Heir to the Throne
By Rosa Farrell
I couldn't see beyond the thicket of trees. Tucking my
bow into the bag at my side, I jumped down from my perch in the tree where
I had been watching a fawn.
That's when I heard the voice.....
I landed on the ground with a soft thud and my heart practically stopped and my limbs ceased to move.
That voice.... I heard it again...
I forced myself to breathe when I realized that I had stopped breathing, and forced myself to move to steady myself. I moved closer to the voices. I peered out from behind a tree with a trunk ten times my own width so it easily concealed myself from them. But I could see them, and him.
I felt a tug on my heartstrings and it was all I could do from crying out. My love and once lover stood there, no more then ten feet from my grasp. My vision became blurred with tears before I brushed them away.
"Calm down Rosa," I told myself as I watched. I counted three men, Cecil, my once lover,a local Tororian man an obvious guide for the great King of Baron, and finally Kain... the Dragoon...
I had a sudden flashback and the painful memory of four years ago shook me. Tied down, a giant metal ball looming overhead, and a man, my friend bound and determined to win my love by one means or another. I shuddered and tried to shake it off, Kain had changed ... at least I hope...
I pushed back my white hood, and shook my hair out. Neither Cecil, nor Kain bore any visible armor or weapons. Fools, the Tororian forest were crawling with dangerous monsters.
Just as if thinking about a monster made one appear, a giant, oversized Cait Sith emerged from the cover of the bushes. It growled and and pounced on the Tororian man. The monster ripped clothes and flesh from the man and soon bones flew.
I almost gasped, I almost turned away, I almost cried out, and four years ago I may have, instead I powered up. The Cait Sith turned towards Cecil, and peddled it's back legs, readying it's self for another victim. Cecil and Kain were helpless. I leapt out from out of my hiding place, my intended spell already in progress. The monster was on Cecil as I screamed the last chants of my spell.
The White Aura drew from my body and my soul. It wrapped itself around the cat-creature and jerked it violently from my love, and paralyzed it midair. I chanted, plunging immediately into the next spell. The cries of the Cait Sith were heard before I sent it into limbo.
I knelt down next to Cecil, and gingerly touched his forehead. I chanted slowly, and casted a low level Cure spell though I knew he had not injured.
"The Angel of the Forest!" I heard Kain declare from behind me. I quickly turned and faced him, he had uttered such strange words.
"The legends are true!" this was from Cecil, I whirled back around to face him. He was now standing. I saw the shock in his face when he saw my face.
I didn't want to answer the questions, so I did something that came naturally, magic. I quickly set to work on the Tororian man, if I could gather enough of his carcass, I might be able to save him.... maybe...
I gathered all of his limbs, thank the gods his head, and chewed pieces of his torso together into a bloody pile. "Rosa....?" I recognized Cecil's voice, I tried to ignore it.
I chanted, the white aura emerged from my body, once again thrashing widly through the air, wiping about before seeking the remains of the Tororian.
Immediately the reconstruction of the man began, connecting his arms and legs back to historso. I then casted Life2 and the familiar blue aura poured out of me and into this man, returning the life that was torn so painfully away.
The man slowly sat up, revived, I was kneeling down next to him and he reached up and touched a lock of my hair.
"The Forest Angel....." he murmured before his eyes lolled to the back of his head and he fell back having passed out.
"The Forest Angel...... is you?" I became aware of Kain peering over my shoulder. I stood, but did not face him nor Cecil.
"What's all this about an Angel?" I hoped to delay the questions of my disappearance four years ago as long as possible.
"In Tororia, there are stories of an angel in these woods.. one who heals ... and one who fits your desricption quite a bit," it was Kain who spoke.
"Well, then the Tororians cannot tell the difference between an angel and a stray White Wizard," was my reply.
"Rosa.... where have you been..?" Cecil took a step towards me, "Why did you leave..?" Oh gods, the questions.
I knew I couldn't answer the questions, or maybe I just didn't want to. Whatever the reason, I turned and ran. I took off at full speed out of the small clearing and deep into the woods. I had to leave, I had to get away. Then, I heard Kain jump. I kept running though I knew it was useless to try to outrun him. He landed down in front of me and, but I couldn't stop fast enough. I smacked into him.
