If I Was The One In Your Life

Chosen song: 'If I Was The One' by Ruff Endz

Gref had grown a lot since his brother had become emperor. He had not just grown physically. He had also learned a good measure of self-control. His affinity for getting into trouble was minimised to harmless pranks and all the energy and wit he had once used, were put to good use in the ranks of the royal guard. Surprisingly he had made it into the elite corps. Even more shocking was that he did by himself without a single bit of aid from his older brother.

As fate would have it, Tal couldn't concentrate without keeping an eye out for his younger sibling, so Tal had Gref transferred to the ranks of his personal bodyguards. It was a full time job but an important one. Gref had thought Tal was just acting the 'big brother' role by having him transferred so that he was being babysat but after being around Tal for a while, Gref noticed that Tal called on him a lot for moral support. An expected surprise to the little brother but no amount of growing up could prepare Gref for the hardest trial of his life.

Although Tal was Emperor and Gref was his servant, they never acted as such unless it was necessary for a good public image. Gref had never once had to ask for anything from his older brother but when fate turned the winds towards an inevitable day, Gref was left to fend off the only enemy he could not defeat...Jealousy.

The day Tal was forced to find a wife was the day Gref's troubles started. Tal was to meet many 'choices' from all the orders. Gref had never seen Tal so edgy. Gref laughed at him and told him to relax. Nothing was binding until he was struck with the fever of love he had told Tal. To which Tal simply scoffed and asked him to choose Tal a bride. Gref agreed candidly but little did he know how his flippancy would affect him later.

I see the way he treats you.

After talking to a score of young women, Gref's eyes fell on one that made him feel something foreign but familiar at the same time. Tal's eyes had followed his and from the look on Gref's face, Tal assumed that Gref meant that he had found a suitable bride for him. When the interview was over with the young woman, Tal gave Gref a secret wink that meant Gref had chosen him a good wife. Gref didn't return the wink, as he should have but managed a half smile. From then on Tal lavished his betrothed with the luxuries only an Empress would know.

I feel the tears you cry and it makes sad and it makes mad.

There's nothing I can do baby.

From time to time Gref was in charge of guarding the future Empress on her routine walks in the Violet Gardens. Gref knew that the gardens were the Empress' favourite place. As head of security, he knew she went there often. Although he was only meant to guard her, he couldn't help conversing with her as she walked the garden path alone. After a few long conversations with the future Empress, Gref knew a lot about her. Her name was Sy Leat-Gaur. She originally lived in the yellow order. She was funny and charming. She also had an irresistible kindness that hung about the air around her.

Gref also noticed another thing about her. Something that didn't sit well with him. Although she appeared kind and serene on the outside, she shed silent tears inside. Gref mistook the signs for fidgety nerves as he casually mentioned the wedding plans on one of their walks. However, as the talks continued and he noticed similar reactions to the mention of the wedding, he discovered the truth. She was unhappy but kept up a brave front.

When Gref realised this, he began to feel for Sy. He sympathised with her distresses as she confessed her feelings privately to him. It wasn't as if Tal was a bad lover. Gref's older brother was a perfect lover by many people's standards and by hers. The problem was with Sy. She didn't love Tal. When Gref listened to her about her predicament, Gref was slightly relieved for reasons that didn't make sense to him.

Sy was to marry Tal. Love may have been void on her part but Sy was too kind a soul to admit it to her future husband. She was resolved to marry him but her heart was simply not in it. Gref thought about how Tal felt about Sy. It was true that Tal favoured her and he showed it in little ways. A gentle squeeze of her hand when they were alone. A fleeting embrace or a quick kiss to the cheek. All loving gestures that would have seemed like love to many but not Gref. On closer inspection, Gref saw that Tal merely favoured Sy. The gestures were too brief. Tal liked Sy. He wasn't in love with Sy.

Angry at the thought of such an idea, he quickly despaired as he realised that it was his own fault. Gref found himself admonishing his actions more when he realised his true feelings. He loved Sy. Yet it could not be. She was the future Empress. The engagement was announced publicly. How would Tal look if his brother was having an affair with his wife?! No it could never be. This love was forbidden.

Cause your lover is my best friend and I guess that's where the story ends.

So I've gotta try to keep it inside.
You will never be…never be mine…but

As the days drew mercilessly closer to the wedding day, Gref found himself just wishing for better days. Pain had a new meaning. Figuring out his feelings was only the beginning of a downward spiral of painful heartache. Knowing that his one true love was lost to him was painful but having to see the object of his pain walk around and pretending to love his brother was worse.

Gref walked alongside Sy one day during their walk in the Violet Gardens when a sudden ambush of assassins attacked them. Gref's elite skills in light magic was second only to Tal, so after a brief skirmish, Gref had fulfilled his duty to protect the future empress. Having witnessed her first attempt on her life, Sy had finally given in and confessed her love for Gref lest it be the last time she were able to.

A whole knew world of pain opened up. He could have lived several life times bearing the heartache of losing his unrequited love but to know that his love was returned was unbearable. How could he live with himself now? Gref hugged Sy in the aftermath of the skirmish of the battle and found himself wishing for more uncomplicated days. He confessed his feelings to her so she knew that her love did not go unanswered. He spoke of things he could give her that Tal couldn't. Not riches or power just his love and promises pf happiness.

