A Warrior’s Dream
Chapter 23: Prayer
When they returned to the palace in Level 1 Pax landed just before the doors and Millo shoved out of his arms. He was released without bother and tugged the heavy doors open, darting in anger and betrayal ruling him. Millo hadn’t looked back, didn’t want to see Pax’s face nor did he wish to hear his voice. He desired both only a moment ago, but given his motivation to deny him his mother at this point in time he wanted nothing more than to be alone.
Millo ran for the spiraling stairs and didn’t stop until reaching his grand bedroom, heaving open the door before letting it slam and lock behind him. He wanted her, “Mother…” he cried in a near-whisper. He wanted her, but it wasn’t like he could sneak away and go in search for her on his own. He didn’t know where she lived, nor could he protect himself from the dangers of the Levels without someone at my side.
Millo looked down at hands, they were tainted with dirt and so was his night gown. Slipping off the gown he left it on the floor and turned in place for the lavatory door beside his opened closet. “Millo?” he heard Pax’s voice from beyond the doorway, “Millo, open the door.”
“No, go away!”
“Millo, you don’t understand why I have to keep you away.”
Millo gripped the frame of the door, his nails scratching at the wood. “Then tell me! What is so wrong about my mother that you refuse to let me see her!?”
“I cannot say…”
“I cannot say,” he repeated Pax’s words, “That is the stupidest excuse I have ever heard. Give me an answer or I will find one on my own.”
When silence was all he was given, he rounded into the lavatory and flinched when he heard his bedroom door fall from its hinges, crashing to the floor with a loud smack. He shut the door before Pax could come nearer but when he tried to lock it, it was opened beforehand.
Pax looked Millo up and down, his half nakedness probably causing a distraction for him shortly. Millo burned him with his gaze, “Why is it so important for you to keep me from the one who brought me into this world? What did she do to you!?”
“Nothing!” Pax grabbed Millo’s arm and pulled him from the lavatory, and had him stammering closer to the bed.
“I can’t tell you, Millo; just leave it at that. I’ve been working my wings off to make sure you live, not only for your father’s sake but for mine. I couldn’t go on without you in this world with me. I once said I was doing all of this for your father, and even after my trying to make you understand, you still don’t. If you go…” He caught himself and stepped back, “You can’t, Millo, and I am willing to do anything to make sure you never leave my side. As the husband you wished for, I am here to love and keep you safe. You’re not going and that’s the end of it.”
He gawked into Millo, as if making sure he meant what was said. “Tell me you love me,” Pax said moving for the balcony. Milo explored his reason to demand those words, but gave them to him anyways.
“I love you.”
Pax checked the lock of the balcony doors, as if Millo would be stupid enough to jump from such a height. “Lie down, Millo; you need sleep; this day was sufficiently hectic. You need your rest.”
Millo climbed into bed whether he was tired or not, and Pax made him comfortable under the covers. As he stood beside the bed he reached out his hand to touch Millo’s face but was turned down from the affection.
He pulled his hand away and walked over to the wall beside the broken doorway. There he set his Sacred Blade that looked almost new down and leaned tiredly back against the wall, folded his arms together and rest his head back, eyes closed. He looked more exhausted than Millo ever remembered seeing him, like he’d been in a million battles and was taking this time to regenerate his energy for the dangers that would surely come in the next day.
“Pax,” Millo spoke softly.
“Hm?” he barely opened his eyes.
“Tell me a story…” Millo said trying to set aside his frustration, “…a story from your past. I love you, but I can’t say I know much about you other than you’re a Vindex and are of great value to my father. Tell me about your childhood.”
“I didn’t have one.”
“Nonsense, Pax, everyone has a childhood.”
“Not when you’re born within the Levels. I’m actually not quite sure if I did have a mother or a father. My memory kicked in when I turned five, and by that time I was already alone. They could’ve been killed for all I know or just abandoned me out there. After I found my Sacred Blade I warded off the many evils with the skills I built. I learned to kill, hunt, and even how to build a fire all on my own. When your father found me one day on the brink of unconsciousness he took me in. He told me who I was, gave me my name and set my path. Though he did not command me to serve under him I felt I owed him that much. I spent years defending his walls; always wanting to make sure the man who just about saved my life was safe.”
Pax was quiet for a time and took his Sacred Blade in his hands, examining the fine tip. “I spent quite a time away from the people of Level 1, patrolling from the top of the wall rather than entering. And that’s when… the King introduced me to you.”
