|The Pirate's Legacy: New Identities
Author: trustnme PM
Em left everything behind to be with Roger. Fate has other plans. While Annalyn and the Draconians bleed Tarym dry, Em must choose between duty and love as she and Roger gather the Hawks and Politickans to overthrow Annalyn. What will she choose? Sequel.Rated: Fiction M - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 46 - Words: 196,264 - Reviews: 215 - Favs: 74 - Follows: 41 - Updated: 07-09-10 - Published: 04-18-09 - Status: Complete - id: 2662220
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Close that window, Lucy. There is going to be rain tonight."
The small family silently waited as the serving maid shut the door on the gathering storm outside. The tension in the chamber was palpably thick to the point of being unbearable; the deafening silence that followed the closed window was only disrupted by the sound of suppressed tears coming from her mistress, whose face was hidden behind an embroidered handkerchief. Lucy made sure to keep her eyes lowered when she turned around and bowed; first to her master and mistress, and then to their last surviving son, before she picked up her skirts and scurried out of the chamber.
Cecil waited for the door to close behind Lucy before he unwillingly refocused his attention on the young man standing in front of him. Cicero had come into his parents' apartments at this late hour uninvited, just when Cecil and his wife Selene were about to retire for the night. The news he'd brought with him had sent his parents' world roiling underneath them. It still was.
Cecil coldly appraised his son. "And how long have I until the Guard comes for me?"
A low moan escaped from Selene's hidden mouth. She shut her pale eyes as if mortally wounded by those words.
Cicero, ignoring his mother, answered, "You have until dawn."
A deep chasm of helplessness overwhelmed Cecil. He slowly sank against the edge of the table that was behind him. A million scenes swam over his vision, of what the Queen's Guard would do to him. He looked up at his son. Cicero's pale features were carefully constructed into apathy at his dire situation. Slowly, fury bubbled inside of Cecil.
"Is he at the head of all this?" he shouted.
Before Cicero could answer, his mother suddenly cried out. Both he and his father were taken aback as she stumbled toward him.
"My son, my son," gasped Selene as she fell in his arms. "I beg you to intercede with the queen on your father's behalf—"
"Enough!" shouted Cecil with savagery. He strode forward and yanked Selene out of Cicero's wooden arms. "I will not have my honor torn to shreds by groveling pardon for that vile who—"
"Careful, Father, you speak treason," warned Cicero sternly. His green eyes, which he inherited from Cecil, glared at the old man.
"Father? You condescend to call me that title?" Cecil growled.
Selene's anguished cries grew louder. She threw herself into Cecil's arms. She clung to him, beseeching him to take back his words. "He is our son! He is our flesh and blood, my lord. I beg of you, we must stay together—"
"He is no longer any son of mine!" Cecil shouted savagely.
Cicero turned his eyes on his mother, his mouth pressed in a grim line. "The queen is sparing you, Mother," he sullenly reassured her as if none of her words had registered on him. "Fear not for your safety."
With one arm, Cecil thrust his wife behind his back, his body acting like a shield against the callousness of this traitor standing before them. Cecil shook an angry fist at him. "She murdered first the King Regent, gods of Tarym safeguard his soul, and then had Emelia murdered. Why do you follow her?" he demanded.
A tremor moved over Cicero's face at the mention of Emelia's name. He lowered his head so that his wild hair partially covered his guilty eyes. "The queen had nothing to do with Em's disappearance, Father," he said softly. "I did it." He lifted his eyes to meet the confused expressions of both his parents. With as few words as possible, he confessed to kidnapping the second princess after seeing for himself how the queen had indirectly killed Arturus Quiesco. Selene sank to the ground as he explained how he'd rashly given Em over to a rogue pirate, figuring it was better than hiding her somewhere in Tarym where the queen could find her through her spies.
"I found her in Politicka last year when the queen sent a royal message to the High Council through me. She was still with the pirates when I found her," Cicero finished. He dared not mention that the pirates he'd found Em among were men of the infamous Dread Pirate Robin. Even now, he still couldn't keep plaguing thoughts of what that monster had done to her from crossing his mind.
Selene's voice trembled as she asked, "H-How do you know she is still alive? It was a year ago you said you found her."
"The queen has secretly issued bounty posters for Em's return," Cicero explained. "None have surfaced in the public because the bounty is known to only to underground dealers, hence why everyone here still believes Em as dead. As far as my recent knowledge goes, none have yet to find neither hair nor a sighting of Em, so I can only assume the pirates she's with don't know of the bounty and are in hiding somewhere keeping her alive."
