Chapter Thirty: Like A Bat Out of Hell
Apollo opened the door and cautiously stepped into Cassandra’s room. The young boy couldn’t help but swallow thickly in despair. He never used to have a problem being in her room, in the past he would have done anything not to leave her side but now he wasn’t so sure. Cassandra just wasn’t the same anymore.
He knew who was to blame for her new personality; Caspar. Disgust and hate filled the pit of his stomach when he laid eyes on the older boy. At times Caspar would smirk at him, asking, no, daring him to pick a fight. Loki would have to pull his arm and lead him away, not wanting to lose the only family he had left. It infuriated him how the girl he looked after and protected for centuries would just sit there and grin evilly with Caspar as he was tugged away. If Caspar did decide to fight him, Cassandra wouldn’t raise a finger to help break up the fight.
She sat waiting for him in front of the tiny vanity in her room. Smiling up at him, she motioned for him to come in and shut the door behind him. His heart fluttered in his chest and he quickly did as he was told. Seating himself on her small bed, he peered over her shoulder to look at what she was writing. Lately she had become too lazy to sign her words and had instead started to use a whiteboard and colored pens.
He waited in the silence but soon it became too uncomfortable so he spoke out, his voice ripping through the quiet air.
“I’ve missed you, Cassie.” His voice broke at the end, his nerves getting the better of him.
He scratched the back of his head and huffed, turning his gaze to his folded hands when she looked at him startled. “You spend too much time with your brother. I mean-”
Pushing back her chair, she stood and knelt in front of him. Cupping his face in her tiny hands, her honey colored eyes bore into his. Frowning, she leant forward and lightly ghosted her lips over his.
Apollo forgot how to breathe. Not that he really needed to. His mind went blank and it seemed like time just stood still. He couldn’t remember or think of what to do next, so instead he just sat there and let her gently kiss him. Her tiny hands moving to rest on his shoulder before she pulled away and placed her forehead against his.
Wrapping his arms around her tiny waist, he brought her closer and could only sigh with content. Having her kiss him first had been just a daydream since the moment he met her.
Globe Theater London, England May 3rd 1602
James. That was his name back then but it changed the second he met her. His twin brother’s name was Adam; Adam and James Jones. They weren’t really known; they never got seconds glances on the streets or in the shops. The only time people really looked at them in awe was when they took their places on stage. Acting was their life. They slept, ate and breathed acting. It was their life and they wouldn’t want it any other way.
The day the twins met her again, they were busy practicing on the stage. Lines rolled off their tongue like a second language and their movements were fluid like water. ‘Alls Well that Ends Well’ was to be played later in the afternoon and they wanted everything to be perfect. The weather was holding up and everything seemed to be going smoothly for them.
James turned his head to the side, the words he wanted to say stopped, refusing to leave his mouth.
A girl about the twins age, maybe a year younger, strolled in. Her pale purple dress skimmed the dirty floor, the rest held up by her delicate hands. Her collar wasn’t ruffled but instead lower and rounded, trimmed with white lace. Pausing in her step, she fixed her drooping pink shawl and touched her hair, making sure it was in place. It was a strange hairstyle to find on a girl her age. Her pale locks were swept together in a braided messy bun in the back of her head.
Huffing she made her way to the stage, smiling at them when she finally arrived.
“Why is a beautiful lady such as yourself, gracing us with your presence?” asked Adam, bowing with his brother.
The girl looked surprised for a moment, then curtsied. “I am saddened to know that you do not recognize me.”
James jumped off the stage and bowed to her again, Adam did the same. The girl could only glance from one to the other, wondering how in sync they could be. It was so strange to see twins that knew what the other would do and say before they even did it.
“You look lovelier in the light, my lady,” said James, gazing up at her with a cheeky grin. “I dare say I didn’t recognize you.”
“Yes, please forgive us.” Added Adam as he took her hand and lightly pressed his lips to it.
The day before they had run into the young girl, in fact, they had saved her from being trampled by a carriage. For her thanks she rewarded each of them with a kind smile and a coin or two. It was strange that they didn’t remember her. True as it was, she looked prettier standing in front of them now then she did then, falling into their arms as they pulled her away from the street. Her hair was put up differently and her dress looked even more expensive.
“I am coming to see the play later.” She began, smoothing out her dress. “So do not disappoint me.”
“We shall not!” they chimed in unison, causing her eyes to widen.
Putting a small hand to her mouth, she let out a giggle and patted James on the head like a dog. Something flashed in her eyes then and he saw it. What it was he couldn’t tell and he wouldn’t until it was too late. Sometimes he wished he would have caught it sooner, maybe things would have turned out differently for him and his brother. Then there were times that he was grateful because he was blessed with spending every waking hour with her.
“I see my lady is a girly girl.” James teased. As a fifteen-year-old, healthy boy he knew how to tease and flirt with a girl as well as the next teenager.
The girl pouted and stomped her foot playfully. “No I am not! I just like nice things, there is nothing wrong with that.”
“No there is not.” He agreed then added. “But it is a shame.”
Her golden eyes bore into his, a flicker of a smile on her plump lips. “Why is that?”
Taking her small hand in his, he kissed it, gazing into her eyes through his pale lashes. “Because I can’t afford them.”
Gently freeing herself from his arms, she picked up her whiteboard and placed it in his hands. Kissing his cheek, she watched as his face stretched into a frown. Opening the green curtains she let the light flood in. Looking back she found hisblue eyes watching her, hoping it was all a joke.
You will do what I tell you to. She signed angrily.
“B-but, Cassie, if you get caught-”
In a flash she upon him like a lioness. The whiteboard clattered to the floor when she threw herself on him. Pinning him to the bed she pressed a dagger to his throat. Both were breathing heavy, one from fury the other from fear. Snake venom dripped off the blade and ran down his neck, the coolness of it making him shiver.
Do you understand? Her eyes asked.
He could only nod at the beast of a girl he had accidentally fallen in love with.
He would be her slave until the end, whether his end was brought on by her or himself.
You will write what I dictate to you. Then, when we are done, you are to secretly place it in Rosemary’s room where only SHE will find it. Do not, under any circumstances, let anyone see you or tell anyone what you are doing.
The board read.
Getting off him, she picked it up and threw it at him before retreating to the window. Her back rested on the wall but her eyes rested on him. Reluctantly he sat in her chair and picked up the pen and paper. It was white, normal paper and not the cream colored card she liked to write on. The pen was just a normal ball point pen in red. He gulped and glanced at her, what was she planning?
Deep inside her someone, he knew she was still the girl he had come to love. It was just buried beneath a cold, hard shell. And as much as he hated himself for not giving up in one-sided love, he couldn’t bring himself to hate her and just run away from it all with his brother. Before he had said that all he needed was his twin to survive, but now he wasn’t so sure. He needed to see Cassandra flash him one of her rare smiles. He needed to make her smile. Because he only lived to please her.
Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath and began to write whatever Cassandra signed for him.
It’s been too long since I last saw you. I know we can’t meet because of my family but I really need to see you. My family won’t be home this Friday so please, if you can, sneak over to my house. The address is below.
Apollo forced himself to write their address, he was tempted to put a different one, a safer one but Cassandra was standing behind him like a hawk. Once he was finished she snatched it from his hands and folded it, copying another note which was similarly written. His heart dropped to the pit of his stomach. He knew what she was planning and he didn’t like it one bit.
Deliver it. She signed. Then with a pat on his shoulder and a kiss on his cheek, she disappeared.