It was hard to fight the peace the ocean brought. The way the wind blew and softly whispered in your ear while the sun lightly pecked your cheek. With just one calm moment peace called out and my eyes seemed to shut. The smell of the ocean was soft and so fresh, bringing forth that taste of saltiness that could only be described as an exhaling of breath. For the longest of times, I felt myself float and drift with the ocean while I stood inside the large boat that seemed to run for miles.... and yet... the bed of water seemed larger and so beautiful.
This boat, this yacht, seemed so minuscule against beautiful ocean waves. The large white sail seemed to rise up to the skies high up above appearing to caress the clouds. With another soft exhale and a look up at the sky I found myself gazing at such beautiful open worlds.
“Having fun?” With a smile I found myself turning towards his voice but found myself unable to speak. If it was for the beautiful scenery or due to him, Parker Archer, I did not know. But I was not going to question it.
“This place is so beautiful. It feels like you’ve taken me to a different world.” I found myself saying. I didn’t know how silly those words may or may not have sounded coming out of my lips but Parker simply offered a smile. Lately, that was something I’d grown accustomed to. His smile. The way his face lit up allowed me a view of his heart. There was a calm and very handsome demeanor which he seemed to carry himself with. His smile revealed the kindest of emotions that seemed to only be for me. It was having him beside me now that calmed my worries of the outside world which I had been so frightened of.
“You know. My father would bring Spencer and I here when he could. I’ve never really thought about these things that way.”
“Maybe you just have seen the world too much. And I haven’t.”
“I don’t mean-”
“I know Parker,” I whispered, taking hold of his hand as we gazed out into the ocean that sparkled with the rays of the sun.
“I just haven’t been living much. Until now. Everything feels so new and beautiful. I’m happy.”
Without any words I found myself wrapped in his arms his chin resting softly on my shoulder and his breath against my neck. My heart began to dance and his rough hand seemed to find my much smaller hand.
“I’m glad,” He whispered, his voice a soft calm velvet that seemed to flow and mix with the peace built around us at the moment. Being on this boat felt different from being in the Archer mansion.
Being with him for almost three months had certainly changed not only me but us. Coming back made me insecure, being with him at the beginning brought fear but gradually my heart and my soul found much more.“I love you.” The words felt so strange inside my mind and these past few days that we had traveled like this I realized that these words; that voice I heard inside my head, was no longer his. Though Parker’s words seemed to embed themselves in my heart, my own voice was starting to respond back to his. I began to feel that soft whisper of my heart finally gives in to his own. His warmth was taking away the cold of my own world and giving me hope.
“I feel loved.”
His voice pulled me away from my own thoughts and back into his arms making it hard for me to escape the glow of warmth that surrounded our hearts. His nose gently rubbed against my own while his arms tightened around my waist pulling me closer. My heart slowed with the calm of the ocean drumming softly against my ears while my eyes closed unconsciously awaiting his lips. The soft caress of his lips against my own left me breathless, and I found myself pulling him closer by reaching to press a hand to his cheek. Our breaths slow and in sync with the movement of our lips.
“Wow. This is something.”
“You guys have progressed.”
My cheeks flamed, and I found myself sinking to the bottom of the ocean with Brad’s words.
“Do you need something?” Parker asked calmly, his hold on my waist steady. If anything I wished for him to let go of me. Instead, he seemed to ease into conversation with Brad as my heart raced from not only Parker but a feeling of embarrassment.
“It’s our shift Parker,” Brad explained to Parker who finally loosened his hold on me and allowed me to move away from him.
“Sorry Lyric I-”
“It’s fine. Really,” I found myself saying, mostly trying to decrease my embarrassment. Even if Brad noticed my embarrassment he did not say a word and simply stood there waiting for Parker.
“Alright then,” Parker whispered a soft smile on his face. Reaching to caress my cheek it was hard not to close my eyes at his touch, or for my heart not to race once again.
