Elsa stood in an empty dim-lit hallway of an old apartment building. She dreaded having to come here all day, though it was better she did for her fathers and brothers sake.
Her curious eyes read 626 engraved in silver on the door in front of her. The number threw a random question she'd wonder about quite often in her head.
How old am I? She asked herself. She didn't really know because she hadn't kept track. It was certain her body was still appeared young and healthy despite the centuries. When people she didn't know asked her how old she was, she'd have to say seventeen based on her father's orders.
She remembered asking her father, Thomas Farlan if one day she'd ever turn a year older physically. He shrugged and said, as long as you look seventeen, you'll be seventeen. Elsa had looked seventeen for almost fifty years now. Would it be another fifty until she turned eighteen?
Thomas, as far as she knew, was not her biological father. Yet he too had not aged a bit since she first met him ten years ago. Not a wrinkle or a grey hair has appeared on him. She imagined it must have had to have been the mere luck of his genes. After all, he was only human.
Elsa's shaky hand reluctantly knocked on the door.
"Prida?" She called softly. "It's me, Elsa."
She waited a few minutes more. The door finally creaked open and a set of emerald glassy eyes that had been doused with tears stared.
"Come in," they uttered.
Elsa carefully stepped inside. She handed the woman a box, wrapped finely in gold wrapping paper and tied with a sparkly white ribbon.
"This is for you," Elsa said with her arms outreached to the withered woman.
"I don't want it," Prida declined. Her body had completely turned away from Elsa.
"I wanted to visit you," Elsa insisted, her arms lowered. "I wanted to see how you were."
Prida gave Elsa a peculiar look before she walked over to the couch. When she sat down suddenly she started wailing. Her cries were strong and heavy. Tears flowed from all over, dripping off of her round chin and seeping into the small wrinkles on her face.
Elsa grabbed a tissue from the kitchen. With the tissue she stared to wipe away Pridas tears. "Tell me how you feel," she pled.
Prida coldly grabbed the tissue from her. Elsa backed away, grabbed the gift and started to open it for her. Inside was a bottle of the finest wine, bath soaps, jewlery and some scarfs. She started to pull them out for Prida, lining them on the table.
"I brought you these gifts," Elsa mentioned meekly.
Prida glanced at them with a new softness appearing in her eyes.
Elsa couldn't help but glance over to the photo at the end of the table. It was a photo of her son.
"Last time I saw him I scolded him," Prida muttered. She dragged her eyes away from the gifts to look at the same photo. "I can't seem to get the memory away from me."
Elsa's eyes, now very intense and focused, still stared at the picture. She remembered her son. He didn't smiled a lot, but when he did it was bright; Bright enough to make her smile too, even if she were miserable. It was only a couple of years ago when they first met. Now it felt too much like forever.
Prida finally began to talk, but Elsa couldn't hear her as well anymore. Reluctantly the memory of him started to flash behind her eyes. It was just a memory, but almost too vivid, too real like she was reliving it.
In the memory she was walking about a garden with that very boy in the picture. He talked quite some time to her about his life. He was not like many people. He was very different boy who, like her, had a very unusual life.
There was no day more beautiful than that day, she thought. She remembered a certain thing that he said before he picked up a deep red flower and rolled the green stem between his fingers.
"I'm still not sure where I should be," he sighed. "My father makes me want to stay with him. He tells me home is where I belong."
"Will you stay here?" Elsa remembered asking.
"I have no choice," he replied, staring off into the distance. "I can't go back."
A silence had crept on the both of them. Elsa remembered her thoughts ran like wild horses, wondering what to say to him next.
"My father kills people," he mentioned coldly.
Elsa remembered feeling a whole apple stuck in her throat the very moment he said that.
"I've never seen him do it, but he talked about it quite often," he uttered.
"What are his reasons?" Elsa asked. Her eyes narrowed.
"It's the way it is," he replied. "They have nothing there. No government, money, not even religion. They have no rules."
"I can't imagine a place," Elsa stated.
"It's real," he replied. "No one even knows he exists. Except you, of course but Elsa, I'm not supposed to tell anyone."
"I won't tell a soul," Elsa replied. "I promise."
"Don't worry," he said staring at the flower. "Pretty soon you won't have too. There will be no more secrets. The whole world will know about him."
"You can't understand," he said, his chest heaved out, emotion pouring from his eyes. "I know my father wants me to come home like nothing is wrong. It makes me wonder if he is right about anything. I don't know."
