Tempest raised both her head and herself up onto her knees, pressing a hand to her father’s cheek, brushing his tears with her thumb. “That which breaks us only makes us stronger.” she whispered. “Father, please stay stong now. You are a Son of Brax, Demon Lord. And I will be by your side for as long as you need me.” Tears gathered, spilled from her own eyes as she stared at her father.
The Prince’s face creased as his daughter Tempest showed affection, by brushing away his stray tears with her thumb. “That which breaks us only makes us stronger.” No truer words was ever said. So bright was his child. Joffrey had treasured every single moment that he had with his daughter, but in a sense felt lost when she suddenly showed up and was in a sense, all grown up. Looking at her, he saw so much of his darling wife Selene, and a tiny bit of himself. Tempest was born from their love; a lasting reminder of what beauty he had in his hands. Joffrey reached out and touched her cheek and sighed softly;
“Why did you have to grow up so fast?” His dark eyes searching hers, as his hand fell away. “If I could only have kept you younger for longer. Next thing, there will be boys sniffing at your skirts. Oh hell.” More worry for the Prince. Tempest was such a beautiful young lady now. “I sound like an old fart. Did I age as well?” he started to run his fingers over his own face, wondering why he suddenly felt five hundred years older than he was.
“What do I do now? How can I go on without your Mother?”
“Because you needed me to look out for you, Father dear.” She giggled, getting to her feet. “And I couldn’t do that if I was so little. No one takes you seriously when your a child.
“If I could only have kept you younger for longer. Next thing, there will be boys sniffing at your skirts. Oh hell.”
“Devil take ye! I don’t want any man sniffing after me. Disgusting creatures!” Tempest frowned comically. It was an expression so unlike her usual grace and poise, it would have made Joff laugh if he was of a mind to.
“I sound like an old fart. Did I age as well?” She smiled warmly at her father.
“Father, you haven’t aged a day.” She smiled.
“What do I do now? How can I go on with your Mother?”
She would pull at his hand, hoping to tug him to his feet so that she could link her arm through his and take him for a walk through their home, something they hadn’t done in a long time.
“Father…think of it like this. You are angry now because you were both tricked. But she should have truely known you, known your heart to know that the man who was in her bed was not her husband. Once she realizes her folly, she may return. I do not pretend to know Mother’s mind, but I feel as if I know both your hearts. After all…you had me.” She smiled at him. “I may have denounced Mother, but she is still my mother. I love her, but I hate her for what she’s done to us, to you. We must have patience.” She leaned upward to kiss his cheek. “And I think I know a way to make you smile. If you would permit me?”
The Prince and his daughter walked arm in arm along the halls of the Castle Black fog, as both were trying to come to terms with the drama that had befallen them. Joffrey was slow in his step, for he saw no need to rush his daughter along. Truth be told, he felt rudderless, and his daughter was his only true comfort at this time.
The Prince was still very much in love with his wife, but one thing he could never conquer was that he had shown such jealousy in seeing her standing tall with Desmond, and they looked like a couple with a new baby…which they in fact were. Joffrey simply could not get past the fact that she had slept with another man, and bore him a son. Whether she realized she had been tricked or not, didn’t even come into the equation. Horrid images flooded his mind, of his Selene laying with Desmond, saying words of love that should have been reserved for him and him alone. He knew his anger was justified, and for a Demon lord, it was a miracle he didn’t torch the entire room in a blaze of rage and fury. Instead he had tossed the bastard child back at Desmond, and then walked out…walking away from his true love.
Amazed at the fact that Tempest was now showing such patience and using logic in her counter as to how the Prince could go on without Selene, the Prince could only offer her a half smile when she said that she knew a way to make him smile again. Kissing his cheek gently, the Prince replied.
“Remind me to shave…I must have cheeks rougher than a bristle brush.” His lame attempt at humor was his way of trying to mask the pain that was racking his mind and body. Joffrey knew she was trying to cheer him up, and he gave in.
“Alright…lead on. Let us see what you have in store.”
