An Easter to Remember Always
Disclaimer: The characters featured in this story from Trinity Blood do not belong to me. This is the last part to the Easter to Remember series… Well, maybe XP At least for this story.
Ion still had a hand over his eyes, trying to remain calm over the situation with Esther. Because of this, he didn't take much notice of a young girl standing next to him. "What's wrong? Where is Her Majesty?" The girl asked. Ion finally removed his hand from his eyes and noticed it was Eris, the little girl who told him of Esther's where-bouts when she was missing.
"I'm fine; Esther just went to get a drink that's all."
Eris could tell he was lying; she had actually witnessed their earlier argument as she was sitting close-by when it happened. The egg Esther had borrowed to show Ion was one that belonged to one of her friends. Because of this, her attention was locked on them as she wanted to be sure nothing happened to the egg. When she was watching however, she didn't expect to see what she just saw between them. She felt sorry for Ion and wanted to help him even if it wasn't her business.
"Come sit with me Mr Vampire," Eris commanded as she took his hand and started dragging him towards the egg painting area. Ion was caught off-guard by her actions but allowed him self to be dragged along. "My name is Ion, little girl." Ion did not appreciate being called 'Vampire' but he didn't expect a young girl to know any better.
Eris sat him down on her chair and sat herself on his lap so there would be no way for him to escape. Her friends giggled at the comical display which made Ion want to shrink and disappear. "Can we have it back now?" Eris asked as she held her hand out. Ion at first didn't get what she meant until he realised he still had that decorated egg Esther showed him earlier. He had it in his left hand and brought it towards Eris so she could give it to her friend. When he thought he could go, he was surprised to suddenly have another egg thrust in front of him, except this egg was just plain red.
"Start painting," Eris ordered.
Ion sighed and placed the egg back on the table, "I thank you for including me in this little painting session but I'm really not in the mood."
"It's Easter! You should be in the mood! It only comes once a year so you should make something of it!" Eris continued painting her egg while her friends did the same. Ion watched them quietly but found he couldn't get into the Easter spirit like the rest of them. As far as he was concerned, he felt he ruined his Easter, along with Esther's. He had never intended to fight with her like this. It was the last thing he expected, especially since they hadn't seen each other in so long. If she didn't love him then he should respect her feelings instead of acting like a spoiled child and debating her decision. He needed to make amends but how should he go about it?
Eris had been watching him from the corner of her eye and noticed how depressed the young Count seemed. It was plain to see that it had something to do with Esther. Eris had seen them together constantly ever since she arrived at the festival with the rest of her friends from the orphanage. They seemed so happy together that it didn't seem right seeing them apart and upset like this. She was no expert on love but she felt she understood it a little more than any of her friends. With the life she had lived, she had experienced things which most young girls should never experience in their entire life time. Because of this, she had matured a lot faster than most girls. But now the question remained on how she could help him. Staring at her egg for a moment, Eris stared at the design she had made and said out of the blue, "Eternity..."
Ion turned his puzzled gaze to the young blonde as she held her egg out to him. "I remember hearing that white eggs symbolised eternity." She placed the egg in his hand and smiled, "I can't say I know a lot about the meaning of painting eggs, but if a white egg means eternity, then I think I painted the right thing for myself!" Ion wasn't sure what she was getting at, but as he stared at her egg, he noticed she had painted the egg so it looked like a cat. He blinked at it quizzically at first, wondering why she had painted a cat of all things, but at he stared at its brown coloured fur and green eyes, he couldn't help but smile a bit. 'So, she likes cats huh? Cute...'
Noticing the slight curve in his lips, Eris thought she'd press the meaning of what she was getting at more. "It's what I love! And I'll love cats for all eternity." She nudged him a bit, "What will you love for all eternity?" As childish as her views were behind the meaning of egg painting, Ion couldn't help but feel some what inspired by her words. Esther had wanted him to enjoy this Easter with her and even though he didn't completely understand it's purpose, he noticed it was a bit like Christmas where families and friends would get together to enjoy this special time of the year together. He wanted to enjoy this time with Esther, and what he wanted for all eternity was to be with her always.
"Little girl, can I borrow a brush and some paint?" Ion asked as he smiled at her.
"My name is Eris, little boy," Eris poked her tongue out playfully as she handed him what he requested. Ion poked his tongue back at her and chuckled a bit while she giggled with him.
Esther was sitting on a grassy hill some distance away from the festival. She wanted to be alone, and hoped no one would find her. Her tent seemed like an obvious place to find someone of her status which is why she avoided it. Hopefully she could regain her self composure before anyone tried looking for her, especially Ion.
'Ion...' A fresh batch of tears started flowing down her face. She had almost stopped crying earlier but the moment Ion came to mind, she broke down all over again. Why did she behave like such a little brat? Thinking about their earlier argument, Esther could see now what Ion was getting at, why he was so upset with her when she continued lying to him endlessly about how she felt. He loved her, he didn't say it verbally but she could see it in his actions, how he looked at her, spoke to her, and if she needed proof, their kiss in the forest confirmed it. He wasn't denying how he felt, it was all her. She caused this fight between them, all because she couldn't be honest with him. Even now, all she could do was run away. 'I'm such a fool.'
