• I swallowed hard and pulled away. I didn’t like how close he was or what he was doing. The necklace, however, stayed around my neck and I looked down at it. Lifting the pendant in my hand I inspected it thoroughly. It was simple at first glance, but should one take in its detail, they would find it was much more than that.

    A demonic language, lost long ago to my people, was etched into the cross. It was a spell for hiding demonic aura. The language had indeed been lost, but I had studied it as all the royal bloodline had done. It was something that was thought to be “proper etiquette” so it was something all royals studied. That and they felt it gave them a certain amount of power over the language and those who didn’t know it.

    I looked up at the man with a slight frown. He shouldn’t know of the language or even have this necklace. “You know…of this…?” I asked curiously.

    “The royals are not as skilled as keeping secrets as they might think…” He answered in a voice just as soft as before. His smile appeared once more and he allowed his voice to reach his companions when he spoke again. “Well then, Princess…shall we go?” He held out his arm to me and I stared at it blankly. He took my own arm, looped it through his, and led me away, waving at his friends before they too left in the opposite direction.

    We walked on in silence along the beachside road. The soft night air, brushed my skin but I barely noticed it anymore. I realized this man could very well be a danger to me, more so than any human or angel could ever be. I didn’t know what to do or say. Consequently I ambled alongside him in a weighty stillness that crackled with anxiety. He glanced sidelong at me and then sighed heavily.

    “With an expression like that, you look more like you’re going to a funeral than a party, Princess. Why so glum?”

    I turned my eyes gaze on him and his eyes widened in surprise. My eyes had flashed a dark golden color, I realized, and it must have startled him. I had to suppress the growl rising in my throat and I understood then just how angry I was. When I spoke my voice was a combination of tones echoing and mixing into one. Like I was more than one person speaking the same words at the same time.

    “I am not at all ‘glum’, as you put it…” I murmured, forcing my eyes to change back to their normal gray color. It was difficult and draining to do so. “I simply tire of your presence… You were overbearing to begin with. The sound of your voice even annoyed me. And you’re cocky. Now here you are leading me away like some regal dog and you haven’t even told me your name.” My dual voice was haunted and filled with malice. I stopped walking and looked at him wrenching my arm from his grasp. “And not only that, but you call me Princess as if I am some artifact!”

    “My apologies Your Highness. My name is Ren.” He faced me and bent at the waist in a mocking bow. When he straightened though, his eyes burned with seriousness. Ren smiled darkly and reached out, his hand tracing a strange line over my cheek and tugging lightly on my hair. “Silly girl…you think your life is so hard. But you don’t know a thing do you. You’ve been privileged with everything you could ever want. And you only don’t want it because it is there for the taking. You’d rather play rebel.” His voice was distant and cold and he was looking down at me with shadows dancing in his eyes. “You only want what you can’t have…” The golden color drained from my eyes and the voices became one, once again. “You’re a very sad child…”