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Lunadrakla

Broken Tears

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Finally reaching the cold stones that welcomed anyone who wished to have a desolate moment alone, the entity inside Topaz quickly took the girl's body to the room that had been allowed to her for their trip to this event. Her hands faltering around the handles that took more precise concentration than just moving the legs. Few moments she stumbled over something that appeared to be beyond the sight of entity staring out her eyes.

It had been so long since she had to do this for the child that the entity had near on forgotten how difficult it was. Eventually she managed to get to the room where she didn't even bother to close the door behind her. Movements sluggish from slow steps brought the body to the bed where she simply lay down and stopped moving. A giant sigh escaped the doll still tied to Topaz's side.

The mists inside her body swam about in a chaotic cloud. The only thing that seemed to keep the mists from escaping was a silvery light the surrounded the edges. Looking into each swirl brought glimpses of pictures and voices. Each one telling a story and a memory. Deep in the recesses two souls. One of unearthly beauty, the other of a peasant that had worked her own rough edges. The angel speaking and trying to bring Topaz to pull herself together.

Outside her body lay, staring at the ceiling with empty eyes and barely any breath. Slowly from beneath the folds of the blanket a small puppet pulled itself from its place of rest. The blond lush mane mimicking Ben in every movement as he moved to sit and observe his maker in silent revere.

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Silver tresses lay hanging mostly off the bed as the length of her hair didn't allow it to follow onto the cushioned cradle as easily as it might if it had been of shorter length. The entire left side of her body was marred with dark runes burnt into her flesh as if acid had been used to decorate her skin instead of paint. Each one of an old power and each speaking of the heavenly angel that possessed her body. They allowed her to use holy magic without using words or hand signals.

The plum dress that Topaz had worn to the tournament now lay roughed and bunched about her knees as the angel hadn't even taken the time to properly lay out the dress before collapsing on the bed. Her hands even laying haphazardly along her body. Her skin never one to be full of life except two nights ago when Lucis began to show her she was still alive, even if he never knew it, but now it mirrored the color of a corpse while dark circles became visible that were so carefully hidden among everyone else.

Topaz's life had been a childhood to never forget. Mother passing upon her birth and a father's skill with puppets only growing in mastery. He chose to take the traveling road then stay with the rich and tell their stories. They started small and soon had a wagon that they traveled in all over the lands. Her small skill of drawing nothing in her father's eyes as her voice back then gave her the natural ability of mockery and ventriloquism. Her timing still off and always off, she was resigned to taking care of her father while he gradually became more and more obsessed with his work.

Her life was fine till that dreadful day. The day her errands took her to the woods and her kindness directing bandits to the town where her father stayed. When she returned there was only smoke and ash. Bodies burnt or cut to ribbons. Each thing about it something she could live with, something she could over come. But the moment she found the master marionette demolished down to just an artful doll, the curse was passed to her. A curse her father and mother shared.

The last moments of her father coming to her in a wave and in response she shared his death by dying with him in those moments. Some were never built to withstand dieing a death as someone else, she was one of them and her soul had simply fallen apart at the pressure it had placed upon her. The angel was there to pull her together and now she was back, trying to put the pieces back once more. Had it been the memories coming to life again? Or was it the connection she felt with the DuGrace family?

Topaz only wanted to lay down and die her mind never wanting to pick up the reins and go through hell within this life all over. Her will and soul lay shattered within this fictional scenery within her head and heart showing that each piece was smaller than before. The angel had to ponder if this was the way, will Topaz ever be able to stand up to the harshness of this world? The girl was wonderful with letting things slip away but there were things that happened and were just the effects of mortality upon the lands. If so, they would have to work harder to find the cure for her predicament.

The only two things holding life to this girl at the moment seemed to only be a body full of health and suppressed vigor and an angel holding on tight to her best chance as salvation since her own tragic moment.

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Outside of their inner world, the guards had finally arrived. Their steps taking to catch up with the culprit that had presented a danger to not only the Queen's Guest but their Queen as well. The entire story was not told yet, but precautions had to be taken for they didn't want to lose their Queen again due to simply letting someone off due to their status. They had talked this over among themselves before. That even if it was one of the DuGrace members that attack Gabriela they would react as if it was a stranger.