"Esther?" The young Queen heard a familiar voice and couldn't help but hide her face within her folded arms which were resting on her propped up knees. Abel approached her slowly, making sure he didn't scare her off by any sudden movements. He hadn't expected to see her like this, if anything, he hoped to see her at her happiest. She seemed to be enjoying herself earlier when preparing for the Easter Hunt, so what had caused this all of a sudden? Ion wouldn't have hurt her would he?
"May I sit down?" Abel asked as he waited for confirmation from Esther. The young Queen nodded her head slowly but didn't raise her head from her arms. The Crusnik sat down beside her and looked out over the festival grounds, "Everyone is having a really good time. This turned out a lot better than we first thought." He smiled, "And it's all thanks to you, Our Queen." He patted her on the back thoughtfully while Esther slowly raised her head to look at him, as though uncertain of his words.
"F-Father Nightroad," Esther whispered through sobs, "I haven't done a thing."
"You've done more than you think you have," Abel reassured as he reached into his robe pocket for something, "You brought all these people here today. None of this would have been possible if it weren't for your encouragement and support. You've done so much yet you don't take the time to look at your own needs as well." Esther watched as Abel pulled out a soft white handkerchief. He held it out to her and waited as she took it from his hand slowly. She brought the soft fabric to her eyes and started drying her face of all the tears.
Once she had stopped crying, Esther stared at Abel's handkerchief and couldn't help but smile a bit at it. Funny how such simple gestures could make all the difference in one's mood. Abel hadn't even tried prying into her private affairs, yet he continued sitting here keeping her company all the same. If Esther wanted anyone sitting with her right now, it would be Abel.
"Father," Esther murmured, "I've realised, how much I really love Ion." She blushed a bit at her words, as this was the first time she had confessed her love for Ion out loud. "I'd love more than anything to be with him always. I haven't been able to tell him yet, which I feel is wrong as we kissed some time ago..." Esther's face turned a brighter shade of red as the memory of Ion's lips pressed against hers filled her mind. "Ion has been so good to me, he's always so sweet and kind, and yet I repay him by hurting his feelings." She bowed her head with regret, "I want to tell him how I feel but at the same time, I worry about the future. We're both so different; I don't want to hurt him if I know it won't work out..."
Abel listened to her words carefully, making sure to let her say what she wanted before saying anything in response. He was happy to hear they didn't have a fight, as that's what he assumed at first. Still, he couldn't help but smile to himself over her little dilemma, thinking it was just like her to worry about something so trivial.
"How do you know it won't work?" Abel asked in curiosity.
"Because we're both from two different worlds," Esther answered sadly.
"Perhaps, but I never thought it bothered you that Ion was a Methuselah."
Esther quickly turned to him, "No Father! That's not what I meant! I didn't mean to make it sound that way!"
"Then what's troubling you? To me Esther, you seem to be making excuses for yourself. Your role as Queen and Ion's role to the Empire are very important things, that I'll admit, but you shouldn't let that come between you." Abel tapped the tip of her nose playfully and smiled, "Do you Esther Blanchett, not the Queen of Albion, but you Esther, do you love Ion?"
Esther stared into Abel's bright blue eyes for a moment before smiling and nodding to him, "I do, more than anything."
"Then that's all that matters." He got up from the ground and held his hand out to the young Queen, "You can't predict what will happen in the future. Life is always full of obstacles, that can't be avoided, but if you remain true to yourself and remember to keep the things that are most important here," he brought his hand over his chest where his heart sat, "Then you can take on anything."
"Father Nightroad," Esther stared at him in awe, "Thank you..." Esther almost wanted to cry again, but out of happiness this time. Abel knew just what to say to give her the courage she needed. All she needed was a little reassurance and a push in the right direction. Her love for Ion was the most important thing to her right now and she couldn't let that go for anything. She had to tell him. She had to tell him how she really felt.
Abel helped her off the ground and smiled while Esther smiled back happily. "Let's go find him together," Abel continued holding her hand as he started guiding her back to the festival grounds, "Of course; I'll be sure to leave once we DO find him haha." Abel rubbed the back of his head while Esther simply giggled. Abel didn't want a repeat of that situation when he walked in on her and Ion in the tent. He knew if it happened again, Ion wouldn't let him walk out without paying the price first. The thought sent a cold shiver down his spine. No, he definitely didn't want that.
A tall man wearing an AX uniform with brown shoulder length hair called out as he waved to Abel from a distance. Abel had escorted Esther back to the festival grounds and were about to start their search until Abel heard his name being called. When he noticed who it was, Abel walked up to the other AX member and smiled, "Good afternoon Leon! How's things been for you today?"
"Not bad, not bad. Been kept busy till now which is good." Leon's eyes caught Esther standing beside the silver haired priest and bowed his head, "Nice to see you again Esther."
"Nice to see you too Leon, thank you for taking the time to help out today, it's very much appreciated." Esther returned the bow while Leon just chuckled and rubbed the back of his head sheepishly, "Ah it's no problem! Can't say I had much else planned heh."
