Prologue

When I met this odd man, well, I didn't quite know what to think of him. He wasn't like the stories told, he was amazing yes, but not in the way that people described him. He was kind and caring, always looking out for others' well being. Always wishing to help and care for others, only helping himself afterwards. He didn't have the heart to turn away those in need. He wasn't as hardened to the world as many others, me included, have turned out to be.

He was not the ruthless man Uncle Aquila described him as. He did not strike down his enemies with a single unforgiving blow, though he certainly had the potential to. It simply wasn't his way; he couldn't harm anyone unless it was absolutely necessary. And even then he was rarely able to take action against those who deserved it. He possessed the extraordinary gift of self restraint and was born with kind heart; both are things rarely found singly in a person, let alone together.

He wasn't ugly, disfigured and horrid like the stories that circulated around the clan said. No, my clan was oh so very wrong about him. He was an absurdly handsome man. He was tall, standing at a height of 5'8; he had a lean yet defined physique. His skin was tanned, much darker than my own, and he had a mop of unruly black hair. His jaw wasn't as strong as those of the men in my clan, he, like the rest of his clan, had softer features. Yet he still retained the rigidness of a man, he was just moreā€¦pliable.

He had high cheekbones, something many women in my clan would have been envious of. His hair, in all its messy glory, would fall into his eyes, obscuring them from others' sight. He wasn't bearded nor did he have stubble, instead he was primarily smooth skinned. The rest of his body, though very appealing, was riddled with scars from past battles and hardships. His hands calloused from years of hard work.

He had a quiet disposition, never much needing conversation to get his point across. He spoke more with his body, though only those that really knew him could see that. To many he seemed rather emotionless and withdrawn. It was all in the subtle ways he moved, the slightest way his brow furrowed when confused. The slight hardening of his eyes when angered. The small quirk at the edges of his lips when happy or amused. The soft and gentle handling he had when touching those he cared about.

He knew why I was there. I'm positive he did. He's so observant it would have been surprising if he hadn't known. But he never once questioned me. I guess it didn't matter much to him why I was there. He trusted me when he really shouldn't have. Instead, whenever he could, he would smile lovingly at me and pull me into a warm and inviting hug. He would whisper sweet nothings to me and love me in a way I never knew until I met him.

No one would approve of us, this we both knew. Yet we couldn't help it. It was simply destined to happen. We had no control over ourselves the moment we met. We were drawn towards each other by an invisible force that we couldn't hope to break away from. Even if we could have turned away from each other, I don't think either of us would have.

Though, I guess, our assumption wasn't true. We had two people that approved of us. Eloisa and Aella. Both were important to us. Eloisa, my dear friend, always stood by my side. My unwavering pillar of strength and loyalty. No matter the circumstances, she would never betray me and I could never betray her. Especially now that she is one of the few precious people left in my life.

And Aella, well, she was more his precious person than my own. She was probably where the rumors of him came from. She was ruthless and unforgiving, quick to slay and care little of it afterwards. She was more the demon than he or I were rumored to be. None could compare to her merciless ways, her twisted view of justification and Guardianship. She was his polar opposite, meant to oppose him in every way. Yet the two fit somehow, even if he wasn't what she really wanted. She cared enough for him to let us be, even though she knew how it would turn out.

And though he was impaired, I've never since found as good a fighter as he. He was simply unrivaled in skill. It was expected of him as it was of me. And he certainly lived up to the expectations. Amazingly fast, adept at a large array of weapons, always able to think of a plan and execute it quickly and efficiently. There was simply no way he could be beaten.

We were star crossed lovers, he and I, never supposed to conjoin the way we did. We were meant to fight to the death, to kill one another. One was supposed to come out victorious, their clan unrivaled. But we went against the fates and made our own. It was our downfall. But, perhaps, it was also our liberation.

Whatever it was we had, I would never give it up. I would do it again a thousand times over, and though I know what the result would be, I would still go through with it without hesitation. He would feel the same way. I know he would. All the pain and suffering of our meeting and the events that transpired afterward, it would all be worth it. To have those few special moments shared between us, those few fleeting momentsā€¦

Yes, it would all be worth it. Perhaps I am nothing but a selfish and wretched being for believing this, knowing that I could change the outcome if I only had the chance. But I wouldn't give up the months we spent together, not even to benefit my clan.

That man, with his striking emerald eyes that could not see, had seen into my heart, my very soul, and captured me the moment I set my own eyes on him. Perhaps it was for the best, or perhaps it was a horrible mistake.