"Would you?" Elsa replied.
"No," he replied after a short pause though in his voice she remembered hearing something weary.
"Do you like it here?" Elsa asked.
"Yes," he smiled softly as if he never frowned before. "I like these trees, the cold air, these strange birds that never stop singing," He laughed calmly. "I like how peaceful it all is."
She stopped walking for a moment. Well, she couldn't move if she wanted too, as he took her by the wrist and suddenly halted his own feet.
She found herself standing in front of his body, frozen in that very moment.
His burly hands gently took the flower and put it through her hair, just behind her ear.
"I like that I met you the most," he smiled softly. "You are a desert flower; kind and rare."
Elsa shattered out of the memory, realizing she was now lifting her hand to touch the spot behind her ear where the flower had been. She could almost feel it was still there. She could almost smell its sweet scent.
He always called her desert flower. Even from the first time they met. He could always tell right away there was something different about her. Something that was truly un-human.
Elsa always called him Klaus, because that was his name.
Elsa's ears returned to Prida again. She had been talking for a good couple of minutes now and got heated at herself she hadn't really heard a thing.
"I can't believe I have not a clue of where he is," Prida rambled on. "There's not a doubt he's probably with his father." He voice was so quiet now Elsa had just barely caught her words. "Where else would he be if he's still alive?"
Elsa kept repeating the words in her head, "If he's still alive..."
"Where is his father?" Elsa asked, calm as she could.
"Where I was born," Prida began, and then suddenly stopped herself from talking. "Why, you think you can go and find him?"
Elsa's eyes got a tad bit wider.
"You can't," Prida growled. Her eyes locked with Elsa's and stared for a while more. Elsa could tell she was thinking deeply about something now. So deep, as if her soul was stuck in a moment she couldn't free herself from.
"Anyway, how is Thomas doing?" Prida asked. Thomas was the one that brought Prida all the way here after all. Not once, but twice after she went back with Klaus to try to find distant relatives to bring to safety.
Klaus was nowhere in sight when she came back the second time.
"He's fine," Elsa replied.
"Where is he now?" Prida wondered, wiping away the last of her tears.
"I'm not sure," Elsa lied.
"I want to thank him for bringing me back," Prida sighed. "Tell him I said thank you, it's the most good I can feel right now, thankful."
Elsa smiled softly. "I'm glad."
"Though it makes me curious to think why a man like Thomas would care so much about my well-being," Prida wondered. "Though I know, it's obvious."
Elsa lowered her shoulders and shifted her head to the side.
"You know why you're here and it's not to serve me any comfort," Prida sighed. "You will never find my husband."
Elsa started fiddling with her hands, both taken aback and not at the same time.
"Just go home," Prida insisted. "I truly have no more to tell you."
"Surely," Elsa mumbled as she got up from her seat. Her face had sort of turned a shade of red.
Pridas eyes were haunting now. Her perfectly straight lips pursed together as Elsa's wobbly legs headed for the door.
"I didn't understand this when we first met, but I do now," Prida started to say.
"I'm just trying to follow my own father's footsteps," Elsa said. The words sort of came as a strange realization that clung in her head. She had to pause a moment, wondering if her father was doing this for all the wrong reasons.
No, he's not, she quickly decided to herself; in no way.
"My job is to help people like you from people like your husband," she declared, not only reminding Prida but herself.
"You're only a seventeen year old girl," Prida shuttered, her eyes filled with wonder. "What can a seventeen year old girl do now?"
"I'm not just seventeen," Elsa replied sternly, her fists clenched together tight. As a matter of fact, if she had to guess, she would say more like a two hundred.
Prida lowered her head. Her hands started to tremble as they reached for her face to cradle. She started to make mumbled noises as if she ached something dreadful.
Elsa couldn't just simply stand there. The door out was her own greatest comfort, but it was the wrong choice now; the woman who sat before he had lost the whole world. Her life had to have been nothing but death and sorrow since the beginning of her time.
Before Elsa left she tamely walked back to her and placed her gentle hand on Pridas shoulder. Suddenly, Prida stopped aching. Every muscle in her body untightened. Her soul lifted and she couldn't understand why for there was no reason. It was simply a touch of Elsa's delicate hand...
Prida unwillingly lifted her head up to Elsa as if suddenly she was a strong, powerful tower standing before her.