He suddenly snapped his fingers in realisation of something, "Oh Abel! Since we aren't busy..." Leon suddenly pulled out a large mallet and held it out to the silver haired priest. Abel had ducked with reflex as he first thought Dandelion was going to hit him with it. "Get up you dope! I want you to try this out." Leon pointed to his right at the Hi-Striker game which he had been assigned to take care of. He liked men testing their strength at this game, hoping to sound the bell at the top but a lot would fail on their first attempt as they would get too over-confident. It made him want to laugh at times when their girlfriends or wives looked at them as though they were weaklings. When this would happen, the challenger would normally try again which resulted in more money being paid to him for extra attempts. "Win something for our great Queen."
"Errr, Leon, I'm not good at this type of thing heheh." Abel started backing away.
"Don't be such a wuss!" Leon thrust the large mallet into Abel's hands and watched as the silver haired priest nearly dropped it because of its weight. "Come on, be a good sport and give it a try. If you hit the bell, you win a prize!"
"You can do it Father!" Esther cheered with reassurance as she smiled sweetly. How could Abel say no now? His grip tightened on the mallet as he stepped up to the game. The platform where you hit the mallet sat before him. He stared up at the bell which sat metres above the ground and began to doubt if he really could hit it. Still, there was no harm in trying. Lifting the mallet over his head, Abel nearly fell backwards from the weight but quickly brought it forward as he hit the platform. The force lit a few lights as the object inside the game flew up the tall tube but it didn't end up sounding the bell. It got to about three quarters of the way up before falling back down to the bottom.
"I never realised how weak you were till now Abel," Leon said as he raised an eyebrow at him.
"Hey! I did my best!" Abel said to his defence, "This isn't as easy as it seems!"
"Can I try?" Esther said which made both the men turn their attention to her in surprise.
"Esther, don't be fooled. This game is rigged, I swear it is."
"Oi!" Leon slapped Abel behind his head, "This is NOT rigged. Just because you failed doesn't mean Esther will!"
"Don't be so mean!" Abel pouted as he rubbed his head.
Esther took the mallet from Abel and stepped up to the platform. As Abel gave her some space, his blue eyes wandered over to the stand where all the prizes sat. He stared at them for a moment and wondered if Esther may consider giving Ion a present. It may help smooth things over between them and help give Esther some confidence when she confronted him.
"What type of prize would be good for a gift?" Abel question to himself out of the blue which caught Leon's attention.
"A gift?" Leon questioned, "For who exactly?"
"Oh um," Abel looked at him then brought his finger to his lips to make Leon lower his voice, "Shhh, I was thinking Esther could win a gift for a certain 'special' person." Abel made sure to say this softly so Esther wouldn't hear.
"Ohhh," Leon nodded as he started understanding what Abel meant. "Well let's see…" Leon started looking over the prizes himself and suddenly found one which he thought would be the best thing. "Oh, this one would be perfect."
Esther raised the mallet over her head in the same manner as Abel but had a better hold of it than he did. She summoned all of her strength into the swing and hit the platform. The three of them watched the lights light up as it travelled all the way to the top and sounded the bell with a loud ring. Abel gapped in shock at Esther's strength while Leon laughed and clapped his hands, "Well done your Majesty! Well done!"
"Thank you very much!" Esther put the mallet down and smiled brightly, "I was surprised though, I didn't expect to hit it."
"Well since you did, you win a prize!" Leon gestured to the prize stand.
Abel looked to Esther then and thought to suggest his idea, "Esther, why don't you get something for Ion? I'm sure he'd love to receive a present from you."
"Oh, that's a good idea Father!" Esther walked up to the stall where all the prizes were displayed and started wondering what to get him. There were so many to choose from. She wanted to get him something Easter themed, something like a bunny or an Easter egg but at the same time she wanted something more personal, something which came from the heart. But what type of gift could do all that?
"Here Esther! I found the perfect gift!" Leon said as he took it from the stall and held it out to her. When Esther and Abel turned their gaze to the gift, their eyes widened so much that Leon thought their eyeballs would fall out their sockets.
"Leon! That is no gift!" Abel shouted with astonishment, "Why would you have something like that in your stall?"
"What? There's nothing wrong with it. I wouldn't mind it as a gift," Leon smiled cheekily. Abel now wished he had kept his mouth shut.
Esther stared at the gift, uncertain as to how to take it. It was definitely one of the last things she would have thought of. "Do you think Ion would like it?"
"Esther!" Abel looked at her with even more shock, "Don't even consider such an absurd gift! There are many much nicer things to choose from."
"Oh stop being so old fashioned. Think about it, this gift symbolises togetherness. When you feel a certain way for someone, you hope to be with them always. This gift symbolises that. It's like wedding rings but more fun. Besides, if you were looking for something Easter themed, it's got pictures of bunnies on it." Leon pointed at them as he explained while Abel just gave him a disgusted look.
Esther on the other hand seemed intrigued by it, "When you put it that way…"
"Esther, no!" Abel said but it went unnoticed.
