Chapter XXVI: The Power Within (3/18)Mature

Some of the men around them whispered and hollered, seeing Laguna and Carmen in their finery. The two girls remained side by side, their arms interlocked as they refused to meet looks of mockery and desire. Outside her quarters, Sapphire waited for them in another blue dress, this one short and pale blue, the bodice comprised of different sized sapphire jewels, the neckline low and revealing as much as always. The straps of her high heels wove like silver ribbons up her pale ankles, and her hair shimmered, fluffed to perfection.

'Now you indeed all look like little royals,' she smiled. 'I trust you enjoyed yourselves.'

'We always enjoy playing your games,' Laguna said coldly, her eyes turning as dark and grey as the Ashen Sea.

Sapphire brushed a curl from her eye. 'The Master is very eager to meet you all. However,' her eyes fixated happily on Will, 'he wishes to meet our esteemed Avaric prince in private.' Will tensed, it had frightened him enough to meet the Master - but alone - 

Behind him, Carmen started forward, protesting, held back by Laguna. 'No, Will -,'

He turned to her and gave her his best smile, 'don't worry. I'll be alright.' He narrowed his gaze back to Sapphire, 'I'm the crown prince after all, right? No harm will come to me?'

She nodded slowly, 'of course.' She gestured to her quarters as a hooded guard pulled it open for her. Will had just a few moments to prepare himself, to stop the quivering in his bones. 

I'm the prince, he said to himself, they won't hurt me. They need me. 

'You are powerful, Willow,' Maga said gently, 'remember that. They do. Before they hurt you, hurt them first.'

Her words and his own steeled him, and taking another calming breath, he followed Sapphire through into the room.

The End

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