The Prince stared up at the bluing lips of the human. In a way, he had to hand it to him for having the courage to speak so freely but, on the other hand. It was something to be dealt with like a mosquito needing to be squashed. Yet wouldn’t he react the same way if it were his daughter? Sighing, Killian released him. “There is no harm done,” he said before turning his gaze to Neoma. “He was only speaking what he felt was the truth.”
Tall and lean, Neoma’s gaze faltered along the Prince. His whole essence screamed royalty, yet just tonight he showed more lenience than those before him ever would. It was in that moment she felt pity for him, for the life he was born into. Barely older than her own daughter, this kid was a few short years away from becoming King, and with that earning more responsibilities than any one man should carry. It was then she remembered to breath, her mind had consumed her. As she did, she realized just how powerful his people truly were, they really were Gods among men. When she released another long, drawn out breath, she felt the overwhelming sense that he would be different. He would not turn out like his father. She didn’t know why or how she knew, it was just something she could sense. He was different from all the rest, kinder and merciful.
“I am not asking for you to love her,” Neoma began, her voice weak with contemplation. As if she didn’t trust whether or not the Prince would turn on the both of them next, having had too much honesty for one day. “All I ask is that you keep her safe. Guard her heart. If you are to be a better man than your father, then don’t play with her emotions. Let her seek out her destiny, and then let her come home. Nowhere in the stories was it written that you two had be together. Please,-”
“I have no intention of keeping her there once I am King.” The Prince’s words were final and absolute. “Unlike my father, I choose to believe that we each control our own destiny –fates be damned!”
“Your Grace, that is great news!” Damien smiled, his tone alone, seemingly back to normal from his near death experience. Although his color, and breathing had yet to calm from the blue, ragged heap he had been. “Thank you-”
“Don’t thank me yet,” Killian was quick to interject. His arms moving to cross his chest, as if even he was against what he was about to say. “Although it does not say that we have to be together, specifically. It does state that we will be inevitable drawn together. But, as I am sure you’ve heard, my heart belongs to another. So although I am seriously hoping that our inevitability turns out to be nothing more than an earnest friendship, on the off chance it isn’t, let me make myself clear when saying. I will not force her to leave against her own will. If she chooses to go than I will wish her well but, if she wants to stay than I will have her stay with me.”
“Deal,” Neoma said. Her eyes holding the Prince’s as if judging the truth of them.
“Neoma, what are you doing?” It was Damien’s voice she heard next. Her eyes immediately shifting, her heart sinking deep within her as she read the deception, and outrage clear across his face. “You can’t agree to those terms, she has to come home to us. I will not allow her to live that life! I will not-”
“My decision isn’t about what you want, it’s about what is best for our daughter, and in this moment. The best thing for her is for us to go home and tell her the truth, and leave the rest up to fate. Neither one of us have to like it, just as neither one of us truly have a say in it. At least this way she can hear the truth from us.”
Well then,” Prince Killian said, the pleased tone of his voice well noted, as he strode over to the fireplace. His hand resting against the cool brick exterior. “My father will be pleased.” He said to no one in particular. “We shall see you tomorrow then?”
Neoma nodded, aware that she had not said a word yet he would know all the same, and took that as her cue to leave. Turning afoot, Damien followed her out through the abandoned hallways. The two relinquishing themselves back into their disguises once the human world was within reach. Damien had been the first to exit through the wooden slack. Although there was something holding Neoma back. Words seemingly drifting through the house like a crisp breeze in the form of a warning for her not to take lightly the kindness they had been shown tonight, humans do not make demands, and the King would not be such a forgiving man.
The words weighed her down as she escaped through the wooden slack. Only really letting herself relax in the instance they arrived home. The light from the front living room alive with the image of her daughter sitting on their couch watching what very well may be the last of television she’ll ever see. With golden blonde hair, falling in tendrils down her back, her skin sun-kissed from a summer of adolescent fun. Beside her sat her two best friends, Lucas, and Annaley. And for the first time in what felt like forever, she broke down and cried for the future lost for her daughter. Of a destiny she never asked for, and for a fate far worse than any one woman should be forced to carry.