Maxxor was having an unusual quiet day. The silence that echoed through his study as he focused on paperwork made him uneasy. Every day, without fail, there would be drama of some sort or an explosion. Yes, even in the mere dusk it happened. The drama came from the aristocrats that never kept their noses out of his business. The explosions were from various warriors as they trained. That, or an experiment gone wrong. That experiment would come from few people and it happened once in a while. This was why he never came to that latter conclusion until he checked what happened. Aside from the drama, it wasn’t all too bad. The events kept him on his toes, including his warriors’. Good thing too, because sometimes they were attacked by the other tribes.
This was why it irked him when nothing happened by the time that the sun started to disappear over the horizon.
It made him suspicious even more so when he hadn’t seen one specific person for both breakfast and lunch, his fiancée. It wasn’t just that. What bugged him the most was that it has been awhile since he heard any of the fights that she found herself in. That woman was always a quiet one, but her clashes with the aristocrats was that of legend. It was almost a weekly thing, and it was already passed that time.
This was why Maxxor abandoned his paperwork and left his study in search of her. He had a few ideas of where she might be, but he didn’t want to waste much time. So the first person that he came by, a servant, he interrogated:
“Have you seen Veta?”
The male wolf servant almost jumped and dropped his tray at being addressed by the king. He composed himself by straightening his back and answered respectfully:
“I’m afraid not your highness. But I have been hearing rumors today that Lady Veta has locked herself up in her lab since dawn.”
The king muttered thanks and made his way to an abandoned section of the palace. A frown made its way onto his face as he thought about what the servant said. Of course she was there, why did he bother to think about other locations? Of course she would lock herself up in her lab from dawn. Could she be any more predictable? Though, now that he thought about it, why hasn’t one of the aristocrats barged into his study to complain about her? This triggered millions of other thoughts, which in turn made him worried.
After a long journey that made any normal person exhausted, the tall man arrived to the lab. He ignored the old looking walls that once were used to be used to hide the citizens when wars were on the horizon. Ever since his father took over the throne, there were newer ones built. They were located somewhere else with better conditioning and easier access. This left this almost ancient underground maze filled with rooms abandoned and unused. It would have been filled in, until Veta found many new uses for it. One of those rooms was right in front of him, with a sign that said ‘Clear Out’. This didn’t stop the king and he walked right in.
A sigh greeted him with a soft mutter:
“I wondered how long you’ll allow me to stay in here.”
Hunched over a desk that was covered with blue prints stood a tall, athletic blue skinned woman. She tilted her head to the side, as her one visible amber eye stared at him with a blank expression. The light from the candles flickered, almost as if they acknowledged his presence. The white haired woman continued to speak. Her eyes looked back at the blue prints.
“I’m almost done here. I’m certain that I found a way to upgrade our old teleportation device, but I need to look over a few things.”
“So it’s true, you’ve been here from sunrise.”
“Actually, a bit before that. The sun was barely up.”
She remarked with a hint of amusement, which would have been lost on most people if they didn’t know her well. Maxxor would have grinned at her attempt of jokes, but it didn’t happen. His frown deepened and the worrisome that he hid before now made itself known in his eyes. He strolled over to her and placed a hand on her left one, which held a writing utensil.
“Veta, how many times have we been over this? You can’t keep yourself locked up all day long. I don’t want another episode of you collapsing from exhaustion.”
His fiancée sighed once more. She allowed him to take the utensil out of her grip without much of protest.
“Maxxor, you worry too much. If I couldn’t handle this, then you wouldn’t have made me the head of the Weaponry and Development Department.”
“I’m not saying that you can’t handle this.” He argued gently, as he watched her organize the blue prints. “But I can’t help but worry, especially when you don’t look after yourself.”
Veta stared at him for a moment then turned around to place the blue prints in their rightful place on a shelf. She didn’t argue back. Maxxor leaned against the table with his arms crossed over his chest. He watched her with a soft expression that he usually hid when in face of others. Neither of them were someone that showed a public affection for the other. They both agreed when they started courting that there was a time and place to love and care for the other. Unless it was something serious, they stayed professional in the eyes of the public. But behind closed doors, they allowed themselves to care for the other.
“How was your day?”
His fiancée asked with a small curiosity exposed, as she finished putting everything away.
“It was quiet…” Maxxor admitted. “There were no explosions, attacks or the others coming to bother me.” He took note with a furrowed expression at how she froze for a second after he said the last part. “I’m rather surprised that none of the aristocrats came to complain to me about one thing or another.” That other was obvious, her. He pushed himself off of the desk and made his way to her. She turned sharply to face him, her arms crossed over her chest and expression blank. “You wouldn’t happen to know where they might be, would you.”
