‘She’s gone’ was all he said as the two sat perched like birds up in the trees. ‘My beloved Alanna is gone.’
His gaze wasn’t even on her as he spoke the words in barely a whisper. She turned her head lightly, letting her pale gaze dance along his features for the briefest of moments as she listened to him speak. Noticing the involuntary reaction his body gave to the warmth of her hand as she placed her it lightly upon his own to momentarily catch his attention before she spoke up. The two had been friends forever; childhood friends.
‘I can’t believe it’ he told her with a shake of the head even as he turned to look at her.
Disbelief was in his voice and sadness in his eyes. Jax remained silent as she listened to him speak, quickly hiding the mask of sympathy and sadness she knew would touch her features. Keeping her expression casual as she turned her stare to meet his again. She remained quiet as she simply listened, the heightened levels of emotional stress expressed all too clearly within just the sound of his voice. She let her gaze drift about, but she couldn’t stay quiet. She had to break the silence.
“I am sorry to hear that, Ryker though I am sure you aren’t really looking for my sympathy.”
Weakly she let a smile cross her lips, as if trying to ease the mood of the conversation, though it simply faded a second later. The two sat in silence for a long time. Her hand holding his in a small gesture of comfort. He started to leave it unanswered as he normally did, pausing for a moment though as he shifted his gaze slightly to her, and then let out a soft, mournful sigh. Shifting her attention from him she turned to the outskirts of the village were they sat. The village that had once been her fathers as well, and even hers before her family was banished.
With ease she scooted closer to him on the tree. Her weapons slung, as always on her back. Her blade in its protective sheath, a quiver of arrows residing right next to it. Her bow strapped to the other side. She resembled a modern day warrior of old. His own weapon slung to his back, as if always watching and ready. At first she turned towards him, resting her head against his solid shoulder in an effort to draw his attention.
When he turned to face her and wrap an arm around her back in an effort to draw her closer she turned to completely face him, placing both arms around her to hold her tight. The two just sat there, her holding him for a change even as a few tears escaped his eyes to run down his cheeks. All while he mourned the loss of his wife.
All had loved Alanna. Even Jax had the pleasure of meeting the elf with long golden hair and eyes the shade of a newborn leaf. She had held this aura of that of an angel and had never shunned Jax. She had been one of few to accept her with open arms. Not like all the rest.
The town was mainly in silence. Not like the usual laughing and liveness, which it brought. People still went around and did their normal daily tasks, but it was quiet. As if the entire place was shrouded in some dark sleep. It was as if all the live and hope had been drained out of this place. Proof of a death of a dear loved one.
He did not even bother to wipe the few tears away. Letting them fall, in front of his dear friend from childhood. An outsider, but then no one had understood his different outlooks in life better then her, except his newly departed wife. She tried her best to block her mind from his thoughts and emotions, but it did little good. For they flooded her mind, like that of a waterfall.
It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth — and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up — that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.
She held him for what seamed like a long time. The only sounds surrounding them were that of the birds and a small river that resided in the distance. That and the occasional noise from below as people tried to go along with their lives in spite of what recently happened. Though they mourned for a loss of a loved one as one always did in life, life itself goes on. It never stops flowing, just like the river.
Her father told her, as a child was he thought the truth was. He said ‘We hide because we want to be found. We walk away to see who will follow. We cry to see who will wipe away the tears. We let our hearts get broken just to see who will help us fix them.’ She saw bits and pieces of that growing up; more so being a halfling, but did not completely understand it until she had grown into adulthood. While her mother thought of life and death in a completely different way. She said ‘death was not the last sleep, but its final awakening.’ Inhaling a soft, but deep breath, she exhaled slowly as if to blow away the sadness that gnawed at the pit of her stomach, as she finally lifted her head, her gaze falling to him.
After a moment or so he noticed that she was looking steady at her and met her gaze with his own. She pulled back, releasing him first. His grip remained a moment longer, and then he too released her. Even after all this time the connection had not faded between the two. He still cared for her deeply, in spite of having been married. He had loved his beloved, Alanna more then life itself, but at one time he had loved her just as much. When they two were far younger we had sworn to make her his bride, but time and a difference of opinion had changed everything.
