Pacing inside the room I felt strange, worried. There was something in both Parker and Andrews’ eyes that told me that something was wrong. Sitting still inside my bedroom wasn’t an option.
“It’s alright Princess you have nothing to worry about” Oliver spoke kindly, still, his words did nothing to appease the way I felt at the moment.
“Are you sure?” I wanted to ask, relief flooding me inside when Parker walked through the door.
“Sire,” Oliver spoke his voice once again professional, while he bowed to Parker and walked out of the room with a soft click of the door. Just like that, Parker and I were alone once again. There was silence between us and there was really no way to react. How could I? My thoughts were so jumbled. I was so confused with the things that happened between us the last few days, and with what I had decided would happen. Still, I did not regret it. I wanted this chance at something special with him. Finding love. True love. It all felt untouchable to someone like me. Now. I was in limbo.
“Hi,” Parker speaks, his voice soft, and I found myself feeling nervous.
“Hi,” I answered back my voice just above a whisper that I was not sure if he heard me.
*Bump, Ba-Bump, Bump*
There it was again. The beat of my heart. The indicator of something I had not wanted to face myself so many years ago. The only part of myself that had refused to run away from Parker. The part that had not let me escape from what I felt, but had not known. The pain that he caused, why Parkers’ words had always hurt so much, why I cared. My heart had been the only indicator to all of this.
“Are you alright? I. I just wanted to make sure you were okay,” He spoke up, his hazel eyes meeting my chocolate ones.
“Yes. I’m alright,” I spoke to him.
“Alright,” Parker answers back, a soft smile on his face.
“He’s going to be staying with us for a while. Until things settle down a bit.” Parker says.
There really is no need for him to elaborate on what he’s referring to because I already know the answer to that, as does my heart.
“He won’t hurt you I promise you that,” He spoke taking my hand in his, giving it a soft squeeze.
“As long as you’re here things will be fine. There is nothing to worry about. We have our Kingdom protected Maxwell won’t hurt you and if it does come to battle then-”
“No,” I find myself saying, unable to stop the words out of my mouth and causing Parker to grow silent.
“Parker. I. I don’t want people to die because of me,” I say to him removing my hand from his own. In that moment, I felt so cold, inside and out.
“I don’t want to be the cause of a war. I’m not worth that much. I’m not worth any-”
“You are. You’re worth everything,” He spoke, walking over to me and raising my chin up softly to look at him.
“I wish you could see that. I wish you could see just how much you’re worth.”
“I know I’m at fault for making you feel-”
“No. I. I just don’t want anyone to get hurt,” I say to him.
Deep down, I realized my insecurities were my biggest downfall, and maybe at one point his words were part of that hurt. But this was something that had been part of me for such a long time. What Parker had said, mostly what my father had said, these were the words that had shaped who I was and I needed time to find myself. I realized that living the past five years for me had just meant feeling nothing. Until now I still continued to push away the pain that I could not handle. I had not realized I was crying, too lost in my own thoughts to see it. It was only when I felt Parkers’ thumb graze my cheek gently in order to wipe away my tears, that I finally realize this. For what felt like the first time I found myself for lack of a better word, breathless. Not out of fear but for an emotion that seemed to begin to grow inside me for Parker.
“It’s not your fault. This was something that has been coming since the time of the first Novas,” Parker spoke softly.
“This isn’t your fault either,” I whispered to him, closing my eyes trying to calm my own emotions.
For the first time, I allowed myself feel something I had not allowed myself to feel since coming here. Something I had not allowed anyone to give me in my life. Comfort.
“I’m broken. I can’t love. I can’t. Feel. But. I want to. I want to give this a chance. Maybe just…” I don’t get to finish. He’s holding me close before I know it. His arm wrapped around my waist the other pressed to my cheek caressing it gently with his thumb.
*Bump, Ba-Bump, Bump*
His forehead is pressed against mine. My heart racing once more but I can’t open my eyes. I want to allow myself this if just for a moment. I want to feel comfort. To feel warmth. I don’t think about the old Parker. I don’t want to think about the past. Or Maxwell. Or the imminent war.
“I want to be happy,” I found myself saying. It was hard to breathe. Not in the bad way which was the only thing I had known my entire life, this was different. I felt butterflies in my stomach flutter away with my heart. His own breath gently hit my skin and then his thumb gently grazed my lips increasing my own heart rate. But I wasn’t afraid. Not of how close he was. Not of the way he was holding me. But most importantly, I wasn’t afraid of what he was about to do. Part of me, maybe more than I had ever wanted to admit to myself wanted this.
