The Unlikely Prince: Part 25

Part 25: What Is A Villain To Do?

“We shouldn’t be doing this,” Janus whispered, his voice hoarse.

Emerald put her mittened hands on his face, and the warmth that coursed through him made his heart pound. Her eyes started to sparkle from tears. “I can’t do this anymore, Janus,” she said. “I try so hard to love him, but I can’t. I want to do what he wants…I just want to make everyone happy… I’m trying so hard.”

Janus thought he might feel the anger coming back at the thought of Hunter forcing Emerald to marry him, but he could only feel the strange warmth that she brought to him. What sort of magic did she have? She had to have some kind, to be able to do this. But why couldn’t he sense it? He could always feel someone else’s magic. But hers…he only felt it now, when she was touching him.

He swallowed. “I wish I could help you. I…I am sworn to protect you, but I can’t protect you from him.”

“He’s so different,” she said. “So cold. I don’t know what’s happened to him, but ever since you broke the spell on me, he has never been the same as before. I thought I could be happy as his wife, but I…I can’t!”

“Does he hurt you?” Janus dared to ask.

She quickly shook her head. “Oh, no! He would never do that!” She finally pulled away from him and wrung her hands together. “He’s just…well…you know him.”

“Yes, I do.” He sighed. Was there anything he could do? The fairies had suggested that there was, but Hunter was a king! If he tried to stand up to a king, he could be killed. Not to mention that Hunter already disliked him, and may put him in the dungeon the first chance he got. One wrong move, he thought. I must be careful about this.

He took Emerald’s hands in his own. “I…I will see if there is something I can do,” he said quietly. There was only a few more weeks until the wedding, but surely there was something. “Perhaps if I talk to him about it?”

Emerald gave him a helpless look. “You know as well as I do that he would never listen to you.” She tried to smile. “I don’t want you to get into trouble. I’ll…I’ll be all right, as long as you are my friend. You…you remain my Guard, won’t you?”

“I’ll do my best,” Janus replied, but perhaps that wasn’t such a good idea. His magic was getting harder to control…but what if Emerald had the counter-magic? If that was true, then it would be best to stay near her. But how could he know for sure?

Emerald pulled away from him and dabbed at her eyes. “I suppose we should get back soon. I don’t want Hunter sending out more guards to make sure I’m all right. I hate that he doesn’t trust you.”

“Why did he make me your Guard?”

She shrugged. “Mostly because Thomas pressured him into it, I think. Hunter holds him at a high regard, and often does what he advises.” She stood on the tips of her toes to plant a kiss on his cheek. “Don’t worry about Hunter, all right? He…he treats me well, and I should be grateful for that. There are many wives who cannot say the same about their husbands.”

Janus grumbled a curse under his breath, but nodded. “Fine. But if he lays one wrong hand on you…”

She gave him a sad smile, and Janus could easily read the expression on her face. What could be done about Hunter if he did hurt her? He was the king. If Janus tried to stand up to him, then he could just wind up getting executed for treason.

“You make him sound like a villain,” Emerald said softly as she started back down the forest path. “Hunter has a kind heart, Janus. It is just that you two can’t seem to get along. But truly, Hunter cares about his people, and he loves me dearly. He’s just…very set in his ways, I suppose.” She looked over her shoulder at him and winked. “Besides, aren’t you supposed to be the villain in this story?”

Janus’ arms dropped to his sides. It was true, wasn’t it? If anyone would hurt Emerald, it was him. Even if he didn’t want to, there was no assurance that he wouldn’t lose control of his powers. They were getting stronger all the time, and more violent. His magic was a time bomb, just waiting for something to set it off. What if Emerald was near when that time finally came?

Shaking his head, he followed Emerald through the forest. He wouldn’t allow his powers to get out of hand. He couldn’t.

But what was a villain to do?

~ ~ ~

It kinda feels like this story has been on a break since I haven’t written any since January! All the ones that had been releasing I had stocked up since I wanted to be able to focus on the 20th anniversary posts for Kingdom hearts. But now that that’s over, the chapters I had stocked up ran out and it was time for me to get back to work! But I love writing these parts (most of the time) so it felt good to be back! Thank you to everyone who has been keeping up with this story, it sure means a lot to me!

Let me know your thoughts on this part in the comments below! And as always, God bless y’all and have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

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