Though she had cared for him deeply and still did, the way she cared for him, the way she loved him, was not the same feelings he had felt and still did from what she noticed now. Then again Jax, wasn’t your typical elf. Maybe it had something to do with the fact she was a halfling? She wanted to venture and discover the world; maybe it was the witch calling out to her? Even if she had always had a fondness for Mother Nature. It didn’t help with her being a half-breed that the two were in completely different worlds. She forced to grow up quickly in a world that was partly hers while he was breed and brought up to be a elf of high, good quality, as a proper High Elf should.
“Are you both going to stay up there all day?” came a soft voice from below.
The pair looked down to the bright, sweet face of the young one known as Amber. Though by human standards she looked to be a child of no more then seven, she was a pure elf and in reality much older. Those eyes the color of the sea stared up at the two, non-blinking. Her long hair the color of honey fell about her shoulders and down her back as she gazed up at the two with a questioning expression. Jax let out a small laugh, and patted Ryker on the knee with her hand coming up with an idea. No sooner had she done so, then she seamed to be falling backwards.
Though at first it would seam as if she was going to fall, completely, her legs caught her. Knees against the tree as she dangled upside down. Lucky for her, her sword staying protectively in its sheath as well as her quiver of arrows. A thin strip of leather holding them into place prevented them from falling mixed in with a bit of magic. Amber’s eyes widen in a bit of shock and amusement, seeing Jax. A moment later she was retrieving her bow from her shoulder with one hand and drawing an arrow with another.
“Forgive me Mother,” she whispered into the air, meaning Mother Nature and not to the woman who bore her.
Jax placed the arrow next to the bow and fired. It was deathly silent as it whizzed past the girl’s ear only to strike and get stuck into a tree directly behind her. Amber let out a gasp, but hadn’t moved so much as an inch, during Jax’s fantastic display. A second later the arrow was being uprooted from its current position, only to fall to the ground and the tree to heal as if it had never been touched. From behind a tree came another. Though he was years older then the first, his hair was still the same honey color as Amber, his eyes a shade darker then hers. He was young, but handsome. Known by Aidan, and he was Amber’s older brother.
Bending down to retrieve the fallen arrow, he scooped it up into his hand, just as Jax, was flipping fully only to land lightly, on her toes. Aidan clapped as he was walking over having seen the full thing. He had seen his curious sister wander off and so had chosen to follow. She walked the last few steps to retrieve the arrow from Aidan’s hand and then pulled back, taking a bow, as she was placing the arrow back in its quiver.
Ryker jumped down landing beside Jax muttering one word in a playful manner, ‘show off’ to which it had Amber giggling.
Grinning at Amber in an almost teasing manner at the admission, of Ryker’s words she mimicked his playful smile. Her brows furrowed a little as she turned and studied his features once more, a particular image floating around in her head before she shook it off. She allowed another faint smile to touch her lips as she recalled happier times. Jax tucked her hair back behind her right ear as it fell into her face, and it drew all three’s attention. Unlike their ears, which held the point of a true elf, hers were a tiny bit arched, but looked more human then elf. She on the other hand did not seam to notice; not that it mattered to any of them.
A faint sound came from their right and all turned to face it, even as Jax was sweeping Amber behind her and Ryker was doing the same to Aidan. A second later Aidan was stepping out from behind Ryker ready to boldly face whatever was headed their way. All were on the outskirts of the Elvin City, so there was a chance that they could be facing anything. Both Jax and Ryker smiled inwardly as the young man’s bravery, even as Amber clutched Jax’s leg, trying to hide her fear.
The sound grew louder and then from that direction an elfin woman emerged. Her hair was a shade darker then that of the two children, but her eyes were the same shape as both children and were the same color as that of Amber. Her long hair flowed down passed her waist and she approached the small group. Seeing who it was as she peered out from behind Ryker and Jax, Amber smiled even as Aidan took a step forwards, towards his mother. Ryker nodded towards the older woman and even Jax put on it a pleasant smile.
