and sleep.
Heures later, everything is settled into the proper stations and she begins. With busy hands, her mind quickly jumps to the end. When she’s done… oh, once she is done! Maybe then she could finally escape… take a semaine or two or more! Go somewhere nice…, at least somewhere beyond the Trade District. Surely, making a whole work order for La Famille Royale would allow her such frivolous pleasantries? Surely, she could live… just a little?
“There has been an awakening.”
Long heures had turned into long journees, The King taking his time with every single Impurity his guard brings him. Partly because he needs to do his job thoroughly, least his abilities to rule be questioned. But also because… well, it seemed that the Darker his days are, the more beautiful and long his time in Soulcape became.
His Lady and he spending many a dream together, each encounter getting longer and longer… each interaction becoming more and more vivid. She is real to him in a way that he cannot give up. So, if Darkness lets him have her in such a way, Darkness is what shall be released.
Cracking his neck and twirling his wrists, he tries to relax his body before the next Impurity is brought in. The magiks aren’t difficult but it is taxing on the body to be going so hard for so long. Just one more, though - just one more before he breaks for this journee.
The male is brought into the room, the floating slab finding its place in the middle and halting. With magikal masks or defenses stripped, the male is short and speckled, bloody all around the face and hands… it seemed he put up a fight.
His guards back against the wall as The King moves slowly to the Impurity. One of the guards says his name but why should The King care? He studies the male and by reading his aura he is informed that he put up too much of a fight - trying to protect his family - and would not be waking up. The King turns to his guards, the metallic voice directed to them, “And the family?”
One of the guards flinches and does not meet The King’s eyes. “Escaped, Sire. When we came to the house he was outside waiting for us - the news of The Raid has traveled. When we searched the house we found a portal had been used in one of the bedrooms - a one way portal.”
Closing his eyes The King is still. His men did not do their job. But… this has been a consuming and exhausting process for them as well. He could not exactly let it slide but he still needed them for the rest of the list. “... go… rest now. He’s not waking up, I’m going to wipe his mind and kill him. You two go rest for tomorrow. Your superior officer will get the report and he will go from there.”
Though it was not looking the other way at their mistake, it is a very merciful response, and the guards bow deeply before scurrying out of the room. Alone to do a simple and easy and quick task, The King smiles to himself. Just a few minutes he’d have all the information that was relevant, and it was as simple as flicking it to his Chief Commanding Officer.
One breath, two breath, three… The King rapidly and magikally moves through the Impurities memories and thoughts like an open book; pulling out names and locations of other Impurities the male had ever dealt with was simple enough. Later the list is cross-referenced, adding any names or locations to search by his guard. Then The King snuffs out the Oversoul of the male with one pinch of his fingers. Dead and gone, the body is left to be swept away.
Getting the list ready to send, he arranges the golden names floating in the air beyond his face. This last session gave way to another seventeen Impurists still living within his Realm walls. List finished; he flicks his hand for it to send to his Chief Commanding Officer. Once a little ding of acknowledgement is sent back, it is time for The King to retire for sleep.
Quick to his bedchambers, he ignores the female that calls after him about a meal. He knows she will follow - dutifully so and knock on the door. However, if the door is locked, she is to leave immediately. Slipping inside he slams the door and locks it instantly.
Ripping off his crown, Eaden watches the mask float away in sparkling wisps. The crown is the only thing he places down carefully, on the right side table of his bed, the rest of his armor is strewn about uncaringly. After a short bath, he’s in bed and falls asleep rapidly.
He comes to be in the living room of the cottage and for the first time finds himself alone. Waiting, he is impatient, and that impatience turns to worry. Usually She is there to greet him, bring him tea, something….
Where is she?
His stomach churns and he starts searching for her, panic spreading under his skin like the crawling of insects. As the negativity creeps in, the sunlight from the windows seems to fade, the sky beyond filling with storm clouds.
But then! Oh, but then, he sees her tending to the garden. Suddenly, he can feel the sunlight brush over his skin, his heart feeling a warmth that spreads through his chest, through his whole body and soul. Down to his fingertips, he feels lighter, feels the same happiness and joy and adoration he always feels for his Lady.