“I was down here all day.”
He stared into her amber eyes for a few moments, when he caught a familiar look. He almost sighed in tiresome and rubbed his forehead, but restrained himself.
“What did you do to them?”
“Veta” Maxxor warned her, but she stayed stubborn. “As much as I don’t like them either, they hold important positions. What did you do to them?”
Once again, she didn’t answer. The blue skinned woman tried to keep a blank expression and her emotions at bay. It was something necessary from her early days of being an orphan that lived on the streets. But everything changed when she rescued Maxxor, when he was also a child, and taken in by his father as his ward. It was only those two people that managed to get her to show her feelings once more. She almost huffed at the pain that wanted to be let into the surface. She made a point to push it down, but a bit of it came through. Veta looked down, allowing her white bangs to cover her eyes. I will not show weakness! The woman growled in her thoughts as she dug her nails into her left arm.
Maxxor noticed how her nails almost broke the surface of her skin. He grabbed the hand to loosen its grip and made her unfold her arms to stop harming herself. Her hands were in his. She gripped them tightly and he stroked the back of her hands with his thumbs. He changed the question, though he knew the answer already from experience:
“What did they do to you?”
“Oh, you know, nothing much. They started to accuse me of a lot of interesting things. Again. Oh, and they said some other nasty stuff. I’m surprised that they haven’t sent that second assassin after me.”
“No, Maxxor, you and I both know that no matter what I do, they won’t be happy until they see me dead or gone.”
She shot back. Her amber eyes looked ablaze, but appeared sad and tired.
“Which is something that everyone else won’t be happy to see, especially your students and I.”
Maxxor reminded her, so to not let her dark thoughts go down the depressing road. She has been depressed for a while long ago, when they both hit their teenage years. He didn’t want to see her in such condition again. One of the few things that still kept her going to this day was her students. He made sure to remind her of them every so often. It was one of the things that made him love her in the first place. No matter how insensitive and emotionless of a person she was, she never was like that with children. Veta even made a point to gather all the poor and orphan children that couldn’t afford a better education. She taught them herself, free of cost. Ironic enough, the result was better educated students than the middle and aristocrat children put together. There were unnerved people, but most were happy. This meant that their city would have a better future. Before Maxxor’s father death, he put extra time and money to building new jobs. These jobs were for a whole group of people that he never expected to rise. His son continued with the project, though in a slower pace as the children had time to mature. Yet, the same people that tormented her since she came to the palace were the only ones that weren’t too happy about it.
Veta smiled a bit at the thought of her children. One of the few subjects that made her heart flutter in happiness and long lost hope. The couple moved closer to each other, to the point where their body heat was felt and soothed the other. She leaned further in to rest her head on his chest, or at least where it began. Much to most people’s amusements, the couple had such an obvious height difference. Standing at the height of 7’4’’, it looked odd for many when they saw Veta standing beside her 9’4’’ lover. But for the couple it was comfortable, so they ignored the comments and snickers.
Maxxor wrapped his arms around her, holding her flush up against him. He didn’t want to ruin the moment, but knowing how this was going to be he had to ask:
“Are you going to tell me now what you did to them?”
“Hm…” Veta hummed, as she debate in her mind whether to leave the surprise up to him. She looked up at him, her chin resting on his chest. Her eyes looked up into her fiancée’s orbs with a mischievous glint. “I may or may not have found an interesting book to toy around with them.”
Maxxor smirked a bit at her playfulness. He asked:
“What is that toy?”
“It may or may not be used to hypnotize people. And they may or may not be at the dungeon, enjoying having a cell next to some criminals.”
The king groaned at the answer. Oh great, just great, he was so going to get it once the aristocrats got out of there.
“Veta, at least tell me that they’re looked after.”
She shrugged with no care in responds.
“That’s up to the guards, but I’m sure that they’re looked after.”
“You do realize that they could be traumatized by some of the criminals that are down there.”
The look that she sent him was clear, and I care… why? Maxxor sighed in defeat.
“Just… just don’t make this a daily thing.”
“No promises. Come, I haven’t eaten all day and considering how long I’ve been down here, it’s dinner time. You can worry about them later. I haven’t sat down with you for a meal in a while.”
Without much word of protest, Maxxor allowed her to drag him out of the room. Locking the door, the two left.