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I watched the blurry edges of his familiar form appear in my dark bedroom window. I had wondered if my night-time friend would follow me to the palace.
“So you have three more days to live?” he whispered, moving closer to me in the thick, inky blackness.
“Three days until I marry the king,” I replied. He rolled his eyes.
“You are like me. A creature of darkness. You can’t change that with some fake smiles and royal flowers. You can’t make the moon into the sun. Even I can’t do that for you, Moira,” he said, shaking his head. I glared at him.
“I can be whatever I want! I am going to be the Queen. He loves me Arris,” I countered, my tone heated. His eyes, the only source of light in the room, shut, and I was plunged into total darkness. I didn’t have any flash of fear like a normal person would… Arris was right. I was like him.
I felt his hands reaching to cradle my neck. His lips brushed mine, his eyes opening a little. A dim brightness poured out of them and I could see his face again.
“I love you too Moira. You always seem to forget that,” he said, breathing the words against my skin.
“You shouldn’t have come here. He’ll find you and–” Arris cut me off with a harsh laugh.
“He’ll kill me? Oh I know. He’d do the same to you, darling. The king of Daylight wants nothing to do with dark things like us,” he spat. We sat for a moment, and I drank in the darkness he’d brought with him.
“The Daylight isn’t too bad. I’m doing this to make things better for us. The Daylight isn’t too bad,” I mumbled. Arris knew I was lying. In reality, sitting at the King’s table with the Daylight and their guards was almost painful. I tried to stay close to the King, tried to keep their angelic hands from illuminating me.
“I’ve seen you with the Daylight. They’ll figure it out eventually. That or you’ll kill each other. One little touch, one little ray of sunshine and they’ll see the Night that lives in you,” he said.
“How could you have seen me with them?” I asked, ignoring everything else he’d said. He looked at me sadly, the tears forming in his eyes casting watery shadows through the luminescence in his eyes.
“You know that there are always shadows, no matter how bright it may be. Or have you forgotten that too?” he said, adjusting his black bangs.
“No. I haven’t forgotten. Every chance I get I walk through the shadows. Just to remember who I am. No matter what, their light can’t drive out the darkness that defines me,” I replied. I brushed the tears from his eyes, but Arris turned away from me. He’d never done it before, and the movement shocked me.
“He stood up and began to fade away. I reached out for him, but the thick blanket of darkness that cloaked him was already half gone.
“Moira– when you’re Queen, remember one thing… I moved heaven and Earth for you. Night or Day, it doesn’t matter to me. All I ever wanted was you,” he whispered. By the time his words reached me through the darkness, they were whispered verses on the edge of the morning that I felt coming.
Once he was gone, the bright light of the palace took over my room once more. I cowered away from it.
Arris was gone.
And I had three days to live.