Cassiel pulled on a jacket and began his walk to Sakura's house. Why he had ever agreed to meet her at her house again was beyond him, but he had and he couldn't go back on his word. He could have made an excuse, but he had a feeling, she would have ended up wherever he went.
He stood in front of her house and waited. A few minutes passed and she came out. Wearing a blue off the shoulder dress with a red circular gem centered at her neck. The sleeves were long and petal shaped. Once side was slit up to her elbow. The torso of the dress hugged her and the bottom floated above her knees. A red think line circled the bottom of the dress and she wore blue shoes with a red gem on them. Her dark brown hair flowed around her. Her leaf green eyes shone with happiness.
"I'm glad you came."
"Said I would."
"I know, but you didn't really have much of a reason to."
"So why did you want me to meet you here?"
"Umm, can't we go on a walk first?" she asked down casting her eyes. Cassiel fought the urge to roll his eyes. Why couldn't she just tell him so he could get on with his day?
"Fine," he huffed.
"Are you sure? You seem to be in a bad mood. I can wait till tomorrow," she paused; "yeah, I'll wait till tomorrow," she turned and slipped toward her porch. Cassiel found his hand grab her wrist and pull her back around.
"No, we can walk," his tone was strange—even to himself—it was soft, pleading and needy. She nodded once.
"Okay." Cassiel released her wrist and followed her. The trip continued in calm silence. Cassiel's eyes drifted from Sakura's back to his surroundings. The trees stretched for the warming sun and many tiny fury animals basked in its joyous rays. Others lounged in the shade.
As he walked, he noticed a rose patch and froze as an image slapped him. A true black rose lay in his mother's dead hand. He shook his head. Where had that come from? "Cassiel?" His head snapped up. Sakura had her head tilted, and her eyes questioned him, but her lips remained firm.
"Just thinking," he muttered.
"I told you we can wait till tomorrow. It's important, but not so much so that I have to tell you now." Cassiel did not know why but her voice sounded pleading. It seemed she didn't want to tell him, but now he was interested.
"No, I'm fine. We can continue."
"Alright." She turned again and they continued. His mind drifted again. As they ventured forward, he noted the animals paid them no mind. Almost as if they were not walking past them. One squirrel ran past him and in an attempt to dodge it, Cassiel stumbled backwards. His back slammed into the ground and another image shot before his eyes.
Arias stood before him, but her back was to him. She held a clean bow and was shooting arrows. His vision began to swirl. Sakura stood, much smaller, before him with a bouquet of black and blue roses. Arias stood with to Sakura's left with a bouquet of black and white lilies. He shook his head and his vision cleared.
Sakura sat near him. "We're almost there. Do you think you can walk a few more minutes?"
"I'm fine," he grumbled and stood up: "I'm just tired."
"Okay," she whispered and led him onward. They came to a small vacant park. Sakura entered the sandy area belonging to six swings and sat on the second swing. She faced him and tapped the first swing. "Sit and we'll talk." He shrugged and did as bid. He faced opposite of her direction so he could see her.
"No, you first. Are you okay? You passed out back there." He bit his bottom lip. He knew saying 'I'm fine' wouldn't make her stop asking, so he admitted something to her he didn't want to admit to anyone.
"No. I'm sick."
"Sick? Have you seen a doctor?"
"They said I was just depressed. But I'm beginning to see things."
"Really? What kind of things?" she didn't seem to be judging him in anyway nor did she seem to be thinking he was crazy. She just appeared, and sounded, concerned. He looked down. He didn't want to admit anything to her, yet he wanted to reveal it all to her. He was conflicted past sanity and decided to tell her, even with Arias image stabbing him in the heart and mind. She had been his confident for years, and now he felt like he was betraying her, but whom else could he tell.
"It's hard to explain."
"I'm willing to listen. Everyone needs someone to share their burdens with," she gave a reassuring smile.
He found a smile replaced his frown within seconds of her smile. "You're right."
"So what have you been seeing?"
"The images don't make sense. It just glimpses of a black rose in my mother's hand. Sometimes I see my mother and father clinging to each other with a fire behind them. When I blink all that remains is a pair of roses. A black rose and a blue rose. And yesterday I had a dream—first one I've remembered in eight weeks. It was so strange. It was about Norgona. I guess my mind was on the story you had told the little girl—I can't remember her name."
"Saria? She loves that story. I didn't even finish telling her before her mother called her home."
"I know. Then you disappeared."
"I didn't disappear. I stayed in the library for a while."
