A/N: ok, I'm tired and dislike beta readers(not the readers themselves just the time it takes to have one) so ignore any mistakes I missed.
The council seemed to last at least an hour longer than it usualy did. Every council member had something to discuss or complain about and then of course they argued among themselves for a good hour or so.
Van sighed and rested his chin in his palm. There was no real reason for him to be at these meetings. All the notes and complaints were sent to him the next day so he could look everything over in private. He was forced to be there because of traditions. A king had to be interested in all matters, even if he had to hear them twice.
Hitomi would be waiting for him if the meeting went on any longer.
For the last week Hitomi had been visiting him everynight for two hours at a time. It was only a visual- a mental image she sent to him. She could see him and his surroundings and he could see her, but only him. She explained that to him the first night she had appeared out of nowhere. Once he had recovered from his shock he was unbelievably happy.
As the king of Fanelia Van had had a lot of work on his hands. Van had to rebuild a kingdon. It took him nearly four years but he had done it.
But now, with the excuse of building Fanelia back up gone the council was getting letters asking when the younge King was going to marry.
Hitomi was the perfect person to tell all of his worries to. She was the only one he realy trusted with his thoughts. Sure Merle would listen but Merle happened to have the habbit of talkin when she was bored and gossiping with the maids.
The anceint council memebers finaly decided that they had nothing more to add to what had been already said by the younger ones and so Van was free to leave. He walked calmly up the stairs but once he was sure he was out of sight he ran to his room and closed the door quickly once he was inside.
"Busy day?" Hitomi asked from Van's bed where she was seated on the edge smiling.
"You have no idea." Van sighed and pulled out his desk chair and placed it in front of her, "From what I heard tonight at the council Lord Karth and his daughter Kaitlyn are on their way to offer marriage and greater trades."
Hitomi looked at Van in confusion.
"The building has been finished and now I'm expected to marry and have children. Lord Karth is from Naylin on the other side of the Grey Mountains. With a marriage to bond our lands (he's in another kingdom) our trading would increase and bring more money in for my people." Van explained.
He was surprised to learn that he had heard more than he thought at the meeting.
"So will you marry?" Hitomi asked, her green eyes looking both sad and confused as she tried to keep a straight face.
"Of course not." Van reached out to touch Hitomi's arm before remembering that she was an image- there was nothing to touch. He let his hand fall back to his lap, "I have no interest in marrying anyone on Geae." Van said quietly, "I have you and that's all I need."
"But I'm not even there Van." Hitomi extended her hand towards Van's left cheek and held it about an inch away, "You have to live and be happy."
"I am living and I am happy. Without you I would be miserable. I need you Hitomi. Please, don't ask me move on." Van tried to place his hand over hers to move it to his face but of course it didn't work.
"I would never ask you to do that. I love you." she smiled sadly at him before placing her hand back in her own lap.
"I love you, too." Van kissed his fingertips and held them out to her.
Hitomi smiled, her first truly happy smile of the night before doing the same. It looked as though their fingertips were touching but neither could feel the others.
"I have to go early tonight. I'll be back tomorrow." Hitomi started to fade as Van nodded, once again wondering where and how Hitomi had learned this new trick.
Van had trouble sleeping. His mind wouldn't turn off and he had the uneasy feeling that there was something he had missed. He just couldn't remember what.
Pacing, Vam thought back to Hitomi's face as she asked him if he was going to marry. For a moment he thought she might cry. God, knew he would have if their places had been reversed. He loved her and had almost said that she was the only one he would marry. But he didn't want to push her into anything she wans't ready for. Not even a year ago she had said that she wasn't ready to come back to Fanelia. She was going to school and working hard to earn money for the small appartment she was so proud of.
Van smiled. Hitomi had changed in the past four years. She was still as beautiful as ever but her hair was now touching her shoulders and she was more rounded. And by rounded Van didn't mean fat. Hitomi finaly seemed to have stopped growing and her body was getting comfortable.
She was lovely.
He was still curious about how Hitomi was sending her image to him but it was better than just hearing her in his mind like he use to whenever she wanted to talk. Was she putting her self in any danger by sending that much energy to him? Did it wear her out?
Van made a mental note to ask next time he saw her.
Half way through his day of going over papers Van felt odd. It was as if he just watched a poisonous spider crawl over his boot.
"My King!" Pennin, Van's only personal servant ran in through the open study door, "Riders approaching." Pennin was pale but he stood up straight as he met Van's stare.
Van had chosen Pennin himself. He knew somewhere behind the proffesional air there was a fighter and a very sensible man.
"Thank you, Pennin. I'll see to them."
Before he even reached the bottom of the great stairs Van could hear voices through the open front doors. On nice days these were almost alwasy left open with a guard or two there to make sure no funny bussiness happened. Today however, Van could see five of his men standing just beyond the doors and beyond them he could see the riders at the bottom of the front steps. They must surprised the guards or they wouldn't have gotten that close to the palace.
Van tapped two of the guards as he strode past them and they quickly followed him down to greet their unexpected guests.
