Althea could not sleep with excitement she knew she should not posses just because it was June 25th. She got out of bed and knew by the sounds of birds coming from her guest room’s open window that the sun was soon to be brought back to the earth by the lovely Hemera and soon Nyx would be gone. As she slipped on a pair of shoes she looked to her sleeping brother. He lay on his side with his face towards her, his left arm on top of his pillow and the one next to it, and his right arm now lay in the empty spot next to him where Althea used to rest. Althea crept out of the room and made no noise as she also slipped out of the castle. She went to the garden near the shooting range and sat upon a cold, marble bench next to her favorite flower; the rose. Althea set her hand on a blooming red rose and was accidentally pricked by a thorn. She looked down to her index finger on her right hand and saw a drip of blood go from her hand and onto her white night gown. Out of nowhere Althea felt woozy, but she still tried to stand. Everything blacked out after that.
Althea woke to a noise she could not make out. She came to and looked around her. The noise came again and she realized it was someone yelling her name. She used her abs to help her sit up but immediately grabbed her stomach and turned to her side. She had never felt sickness like this. Her insides seemed to be inflamed and she was frightened she was too ill to call back to her pursuers. The sound came again, but this time it was not of the same pitch. A girl had called her name and immediately she knew it was Cilia, but who had called her name before? It was definitely too deep for Cilia. A man called her name this time and she was stunned; it was Prince Elius who called out to her. Another man called the name again and she knew it was Cletus, but she was relieved when she heard the lovely voice that belonged to her twin brother. Arles was looking for her too. By the tone of his voice he seemed out of breath and frantic. He was worried about her. They had just talked about how worried he was for her and she had gone off and disappeared. She hated that she had worried him and decided to risk her own pain to relieve his. She clenched her chest and opened her mouth.
“Arles!” She yelled back and his footsteps came in her direction. He was sprinting with his god given gift and she was relieved when he kneeled at her side. His eyes darted to her chest where she was holding. All the sudden relief turned to gagging and she quickly sat up. She turned her head from him and vomited everything she had in her system into the garden. She was happily surprised when her brother’s hands grazed both sides of her neck and then held her hair back from her sickness. Althea knew he was doing the most he could to help her right now and was thankful. When her dry heaving was over she limply fell back to the ground, but her head never touched the rocks and then her feet and torso lifted off the ground. Arles’s arms were under her and he seemed to fly back to their room with many shouting followers. Althea made an almost vulnerable whimper in the middle of the hall near their room and regretted that she could not keep it to herself. Arles stopped dead in his tracks and seemed to check her body to make sure it was all there.
“Just hold on for a few more seconds, Althea.” He pleaded sadly and she nodded in a regretful way. She hated him seeing her like this and hated even more that she could not even control her body now. Tears poured down her face, as the pain seemed to move up her body slowly. By the time she was set in her bed the burning sensation was now to her breasts. People started to come into the room behind them, but Arles quickly locked the door. Althea heard Cletus and Epirus banging on the door and yelling but all she could really do was hold her chest where the burning screamed. Arles put his hand to Althea’s head and it felt weird, “You’re burning.” He whispered in a sigh and then went to the door, “Just stay here and rest for a while, Althea. I will be back in an hour to check on your fever.” He then left the room and pushed the crowd away with him. He locked the door from the outside with a key and after a while the yelling and pounding stopped. Althea dozed on and off into sleep with the fluctuation of pain. By midday she woke up from a short nap and realized she was not in pain anymore. Now she just felt queasy but could deal with that. She stood up slowly and made her way to her suitcase across the room. She opened it and took out a corset with a knee length navy colored dress. Now that she was going to try to lure in the two princes she needed to dress the part. She slipped off her nightgown and slid on her corset. She used the handle that locked the open window as support to tighten the strings. When she tied it into a tight knot she went over and slipped on her skirt to make the bottom of her dress fluff out. She tied it around her waist and then slipped on the dress. She remembered that this dress has short sleeves, a v-neck that showed off her breasts, and was made of an odd material. Althea looked down to fix her skirt but froze. Were her eyes deceiving her? Was this tattoo an illusion or was it real? Althea set the palm of her hand on the star that had a ring of small flowers beautifully designed to show the most rare tattoo of all; the mark of earths’ creator herself. Not Uranus, who created the gods and the heavens. No, it was more important than that. This was the marking of the woman that created all humans, animals, and plants of all the planets. Gaia, the wife of Uranus, is as powerful as her husband or maybe even more powerful. She had blessed Althea. After all these years of wait Althea was finally blessed! But what were her powers? There have only been three women to posses this gift in the history of mankind but they were never tested for their exact skills because they were so rare. Althea was overcome with joy and had to tell Arles immediately. She sprinted to the door and unlocked it. She flew into the empty hall and went out the front door of the castle with tears of happiness pouring down her face as she clasped her prize so that he would not see it before she showed him. When she got outside she saw Cletus who turned to her and came to her side. Cletus was concerned why Althea was crying and why she was holding her chest.
“Cletus! Where is my brother?” she begged but he just stared at her, “Cletus!” she yelled and he shook out of thought.
“H…he’s inside with the four royals.” He stammered and she flew away from him. She ran in and hysterically started yelling to nowhere in particular.
“Arles! Arles!” she called and the doors to the dinning room were thrown open. Arles ran to his sister’s call and was frightened by her tears, but was confused when she smiled, “It’s happened!” She cried with joy.
“What’s happened, Althea?” He asked curiously as Prince Elius, the king, Cilia, and Catreus looked to her also.
“I’ve been gifted!” She laughed in pleasure and his eyes widened he looked directly to the place her hands covered and looked back to her face before going back to her chest. She removed her hands as he took a step backwards to stable him. He froze and looked up to her teary face.
She nodded in agreement, “Yes! It’s the mark of our great lady Gaia!” She yelled and immediately Arles hugged her and lifted her feet off the ground. He twirled her around as he kissed her cheek and then set her back down. His glace went back to her crest and he seemed mesmerized. All five of the people did. Althea felt light headed and quickly sat on the ground. Arles quickly followed her in horror.
“Althea?” He asked curious.
“I’m alright. Just a little fatigued, that’s all.” She replied and then slowly stood again, “I have to go tell Epirus…”
“He’s at the shooting range.” Arles answered and she quickly ran off. She flew out the doors of the castle as the sun set. Her eyes darted straight to Epirus who dropped his arrow in shock of seeing her up. She ran to him and quickly took his hand in hers and then led him behind the small shed by the shooting range. She took his hand and set it on her chest. He was surprised that she was that willing for him to touch her so greatly but did not resist. When he realized what was under his hand he started laughing with joy and just looked at her tattoo.
“It’s beautiful, Althea,” He said and then set his hand on her cheek, “almost as beautiful as you are.” He said smoothly and then set his lips on hers. She wanted to kiss him forever, but they had to stop when they heard others near by.