This threat was the new Governess for the small princess. Her stature only gaining her access to a few new places rather than anything exponential. The woman had been a mute puppeteer, who would have guessed that she had the power to hurt one of the High Lords! Each movement they made was cautious and calculated. Perhaps that was why the sullen sight of Topaz throw them off guard so much. They had rushed to her room, found the door wide open, and something similar to evidence that someone had gotten to her first or at least they were suspicious of that.

The woman barely moved and her body looked like it was on death's doorstep. The only thing they could do was send for a healer and place guards about her room. A few in the hall, some outside her window, and two inside. A few pondering which was worse, not apprehending a threat safely or possibly failing to prevent harm from coming to the threat/Governess. Each of them silently telling themselves that they did not want to be the one to tell the family nor the Knights that were so prominent here at Drakiss because of the tournament.

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[box]A few hours later[/box]
Topaz now lay within her bed, her clothing sent to be cleaned and mended. The small body of the woman tucked under the covers with the dolls settled across the room. The covers tucked up her chin where her cloud of hair was the only thing showing the difference between her pale skin and the white sheets and pillows. Burn ointment applied to the markings and bandages on her hand.

The healer was not in a happy mood. Not only was he not allowed to take the young governess up to his clinical wing, but the guards were standing over him no matter what he did. The woman was malnourished, in shock, and had obviously suffered a severe trauma at some point. He wanted to place her under constant watch and care till they could fix her but at that moment it was more of a will thing than just sickness to be cured.

Broth was nearly constantly being placed into the woman as he argued with the guards about the necessity of moving her. The only thing he could manage to get accomplished was that if the royal family permitted it, then they would allow Topaz to be moved. An exaggerated sigh later, he was off to find the first DuGrace he could locate and speak to them about the lock down of the Governess in the pretense of her being under arrest for threatening the Queen.

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[FONT=Garamond][COLOR="#800000"][box]Lucis Angelus DuGrace[/box]

Lucis had meant to go to his room and to hide out for the next few days. He was suddenly feeling very disheartened and wanted nothing more than to leave Drakiss and find somewhere else where he could be useful. Thoughts of Izabal filled his mind, and of the upcoming project he would soon be working on with his new partner. This was enough to calm the vicious self-loathing that was threatening to break free from just below the surface of his exterior. His mind focused on bathing, eating, and sleeping—and that carried him through the motions of marching into KingsHill and up the steps that lead to the royal wing, except he was interrupted halfway up the rather grand staircase.

A medic, a man of heeling, came to the prince and quickly explained the situation. Lucis, who had seen a little of all the commotion felt himself grow weary—until he heard that Topaz was being kept under guard and that medical care was being prevented from reaching her, or her from reaching it. Suddenly he was enraged and all the pent up frustration he felt from having to walk away from Cicely came rearing back, more ugly and vicious than before.

“What?!”

And then he was gone, utilizing a terrible speed that wasn’t often allowed to be seen. Now he was within her room, having past without a word or without notice by the knights who stood guard. It wasn’t until he was standing over her head that anyone would notice anything at all. And when they finally did, those within the room immediately went down upon a knee, bowing their heads in respect. It was an odd custom, and one that Lucis was not particularly fond of, but he was far too upset to correct them at this moment. All the men within the room thought that the Prince was here to avenge his mother and the High Lord, but much to their surprise, when Lucis leaned over the sleeping girl it was not to wrap his burning fingers around her neck. Instead, he carefully pulled her into his arms, blankets and all, and pressed her to his chest where he was certain the tightly controlled heat of his body would warm and comfort her.

“My Lord,” said one of the men, lifting the visor of his helmet, “she made an attempt against the Queen’s life!”

Lucis clenched his jaw and shot a glare at the man, “that is untrue, and you are now charged with ensuring that anyone that has heard such a vicious rumor is unformed of the truth. This woman attempted to save the Queen from what she perceived to be a danger—which is by far more than any of you did! Now get out of my way, I am taking her to get what she needs.” And then he was walking out, careful now to carry the girl as gently as possible and always minding her head so that he did not bump it as he walked through doors and hallways—toward the medic wing.
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Topaz felt nothing. There was nothing outside of this shard filled world that she lay in and there was no reason for her to continue this wretched life. Her family gone and her friends nonexistent. There was only the doll that was left by her parents and life that appeared to pass by her in the form of a dream. The only thing that felt real to her was the warmth. A fire that seemed to so far out of her reach yet even thinking about it brought that warmth inside her body.