“Today,” Brad spoke impatiently, if not playfully by the smile on his face. With a last kiss to my lips, Parker was gone, leaving me breathless,
I’m sorry for not writing in so long. I realize that I promised to write every single day but have failed to write at least one letter. I don’t plan to make excuses but at the most, I want to calm your nerves. I suppose you’re worried about me because of everything that’s happened. I know that King Thomas has kept you up with everything and so has Andrew’s father. I don’t want you to worry so much about me anymore. I am doing alright. Every day, I learn a little more about myself and the things I want. I do think of you from time to time and I feel guilty for the way I behaved at the beginning of our new life. However, I am fine now and I can only thank you for what you’ve done for me. I’m happy mom and I think it’s time you should do the same.
Worrying about me shouldn’t be a priority anymore. You’ve taken such good care of me for the longest of times and I feel a little selfish and like a spoiled child because of it. I’ve always felt so alone but now thinking back to those horrible days I realize I always had you. These past few years away from Archer you have dedicated your time to me only but I want you to start anew. You also deserve a fresh start.
It’s funny, isn’t it? How my life seemed to freeze with everything that happened in Archer and I was so afraid to face it all but here I am now. I left behind friends who I never thought cared and someone I had not known cared for me as much as they do. I know you worry about me because of what’s happened with Parker and Maxwell. But mother… I am alright. My friends take care of me and Parker never leaves me without someone to keep me safe. He’s great mom... Parker is a good man. He’s different from the Parker I met before and I like the man that he has become. I’m not afraid to be with him anymore, I’m not afraid to let him in or let him love me. I haven’t quite spoken my heart out to him yet but I feel you should know first. I love him. These past few months here have allowed me to close certain chapters of my life. My own insecurities have slowly started to fade, and it’s all thanks to him. There are many things I would like to share with you but for now, I think I’ll leave it here. I hope to see you soon mom. Crystal says she’s invited you to her wedding and I really do want to see you.
All my love,
P.S. We should come to see the ocean together. The ocean is quite beautiful and it will bring you some peace.
Sighing after reading the letter once again, I found it hard to close the small journal I had in my lap. The truth of the matter was I had been too afraid to talk to my mother. She had not called since my arrival to Archer and I realized it was because of the way I was. Ever since the fire, and after leaving Archer. my mother seemed to wait for me to give her a response. I knew it was mainly out of fear that I would suddenly relapse into a frenzy of pain. Most of the time she kept her distance, and I knew it caused her pain to this day. She was never able to take care of me or deal with my grievances but she still did the best she could. For that, I was very thankful.
Looking down at the notebook in my lap I smiled at the soft rocking motion that swayed me with the waves as I sat at the front of the boat. Everyone seemed to be so busy here but I enjoyed the peace and quiet. Parker, Spencer, King Thomas, Brad, and Oliver all seemed to spend their time below deck, steering the boat, or keeping guard. Crystal herself preferred to spend her time divided between Spencer and reading magazines while sunbathing.
“Summer is almost over I need to make the best of it,” Crystal had said. Then, of course, was my other friends. I was surprised with Jane coming along with us but I supposed it was due to Andrew tagging along. Though Andrew offered smiles and gave me a hello each morning, Jane did not. She avoided speaking to me or acknowledging me for that matter, and I found myself feeling like an outsider in their friendship. Most of the time Jane and Andrew were together talking and laughing but excluding everyone else. From the few times I was around them I noted the look of pain Brad always wore. It was the first time I had ever seen such a cheerful guy not smile. Most of the day he would spend smiling, joking, being himself, but at night his smile crumbled and a look of despair was on his face.
“Let him learn,” Parker had told me one night.
His words only made my heart elevate and for Brad and Jane’s sake, I hoped everything sorted itself out.
“Lyric.” With a smile I found myself looking up at Oliver who now stood next to me before sitting down quietly. These past few days at sea I’d noted the way he struggled to say my name comfortably. Though the occasional “Princess” still left his lips, Oliver was starting to see me as a friend.
“Prince Parker sent me to look after you,” Oliver spoke.
“I’m alright,” I whispered, feeling a bit like a child.
“He knows that as well,” Oliver responded.