“Chérie!” he calls out the back door.
She smiles up at him and wipes her brow with her wrist. “Mon amour.”
Wrapping his arms around her, he kisses her cheek, then the other. “I must say, you gave me a fright... I couldn’t find you.”
She giggles and her eyes shift in an ever so slight roll. “Oh, mon amour… you are too funny. Work was rather exhausting today so relaxation seemed appropriate. Without you here… well, I decided to tend to some flowers. It was one of the things my mother taught me to do.”
She rarely speaks of her mother. “The flowers are always perfect here,” he comments lightly.
She turns and looks at them slowly, “Maybe so, but it is relaxing… tending to things so delicate, so special. It’s completely the opposite of my work.”
Thinking of her beautiful eyes, the softness of her skin, in the way she loves him, in the way she cares for him - talk about delicate! She is the most delicate of all…. Kissing her amongst the flowers, the warm sunlight cascades over them with a subtle breeze cooling their skin. “How about I tend to you?”
Blush spreads across her tan cheeks. “Well now… that sounds rather enticing.”
But when he goes to kiss her again, hands reaching up her bare back above the deep scoop of her dress, he feels a sort of yanking of his Self, his aura being sucked away. Something is calling him out of the Soulscape, out of this place, trying to get him back to The Solar Palace. He fights it as hard as he can, even closing his eyes and just focusing on the feeling of her skin under his hands. A snap! And he’s back in his bedchambers.
Fuming, cosmic sword in hand, he’s ready to kill whoever woke him. Rage pulsing through him, magiks sparking from his fingers as they fly through the air, magically opening the door. “What.”
The female is instantly petrified, “Sir-sire… there’s… there’s someone here for you.”
“My door is locked.” His body is tense, with muscles spasming. “Are you brand new to this Palace, this Famille, or did you forget the most basic and simple rule of them all?”
“Sire… I – we know not to disturb you when your door is locked, but Sire, everyone - we all cannot get this female to go away. They sent me -”
His eyes close and his hand twitches hard enough that the wood splitters under where he has come to hold the door. “Who? What female could possibly…? Who.”
“Sire, she says… she claims its urgent to speak with you, after a dream she had. She says -”
His eyes open, looking down at the trembling Fae, a dream? “Describe her.” And for a moment his heart weeps.
But then the Fae gives the wrong description. She does not describe his Lady, she describes some strong-willed elderly female of some semi-prominent family, the name of one of his guards - Lionheart… perhaps his mother.
The wrong description… not his Lady. He does not care.
“Leave me. She can call upon her King in next mois’s open court heures. The session is held, as always, on the second Mercredi of the mois, in the first twelve heures. Give her a remembrance card if you have to. Now, go!” And he slams his door so hard the wall beyond its frame quakes.
A crack like lightning, Surrielle is momentarily blinded. No longer are his hands on her bare back, no longer are his lips on hers… when her vision focuses, he is simply gone. While blinking rapidly, her chest collapses in a sigh; the sensation of hollowness seeping through her being.
Why had he vanished? Why had he been taken away? Did she do something wrong?
Their intimate affection had been new… maybe, maybe that was a step too far? Maybe they should go back, back to….
S uddenly, she finds herself sitting on the iron bench in the garden, the sunshine fading overhead, leading to grey clouds. She can’t. She just can’t go back to the distance, to the hesitation, to the yearning.
Surrielle is awake, in a way – alive! Living, not just existing. A spark leading to more than a flame in her heart; no, it is white light engulfing of her soul.
“Forgive me… I feel it again, the pull to the light.”
– Kylo Ren
Double doors of ebony are still under Eaden’s twitching palms. His arms shaking… but he has to do it. Any time he feels like this, he has to do it to appease his mind. The routine of it, the magiks of it, snuffs out any Light that is left.
If The Raids are to continue…, not just for realm’s sake, not for his subject’s sake, but if his Lady is somewhere in Ville De Lumiere, it must be perfect. Everything must be perfect for her.
