Walking through her home sent the harsh realisation into her head, this wasn't her home anymore, it was a barracks. Full of mongrels, dark dwellers and what other strays that foolish girl had dragged in with her from the streets. This isn't my home anymore...It's the Queens. Elve thought cynically as she watched her newly ordered guards stride about her grounds with their weapons polished and drawn ready for combat. Fools. Her home had been so safe before Elseron had waltzed in and demanded to give her home to the Girl Queen! Every since she had arrived her home had been destroyed, assassins broken into her wing and the foolish girl had nearly killed herself, as well as Elseron! As she walked she remembered how Elseron had been all those years ago. So dark and fierce and powerful and strong! That Girl has made him so weak and soft. But still...he's Elseron. My Shining Knight.
As she rounded the corner she entered the wing she had given over to the Queen, the sun was slowly setting behind the trees casting great long black shadows through the bay windows. The dance hall that Elseron and that disgusting dark dweller had all but destroyed was now half finished, the wall still needed re-plastering and the fractured antique furniture had at least been taken out and recycled. Not giving it a second glance she moved on towards the Girls chambers and soon enough her still long elegant legs took her to her make shift door, the old oak wood door had been kicked in by that foolish blonde haired boy. Elseron was off with the mongrel and the Queens other pets so the boy was outside her doorway, his angular face was not...uncomely, but he still had the air of a child...Elseron is by far the Girls greatest warrior. Elve thought as he held out her muscled tanned arm out to her.
'Phaedos my darling, I wish to see Her Majesty.' she said with the plastered smile she had learnt from her decades in the Royal Court.
'The Queen does not wish to be disturbed.' he said sternly. Hawk like face blank of every kind of emotion. You are a strange boy aren't you half-breed. So in love with her you might as well propose.
'Phaedos...It’s just me. I'm no threat and will not hold the Queen any longer than she wishes.' she flirted slightly but his face didn't change.
'Even so her orders were clear and...'
'Phaedos let her pass...' as the door cloth brushed open the Girl Queen appeared wearing a simple white silk dress her silver hair brushing down her back in a great cascade of molten silver and her eyes glistening amber pools of liquid gold. Her smile was small and polite with a hint of tiredness, Elve smiled. I'm more beautiful than you girl! And you can't allow me into my own home!
'Your Majesty forgive me I just wished to see you after so many days.' she smiled, the taste of the fake kindness like soil in her mouth.
'Of course Lady Oaken, please come in this is still your home after all.' the girl smiled. So you do still remember.
'Only if it takes up none of your valuable time.' Elve nodded. Atlas spread her arms out in invitation, Phaedos glared at her as she passed him. Foolish boy, don't pick fights with wolves who have bigger teeth than you do. As the fake door dropped Atlas moved to the fire to stoke it back into existence, Elve watched the Girl Queen; she was such a girl who played a woman. She knew nothing. She acted so high and mighty but she was just a scared little baby with her fateful Guardian watching her as she played her little games. Her figure was young too, barely a hint of a bosom, her limbs weren't as long as Elves and her hips not as wide. But her face...I wonder if Elseron sees her every time she looks at you.
'Please sit Lady Oaken.' she said falling onto the antique fainting sofa, crossing her legs and sitting so properly as her ladies in waiting would have taught her. Elve moved across from her and sat into an old comfortable arm chair, Atlas smiled politely waiting for Elve to speak, Such an example of politeness aren't you girl? 'Apologies your Majesty but with all the changes happening I wished to see you,'
'Of course my Lady, you are my cousins wife and are welcome here anytime.'
'Thank you my Queen.' as she sat back more relaxed into her chair Elve watched Atlas like a hawk, she had manipulated people for half her life when they went to court back in Atlantis. She was a master, and just as she had expected Atlas mirrored her and sat more comfortably. Now...to show her who's in charge here. 'I also wished to apologise for my actions when you first arrived here, it was a...trying time for me.'
'Please my dear call me Elve.' she interrupted with a sickly polite smile.
'Elve,' the Girl corrected with a soft grin. 'Sir Elseron told me everything and your pain at having me in this house is understandable which is why I am all the more grateful to you.'
'Elseron didn't tell you before?' she said mocking surprise. Atlas's face faltered and she shifted her weight in her seat.
