As Elve left them Elseron's wheeled round to look at Atlas, the connection he had with her mind seemed to flare even brighter. He'd felt her anger, her rage, her pain. But now she seemed calmer as she collapsed onto the end of her broken bed running her hand across the top of her silver haired head. 'My Princess are you alright? What happened?' he asked. She smiled at him sweetly, clearly his voice hadn't been as strong and clam as he wanted it to be.
'I'm fine Elseron,' Elseron? 'She thought me less trained in the ways of court than I actually am.' Why didn't she call me Els? He thought furrowing his brow, it was then that the Guardian in him flew to the surface and he began feeling around the room, not with his hands or eyes, but with his senses. Someone else is in here. 'Elseron what's wrong.' Placing his hand on his axe he felt the eyes staring into his back. Spinning he lifted his axe from its loop and threw it into the corner of the room, the gleaming silver blade flashing in the sunlight of the setting sun that beamed through the windows. As it hit the shadows it seemed to hang in the air, its handle the only part that could be seen. With unnatural easiness Pilot stepped from the shadows with his tanned hand wrapped around the handle, the blade hanging over his left shoulder. He'd obviously hit him because the fine silk of his jacket was cut and Elseron could clearly see a thin line of red blood along the edge of his sacred weapon.
'You sure know how to give people a welcome Sir Elseron.' Pilot said flipping the axe in his hand, examining the steel.
'What are you doing in her Majesty's personal chambers dark dweller!' Elseron roared placing his body between him and Atlas.
'Just the same as you good Sir,' Pilot stepped a few feet closer and offered Elseron back his axe which he whipped from his hand quickly. 'Protecting my Queen.'
'From the shadows. How gallant.'
'Not everyone can be as brave as you good Sir.' Pilot smiled smugly before stepping around him to stand worryingly close to Atlas. 'My Queen I must leave the hour is growing late and Melody needs her lessons for today. So if you'd excuse me.' With a bow Pilot locked eyes with Atlas.
'Try not to feed on one of my Guards this time Pilot!' Elseron barked as Pilot straightened his back and looked to him, those leafy green eyes swimming with something, a feeling Elseron couldn't place. But it looked too close to mocking for him to remain calm.
'Of course. Sir Elseron.' with that the vampire left leaving them alone in her bedroom.
'He was there only because we were talking before Elvernoi appeared. It's nothing sinister.' Atlas said rising from the bed to the fire, adding fresh wood into the lifeless flames.
'It's not the sinister side that concerns me.' He said boldly. Atlas looked at him with coldness behind those honey eyes.
'I don't like what you're implying Els.' she said dropping a half cut log onto the blackened coals smashing most of them to dust and snubbing out the fire completely.
'Me neither, that's my point.' Atlas stood and faced him.
'Do you think me some teenager with raging hormones Elseron?'
'No my Princess I think you scared and wishing to find comfort in the arms of any man that comes along.' Atlas folded her arms across her chest like she did as a child when she was in an argument.
'Pilot is married!'
'Marriage means nothing to these people Atlas,'
'It mustn’t have meant anything to you either!' her words were steeped in anger that cut him to the bone. Staring at her he closed his eyes and tried to quell his anger. 'I'm sorry, that wasn't...'
'It doesn't matter but my point is still valid! I allowed your feelings for the Demi-God to run their course but now this new...'
'Allowed!' She hissed. 'You allowed them to run their course!' she yelled loudly. 'Who do you think you are to dictate the way my heart points!'
'I'm your Guardian Atlas!'
'Exactly! My Guardian! You're not my Father!' with that final shout she turned his back on him and faced the far wall. Breath catching in his lungs Elseron felt a hand grab his stomach and twist it around until the juices could be tasted in the back of his throat. Recognising her dismissal Elseron said,
'Your Majesty,' letting every feeling he felt into those two simple words before ripping the cloth from the doorway and rushing out of the small corridor. Phaedos stood at the end vigilantly but he barged past him, past three guards on their patrol that scurried out of his war like ants. Before he knew it he was outside striding through the grounds of the Oaken mansion. Rage and bile mixing together inside him. What was she thinking! Having that dark dweller in her room without anyone knowing! She could have been killed! He could have strangled her, or slit her throat, all he had to do was charm his way in. Oh my Little Princess when will you learn not everyone in this world has a heart as gentle as yours! He raged as he came up to a grand marble fountain with several nude figures dancing in its huge centre. The blue water pooling around their feet as it fired from the mouths of ugly fishes in great crystal arcs.
With a yell he slammed his axe onto the edge of the fountain, turning a small cherub on its edge to dust, its blade digging several inches into the solid stone. Closing his eyes he breathed deeply, and again, and again. Ripping the axe from the stone he walked around the fountain and sat on its edge with his back to the mansion, watching as the scarlet sky turned to a dark velvet blue Elseron never took his eyes from the sky. Thinking as he watched the stars and moon twinkle into life about Pilot and Phaedos and Dante and Melody and Atlas, Atlas most of all. And about what the hell they were doing here. It was so dangerous and after a few days without trouble Atlas had already let her guard down so much she allowed a man who she barely knew into her chambers! She's too comfortable here. He realised. It had been what he wanted, a safe place to protect her, but it had blinded her to the danger she was in.
'Oh my Little Princess,' he said to the stars. 'Is this my fault?' looking down to his axe as he spun it in his hands he smiled. He remembered the day she'd given him is, it was the saddest day of his life. This is so hard. He said to his axe, hoping she might somehow hear. I wish you were here.
'Els.' Atlas said softly. Turning he saw her stood a few feet from him, a blanket wrapped around her shoulders being held in place by her hands, it was only then when she snapped him from his thought he realised how cold it was, and dark.
'Atlas what are you doing out here?' he asked softly, his voice breaking with lack of use.
'After so many years of knowing you were either outside my door or right beside me...it turns out I can't sleep without knowing you're there.' she smiled softly as her amber eyes danced over his face. She sat right beside him and looked up to the stars and the great silver disk of the moon that hung directly over their heads. 'A beautiful night.' she whispered.
'Yes...it is.' after a short pause he looked to her, 'Atlas I'm sorry, I didn't mean to jump to conclusions I just...'
'No apologies need to be given Els,' she smiled looking to him sweetly. 'I should have thought how it would appear, and I still remember what you did to that boy who climbed the wall into my bedroom,' she laughed at the memory and so did Elseron.
'He could have been anyone!'
'He was the son of one of the Lords and you knew that full well and yet you still threw him in a cell for the night!' she giggled.
'No other boys tried it after though,' he laughed along with her.
'I wonder why!' soon they were both laughing until their stomachs hurt. When a comfortable silence grew between them Atlas carefully leaned over and rested her head onto his shoulder. 'I'm sorry about what I said...about not being,'
'It's fine my Princess.'
'No, it's not fine. I shouldn't have said something so hurtful to the man who has practically raised me.' she said moving her head to a more comfortable position. 'Sometimes I actually wish you were my Father.' despite his strongest efforts Elseron smiled, he hated himself for it, the King was a good man, his friend, but still...the idea was one that brought a great joy to his heart.
'I...I don't know...Atlas?' looking down he twisted his neck to see her face, her eyes were closed her breathing steady and her soft snore whistling through her nose. Laughing gently to himself Elseron looked down to his axe. Thank you for this.