… for Her. His obsession driving him to this madness. His obsession driving him to these doors.
To the doors of The Hall Of The Fae King.
The doors are the cap to the bottle, the corridor its neck, which widens at every portrait, finally to open in the massive throne room. The walls are lined with power infused paintings of Kings past, all leading to the throne that’s gotten larger, colder, and harsher as time progressed.
The graphite walls curve into the black marble floors, the obsidian columns catch the soft light of the floating lanterns. As each step is taken, the light brightens, practically putting a solar spotlight on the throne. Yet, it is not Light that is felt, but Darkness through and through.
The gaze of the Kings are harsh on Eaden, as if they are all glaring at him pointedly, expressing their great disappointment. Daggers and whips that stab and slash, cutting away any Righteousness and Hope. His heart slows, his mind quiets, his erect body stilling. Void, like a forgotten Aether, and cold, like his father’s corpse.
Eyes on the throne, it is still far enough away… far enough away that he feels small. Small and momentarily insignificant – his boyhood memories flooding back. Back to when his grandpere had been King and he’d see the throne for the first time:
“Though we are one family, though there is one king, it is the lives of the many that matter. Leading sounds simple of paper, but it is in our daily choices we choose the course for our realm. It is in the power of the Darkness that we can assure the wealth of the Light.”
Before his passing he told Eaden not to let anything stand in his way. Not his parents, not Le Conseil, not the people… he spent his dying years showing The Prince the ways of their Famille. The crown hangs heavy on either side and no one can control him.
Eaden once believed the loss of The King’s wife would soften his father, but it fact it made him more cruel. Crazy, even, ignoring some of the most basic foundations of leadership. Eaden had done The Raids for his father, fulfilling a dying wish of a mad man, but then spent the past years focusing on understanding not just the realm, but the people within it. He had to not only be efficient, but effective.
Originally of ebony, the throne had once been an ornate chair. Solar Fae worked closely with the Magicians of France and The West, their styles intertwining over time. The rising back was made of three planks, the arms curved comfortably for padded sleeves, and the most basic version of La Famille Royale’s crest was carved on the legs.
Not even three King’s later and it was turned to stone. To last forever… to last beyond the Aether, every beautiful detail smoothed away in cold rock. The backing became a wall; the arms became a barrier; and the legs became steps.
As Eaden makes his way up the seven steps, he becomes The King. His gaze following the backing three stories high and he notices the sharp and straight lines – exactly what they need to be and nothing more. As he sits, his palms sliding down the arms, he feels the stability and strength of purpose – in silence there is choice.
Unfortunately, there is no finishing what their Famille started all those generations ago. Lives moving in their contestant cycle, time progressing in its passive manner, and free will letting way to poor decisions…. As long as he is alive, there is work to be done. And, eventually, love or not, he will have an heir to continue the reign.
The crown may be heavy on the head, but his ruling fist must be the heaviest of all.
“Ha!” Surrielle claps her gloved hands together. Stripping them and tossing them aside, she then leans back on the stool. Only a fortnight and she finished the work order for The Solar Palace, for La Famille Royale.
Sweaty, soot-covered, really all sorts of gross, she does not care for she is brilliantly proud of herself and all she accomplished. Everything is exact, is precisely what was ordered. There is not a single flaw in the countless items she has made. It is literally perfect.
Everything will look like it has been in the palace for ages, looking like it was made almost by machine rather than by hand. And yet it all is… every single detail, painstakingly done by her magik hands!
Huge, unwavering smile on her face, Surrielle walks to the front of her shop to retrieve the special wrapping. The doors have been closed for half a mois, so she jumps when the front door opens and the bell sounds. Heart pounding, her hand flattens on her breast.
So wrapped up in her own euphoric triumph, she does not feel any negativity as she sees the Royale Guard lower his cap into his hand. “Salut, sir! You must have come for an update,” she speaks quickly. “I’ll have you know,” she smacks the counter softly, “I have done everything asked in record time!”