The angel sat there cradling the child that was slowly deteriorating in her hands. The will to live was a great force yet losing it was even more deadly than the strongest poison. She could sense that her cage had been moved across the room. She could sense the guards holding stares of anger towards the failing shell. She was even aware when the DuGrace Prince appeared over them. Wait!? The Prince? What was he doing here?

Of all times for him to show up it had to be now. He was part of the reason the child was falling apart now. His seductive ways sealing her mind with poison. She wanted to take over Topaz's body and eliminate this silver tongued demon from the world right that instant but she didn't have the strength to operate a magically exhausted body. All she could do was sit there and watch, wait, and pray he would trip over one of the guard's swords.

No chance was there though as he picked the silver haired girl from the bed, her body cradled in his arms where the unnatural warmth of his body enveloped her. Just as he managed to shock those guarding Topaz, he shocked the angel as the heat seemed to work as a salve against the ebbing life. Each shard of memory and self slowly melted away as the icy world seemed to drip free. The ice age turning to tropics right before her eyes.

Before the entity could pull herself together the images slowly faded away as the distance between her and her host grew. She wanted to flail out, cry for him to come back, but before any opportunity came, she was locked once more in the lifeless wooden body.

Topaz's body that at first looked so dead and ready to pass on, was beginning to gain a look of life. Color flushed into her skin as the lively glow took to her where it had once been forgotten. If she hadn't been trapped by the thick blankets, she might have tried to burrow closer to the healing warmth. Inside her body, everything was slowly coming together trying to bring the girl to the world once more.

It wouldn't be till they reached the medical wing that her breathing deepened and a small whimper slip from her lips. What Topaz didn't know was the warmth she thought was only a memory and desire was indeed real. A woman's first crush taking life without her.

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[FONT=Garamond][COLOR="#800000"][box]Lucis Angelus DuGrace[/box]

Lucis moved like a man possessed. With great care did he carry the small body in his arms, but all while wearing an expression that caused more than a few guards to turn away before questioning his actions. One man came bearing papers, having seen the Prince and deciding that he would intervene with matters of state while he had the chance. It wasn’t until he had caught up with the Prince that he saw the woman in his arms, looking rather pale and sickly. The bureaucrat suddenly stopped, papers needing a royal signature still clutched under his arm, but it was too late and what he received for his trouble was a hateful glare that made him shrink away.

The Black Prince could hear that faint heartbeat—he could feel how it grew dull and struggled against some internal pain that he could not fix. It drove him mad, made him pull the young woman closer into his chest, embracing her all the tighter—though still with extraordinary care and restraint. There was a sort of desperation in the way he held Topaz. It spoke volumes of a man who had lost too much, or perhaps more so of a man who had never had anything. He carried with him a deep need to protect, and the thought of losing this young life for whatever reason was making his own heart thunder. It was as if his heart were trying to speak to hers, to beat right through the wall of his chest—through bone, flesh, and scale, only to remind hers that it was wonderful to be alive.

“Com’on,” he whispered harshly, glancing down for a moment to the pale face that was slowly but surely beginning to pick up color, “—that’s it, com’on.” He gave her a little shake just as he took to a wide spiral stair case that lead him into the medic’s hall where the same man whom had revealed all that had happened was already waiting.

“This way—this way!” called the short and very stout man.

Just as Lucis crossed the threshold, Topaz groaned, nothing more but a tiny and rather pathetic sound. Still Lucis felt himself release a deep sigh he had been holding for what felt like hours. The medic pointed to a metal-framed bed. It was tall and covered in fine but simple white sheets that looked sterile and cold. After pulling the sheets away with one hand he carefully laid Topaz down, allowing her to cling to the blankets that kept her modest.

“What’s wrong with her?” Lucis asked the medic, sitting besides Topaz who still appeared to be in and out of dreams.
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The groan was the first sign that Topaz once held a voice since her father's death. It was brief and for now the last as she slowly began to come back into awareness of her body. The thundering sound next to her ear that cried out to her of its anguish, the burning heat that might have been uncomfortable for some but to her was like a comforting swath to a colic child. She didn't want to lose it and the fear of it being lost became that much more real to as the chillness of a foreign cradle attempted to engulf her body. She wanted to fight against the restraints holding her from grasping the warmth but the strength still remained lost.