“You do not.” Tempest smiled, leaning her head on his shoulder as they walked. She was doing her best to keep his spirits up. It was never an nice sight when a demon gave into depression.
“Alright…lead on. Let us see what you have in store.” Nodding, she led them both out to the gardens, where just a few short days ago, a father had given his baby girl a blue elephant. She smiled with fondness as she recalled the bee and getting stung and every moment afterwards.
“My word. I was a bit of a tempermental child, wasn’t I?” she grinned as she lead him to the garden table. She indicated that he sit before she took a couple of steps back. “When I was…away…I found a way to age myself, as you can see…but I also received these.” She closed her eyes and it only took her a moment of concentration for her wings to come forth. She stretched them high overhead, releasing a deep sigh of relief at the feel of having them exposed for the first time in hours. She relaxed them at her sides and waited to see what her father would think of them.
Childhood memories, were always so good to remember, even the bad times. What troubled Joffrey however, is that by Tempest growing up overnight, that she may have missed some of the best years of her life. Growing up means responsibility.
Tempest gestured for the Prince to sit, and so he did, wondering what in the world it was that his daughter was about to show him, that would make him find his smile.
“When I was…away…I found a way to age myself, as you can see…but I also received these.”
Much to the Prince’s surprise, Tempest unfurled a beautiful set of wings. They opened up majestically behind her back, and with each beat, they got stronger. Joffrey could see that she was relieved to have them opened, and it didn’t take a fool to see why. To see her relax again, and wait patiently for his reaction, was worth the trip down out of the castle. He just sat there and shook his head.
“I always thought I knew what true beauty was, until now. Tempest, you are blessed. This does touch my heart, and makes up for the sadness of not being able to dote on you as my baby girl. You’re all grown up.”
Selene turned to stare at her daughter in shock, not believing her ears. She thought she and Desmond were a couple? Why was her family turning against her like she had an affair. Too stunned to say anything as Tempest removed her mother from her life, she stood still as a statue. When Tempest left after her harsh words, she turned to whisper to Magda “Take the baby…” The servant rushed forward to take the baby from the princess, already seeing Selene’s eyes go from blue to pitch black. As soon as the child was safe from her grasp, Selene stalked towards Desmond as though she were a jungle cat.
Desmond’s eyes widened as she prowled towards him, his hands going up defensively as he saw the look in her eyes. “Now listen, Princess…I’ve already established that your husband must have some sort of head injury…we musn’t-“ But he was cut off by Selene’s deadly quiet voice.
“Did you see my daughter? Did you see her size…how much she’s grown? Does that look like a head wound to you?”Looking over to her son, she saw how fast he was growing. Such things could only be the work of magic. And who better to perform magic than a witch and warlock. Her eyes flicked back to Desmond and her hands clenched “I know you had your hand in this…Did you dare touch me? Did you dare to take away from me that which is my very LIFE?!” As her voice rose louder and louder, the floor and walls began to shake, the windows rattling as a storm began to brew from the angel’s wrath.
The warlock began to tremble and he backed away from her “You don’t understand! I love you! I only did this for you! That…that man was taking advantage of your pure light. He cared nothing for you, only of that bitch of a daughter!”
That did it. Selene’s wings came ripping out of her gown as she then launched herself into the air. She hovered mid air while naked, only cloaked in a heavenly light that was tinted with her dark anger. Her eyes, hair, and fingertips glowed as her skin was as shiny and pale as a pearl. Staring him down, she screamed “You dare speak of my child that way? My husband?! You will curse the day you dare cross me…” Flying towards him too quickly for him to even react, she tore her claws into him and ripped him to pieces. Blood and guts flew everywhere until at last she had what she wanted. Picking up his head, she turned and spoke coldly to the guards “See to it that this head is mounted on a pike before the castle doors as a warning to those who dare cross the demon prince of the Night Lands.”