'Oh...I see.' Wait for it...wait...Elve said to herself as Atlas sat in silence looking slightly affronted.
'Elseron is a very private man,' Got you!
'Yes. Elseron has many secrets, I don't even think I know them all.' Atlas's eyes narrowed in intrigue.
'Well...not secrets per say. But he is very reluctant to talk of the past,'
'I have noticed that.' the girl interrupted with a nod.
'But he has had a hard life; I wouldn't want to look back over the things he has been through.' Atlas's brow furrowed and Elve jumped for joy inside but kept her face as quizzical as possible. 'He hasn't told you?' as the Queen shook her head Elve could begin to see the seeds of self-doubt behind the girls golden eyes. Her time at court certainly hadn't been wasted it seemed. Looking about playing her game Elve leaned in and lowered her voice. 'What do you know about him?'
'Well he was appointed High Commander after my birth...and...erm...' Atlas trailed off looking more than a bit worried and Elve smelt victory, giving a small laugh Elve brushed her hair from her face.
'My dear it would seem to a stranger that you hardly know him at all!' as her words hit the air Atlas's face dropped to a flat vacant mask, a mask she had inherited from her father.
'That's not true!' she bit.
'Relax your Majesty I mean no insult, Elseron doesn't share his life with just anybody.' He's mine b*tch! And I'll win him back from you if it kills me!
'Well then please Lady Oaken, indulge me.' Atlas said with a smug politeness. Elve smiled, she'd just won her mental battle with the girl.
'He's an orphan raised in the slums of the South Isle,' even at her first revelation Atlas's face became a shocked marble facade. If I told you all I know my dear you'd be left weeping like a babe. 'Oh yes, very few people know that. He started life as a pick pocket and thief but was taken in by a wealthy sword smith who made blades for the royal knights, and even your father. Nobody really knows why he took in a runt from the streets, but he did and Elseron grew up with him and his family. But it soon became obvious to all that he had talents for swinging blades rather than forging them. He entered the City Guard at forty, killed his first man at forty-three saving his adopted sister, and soon was inducted into the Royal Watch.' Elve laughed and bit her lip as she remembered him in all his armour. 'You only know him as he is now, gray and old. He is still comely do not think me blind your Majesty, but back then, so dark and fierce in his glistening armour.
'Every woman in Atlantis wished to be the bride of the Stalwart Shield when he was entered into the Royal Knights, and that was going to be me...' Elve caught Atlas's eyes just as a hard spark broke behind them. She was beginning to realise. 'Until, well...'
'Lady Oaken I must please ask you to leave now,' Atlas barked rising from her seat. 'Your petty games are quite frankly a waste of my time,'
'I am merely telling you,'
'No Lady Oaken, you are trying to shake my confidence in my Guardian and make me feel guilty for breaking off your engagement in a hopes I will somehow dismiss him and you can then win him back into your arms but understand me when I say this,' her tone took a sharp edge as she stepped closer.
'Choose your next words carefully your Majesty,' Elve warned letting a tiny bite of her anger to the end of her words.
'I know Elseron better than anyone else on this planet; his is my Guardian and always will be my Guardian. He didn’t marry you because he did not love you a fact I think he’s told you several times, I do not think he told you any of these things you claim to know I just think you were simply there and saw, after so many years of grief it’s clear you somehow blame me for your pain and hope that coming here with your tricks and fake smiles will guilt me enough to send him back to you. Well now listen very carefully Lady Oaken because I choose these words with great care. I love Elseron just as much as you do, he loves me like his own flesh and blood but he has never, ever been forced or ordered to care for me. He could have left anytime in the last century so if you and he were so close I think he would have left to find you by now...don't you?' Elve fired up and was about to answer the foolish, rude, stupid little girl when a deep voice said,
'What's going on here!?' Turning Elve saw the fury immediately in Elseron as he strode over to his precious Queen, he gave her a quick glance and she nodded slightly. This was the depth of their connection. They knew each other better than they know themselves. Breaking their bond may be harder than I thought...
'Nothing Elseron, Lady Oaken was just leaving.' Atlas said turning away from Elve and taking the tiniest step closer to him for some kind of comfort. Without another word Elve just turned and left them. She may have to pull a few old strings if she wanted Elseron back...this was going to be tricky.