And that's when I lost consciousness.
I could feel his lips on mine before my eyes were even
open. I awoke with this all too familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I raised my hands up and they met his chest, and I tried to push him away.
I knew it was Cecil, his lips and taste were too familiar to be anyone else's.
I opened my eyes. Cecil was smiling down at me, "You always woke up when I did that..."
I brought my hand to my aching head. "Yes... and after we..." I stopped abruptly as heat flooded my cheeks. Why on earth did I mention that?
"Rosa... why did you leave...?"
"Cecil... I..." I turned my head away from his gaze, and then tried to get up. I was laying down and he was almost laying on top of me, "Cecil, please... let me up.."
He didn't move, I sensed him thinking, studying me. He reached out and touched a lock of my hair.
"I cut it..." I said before he asked, I had seen the confusion is his eyes.
"Why.....?" he asked like that off a child, "You always loved your hair.. I.. I loved it.."
"Cecil..." I said rather impatiently, "I needed GP and I needed it badly... I happened upon a wig shop... so I sold it..." I touched my hair, it almost came past my shoulders, it was growing back.
"And what else did you do for money..?" he spoke with a fierce tone and we both knew what he implied. And he knew I knew by the rush of color in my cheeks. I gasped with shock and I couldn't believe his words, I didn't wait for him to move, I pushed him completely off of me with strength that I knew surprised him. I was never physically strong before, but that was before I ran from him, from Baron, from responsibilities I couldn't handle. And in the four short years of isolation I had built up my level and become strong for a Wizard... any Wizard at all... I turned away from him.
"Rosa!" Cecil pleaded, "I'm sorry... I .. I didn't mean that.."
I whirled around to face him, "Did you think I was like that?! That I'm a little slut?"
I looked down at my feet, "I never thought you'd find me here... I didn't think you'd look here..."
He reached out and touched me, my shoulder I think, I couldn't tell... I felt numb. Oh gods, I couldn't handle him touching me, I might give in.
"Rosa... Why'd you leave?"
"Where's Kain...?" I suddenly realized he wasn't in sight. I glanced briefly around, we were in their campsite, and Kain, nor the Tororian man were to be seen. If I could get Cecil off the subject of my disappeance then maybe...
"He took the guide back to Tororia," He gazed off for a moment, "Stop avoiding my questions Rosa... please..." he was pleading now. I looked at him now, he stood a mere foot away from me.
"I was... scared...I still am.." this was the first time I had actually said so. The words surprised me.
"Of what Rosa...? The memory is still so clear to me... You were beautiful... You walked down the aisle on Cid's arm.. I thought I saw a look of fear in your eyes.. You chanted.. and a flash of blue light... and you were... gone..." he reached out and touched my arm again, "I never saw you again... till now..."
"I... I saw people...." I whispered hoarsely, "It was then I realized that... that if I married you then, that ... I would be their Queen... I couldn't be that.. not without having the risk that someone would use me to hurt you... " I stopped, it was the first time I had spoken of my fear of marrying him, the words sounded strange yet real to me.
"I thought you left because... you didn't love me anymore..." Cecil murmured
No... tears rolled down my cheeks, I never stopped loving him, and it hurt me to hear that he thought that I would stop doing so... "No... Cecil.. I loved you.. Being Queen wasn't the only thing that frightened me..."
"What ..? Rosa... Tell me... What was it?" he prompted.
"I was afraid if.. if something happened to me.. if someone took me.. they could use me as a weapon against you... Like... Golbez... Zemus.. Zeromus.. and .." I paused, unable to look in his eyes, because I knew I would've seen the hurt, "and.. Kain.."
He reached up and pulled the crown of Baron off his head, Ill step down as King then,"
"You cannot!" I protested, There is no heir!"
"There will be no heir unless you give me one!" he retorted. He reached out and touched my arm again, "Rosa... please.." I lifted my face to his, "I know you haven't forgotten about what we had.. what we still have..." he ran his hand down my cheek, "I can tell by the way your body is responding to me.." His mouth came down on mine and claimed it possessively.