There was something familiar about the heat and the smell but it wasn't till her eyes cracked open and she saw his face did she realize why. But to have the Prince leaning over her like that as he settled her against the sterile sheets would have been a dream more than reality. His attention had been for others more than her. Nour had been similar but she did not know how similar. The elf invoked strange feelings but she had been so out of touch that she didn't and still hadn't connected the thought with the emotion. Something about Lucis' touch worked to bring her free from the daze she had been floating it.

Not having the capacity to think, she found only selfish thoughts in her head. Lips parting slightly, she wanted to call out to him not to leave but nothing came forth. Pain slipped over her face as she tried once more to call out him. With still only the sound of the stranger's voice filling the air, only tears could leak from her golden eyes. Tears that had forever been gone now finding themselves pouring from her like a valve broken open. Soon what she was crying about had been forgotten for that many tears could not fall for just the want of comfort from a handsome fellow.

The medic that had been quick to find her help was quick to give a surface diagnosis as they had just gotten her to the medical wing where further tests could be done. Her body malnourished, her body burnt from some magical influence though the look of the burns gave thought that it might have been from a backlash or over usage. There was also evidence of emotional shock, though that was merely a guess from the lack of responses from her during the initial check over. In all ways with the knowledge of resources available the young Governess seemed to either lack any attention to her own care or she was losing the intention or will to live.

His attention would be slowly be pulled to the occupant of the bed though as the body heaved with the onslaught of tears. His first point of interest was to do another check up and determine if the activity was only a brief lapse in her condition.

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[FONT=Garamond][COLOR="#800000"][box]Lucis Angelus DuGrace[/box]

It did not strike Lucis as strange that she had produced that feeble little sound—a groan of pain and anguish. His mind was too wrapped up with concern over her wellbeing, and so this very important piece of evidence slipped right out of his fingers and mind. Instead, he allowed relief to wash over him as he saw the lids of her eyes slowly flutter open to reveal the dull gold hiding beneath. Though she looked afraid and bewildered, he could not help a cheerful smile from forming, a thing of happiness as the young woman began to move about under the straight white sheets that held her down.

“Shh—don’t try to move,” he urged her as she looked back up at him with such a lungful and sad expression that he could not help but seek out a way to comfort her. Though her hands were under the sheets, he reached out and placed his own wider and hotter fingers atop of hers. Through the white sheets he gave her a squeeze before reaching up to touch her face.

The hot surface of his palm and the rough pads of his fingertips pressed first to her forehead, then to her cheeks, and then with all the care of one looking after a child, he pushed some hair out of her face. All the while the medic walked about them, examining the young woman while calling out a laundry list of illnesses that seemed to be afflicting the pretty young governess.

It struck Lucis as odd, which showed in the way that his brows pinched and his expression hardened, that she would be so unwilling to care for herself. He was more than certain that Topaz had food to eat, and money to spend, being in the service of the DuGrace Family, and yet here he sat with her hearing how the girl was starved and her heart too weak to take a moment of unsettledness. It made him look at her harshly—but only because he cared, and only because he was concerned—for right below the surface of his disapproving gaze was something tender and frightened. He looked worried—worried sick in fact, over her health.

“What happened Topaz?” He asked gently once the medic had finally stopped speaking. Leaning down, once again settling to brush back her hair from her face, he sought to comfort the frightened girl who now lay upon a bed of cold white. All the while his silver brows knitted together with mounting concern, “—what happened with the Queen?”
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She found her breath catching as Lucis laid his fiery warm hand upon hers. Even though a sheet lay between them, it felt like his touch was a spark that lit the trail of gunpowder along her arm. The burning fuse leaving every inch sensitive and aching. Yet at the same time, she feared what might happen if he did listen to her body as it spiraled out of her field of understanding.

To her unwanted relief his hand instead moved to her face where Topaz was sure it would feel so much nicer. It might have felt so much better to her than it did upon her hand, but its effects were nearly as unnerving as it had been to her arm. The heat spread from his fingertips across her cheeks down about her neck and deep into her chest. Yet simultaneously she could feel the blanket of sleep try to drink up what was left working in her mind.

Her eyelids drifted closed while tilting her face deeper into the Prince's palm where the singular point of comfort was coming to her so pleasantly. Perhaps that was the reason she missed the disheartening look that he used to scold her. Topaz was finding her body waking more from the drifting nightmare she had been trapped in for so long. Just as sleep might have taken her too far to hear the music of his words, he began his questions.

