Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ All's Fair in Love and War ❯ Threats of Greed ( Chapter 13 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Chapter 13Selenity sat up in bed and stretched her arms above her head. Sunlight was streaming in through the window, warming the room up. She smiled as she swung her legs over the edge of the bed. She felt much better than she had the day before, when Kino had….she paused. Everything that had happened the night before came flooding back to her. A broad grin spread across her face as she started to get up, but immediately fell back onto the bed. Granted, she felt 100 better, but her body didn't seem to agree just yet. She sighed as she sat there, staring out the window. She tried getting up more slowly, and this time managed to do so without collapsing.
~~ Threats of Greed ~~
~~ Threats of Greed ~~
She walked over to the balcony and stepped outside into the fresh air. She felt like the sunlight was bathing her in its warmth. She leaned on the railing and looked down into the gardens surrounding her. A sweet smell wafted by her nose, causing her to smile. She heard the door to her room open inside, so she turned around to go back in.
"Selenity?" came a worried voice from inside. Selenity stepped through the balcony doors into the room. Venus and Helen stood there, trying to see where she was, along with two maids. The maids were already preparing to draw her a bath, and there was a platter of food on the table.
Venus noticed her first. "There you are! How are you feeling?" she asked and walked over to Selenity.
Selenity smiled at Venus. "I'm feeling much better, Venus."
Helen walked over to them too. "You look a lot better. You have your spark back in your eyes," she said, and then looked at Venus. "It seems that Kino's visit was really just what the doctor ordered." Venus smiled, and both women turned their gazes back at the now blushing Selenity.
"I don't know what you're talking about." She murmured gently, causing the two women to laugh. Selenity laughed with them. They then insisted that she sit down and have something to eat, and Helen was very pleased to see her eating heartily.
"I don't think you've eaten a full meal since Paris and I came," she said with a hint of laughter in her voice. Selenity shrugged her shoulders, but kept eating. Once finished, she walked into the small bathroom to the bath the maids had prepared. The warm water welcomed her as she lay down in it, bubbles covering her so that only her head was sticking out. Helen and Venus came in as well and sat in two of the padded chairs.
"So Selenity, what did you and Kino talk about last night? I've been dying with curiosity!" Helen said as she giggled.
Selenity smiled at her friend who sounded like a young teenager again. "I don't know what to tell you really. We talked about his father, how things were going at his home, that we were happy to see each other…you know, the usual."
Helen half frowned at her. "Mmmhmm…please expand on the part about how you were happy to see each other," she commanded. All the women laughed.
Venus glanced from Helen to Selenity. "Selenity, can I speak freely in front of Helen?" she asked sweetly.
Selenity didn't even consider what exactly Venus was asking, and absentmindedly said. "Yes," without hesitation. It wasn't until she caught the mischievous look in her friends eye did she realize that she had just given Venus permission to spill her whole heart out to Helen.
"She's head over heels in love with the man." Venus said bluntly, laughter in her voice.
"Venus!" Selenity gasped.
Helen laughed. "I figured that much out myself since last night," she said. Selenity stared at them, her mouth hanging open. "You may be in the water Selenity, but you're not a fish. You can close your mouth." Selenity's mouth snapped shut.
Venus giggled. "You'll be good as new in no time Selenity. Just give your body a little time to recuperate. Other then that, you can start planning the wedding no problem!"
Selenity's gaze snapped over to Venus. "What? There is no wedding!" She cried out. Venus and Helen both smirked.
"Yes, not yet." Helen said.
"It's only a matter of a short time now!" Venus added in.
Helen looked at Venus. "I can see them having a fairly large wedding. They know so many people, and the moon is close with all of the planets."
Venus nodded her head. "I know. Mama will be thrilled. I'm sure that Queen Diana and Lord Takahashi will have no problem with this either. Who is going to give Selenity away though?" The two women chattered away, with Selenity staring at them open-mouthed again.
"Hey!" she exclaimed, "don't Kino and I have any say in this?" Venus and Helen barley paused to register her comment before the continued chattering about wedding plans. Selenity sighed and sank deeper into the water, her smile hidden by the bubbles.
The small group trotted at a comfortable pace through the trees. It had been two days since Kino and Venus had come back to the moon, and Selenity was feeling well enough finally to go for a horseback ride. Diana had been thrilled at her daughter's sudden rapid recovery, and had not minded in the least when the group had requested horses to go for a ride in the afternoon.
