“So, do you think you’ll get involved with the investigation?” Cali asked her brother as they walked through the marketplace.
The marketplace was a small section in their part of town which sold fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, baked goods etc. Cathal is small enough so that the townspeople all know each other, the market place acted as both a livelihood for many of the residents, but the atmosphere was always very friendly and social.
“I don’t know yet, Cali” Adam sighed, his sister had asked him many questions since leaving the prison.
“If you decide to investigate, would you leave straight away? Where would be your first destination? Do you think these people are guilty of the crimes they’ve been accused?-”
“I appreciate your interest however, it doesn’t concern you” Adam said
Cali stared at her older brother “And why is that?”
Adam stared back “Because, if this does turn out to be something we have to look into, you won’t be coming with us”
That was one hour ago, Cayden estimated. Sighing, he sat in the centre of a large rectangular table in Adams Kingdom and listened to the King and Princess squabble on either side.
“You forbid me to go with you?” Cali demanded
“If that’s what it takes to keep you here then yes!” Adam retorted
“I am not a child, I can take care of myself. Give me one good reason for your decision”
“You are my sister-”
“That’s poor, try again”
“I am King-”
“That’s a fact, not a reason. Definitely not a good one”
After two failed attempts Adam tried a different tactic “Cali, if mother or father were here-”
“Well they’re not here!” Cali cried in frustration
Adam had inherited the crown at the age of sixteen, after their father passed away. Their mother had passed only a few months before, many of the townspeople liked to believe their King had died of a broken heart. Most agreed, their Kings heart had indeed broken, it just stopped beating.
“That’s it. Cali, for you to accompany us you require my sign off, my authorisation. Consider your application denied” Cali looked at her brother, obviously hurt by his rejection “That is my final word on the matter”
Schooling her features she replied “We’ll see” and walked towards the door.
“You are not excused” he called
“Excuse yourself, your highness” Cali spat, slamming the door as she walked out.
Adam sat slowly, exhausted. Head in his hands, he turned to his most trusted friend “Have I been too harsh?”
“As her brother, it’s your natural instinct to protect her, but you have to remember, as a Creon, it’s her natural instinct to protect others”
Adam nodded “We don’t know if we’re taking on the case yet, and if we do it’s just too dangerous for her”
Cayden shrugged, non-committedly “I have taken a look at the files”
Adam cocked an eyebrow in curiosity “And?”
“I know we’re extremely unprepared, but if what’s in this file is true and these people have found a way to cross between worlds undetected, this isn’t only an issue of innocent lives. If they’re captured by the mortals, it could expose us” he reasoned.
Adam nodded in agreement. “You’re right, it seems that Derek was also right. We don’t have a choice”
“Who shall take your place while we’re away?”
“I’ll think about it”
Cayden looked to his friend with curious eyes “So, not Cali then?”
Derek shook his head “Not Cali” he replied, before excusing himself leaving Cayden to wonder how well that conversation would go and, more importantly, how he could avoid it.
After leaving her brother and Cayden at the dining table Cali didn’t feel like staying in their palace, instead she decided to take a walk. Making her way back through the marketplace she couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty which surrounded her.
Today was a clear, warm day with a gentle breeze in the air. Upon noticing this Cali made a mental note to thank Tonitrua, their weather girl. Looking around she saw vivid green fields and their lake sparkling in the sun.
She often wondered about Derek’s terrain, she had crossed the border a few times and the differences were clear. Adam promoted clean air, grown, wholesome foods. His feelings towards the environment meant cars, factories etc. were never developed.
Derek, on the other hand, promoted the ongoing development in technology. They had shops rather than marketplace stalls and he allowed the day-to-day weather to occur naturally, whereas Adam sought the help of the young girl Tonitrua to help control their weather.
The most obvious difference between the cousins is Adam chose to live in his family’s Kingdom whereas Derek chose to live in a penthouse suite.
Most of these differences could be attributed to their personalities and upbringing. Cali thought about this and wondered whether her cousin would allow her to join them, if her were in a position to do so. She decided not to dwell on that particular thought too long to focus on the matter at hand.
Cali had one option. With her mind made up she started planning ahead, for she would be joining he boys on their hunt however, she would have to ensure her brother wouldn’t find out until it was too late.