I resisted, though I knew I couldn't for long. He pulled his mouth away from mine, but his lips still lightly brushed mine. He whispered breathlessly, "Don't fight me Rosa.. Don't resist me.." He kissed me again, I stopped resisting, I knew it was useless to fight.
He pulled me closer and I pressed myself against him. It wasn't until he started towards the tent did I realize how much of my weight he was supporting. He pulled away from me long enough to open the tent flaps and lead me in. He lowered me down on his makeshift bed on the ground. I knew what I was allowing to happen was foolish yet I offered still no resistance.
Cecil unbuttoned my blouse and I tugged on his shirt and pulled it over his head. It wasn't long before all of our clothes were shed. We merged into one being like we had so many times before. It was so familiar, yet completely new like the very first time we had a physical union. After, he pulled out of me, and I heard his breathing even out and I knew he had fallen asleep. I rested my head on his bare chest, and I drifted off listening to the pleasant beating of his heart.
"Rosa..." someone was shaking me gently, attempting to
wake me. My eyes popped open. Kain was kneeling down next to me.
"Oh gods! Kain!" I sat up hastily and grabbed my blouse to cover my chest, "I'm sorry!"
"Rosa... calm down... I don't care what you and Cecil have done," he whispered trying not to wake Cecil, and when he said these words I knew he was lying, "Get your clothes on... I need to talk to you for a moment," and with that he quickly left the tent.
I hung my head shamefully as I pulled on my blouse and buttoned it, and pulled on my skirt. Finally, I threw my cloak over my shoulder, secured the clasps and pulled on my boots.
I opened the tent flaps and stepped out, not wanting to wake my sleeping Cecil on the floor.
"I'm really sorry Kain..." I murmured as I sat down on a log that surrounded part of the firepit. "He touched me... and I..."
"I understand Rosa... It used to be the same way when you touched me... The smallest amount of contact.. I could barely control.." he trailed off but recovered quickly enough, "You need to leave Rosa.."
"What?!" I asked astonished.
"I know why you left during the wedding... I over heard you and Cecil..."
"You're right..." I whispered realizing our union had not changed anything.
"If you leave now... while he's asleep..." Kain prompted.
"Can't I at least... say goodbye..?" I asked pathetically and I knew the answer before I asked.
"You know you can't.... He won't let you leave if he's awake.." Kain insisted.
"You're right," I murmured again, I stepped back into the tent and grabbed my bag and my bow and arrows. I glanced over to Cecil who still lay asleep. I knelt down beside him and lightly brushed his lips with mine before standing back up and exiting the tent.
"Tell him goodbye.... and that I love him..." I said to Kain.
"You know he knows that..." was his reply.
"He needs to be reminded..." And with that I disappeared into the woods.
I hadn't ever planned on coming back, I would've never
come back to him nor Baron. But I had too. I stopped for a moment to try
to remember about how long it had been.. about a year... it still seemed
like yesterday. I laughed a bit as I entered the mediocre town of Baron.
It had only been a year. I entered the Inn, gave a nod to the Inn keeper
who tipped his hat at me, I had already paid for my room, and I made my way
to my room.
"Rosa! You're finally back..!" I smiled at the words spoken by the older man already in my room.
"Cid... thanks for watching him..." I stepped towards the bed where my child lay. I picked the babe of a mere three months.
"He wasn't fussy... was he?" I asked as lifted my shirt from the band in my skirt.
"Heavens no! Tolin's been wonderful.. A little hungry maybe but nonetheless,"
"Good!" I sat down on the bed and unbuttoned a few center buttons on my shirt. I brought Tolin to my breast and he started to feed.
"Rosa..." Cid sat down next to me on the bed, Whyd you come back..?"
"Because..." I paused only a moment, Cecil.. I mean.. Baron, needs a heir,"
"Does.. Cecil know that Tolin is his..?"
"No, he does not know about Tolin at all.." I murmured and started rocking my child.
"When are you going to tell Cecil that he has a son? That you have him?" Cid pressed on, and for some bizarre reason, it began to annoy me. I mean, why does my child concern him at all?
