By Hell's Angel
AN: OK here's the next chapter. Please as always read and review.Chapter 4
For three days he sat by her side not moving only gently holding her hand, as she remained deathly still. Erik watched her for any sign that might help diagnose what was wrong, or restore hope. Suddenly her eyes twitched and slowly drew open, recognition within. "Erik. What is going on?" she murmured. "What did he do to you?"
Erik swiftly knelt by the bed; taking her hand in his. "Nothing my Love. Nothing." He paused. "Darling what is the last thing you remember?"
"We were walking…" Celeste said slowly. "In the grove beyond the rose garden. You were going to ask me something, when that man appeared. I got shoved into a tree."
He looked at her a bit alarmed. "Is there anything else you remember? Anything that came after that?"
Celeste frowned in concentration; then dejectedly shook her head. "Nothing at all, until now. How long has it been Erik? Why did my parents send me here? They must have known I would not be in a coma for that long."
"Celeste, they didn't send you here."
"What? Erik then what am I doing here? They must be worried sick! How many days have I been here?"
Erik mentally grimaced. He definitely did not want to tell her that she couldn't remember three years of her life. "Darling there is a small problem."
"Well what is it?" He was keeping something from her; she knew it.
"Darling what you just described did happen, but it happened three years ago. You couldn't remember the fight for that time period, and now that you have that part back it appears that these last three years are gone."
"Three years? How can that be?" Celeste was shocked; no wonder Erik had looked so nervous.
"I don't know my Love. I don't know."
"Tell me what has happened then," Celeste ordered.
Erik hesitated. "Are you sure?" When she nodded he took a breath. "After the incident the entire court was in an uproar. No one knew who was at fault. You were the only one who could tell us that, but after you awoke from the coma you had fallen into you could not remember anything concrete beyond the day before the first Midsummer's feast. Myself and Jared…"
"Jared," Celeste cut in. "Who was he?"
"The man I was fighting Love. Anyway the two of us were banished from court until the issue was resolved. Unfortunately Jared had been giving you a lot of attention, if you remember, at the ball that night. When you could not tell us who was at fault. Your parents decided that because I am older than you, it must have been my fault. I have not formally been to court since."
The tale continued for several hours. Erik watched as Celeste listened, entranced by the tale and his voice. She had always loved to hear his voice. It rose and fell like swells in the ocean.
"So I now knew that Jared had caste a spell on you and that you were in danger. I did the only thing I could think of. I took you when you were asleep and brought you here." Erik sat silently as he finished the tale. He had told her all of the important details of what had happened over the past three years. All that is except that she thought she loved Jared and their impending wedding.
Celeste watched Erik as he fell silent. There was something that didn't make sense about this. He wasn't telling her something, but it didn't bother her; he would tell her when the time was right.
He sat staring into the flames; a goblet of red wine untouched in his grasp. The fire caste eerie shadows around the dark room and shone in his hair. He watched the flames leap and dance, always forming a new pattern.
Suddenly he stood up, throwing his goblet into the fire. "I was so close. She was here." He held up his hand, and clenched it tight. "She was to be mine," he raged. He's face contorted into a hideous scowl. "That spell was my master piece." The scowl slowly melted into an insane grin. "At least I thought a head. It is time to move forward. They will not escape."
Jared's insane laughter echoed through the disserted hallways.
She giggled as she saw the head of Erik's mount at her side. Erik had decided that it would be good for them to get some fresh air. So here the two of them were, out for a picnic, just the way they used to be, except with out them sneaking about.
Now Celeste was full of energy. She urged her horse into a faster pace, and Erik let his mount match her pace. Still giggling Celeste urged her mount even faster, and with that Erik let his horse have his head. Soon the two of them were racing across the meadow that had been decided upon for the picnic. Finally they slowed to a stop beside a small brook. The perfect place to eat.
After caring for their horses, the two lovers sat down to enjoy the meal before them. Celeste leaned gently back into Erik's embrace as he fed her fruit, and watched the two horses graze. One would think that the chestnut mare would be hers, when in fact Celeste preferred the black stallion. She smiled in amusement and contentment.
Erik looked down upon the women he loved with all his heart. She was perfect. They were perfect. This moment was perfect. Slowly his eyes closed. The two lovers lay, asleep together in unimagined peace and perfect innocence.
A small crow watched the two lovers sleep, for several long minuets, before taking to the air. It seemed to be on a hurried path to the east. Before long it came to a castle, and flew threw an open window.
As its feet touched the floor the bird's form shimmered and was replaced with that of a man. As soon as the change took place, he was off running towards the north wing.
"Master," he cried as he came to a stop at Jared's feet. The taller fey glared down upon him.
"What is it Mason?" His tone was clipped and cold.
Still panting the fey, Mason, gasped out "The Lady Celeste. I've found her."
Jared's mood suddenly changed, although his tone stayed the same. "Where you fool?" he ordered.
