Dawning Skye -
Tidas listened intently to his wife as she explained their conversation, up until he came into the room. His stomach twisted into knots as Skye mentioned discussing her dream. He didn’t want to know the truth yet; he was happy waiting to write to Genie. He knew Maevis and Nicolas understood more than they were letting on.
As the prince looked to the two Fae, he noticed Maevis looked almost as worried as he was. Nicolas looked focused, and added tidbits to Skye’s explanation often. When the old Fae began trying to tell the legend, Tidas cut him off first.
“Why do you think Skye is the Catalyst? Because of her dream? Or because of her traits? The Sync Kingdom’s King has three traits; maybe it’s him,” Tidas argued with a thin defense.
“How do ye honestly Not think Ima the Catalyst by now, husband?” Skye’s tone was hard.
“I didn’t say-”
Skye cut Tidas off, then went off on him: “Ye were Just arguing against it! I have multiple rare traits, I found a bloody Dragon! And do ye Not remember the fact that me hair is supposed to be RED?! How many magic users do ye know that had their hair change color when they gained another trait?!”
Tidas’ own ire began to flare as he yelled back; “None, but that doesn’t prove anything! And aye, you may have rare traits, but that doesn’t automatically Make you the Catalyst, either!”
“I know of the Sync King, but he doesn’t have multiple elemental traits like Skye.. Having an elemental trait means that the person has a deeper connection to the Source than most. That’s why they’re so rare; especially in humans,” Nicolas had stood up from his chair, and began to pace as he’d spoken.
“What is the Source?” Skye asked bluntly; her anger still smoldering due to her husband.
Maevis and Nicolas shared a nod before Maevis explained; “Our original world.. What Skye saw in her dream was our world spilling into yours.. It’s where all Fae came from, but can never return to..”
“It collapsed; it’s nothing but a void of pure magical energy now. No matter, no universe, no reality; just the existence of energy,” Maevis got up from her chair and walked over to the edge of the vanity.
“Did it used to be like here?” Skye questioned with a sad expression.
“Oh, aye.. According to our stories, it was a paradise. We apparently used to still come here, but only within certain circumstances,” Maevis gave a slight grin at the memories that came to her: times she’d spent with the Empress, listening to stories.
“We Fae have always loved to play jokes on humans, haha!” Nicolas said jovially.
“Oh, no.. It was often far worse than simple pranks, Nic, and you know it! I understand why humans hunted us at first, when our ancestors first came to this world...But now...” Maevis trailed off as other, more negative memories began to surface.
Skye held her finger out to her fairy friend, accompanied by a gentle grin. Maevis smiled back as she took Skye’s finger in her hands. The lass saw the pain that her friend tried to hide. She didn’t want to push her to speak on it, so instead; Skye simply offered her sympathies.
As Skye comforted Maevis, Nicolas studied Tidas. He could see the great love he held for his wife. But he also seemed to be scared of something. Nicolas wasn’t sure if it was the same worries all men shared, or if it was something else. He did decide on one thing, however; he needed to have a talk with the prince away from Skye.
There were aspects to the legend that involved a guardian to the Catalyst. Tidas needed to be warned of the consequences; should he interfere with Skye’s decisions. He didn’t want to spark another argument between the couple, so Nicolas settled on speaking to the prince after dinner.
Peggy had left to check on dinner while the prince got his recap. She’d returned in a bustle; rushing the four off to dinner. Skye was reluctant to go see her parents, her father. But the quicker she’d gotten it over with, the faster she could move on. And the work she wanted to do tonight required her full concentration.
The guards opened the doors to the banquet hall, allowing the group to enter. Skye had worn a moss-colored dress that flowed outward when she walked, and had a deeper V-neck than she was used to. It was a wee bit fancier than what she usually wore. But Skye understood that being a princess would require her to take a small interest in fashion. If nothing else; to have Something to discuss with the ladies at court.
Tidas thought it looked beautiful on her, and told his wife as much. She was still irritated with him, but it was hard to stay mad at him. She knew he was scared for her; that he wasn’t really upset, just uncertain. If their situations were reversed, Skye knew she’d probably act much worse than Tidas was..
Before Skye could finish her train of thoughts; they were sitting at the table. Her father sat at the head of it, with her mother next to him. Peggy had grabbed the dollhouse table and chairs for Maevis and Nicolas to sit in, so they could be comfortable during the meal. She’d even gone as far as to find the tiny dish set that went with the table. The effort made the two Fae adore Peggy even more.