"But you wouldn't think he'd," Esther blushed a bit, "Get any strange thoughts from it?"
"Of course not," Leon smiled wickedly as he handed the object to her, "Trust me, I'm sure he'll like it." Abel gave up trying to make Esther listen to reason. He wondered if he should find Ion first and give him some warning before Esther gave him the gift. Still, it wasn't like he would hate it, but he wouldn't get the meaning of it the way Leon described. No one would, Leon was teasing Esther but he was doing it in such a clever way that she didn't seem to notice.
After talking to the two AX men, Esther decided to go back to her tent so she could wrap up the gift. She wanted it to look as nice as possible before giving it to Ion. She gave her thanks to the two AX men and waved before walking off. Once she was out of sight, Abel sighed and looked back at Leon, "I hope you weren't doing this as some practical joke."
"Of course not, it will just make things interesting that's all."
"Interesting is putting it lightly."
Some time later that evening, Esther was walking through the festival grounds with Abel by her side. She went through the effort to gift wrap Ion's gift and got herself changed into one of her royal outfits. She was dressed in a golden gown which flowed all the way to the ground, leaving some excess material to trail behind her. The dress had long sleeves and was puffy at the shoulders while the neck line sat horizontally across the top of her cleavage, leaving her upper chest and neck area exposed. To compliment the outfit, she wore a golden neck choker and diamond earrings. The outfit really made her stand out, especially now that the sun had gone down. The carnival lights made her dress and jewellery shimmer, allowing her presence to radiate all the more.
People who crossed her path made sure to give her space to walk by, as it was obvious by her appearance who she was. It was strange for Esther as all day she didn't receive any special treatment like this. Earlier when she was dressed casually like normal girls, no one looked twice at her or even recognise her so she felt one with the crowd. Now that she stood out so noticeably, she wondered if it was too late to go back to her tent to change again.
"Perhaps I should have waited later to do this," Esther said softly, feeling a little uneasy with people staring at her as she walked by.
"Well, you have some duties to attend to later this evening which will require you dressed up like this," Abel replied, "Better to get it out of the way than to be interrupted later when you least expect it."
"Yes, I guess you're right."
"Besides," Abel smiled at her, "You look stunning. Judging by the stares you are receiving, I think Ion will be blown away by your beauty." Esther couldn't help but blush at that remark but inside she prayed to herself, hoping Ion would forgive her for her earlier foolishness, 'Please let things go well…' She prayed to herself.
Meanwhile, Ion was walking hand in hand with Eris while she ate some fairy floss happily. When he had finished painting eggs with her, Eris wanted to go exploring around the carnival. As she needed someone to supervise her, Ion accepted responsibility as she did cheer him up earlier. But as each hour passed, Ion felt the guilt of that earlier fight build and build within him. He had hoped to see Esther around the festival but he hadn't seen her at all. He hoped she was alright. Ion longed to see her to make up for what happened. But when he did see her, what would he say?
"Ah Ion!" Eris exclaimed excitedly, "Look over here!" Eris tugged on his hand and pointed at the Ferris wheel. "Look at how pretty it is with the lights!" Ion stared up at it and nodded, although he had never seen a contraption like this before. He watched the line up of people as they waited for their turn on the ride. When the wheel would turn slightly, allowing one of the cabins to stop by the ground, some people would get off while others would get on. 'Yet another pointless Terran contraption,' Ion thought to himself, not really understanding its use. If people wanted a better view of the sky, wouldn't an aircraft or a tower be sufficient?
"It was a good idea," Eris said out of the blue while Ion looked at her questionably, "To set the festival up by a carnival so there are more things to do."
"I guess so," Ion responded with little interest in the matter. He hadn't even realised in perfect honesty as he was so drawn to the activities people do during Easter. Rides such as these at carnivals could be used at any time during the course of the year. But Easter was only once a year, as like Christmas and New Years so he considered it a little more important.
"Eris! There are you are!"
When Eris heard her name called she turned her head in the direction of the voice and smiled brightly when she saw who it was. "Father Nightroad!"
Abel walked up to her and smiled, "Your orphanage would be getting ready to go home now, it's getting late."
"Aww, but I want to stay longer." Eris pouted.
"I'm sure you do," Abel smiled with understanding, "But rules are rules."
"Alright," Eris sighed with disappointment but nodded all the same. When she noticed Esther walk up beside Abel, she went wide eyed in awe at her appearance, "Wow Your Highness, you look so pretty!"
Esther looked down at the girl and smiled, "Thank you Eris." When Esther's eyes caught sight of Ion however, she looked up at him and noticed him staring at her, as though drinking in her appearance himself. His eyes wandered over her in a way that made her want to melt. She had hoped to get a reaction like that from him, it was one reason why she dressed up as best as she could. But as happy as she was, she needed to remember she had hurt his feelings earlier and needed to make up for it. She had to turn her gaze away so she wouldn't get too carried away; it helped to control her excitement.