They rode through the silver forest. It was the side of the moon that was never visible to the earth. The tree's were grey and white, the leaves having a silver sheen to them. Helen and Paris rode out front, followed by Helen and Venus, with Kino at the rear. The path led them along a river, the rushing water creating a calm, serene atmosphere.
Selenity was surprised when Kino rode up next to her and gripped her reins, causing her horse to slow down and match his horses pace. Venus glanced at the two but said nothing, and kept riding. Kino slowed Selenity's horse down to a stop, then dismounted and helped her do the same. She didn't know what he was up to, but was happy to be alone with him finally. They had seen each other a lot in the past few days, but had never been able to have a real conversation together, since there were always so many people around.
They continued down the path, walking next to each other, leading the horses slowly by the reigns. They were content with each others quiet company. Finally, Kino looked at her.
"You look a lot better than when I came," he said, and she nodded.
"I feel a lot better." she glanced up at him. "I want to thank you for coming."
He smiled at her. "I'm happy I came. You don't need to thank me." he gazed at her for a few moments as they walked, watched how the filtered sunlight played on her hair, causing it to shimmer. She was still thin, but her movements were more confident, and she looked strong again, not frail. He swallowed, feeling his heart beat faster in his chest, as he reached out quickly and clasped her hand in his. He heard her suck in her breath, but she didn't pull back. Instead, she rotated her hand so that her fingers intertwined his. He smiled, and gripped her hand a little tighter, a gesture which was returned. They walked like this for a few minutes, before, Selenity stopped walking. He felt the tug on his hand, and stopped walking as well. He gazed down at the woman next to him, feeling his heart and thoughts racing.
She gazed up at him with innocence and trust. She looks so beautiful…I never thought that I could love someone like this. He dropped the reigns he was holding, allowing the horse to graze on a crop of nearby grass. With his now free hand, he reached out and cupped her face. Her eyes fluttered shut as she leaned into his hand a little, and dropped her own horse's reigns, brining her hand up and placing it on top of his.
He stepped closer to her, letting go of her hand and bringing it around to circle her waist. His heart was hammering inside his chest faster than he thought it could. She placed her free hand on his chest, feeling his muscles tense beneath her touch. Her mouth felt dry as she opened her eyes, and looked up to meet his unwavering gaze. His turquoise eyes seemed to swim with emotion, as well as fear. "What is it?" he whispered gently, slowly caressing her cheek. She smiled.
"I'm happy right now," she whispered back, and turned her face to kiss the palm of his hand. He pulled her a little closer, causing her to grip tighter at his shirt. "I'm so afraid that I might lose you though." The words were so quiet that he almost couldn't hear them. He brought his face to hers so that his forehead was resting against hers.
"You won't lose me. Everything is fine now. You'll see, nothing can tear us apart," she smiled, and nodded her head gently. He brought his hand under her chin and tilted her head up so that he could see her whole face. She brought her hand that was not on his chest up to his face, and ran it down his cheek. He understood now how she had felt as his own eyes fluttered shut, and then fluttered open. She brought her hand up to his hair, and ran it through the silky locks. He let his hand leave her chin, and brought it to the back of her neck, gently stroking the soft skin there.
"I'm just worried that something will happen to keep us apart," she said, bringing him out of his trance.
"Tenshi…" he said, his voice filled with warmth and comfort, "nothing will keep us apart, I promise you that. I love you, and I will face any force in the universe and defeat it if it threatens to keep us apart." He felt her shiver a little despite the heat.
"Kino, I…." her voice cracked, and he noticed a trace of tears in her eyes. His grip tightened on her, reassuring her that he was there to hear her out and to protect her. He brought his hand from her neck back to her face, stroking her face with the back of his fingers. She smiled up at him, and pressed her body closer to his. He felt a warmth envelope him, one that promised contentment of just being next to the woman he loved. He felt her fingers trembling as she ran them down his face again. He took the hand in his, and kissed it gently.
She didn't know how to find her voice again. All of her emotions and thoughts, her very essence of existence, were focused on him. He was her lifeline, and if he left now, she knew she would die. She tried to find her voice again, but instead of uttering words, she let out a small whimper. His eyes darted to hers right away, and she felt her heart leap at the concern and worry that filled them. She wanted him to never let her go, to stay in that moment for her.