"Or she is dead—"
"Her body would have turned up," Cicero quickly countered his father's accusation. His voice began to crack with each word he uttered. "The bounty was issued for alive or dead. If the pirates had figured out who she was, they would have at least sent us back Em's body." Cicero swallowed down the hard lump that had risen in his throat. He shook away the possibility that Em could be dead, as his father's diamond-hard green eyes were damning him with. He couldn't give up hope of seeing her again.
Cecil shook his head vigorously. "You have not answered my question as to why are you following that whore after all the reasons you just gave for saving Emelia," he said angrily.
"I have a deal with her," said Cicero coldly. "In return for Em's life. Do you believe I enjoy serving her? I do all this for Em."
Cecil stared at him, not believing one word of his vague explanation, easily finding and reading every hidden secret behind them. Cecil's face began to turn purple. He swiped his arm in the air. "Get out of this room," he ordered. "Get out! Get out! Everything that you have done since kidnapping the princess has all been for power. That is your deal, is it not? Let yourself be a pawn for that Draconian whore, accept all the power that you have ever sought that she gives you, and in return, obstruct the Princess Emelia from her true birthright! She is Arturus's heir! You are no longer a part of this family. Sirius was a better son. You are a traitor to this family and Emelia!"
At the mention of his late brother, Cicero erupted. "And how did Sirius end up? Dead! The fool blindly followed your footsteps and ended up on the end of a Draconian sword. I, a traitor? Who is the one about to be on the run, my lord?" he hissed. "Salamus is coming for you at dawn, not I!"
Cecil took a step back as if he were recoiling from a venomous snake. Yet he regained his ground, standing up straight and proud. "Emelia Quiesco is the rightful queen!" His voice rang defiantly throughout the chamber.
Cicero sneered. "This is the same treasonous thinking that has forced the queen's hand on you. Had you kept your mouth shut instead of forming your little political alliances and factions behind our backs, you could have been greatly rewarded for your wisdom and continued council."
"GET OUT!" Cecil bellowed. "How dare you speak to me like this? I should have drowned you as a babe had I known you'd betray me, betray the entire kingdom like this!"
But Cicero continued his condemnation of his father. "With you gone, it won't be long until those alliances fail, those factions crushed," he said maliciously. "Like all other opposition that have arisen, she will wipe out your allies as easily as pushing away a spider's fragile web—"
From his belt, Cecil unsheathed his sword. With a speed astonishing for a man his age, he put its sharp tip to Cicero's throat. His bright green gaze never left the young man's stunned face as he quietly commanded him to leave. "Never come back; never speak to your mother ever again. The gods always have a way in punishing the wicked," he said vehemently.
Cicero's face reformed into a mask of loathing as he carefully stepped away from the sword. His eyes never left it until the former soldier in front of him had slid it back into its sheath. Cicero did not leave immediately. He watched his father bend down and help his mother back onto her feet. Cicero watched with partial shock and partial envy as Cecil wrapped his arms around Selene, holding her in a very rare act of tenderness. It was this tenderness that surprised Cicero the most, for not since his brother's death did he see his father be this way towards his mother, not even in private. Seeing this now angered Cicero beyond anything else he'd encountered with his parents tonight. With one last hateful look on the old couple, he turned on his heel and left them.
Cecil moved a little away from Selene, though he kept his arms encircled around her. "You must immediately make arrangements for Hesper," he told her quickly and in a low voice. "Stay as far away from court as long as possible. Return home to the manor."
"What will you do, my lord?" Selene demanded her husband worriedly.
"First, I must warn our allies that it is time for them to go into hiding. I shall also tell them that Princess Emelia Quiesco could still be alive," he began. "Then, I will go west and find Demitri Phoenicus. He is the leader of the Hawks."
"The rebels?" said Selene, horrified.
Cecil shook his head rapidly from side to side. "I cannot say more. After I find Demitri, I shall go to Politicka, straight to the capital. The Draconians are no longer our problem alone, and the Poltickans do not know it because their ambassador here has been milking from the snake's fangs for half a year now. The High Council must be warned of the campaign to take over not just our kingdom but their empire as well."
"And Emelia?" Selene asked softly. "Will you seek her, as well?"
Cecil let out a deep breath. "I will try my best to see if there may be any leads to Emelia's whereabouts. Yet keep in mind Emelia has not been seen for a year. She could have been taken somewhere else by now. I have a feeling that traitor was not straightly honest with his story."
Selene clutched the front of his nightgown. "Please, find her at all costs," she begged. "She is Tarym's only hope. The gods spared her. I can feel it. This is Their doing."
"May the gods bless you in all your endeavors," Cecil hoarsely murmured before he placed a cool kiss on his wife's forehead.
"May the gods lead you safely," Selene whispered.
Cecil extricated himself from his wife. He regretfully said his farewell, feeling a cold dread as if they were his last words to her, before he left her.