Friday, 28 February 2014

Sentinels Of Varnuse: When The Walls Come Tumbling Down #9


Javier turned from his brother and seemed to be listening to the room at large. Ingrid wondered if Javier’s new friend was here somewhere. Without knowing who it was she would have to keep her eyes open. Ingrid’s curiosity got the better of her as she watched the guards in the room. The only person not doing their duty was Talon. He couldn’t seem to take his eyes off Javier. He looked terrified that somehow Javier would realise he was there.

Ingrid tapped Quinlan on the shoulder letting him know that she was leaving the room for a moment. She indicted for Talon to follow her from the throne room as she passed. For a fierce warrior, he looked at this moment as if he wanted the floor to open up and swallow him whole.

“Are you the one who’s has been sitting with Javier every day?” Ingrid asked. She already knew the answer but she wanted him to confirm it for her.

“I am,” Talon spoke quietly, “I meant no offense. He just seemed lonely.”

“Why did you not talk to him? Why sit in silence?” She asked curiously.

“Because I realised he’s a Prince, and I am not.”

“Yet you kept him company anyway?”

“Yes.” Talon looked her in the eyes. 

     Ingrid got the feeling he was trying to determine if he’d done wrong. 

    “Javier is so beautiful. His skin is so pale and flawless. While my own appearance can and often does scare people.” He indicated the scar running down the whole left side of his face. 

    It started in his hairline and bisected his eye going down over his cheek to end just below his jaw line. Ingrid knew the wound had been a farewell gift from Talon’s mother, on the day she threw him out of the family home, cursing him to hell and back for if she ever saw him again. For a while the man’s life ran rampart with the gossips. Ingrid also knew Quinlan had been the one to order the man be taken on as a sentinel.

“It makes me curious as to why you would do that? What did you hope to gain from such a friendship?”

“Because, he cannot see me. My face and station in life doesn’t worry him. To the prince I’m just a normal person. For just a moment each day I can pretend to look as normal as everyone else.”

Ingrid stared at him thoughtfully. “I think I have a new job for you.” She said with a smile. “I’m promoting to chief bodyguard of Prince Javier. His life and wellbeing now rests in your hands.”

Talon inhaled sharply. “Do you think that wise? I’m already despised among our kind. Why the hell would you wish me to be with the Prince where everyone can see us together? Don’t you think that will make him an even bigger target once people realise who he is?”

“Then it will be your job to teach him to stay safe. Teach him to defend himself.  Javier is much stronger than you would think.” Ingrid explained hoping Talon would read between the lines of what she was ordering him to do.

“Why me?” Talon asked.

Ingrid like that the man stood up for himself even when he knew he shouldn’t be questioning the word of King Quinlan’s head bodyguard. While she stood staring at the man she watched as he fought not to lower his eyes.  Show no fear: that had been the motto for the sentinels since they were first created into being.

In the end she only said. “Javier likes you. He isn’t afraid of you.”

“Is that the only reason?”

“No. I chose you because you won’t treat him like he is broken. The prince doesn’t need a carer. Javier needs a friend. You’ll teach him how being strong is a product of both the physical and the mental. And I have chosen you for this task because I trust you will die to defend him.”

Placing a hand over his heart Talon bowed in her direction. “As you wish. Prince Javier is now mine to protect.” Without looking back Talon walked back into the throne room and took up his new position beside Prince Javier.

Ingrid smiled at the look of determination on the sentinels face. In that instant she knew he would do his job well.


Javier turned slightly and inhaled. A smile crossed his lips when he realised his silent friend was so close. His heart could finally begin to calm down from all the new things being thrown at him all at once. Taking a small step Javier relaxed even further when his friend didn’t move away. The man’s warmth was a comfort.

“Quinlan, Brayden,” Ingrid said as she rejoined them. “Talon Redfeather has been promoted to Prince Javier’s personal bodyguard. Javier, now would be the time to say something if you’re not satisfied with this arrangement.”

Javier felt his face blush. Even though he couldn’t see them; he felt the weight of everyone’s gaze upon him. “Am I now in danger? Do I need to be protected?”

“Yes,” Brayden said.

Javier stiffened when Brayden grabbed a hold of his forearm. Part of him was still amazed he was no longer alone in this life. He now had a little piece of his past he could cling to.

His brother’s voice sounded like it was filled with sorrow as he again spoke. “You look too much like me for there not to be any danger.” Brayden brought Javier’s hands up too his face. Javier shivered knowing his brother was giving him the opportunity to find out what he looked like.

“Someone has put a price upon my head. I’ve only just found you. I don’t want to lose you because you might be mistaken for me.” Brayden answered.

“Do you also have a person guarding you?” Javier yanked his hands away. He knew he sounded waspish, but he couldn’t help but feel he was being treated this way because of his blindness. “I’m not helpless. I’ve taken care of myself for the last ten years. Why now do I need to be guarded?”

Ingrid snorted loudly. Javier knew she would be the one to put him in his place she had done so for the past decade. “Javier, you’ve always been guarded. My family has guarded you from the day we pulled you out of the burning ruins of your parents transport. Do you honestly think we saved you just to watch you get killed?”

Javier dropped his unseeing gaze to the floor and trembled just a little. He knew they all thought he was broken. This only proves what he had been thinking was right. His body relaxed slightly as he felt a large hand gently touch the small of his back. With his silent friend there Javier knew he could be strong.

“Fine. I will consent to a guard.”

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