A small smile crept across his face. "I'll even fight your mother if I have to," he said teasingly, causing her to laugh. Her whole body trembled at the sudden change in emotions, and he chuckled too. She didn't pause long enough to consider the fact that along with trying to make her laugh, Kino was being dead serious. "Selenity," he whispered gently, causing her whole body to shiver, "you are my Tenshi, my angel. Nothing can change that, not even death. You will always be everything to me, everything that I have ever wanted, and everything that I will ever need. How can I ever stop loving you, when standing here next to you, you're giving me your heart, and taking mine as well?" he paused as he brought his hand back under her chin, tilting her face up a little more. "You are everything, nothing else matters. If you don't exist, I don't have a reason to live. I will fight for you, my Tenshi, and I won't let anything ever harm you, even if it means my life. I want you. God, how I want you. I want you to be with me forever, I want to see you everyday for the rest of my life. Can you understand that, and not doubt me?"
She nodded slowly, as a tear slipped down her face. Neither of them moved to stop it. Instead, Kino leaned over slowly, and placed his lips on top of hers. He felt her melt into him, as he wrapped both of his arms around him. He felt her arms go around his neck, her fingers slip into his hair at the nape of his neck. He pulled her in tighter, crushing her lips with his. He felt her pull his head in, and responded by deepening their kiss. She didn't stop him, but tilted her head a little so as to give him the opportunity to increase their passion. He complied, slipping his tongue forward to meet hers. He felt her whole body shudder in his grip, and it only fuelled the intensity of his need for her.
As they pulled apart, Selenity brought her hand up, and wiped a tear away from his face, one that he had not even noticed had escaped his eyes. He grabbed her hand and kissed it roughly, but not so rough as to hurt her. "I love you, Tenshi." He rasped. He was rather shocked, although pleasantly so, when she leaned up and claimed his lips with hers. He brought his hand to the back of her head, cradling it in his palm. She let out a soft sigh. That single sound made him feel like he could protect her against anything, as long as she was safe in the end. He poured all the love from his heart into the kiss, wanting her to know every corner of his soul, to see every thought he had of her, to taste his need for her.
She felt all that and more, and responded by gripping his shoulders tightly, wanting him to know that she would rely on him if he wanted her to, but also protect him as well, the way that he would protect her.
They pulled apart again, both of their eyes misty with love and devotion. She leaned her head against his chest, and he held her with his arms wrapped around her shoulders, her hands resting on his chest, clutching his shirt. He buried his face in her hair, and kissed the top of her head. "I love you so much." He murmured.
It wasn't until minutes later that they resumed their stroll, hand in hand, through the forest with their horses, lost in their own little world of bliss for as long as time allowed it.
Two days later, Kino had to go back home. The couple was able to steal a few minutes alone together again, this time with the help of Helen and Paris. They came to their room, and the two left the couple out on the balcony alone.
"I promise that I'll send word as soon as I talk to father." He told her as she looked at him with tear filled eyes.
"I'll be waiting, although I can't promise it will be patiently."
Kino chuckled. "I wasn't expecting it." He took her hand in his, and Selenity was intrigued to notice the fact that he was blushing. "I guess I should do this properly, shouldn't I?" he asked gently. She looked at him, confused.
"Do what?" she asked, expecting him to give her a 'proper' kiss goodbye, since he could not very well do it in front of everybody just before he boarded his ship to leave.
"This…" he said, and suddenly fell to one knee. Her eyes widened in surprise. "I-I want to know if once everything is straightened out and in the open, if you would do the honour of being my wife…" he paused as Selenity fell to her knees and wrapped her arms around his neck, "…as soon as possible." He added with a chuckle. He felt her arms tighten around his neck.
"You don't even have to ask," she murmured in his ear. He leaned back a little and kissed her softly. She returned the kiss eagerly. He stood up, picking her up with him so they were both standing. He held up a ring between his thumb and pointer finger. It was made of a white metal, whiter than white gold, with his family crest engraved in a pale blue stone that was found only on his planet on it. It was looped through a long, spider-web thin chain.
"I don't have a proper ring to give you, since I wasn't exactly counting on doing this when I came," he said, a little embarrassed, "so this will have to do for now. I hope you don't mind that I've been wearing it for a few years already." She smiled up at him.
"I don't mind at all. I don't want another," she said, and he brought the chain over her head and let it lay on her neck. The ring hung down to just above where her breastbone ended, and it was easy for her to slip it down her dress, unseen to everyone else. "Thank you," she said, and leaned up to plant a kiss on his lips. He smiled into the kiss, and picked her up, swinging her around, causing her to laugh. There was a small knock on the balcony door, and they pulled apart. Paris poked his head out.
"We've been summoned for lunch," he said, a huge grin on his face. The two blushed as they followed him into the room. Helen was waiting for them at the door, the same grin on her face. The four walked down the hallways to the dining hall.
