“This way, this way!” An old man in a simple shirt called out. To any regular person he would seem to be nothing more than your average mundane but, he was so much more than that. He was, after all, the Royal Keeper to the throne, an honor most would kill for. “I say, are you deaf? We are all going to be discovered if you do not put some haste in those shoes of yours!”
Behind him strode two humans in woven cloaks. Masked in their disguise, they followed the older man into an abandoned house. Its windows and doors barred from the outside to keep with its appearance of seeming empty. Once inside, the man took from his pocket the small of a matchbox, and lite the dying embers from an old fire, and stood until it grew into a hearty flame.
“Alright, we’re here.” One of the humans called out, breaking the older man’s gaze. The human, a man himself, whose voice held the shaky edge of uncertainty. “Now, tell us what it is your Master has summoned us for?”
The older man in the simple shirt smiled, and took a seat in the small wooden frame of a chair placed strategically beside the fireplace. His fingers moving to the tops of his knees, where he went to work massaging them. “My old bones aren’t what they used to be, you must forgive me.” He said.
It was then the second of the humans stepped out of her masked façade, and pushed back her hood to reveal a cascade of gold tendrils, which fell in waves down her back. “Calimer, we haven’t the time for your games.” She said, her voice far superior than her human companion had been. The emerald hue of her eyes burrowing into the older man, Calimer, with a look of pure frustration. “Speak your business or we shall leave, and you can be the one who will answer to your Master.”
For a moment, Calimer watcher her in a dubious manor, testing the veracity of her words before giving in. “Very well,” He sighed in disdain. “My Master requests the privilege of seeing your daughter once more, and invites you and your family to dinner.”
“Never,” The human male called out, his face still hidden behind his hood. “I swore off all ties of my wife’s lineage to your people the moment we learned about your Master’s intentions. I will never-”
“You, young Damien, do not have the luxury of swearing anything away!” The agitation in Calimer’s voice palpable as it echoed through the room with a vengeance. “Need I remind you, you are nothing, sir? A nobody, a human. In fact, the only reason I’ve allowed your presence here today is merely out of respect for your wife. So it would be wise for you to remember that!”
“Watch your tongue Calimer, or I will have it from you!” The woman retorted in defense. All the while reaching into her pocket, only to return with a silver dagger clutched within the palm of her hand. “Need I remind you of your own place in this world?”
The air shifted then, and it wasn’t unnoticed. No longer in his chair, Calimer stood directly in front of the two, the winkles along his face showing his age like rings of an old oak tree. In an instance, almost too quick for the male human to see, he turned his attention fully to the women, and then her blade. “Shame on you, Neoma. You of all people know firsthand what would happen if you, and your husband deny my Master of his request.” Another shift in the air, broke his attention just then, and he lowered his voice taking note before continuing, “If she is indeed who we know her to be, then there is no stopping what is to come, and with Marcus and his men closing in, the King, my Master has no choice but, to call her into his company.”
“Now, hold on a second!” The male human, Damien, exclaimed. He unlike the others had not noticed the shift in the air. Finally, as if only just now remembering he was wearing it, he pushed the hood back from his face exposing the long length of his jet black colored hair, as its tips fell just shy of his shoulders.
“Damien,” The woman, Neoma began, her tone a warning to her significant other to tread carefully. “Calimer only carries the message of his Master. I think it would be wise to hear him-”
“No! I swore, we swore, off all previous ties our family might have held the day she was born.”
“Neoma, your husband is speaking of things he knows nothing about, again. Shall I remind him of who truly rules this world?”
“No, that will not be necessary!” Neoma quickly stepped forward, positioning herself between the two men. “Although I may have to remind you-”
It was then a voice broke out amidst all others. The voice seemingly from somewhere in the distance, yet from the sense of power in which surged from it, it engulfed the room with a daunting embrace. “You will remind him of what?” The voice asked, a male voice. “I was under the impression I was amidst old family friends?” He laughed.
“Your Grace,” Neoma and Calimer said in unison. Together dropping to their knees, adverting their gaze.
“Prince Killian,” Damien fell in sync seconds later, still all too naive to the accustoms of how to address those that are considered royalty.
“Please, stand. Like I said, I am among old friends, am I not?”
“Yes, your Grace. It’s just-”
“Let me guess, Neoma, please. I love a good laugh before business.” The Prince, Killian, smiled wryly. The icy azure of his eyes almost piercing as he shifts his gaze from her to Damien. “You were going to say that although I am among friends, the fact of the matter lies not with our family’s history but, with what it is that my father is asking of you to do. Am I correct in assuming this?” His tone taunting.
Damien rose in suit of the others, and peered up at the young Prince. He felt the lure of his word like a bait, and even he knew in that moment better than to answer the Prince’s question. So instead, he studied him, the man whose fate is destined with that of his daughters –no matter how he feels about it, and like all the Caspian’s before him. Damien swallowed hard when he found Killian had been molded into the mere image of the family’s royal name. All of them God-like in their builds, with tousled russet colored hair, and chiseled jaws. He was everything he never wanted for his daughter because he had seen firsthand what getting involved with one brings, through his own wife’s mistakes.