Ion noticed her turn her gaze away and wondered if he made her uncomfortable with the way he was staring at her. He knew it was rude of him, as she was the Queen of Albion but he couldn't help it. She looked so beautiful that it was taking all his will power not to take her in his arms now and run away with her so he had her all to himself. But the fact that she had turned away upset him, he wanted to compliment her but felt he shouldn't if she was already on edge just being around him.
"Well, let's get going, I'm sure everyone from the orphanage is worried about you." Abel took Eris' hand and looked to Esther smiling. He patted her shoulder with encouragement and allowed Eris to say her farewells to the young couple before heading off with Abel. Ion and Esther were now left alone, which felt extremely awkward, especially since they hadn't talked for the past couple of hours after the little fight they had.
"Nice night isn't it?" Esther said, wanting to break the silence.
"Yes, it is." Ion answered simply.
"Should be good for the fireworks display."
"I'm sure it will."
There was silence again. Esther fidgeted a bit with the present in her hands, finding it so hard to say what she had weighing on her mind. She told herself earlier that she would be honest and share her feelings with Ion but right now, she felt he was still upset with her. Looking at him, Ion had his head turned so his attention was drawn towards something else. His soft creamy skin glowed against the colourful lights of the carnival while his eyes gleamed that beautiful shade of red. He was one of a kind, she knew she would never find anyone else like him in an entire life time, which was why she needed to build up her courage and be strong. She was the Queen of Albion, she was meant to have confidence yet when she was in the presence of Ion, that confidence would shatter into a million pieces and leave her uncertain and vulnerable.
"I-Ion," Esther stuttered, causing Ion to turn and look at her calmly. She opened her mouth to speak but found she lost whatever she was going to say. 'Damnit, not again! Stop leaving me speechless!' Esther cursed in her head as she felt herself break into a sweat. Why did Ion have to be born so beautiful? She felt Ion would lose his patience with her if she didn't get to the point but as she continued looking into his eyes, he continued standing there, waiting patiently for her to tell him whatever it was which was on her mind. For this, Esther was internally grateful. Again it was one of those qualities which she loved about him so much.
"D-Do you um, want to ride the Ferris Wheel?"
Ion blinked in confusion while Esther felt like digging a hole and burying herself. She was supposed to ask if he wanted to go back to her tent, that way they would have privacy to talk. But the idea of being completely alone with him seemed to worry her to no end. Not that she worried about what he may do to her, but finding she'd be in the presence of him and no one else, she felt she'd lose her nerve and never tell him how she truly felt.
None the less, the Count simply nodded and forced a small smile to grace his lips, "Sure…" He gave her an unenthusiastic reply as he turned towards the ride and started walking. Esther followed after him, feeling a little disappointed that he hadn't offered to take her hand or walk beside her. Then again, it was a result of her pushing him away earlier which made him this way. The guilt in her earlier actions started to weigh on her shoulders more, realising now how much she really appreciated his fondness of her.
"Oh, Your Majesty!" People from the queue to the Ferris Wheel turned to look at her, "Please go ahead of us, we don't mind."
"W-What?" Esther was astonished, just because she was Queen didn't mean she couldn't line up and wait for her turn like everyone else.
"Your Highness," the man running the Ferris Wheel gestured to the empty cabin which had just stopped at the ground. He opened the door and patiently waited without another word. Esther approached him and noticed his long wavy blonde hair and AX uniform which Abel and Leon wore, "Oh! Father Watteau! I hadn't seen you all day! Thank you so much for your assistance!" Esther bowed her head while Hugue, the man known as Sword Dancer simply nodded his head in acknowledgement.
"Esther, we better not keep everyone waiting," Ion mentioned as he rested his hand on her shoulder. Esther felt the warmth of his hand sink through the material of her dress and felt as though he was touching her bare skin. His gentle touch sent a warm sensation through her body which made her light on her knees. Ion quickly removed his hand when he noticed her tense slightly. He had touched her without thinking, it was like a natural gesture to him but he had to remember that Esther may not feel the same way. It's how he had pushed her away in the first place so he needed to watch how he behaved around her.
Hugue watched the uneasiness between the two and sighed, feeling they were going to take forever to enter the cabin. "Allow me," Sword Dancer raised his hand out to Esther where he then helped her to the cabin. These actions startled Esther somewhat as Hugue always seemed like the cold, silent type who kept to himself most of the time. Still, she accepted his help and nodded her thanks as she entered the cabin.
Once inside, Ion went to help himself in but was stopped for a moment when Hugue grabbed his arm, "Have no fear, just be direct and honest or else you'll get no where." Hugue let him go and simply waited until Ion was settled inside. Ion looked at him with confusion, as he wasn't expecting any love counselling from a man he hadn't met before but regardless, he nodded his thanks and got inside the cabin. After closing the door, Hugue started the ride again as he allowed the wheel to turn slowly, allowing Esther's and Ion's cabin to rise above the ground.
'Direct and honest huh? Easy for you to say.' Ion mused in his head as he stared out the window. 'I tried that in the beginning but it did nothing but make things worse.'
