True Ruler of Solaris
By T. Avery (Zephyr1128@aol.com)
The woman smiles down at me and tucks the blankets around me tighter. She has long, blue hair and blue eyes like me. She turns away and seems to crumble before my eyes as her frail body is wracked by a horrible cough. Another woman comes to her aid and leads her away from me. That was the last I saw of her.
"Krelian?" a soft voice said.
Krelian blinked. "Huh? Oh. Hello Elhaym."
The girl smiled and tucked a strand of light auburn hair behind her ear. "Are you all right? Lacan told me that you had been out of it lately."
Krelian smiled at her thinly. "I'm fine. Where is Lacan anyway?"
Elly paused for a moment and looked around the small house the army of Nimrod had been gracious enough to give them. Her blue eyes lighted on the basement door and she gestured toward it. "He's down there painting."
"Painting?" Krelian asked raising an eyebrow in mild amazement. "I didn't know Lacan could paint."
Elly nodded. "He's pretty good at it."
Krelian got up and went down into the basement. Sure enough, there was Lacan standing in front of an easel his tongue between his lips and his brow furrowed in concentration as he painted a few more strokes on the picture. The boy batted at the fly that seemed content to land on his nose and ended up flinging blue paint onto the wall and himself. He groaned and batted at the fly again now putting a streak of green on his forehead. Krelian shook his head, and Elly giggled when he turned in their direction giving them a full view of his now colorful clothing and his obvious frustration.
"Stupid fly," Lacan muttered wiping the sweat from his face. He glared at Elly as she lost complete control of herself and began to laugh harder. "What?"
Elly cleared her throat, took one of the clean cloths hanging from a nail near the easel, and wiped the paint from Lacan's face. She only succeeded in smearing most of it together, creating quite a nice blue green color, but getting very little of the paint off.
"Uh…I think you better go take a bath," she laughed.
Krelian noticed Lacan blush under the paint and his suspicions that the boy had a crush on Elly were confirmed. He stared at them for a moment and went back upstairs.
* * * * * *
"What're you reading Elly?" Lacan asked peering over the young woman's shoulder.
"Just some religious, philosophical stuff," Elly said in a preoccupied tone.
Lacan laughed. "Since when were you interested in that?"
"It's interesting. If you combine it with that new religion that's gotten so popular, you'll see that they connect."
"I'll take your word for it," Lacan said sitting next to her. His face grew serious. "I don't know how you're going to take this, but Krelian says that we're leaving Nimrod."
Elly looked up from the book in alarm. "Leaving Nimrod? Why?"
Lacan shrugged his soft, brown eyes troubled. "He's been acting strange since his father came back."
Elly's face twisted in confusion. "I thought his father was dead."
"Apparently not. They sort of looked alike so I guess it was his father. Poor Krel. He-"
"Wait a minute Lacan," Elly interrupted placing a bookmark in the book. She got up and folded her arms across her chest. "You guess? Didn't you ask?"
Lacan shook his head vigorously. "No," he said drawing out the word as if asking Krelian a question would get him in trouble. "He's been a little touchy lately. I'm not supposed to tell you this, but he got suspended from the army for a month for punching one of the soldiers."
Elly's eyes widened. "Whoa. We've been living with him for five years now and he's never been the friendliest person, but I've never known him to be violent like that."
" I know what you mean."
"I'm going to go talk to him," Elly said leaving the room.
Lacan, concerned with her safety, followed her up to their guardian's room. There was no sign of the melancholy man and they went back downstairs wondering where in the small house Krelian could be. Then they heard the strange noises coming from the basement. Lacan raised an eyebrow and wrinkled his nose, his mind obviously in the gutter. Elly flashed him a look of disgust and opened the basement door. Sure enough, Krelian was there releasing his pent-up anger on the punching bag. The two teenagers watched as he did a complicated series of punches and kicks on his "opponent," but it was obvious that it was doing very little to alleviate his anger.
"Krelian?" Elly said taking a step toward him cautiously. She felt Lacan bump into her when she stopped and fixed him with a frosty look.
"Sorry," Lacan whispered sheepishly.
The man turned to them his blue eyes blazing. "What do you want?" he asked.
Elly took another step toward him. "Is something bothering you?"
Krelian turned away from the redheaded beauty and began a new series of punches and kicks on the punching bag. Why does she have to look at me that way? Doesn't she know what I've done? For years, they have depended on my support and now I can no longer provide it. If it weren't for that damn soldier, I wouldn't have been expelled from the army. How can I tell her that we won't be able to stay here? Nimrod is her birthplace. I have no right to take that away from her. He stiffened as she put her hand on his shoulder.
"Please Krelian," she said in her gentle voice. "Please tell me what's bothering you."
Krelian's anger flared again and he glared back at her. He got the satisfaction of seeing her step back a little. "We're leaving Nimrod. I don't care whether you were born here or not." He immediately regretted his words as he saw Elly's lower lip quiver slightly. He could tell that she was trying to regain control over herself and he wanted to take her in his arms and comfort her. His eyes narrowed at the thought of it. I am almost ten years her senior. What could possibly happen between us?
"I understand," Elly said evenly. "Where are we going?"
"Elly," Lacan said pulling on her sleeve gently. He took her hand. "We better go back upstairs."
Elly ignored him and returned Krelian's gaze. "Where are you taking us?"
Lacan and Elly looked at each other in confusion.
"Why Nisan?" Lacan dared to ask.
Krelian started to answer then noticed that they were holding hands. Jealously rose within him so quickly that it made him feel nauseated.
"Get out," he said in a low voice. "Get out now!"
Lacan turned and half dragged Elly back upstairs.
"Look I don't know what that was all about, but I'm glad we're outta there. I hope he's in a better mood when we leave."
Krelian sat down and put his hands to his head. "I shouldn't have spoke to her that way. What I can vaguely remember of my mother is just like Elhaym. They have the same eyes. That beautiful, clear blue that can pierce through the ice of the cruelest man's soul. I am not worthy to look into those eyes."