In his own suite Derek also thought about the upcoming days ahead and his people. Derek was known for a lot of things, being stupid wasn’t one of them. He knew Adam would be compelled to take the case, as was his nature. He also knew he would have no choice but to join them, as was his own distrusting nature. As promised he had given his advisors the case files, who had come to the same conclusion.
“Harry Cartwright?” Alec Chase, Derek’s right hand man, suggested.
The King had enlisted his advisors to help him decide who would rule while they were gone. Each suggestion had a photograph to accompany. Harry Cartwright’s picture moved to the centre.
“The journalist?” Caleb Warren, Derek’s young advisor, questioned.
“He’s a face people trust, he’s loyal and eager to prove himself” Alec argued
“He’s self-absorbed, easily distracted and eager to run in confrontation” Caleb dismissed, crumpling the picture and throwing it into the bin behind him.
“Okay, Richard Lambert. He’s strong, entirely capable of ruling and has complete understanding of how to run the country” Alec said, casually sliding his picture to the young advisor.
“Yes, that’s because he wants to run the country, surveillance has detected he is making a play for the Kings throne” Derek cocked an eyebrow in amusement, but said nothing “I don’t think we should give him the chance”
“Who would you advise, Caleb?” Derek asked
“Alyssa Shield” he stated “She’s strong, she’s loyal-”
“She’s a she” Alec interjected
“Plus, she has the skill and determination to protect the people”
“You honestly believe a woman could do a better job than a man?” Alec drawled
“Alec, aside from her gender are there any other concerns?” Derek asked. Alec shook his head in the negative. “Then it’s settled. Please inform Miss Shield I request an audience with her as a matter of urgency. Oh and do keep an eye on Mr Lambert” he smirked.
“Yes sir” Caleb replied respectfully.
Cayden sighed as he found himself back in the middle of that dining room table, once again listening to two grown adults squabble. As he looked across the table he saw Cali struggling to maintain her focus during the meeting. A meeting she begged to be included, something she now must regret. Next to Cali sat Caleb. He showed no interest in the meeting and felt no need to show otherwise, he was bored and he didn’t care who knew.
On the other side, Cayden sat next to Alec, both hung on to every word of their Kings, both knew it would be time wasted. Adam and Derek headed each side of the table, each trying to argue their case, neither succeeding.
“Please see reason, why should we leave Cathal with no real leads as to where these criminals are hiding?” Derek argued
“Well they’re not in Cathal, this much we know. Now we must explore the rest of the island. This will lead to their capture” Adam yelled back.
“You must see that this could backfire”
“The only way to leave the island into the mortal world is through the portal outside of Mangus!”
“And the only way to enter is through Cathal, so what if they’ve already left and are planning to come back, meanwhile we’ve gone off like knights in shining bloody armour”
“That’s a risk I’m willing to take” Adam admitted “Look, you know as well as I do that it makes no sense staying here. We have no more information here than what Mr Fredrickson provided” he said, a lot calmer than he felt.
Derek conceded. Though he knew leaving so soon wasn’t the right thing to do, neither was staying in Cathal. “When do we leave?” he asked, sitting back in his chair.
Adam followed his lead “I propose tomorrow, at daybreak”
Derek nodded in agreement “Be sure you have all preparations finalised by then”
“Same to you” Adam replied
As the meeting drew to a close, the men and woman stood to prepare for tomorrow. Caleb huffed.
Cali looked at him, curiously “What’s wrong with you?”
“Why does it always have to be daybreak? Just once couldn’t it be mid-morning after breakfast?” he asked
Cali blinked, unsure how to respond, but silently agreed.
Upon returning to his own part of the land Derek headed for the castle. Though he no longer lived there he visited often.
As he entered the ballroom he saw his temporary successor exploring, settling into her surroundings as per his instructions. He cleared his throat, causing her to jump slightly in surprise “Miss Shield”
“Your highness” she greeted
“Derek” he amended, smiling slightly.
“Alyssa” she replied
Derek decided it would be best if they didn’t exchange pleasantries and just got straight down to business. “I leave at daybreak”
Alyssa’s eyes widened “That’s sooner than expected”
‘That’s my cousin for you’ he thought before clearing his throat “I know, but it was inevitable… apparently” he saw the look of concern on her face “Do not worry, my mother will help you all she can. I have faith in you”
“I appreciate that and I won’t let you down” she promised.