"By the Silver Brook. But Milord, the king of the Western Fey was with her. They had picnic, and then they slept with each other's arms."
Jared turned from the groveling minion. 'Damn. What am I to… a yes.' He turned back to the fey at his feet. "Mason take this information to their Majesties of the Eastern Fey. Of course don't tell them about the picnic or that you have talked to me."
"Of course my Master." With that the fey prepared to turn back into a bird.
"Mason." He half turned back to his Lord. "Failure is death." Mason nodded, then took the shape of a crow, flew to the Castle of the Eastern Fey. He knew the penalty if he didn't.
The sun was warm on her face and she felt safe within Erik's embrace. Celeste smiled, still half asleep.
Erik looked down on her sleeping face. The moment was to perfect to break, but it was necessary. He had to tell her before she found out from some one else. Erik gently shook her shoulder. "Celeste, Hon. Time to get up."
"Wha... Oh." Celeste moaned and stretched fully awakening. Slowly she sat up and rubbed her eyes. She quickly gave Erik a small peck of a kiss. Sighing she leaned back into his embrace. "What is it Love?" She asked.
Erik sighed. "Darling I haven't quite told you everything that has happened over these past couple of years."
"I thought not," Celeste replied. "Go one love," she urged.
"I told you almost everything that had happened except for…"
"Except for what?"
"Except you fell in love with Jared and have been engaged to him for three months," Erik quickly told before he lost his nerve.
"What? How?" Celeste shocked. She had known he was keeping something from her, but nothing could have prepared her for that announcement. "Oh love." Celeste turned and buried her head within the planes of his chest. "It must have been just awful for you." With that she started sobbing.
"Shh… Darling it's ok. You haven't done anything. Shh… Baby." Gently Erik rocked back and forth, trying to sooth her. Celeste stopped crying, but she remained pressed against his chest. Slowly her eyes started to drop.
The King and Queen had decided it would be better to retrieve the Princess in a small party, rather than with half the army. After all they could move more stealthily with out all the noise of mail, and with the element of surprise on their side it should be an easy task of retrieving their daughter.
Celeste and Erik were at Silver Brook when they arrived. It appeared that they had just mounted; Erik on a chestnut and Celeste on a black. The two of them looked like they were about to leave. Slowly the king raised is hand, and brought it down sharply.
After Erik was had helped Celeste mount, he quickly swung up into his own saddle. Something was bothering him, telling him to get far away from Silver Brook as soon as possible. He looked over at Celeste. "Ready to go Love?"
She nodded, and was about to speak when many people appeared around them, with trained crossbows. They were dressed in blue and gold, the colors of the Crown of the Eastern Fey. Celeste instinctively moved her mount closer to Erik's. Suddenly the circle parted and two figures strode forward.
"Get away from my daughter." King Gadar of the Eastern Fey demanded. 'What was this, his daughter almost seemed to urge her horse closer to that bastard, Erik.'
"What is going on?" Celeste was scared; this was first time she'd been on this side of the crossbows.
"Celeste move away from him," her father demanded.
Celeste shook her head, again moving closer to Erik.
"Celeste." King Gadar's voice held a distinct choice: move or he will be shot.
Instead of answering her father, Celeste suddenly threw herself across the small gap that separated her from Erik, to land in front of him, as his arms wrapped protectively around her waist.
"Well Your Majesty, it seems that Celeste has made her choice." Erik's voice had a mocking quality, one that was always there around people he didn't fully like.
Gadar bristled at Erik's tone. "Celeste what to you think you're doing?"
Celeste lifted her chin. "Saving the man I love."
"What! What is this nonsense? You, what spell have you caste on her?" Gadar was enraged. "Celeste remember Jared, your betrothed."
At the mention of Jared's name, Celeste's eyes became hard. "That bastard." She looked down at her hand where she still wore his ring. "Can go to hell and stay there.," she finished pulling off the ring, and throwing it into the river.
She looked at her parents' shocked expressions. "If you want to blame anyone for casting a spell on me, blame that jerk Jared." With that she summoned her strength and willed herself, Erik, and the mounts back to the castle.
They appeared in the stable yard, just inside the inner gates. Exhausted she slumped back against Erik. Usually it didn't take much to teleport, but with the confusion of the past couple of days everything seemed to take more out of her. Slowly her eyes closed and she fell into a deep slumber.
The King and Queen just stared at the place their daughter had been just moments before. Shocked Queen Ran lifted her eyes, and stared at the stream, where her only child had just thrown her ring. "What has gotten into her?"
Gadar sighed. "I don't know. I can't think of any spell that would cause her to act like this. And what of this rubbish about Jared casting a spell on her? Why would he do that?"
"The only reason is that…" Queen Ran paused. "Is the fact that the Western Fey and the Gremlins have always been enemies, especially after that incident. Dear Mother, he's poisoning our baby's mind!" With that she collapsed in her husband's arms.