“Though in all honesty, I think Parker feels like you’re bored on your own with everyone so busy,” Oliver admitted. Hearing him say that I found myself chuckling softly and shaking my head as I gazed back out at the sparkling ocean water.
“I prefer the quiet. It allows me to see what’s inside my heart,” I admitted.
“That’s. A very good notion. I prefer the quiet myself. Loneliness seems to be a factor for misunderstood people,” Oliver spoke, a quiet smile playing on his lips. The quiet seemed to linger between us peacefully for a few moments letting the whisper of the ocean breeze speak for us. In due time I’d come to see Oliver as a brother. Whereas Jane, Crystal, and Andrew were my best friends, and Parker himself was far more special to me than I could express, Oliver felt like family. He was like an old soul trapped inside today’s youth, much like myself. He understood certain things that none of the people I had in my life did.
Pain can bring people together.”
“That journal is special to you isn’t it?” Oliver asked, breaking the silence between us.
Finding myself looking down at the old journal in my hands I offered a smile to Oliver. There was nothing special about the plain leather book on the outside. Still, it contained most of my thoughts and inner feelings.
“Andrew gave me this. It has a few of his songs. Poems. He thought it would be a good idea for me to express myself.”
“I carry it with me always. I wrote a few things before but. This journal has everything. Turning the page, I smiled at the folded letter inside. Reaching for the dry flower I smiled at its soft scent which still remained.
“It has a lot of pain, struggle, and... just an ounce of kindness.”
“Kindness?” Oliver questioned, but I found myself unable to answer not wanting to give this special secret away. Whoever that person had been I was thankful because if not for them I would not have had the courage to give myself a chance to leave. If not for that person, I would not have had the courage to give Parker and I a chance. Because of him… I can love Parker.
The days at sea felt calm, time here seemed to pass in the blink of an eye, and moments between Lyric and I seemed endless. The soft rocking of the boat felt inviting. It seemed to call sleep back out to me, dragging me in like the ocean itself. A soft moan, however, pulled me out of my drowsy trance and seconds later, Lyric brought her body closer to mine. Her chocolate brown hair partially fell across her sleeping face and I reached my hand to move it away, my hand caressing her cheek gently. There was a soft sigh from her as she unconsciously leaned into my touch and I found myself smiling.
So much had changed. Three months had passed and for the progress we’d made I was grateful. She was all and more than I could have hoped for. Everything about her was beautiful, innocent, lovable. Her essence was purer than anything, and anyone I had ever come across and her inner beauty seemed to glow out of her body and for the world to view. She was my soulmate, my Lyric. Bringing her closer to myself I let time pass just like that. Having her in my arms was something I would have never dreamed of years ago, much less three months ago when I feared she hated me. However, things had changed.
The first day at sea had been very easygoing. Everyone explored every inch of the boat which consisted of a bar, a library, and the cabin rooms. Everyone had simultaneously decided that the largest of the cabins would be given to the future Bride and Groom. Crystal was more than happy to abide by the vote.
“Everything here is so beautiful,” Lyric had spoken rather breathlessly every single time we explored a new part of the boat. But the truth was Father, Spencer, Oliver, and I were here on more than just a vacation. We had duties to the people and intended to complete them. For part of the first day, Spencer spent it with Crystal, letting her pull him around the boat to wherever she seemed to want to go. Brad, who had tagged along with us for the adventure complied with replacing Spencer in his duties. However, if anyone asked why he was so willing to help, Brad wouldn’t answer. I realized, Green’s closeness to Jane was indeed affecting him more than he would like anyone to know. Then, of course, there was Lyric.
As much as I would have liked to spend my time with her, I had things to take care of. I was aware of the fact that her friends had iced her out. Although Green did acknowledge her, he stuck to Jane deeming her for the moment, as the one who needed him most. However, I was glad for that, If Green was spending time with Jane it meant less time trying to steal Lyric away from me. Not wanting to leave her alone, especially after knowing where we were headed I left Oliver to keep her company. However, Lyric ended up spending most of the day in the library surrounded by books and by the time the day was over Lyric was usually in bed. But not on the first day.