The first one brought a moment of confusion except it was dashed away as she found someone asking her for the first time what the items that might be ailing her would be. She might have even started telling him had he not turned the question in a different direction bring her from the pleasant idea that he cared for her thoughts. Eyes opening to stare up at him, Topaz found harsh scolding eyes glaring back at her. The look enough to send cold chills through the heat he previously placed in her skin.

[I]What happened with the Queen?[/I] .....Yes that would be his position. To find out what happened with his mother. Once more she found fantasy set to the back burner. Now she found her mind slipping back to recall what had happened with the Queen. Fingers of her left hand wiggled free from the covers to lay upon Lucis' arm where she could draw the figures for her story. [B]When I entered the box, I saw the dragon trying to climb up Queen Gabriela's dress...I think. The man grabbed him and tried to throw him out before forcing himself on her. She tried to fight, but he was too strong....[/B]

Actually thinking of it that way, hadn't someone told her that Queen Gabriela was a vampire? So wouldn't that keep anyone of normal means from harming her or overtaking her? Had they been merely playing and she interrupted them? [B]He...he...he might not have been hurting her, but his face was changing and I...something came...somewhere I got...I don't know what happened, a light came to me and I used it to stop him.[/B]

What had the light been? Where did it come from? She tried reaching inside where it had come from before, the flicker could be felt yet it remained out of reach, its flame too weak to touch at this point. Perhaps instead she should just poke at that subject later when there would be less people likely to get hurt. Instead she focused her eyes on the pretty face of the man hovering over her.

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[FONT=Garamond][COLOR="#800000"][box]Lucis Angelus DuGrace[/box]

If only he had insight into her mind, then he would have swept the sweet girl up into his arms, and kissed her silly worries away. Of course he was concerned for his mother, but unlike the multitude that surrounded the Black Queen, Lucis had learned to trust in her and her actions. And so it was that he was here for Topaz—learning what had happened with the Queen was just a way of understanding why she had been kept under guard when she had needed medical attention. The poor silly girl was lucky that he couldn’t read her mind for more than hugs and kisses; he might well have throttled her for being so insensitive!

Fortunately, no such thing would happen, instead—she would wiggle free of her covers and take his arm. He was dressed in a fine black coat, one that reached his wrists where it was cuffed with golden links that matched his eyes. Still, he felt her flesh over the material, though he urged her small hand down so that her fingers would make their lovely letters directly against the flesh of his open palm. There, once she was settled, he tilted his head and bunched his brows together and began to carefully study the letters she made until he had strung together words, then sentences, and finally understanding.

“You were trying to defend her?” he said softly, his golden gaze lifting and setting on her pretty pale face. She looked so very sickly that it made his heart ache—just last night she had been smiling and dining with him, now she was bedridden. She’d been so close to death that he found it hard to keep his gaze focused on her face.

“You stupid—stupid girl,” he said breathlessly before turning his hand around and trapping her fingers by interlocking them with his. “I suppose this man had black wings?” he waited for confirmation, which would of course come, because Lucis already knew it was Zenahriel who had forced his mother to drink his blood. The damn fool thought it a kindness, but in reality he proved only to be a weakness to the Black Queen’s conviction against taking human blood.

“The Black Queen is strong,” he said then, his voice soothing as he pulled Topaz gently by the hand, forcing her to sit up. Once she was, and because she’d probably be too weak to hold herself up, he would slip closer to her, and slightly behind so that she would fall, rest against his chest, while he held her.

The medic, who until now had been minding his own business, looked up. “That’s a good idea,” he said briskly, “—she’s cold as ice, we need to get her warm.”

Lucis nodded, “I’ll help with that.”

His arms found her shoulders, rubbed up and down her slender arms, trying to force warmth back into her jolted muscles and bones. “Why don’t you bring something for her to eat? Maybe some hot broth—whatever you think she can handle. She won’t be going through another night with an empty belly.”

“Very good Majesty,” said the man before excusing himself.
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Was she trying to defend the Queen? No. She might have been attacking the man, but there was more to it. She was sure her attack might have been more revenge than saving anyone. Yet Topaz didn't know all that right that moment. Her thoughts were merely flickering about till Lucis lead them to their next location. It might have been that simple if the next words to slip from his mouth was calling her stupid.