Esther stared down at her lap where her present for Ion rested. She stared at the box and the pretty ribbon she used to decorate it. She wanted to give it to him, yet she felt now wasn't the best time. She wanted to be sure he was in high spirits before handing it over. Right now though, she could see he had a lot on his mind, as did she.
"The view is nice," Ion commented as he noticed the festival engulfed with colourful lights.
"Yes it is." Esther nodded with agreement, "You don't really appreciate how great it looks until you see it high up in the sky. The Ferris Wheel is best used at night."
"I agree," Ion smiled slightly.
There was silence between them again. Both Ion and Esther had hoped to start a conversation but neither seemed willing. The silence went on as the ride continued its steady course around the wheel until it stopped just as they reached the highest peak of the ride. If one of them didn't try resolving this matter soon, the ride would end before they know it then they would be back at square one. They couldn't leave things as they currently were; they needed to fix things now.
They both called to each other at the same time. Both Ion and Esther turned their gazes away from the window so they could look at each other. But as they each waited for the other to continue, they noticed the other was waiting for them to start.
"You can go first if you like," Ion said.
"Oh no, you can," Esther urged.
"No, be my guest."
"Oh but I insist."
"No really, I don't mind."
"I don't mind either."
"Esther," Ion stared at her, "Tell me, what were you going to say?"
She shook her head, "I forgot."
"Yes I did."
"I'm not lying."
"You're still lying."
"I'm not!" Esther was starting to get irritated. She hadn't really forgotten, but she was so eager to hear what Ion had to say that she refused to say anything more. She would be willing to argue with him all night if it meant he'd finally submit and speak his mind first.
"Don't be so stubborn," Ion rolled his eyes, "Otherwise I will never tell you what was on my mind."
"Now YOU are lying!" Esther turned the tables on him now, although Ion couldn't help but chuckle slightly in response. He rubbed a hand through his blonde hair and smiled, "True, but at least I can admit it, unlike a certain stubborn Queen I know."
Esther kicked his shin, not hard but just enough to startle him. "Watch your mouth; you shouldn't speak that way to someone of my status!" Esther wasn't offended, but she wasn't going to let him get away with such a remark.
Ion wanted to laugh at her actions, especially her words but came back with an easy enough come back, "Excuse me? Is this coming from that same girl who bad mouthed me to my face those five years ago when we first met? As I recall, you were but a mere common girl while I was, and still currently am, of noble status. Nothing about you has changed but that crown you wear on your head."
Esther's eyebrow twitched with annoyance but she didn't try fighting him with another comeback. Instead, she tried sitting there as though unaffected by his words. If she didn't show weakness, it would mean his words meant nothing. It was what she was trying to go for but it didn't work as Ion could read her like a book.
"Aww, did I strike a nerve?" Ion continued to tease.
"No, I'm fine," Esther breathed calmly.
"You can hit me again if you want," Ion smirked.
"You'd like it too much if I did."
"So would you."
Esther looked at him and was about to open her mouth in protest but stopped when her eyes met his. Ion's eyes were always beautiful, no matter what angle you looked at them in, but at night, they gave off a completely different aura. The lights from the festival glistened across his crystal eyes like jewels. While his eyes radiated a beautiful red during the day, his eyes seemed more opalesce at night.
"Is something wrong?" Ion asked, noticing she was staring.
"No," Esther answered with a dreamy sigh, "I was just, staring at your eyes. They're so, beautiful."
"Oh?" Ion cleared his throat a bit, feeling somewhat embarrassed by that remark as he didn't expect Esther to be so forward. But since she was, he thought he'd be as well. "You also have beautiful eyes Esther." Ion started staring deeply into hers while Esther blinked with confusion. He smiled at her reaction and leaned forward so he could see into her eyes more clearly, "I have no need to tilt my head up to see the stars when I can see them clearly in your eyes." Esther blushed, unable to hide how touched she was by his words.
Her heart started to race as she watched Ion bring his hand towards her. She felt his fingers slide across her cheek as he traced over her jaw line before cupping her chin in his hand. Esther's eyes closed for a moment as she savoured the touch of his warm skin against her own. She would love more than anything to have Ion lean in where she could smell his cologne, to be drawn into his arms, to feel his body heat against her own, to feel his soft velvet lips press against her own and send her into a state of ecstasy. But none of this happened.
Instead, Ion drew his hand back and gave a little sigh, seeming upset about something. Esther's eyes fluttered open as she looked at him with concern, "Ion…?"
"I was going to apologise to you," Ion admitted as he looked out the window, not having the courage to look her in the eye as he said this, "All day, after the fight, I felt I was in the wrong and I wanted to make up for what I had done. My last intention was to upset you, to hurt you; I didn't want any of that." He closed his eyes then, "However, looking at you now, I feel at a loss for words. My heart aches for you Esther; I feel I didn't do anything but tell you the truth. I can't take back my words or else I'd be betraying my own feelings. The only thing I can apologise for was causing this mess between us and ruining your day."