While the newlyweds were on their honeymoon, Peggy had gotten well acquainted with the two elder Fae. Peggy was particularly excited to hear stories from Nicolas about the origins of ‘Santa Claws’. Peggy and Maevis had bonded over Skye. They’d even made a secret pack to protect her, not that they would ever tell Skye that.
Lidia and Tidas chatted, as well as Maevis and Nicolas occasionally. Lucas and Skye had remained quiet throughout most of the meal; only answering direct questions. Tension was obviously in the room, but they tried to ignore it for the most part as they ate.
The meal was simple, but delicious. Minced elk meat mixed with peas, corn, and carrots in a thick stew was the main dish. There were multiple fresh loaves of bread with various jams and butter, as well as two freshly baked pies filled with thickened stew in the middle of the table. Bowls of mixed leaf greens with Peggy’s dressing, and a large bowl of vanilla pudding with mixed berries in it sat on either side of the table for easier access.
Tidas ate an entire pie to himself, plus a full loaf of bread, a large bowl of stew, and a dessert bowl heaping with pudding. Skye ate two bowls of the stew, a loaf of bread, a large plate of Peggy’s salad, and a half bowl of the pudding. Her parents had never seen her eat so much in one sitting before.
“Ye don’t look pregnant, but ye eat like a woman who is,” Lucas laughed loudly at his own joke.
Skye gave he father an unimpressed expression before returning to her meal. Lucas swallowed hard, knowing his jest failed horrendously. Lidia glared at him hard while the other three remained quiet, and ate their food.
Maevis and Nicolas weren’t sure what was going on, but knew to keep out of it. It seemed to them to be a misunderstanding of sorts between father and daughter. However, they weren’t idiotic enough to ask outright what happened. They knew Skye would tell them eventually.
After the meal was finished; Skye stood up normally and asked her father if she could speak with him in private. He agreed, but quite frankly hadn’t wanted to. Tidas had warned him of the impending question his sweet daughter would ask, and not in the kindest way. But it was what he deserved.
While the prince had freshened up and changed his clothes, he told his father father in law what he’d told Skye. At first, Lucas was furious he’d said anything. The plan had, thankfully, crumbled after he’d returned and stopped the wedding. But Skye had still asked questions, and he wasn’t going to lie to her..
“I respect you, Lucas. But I won’t forgive you for handing over Skye to that monster,” Tidas stated firmly after he’d come out from his closet.
“But I didn’t! Ye stopped the wedding because of the message I Sent Ye!” Lucas bellowed in his defense.
“And what if I hadn’t of made it in time? Would you have called off the wedding?! NO!” Lucas flinched as Tidas continued to rage at him; “Skye would’ve been subjected to that thing in the dungeon! You saw what he did to that poor servant lass; that would’ve been Skye!”
Lucas hung his head in disgrace before speaking softly; “I didn’t know he was like that to his women... I never heard any rumors or the like about his darkness. If I had, I never would’ve given me daughter to him.. And I would’ve killed him me self if he had treated her in such a way!”
“You would’ve had no place to! And that’s IF you would’ve found out about it..” Tidas was now leaning against his bedpost, rubbing his eyes with one hand out of frustration.
Lucas sat down on the edge of the prince’s bed as he tried not to think about what might’ve happened to his daughter. He’d made the deal to stop their trafficking business. He rationalized marrying Skye off to Jacob as a temporary thing. That he would’ve seen to their books the following day, after the wedding. That Skye’s suffering would be minimal, and that they would be saving hundreds from slavery, abuse, and death.
From another point of view; Lucas would’ve had to have sacrificed his daughter to the same monsters that he was trying to save others from. The thought had literally kept him up at night for the past year. But he would just rationalize.. Hundreds, thousands over time, would’ve been saved.. Except his daughter.
The emotions choked at him; causing a lump to form in his throat ask he asked his son in law; “Does she hate me?”
Tidas sighed, seeing Lucas become despondent. He huffed, then took the two steps he needed to be standing directly in front his father in law. He stood a few seconds, waiting for Lucas to look up at him before he’d spoken to him candidly.
“Skye doesn’t hate you, she’s just incredibly hurt right now.. You need to be completely honest with her when she speaks to you later. It’ll probably be shortly after dinner.. Tell her your real thoughts, Lucas.. Not just the ones you think with make you seem reasonable to her; tell her everything. From every doubt, to every reaffirmation.. She’ll know if you’re lying. And if you do, then she really will hate you..”
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