"When I walked around the corner, you'd left and so had all the books you'd had stacked."
"Cassiel," she laughed, "I was still there. You must have sat in a daze for a while because I didn't leave until the library was almost closed. Why were you listening to the story from behind the bookshelf anyway?"
"Stalker issue," he muttered.
"I see. You couldn't call me stalker because you ran into me."
"That was pretty much why," he agreed. She shook her head, but smiled.
"Do you want to hear the rest of the story?"
"Where was I?"
"Nature was asking the king to help stop the fighting and when he asked why, she dropped the bombshell that she was pregnant on him."
"I remember. Well after that…
The King stood in total shock. His son had fathered a child? How had that happened? He glared at Nature and when he noticed her hand touching her stomach he realized he was about to have a grandchild. Something strange wrapped around his heart. Something unfamiliar.
"It's called love," Nature informed before he could speak. "You'll understand when he or she is born. Love is powerful, but something foreign to you. Please follow your son's example and love." Tears fell from Natures eyes. The weak earth beneath her created a chair and supported her weight. She wiped the tears away. The prince looked up at her.
"I need you to stop the fights! Go and take control. Set down the laws. They can't fight you and win. I cannot permit any more mass killing." Her body jerked and the earth dropped her. She squeezed her eyes shut and curled into a tight ball while holding her hand on her throat. Sobs shook her body. The prince kneeled beside her and pulled her to him. She wept in his arms.
"What just happened?" the King asked concerned.
"I think she just lost another power," he replied.
"I have." The King watched his son and the look in his eyes. He didn't know the power of the source in his son's eyes but he knew it was strong.
"We'll help. Sheaths, to arms. We will stop this incorrigible act of violence. My daughter asks this of us and we shall grant her wish!" cheers sounded and the warriors darted off to prepare. The Sheaths and Nature ventured back down the mountain and fought for peace. Before the battles had finished groups and leaders had been established—this was to make it easier to fight faster. The first group was the Prince's group (Whose name was Nicholas): White. Next, is Arama's group (Arama is the girl who got pinned to the tree): Dark. Then, came Orpheo' group: Black (Orpheo was the Sheath who was saved by Ophelia-the female Sheath who tackled him to the ground). The final group was Ophelia's group: Light.
The fighting did cease and peace spread throughout the lands. Nature regained her strength and had her baby boy. The Sheaths learned of love. The Sheaths became kings over the other creatures.
Soon a new war broke out, but this one became more dangerous, for it was among the Sheaths themselves. For one year the Sheaths fought and damaged the land. Nature eventually stepped in again. She fought and stopped the Sheaths' death matches. To ensure the safety of her world long after her death, she split the Sheaths from each other. The leaders of each tribe (Love, Night, Hate, and Day) became the royal families. The families were then dumbed The Rose Family, The Gardenia Family, The Lily Family and The Carnation Family. They lost connection with each other and their powers developed differently, but during wars they worked together and fixed the problems.
"So peace reigned and the world, even though it went through many more troubles, never had to fear the Sheaths fighting each other again."
"Hmm, strange story."
"It just doesn't have a happily ever after. So, how are you feeling?"
"Better, now that I've rested."
"That's good," she looked down at her shoes.
"You don't want to tell me do you?"
"No, I don't," she responded her hair fell from behind her head.
"Then don't. Just wait till you're ready." He stood from the swing and stepped beside her. "Whenever you're ready, you can tell me." She peeked through her eyelashes up at him.
"M'kay." He stepped behind her and pushed her forward. The swing lurched, but she kept her grip. He continued to push on the swing till she was high enough to reach the low tree branches with her shoe. He watched her close her eyes and face the sky.
He sat back on his swing and thought to himself. I know it's not been that long, just eight weeks and two days, but Sakura's distracting me, Arias. And what I feel is so foreign to me. It's nothing like with you. It's stronger and whatever it is, it's pulling me closer to her. I want to tell her everything. Even my weaknesses I hid from you. Why? Is this…love? Then what did I feel for you?
Cassiel, love me, not her. A new voice interjected in his thoughts. Don't love Arias. The voice was familiar, but it didn't belong to Sakura. He didn't know who it belonged to. Minutes later Sakura spoke.
"Thank you, Cassiel. I'll tell you soon. Can you walk me home?"
"Sure," he replied, "just hope your dad doesn't come and question me."
"Better my dad than Nicholas'," she laughed. Anyone's dad would be better than Nicholas'. Cassiel agreed with her on that. He'd hate to have a father willing to kill him for breaking rules.