Ion reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a little package which was gift wrapped and tied on its top with a blue ribbon. He opened his eyes and looked at it for a moment, as though wondering if he should give it to her or not but eventually turned to look at her again. "It's not your fault that you don't feel the same way about me. I can't be upset with you for that, it's not fair on you." Ion couldn't help but smile, "I guess my stubbornness is one thing that hasn't changed in five years." His smile however didn't seem to reach his eyes. He was still upset about earlier which made Esther's heart ache. She opened her mouth to speak but was silenced when Ion continued, "Being friends is fine with me. I don't want what happened earlier to end things between us. I know I said I wanted things my way but, I don't think I could go through life without being with you."
Ion held out his gift to her, "It isn't much, but I did learn something from today." Esther reached out for his present and brought it on top of the gift she had for Ion. She examined it for a moment, wondering what was inside before she went to open it. She started undoing the bow first, allowing the long piece of fabric to fall to the ground as she then opened the wrapper to peer inside.
"I know it probably seems strange," Ion said, feeling embarrassed by the gift, "It's not something I would normally give you, I could give you something better but-"
"It's me," Esther interrupted as she lifted the gift out of the wrapping to get a closer look. It was an egg, an egg which had been painted with a face and red hair similar to hers. The painting was done very well considering the shape of the object. The face had large but cute blue eyes, a small nose and a sweet smile. The hair was styled so the bangs were parted and rested by the each side of its face with the hair shorter at the back. Just like hers.
"You explained to me that egg painting was part of Easter and that eggs symbolised eternity." He took a deep breath, "You are my eternity, which is what this egg stands for."
"It's so cute," Esther smiled happily as she looked up at him, "Thank you, I love it." Ion simply nodded and looked out the window again. This ride seemed to go on forever. He didn't mind being in the company with Esther, but being unable to act on his emotions really took its toll on him. Seeing her dressed like a Queen again took his breath away whenever he looked at her. He wanted to tell her how beautiful she looked but had no courage to do so, only stare with amazement. He wanted to hold her hand, hug her, caress through her hair, kiss her, he wanted to do so much but couldn't do a thing but stare at her, even now in this cabin. It was like someone's idea of a poor joke, like leaving candy on the table with a child nearby and telling them not to touch it.
While Ion stared out the window, Esther continued staring at her egg happily. She was so happy to receive such a nice gift from Ion. Of course it may just be an egg to others, but Ion had handmade something for her with all his feelings going into its creation. Money couldn't buy anything as precious as this, and it was hers, from Ion, from the one she loved.
"You are also my eternity Ion," Esther said which drew his attention. Esther closed her eyes, continuing to smile as she built up her courage to say the words she had wanted to tell him for a very long time. "Ion, I love you. I have always loved you, and I'll never stop loving you…" There was silence, a long awkward silence which made Esther squirm in her seat. Why didn't Ion say anything? Was it too late? Was he upset with her now for not saying something sooner? She could hear nothing but the carnival music outside and the loud drumming of her heart.
Esther began to panic, thinking Ion may be angry with her. "I-I'm sorry I didn't say this sooner! I wanted to, really I did but something in me held back. I don't know what it was, I guess I was worried th-" Before Esther could continue, Esther felt a finger touch her lips ever so softly. Her eyes fluttered open slowly as she noticed Ion smiling brightly at her. She hadn't seen him smile like this since the moment she saw him this morning at her palace. His smile shone through his eyes, reflecting the happiness and love which he was feeling right now, and it was all because of her.
"Esther..." Ion sighed her name with a heavenly tone as her traced her bottom lip for a moment before bringing his hand by the side of her face. He leaned in towards her, causing Esther's heart to skip a beat as she felt his lips capture her own into a soft love-felt kiss. Electricity shot through Esther's body from head to toe while her body began to feel like jelly. Her mouth parted slightly as Esther moaned softly with delight. Finally, finally she was able to express her feelings for Ion and now she got the pleasure of being able to kiss him again, something which she had longed for since that moment in the forest.
It wasn't long until their soft tender kiss grew more fierce with burning passion and desire. Ion couldn't control himself; he had been waiting so long for this moment, so long that he almost felt it was a dream. The only thing confirming it wasn't was the feel of Esther's moist lips and the heat radiating from her body. His hand rested behind her head as he held her close, not giving her any opportunity to turn away. His tongue suddenly found its way into her mouth which caught Esther by surprise, sending goose bumps over her skin while waves of pleasure continued to overwhelm her.
Esther was thankful that Ion was holding her, as she felt she'd faint if he let her go. She couldn't get enough of the taste of him, or the feel of him. She wanted this moment to last forever, feeling quite content to just stay here like this for all time. Unfortunately for her though, her body couldn't comply with her wishes. She started to feel light headed as her body longed for air. Ion noticed this and slowly wound down the kiss before parting his lips from hers. Esther gave out a loud gasp as she filled her lungs with air again. Ion couldn't help but chuckle to himself as he sat comfortably beside her. Esther didn't remember seeing him move from his seat, although he might have done so while they were kissing.
"Sorry, I might have over done it a bit. Are you okay?" Ion asked gently as he caressed through her silky red hair.
"Y-Yes I'm fine," Esther smiled sheepishly.