“I want to make you happy,” He whispered his voice gentle.
It felt like a moment from a very typical bad romance movie and I felt myself pushing on his chest to release me. Not that I needed to do so because Parker himself seemed flushed, while he now awkwardly stood beside me.
“Sorry. Am I interrupting?” Jane asked though I couldn’t find myself saying a word to her. I also realized Jane’s tone wasn’t at all apologetic either.
“Yes,” I wanted to say. Still, I kept quiet and found myself unable to look at her, much less look at Parker.
“We’ll talk later,” He managed to say before walking out of the room. It was rather abrupt the way Jane took my hand, and I found myself being dragged toward the bed. With a smile, Jane laid on the bed and I found myself doing the same, both of us laying on our back and looking up at the plain white ceiling. If she had indeed noticed anything about the situation she interrupted she didn’t voice it, instead she offered a large smile.
“Andrew is finally here,” She spoke excitedly.
“Yeah,” I found myself saying softly. Part of me drifting back to what had happened seconds ago. The way I had felt, the way my heart felt. Part of me really couldn’t fathom what had almost happened. The other part of myself wishing he had.
“Kissed me,” I whispered to myself.
“What?” Jane questioned, and I felt my cheeks flush realizing I had spoken out loud.
“Nothing,” I whispered to her softly.
“Lyric. Are you listening?” She asked, and I found myself blushing at her question.
“Sorry,” I said to her.
“Fine. Whatever” Jane spoke smiling brightly turning to look at me.
“What do you think?” She asked.
“Andrew coming here, He told you he loved you didn’t he?”
“He’s done that before,” I point out to her quietly.
“Still. What did you say to him?” Jane questioned and for a moment I can see something flicker in her eyes that I can only describe as hurt. She’s always been so cheerful, happy it was unusual for her to appear sad. She must have noticed this because she simply smiled brighter than before; though it did not reach her eyes.
“Jane. Are you okay? You and Brad-”
“Fine. It’s fine. We’re fine,” She spoke an urgency in her voice as she tried to pass over it nonchalantly.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” She said her voice soft, fragile, different from what I had heard for so many years.
“Please,” She spoke cutting me off.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” She whispered.
“Alright.” I found myself saying turning to look at her.
“But. You can trust me you know that right?” I asked her.
“I know,” Jane answered back before her smile returned. Although I realized it was fake, I wasn’t going to pry an answer out of her when she didn’t want to give one to me.
“So Andrew?” She questioned teasingly again.
“He’s going to be staying here. At the mansion,” I whispered to her.
“That’s good. He can protect you.”
“I don’t want him to protect me. From anything. I don’t want him to risk his own life for me.”
“You’re his friend. And he loves you,” Jane answered back.
“And. Someone needs to keep Parker away if-”
“I’m not afraid of him. Not anymore,” I said to her.
“But a few weeks ago you-”
“I know. But. I want to be happy. Don’t you?” I questioned her.
“It’s not that simple.” She spoke.
My breathing is ragged. I can feel myself panting. The cold winter air making fog appear with each breath that I take. My shoes are gone and I can feel the soft wet grass against my feet. I’m not afraid. Not at this point. This dream is different. The stars of the night sky are sparkling down at me and I feel free. I’m not running away from anything, simply enjoying the freedom that my heart feels. I finally stop in the middle of the forest. Surrounded by trees, their branches singing, softly swaying along with the wind to complete the tune of the night.
Spreading my arms out I don’t think. Instead, I simply close my eyes and relax my body, letting it fall to the ground gently, only to land on the soft grassy ground. The stars. They’re so beautiful. Lighting up the night sky. Slowly they appear to connect. Some were right next to each other, while others had lines that seemed to run for miles and miles across the sky, connecting to the farthest star from them.
“Destiny. Is a beautiful thing isn’t it?” I don’t need to look up to know that Parker is the one speaking and I find myself smiling.
“A beautiful thing,” I find myself saying back to him, while he walks over to me, lying next to me on the grass.
“Yes. Very beautiful,” He whispers turning to look at me and taking hold of my hand, pressing a kiss to my knuckles softly.
“Parker,” I found myself saying breathlessly.
“Why are you so confusing?”
“Confusing?” He questioned.
“I shouldn’t feel this way.”“But. We’re soulmates. And. You picked me.” He spoke up quietly.
“It has to be more than your fear for Maxwell.”
“You have to feel something for me if you chose me,” He spoke.