We’d arrived at our small cabin which consisted of a small bed, not much furniture, just a small bedside lamp and a small nightstand. There was a small window which allowed you to look up on deck just where the ocean and the sky seemed to meet. It was something that seemed to call to Lyric as she seemed to drift towards it like a moth to a flame. She was in a soft green colored cardigan and an even softer frilly skirt. Although Crystal had bought Lyric a new wardrobe, it wasn’t that different from what she had been wearing the past five years. Her closet was full of soft pastel colors consisting of skirts, dresses and tons of white. It seemed to fit her very soft and rather delicate way of carrying herself.
“Everything here is so beautiful,” Lyric spoke. Her voice carrying a tone of amazement and wonder that it was impossible not to smile at her. Walking towards her I sat beside her, reaching to caress her cheek. A soft blush appeared on her cheeks, the softest of pinks while she smiled.
“I have to take care of a few things.”“Where are we going?” She asked. Her question though not unwarranted, was still complicated to answer.
“We have certain duties. This isn’t completely a vacation.”
“Oh.” Her response was confused but at the same time, she seemed to let go of her question.
“I need to head to the lower chambers of the boat. You can explore if you like Oliver will.”“I know.” She spoke reassuringly. With a soft kiss to her lips, something I couldn’t seem to get enough of but could definitely get used to, I left the room. Heading to the lowest part of the yacht I could see a few of the Nova officers finishing arranging sacks of rice, grain and various other essentials for our trip.
“We shouldn’t have to do this.” I thought to myself.
“How much is all this?” Brad questioned my father.
“Not enough,” Spencer and I both answered.
Every few months or so father would have troops send rations of food to Cray. By air or water, it didn’t matter. The people at Cray were very open to receiving food. The fact that the people in Cray hated the tyrannic rule of the Cray’s was the worst kept secret in both Kingdoms.
“Is this really necessary?” Brad questioned.
“Does the council approve?” My father answered with a smile. It wasn’t surprising for Brad to think this way. Brad was completely biased when it came to certain things relating to this Kingdom. However, that did not mean he couldn’t see things the way a future Nova Councilmen should.
“Your father doesn’t oppose this if that’s what you’re asking.” My father responded to Brad.
“Are the Cray’s alright with this?” Brad questioned.
“They have to be. Their rule is rather oppressive and they hardly give their people food to eat.”“I thought everyone had jobs and.”
“It’s different. There are higher ups you know and people with jobs but most people in their kingdom are just getting by.” Spencer spoke.
“What is this medieval times?” Brad questioned trying to lighten the mood.
The truth was things were a lot worse than they appeared. Charles Cray only favored those who were with him and gave his people little to nothing to survive on. His people were starving and oppressed and for Charles Cray; that meant he was powerful. When the division of the world happened the first king of Archer, though heartbroken about this, could not help them. Too much bloodshed had occurred, and this was the only way to avoid the death of more people. Unfortunately, it meant leaving people behind to be doomed.
The years had certainly changed, but while Archer had improved and became a moderate world. The Cray Kingdom still remained under the same oppressive rule from the moment the first Cray king ruled.
“Have you made sure Lyric is safe?”“Yes, father.”
“It’s essential that she as a future queen is there for the delivery.”“Is that safe?” Brad questioned.
“I mean. Cray is after her.”“We’re keeping guards with her at all times. There shouldn’t be a problem.” I spoke, though I more than anyone was feeling anxious about this entire ordeal. While I realized my father’s intentions were good and for Lyric to be seen in good light, it was also dangerous.
“For now all we really need to do is make sure we’re not being followed by Cray’s army,” Father spoke. The strain in his voice more than a little audible.
It was no secret that the Cray’s were not only craving power but blood. This was more than proven throughout the years when the Cray’s would cause chaos in Archer. The worst case was when Oliver’s father died a few years ago. It had been a terrible bombing accident on a boat much like this one and on a trip just like it too. The council had intervened and taken away old weapons from years ago but it was clear that hadn’t done much since there was word of Cray still having bombs. As for father. Father still felt in debt to Oliver’s father and I knew he had reservations about placing Oliver in the same position his father had been in. Guilt was a very twisted thing, something I had come to learn from experience.