But the male Fae is not smiling… his eyes are full of hurt. “Madame Surrielle Sunsprite?” his voice shakes.
She brushes her hands against her clothes to clean them, “Yes?” and then she offers her hand to shake.
The male obviously winces and shifts on his feet. “Mine name is Leviathan Lionheart. You made wedding china for my daughter, and my mama… oh, she loves you.”
Surrielle is starting to lower from her happy cloud, the Oversoul screaming at her to pay attention, the energy in the room feeling like static… unstable. “Ah, yes. Salut, sir. Was there something wrong with my products? Has the magiks faltered in some way? Or if something was broken, I can replace it for free - it’s not a problem - your family has always been good to me.”
The male scratches behind his neck. “My mama loves you, I swear it. And she even had a prophecy about you… and I believe her, I do. That’s why I am so…” he gulps, his voice quaking, his hands shaking, “I am so sorry. Please, remember that, okay?”
Surrielle backs up a step; she can read the guard like a book. Her nose tingles and eyes water. Her heart is beating so hard she swears she can feel it against her ribs. “… is it going to hurt?”
He looks at her with sorrow-filled eyes. “That’s why I elected to come, madame. My mama won’t stop speaking about her prophecy so I came - as soon as your name was read, I literally jumped up.
“But… my partner… I don’t know, madame. I’m going to try and protect you. My mama… she tried to go to The King, too, some semaine or so ago. But he won’t see her and I can’t rightly speak to him about such matters, you have to understand,” his voice is soft, his eyes expressing so much apology, but he comes to her, cap on, cuffs out.
Her head starts twitching back and forth. “No cuffs, please. I don’t want everyone knowing… I’ll come with you! I swear, no trouble! They’ll think it’s because of work… please…. I can’t have everyone knowing. They might… I just can’t, please?” flashes of all her products being broken or tossed away, the smiles of all her customers turning to grimaces of disgust.
“Please, I’ll come quietly.”
He nods. “We have a carriage outside. I…”
She closes her eyes when does not finish. His aura dips too closely to his conscious mind and it is confirmed. It doesn’t matter what she does now, her time is over. The guard, in his own concern and fear, displays so perfectly for her Etude that every Impurity taken was killed by The King.
A deep breath and she takes off her work apron. “It’s okay Leviathan… it’s okay. I’m coming… and if Miss Lionheart wants, she can take the shop and everything… after, I mean. It’s a good space in the Trade District… she could at least get some money for it.”
His heavy hand holds her elbow, a little too tight. “My mama did say you had a beautiful soul… I really am sorry.” But then he leads her out, leading her squarely to her death.
“… you’re too important.”
Letting himself daydream while he waits for the next Impurity, Eaden leans against the wall, arms crossed over his chest, eyes closed….
His Lady and he had the most wonderful night in their Soulscape! She was all jittery and excited because she said the next day all her work would be done and she was just so… alive and fiery and passionate! He loved it, loves her… he said he couldn’t wait to hear how everything went when they meet the next night. She cooked them dinner, he took her out into the gardens, they cuddled on the long sofa, the kissing and the like.
Her skin had been so soft; it was if she bathed in milk and rose petals. Her hair curly even though she swore she never braided it. Her beautiful eyes never leaving his face. She simply and purely always smelled like lavender… it was that something special that had to be the magik of her soul, the magik of their connection.
Her soft pastel purple eyes bringing forth that amazing scent that just was the scent of their time together, their life together, their love together. He had only smelled that scent in real life a few times, in his childhood, when his mother had brought back lavender from her home realm. But after she passed, it faded just as well, until his love… until this life anew.
Suddenly, the guards call from just down the hall, “Sire, we’re bringing in the girl.”
Time to recapture being The King… letting Eaden slip into the background, into the Darkness. Though, it is just another routine procedure… get the memories, get the information, kill the Impurity. Not a big deal, nothing to struggle about. Part of him did wish that just as his Lady has said, his work would be done tonight, (rather than the estimated two more semaines).
