I stared out the window in the throne room, leaning on my cane. Storm clouds were moving in, appropriately depicting my mood. I was feeling bitter after a negative meeting with Dr. Amelia. Though the swelling had gone down on my ankle, it was not healing as it should. I wouldn't be able to walk normally ever again. That meant one thing:
The cane was now a permanent part of me.
Behind me, Roland, Miranda, and Angel were all sitting on their thrones, talking among themselves. I knew they were looking at me a couple times. I had just told them the news. I heard Angel come over and she put her hand on my back gently.
"Hey," she whispered, leaning her head on my back.
"Hi," I said monotonously.
"I may not know what you are experiencing," she began, "but it's going to be okay."
I turned to her and sighed. "I love you, Angel, but no. It's not going to be okay. It never will."
Before she could answer, I left.
I watched him go sadly. I wanted to follow after him but I was a little afraid to. I looked at my parents helplessly.
"What do I do?" I asked and they both sighed in unison.
"Just give him time to let it sink in," my father answered. "It's a bit of a blow for him. He's had a lot taken from him just now, Angel."
I nodded, chewing on my lower lip. Amelia came in, looking somber.
"It's time for his medicine," she said quietly. "Where is he?"
"I'll take it to him," I said.
Amelia chuckled. "Yes, I'm probably the last person he wants to see right now anyway," she said, passing me the tonic and mine as well.
"He doesn't blame you," I said, taking my tonic and giving her the empty glass.
"I know but I wouldn't want to see me, either. He would like to see you, though," she added. I told her about what he said and she shook her head. "Typical male behavior; go to him."
I nodded and hurried out of the throne room, trying to imagine where he could be. I went by the atrium first but he wasn't there. He wasn't in our bedchambers, either. I couldn't find Tiberius which meant he had gone with David. I then walked in the direction of classrooms, thinking he might have gone to visit with the kids.
He wasn't there, either, and I stopped, wondering where he could have gone. Then I shook my head with a smile and went through the back door that led to the barn. I went around the back and watched as he shot arrows, putting most of his weight on his good foot. His face was furious and Tiberius stood beside him.
"What kind of husband am I?" he was saying bitterly, letting an arrow fly. Even from here I could hear the thwack as it struck the target. "Aren't princes and kings supposed to go to war? How can I protect the three people that mean more to me than anything else if I'm crippled?"
"Have you said any of these things to them?" Tiberius asked and David scoffed.
"No. I don't want them to think I'm weak."
I looked down sadly.
"I highly doubt they would think that," Tiberius said. "After everything you've done and been through?"
"We can't even have children," he sighed, sitting down, and tears jumped to my eyes as I looked up. "I mean, I love Angel but what about heirs?"
"Do you think she sees it as that important?"
He ran a hand through his hair and I started to cry.
"No, she doesn't. Tiberius, she never even asked me...."
"Asked you what?"
"If it bothered me," he answered, looking at the ground and I realized he was right. "All she did was assume I wouldn't want to marry her."
How had I been so selfish? He should have told me, though!
"Do you regret your marriage?"
"Of course I don't!"
I couldn't stand it any longer. I wanted to run away. Before I could, though, Tiberius saw me. His mouth opened but I pressed my finger to my lips and pointed at the tonic. I put it on the wooden post and ran away, covering my face.
I sighed and stood back up to fire more arrows. Tiberius went somewhere and brought over my medicine. I frowned.
"Where did you get this?"
"Dr. Amelia set it down," he answered, putting his hands behind his back again. I had asked him about that; apparently the Black Hand were trained to always take that stance, no matter what. "She was going to bring it to you but she got called away."
I narrowed my eyes. I had a feeling he wasn't being truthful but I was too angry to care.
"You need to talk about all of this," Tiberius said as we walked back to the castle.
"What would be the point?" I sighed. "I don't want her to worry about me. You saw what happened last time."
"You are husband and wife," he said. "I appreciate your confidence, David, and you can always share whatever you want with me. Some things, though, need to be told to Angel; particularly your feelings about her infertility."
"I feel like an awful person," I admitted. We were in the dining hall before anyone else. "Who am I to be upset that she can't have children? She's the one that suffers the most from it."
Tiberius sat beside me. "Just think about it, please."
I nodded as everyone walked in. Everyone, that is, except for Angel. I frowned, feeling nervous for some reason. Sally wanted to tell me what she learned but I stood up.
"Let's talk later, okay?" I said and she nodded, sitting down beside Tiberius to whom she had taken a liking.
As I limped to our room, I wondered if Tiberius had started pursuing Christina yet. When I got upstairs to our bedchambers, though, any thoughts about his romance left my mind. Angel was standing in front of the fire.
"What are you doing!?" I yelled.
She looked at me with dull eyes. In her hands were a pair of scissors and, in the fire, was half of her hair.