I see Erin off to the path that leads to Roelum, we get lost in each other’s eyes for a moment.
“Get a room, you two!” Akka groans.
“He doesn’t have to come with me you know? I know how important he is to you.” Erin argues.
“He wanted to come…” I say unconvincingly.
“Did I now?” Akka rolls his eyes.
“You need someone you can really trust and Akka is the right person for the job, I would have released Paula if I was not terrified that she might kill you herself.” I grin.
“I wouldn’t, I know how much he means to you, I might maim him though.” Paula teases in response.
“I have Victor.” Erin insists.
“The Victor you are not certain of his loyalties? That Victor?” I argue.
“Heyyy…. He is a sweetheart and you know it.” Paula picks his side.
“Can you choose another person? There are other men in the world.” I groan.
“The heart wants what it wants.” Paula smirks.
“You have a heart?” Elena taunts.
“Why? Are you offering yours up?” Paula glares at her.
“You are all peculiar people.” Luna comments.
I forget she is here sometimes because of how quiet she is.
“You keep talking about trust yet Aster is following me back home.” Erin sighs.
“I have no problems with you, my allegiance is to myself and since Akka is going with you, it suits me to follow you.” Aster holds tight to his horse.
“There is nothing I can say that will make you change your mind?” Erin tries one last time.
“Hey, I don’t know what your problem is but I am great company.” Akka frowns at Erin.
“Sure, when you are sober which is never by the way.” Erin glares.
“Don’t be such a whiny prince, you need me, she knows you need me, she doesn’t need me, she has other people. You need your own people but until then she is ready to lend you me.” Akka tilts his head to the side.
“That made much more sense in my head.”
I draw Akka close; “Save him even from himself but not at the expense of your life.”
“Do you mean that?” Akka asks.
“No, but it felt like I had to say it.” I chuckle.
“You wound me, General.” Akka feigns a heart ache.
“It will always be Salem for you.” I reply.
We hug and I look at Aster for a second and call him closer.
“I don’t know much about you but if you ever try to hurt Akka again for any reason, I will find you.” I threaten.
“I have no intention of doing that.” He bows.
“You three… travel well and be safe.” I say to them, Erin looks at me and nods, I nod back. They mount on their horses and disappear from my view.
“I thought there’d be tears at least.” Elena breaks the silence.
“I could make you produce some if you want.” Paula offers.
“Do you two ever stop?” Luna asks amazed.
“You’ll get used to it.” I sigh.
“Can you tell the future?” I ask Luna.
“No… It doesn’t work that way; I can read omens and signs.” Luna explains.
“What are the signs telling you about them?”
“It’s not clear, it’s grey… it usually means there is a fifty-fifty chance of survival, fate is neither in his favor or against, it depends on him largely. You on the other hand, the scent of death is so thick but sometimes you shine bright, you are both extremes, it is difficult to tell.” Luna states.
“I see, can you explain once again why you wanted to come with me?” I ask.
“It’s like getting the ticket to the front row seat of a massive fight, do you understand if I put it this way? I have to know how it will all work out for you.” Luna responds.
“So, you are just being nosy.” Paula remarks.
“It is better than being overly aggressive.” Elena retorts.
“Being aggressive is a manipulative, self-serving whore.” Paula replies which earn a frown from all of us.
“Now, you are being judgmental.” Elena whines.
“It is true though, that I am self-serving, what about you? Who do you serve? Yourself? The princess? Or your people? At least my goal is distinctly defined.” Elena continues.
“All of it, I am who I am… I have no doubt about it, I know my capabilities and my limitations, I know where my heart lies and I am true to myself. It is more than I can say for you.” Paula takes the lead in going back to the palace.
Elena hurries after her, “What does that mean?”
“What do you think about Ladda?” Paula asks Elena.
“What do you mean?” Elena goes shy.
“Don’t play with his heart, he is a sensitive one.” Paula warns.
“Heyyy… I am not that kind of girl!” Elena exclaims which makes Paula turn to look at her.
“I am so confused.” Luna whispers to me.
“What are you confused about?” I ask.
“I can’t figure out if they like or hate each other.” She says to me.
“It is both… You can feel both for a person. Love and hate are two sides of a coin, at the end of the day, it is still the same coin.” I smile at Paula and Elena.
“You care deeply for both of them.” Luna remarks.
“Of course, I do.”
“That’s unexpected.” She says to me.
“You know the problem with people that think they know too much?” I ask.
“They often miss what is right in front of them. Stop trying to analyze me or put me in a box, I am not a subject. I don’t know how it was wherever you are from but when I ask you do something, you do it. Which means stay away from Tiana and my family members, they are not as harmless as you think.” I warn.
“The princess is grieving, I just thought I’d help her move on.” Luna sighs.
“I know that you are trying to help but stay away from her, especially her.” I say again.
“Why are you so worried about us being close?” Luna asks.
“Tiana will break you, even if it means hurting me a little bit, she is kind but ruthless and I assure you, right now especially with the death of May, there is only ruthlessness there. Don’t be deceived by those tears.” I warn again.
“Hmmmm… I see, she must have been the one who hurt you the most here.”
“What did I say about analyzing me?” I glare.
“I am sorry, would telling you that you might be pregnant be crossing the line?