The first night on the boat was spent above deck. The night sky quiet, the stars shining a path in the sky that guided us to Cray. The moon’s glow a soft comfort which watched over the sea, keeping it calm and serene.
“You can go to bed Parker. I’ll have a guard keep watch.” Oliver spoke, once midnight came. The exhaustion in his eyes visible. I supposed he himself was exhausted from the passing days and keeping watch over Lyric each night himself.
“You should do the same.” With a tired nod of acknowledgment, Oliver headed further out deck. The weight of the day beginning to hit me the moment I began to head to my own room. The rocking motion of the boat hardly helped to keep exhaustion away. Not wanting to wake Lyric up, I tried my best to keep the door from creaking,
“You’re back.” Came a tired voice.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you up.”“I was waiting for you.” Lyric whispered, her eyes fighting to stay awake, while she held the notebook I’d seen with her so many times before. The pen she held, hung loosely in her hand and she offered a tired smile.
“You didn’t have to wait for me I,”“I didn’t think you’d want to sleep on the floor Parker.”
Her voice was so soft it was hard to hear. Her eyes refused to meet my own while the softest of pink hues lingered on her cheeks. I felt my own heart race, and I fought back my own flush.
“You don’t have to I can sleep on the floor like I do at home I-”
“I don’t mind Parker,” She spoke, finally looking up at me. Though her eyes were tired she seemed sincere, the way she was looking at me.
“Are you sure?” I found myself asking, only to be met with a quiet nod. No other words were spoken, and I felt nerves prickle my palms as I readied myself for bed.
It was ridiculous. There were several occasions that came to mind where I did more than sleep beside another person. But as I lay beside Lyric our backs pressed against one another, it felt different. This wasn’t just any girl. Lyric wasn’t just any woman. She was my soulmate. A girl that I’d known so little of five years ago, but that had changed my world for the better.
The knock on the door that followed seemed urgent and Brad’s voice told me that we had almost reached Cray.
“Parker,” Came Brad’s irritated voice once again. With a soft yawn, Lyric opened her eyes and offered a sleepy smile that told me she wasn’t fully awake. Something that I only confirmed when she shifted back to her own place and went back to sleep.
“I’m coming.” I found myself and trying to talk myself into getting up.
“Fifteen minutes,” Brad called out before footsteps faded out.
By the time I was below deck, a few Nova soldiers were already carrying the sacks of food on deck.
“How much longer?” I questioned Spencer who was already helping carry things upstairs.
“Give or take an hour or two.” He spoke quietly.
“Cray guards are already circulating around the boat,” Brad spoke tensely.
“That was expected but they won’t engage unless we do.” My father spoke.
“And what do you suppose we do if they attack?” Brad questioned.
“Then we retreat. It would look bad if we fight back. It could be seen as an initiation of war and that’s something we don’t want.” Father spoke.
“We’re headed there anyway.” I thought to myself. Hoping that Lyric would be taken care of but I realized that we had no choice but to bring her upstairs with us. Crystal herself was being made to be there when we gave the food rations out. Based on the tense posture my brother carried I knew I wasn’t the only one worried about my mate’s safety.
“This wasn’t a good idea,” Green spoke once we were above deck.
“What now? You hate to get wet cat?” Brad spoke trying to lighten the mood. Above us, there were dozens of Nova officers already circling us trying to provide a perimeter ofprotection.
“I wish that was my problem. Lyric shouldn’t be here wolf.” Andrew spoke.
“I agree but Lyric isn’t just my soulmate. She’s going to be a queen.”
“Let’s just hope she stays your queen and you haven’t handed her to Cray today,” Green spoke.
“Parker. You should go bring her up yourself. I don’t think she’ll be able to handle this unless you’re beside her.” Crystal spoke a look of worry on her face. With a nod of approval from my father, I found my way back downstairs. I could hear Lyric speaking. Her voice soft, afraid, but there was determination in her voice as she spoke.