“Ryker” she stated with a nod in return.
Amber squeezed her way between the two, to stand in front of them as Aidan stood to the left side of Ryker and Jax to his right.
“Nae saian luume, Keela” (It has been too long) Jax spoke in perfect elf.
“Not long enough” Keela answered back. “I came to RETREAVE my children,” she added.
Ryker took a step forward, but Jax placed a hand on his arm to stop him. Some people’s feelings would never change and in Keela’s eyes Jax was nothing more then an outcast. Jax kept the smile sweet on her lips even as the elf woman sneered at her. Ryker took a step back, falling in line next to Jax.
“Amber, Aidan, come along” she said her voice holding a note of authority.
Amber gripped Jax’s leg for a moment in a hug, to which Keela shook a disapproving head too and then repeated the process to Ryker, before wandering over to her mother. Aidan on the other hand stood his ground, until Keela’s voice rose again.
The teenage looking boy sighed and then walked towards his mother who was already grabbing Amber’s hand.
“Ryker” she spoke again with a nod of her head, completely dismissing Jax. Turning the other direction with her daughter’s hand in her own she walked in the direction of the village. Aidan stopped for a single moment to look back at Ryker and Jax, a look of sorrow in his eyes, before turning back
and following his mother and sister, leaving the two alone once again.
Ryker let out a heavy sigh reaching out to clasp Jax’s had with his own. She simply shook her head, but did not pull her hand away.
‘I’m sorry you had be the brunt of that,’ he told her his voice flat, but holding a bit of sorrow.
Jax shook her head in his direction. She knew exactly what he was feeling. At that moment his feelings were not his own. She was reading them as if they were her own. Then again she had also known truly how Keela felt about her and then sadness both children at their mothers words. Awareness rippled though her as it always did, but she shrugged it off. Life was too short to fret over another’s words. Besides she had been dealing with people such as Keela all her life. One that could not open her eyes and see the world was different. That people came in all different sizes, shapes and colors. Jax looked up at him, their eyes meeting as she drew her hand away a sincere smile on her lips. One he knew wasn’t forced, the moment he looked at it.
“Others fear what they do not understand. More so your kind” she spoke.
She had not meant to offend him in anyway, and he did not take it in a disrespectful manner. He had known since the two were children that Jax had always been one to speak her mind and being who she was, she had seen both sides of the tracks, so to speak.
‘Not all of us are that way’ Ryker stated.
“True” she answered, with a hint of a grin. “But being an elf makes one immortal. The race is as old as time and is rich in there beliefs. Most, unlike you and I have not been outside this place. They have not seen the world in its wonders and riches. The good and the evil that all of us have. That it is our actions in life and the actions of the others around us that not only shape us, but the world around us.”
He fell silent, watching her and listing completely as she spoke her words. He had to admit, upon hearing them; she did in fact have a point. His kind were often one sided in their beliefs. Thinking they were at the top of the food chain and the rest were inferior. Elves had there own way of thinking as well as doing things. They needed no ones help, nor did they want it, unless it was from their kind. Well most of them anyways. Ryker was different, but then he had grown up with her, around her and while his parents tolerated her, they did so for his sake.
He recalled sneaking off on more then one occasion just to be around her. To have fun and play as all children do, but oh the talking too, the fights if he was caught. Aidan and Amber were another manner. Jax had shown them kindness on more then one occasion, and the two of them had repaid that. The two children, looked passed the fact that Jax was different and saw the person within. She had also done so with all of the community, but unlike the three most were stuck in their ways. Did not see the woman behind the reflection in the water.
Still despite everything they had done to her, she remained friendly. Maybe it was because her thoughts were not her own? Thoughts as well as emotions she could read as if she was reading an open book. Having this ability made it difficult if not impossible for another to lie to her. It also caused her to learn a lot about the world and its differences. It wasn’t as if this power had an off switch. At least it had been that way when she was a young girl. Now she had better control over it and situations and though it never toned out completely, she could at least numb things out.