Later that evening, Kino left.
< br> "Prince Kinotsu, it is so nice to have you back. Is all will with the Princess?" Lord Takahashi had organized a small welcome for his son, and Aminiha was eager to speak with him. People walked around the parlour, chatting and eating some of the finger food. Kino smiled at her.
"Princess Selenity is fine. She was ill, but recovered soon after my arrival."
Aminiha gave a smile of 'relief.' "That is wonderful news." She glanced around the room, and noticed Lord Takahashi walk up to them. He smiled at his son.
"It's good to have you home again," he said. Kino had briefed him a little in Selenity's condition when he had arrived. The two had spent a little less than an hour alone in the library, having a rather intimate 'father-son' chat. Kino had told him, omitting some of the more intimate details, about his feeling to Selenity and hers in return to him, and their encounters. His father had no objections to the princess, but warned his son that it would be up to him to break it to Aminiha, something that Kino swore was not fair.
"Did you hear that both King Uranus and King Neptune form that same solar system had daughters only days apart?" Kino asked. Lord Takahashi nodded.
"Yes, we got the message about a week after you left. It's wonderful. I know that Uranus named his girl Haruka, but what about Neptune?"
Kino shrugged his shoulders. "I'm not too sure." The evening drew on, and Kino finally needed to go out for a breath of fresh air on the balcony. It was completely deserted. He walked over to the railing and leaned on it, looking out into the vast darkness, dotted with billions of shining lights. He heard the swish of a gown, and straitened up. He turned, a saw Aminiha approaching him. She came right next to him, and leaned on the railing. Her eyes roamed the night sky, watching the stars.
"Beautiful, aren't they," she said, more as a statement than a question. Kino nodded, and leaned on the railing again as well. "I like it here," she added, and looked at Kino. He nodded, but remained silent, trying to gather his thoughts so that he could tell her the truth…"Kino," he was brought back to his situation by her voice. It was the first time she had addressed him so informally as 'Kino.' "I know that before you left, you were rather shocked by your father's announcement. I-I hope that you feel more welcoming of the situation now, since you have had time to think about it."
He gazed at her, his eyes not leaving her face once. "My Lady," he began, "when my father made that announcement, I was shocked because he had not told me anything before hand. I was not appalled by it, please don't think that. I have grown very fond of you since I met you," Aminiha smiled at him, "…as a good friend," he finished. Her smile dropped a little. He sighed and looked back out at the stars. "Please do not let my words offend you. I have no ill feelings to you. However, my heart already belongs to another." He looked at her again, her smiled completely gone. "My father did not know this when he made any arrangements with you."
Aminiha stared at him, anger welling up in her heart. "I will not hold that against you," she said coolly, "I'm sure that you will forget about her with time though once we start ruling together."
Kino stared at her, amazed that she had not accepted his rejection. "My Lady…" he said gently. "I have no desire to marry a lady I do not love, even when she is a lovely and kind as she is." He said, more bluntly than before.
"You can love me in time," she said back, just as bluntly.
"Please…I have already promised myself to another. I am very sorry, but things will not work out between us." He said as softly and gently as he could.
"Weigh your words carefully Kino," Aminiha said calmly, surprising Kino with the venom and bitterness her voice carried. "You could very well be bargaining away the lives of all your people."
"Excuse me?" He said as he straitened up.
"I will not back down, My Lord," she said icily. "I will not let a small Moon Princess take away something that I want."
Kino stared at her, dumbfounded. "Are you saying that if I do not accept you, you will declare war?"
Aminiha's mouth twisted into a smirk. "No, my dear. I am saying if you reject me, everyone will suffer, and die."
"Don't try to threaten those I love," he hissed.
Aminiha glared at him. "I will give you six weeks to think things over, Prince. At least you can't say that I'm not fair." With those words, she turned with a swish of her skirt, and left. Kino stood outside a few minutes, letting the cold night air cool him off. He finally came back in. Aminiha was no longer there, having probably retired to her room.
Kino walked up to his father, and the two men retired to the library again. Kino told him all that had been said. "Dad, if she's this serious about it-"
Lord Takahashi cut his son off. "Do you love your princess?" He asked.
Kino nodded his head. "With my life."
"Then," Lord Takahashi said, and winked at his son, "we better prepare for a small battle."
Kino beamed at his dad, and hugged him. "Thanks dad." He said. The older man gripped his son back. They came back to the gathering, plans already forming in their heads.
But of course, life is never easy, and unexpected twists always occur.