Chapter Twenty-One

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Noah and I sit in silence. After going back and forth on what we should do for the past few hours, we sit in his office completely exhausted. 

"My dear," Noah begins. The tension he holds in his shoulders are evident. I know whatever he decides to do is going to take a huge toll on him. On one hand, we fight and put ourselves and others at danger. On the other hand, we give over the kingdom and watch it crumble. "I think we know what we have to do."

"No," I answer immediately. "We can't fight them. Too many people could get hurt."

"Sera, we both know that if we hand over the kingdom they would lose all military protection. As soon as we step down the whole kingdom will be vulnerable to invasion by neighboring kingdoms. We have next to no allies as of right now. No one will try and protect our lands as we decide the next move. War is are only option."

I stand up, while throwing my hands up in exasperation. I feel myself start pacing like I have been doing for the past couple of hours. "Noah, how can we go to war with our own people?"

"They aren't 'our people', Sera. They have been brainwashed against us. They don't want to be apart of the union of the kingdom anymore."

I stop and turn myself facing Noah, "That's exactly what I'm saying. They have been brainwashed, so they can't help it. They just want to come home and be with their family that they were tore away from..." I trail off dropping my head.

Noah sighs and stands from his chair and walks over to me. I finally look up when he is standing in front of me, those beautiful eyes staring into my soul. The same sad eyes that looked at me that first night we talked. His arms immediately wrap around me and I can feel myself melting, all the tension between us dissipating.

"I'm sorry, my darling," Noah whispers in my ear, while running his fingers in my hair. "I know that she's your sister, but she is not the same girl you knew when you were younger. I know that you love her and want her to see the truth, but I love you too much for her to hurt you. We've worked so hard together for what we have built to be stolen. I'm doing everything in my power to try and protect you, the kingdom, and our future together."

At this point I reach up and touch his hair this time. His silky locks being my new favorite thing to touch and he doesn't seem to mind it. In fact, a faint smile crawls across his lips at the touch. 

"I'm sorry. I feel so torn, but I guess I am more torn of the memory of Dev instead of who she is now. I still want to look at her as my big sister that I had all those years ago, but she's changed. And so have I."

I take a deep breath to give me my confidence to make a decision, "As role of the future queen, I must do what's best for our kingdom. If war is our only option, then we must go through with it. But, we must do everything in our power to keep casualties to an absolute minimum. I don't wish for any blood to be on our hands."

Noah simply smiles at me. I know he can tell this is hard for me. Never have I felt to be a violent person. I never thought I would be helping to make a decision on whether to go to war or not. Especially a war on people that I can sympathize with. I lived in the kingdom in it's hardest of times and I never thought it could get better. But, now there is a chance. I wish I could get that through their heads. I wish I could get that through Dev's head.

Noah takes my hand and leads to me to the couch on the side of the room to sit. I used to sit on this couch and read while Noah would work on plans for the kingdom. The silence in that time was promising of a better life for all. Now the silence brings me  fear that something terrible may happen.

 "I don't want to worry you anymore with this nonsense. Just think that after this is over, we can finally have a beautiful summer wedding. I am so excited for the day that you get to walk down the aisle and become my beautiful queen."

I reach my hand up and gently cup his face, "Me too."

His lips come down and gently meet mine. For a moment I feel the pressure lifting from me and I can truly enjoy this moment and dream of a perfect future with Noah. For this moment I can feel at ease. Safe. I know Noah will do everything in his power to protect me, and I trust him with my life.

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