Aidren, the 30 something year old door man, who was Pennin's older brother was talking quietly to the hooded guests and from his tone Van could tell that the man was both annoyed and on guard. Van had always liked Aidren. Aidren and Pennin were completely different when it came to their looks. Pennin was pale and blonde while Aidren was tan and had black hair. At first Van hadn't believe Merle when she had told him of their connection, but then again the maids know everything there is to know in a palace.
"Ah! King Van!" The taller of the gusts threw back his hood and smiled broadly at Van as he approached, "I am Lord Karth. I do hope you recieved my letter telling of our arrival."
"It came yesterday." Van shook the Blonde lord's hand even though his mind was telling him to check for poisoned rings.
"And this is my daughter, Kaitlyn." Karth, waved a hand in the direction of the smaller rider and she pulled back her hood to reveal large dark eyes and shiny brown curls. She would have been lovely to look at if her eyes hadn't had a greedy, spoiled gleam to them and if her lips hadn't curled in discust at Merles' appraoch. Merle noted all the things she disliked about the Lord's Daughter in one glance but she doubted Van had even realy looked at the girl. No difference- Merle would just have to keep an eye on the girl.
Hitomi paced the length of her small appartment bedroom. Her legs were tired and her feet were sore but she couldn't sit still.
Just a year ago she had been sure that she wanted to stay on earth but now...now she wasn't so sure.
Geae was calling her. She could feel it and she could also feel Van. Something was happening in Fanelia and he wasn't (at the moment) too pleased. Hitomi listened, trying to catch some of Van's thoughts but his annoyed energies were all she could pick up on.
He needed her and she was sure that her new abilities had been a result of the magic and wisdom of Geae.
Hitomi closed her eye and extended her right hand. With a half a thought Hitomi suddenly felt a pen land in her hand. Opening her eyes Hitomi watched as with another thought she sent the pen flying back to its place on her desk.
Van's emotions suddenly jumped and Hitomi felt herself fade. Van was upset and thinking about her-wanting to talk to her.
"Now's as good a time as any." Hitomi sighed, picturing Van's large simple bedroom in the Fanelian Palace and she felt herself fade even more.
For a moment Hitmoi was afraid that it wouldn't work. There was no reason why it shouldn't. She had done it every night that week. Hitomi had, for the past six nights, gone to Geae for a few hours at a time. Despite what she had told Van she was very much there. Whenever he got too close to touching her she would fade out, start the journey back to earth without realy leaving. She could sit just between the two worlds for a few minutes at a time but any longer than that and she got tired.
"I just hope my timing is right and that he'll be happy to see me." Hitomi thought as she looked at her room as it dimmed around her. There were a million things she could have brought with her but she knew there was time to came back for anything she desperately needed. Right now, all she needed was to get to Van.
"I mean no disrespect but I have no interests in marrying at this time." Van felt as if his mind was going numb. They had been going in circles with this conversation and after the first outraged flare of emotions he had calmed considerably.
"Kaitlyn would be the perfect wife." Lord Karth finall took a seat in the library, the only room in sight when this conversation had started nearly an hour ago. Karth had been pacing the whole time, driving Van insane, "She is lovely and knows her politics well."
"I have no interests at this time." Van thought he had finaly gotten through to the over weight Lord when he stayed silent instead of imediately jumping in with more reassurances.
"Ver well." Lord Karth stood and stretched, "The Conference of Trades is in a few weeks. If you don't mind we would like to stay here. Traveling over the mountain only to turn around and do it again just doesn't make sense in my book."
"Of course." Van nodded, but he didn't like the look that had just come into the Lord's eyes.
"Maybe with a bit of time your interests will change." Lord Karth bowed and walked from the room before Van could form a reply.
"Well that was a dirty trick!" Van thought as he headed back to his room, but he had felt that there had been a trick coming as soon as that greedy, cunning look crossed the blonde Lord's face.
Van disliked Lord Karth on first glance and was some what dissappointed (though not surprised) to find that the more he spoke with the man the more he disliked him. The Lord was over weight with a taste for bright clothes that only drew attention to his large belly and thinning blonde hair. Lord Karth didn't have a trustworthy face-he always seemed to be calculateing to make events turn in his favor.
"Kaitlyn must have gotten her looks from her mother." Van smiled at this. Kaitlyn was lovely but too quiet. She also seemed to be calculating only in a different way. Karth was considered royalty on the other side of the mountains and, Van remembered from the letter Karth's daughter was reffered to as "Princess Kaitlyn".
He would have to be polite to her no matter what.
Another smile graced Van's lips. He had always done things his own way. If Lord Karth and his daughter played nice Van would too. But that was IF they played nice.
As Van reached for the doornob to his room he felt the need to rush through the doors and lock them behind him. Since becoming King Van had had very few feelings that were as strong as this was. The only other time he could recall right off was the time he flew through the glass ceiling of Dornkirk's "palace" to save Hitomi.
Van locked the door and turned, his back pressed to the solid wood, to see her sitting on the floor next to his bed.
"Hitomi?" Van took a few cautious steps forward, "Hitomi are you ill?"
"No." Hitomi sat on her knees, taking long deep breaths with her hands stetched out in front of her to keep herself from falling face first into the thick red carpet , "I'm fine, or at least I will be in a minute."
A/N: Ok, everyone. You know the drill. If you want more you'll have to review!