“Thank you… Now get ready Miss Shield, your new job begins now” he told her, walking out and leaving her in the ballroom.
Meanwhile in Adam’s Kingdom, Cali was once again fighting with her brother.
“Harry Cartwright?” she yelled “You trust him over me, your own sister, to take your place?”
“It’s not a matter of trust” Adam implored.
If he was honest he wasn’t sure of his decision to employ Mr Cartwright. He knew all of the cons, but he also knew the journalist was looking for a chance to prove himself worthy. He took a chance, with the knowledge he had other people working for him who would keep an eye on him.
“Oh I’m sorry, it’s a matter of faith. So you have more faith in that egotistic, self-centred, high maintenance coward than you do your own flesh and blood”
“If I may-” Harry started
“No you may not” Cali interjected, furious.
“My word is final” Adam spoke
“Oh I’ll tell you where you can shove your word!”
Cayden’s eyes widened while Adam once again covered his face in his hands as he heard the door slam.
“Mr Cartwright, please accept my apologies for my sisters behaviour today. Please be assured she will not cause you any trouble in my absence”
“Thank you, King Adam, and thank you again for this great honour” Harry replied, kneeling before him.
“…Right, well… we leave at daybreak. The palace staff and advisors will assist you, as will Cali”
Mr Cartwright nodded with enthusiasm as Adam and Cayden walked towards the exit.
“That went well” Cayden commented. Adam nodded, rolling his eyes slightly. “Are you sure this is a good idea?”
“Well, there’s only one way to find out” Adam replied, as the door closed behind them.
Adam wandered the corridors searching for his sister. He found her in the palace gardens.
She sat on a swing bench, taking in the sight. They had flowers of all sorts growing, Cali maintained them every day, watering them, nurturing them and if they started to dwindle, she would use her energy to heal them. This garden was her creation.
“May I join you?” Adam asked
Cali shrugged “You are our King”
Adam sighed heavily as he sat beside her “I’m also your brother”
Cali nodded “So you do remember? Good, I thought all that power had somehow made you forget that small detail” she sniped, weakly.
“Please don’t Cali. It’s my last evening here, I don’t know how long it will be before I see you again” he purposefully avoided adding if they would ever see each other again. This quest would be dangerous, exactly why he refused Cali joining them.
Her eyes remained downcast for a moment, just has he thought he might leave her be she scooted close to him.
“You’ll come back” she replied, in answer to his unspoken concerns “And when you do, I’ll kick your arse for leaving me behind” she grinned, cheekily.
Adam smirked lightly “I’ll be sure to pencil in ‘arse kicking’ for the day of my return”
“I’d use pen” she smiled
Daybreak came quickly for the Creon family and their warriors. As per the Kings wishes, no one was there to bid them farewell, except Cali.
“Bye Cayden” Cali said as she brought her brothers best friend in for a hug.
“Bye Cali, hold the fort for us, alright? Be safe”
Cali nodded “And you” she replied before turning to her brother. They had said their goodbyes the night before, but that didn’t stop her from bringing him in to a tight embrace, which he returned. “I love you, bro” she assured him, though they fought, though she was mad, he’s her brother and nothing could change that.
Adam smiled brightly “I love you too, sis”
Smiling they parted, Cali notice the other three looking extremely bored and ready to go, smirking she walked up to Derek and gave him a quick hug “Bye cuz, don’t kill my brother”
Derek, unsure how to respond to this patted her lightly on the back, three times in quick succession before forcibly removing her arm’s length away from him. “I’ll do my best” he grumbled at the girl, earning him the sweetest fake smile he had ever received.
Cali simply nodded to Alec and Caleb in goodbye, which they returned, eager to leave. She gave the boys a ten minute head start, with only one route they headed to Scintillas, more commonly known as Fairy Dwelling.
Hi All! I really hope you enjoyed the second chapter of Enemies Unite! (still a working title & yes I’m still trying to think of an image!)
I’m really starting to get back into the swing of the creative process so I hope you like reading it as much as I like writing it.
Any comments or constructive criticisms are welcome.
Have a great day!