Part 18: Heartache
For some reason, Janus felt as though someone had just punched him in the gut. Hunter had asked to court Emerald…and she agreed?! And that would eventually lead to them getting married! His heart thumped, and it hurt. He had never felt a pain like it in all of his life, and his hand clutched at his shirt over his heart as if that would make it go away. He wished it would.
The three fairies glanced at each other with solemn expressions, then nodded.
“Surely you know why that hurts,” the red fairy said, seeing his pained expression.
“I don’t know why it should!” Janus cried as he raked his fingers through his hair.
The green fairy sighed heavily. “Janus, you have feelings for the princess. You love her. After all, she is your True Love.”
Janus wanted to scream. He wanted to run as far away from Emerald and the rest of the kingdom as he could. But somehow he knew that string that tethered his soul to Emerald’s would still be there. I he simply ran from his problems as he always did, then that string would be forever pulled taut, and the pain in his heart would never go away. He gritted his teeth and took a step towards the fairies. “Then take it away! I don’t want to love her! I’ve never had anyone love me, and I’ve never loved anyone for this very reason!”
“We can’t take it away,” said the blue fairy, clasping her hands. “Love hurts sometimes, Janus. It is something everyone must live with.”
“I don’t want it!” Janus shouted. In that moment, he couldn’t contain the rage that the pain in his heart created. The light in the forest dimmed, and Janus’ eyes clouded with darkness. He felt a terrible strength run through his veins, strength he knew could vaporize the entire kingdom in the blink of an eye.
The fairies reacted quickly, their wands appearing out of thin air.
Before they could do anything with them, however, Janus turned his back to them and forced his powers away. He breathed deeply, feeling the strength begin to subside. The light returned to normal in the forest, and the darkness left his eyes. He clenched his fists. It was getting so much harder to hold back. Was it because of his supposed love for Emerald?
He turned back to the fairies, and apologetic look in his eyes. “I…don’t want this pain. I don’t want anything to do with it.”
“There’s nothing we can do,” said the green fairy, looking at him with pity. That only made him more frustrated. He didn’t need their pity.
The blue fairy opened her mouth to speak, then shut it, then sighed. “Janus…by allowing Emerald to marry Hunter, fate would be defied and she will live a miserable life. She loves Hunter, but as a brother. Already, she is unhappy.”
“She has feelings for you,” said the green fairy. “You should tell her the truth.”
“I don’t know what the truth is quite yet,” Janus said, furrowing his brow. He shook his head. It didn’t matter. “Please, leave me be. You’ve said enough.”
The fairies sighed in unison, but they didn’t argue. They vanished and left behind three puffs of colored smoke.
Now that he was alone, the pain in Janus’ heart grew the more he thought of what the fairies had told him. Hunter and Emerald were courting…which would eventually lead to them getting married. Why hadn’t Emerald said anything about it to him? And why did she seem so sad? Did she really not love Hunter, like the fairies had said? Could she honestly have feelings for a man like him? No…if she did, it was purely infatuation. They might be True Loves, but it was ridiculous to assume that a sweet, kind girl like Emerald and a cruel, cold man like himself could ever fall in love.
But if that was the case…then why did his heart hurt so much?
Janus found his way back to the finish line with his cheeks red from embarrassment. He was the last to finish the race. The five who had finished first were clapping each other on the back and celebrating the fact that they wouldn’t have to train with the others the next day. At least they had the honor not to gloat. Then again…they were knights. They were supposed to have that kind of honor.
Augustus ran up with a worried look on his face. “I was beginning to think you got lost in the woods,” he said, wringing his hands. “What took you?”
Janus turned away from the boy, sighing deeply. “Nothing happened. I just got…sidetracked.” He paused, then turned back to his new squire. “Did Thomas dismiss us?”
Augustus nodded. “Yes, Sir, about twenty minutes ago.”
Janus nodded, then started off towards the palace. He had to see Emerald about her courtship with Hunter.
~ <♥> ~
This one ended up being a little shorter than I intended, but I didn’t want to add on what I had planned since I thought it might make it longer than I intended it. At any rate, the next part is something that I’ve been really excited about for awhile now, so I can’t wait to share it with you!
I hope you enjoyed this part! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! As always, God bless y’all and have a wonderful week!