Wesley hurried down the stairs of the castle. Calm as still water, swift as a deer. The last thing he wanted was to get caught by his mother, or worse, by his fiancée. It was a beautiful sunny day outside. Prince Wesley thought that the only way to avoid this dreaded marriage meeting was to leave the castle for the day, because there was no place in the castle where his mother the Queen wouldn't find him.
Wesley was thirteen the first time he left the castle. He was so eager to see what layed beyond the gates, so he took his little puppy Sam and made his way out of the gates when the guards where not paying attention, or maybe he was just too small to be noticed at that time. Five years later, Wesley and his dog were a lot bigger, and they could not get out of the castle as easily as they once did, so Wesley had to come up with a new way to leave the palace. After trying to get through the gates for a few months he realized that maybe it wasn't necessary to go through the gates after all, maybe he could just go under the gates, where no one would see him.
One day after studying the maps of the castle with his Master Cyrilo, Wesley discovered that the castle was connected to some underground tunnels that dated from the times of the great war, they were abandoned ever since. From that day, Wesley was able to leave the castle at anytime he pleased by using those abandoned underground tunnels.
Wesley was making his way out of the castle, Sam at his heels, he was walking in those dark tunnels, and even though he had walked through them a hundred times before, the spark of fear in his chest was always part of the experience. As soon as he saw the light at the end of the tunnel, he was overwhelmed with a feeling of freedom that made up for all the fear he experienced in the tunnels, for all the chattering teeth and all the cold sweats.
The sun was bright in the middle of the blue sky, and there was a comforting cool breeze that made the heat almost bearable. Almost.
It was a Sunday, and Wes knew what that meant. It meant that it was market's day today. Going to the Market had become Wesley's favorite entertainment for quite some years now, he liked to just wander around the market and smell the different scents flowing around him. You could find pretty much anything your heart desired in the enchanted market from sweet potatoes to love potions. Magical or not, whatever the item that you were looking for was, you would find in the enchanted market for sure. Sometimes Wesley would buy some items to help him with his studies with Master Cyrilo, but most of the times, he just sat there and observed people's behaviors that just fascinated him. Like how this old lady was pretending to be blind, but if you payed enough attention you could tell that she actually had a pretty good eyesight, good enough for stealing anyway. Wesley just saw her hiding a loaf of bread under her ragged filthy cloak and just kept walking and bumping into things pretending to be blind.
In Galenia, it is a crime to steal, and it is punished by imprisonment, so you'd think people would be too afraid to even think about doing it, but they actually aren't. people became fearless when it came to feeding or protecting their families, Wesley understood that, even though he himself had never had to do it.
The Prince was too busy analyzing the behavior of that old women that he just now noticed that Sam was not beside him anymore.
« Sam? » He started to yell her name and look around. At first he saw nothing but a crowd of people, but then he looked in a corner and saw his poor dog being beaten with a stake by two huge guys who were apparently having fun torturing his best friend. Wesley didn't remember how he arrived to the other half of the market, he just lunged himself at the guy who was holding the stake and threw a fist at his face, the other guy grabbed him from behind and sent him flying, Wesley hit the floor hearing a crack in the back of his head, pain shot through all his body but then he closed his eyes and the pain stopped.
Gwen was making her way through the enchanted market, she was trying to buy some groceries, now that her mother will be getting her medicine soon, she will need to eat well when she finally wakes up. Gwen was determined to save her mother, she was well prepared, she knew she could do it. Even though sometimes fear overwhelmed her, she could not afford to give in to her fears, not now. She was not a little girl anymore, Gwen needed to be strong like her father.
Gwen was looking at the veggies' booth, when she saw this scrawny teenager being beaten up by those two huge guys. At first she thought she should stay out of it, because that was the first rule her father taught her « never get into a fight.» Plus, it was none of her business, but they kept kicking him and he wasn't even trying to defend himself. He was just passed out on the ground. Gwen couldn't take it any more, she walked over there and hit the first guy in the jaw, he cursed her and then he stood up straight, eyes bulging with rage, he just stared at her for a while. He was tall and kind of looked like a giant from where she was standing, but he was also clumsy, and slow so Gwen took advantage of his weaknesses. Gwen's punch glanced his chin. He noticed only too late that it was a feint, the next punch though, expelled the last bit of choked air from his lungs, he seemed paralyzed. Gwen turned around for the second guy, he was holding the wooden stick that he used to beat the dog with, earlier. His oily hair was sticking to his forehead, and his eyes had a hint of terror in them. Gwen avoided his first blow and quickly hit him hard in the stomach, he chocked. She took the stake from his hand and hit him hard on the head with it, he instantly fell to the ground. He was so still. For a second Gwen actually thought she'd killed him but then he started moaning and she sighed in relief. Gwen wasn't ready to kill someone. But she knew, soon she would have to.
Gwen crouched to check on the dog.
« Are you okay buddy? » The dog was limping, Gwen thought they might have broken his leg with that stick, he also had a cut on his forehead, there was some blood sticking to his brown fur.
« Samantha is a girl.» Said the scrawny boy, barely opening his eyes.
« And so are you apparently.» She shot back.
He didn't reply, he just kept looking at Gwen, with a look that she couldn't quite identify.
« So I think Sam has a broken leg, but she's going to be okay, just give me a second, i'll go find some bandages and i'll be right back. Don't move »
« I don't think I can. » Said Wesley but she was already gone.
A few minutes later Gwen came back with the bandages, by that time Wes was sitting up and holding Sam in his arms. Gwen kneeled beside him and took Sam's leg, and started bandaging it.
« Umm … thanks for saving us, i guess . » Said Wesley.
« You should invest in some self defense lessons if you want my opinion, I mean look at you ! They almost killed you. »
Gwen looked at Weasley's face, he had an ugly cut on his forehead. She reached her hand to the cut reflexively and started to clean it from the blood. Gwen looked at Wesley's eyes who were like the ocean, iridescent and freckled with every shades of blue. She realized just now that she's been staring at his eyes for too long, so she awkwardly looked away. He seemed to feel as uncomfortable as her.
« I'm Wesley by the way. » He said after a never ending pause.
« I'm Gwen. » She replied and then she didn't wait for him to say anything else, she just got on her feet and left.