"Well, if it suits you Cid, I'll tell him now!" I retorted as I pulled Tolin from my breast and buttoned my shirt. With my babe nestled against me and hidden by my cloak, I chanted and disappeared from the busy town of Baron. I started up the road to the castle of Baron.
The road was longer then I remembered or maybe it merely felt that way because I had to walk significantly slower for the safety of the child in my arms. Even with my slowed speed, within minutes the mighty castle of Baron loomed overhead. My heart skipped a few beats and quickened. It pounded like a hammer against my chest, and I wondered if Tolin could feel it.
The guard that stood at the gate was young, still wet behind the ears. I grinned a little, was I so old that a young man looked like a child? He had probably never seen war, or had never seen a man die.
" 'Scuse me ma'am but I can't let you pass," he brought himself to his full height and stuttered. It was all I could do from laughing. A plan quickly formed in my mind.
"Are you familiar with the White Wizards of Baron?" I smiled at him.
His eyes widened, "Yeah! I sure do! They're second to none!" he exclaimed excitedly, "Well... except for the Mysidians of course..." he quickly corrected himself.
"Well... I am a White Wizard of Baron..." I pulled the hood of my cloak over my head so he could see that my cloak was lined with the markings of a high ranking wizard.
"Oh Miss! I'm sorry!" he scrambled to press the switch that opened the gates.
"It's all right, I won't tell King Cecil as long as you promise it'll never happen again." I stepped through gate and giggled a bit. its not like I actually lied to him, I really was a high ranking wizard, and if my confrontation with Cecil went well, then maybe I would become a Baron citizen again.
I stopped immediately, what was I thinking? I did not plan to stay after I showed Cecil his child. But... what did I expect to happen? Do I really think he would let me leave? I shrugged it off and continued towards the throne room. I walked into the tiny hall where Palom and Porom were once stone. I knocked hastily on the door that lead to the throne room. Almost immediately the door was opened by an old soldier I recognized as the Captain of the Red Wings that Cecil had replaced long ago.
Im sorry miss... but the King is indisposed at the moment, he murmured mechanically without any sign of emotion or feeling, then he actually look at me, Rosa!? Is that really you..? his eyes widened with disbelief.
Yes.. its me .. now.. wheres Cecil? I have to see him!
Hes sick Rosa... really sick.... But.. where have you bee all this time? the soldier asked.
Oh gods... Where I have been is irrelevant! Whats wrong with him?!
Its was.... about a year ago, when he returned with the Dragoon Kain from their visit to the Toroian forest, he started neglecting his duties and leaving his coucil make all the decisions. The council decided that it was time to take action and told King Cecil that Baron needed an heir, and that he was to pick a wife or they would choose for him. He became suddenly ill, theyve blamed it on a virus but everyone that knows Cecil-err I mean the King knows that hes heartbroken, he spoke with a low tone.
Have they tried to Cure him? I asked.
No, the White Wizards here are novice, all our high rate wizards have gone to Mysidia for futher training! was his reply.
Dammit! What of the Seprent Road? Cant the Mysidians send one through there?! I groaned with frustration.
It wont work! the old man seemed to be defending himself, The Seprent Road hasnt been working for years.... he sighed, You need to help him.. youre the greatest White Wizard alive..
I suddenly wished Tellah was around and alive, I didnt like anyone labeling me with that title, Tellah and FuSoYa were much more powerful then I, it seemed wrong.
I pulled Tolin from my cloak and thrust him towards the former Red Wing Commander.
Is he.... yours? he asked.
I nodded, Yes... and Cecils too.. I handed Tolin to the old warrior, Where is Cecil?
In.. the Tower room bedroom... he replied absently, becoming completely engrossed with my child.
Just... stay here with Tolin... okay?
Yeah... uh-huh... he had stopped listening me when Tolin cooed.
I darted out of the throne room and out the hallway and I was rushed with a sudden sense deja vu`. I could have walked this castle blindfolded, I was up the stairs and within a matter of seconds I was standing outside the Tower.
Im sorry miss, but you cannot pass, a young Dragoon stood in front of the Tower door.
Dammit! Let me through! Im a healing wizard and the KIng is seriously ill! the boy immediately moved when I said this, it became apparent to me that the townspeople knew not of Cecils illness. Because Tolin was not in my arms I was able to bolt up the stairs quickly, as I used to do so many times before. After mere seconds I reached the top and I pulled his door open and ran in.
