LAST ONE UNTIL NEXT FRIDAY!! HOPE YOU ALL ARE ENJOYING YOURSELVES!!
Arya finds Alara rummaging through the royal kitchen to find whatever she can get her fingers on to eat. “You were right about the Winter Court,” Arya told her. “How did you know and what did you mean when you said you don’t see Malich and I together?”
“Its one of my abilities and as for the latter, you can ask him yourself. He’s on his way here.”
Arya swallows hard. Now that he’s succeeded in removing the leverage his brothers had over him, he’s free to choose what he wants at will. She can’t understand why it wouldn’t be her. Her thoughts drift to the last night they spent together. She looks down at her stomach, clasping her hand to it. Alara tracks her movement and sighs. Arya meets her gaze. “You won’t bear him a child,” she shakes her head.
Arya knew Alara had gifts, but what she didn’t know was how much of it was truth and how much of it was lies.
“Your Majesty, his Highness requests entrance,” Godfrey informs her.
“Grant his request. I’ll be in my chambers,” Arya replies.
A knot forms in her stomach as she heads to her room to gather the samples she and Lumi picked out. It takes several minutes, but when he finally walks through her chamber door she notices he has a small army, including the Winter Court general she aided in fending off an attack from the Fall Court. Banon.
She waited for Malich to close the door to give them some privacy, but he didn’t. They followed him in and Banon kept a careful watch over him, which only added to the growing knot in the pit of her stomach. Afraid of what he might say if he should speak, Arya launches into a long drawn out explanation about how she and Lumi poured over her choices before settling on a combination of white and yellow tulips that represented both the Seelie and the Summer Court.
Unable to take it, Malich closes his eyes and sighs. They both knew why he was there. “Stop,” he pleads.
Swallowing hard, she stops talking and busies herself with more samples, talking to herself and trying to keep it together as he closes the distance between them. Placing his hand on top of hers, he begs, “Arya, stop…please sit so we can talk.”
Arya looks around the room wondering why he felt the need to discuss their engagement with an audience. She laughs, “Is that why you brought a small army? What is it this time? Do you not like the color scheme or the floral arrangements? Try as you may, but they won’t be able to help you my love, my mind is already made up. And if its okay with you I’d rather stand.”
She waits for a reaction that never comes. He’s not laughing and his expression is grave. As she takes in the faces of her friends, his protective detail, and that of the general of the Winter Court she realizes none of them are smiling. They all look as if the world has ended. Or will be ending.
She brings her gaze back to Malich and he can barely look her in the eyes. “Something went wrong, didn’t it?” She asks. A slow dull ache begins to spread throughout her heart.
Pain in his eyes, Malich brings his gaze up to meet hers. “I tried everything I could think of to stop this…everything. But...”
Arya blanches. She blinks several times to allow his words to process, but her heart refuses to accept them. “No,” she shakes her head. “No. I refuse to accept this.”
Sighing he replies, “You don’t have a choice. Idon’t have a choice.”
Arya studies the defeated expression on Malich’s face and realizes he’s accepted his fate. He’s given up.
Suddenly it feels as if the walls are caving in on her. She swallows hard, her mind racing for a solution. “Call it off. It wouldn’t be the first time you’ve called off an engagement.”
Malich’s gaze slides to the floor. “Arya, I can’t,” his voice is barely above a whisper. His eyes are still on the floor and he looks as pained as she feels.
“No,” Arya shakes her head. “You asked me to choose and I. Chose. You. You don’t get to choose another.”
“I wish it were that simple,” he sighs, clenching his eyes shut.
In wide-eyed bewilderment she stares at him afraid to think or speak or move. “Make it that simple!” She shouts at him.
Closing the distance between them and resting his head against hers, Malich inhales deeply shutting his eyes. He exhales slowly before opening his eyes again and tells her, “I’m calling off the engagement.”
Arya stares into his eyes pleadingly. Perhaps she’s heard him incorrectly. He wouldn’t do that to her. He knows how deep her love for him goes. But he continues, “Next moon, Princess Grayson and I will be married in a private ceremony.”
