Okay, this is kinda short. Imagine if Isabel never got her no-aging gift from Lorian. Its know five years into the future. Please review!


Arkarian dropped the bottle back onto the table. The resounding noise echoed loudly in the otherwise empty room. Groaning softly, Arkarian reached for the bottle that contained the hard liquor; it was the only substance that drowns him from his pain.

Tonight was not the first time he had done this, not the first time he had cried over her. She didn't know this, of course. Her own life had simply taken her away from him.

Her life, he had mused, was so different than his. She had grown; grown into an amazing young woman. She didn't deserve his teenage-shell of a person. She needed someone to hold her and make her happy.

And tonight she will have found him, Arkarian thought.

Beside the bottle of liquor lay an envelope. He didn't have to open it to know what it was. Matt had been so joyous the past few weeks over the news: Isabel was getting married. This invitation was a bitter remembrance of something Arkarian shall never have.

Of course, he knew it was only a matter of time. Three months ago, Isabel celebrated her twenty-first birthday. This was a marking of mixed blessings; Isabel was now an adult, and she was an age that Arkarian shall never be.

Her fiancee must be so perfect, Arkarian came to the conclusion. He must be strong, and handsome, and loving. He would be able to support her and care for her for the rest of her days.

A part of Arkarian's mind wonders: Arkarian himself are all of these things. Why didn't she pick him?

That's when he has to remind himself that it was never meant to be in the first place. Neither would fit in the other's world. Yet..they had to be soul mates for a reason. Fate simply doesn't work that way. Love is supposed to conquer all obstacles, wouldn't his non-aging be something they can overcome?

His mind is buzzing now, a familiarity to him on these lonely nights. Pretty soon its gonna get harder for him to get drunk, he will have to drink more. His head drops onto the table.

By now she would have said her vows, and would be legally tied to another. The ceremony would have been followed by the laughing celebration, and now she would be off to her honeymoon.

Tears stream from Arkarian's face onto the table, where they make a small puddle beside him. He shouldn't be crying, no. It was what he had been taught to do since his apprenticeship; never to get emotionally attached. Why should his feelings let go now?

The weather seems to mirror his frustration as he hears the sound of thunder from outside. It must be raining. I hope it ruins her day, he thought bitterly, before taking it back. Not her day, never hers. But his--her husband's--maybe.

Husband...next comes children, he expected. In the back of his mind he thought of what his and Isabel's children would look like. No blue hair, no violet eyes. They could go outside, and never be shut up in the mountain of the Guard.

Isabel as a mother looked even better in Arkarian's eyes. She was so compassionate, so loving that it would be unnatural for her not to be one. In his dreams, his sweet dreams, he saw her as his own, holding their violet-eyed child in a rocking chair, reading them a bedtime story.

He closes his eyes tightly against the wood of the table. About now is the time that he usually drifts off into his alcohol-induced slumber. The sound of someone outside his door prevents this, however. He lets the door open, sitting up and hiding the mess he wants know one to know of.

As the person enters, Arkarian can hear their footsteps tapping down the hallway, making their way into this room. He recognized the sound of heels and knew it to be a woman. But why would Neriah be visiting him this late?

The door is thrown open in a haste as a figure emerges, half revealed in the dim light. The girl is in a white dress, the material sagging from the rain outside. Her hair is down to her shoulders, but is stringy and wet. Black streaks come down her face, a sign that she had been crying as well.

Arkarian stands up and goes to comfort the still-sobbing woman. He gets his emotions into check before asking, "What are you doing here, Isabel? Shouldn't you be at your wedding?"

She looks at him with watery eyes. "I thought I would be, but..."

"But, what?"

"I can't marry him."

"Why not?"

"I don't love him."

Arkarian gathers her into a hug, and she snuggles her face into his neck. "That's okay, Isabel. You don't have to do anything that you don't want to. I'm here if you need me."

Her gently reply threw him off guard. When she mutterred her words he knew he would never have to drink again. His pain was so to end; his torture to be stopped. For, Isabel hugged him a little more tightly and whispered into his ear.

"I know. That's why I love you."