Cecil! I cried a little too desperately. He lay on his bed facing away from me and the door.
Go away! he mummbled and he forced himself to cough a few times and I knew he was not really sick, that he had been faking, I cannot get married if Im almost dead!
Cecil? Love? I made my way to his bed and I felt myself giggling, how long was he going to keep this *sickness* up? Until they stopped forcing him to choose a bride was my guess. Youre not really sick? Are you..?
Nooo... I heard him groan, roll over and open his eyes, Not another dream, I want you to be real...
I am Cecil... I leaned down and whispered in his ear, Youre not dreaming..
He sat up immediately and stared at me No! he cried, Why do you have to seem so real? he reached seemingly wanting to touch me but he didnt, You look like her, you sound like her, this time he did touch me, my arm, you feel like her, he reached out and took a locket of hair to his face and breathed in deeply, You smell like her....
I leaned over and his mouth met mine. It was not quite as passionate as our kiss had been a year ago, the night Tolin had been conceived. It was something sweeter, more gentle and less urgent.
He pulled from me, tears in his eyes, The gods are truly cruel, you even taste like her, he brought his blanket and buried his face in it and sobbed. I had never seen him so broken, it made my heart and soul cry out. In my effort to protect him, I had hurt him more the any weapon or spell could. For no weapon or spell could hurt him where I had: his heart.
I sat down on his bed, wrapped my arms around him and cradled his head against my chest.
Are you.... real..? he sobbed.
Yes Cecil, I am real. I promise Ill never leave you again, it wasnt until after I had spoken the words did I realize what I had said. I gasped, I had come to Baron only to show him Tolin, I hadnt intended to stay. But now that the words had been spoken , I knew I couldnt leave. I could never ever hurt him like this again, no matter what the consequences were.
He lifted his head, You... you are real! he cried out. He hugged me so tightly as if he was afraid I would disappear, I could hardly breathe until he loosened his grip.
Cecil... theres something.. or rather, someone I need to show you, I murmured. But before I could utter another word, there was a knock at his door, and before I could answer it, the old soldier came in.
Rosa... Tolin was now crying and he let out a long wail, He wont stop crying! the soldier pleaded. Cecil sat up erect ad looked at the soldier and Tolin. I took my child from the soldier.
Hes just hungry, I undid a few buttons on my blouse and brought Tolin to my breast.
Rosa... is he yours...? Cecil asked as he stood from the bed.
Is he....? Cecil asked the question without speaking the actual words.
Cecil... he is your son... I gestured for the old captain to leave. Exiting quietly he knew what was conversing between Cecil and I was our own business.
When ... did..? he trailed off yet I knew his question.
Think about Cecil! I tried not to yell, my sudden fury confusing myself. I paused and took a deep breath, trying to calm myself, That night, nearly a year ago. After I left, I discovered was carrying a child... your child, I looked down at Tolin and he looked up at me, maybe it was possible that he knew I was speaking of him. Cecil reached out and touched Tolins head, maybe it was and accident or maybe it was intentional his hand brushed over the breast that Tolin was feeding from.
I carried your child for the nine months, and I birthed him, I wondered if Cecil could love Tolin as much I loved Tolin, as much as I loved him.
Rosa... he murmured, Hes beautiful.. he looked up at me now, Theyre forcing me to pick a Queen. I need to marry and produce an heir..
You have an heir, I thrust Tolin into his arms. He cradled Tolin against his chest.
Yes.... but I need a Queen, I want you Rosa... tears rolled down my face when he said this. I knew I couldnt, wouldnt say no, and this time and I knew that I couldnt be used as a weapon against Cecil because Baron already had Tolin. There was already an heir, so Cecil didnt have to worry about me.
No! I realized I was not staying for these reasons. I was selfish, I wanted to be with Cecil no matter what stood in our way.It wasnt selfishness, it was love.
Cecil leaned down and kissed me, and that was the moment I knew that Tolin had a father, Cecil had a son, I would soon have Cecil and a family, and Baron had an heir.
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