Ion smiled back as he used his free hand to clasp one of her own, "Let me say this formally, as you honoured me moments ago. I love you as well, and I will forever love you." He kissed the back of her hand softly which sent chills down Esther's spine. He looked at her and leaned in towards her, wanting to kiss her again but Esther brought her free hand up and pressed her index finger to his lips. Ion looked at her with puppy dog eyes, pleading with her not to be so cruel but Esther wasn't going to fall for that, "I have something I want to give you first." The Young Queen showed her present to the Count and handed it to him smiling.
"You didn't have to get me anything," Ion said as he looked over it, "I hope it wasn't too much trouble."
Esther shook her head, "Of course not. It's never any trouble to get a gift for the person I care most about." Ion blushed slightly while Esther giggled a bit. He started un-wrapping the gift while Esther patiently waited. Once Ion opened the box and looked inside, he stared down at it completely stunned and confused. "E-Esther…" Ion stuttered as his face started going red, "W-What, what is…"
"What's wrong?" Esther asked as he tilted her head to the side.
Ion pulled out the object from the box, wanting to get a closer look to make sure he wasn't seeing things. But there was nothing wrong with his eyes, he knew what he saw and had no idea what Esther's intentions were with it. For some unknown reason, Esther had given him handcuffs, handcuffs which had bunny heads etched onto the wrist locks. Ion started getting strange thoughts with the object which made him turn his face away uncomfortably.
"Ion?" Esther tugged at his sleeve to get his attention, "The handcuffs mean unity. They represent you and me and the unbreakable bond we have. I never want to be apart from you, and these handcuffs represent that." Ion listened to her every word but found it very hard to believe. He was actually surprised he didn't find a whip or some type of bondage outfit in there. "But Esther, you gave me handcuffs."
"You do realise what this implies right?"
"What do you mean?" Esther asked with curiosity.
"…" Ion looked at her, noticing she had absolutely no idea what he was getting at, "Okay, who gave you this idea?"
"Leon and Father Nightroad helped me."
". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ." Ion's teeth gritted together as he pictured punching those two idiots. How could they think of pulling a prank like this on them, especially after they had a fight of all things? It annoyed him that they would take advantage on Esther's innocence like that. The next time he saw them, he was going to give them a piece of his mind. Just then, a loud bang could be heard which brought Ion out of his thoughts.
"Ion!" Esther smiled excitedly as she pointed out the window, "Look outside!"
Ion looked out where she was pointing and stared in awe at the fireworks going off across the sky. Esther stared at them as well and rested her head on Ion's shoulder. Ion looked down at her for a moment and smiled as he wrapped his arm around her shoulders. Finally, they were finally together.
Some time later, when Ion had returned to the Empire, Mirka was patiently waiting for him by a carriage which was to take him to Sarai Castle where the Empress was waiting for him. Ion smiled at his grandmother as he approached her, "I didn't keep you waiting long did I?"
"Not at all," Mirka smiled as they both entered the carriage together.
Once the carriage started and they were on their way, Mirka looked to her grandson smiling, "So, how was it?"
"Definitely an Easter to remember," Ion said as he looked at her, "I'll be sure to tell you and the Empress all about it."
"Good," Mirka nodded as she rested her hand on his shoulder, "What about the 'other' thing?"
"The 'other' thing," Ion closed his eyes thoughtfully and shook his head, "Not yet, I don't want to rush things."
"I see, well don't wait too long." Mirka said as she nodded with understanding. She turned to look out the window then as she watched the scenery passing by. She wanted to ask about his trip but didn't want him repeating himself when he'd be explaining the same thing to the Empress in a little while. Ion watched as she turned to the window and thought he'd look out of his to pass the time.
He had missed home, he was happy to be back as he didn't return home the day after Easter like he intended. He couldn't, he couldn't leave Esther so soon, not after they were finally together. Still, as he started thinking about her, his mind began to wonder about that 'other' matter which he didn't get the chance to ask Esther about. The thought got him reaching into his pocket for a particular item. Once he pulled it out, he stared down at what appeared to be a small dark blue velvet box. He traced his fingers over the soft surface before bringing it to his lips. 'It will be soon,' he thought to himself, 'Perhaps, next Easter…' He sealed his promise with a kiss as he pocketed the sacred object.
Author's Note: There we go, the end to the second Easter series instalment. Yay! I hope everyone has enjoyed it so far, if anyone has been reading it that is. It's strange how I got several reviews for the first one and yet no one has read this one. Or at least, as far as I'm aware no one seems to be reading it. Normally I don't beg for reviews but if no one is reviewing, it gives me less reason to update if I find no one is reading. But I have to say; personally I've enjoyed writing this series, even if it has taken me forever to update. Sorry about that. I get distracted way too easily, and finding the time to write without being disturbed is very hard. But anyway, there could be a third one. Maybe, but then again, maybe not XP
I shall see you all around, on My Saviour hopefully. I really need to get around to updating that. I'm so lazy (sighs). Or I'll see you on another series I may happen to start (rolls eyes). Who knows? But I can guarantee this won't be the end lol. See you all around :-)