Towering, broad, solid, and silent, The King watches his men enter with the last slab. Instantly, he wavers, washed over with confusion. Had he let himself wander too far? Had he started projecting astrally into the Soulscape? Had he, perhaps, fallen asleep?
The King smells nothing but lavender.
A natural floral perfume, a subtle scent of rain on soil, a fresh cleanliness… pastel, soft… pure.
Blinking rapidly, shoulders twitching, Eaden looks around the room in a panic.
Blinking again, The King must actively try to clear is mind of all dreams or memories, thoughts of anything but right here, right now. But it seems he is failing – his mind, his heart too strong, because… well, because the girl on the slab –
The girl on the slab will not stop looking like Her.
The men back into their normal positions when the doors slip close, leaving The King a wide birth around the floating slab. Breathing heavily, he tries again and again to clear not just his mind’s eye, but clear the faulty vision before him. Back straight, shoulders wide, chest out, deep breaths, eyes closed… hands in fists as his concentrates. Wiping everything away but the here and now. And yet… when he opens his eyes, it’s still Her - a bruised and bloodied and unconscious version of her, but still Her…. Still the decaying scent of lavender in his nose.
“What is this?” he throws his hand to the guard closest to him. “Some trick? Some… who did this? Who is doing this?” he stares him straight in eyes, the metallic voice not able to showcase his rising anger.
Lionheart, the one who literally jumped at the chance to go after this Surrielle Sunsprite Impurity, his head is low, his eyes closed. “This is Surrielle Sunsprite. This is the Impurity we were told to bring in this journee.”
The King cocks his head, “Whoever thinks this is funny, it is not. I demand the masquerade stop and they wipe the magiks off this female, reveal who she really is.”
The second guard, one of his best known for being a true Purist, comments quickly, “Sire, we already wiped any magik that could be on her. She actually didn’t have anything hiding her… she may look pretty Pure, but I swear, she’s a Halfling.”
The King shakes his head and lets his eyes fall to the female. “No… no.” He starts shaking under his armor, blinking hard and fast, then rubbing his eyes with his fingers. “No, she,” Surriel, “cannot look like that.”
Confused, feeling like he has a fever, his blood boiling at the thought… the one simple thought that this is her – his Her, this Surrielle - and yet… so damaged, so broken. “Who… hurt her?” the stench of dying lavender would not leave, causing nauseousness.
The King keeps himself far away from the female though his eyes do not leave her. Every detail, if he looked past the harm, is there. Every detail from his dreams, it is all right there… in the middle of the interrogation and… and death room.
Oh help him, this could not be Her?
“Who. Hurt. Her.”
Lionheart spoke, his energy shaking and full of sadness, “I found her, Sir, and then, Darihan… he did his job, once she was in the carriage, taking care…” his voice quakes, “of the Impurity.”
Rage. Pure rage. Unstoppable rage.
The King’s hand rises to his right, straight out to Darihan, his eyes never leaving Surriel. Slowly but very, very painfully, his twists the guard’s spine, making sure rib bone after rib bone is snapped from the vertebrae - snapping so hard it rips through his skin, poking out of his armor.
Then the lungs, popping! Popping in his chest, rib shredding through the tissue, blood filling the bottom of the ripped sacks of useless garbage. And then… oh then came the heart. And just as this Fae, this loathsome cockroach that The King steps on without a thought or concern… he strangles the heart and damages it, bruises it, makes it bleed where it is not supposed to bleed… just as the Fae had done to Her, his Lady, his Surriel.
Gritted teeth, shaking muscles, twitching uncontrollably, The King is happily killing the male who hurt his Lady, his love, his Queen Surriel.
Then with a giant thrust of his hand, the dead body is thrown out the room. “Leave!” Eaden screams at Lionheart, though the mask restricts the expression.
At the slamming of the door, the female’s eyes flutter and she wakes for but a moment. She looks around the room in a panic. Her eyes land on The King and she cannot help but weep. “I am sorry…” her voice is a broken whisper, her sobs ringing horribly in Eaden’s ears.