“I shouldn’t be so afraid right?”
“Lyric. Fear is a natural feeling. Overcoming fear is what’s most important.”
“It’s hard. I don’t feel adequate enough to be queen or stand by Parker’s side at times like this.”
“You’re a strong person Lyric. The people will be glad to have a queen like you, and as a Nova officer I am glad to serve a future queen like you.” Maybe it was his tone or the way he was addressing her but as I peeked into the room Oliver sat beside Lyric. He’d taken her hand in his pressing a kiss to her knuckles and bowing his head.
“Oliver.” I found myself speaking, unable to contain myself, though I pushed my jealousy down my throat and offered Lyric a reassuring smile when she smiled back.
“As you wish.”
“Good luck Princess. I will guard you with my life.”
“Thank you Oliver.”
Another smile grazed her lips as Oliver left and I found myself feeling petty. I realized that whereas she had pushed me away in the beginning, she seemed to warm up to others quite easily. The way that Oliver spoke to her, however, spoke of someone who not only cared for Lyric but loved her as well. The look in his eyes told me that he too had seen what Cray, Green and I had all seen in Lyric.
“You shouldn’t worry. I’ll be by your side.” I found myself saying taking Lyric’s hand in my own when she walked towards the door.
“Nothing’s ever set in stone Parker. I’ve learned that.”
“You shouldn’t worry.”
“I feel like a burden right now.”
“You shouldn’t. What happened between us and Cray, was beyond our control.”
“I realize that,” Lyric says her hand tightly squeezing my own as we headed up deck.
The first person to stand beside Lyric was Crystal who tightly clasped Lyric’s free hand. Spencer taking Crystals’ left hand tightly. There were only a few miles left to reach Cray and already we could see dozens of people standing at the other side, waiting expectantly. There were a few boats surrounding what was the beginning of Cray land awaiting Nova officers to drop the sacks of food. Above, a few flyers began to screech out a signal that it was safe.
The Kingdom itself looked like a wreck. Smoke and darkness seemed to cover the kingdom of doom. The people looked worn out and barely holding on to a bit of hope. A woman and a small child stood together. The little girl clasping onto a rag doll that looked to be made of nothing but an old sack and straw.
“Go,” Father instructed Nova guards firmly. One by one the Nova flyers all began to circle steadily above the sky dropping sacks into small rowing boats that had been set up by Cray people. A few of their own flyers meeting our own to catch more sacks to carry.
Another hawk sound emitted in the air, the hawk appeared to be rejoicing as it flew around the sky descending close enough to ground level slowly. It was clear that it was making its way to the woman and young child. The little girl smiled brightly, she herself looking haggard. A look of joy spread on her face once she was placed on the Nova hawk by her mother. The hawk’s feathers were covered in ash and a scar replaced its eye. The child laughed as the hawk took off with her, flying above the sky she waved at us. Lyric who stood beside me smiled and waved back at the little girl who seemed to want to reach out and touch us.
Everything vanished in one single second. It was like the devil himself had risen from hell when Maxwell Cray appeared in the sky. He rode a Nova vulture. The evil smile on his face maddening and menacing.
“Parker.” Lyric’s voice came frantically.
“Oliver,” I spoke before a screech was heard as an answer.
More screeches followed and several Nova officers flew down.
“We need to get you out of here first. Crystal will come with you.” I explained to her.
“Parker. You can’t stay here he’ll,”
“I’ll be right behind you. I promise.” I assured her.
“Lyric we have to go.”
“Lyric,” I spoke cutting her off.
“It’s you he wants.”
“He’ll kill you Parker. You can’t stay here either. Please come with me.” She cried desperately. In the distance movement of cannons began to be heard up ahead, time was minimal.
“Let’s go come on,” Brad spoke.
With hardly enough time to spare, I found myself jumping on to the back of a Nova flyer. Oliver having taken off seconds before the cannon hit the boat. Ahead of us, I could hear Lyric screaming for me tears in her eyes as she looked back.