She didn't even notice her fingers falling to his trap, pale brows slipping together while her eyes widened. Confusion and shock obvious on her face as she felt completely lost as where he was coming at her with assumptions on her intelligence. Once more he took her out of limbo to the situation with his mother and the man. If he had wings....Now that she thought about it he did, but even so how did that give any right to this man to call her stupid? Faint images presented her with the knowledge that what she did had been enough to let the Queen get away.

Topaz nearly argued the point when Lucis flipped on her again. His accusing tone now becoming gentle and pushing the fight from her. The same time she felt the strength within him pull her withered body from the bed, when did he have her hand so securely? And what was the entire purpose behind all of this? He, himself said the Black Queen was strong, so why was he here? What did he intend for her now?

Never once did she notice that her body was free of clothing nor that the motion of lifting her from the horizontal position caused the blankets to fall free. She wanted to sit up on her own. She really did, yet as her body stiffened to support her own weight the effort was nearly useless. The only thing she could manage was to slip her free arm down where it leveraged for some independent support. The long silver tresses spilling around her body providing her with an amount of modesty till the force of his stronger frame pushed its way within its cover. The cloud like silk caressing the cloth of his coat while her naked back melted back into his warmth with a silent relief.

Topaz was quickly losing any reason or logic to care what he was doing. Or even fight against it. His hands running along her arms, she briefly noticed the lessened warmth about her right side as the bandages over the burns kept him from touching flesh to flesh. Once more she began to notice the exhaustion about her body and the coldness of the room they were in. And she even noticed the ache in her gut that spoke to her of her many nights without eating unless someone dragged her to eat. Then there was only the bird like portions that she consumed for manners to those taking her.

She could feel the starchy sheet in her lap and the soothing feel of fabric from his coat yet the hardness of the buttons that pressed against her bony flesh. The warmth was once more something that she couldn't get out of her thoughts. It was something she wanted all around her as it made everything so much more bearable. Topaz's head rolled to the side while her legs pulled up some. Her body working to press closer to his chest where the greater extent of his heat radiated from. Her fingers weakly finding a palm on its decent about her arm. Paying no mind to the conversation he was having with other man in the room, she began spelling, [B] Why are you so warm[/B]?

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[FONT=Garamond][COLOR="#800000"][box]Lucis Angelus DuGrace[/box]

Not one to take advantage of any individual when they were in a weakened state, Lucis took care to pull the covers back up. He helped her, until she had a hold of them so that they came up under her arms and covered her breasts. Of course, his golden eyes had seen the smooth flesh of her belly, the gentle valley between her breasts. But if he had any thoughts about this, if he approved or disapproved, it did not show on his face, which only continued to hold the same expression of concern. Once he was certain that she was comfortable, and that she was fully feeling the effect of the warmth that radiated off his flesh--only then did he loosen his hold about her. Now she would be free to readjust, to move this way or that, and if she wished to pull away completely.

But while she didn't fight, his wide hands continued to rub her arms--trying to force some warmth back into her icy flesh. The trepidation of her thoughts was palpable, but he choose not to pursue anymore questions or conversation. Surely, she had to come to terms with everything that happened on her own time. Lucis had learned what he wanted--and what he had always known--the young woman had never made an attempt against the Queen. Though, had he a view into her heart and into the creature that inhabited her, then perhaps he wouldn't be so certain of her trustworthiness. For now though, Lucis was just as perplexed in his mounting interesting, but he blamed it on a love for his sister, for he was aware of how much little Raspberry loved Topaz. Not a day had gone by that the crimson-eyed child did not come screeching into his mind through the bloodhound asking how Topaz was. It seemed at times that Raspberry cared more for her golden-eyed nanny than for her golden-eyed mother.

While his mind had drifted, Topaz had shifted and was now pressing closer against his chest. It was an odd sensation, but one that Lucis welcomed. Though he was often a source of comfort, rarely was it in such a physical sense. Perhaps that's what moved him so about this girl--so much so--that when she peered up and he looked down upon her, he found himself fighting the urge to kiss her.

She had a lovely face, though there was something tragic and sad in her features. For a moment his right hand stopped traveling up and down her arm and instead, the back of three fingers brushed along her cheek. He thought of saying something, but figured the words would be meaningless--after all--here was a woman who lived in a world of silence. Perhaps actions would speak louder than words then, perhaps the softness that stole the sharp and smoldering sheen of his golden gaze was enough to reveal that she [i]moved[/i] him.