If I was the one who was loving you, baby.
The only tears you'd cry would be tears of joy.
And if I was by your side… you'll never know one lonely night.
And if it was my arms, you were running to…
I'd give you love in these arms of mine.
If I was the one in your life.

Having shared their feelings and knowing how it could not be, they kissed and sealed a pact to rid themselves of their love for the greater good. The next day, Gref assigned another Sy another bodyguard. He tried hard to convince Tal to reassign him back to guard him instead. As puzzled as Tal was, he reluctantly agreed. As relieved as Gref was to be separated from Sy, he also wished he hadn't as the days and nights passed. Torment struck his heart as he tried to forget her. The harder he tried, the more he found him hoping…no…wishing to see her.

If I could have just one wish…I'd wish that you were mine.
I would hold you near…Kiss away those tears.
I'd be so good to you baby.

Weeks went by and sleep for Gref did not come easily. During the sleeping hours, nightmares of loneliness kept him from much needed rest. His days were plagued with things that reminded him of Sy. Distracting images of her beautiful face appeared in his minds eye. Floral adornments being harvested and transported to the Ceremonial Hall reminded him of the happy days he spent with her in the Violet gardens. Whatever he did, he could not help but think if she was faring just as well as he. Was she thinking of him and trying desperately to forget him too? Oh, how he wanted to comfort her! He knew that she was crying for him. He could feel it.

You're the one I want next to me.
But I guess that's just not meant to be.
He's there in your life and he's sharing your nights.
It'll never be…Never be right.

On the worse nights, fantasies viciously teased him before being torn apart into nightmares. Lustful fantasies of their intimate embrace played a tune of harmonious melodies as Gref thought of what she would feel like enthralled in his arms. What she would smell and taste like when he kissed her passionately. What pleasures she would give him and what pleasures he could return. It was the cruellest joke when the fantasy blurred and replaced him with Tal. Gref would wake at this point in tears and usually in cold sweat. Only the memory of their love confessions kept him from losing his mind.

If I was the one who was loving you, baby.
The only tears you'd cry would be tears of joy.
And if I was by your side… you'll never know one lonely night.
And if it was my arms, you were running to…
I'd give you love in these arms of mine.
If I was the one in your life.

As the wedding day approached. Gref buried his feelings with monumental effort. The Ceremonial Hall was packed with people from all orders and even some Icecarl. Family and friends were present too. It seemed the whole world showed up to witness the love between the two. It was the cruellest thing to endure. To watch his brother being bound for life to the one he loved. Gref watched as the ceremony progressed numbed to everything. He found himself daydreaming again. He dreamed that it was him up on the altar exchanging binding light with his betrothed.

A hot tear fell down his cheek and he hurried left the hall, hiding his face. He didn't want to let anyone see him cry. Most of all he didn't want Sy to see him in such a vulnerable state. He ducked out a side door and hurried past crowds of people who thankfully ignored him. His feet kept going yet his mind did not know where. He was still numb. Eventually when the scent of flowers reached his nostrils his mind awakened from its apathy. He had gone to the Violet Gardens. The place where it all started.


I wanna reach out and view you beside me.
Right here beside me, babe.

Closing his eyes, he thought of her hand touching his cheek. He could almost feel the warmth of her hand. He could almost feel her arms around him. He thought of what he would do if she were right there with him.

Take you in my arms right now and scream 'I love you' right out loud.

Tears of despair fell freely now. There was no cause to keep them from cascading down his face. He was alone…Alone in the Violet gardens. It was too much. He wanted his pain to end. He drew his sword and only took a moments thought to what he was about to do before he held it to his chest and knelt in the midst of the flowers. Praying that this tragedy would not follow them in the next life. He prayed that he would be able to freely confess to his love in the life beyond his current cruel and twisted world.

Some day, I pray, I'll find the strength to turn to you and say…

He whispered his promises he had made to her as if she were standing there next to him listening

If I was the one who was loving you, baby.
The only tears you'd cry would be tears of joy.
And if I was by your side… you'll never know one lonely night.
And if it was my arms, you were running to…
I'd give you love in these arms of mine.
If I was the one in your life.

He repeated it as if it was a soothing mantra. It filled his heart with peace. He would no longer be without her. He lifted his sword away from his chest and raised the sharp point a few inches from his chest all the while repeating his promises.

If I was the one who was loving you, baby.
The only tears you'd cry would be tears of joy.
And if I was by your side… you'll never know one lonely night.
And if it was my arms, you were running to…
I'd give you love in these arms of mine.
If I was the one in your life.

If only he was the one standing next to her now.

If I was the one…

If only he had another way to end the pain. He closed his eyes.

If I was the one…

Gref breathed his last breath and lifted the sword point higher. Just as he was about to end the pain, he felt a warm and familiar hand clasping around his clenched hands around his sword handle. He dared not open his eyes lest he endure a final cruel fantasy or daydream. The sword he held drew away and was gently wrested from his slackened grip. Soft hands replaced the cold hard steel of his sword. Tears fell once more. Was this real? Warm sweet lips enveloped his. A kiss that was startling and unmistakeable.

He opened his eyes and found that his pain was gone. He was healed miraculously. He no longer felt a dreary grey world. Colours and light erupted once again into his senses. The Violet garden was more beautiful than ever. All because of the person standing in front over him. No words were needed to expressed the endless joy he felt building up inside. He didn't know why she was standing here or how she had known he'd be here but that all faded away as he stood and they kissed a kiss that would be a pact never to do something so foolish again.

In your life…