Midnight WaltzMature

    Thunder clapped viciously, behind me as the local tavern doors to Pan's place slapped shut. My heart was racing, almost to the point where I wanted to turn around and run. I can't believe I was here, I cant believe I ever thought this was a good idea. I pulled back the hood of my cloak, the perfect disguise, and took a well needed breath of relief. Here I was safe. The stalking eyes of Syon’s men are like the unwelcome breath of time; slowly they’re stealing the life from me. Even the slightest error of movement or the tiniest misleading glance and they swarm around me like a pack of wolves, waiting for their master to return. I may be young but, foolish I am not. They are completely deluded if they cannot see how obvious they have been with their demise of the Royal family. Walking around here like they have already defeated us, like we should fear them and answer to everything they should say. Everything Syon says.
    Well, I have had enough. No more hiding just because I cant face the fact that the stories may be true. No more pretending that this isnt our only way of surviving. I am not strong enough without him, as much as that pains me to admit. The fight for Embress has only just begun and even though I may not like it, together we are the only ones who can really change the odds. Embress has been my home since birth, and I refuse to hand it over so easily without a fight. I have to do this, not only is it what I was born for; its my destiny.
    “M’lady, you came?” Lucas, the Commanding Chief  to the throne, said. His tawny eyes quickly adverting as I came into the back room. Standing amidst the others, the room was laid out almost as it is in the castle. Only here, our forces are marked correctly. Where as, in the castle, they're not. Apparently I wasnt the only one who could see through Syon's mask. "How were you able to escape Syon’s men?”
      Quickly, I draped the heavy woven cloak over the back of a chair, the whole time trying to keep my calm. By the looks on their faces, I wasnt the only one shocked that I had come. “Do not worry over what matters not.” I said, and then walked over to where they had laid out the map. I could feel their eyes glued to me as if I alone held the key for their victory. A feeling, I've always hated having to carry; I'm only sixteen. "Lucas, how long has it been since we last made contact with the  Mckintosh's?” I asked, my stomach rolling over in knots. Just the name alone stirrs up something I cant explain. I think thats what I hate most of all, not being able to explain why I feel this way just knowing that I do.
    His smile was brief, but calming none the less. “Almost six years, M’lady.” He said, while the others exchanged glances between themselves. Lucas,  kept is gaze locked on mine. He knew I was struggling, and to be honest, if he had looked away I wasnt sure if when he looked back that I might still be standing here. A quick twinge of sickness swirled inside of me at the thought of what I was about to say.
    In a matter of days, my whole life will change. Was I really ready to give into it all, even knowing what it might mean for my future. Instantly my gaze shifted to Lucas, who only now, had I noticed was standing silent. “There is a problem we did not put into account when we first decided his secrecy.” Lucas sighed.
    I swallowed the nervous ache knotting in my throat and motioned for him to continue. “Though as promised he has been the perfect concealed weapon." He paused. "What the deciding factor to cut ties with his people came from was what we found out six years ago. What your parents found out, and decided to keep from you."
    Suddenly my knees gave out, and I found myself barely able to make it on the chair placed just beside me. What could be so horrible, that my parents would have decided to cut all ties with the only people who knew where he was? Where the only person who could mean life or death to their Kingdom was? "Tell me." I said.
    Lucas shifted in his stance, and walked over to a small hole of a window. Pushing open the drapes, I watched as the moons glow played off the features of his face. It felt like an eternity as he stood there looking out. I wasnt sure how much more silence I could take before I would snap. "He's a night walker." He finally said. "His village was raided after Syon's men finished with it, and he was taken before anyone could do anything to stop it. I'm sorry."
    "Oh," Was all I said.
    For a second, I sat there not knowing what to tell them. Outside, I could hear the metal clanking of something probably caught in the wind. Its high pitched sound rang through my ears, settling somewhere inside my chest. In a matter of minutes Syon will have noticed my absence, and will send men to find me. I cant risk Lucas and the others being caught or Embress is sure to become his. " I know." I said quietly, standing, and walking over to my cloak.  “I've known since it happened, I just never would have guessed that would be the reason my parents decided to cut all contact.”
    Out of habit, I grabbed at the pearl necklace around my neck, and began twisting it around my fingers. The Night Walkers were a notorious group of rogue men, who pillage and rape villagers after they had already been attacked. "They did it to protect you." Lucas said.  "It may be too dangerous now bringing the two of you together. Who knows what he is like."
    Taking my cloak, and pulling its slightly damp sides around me, I looked back at the group. I could read it from their faces what they were truly thinking, and I couldnt agree with them any more. I knew that it would be dangerous when I decided to come here tonight. Heck, I know that there is a good posibility that I will die after this. But, the truth is, without him, Embress has no chance. We can hid our troops, and lie all we want but, they know it, and so do I. None of it will matter if we dont try. Night Walker or not, I was going to try.
    The room was quiet. The sound of a chair being push back slowly, drew in every eye. It was Giselle, Lucas's wife. Her short brown hair and dark brown eyes were highlighted against her milky white skin. She cleared her throat in a way to calm the nervousness that was written boldly on her face. My stare shifted to Lucas, but for a moment, to see he was equally as shocked as I was. Giselle never spoke in my presence before, not because she was scared to but, because she never had much to say. “Giselle?” Lucas whispered, almost in an attempt to break her from her insanity for wanting to speak.
    She raised a hand as if to silence him before taking the time to meet each of our eyes. “M’lady, pardon my interruption, but I would like to speak.” All eyes fell to me. I nodded my head, for I was interested in what she would have to say. “So this night walker may not know of what he was intended for. Is he still not a protector? I think rather than troubling ourselves with this minor detail, we should continue with the plan laid out from the beginning and let fate take it from there.”
    The room grew heavy with tension as whispers erupted discussing her idea. Even I stood there surprised that she would say aloud what I already knew everyone was thinking. She was braver than I had thought. I forced a cough to silence the room; I didn’t have much more time before my disappearance would be noticed. “Giselle has a point, though risky as it is. Who are we to know what will naturally come into affect at the point of my ascent.” Giselle smiled brightly, and Lucas walked around to offer his hand. The image of them together sent a surge of pain rushing through my heart. I will never have that, I thought. I will never be able to have a love that was brought on by a chance meeting. Mine was decided long ago before my grandparents were even born.
    “I must return to the castle before my disappearance is noticed, but by noon in two days, Syon will have announced my betrothal to his son." I smiled at them. "I know this was never a part of the plan but, the last thing we need is to give Syon a reason to push his deadline forward any sooner. He will be distracted by my willingness, so we need to be alert and ready for anything he might throw at us.”
    I could see it on their faces; they were scared. The time we have all prepared for has finally arrived and with our only hope lying in the hands of a night walker, all we can do is pray that fate will be enough to save Embress.
    Pulling the hood over my head and tying the neck loop, I took a final glance back at the faces around the table. “I will see all of you soon. Dont worry about me, I had already made my decision before I came." I paused, and then offered a smile. "Goodnight, everyone. May your dreams be sweet, for tomorrow marks the first day of the era of the Legacy.”

The End

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