"Maybe I have not been in this world long enough," Prida mentioned softly. "I have seen a lot of eyes; shades of green, blue, brown and black and even yellow. But not once do I recall eyes as grey as steel."
Elsa blinked, imagining the grey shade that colored her iris.
"It seems as if…you aren't even human" Prida struggled to say. Her thoughts were so peaceful now, like a calm ocean underneath a sunrise; all with a touch of Elsa's hand.
"There is a desert where a rare and beautiful flower grows," Prida continued. "It's called a Karcia."
Elsa didn't know what to reply, so she paused, keeping her hand on Prida's shoulder. It gave her much needed good energy.
"That's where my husband is," Prida whispered.
Elsa tried to imagine what a karcia looked like. All she could see was the red flower Klaus had put in her hair.
"I need to go," Elsa said finally. The moment she slowly lifted her hand up, Prida's muscles tightened again. She could once again feel the harshness of the world coming back to her.
She knew Elsa's hand to have been like a tool of healing. She must have been wondering now if Elsa was simply an angel without wings.
"Bye," Elsa muttered before she left.
"Good luck," Prida whispered as her door shut.
Elsa stood outside of it for a moment. Her feelings sweltered in her mind.
She knew had too much pity for Prida and her son. It wasn't right. They were to be her target, her job, her victims, not people who made a home in her heart.
Not to mention this strange connection that had always grew for Klaus. It didn't matter how long she was away from him. It was a strange, mixed feeling she couldn't explain to herself or anyone else.
But Prida would be safe here, Elsa thought. She wasn't alone in a desert or getting beaten or tortured. She was safe. That was enough reassurance to walk away with some sort of peace in mind.
She raced out of that apartment building as quickly as she could. All along her mind continued to imagine a desert full of exotic looking flowers.
Outside the skies were dark, glowing slightly by moonlight as light clouds would cover it from time to time. Less people walked about now, which was good because she wasn't a real fan of crowds, as people, especially men, were naturally drawn to her. Sometimes it would create a lot mischief.
Living with Thomas, she traveled frequently. For instance, they had been staying in this in temporary suite that is a family friend's for two weeks now. It wasn't too far from Prida's, so it was a good walkable distance.
The suite anyway was beautiful. It took up almost a whole floor, with the newest furniture and devices around. Elsa didn't mind she would only be living in such a place for only another week or less, as she was more of a fan of living amongst nature.
Even though Thomas was gone most of the time, she agreed he was a great father. He has the strangest, wildest, yet sophisticated personality she ever knew. He's brilliant, adventurous, friendly, and he was never home. As a matter of fact, any house he had was only for her and her two brothers, Kai and Ivan. He'd come to visit at the most unknown of times.
He never had a wife as far as she knew. There was one lady who he'd always be particular about, but Elsa cringed when she thought of her. Elsa remembered having a mother once before she was adopted, but it was a very long time ago. So long ago she could barely remember her face or the sound of her voice. She considered herself lucky to have had one anyway. Her brothers, Kai and Ivan, never once had a mother growing up.
Elsa and her brother's never gone to a normal school or been around much of the public. Growing up they weren't allowed to watch regular T.V or listen to music, read magazines or watch the news. They were kept sheltered for years for many reasons until they turned eighteen. Then they'd be given a little freedom to do what they want, but even then only by so much.
Elsa remembered all her childhood time spent reading tons of books, mainly about the past, legends, other languages, religion and wars. She remembered taking lessons to fight and how to gain secret information. She remembered she had to observe people from time to time and being told she wasn't like them.
All three of the children all knew this. Thomas would sit them all down when he felt they were ready and told them they were not only adopted. He had to explain to them that he searched for them, day and night. He told them especially that they simply weren't just human. They were more like creatures the world had believed were only myths.
Just before Elsa had arrived home, her senses tingled and her left arm started to burn. Her phone rang and it took her awhile to figure out how to answer it. She barely ever touched the device.
"Hello," she answered.
"Elsie, where are you?" her brother Ivan asked. Voices muffed in the background. "Meet me here."
"I'm almost home," Elsie replied hesitantly. "I just came from Prida's and I need to change."
"Kai isn't here either," He sighed.
"Where is it held again?" Elsa asked.
"Thatches building, the last floor," Ivan replied. "You'll be escorted."
"Thanks," Elsa replied.
"Don't be late," Ivan said before he ended the conversation.