“Maybe. But. I just don’t know what that is?” I whispered to him.
“Maybe,” He whispered back moving to hover on top of me. His body pressed against mine, causing my heart to race once more.
“Maybe. I can help you figure that out,” He whispered once again reaching to caress my cheek softly, causing my breath to hitch.
“How?” I found myself asking. His eyes looking deep into mine, slowly lowering his face closer to my own.
*Bump, Ba-Bump, Bump*
Before his lips can reach my own, he abruptly moves away from me and stands up.
“Lyric. We have to go. Now,” He speaks, his voice urgent. Sitting up, I don’t have time to say anything because he’s already pulling me up to stand rather harshly, and then, we both run.
“Parker. What’s going on where are we going?” I question him. Though he doesn’t answer, he keeps looking behind us, his hand tightly holding on to mine while we run.
“Parker. What’s-”“I told you. She has no choice.”
His voice sends chills running down my spine and I find myself frozen in place. Parker stands in front of me. Shielding me away. Though I can still see him. Maxwell is now standing there in front of us. His red eyes penetrating me like a sword.
“Lyric,” Parker speaks up.
“Run,” Parker says before he shifts into his Nova form colliding with Maxwell who has also shifted. I don’t stay. Even if I want to because I’m afraid.
I can hear them behind me fighting. This time when I run my heart is racing for all the wrong reasons. One of them being fear. I can still hear Maxwell’s hissing but the moment I hear a howl of pain from Parker I stop and turn to face the direction I came from. My heart itself feels like it’s stopped and at the same time, it’s like a racehorse.
“Parker!” My mind screams out to him, hoping that somehow he’ll answer me.
“I shouldn’t have left him. I have to go back!” I think to myself but the minute I take a step forward Maxwell is standing in front of me in his human form.
“I took care of him already,” Maxwell says a menacing, murderous satisfied look on his face. I can feel my heart break and tears begin to pool in my eyes. Maxwell comes closer and I find myself backing away in fear.
“Please. Maxwell. Don’t hurt me.”“Please.” With fear overpowering me I fall, my hands hit the ground harshly. I can feel the sting in my hands from the impact as I shake.
“Please. Please,” I cry to Maxwell, trying to crawl away as he moves closer. He shifts back to his Nova form in a blink of an eye, his mouth foams and I can see it in his eyes. He’s going to kill me.
“Please No. Please!”
“I warned you,” Maxwell says, his voice menacing before he leaps and I scream.
Waking up I find myself looking at Parker and I feel relief but at the same time, that nightmare is still fresh in my mind.
“Parker,” I cry out while he hugs me tightly.
“You’re okay. He’s not going to hurt you I promise.”
“Please. Please. Don’t let go of me,” I wanted to say too afraid of finding myself alone. More than anything, of realizing that this was just a dream and my nightmare was my reality.
I can feel her heart beating against my own. Both in sync, and at the same time we don’t seem to be close enough. Her soft scent clouding my senses. She’s so close and yet not close enough.
“I love you so much,” I want to tell her. But I can’t seem to find the right words to leave my mouth.
“I’m broken. I can’t love. I can’t. Feel.” She begins. Her voice is soft, but her eyes remain closed, welcoming my touch. All I can do is pull her closer to me. Her words make me hurt for her, for both of us. Though the distance between us now physically is nothing but a few inches, the distance in our hearts still feels so far away.
“But. I want to. I want to give this a chance. Maybe just-”
Her words make my heart race because it confirms what I’ve wanted to hear for such a long time. It gives me hope that she’s not forcing herself to be with me out of circumstance. Pressing my forehead against her own, unable to keep myself from resisting, because I want to kiss her again. I want to feel her lips pressed against my own. I want to have her reciprocate my love the way I want. My hand raises to her cheek and I can’t help but reach to caress her lips with my thumb gently. Mostly because I can’t believe she’s allowing me to do this. At the same time, I want to give her a chance to push me away if she wishes…. But she doesn’t.
“I want to be happy,” She continues unaware that she’s pulling herself closer to me, further confirming to me that she also wants this.
“I want to make you happy,” I say to her because now I know there is no hesitation on her part. There is nothing that can stop us from finally taking a step towards our happiness, from taking another step in the right direction.
“Kiss her.” My heart screams out.
Her pleas are what wake me up from my own dreams and I find myself going to her.
“Please. No Please,” She continues to cry out while she flails around in a panic.
“Lyric,” I call out to her, trying to wake her from her nightmare, but it’s no use.