Boldly she took his hand and began to spell out words. Sadly he looked away from her face and down to his open hand, far more interested in watching the way her fingers danced along back and forth. When she was done, and her face turned up to his, her question floated in his mind. Then he frowned and looked at her a bit more closely, "do you know what I am Topaz?"

He shifted, reached up with his free hand and began to smooth her silver hair down against her bare back. It struck him then--how similar they were in appearance. Both with golden eyes, though his were a bit more lit up--and both with sheets of silver hair. It made him smile, "--are you part dragon too? We look the same, you and I, look--" he shook his head, his own silver hair spilling over a broad shoulder, against her arm. Her question was answered, but offhandedly, as if it were not important.

Truth was--Lucis was always uncomfortable talking about his patronage. [/COLOR][/FONT]

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Topaz felt the slight loss as her question had pulled the Prince's eyes from her own. She had to admit that his drops of gold were pieces of the sun she could happily stare into all day. He did answer her though, with questions of his own. Her head slightly turning from side to side to answer him about...well, both. She didn't know what he was at that point. She had briefly wondered on it as he didn't resemble the paleness and dark locks of young Raspberry or the Queen. Maybe she had considered him adopted. But the idea of him being a dragon was totally coming at her from left field.

The only dragon she had met so far happened to be that frightening creature that followed the Queen around and for a horrified moment, she was afraid it might have been the thing that spawned the wonderful man holding her at this very moment. But that idea was dashed with fear and disgust. There was no way Lucis could have a parent like that animal. Perhaps it was a dragon from legends, sung to her by bards when she had traveled with her father. Those were more likely a canadite. Only where was this father now? Or maybe Lucis was a still an adopted child...

Reaching up with her bandaged hand, she realized, painfully that it was not going to be any help to her. Cringing slightly, she let the bandaged limb drop back before letting his hand go long enough to feel the Prince's own hair, the silver offering too tempting to dismiss. Only once she had taken a moment to enjoy the feel of his mane, did she let go and return her hand to his. [B]I am no dragon. My hair used to be black...before my....father died. That was when I got my silver hair...and lost my voice.[/B]

She couldn't believe it! She had just told this man...this Prince about her hair and her voice! Something she had not done for anyone! Topaz could now only sit there and wonder how this was to effect her situation. Would it chase Lucis away?

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[FONT=Garamond][COLOR="#800000"][box]Lucis Angelus DuGrace[/box]

It was always fascinating to learn about others, specifically when it shifted interest away from him. And so it was, that as the young woman began to inscribe her delicate letters in the palm of his hand; Lucis tilted his head closer to hers and read each one carefully. By the time she finished there was a perplexed look upon his face, which shifted from his open hand to her lovely face. It seemed, by the look on her face, that she too was taken aback by her sudden confession, which he responded to by immediately reaching up to stroke her cheek and pull her closer to his chest soothing any concern that may arise from revealing such a thing.

“Shh,” he urged the golden-eyed girl as she grew tense in his grasp. It was obvious that this was a secret she had carried for a long time and that having revealed it was immediately taken as a mistake. But Lucis wanted to change her opinion the matter—because if there was one thing he understood, it was that there was no pain more soul-crushing than having to hide what one truly was.

After allowing her a moment to assimilate what had happened, and only once the thundering of her heart had calmed somewhat, only then did Lucis venture to speak, “—you had a voice once?” He knew the answer, but wanted to make sure he understood, and after she gave him a nod of her head, only then would he move on to the question he was burning to ask, “—what happened? Why did you lose it?”

Expecting her answer, he opened his hand and set it down on her lap, the other hand remained wrapped about the gentle girl. Still he provided warmth that was far more useful than blankets, for his heat was easy to soak and drove right into her tortured muscles and aching bones. The fingers of his free hand worked on her shoulder, rubbing softly and massaging the tense muscles below her fragile porcelain skin. How could anyone overlook such a beauty? How could she be so invisible in the court of the Black Queen when she had been in such obvious need of help?

Lucis was angry—but he didn’t let it show now. Eventually there would be hell to pay, but tonight was for healing, tonight was for making things right, and he would make things right by finally allowing Topaz to be seen and heard.

“You don’t have to tell me,” he assured her as he saw the look of doubt and trepidation that crossed her face, “—but I’d like it if you did. I’d like to know more about you Topaz. I would like to help you.”
[/COLOR][/FONT]

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