It was hard to evade the bombs thrown our way. Cray’s own Nova’s flying after us. I could see the hawk with the child now attempting to stay in the air. The child clinging to him tightly. There was nowhere to head for them.
It was like feeling a spike pierce down your throat, down through your stomach and pull itself out. The desperation that swept me up as I watched Parker fall with the impact of the blast shook my core and made my insides twist. I could hear Spencer yell out Parker’s name and second later he and the Nova flyer that carried him descended after Parker in an attempt to catch him.
The hawk that previously flew above us with the child had also fallen. It seemed to have wrapped its wings around the child protecting it and giving his life for her as she fell herself. Around me, the chaos continued. Blast after blast. The people that had been around us now began to run to safety.
“Oliver. We need to help her.” I could hear myself speak. My anxiety and fear written so high in my chest I felt as though my heart would stop beating any second.
My mind continued to scream for Parker. The other part could see the child in the water, unconscious while her mother cried out to her on land.
“We need to go back! The child!” Met with only a screech as an answer I knew that Oliver was objecting. I could see Spencer fly beside us now with an unconscious Parker. Easing my heart just a bit, but I knew I needed to save her. With nothing but the instinct to, protect I found myself falling. I could hear people scream my name as I feel in the water. The sounds of the bombs never ceasing and the erratic chaos having wakened the water with its call of destruction.
Fighting against the tide I found myself swimming towards the unconscious child. Above me flyers fought one another, I was like carnage, their prey that was up for grabs. Oliver flew just above water fighting his way through so many Cray flyers that tried to attack me. Each breath I took came with a mouth full of salt water that scratched its way down my throat. The child remained afloat in the dead body of the Nova hawk. Reaching her was my only goal.
I could see him approach. Around him fire seemed to spurt around from the bombs. The flyer with him was hidden by smoke, it appeared Maxwell was floating on nothing but a cloud of smoke. Pushing past pieces of wood and fighting against the tied I could see the child only a few inches away. Reaching out to her, I pulled her beside me glad to hear Oliver’sscreech that let me know he was close by.
“Take her!” I spoke placing her on his back and helping her hold on to him tightly.
“Take her!” I could hear myself speak before the air was knocked out of me.
The air from my lungs was gone and I could feel the burn of the sea water I had swallowed compress my chest heavily with how fast we flew. A pale hand tightly grabbed my arm as I was dangled in mid-air like a rag-doll. His red eyes pierced through my soul with a fear that I recognized from our previous encounters.
“Let me go!”
“That’s not going to happen, darling,” Maxwell spoke, his blood red lips forming into a wicked smile.
“How stupid of both of you.” He continued.
I could hear Nova officers continue to screech, Crystal, Spencer, Andrew, Brad, King Thomas, Jane all yelling my name. We flew past Cray, above the chaos, my arm felt like it would break any second.
“Let me go!”
His laughter was hollow, sending chills up my spine. Maxwell then picked me up on to the Nova vulture he was on pressing my back harshly on to the flyer. The panic that arose from me only increasing as his hands went around my neck forcefully. My legs began to kick on their own, trying to free myself from him as he laughed. Picking me up in mid-air again; while all I could do was try to hold on to him as my arms flailed and I feared falling.
“Tell him,” He began his hold on my neck tightening.
“Tell him I can have you anytime I wish. Any second I want you will belong to me Lyric. Your life will be bound to mine forever and you will become my queen. And my mate.” His eyes seemed to turn a darker red, enjoying my struggle to break free of his grasp. With his last words, Maxwell suddenly lets go of me and I began to fall. I was his declaration, I was the cause of the chaos and the reason for today’s deaths.
The air was knocked back inside me as I harshly landed on to Oliver’s back once more. There was no time to stop and the child that had been on his back was long gone. Behind us, there stood Maxwell above his Kingdom with a smile. The child now with her mother running further inside Cray.
The sky, the sea, and the universe itself seemed to know it. As I looked at an unconscious Parker flying beside me with Spencer on a Nova’s back I knew. War was inevitable. Not only was my being with Parker putting him at risk, but it put my loved ones and the entire kingdom in danger.