“Lyric!” I call out again grabbing her gently trying to shake her awake and this time she does open her eyes to look at mine. She’s shaking, her eyes filled with so much terror. She had not looked at me that way since the fire and my heart clenches. I don’t need to ask because I know who brings her just as much fear as her father once did. Maxwell.
Hugging her tightly I try to offer some comfort, hoping that she calms down.
“Parker!” She calls out in fear hugging me back tightly, clinging to me in desperation as she shakes against me in fear.
“You’re okay. He’s not going to hurt you I promise.” I tell her, trying to ease her worries. Instead, she tightens her hold on me wrapping her arms around my neck tightly and all I can do is hug her back.
“Please. Please. Don’t let go of me,” She begs, resting her head on my shoulder. I can feel my shirt immediately wet with tears and I know that she’s crying.
“I won’t. I promise,” I whisper to her and for the longest of times we simply sit there in the quiet, her clinging on to me. Her soft cries sounding across the room and all I can do is hold her, promising her that things will be alright.
When she finally stops crying she just stays there in my arms. Her own arms still wrapped around my neck while she lays her head on my chest.
“You shouldn’t think of him anymore. Maxwell,” I tell her, causing her to lift her head up away from my chest and look up at me. Her eyes are blotchy and stained red from crying so much. There is a look in her eyes that makes me want to pull her close to me again, but she pushes herself away from me and moves to hug her knees close.
“I just. I can’t live like this Parker,” Lyric whispers, and my heart clenches when I realize this is also partially my fault.
“I’m sorry if I wasn’t-”
“That’s not what I mean,” She speaks her voice soft.
“I’m tired of being afraid. I don’t want to be afraid of everyone and everything that surrounds me.”
“It shouldn’t be like this. I shouldn’t be so afraid,” Lyric says.
“It’s okay I can-”
“No.” She speaks tears in her eyes once more.
“I shouldn’t be afraid to live, to love, to want to be happy,” She cried.
“This isn’t your fault,” I speak to her reaching to caress her cheek softly and wiping her tears in the process. Her closing gently, welcoming my touch, something that I realize is hard for her.
“It shouldn’t be like this. And I’m sorry. But the life you lived before, and how I acted. It affected you but. I’ll wait,” I tell her, and she opens her eyes to look at me with confusion and a mix of something else that I cannot comprehend. Somehow I realize it’s not a bad thing because she simply reaches for my hand on her own and offers a soft sad smile.
“I’ll wait for you to love me and want the same things that I want with you,” I tell her. For a moment, her bottom lip begins to quiver while she looks down.
“I’m sorry Parker. It’s my fault too. I should have talked to you back then. I wanted to talk to you too. But I was afraid,” Lyric cried and my mind flashes back immediately to our first meeting.
“I couldn’t face what my heart was telling me and I just. Couldn’t let anyone in I-” I couldn’t hear it anymore not her cries or how much pain she was in because it broke my heart to hear her speak of that time.
“I’m sorry that you’re stuck with me. I’m broken I can’t-”
“You’re not,” I tell her cutting her off and pulling her close to me once again.
“Life’s been cruel to you. But I can fix it. If your heart and your soul are broken then, I’ll give you my own.” I whisper to her.
“We both made mistakes back then but more than anything I wish I could have dealt with things differently. If only I had fought harder for you. Maybe then you would have been better,” I tell her.
“But now. I want to fight harder. I want to fight for you and love you the way that you deserve. You say you’re broken, but that’s not what I see when I look at you.” She doesn’t say anything after that. Not that she needs to, instead she simply pulls herself closer to me and I can’t help but press a kiss to her cheek.
“I promise. I’ll make things better. I’ll be better,” I whisper to her.
Discussing Maxwell, the Kingdom, or anything else that was going on at the moment wasn’t important because I realized then that though I thought she didn’t need me. Lyric did. Whatever she wanted, whatever it was she needed I would try to be that for her because I love her and nothing was going to change that. Time went on like this, and before long I could feel her begin to fall asleep until she was practically laying limp in my arms. Her eyes were closed and her head slowly began rolling to the side of my shoulder. Laying her back on the bed I covered her up with the bed sheets and pressed a kiss to her forehead. I had every intention to leave but her voice stopped me.
“Oliver says. You sleep outside my door every night,” Though she spoke, her eyes remained closed and her voice soft. From the way her voice appeared to slur I could tell she was not fully asleep and yet not fully awake.
“You don’t have to do that.” She whispered once again.
“Stay with me. Here.” She spoke, and then, there was silence.