She doesn’t want to hear anymore and shuts him out. Malich’s voice is drowned out by the sound of Arya’s breaking heart. He promised…
Part of her feels as if she’s asleep and this is all just some horrific nightmare she’ll awaken from, but as his mouth keeps moving and words keep spilling out, shredding her heart in the process, she knows it isn’t true. Malich Jarrah, the Red King and Prince of the Summer Court…a man she loves more than life itself, is walkingaway from that love.From her…from the life he promised her…the children…all gone.
Now it makes sense that he would bring an army. He’s afraid of what her reaction might be, but for once, she has none. She’s utterly and completely numb.
Suddenly there isn’t enough air in the room for her to breathe. There’s just this throbbing, aching, feeling seizing her entire body rendering her unable to move or speak. She can only feel, and he’s annihilated her heart.
Tears fall from her eyes, and she quickly wipes them away, still unable to put words together. What does one even say when the person they love most simply walks awayand into the arms of someone else? What words have been invented to describe what that even feels like?
“I’m sorry.” Malich presses a kiss into her forehead. She knows he means it, but it still doesn’t stop her heart from breaking.
Those are the last words he speaks before walking out of her chambers, her life and her heart. His protective detail in tow. There’ll be no more kisses from him; no more embraces…just empty, hollow words hang between them and after that, nothing. He’s gone…
She can’t fall apart. Too many people are watching her every move. She must be strong, she must be brave, and she must be Queen. Slowly she forces herself to breathe, one jagged breath at a time. Arya blinks, still allowing the magnitude of what’s transpired to sink in. The heavy weight of shock and a shattering heart slowly presses in on her emotions and her lungs, ebbing her closer to the edge of erupting.
Blue flame engulfs her hands and feet, and she flinches. They slowly crawl up her legs and arms covering every inch of her skin. She can’t stop it. The flames rise with her emotions. “Get out,” she warns and everyone scrambles from the room except Evander, Lumi, Rayu and Jax.
“We’re not leaving you,” Lumi shakes her head.
“I can’t stop it and I don’t want to hurt any of you.”
“We’re not leaving you Arya,” Jax shakes his head as well.
“We’re here for you no matter what,” Rayu adds.
The blue flames climb up her abdomen and across her chest until it meets at her heart and then climbs up her neck, her chin, and over her eyes until she’s completely engulfed in flames.
Slowly the flames dance, ascending up to the ceiling and spreading to cover it like a blanket before crawling back down the walls.
Across from her, Lumi and the other’s become nervous. If they don’t leave, she’ll kill them. She doesn’t give them a choice. As if invisible hands are pushing them, Arya raises her hand towards them, palm out, and uses her abilities to gently push them out of the room back into the hall where they’ll be safe. The blue fire is contained to the room, completely engulfing it in flames.
“Arya?” Alara appears in the doorway.
“Go away,” Arya slices her eyes to her sister.
“No,” Alara shakes her head. “You shouldn’t be alone right now.” She looks around the room, takes a deep breath, and then steps into the blue blazing inferno. Her shadow shrieks, clawing its way towards the safety of the hall.
Alara’s face starts to melt, but she is undeterred. She presses forward until she reaches Arya and gently cups her sister’s face in her hands. Her fingers and palm slowly melt away to nothing.
“You’ll die,” Arya warns her.
“Not if you stop,” Alara offers her a pleading smile. “I’ve seen how this ends. Your people are going to need you. This is not over.”
Not over. The words stick in Arya’s head. This isn’t Kahlem’s end game and if her sister is correct this is probably the beginning. Arya smiles back through her tears.
“We’ll get through this, together.” Alara promises. Her body regenerates almost as fast as the blue flame burns it away.
Looking at Alara and her worried friends out in the hall Arya remembers she’s not alone. There are people who need her and it’s not the end of the world. It’s not the end of the world. If Malich won’t fight for them…if he’s given up, then she would have to fight hard enough for the both of them. She refuses to let his brothers win. They’ll pay for what they’ve done.
Taking a deep breath, Arya pulls the blue flames back into her. Malich may have broken her heart, but she’s resilient. And she’ll wear the broken parts of herself with pride until they’ve healed. Knowing him, he’s probably counting on it. In the meantime, the planes will feel her wrath, starting with the Summer Court.ns 18.104.22.168da2