Chapter 45

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"I'm sorry."

I sat behind Duke and we were on Dark who had definitely grown in size for a horse. Duke sat in the front riding us back to the Academy. I was holding Duke's waist tightly as tears still leaked out from my eyes. I lay my cheek against his back and stared aimlessly at the trees we were passing by. I just couldn't say anything.

"I'm sorry, I killed him. I didn't mean to do it. I just got so angry that he said all those things about you and your mother." Duke whispered looking ahead.

I don't say anything. My mind was too blank to think anymore. I sometimes wonder why had the world blessed and shamed humans to be the way they are. Maybe if it didn't, my father could have lived but the world not fair enough to do that.

"Winter, please say something. I don't want you to start hating me now that I have finally gotten you back after so long. Please, Winter." He whispered softly as if afraid that I would leave him again if he spoke too harshly.

He tried turning his body to face me, but I just hugged him tighter so he couldn't turn. I didn't want him to see me crying. I needed time. I needed time to think this through, just give me some time.

He didn't say anything after that. I continue to cling on to him afraid that he would turn around and see me. I'm too weak now and tired of dealing with anything right now.

"Duke?" I mumbled.

"Yes, Winter?" He whispered.

"Just give me time," I said clasping my hands together.

"Alright, Winter." He said before placing a hand onto my hands.

That familiar feeling of warmth came back as he hold my hands. Sometimes actions speak more than words. This was sometimes our way of speaking when we are unable to speak. His thumb gently caressed my hands in a comforting manner.

I hear the smooth beating of his heart against my ear. It was soothing in a way, calming my rapidly beating heart. I start to feel my eyes flicker close. I was too tired to deal with all this emotions right now and just let sleep take away my pain.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


Bertha came running towards me, almost tripping on the way. She had her arms open and tears in her eyes. She hugged my legs as if I was her long lost pet cat. I stroke her hair back with a slight smile on my face but I didn't want to smile. Today isn't supposed to be a day of smiling.

"Bertha, you can let go off my legs now. You might make me paralyse if you don't." I said laughing a bit causing my insides to hurt.

"Oh Winter, I miss you so much. I was so worried when the ice cracked. I-I thought you..." She cried even more into my clothes.

I continue comforting her as she lets go of her worries. I, on the other hand, could not. At least not yet. I look up to see Elder James, Jeffery, Mike, Fay and little Sarah with a grin on her face.

"Winter! Winter! You came!" Sarah yelled running to me, but she couldn't really touched me because of how tall Dark was and how short she was.

"Hey, there Sarah. I see you look better and happier now." I faked a smile.

"Winter, it's amazing here! There is so many people and this old Lady gave me a lot of dolls to play with." Sarah said bluntly.

"Child!" Bertha shouted causing everyone to laugh.

"Hey, Winter." A soft voice said causing me to look up.

Fay stood there with Mike next to her and Jeffery. Mike had an arm around her as she shyly blush. She walks up to me and took hold of my hands.

"I'm so sorry about my behaviour, Winter. I honestly don't know what came over me this past year." She said giving me an apologetic smile.

Father, why did you had to use such an innocent person to play a test?

"Fay, it's alright. I know you weren't that type of person. Maybe it's just the weather or something." I lied gaining some glances.

"Hahaha maybe but I honestly am sorry. I wouldn't do anything to harm you or your relationship with Duke. To be quite frank, I did have a crush on Duke but Mike here has always been good to me so I'm just happy that Duke is able to find someone he can look after." She smiled at me before looking at Mike who was blushing.

I smiled, but I didn't know how long I could stand doing so. I got off Dark leaving Duke on him.

"I think, I'm should get some rest. It's been a long journey." I lied as everyone nods their head.

"Oh, you must be hungry, Winter. Bertha made some delicious food in the kitchen. Don't tell her but I took most of the cookies." She whispered the last part.

"Thank you, Sarah, but at the moment I would just like to rest. Maybe I be excused?" I said and everyone nods in reply.

Once I enter the building, I quickly run to my room and lock myself inside. At least it's the only thing that hasn't changed in my life. I press against the stone and the wall moves. I walk down the stairs into the ice room.

Everything was broken and damp, but the cold air lingered in the room. I flatten the water before freezing it. I step into the room and stop at the center of the room. I sit down and place my hands on the ice. Ice slowly rise from the ground to form a statue of me.

I reach for the necklace around my neck and place it onto the statue. I froze it so it could never break away from the status before breathing out.

"So do you want to continue your father's plan Winter?" Talon said behind me.

I turn around and to see him twirling his finger around making swirls of darkness. He turns to look at me with his bright blue eyes. It's been awhile since I had seen such excitement in his eyes. I stand up from the ground and walked to the door. His eyes following me as I move.

"The plan to burn down the Academy?" 

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