Millo smiled shyly also remembering the moment he first laid eyes on the man of his dreams, but he didn’t continue to speak, only held silent and let him recall the time himself. “I can still see you face,” he laughed sitting up from under the covers, “How you stared at me with those sexy eyes.”
“Love at first sight,” Millo sighed, “How romantic. Ha-ha, you really should’ve opening up to me earlier. If so, I bet you’d have been a lot happier.”
“I was happy… in a sense. All I needed was knowledge of you being alive. I nearly lost it when Genesis told me you were in trouble several days back, I even backed down from a fight to make sure you were okay.”
“Pax,” Millo couldn’t hold back, “What made you love me?”
He didn’t think long. “Your innocence. I admired your youthful wisdom, how ignorant you were to the truths behind the wall. You were a normal human being living as any human should. You had shelter, friends, a family, and a smile on your face. When I knew I could keep that smile, make sure you never had a reason to frown, I felt accomplished. No matter where I was, in Level 8, or 5, 9, 3, or 4, I kept in mind no matter how bad the fight I was in, that back in the safeties of Level 1, you were there… smiling.”
“You should come lie with me… please?”
Pax kept his eyes on his blade before walking over to the bed. He set the blade beside the headboard and sat at the edge. It almost seemed like he was hesitant on lying back, like he was realizing that this bed belonged to royalty, but before he could think about standing and moving away, Millo reached his hand up from under the covers and put a light pressure on his shoulder. Pax lied down without effort and was fixed with a blanket over him. “See,” Millo smiled, “Doesn’t a comfortable position feel good?”
He was staring at the canopy overhead, “I should stand…”
“No, you shouldn’t.”
“I have to be sure I’m-.”
Millo sat up and cupped his face in his hands, placing his mouth over Pax’s to silence his words. He was a Vindex, a born protector, but it didn’t hurt to have a break every once in a while.
Peaking his lips one last time, Millo caressed his stern gentle face and lied down beside him, and as time passed slowly Pax finally settled in sleep and drifted away. He looked so tired, so giving him a place to lie only seemed right, plus, Millo liked having him beside him… even if he was irritated moments ago.
Millo watched Pax sleep for a time, twirling his fingers in his hair but wasn’t able to fall asleep as well. After a while, he sat up and swung out of bed, dangling his feet off. He hopped down and trotted over to his closet, tugging on a fresh night gown.
As he crossed the room back for the bed he stopped and got a good look out of the balcony glass doors. The moon was full and looked closer than usual, so much that it seemed he could lean over the ledge and touch it. He opened the doors and stepped outside, the breeze refreshing in his blonde hair. “Mother…” I sighed closing his hands together, “I pray to find your love some day.”
An odd tingle ran up his spine then, but he shook it off as a chill and continued. “Aphrodite. If you can hear me; I promised myself I wouldn’t ask much of you anymore after you granted me with Pax’s love, but if you are listening, I wish it possible for you to visit my mother and tell her I love her very much and wish I could be with her.” Feeling unaccomplished, he unfolded his hands and moved back into the room, “I wish she would just come get me herself…”
Looking up at a female voice, Millo met the eyes of a beautiful white haired woman. She was stunning in every shape and form, her soft features broadcasted through the faint lighting coming through the balcony doors. She was dazzled in jewels that matched her warrior-like attire, and eyes. Her white hair was pinned perfectly in a nice bun, her face showcasing a proficient smile.
“Hello,” she spoke softly, sure not to frighten the young boy she appeared on front of without notice. “You haven’t prayed to me for a while, now. The first time I heard your call I wanted to find you, but I was intersected by unwanted company and force to take up hidden shelter, losing your position.” The woman held out her hand, “I…I am your mother, Millo.”
Millo stared long and hard at this woman. It couldn’t be… she came just like that. That’s all it took! “Mo-.”
“Hush, my beautiful child.” She waved for him to take her hand and Millo did without time to think of his actions. “Let us speak in another place.”
He looked over the hand grasping his, it was soft, nails perfectly filed. “What about…what about, Pax?”
She touched his worrisome face, and wondered for a moment why it looked like he wanted to cry. “I can let you stay if you wish not to come.”
“No, please…” Millo looked over her shoulder towards Pax sleeping, surprised that he hadn’t woken up. “I want to, I want to go with you, if only for a while.”
The gorgeous woman smiled down at Millo, and took his other hand, a whirl of misty blue spirals of clouds circling around them. “Come, my beautiful child. I will quench the desire you hold.”
She let him slip into his closet for a moment to change into something more suitable for a long await reunion, and they disappeared within the fog.