Gadar tightened his hold on his wife. "Don't worry we'll get her back. Truly back." With that the members of the party faded out, leaving the meadow beside the brook, just as disserted as it had been.
Erik gently dismounted, cradling Celeste to his chest. She was light, lighter than he had thought she was. Distracted he called for a stable boy to care for their mounts, his thoughts only of Celeste. When the boy took the reins Erik willed himself to his bedchamber. Gently he tucked her beneath the silken sheets, and smoothed her dark hair back.
Reluctantly he turned to go; he had much to see to. Looking back at his beloved, Erik rang for Elvina. Celeste should not awake alone. With moments the pixie was fluttering by his side. "Stay with her," Erik ordered. "I do not want her to wake up alone." With that he left the room, shutting the door firmly behind him.
Elvina gave a glance at the sleeping girl. "He loves you beyond reason," she whispered. "Yet it is perfectly reasonable." With that she settled by Celeste's bed with a bit of needlework.
Erik set out for the west tower, his feet making a rhythmic tapping on the cold floor. It was now imperative, more so than before, that he find out exactly what Jared was trying to achieve. Now that the Eastern Fey knew Celeste was with him, they were sure to start planning some form of retaliation, in hopes of regaining their princess. Never mind the fact that Celeste wanted to be with him.
He paused as he reached the tower door, then pushed it in, and entered the dark stairwell. The only sound was that of his feet as Erik climbed the stone steps of the tower. The tapping of his boots made a comfortable rhythm, giving his racing thoughts a steadier pace.
'Why?' He cursed. 'Why can't we just be together? Celeste, beloved please is ok. Jared damn you. What the bloody are you planning? What ever it is it must be…' Erik's thoughts came to a sudden halt as the stairs ended and he was left facing an intricately carve door of polished, dark wood.
He was there. The place where he would find either some answers or is given tenfold question. Lightly he placed his hand upon the door, feeling the powerful magic coursing beneath his hand. Taking a deep breath, he though 'this is for me, and for you Celeste. For Us.' With that Erik pushed open the door and stepped into the darkness.
Gadar was pacing the royal suit as Ran watched from her seat upon the bed. Both sighed. Their only child, their daughter was at the mercy of their worst enemy, the King of the Western Fey. Until recently there had been peace between the two lands, but once again there was a cry for war. The two kingdoms had fought bitterly against each other, ever since civil war had torn them apart 1,000 years earlier.
They had fought over the possibility of visiting the mortal realm, an idea that had been dismissed even before Christianity had taken root within the human's realm. So now the Western Fey could pursue both the Magic and Mortal realm, while the Eastern Fey remained committed to the realm of magic.
"What has that bastard done to our child?" Gadar snarled. He turned firing a bolt of magic across the room, demolishing a vase of flowers. "We had finally created peace, again, after that incident three years ago, and now this. We will get Celeste back, and I am going to rip that bastard's heart out and feed it to him!"
Quietly his wife rose to her feet and silently moved to stand behind her enraged husband. Gently placing her hands upon his shoulders, Ran lifted herself to stand on her toes. "Love calm down," she whispered in his ear. "There will be plenty of time to work on vengeance later. You can not plan for one as cunning as Erik if you are not rested." Taking his hand she lead him to their bed, and with a wave of her hand all the candles where extinguished.
A silver light trickled down through a small window, from the silver moon. The gentle rays glanced over his blond locks, turning them into glistening sliver and gold. The only sound was that of Erik's breathing.
Suddenly the room light up with a cool light, identical to that of the moon. Erik's eyes opened focusing on the stone alter before him. The silence was broken by a voice that was neither male nor female; harsh but soft. "So ruler you have come seeking answers to questions long unanswered. Questions that have waited three years."
Squaring his shoulders Erik lifted his head. "Yes."
"We can tell you only this," the voice replied.
"Torn in two
Thought to be beyond repaired.
Shall reunite and set to right
All that has been due.
Through deception, deceit, and lies
The root will be revealed.
The forbidden is second only to vengeance
But in yet another circle
Can forbidden taste as sweet?"
Silently Erik repeated the verse to himself. Confusion evident in his eyes, he asked "But what can it mean? It makes not sense."
"We can not tell you that, ruler. This is your task, this is your blessing; this is your curse." With that the presence that been in the room with the voice vanished, leaving the young man once more within the cloak of darkness.
Erik sighed and silently exited the room. The guardians were almost always like that, except in case of dire emergency. It was on their bidding that many years ago that the fight over passage into the mortal realm began. The guardians were the oldest, powerful beings Erik had ever met.
His feet moved much quicker then when he had journey up the stairs. Celeste should awaken soon, and Erik wanted to be with her when she did. The stress of the past several days, combined with that fact that to Erik that she hadn't been taking very good care of herself before, was certainly taking it's toll.
His footsteps slowed as he approached Celeste's door.