Ripping off his crown, his helmet, his mask and throwing it with all the rest of his rage and hurt and Darkness against the stone wall, the Sunstone shatters and the metal cracks and he does not care. His heart is breaking, and as she looks at him so confused, so desperate… he cannot stop the tears.
With the ever soft dropping of his hand, the slab lowers like a feather, Surrielle now looking as if she is in a cot, resting. Eaden comes to her side slowly and crouches, his hands wide and voice soft, “Cherie. Mon cherie….”
As she looks down at him, she blinks a few times and then he can see her smile through her swollen and broken face. “If I have died, then why do I still hurt? Can you make this hurting stop? Mon amour….”
His vision blurs with tears and his hand catches on the edge of the slab as he falls in agony, in desperation, in confusion. He wants to weep into his hands, but instead he grips onto the slab tightly, looking up to his “Cherie…” he whispers again.
The same power he always felt in the Soulscape, he feels now. As her consciousness grows stronger, as she is more awake, as her heart begins to race…. The ever opposite but equal force of the Oversoul that is his Lady, his love, is right here in front of him.
Just as real as any of their time together in their shared Soulscape, just as real as she must have been after their kiss and him finding her hand in the Darkness… she is right here. Her aura the same; her features the same; the lavender scent coming back to life, drawing him in. Her strength in magiks so powerful it is almost tangible. Even after all the harm, she softly glows - her personal Light more powerful than the now-broken Sunstone had ever been.
“Surrielle…?” Eaden speaks her name for the first time.
She blinks and tries to laugh but ends of coughing blood into her hand. After easing flat she whispers, “Of course.”
“It’s me,” he explains softly.
Her eyes are closed but her expression twitches with either confusion or bemusement. “I know.”
“Because I am dreaming.”
He goes to touch her face, as he would in their shared world, but his hand only hovers over the bruised skin. “Cherie, mon cherie, no… this is not a dream.”
“So I am dead, then,” she sighs.
“No… this is real. This is…” and the tears start again. “The children's tale… you ever hear it? About two… soulmates… who share dreams? Surely you’ve heard the little… ah, what do they call it - fairytale? Please… mon cherie… I am here. This is real,” yet his heart is breaking.
Everything he ever wanted, everything she ever was - the hope and prayer and sanctuary from the Darkness… it was because… it is because he has to not kill her. He has to not kill the Halfling. He has to not kill the Impurity. He has to listen to the Light. How can he not?
Feeling so much love that he forgets what it is to hate. His other half finally completing him.
But as he looks over her broken body… he realizes how was she ever going to forgive him? “Surrielle?” his voice croaks.
Her eyes open as much as they can, one almost swollen shut. “Yes?”
“They say you cannot love someone unless you love yourself. But it cannot be… I have never loved myself, but you… oh help me, I love you so much. Do you remember? When we touched that first time… all that Light! So much love… Oh, how I love you.”
“... and I love you. Of course… but I am tired, and still hurt. Can we rest now?”
His eyes close and he nods. He runs a hand a few inches over her body, “Rest now,” and he temporarily elevates the pain in such high doses of magiks it makes her fall asleep.
As the slab raises ever so slightly, Eaden falls to the cold floor, his palms pounding hard against the stone. His body rocks forward, it is easier for him to be curled, and rest his head into his hands against the stable ground.
The King realizes that truth is not found in magik or the Aether but is found in his own heart. As he had understood he craved the Light, craved to be Righteous, and thought that to be his greatest weakness – what a lie.
For the longest time he had convinced himself she was a dream. But then, after that kiss – after crossing through the Aether and holding her hand? He’s been doing everything he can not just to find her but make sure everything was as safe as possible for her. The chances of meeting his perfect opposite like this? That his other half is….
She has been his protector, his only hope, and yet, as a Halfling, she now becomes his endanger-er.
Here she is… and he is blessed. But strickened for he must choose. Either they can be painfully, desperately apart forever… sending her far, far away, a different plain, a different realm… excommunicating her to save her life and only ever seeing her in his dreams if she lets him.
Or, they will become inseparably together, forever, regardless of consequence.
PART TWO AND THREE COMING SOON