Selene was now naked and covered head to foot in blood, and she turned to look at her son while the guards took the head away to do as she asked. What she saw made her gasp. The baby she had given to Magda to hold was now a small child about the size of a ten year old holding Magda. All the magic that dissipated from Desmond when he was killed had left the warlock and was consumed by the child. He had a mop of dirty blonde hair, curls so soft and springy that Selene wanted to touch them. He looked at her with bright green eyes that held the innocence and naivety that she once had herself. Walking towards him slowly, she couldn’t take her eyes off of him “Are you…?”
He immediately stepped up to her, his arms outstretched “Mamma, are you hurt?”
Selene shook her head slowly and knelt down to scoop him into her arms “I am much better now…”
Magda smiled softly and spoke “Your carriage is ready, your grace.”
Standing up straight, all blood fell from her body to reveal her stunningly perfect form as her arms held her son. She looked like a demi-goddess from a mural as she clung to her child. Magda bowed her head reverently as The Saint Selene was now revealed. Selene smiled softly to Magda, all trace of evil gone from her soul as she carried her child out of the room naked, her wings furled around them protectively. They were going home.
As Joffrey sat admiring his daughter’s wings, Nanny came running down the hill, her skirts rising up and her face puffing from exertion.
“Joffy…Joffy…the Princess is gone. Taken her son…and…and..oh..its sickening.”
Coming up to stop just before Joffrey, and bending over to place her hands on her knees, truly winded, the Prince rose from his seat, and started to rub her back.
“The Princess and the bastard child are gone? With that Desmond creep no doubt. Good riddance!” He huffed, showing a foul expression. Nanny looked up at him, with watery eyes and a sick expression. “Desmond is going no where. Well…parts of him are in her chambers…other parts strewn about the hall, but its his head.” she exclaimed. At this Joffrey looked confused.“Bits? Head?…Eh?” He raised an eyebrow, as Nanny finally caught her breathe. “His head….its on a spike for all to see at the castle gates. Guess..the Princess and him had words?” Joffrey shot a look at his daughter, and then shrugged with a queasy look. “I always knew your Mother had a dark side….but that takes the cake, even for me. Guess he got found out.” The Prince rubbed his right eye, and then sighed. It still didn’t change the fact she bore that Warlock a son.
“So…she’s really gone. I suppose the marriage is too.”
Out at the castle gates, Minerva was seeing the fleeing Princess’s handiwork on Desmond for herself. Oh, this was bad. So the royals figured out that Desmond was the father of the bastard child. That could only mean that she herself was now in danger, if the Prince was ever to clap eyes on her. Chewing on her bottom lip, she started to pace. Back and forth like an endangered creature trapped in a cage. The witch started to pull on her own long brown hair, as she narrowed her gaze, kicking up pebbles with her shoe. How on earth was she to survive the Prince’s rage when her turn came? But just then, one of the farmer’s daughters came up from the shed, carrying a basket of corn for the kitchens. She was such a beautiful girl, with golden hair and a blush to her cheeks. Same height, same weight. Oh yes, this was perfect. The Witch sauntered over and said softly.
“You poor girl, have you walked all this way from your farm to bring the royal house their corn?” Minerva cocked her head as though feeling sorry for the girl. The young lass nodded, her shoes long since worn through.
“Aye…I would love to sit.” The Witch beamed and offered to take the basket. “Here, let me take this from you.” As she reached for the basket, she also pulled out a lock of the girl’s hair. The farmer’s daughter yelped, and the witch pretended it was an accident. “Oops. I am so clumsy at times. Don’t worry though, it will grow back.” The Farmer’s daughter than wandered off to the milk sheds to take a rest as Minerva then threw the basket of corn over her shoulder, holding the strands of hair in triumph. She snuck into the castle, and finding an empty room, she started to braid the blonde hair with her own, uttering an incantation. Slowly but surely, all of Minerva’s hair started to change to the same colour as the Farmer’s daughter. Minerva glanced in a mirror, and low and behold, she looked EXACTLY like the Farmer’s daughter. Picking up a small piece of candy from a bowl on the dresser in the room, she continued to chuckle at herself
“Hmm…little too soft for my likings, but…this will have to do.” Grinning, she blew her new image a kiss, and skipped off into the Castle proper, to see about cleaning up Selene’s room.