AN and Disclaimer: I don't own Prince of Persia, but Anya is MINE! Thank you for the continuous support for this story. Enjoy this next chapter and please review as usual!
Chapter Nine: Full Circle
Five days after returning to Nasaf and announcing the abdication of King Sharaman for his son, Tamina and Anya both were getting restless in Nasaf. Tamina longed to be home, near the mountains and cool water. Anya on the other hand was getting tired of putting up with her cousins. She hated being the only girl.
On the other hand, Dastan had been quite busy discussing with his father and brothers how things were going to work when Tus became king. For the most part, it was simple. Garsiv would aid Tus in Nasaf and Dastan would tend to things in Alamut by being the consort to the soon to be Queen. Yet if need be, Dastan and his troops from Alamut along with other Persian soldiers would be expected to be the first line of defense for the empire from anyone invading from the east.
Even though most of Dastan's time was taken up by family business, he did make time each day to spend time with the two leading ladies in his life – Tamina and Anya. Normally that consisted of taking a walk in the palace gardens or looking at the stars at night. Slowly things were beginning to get as much back to normal as they cool. Perhaps when they returned to Alamut, the real healing could begin.
But today was different. When Dastan was finished discussing business with his father and brothers, he immediately went to look for Tamina and Anya. He found them being fitted for their ceremonial garb for the next day. Anya had been fitted first then Tamina was currently being fitted.
"Daddy can we go for a walk?" Anya asked as soon as she saw her father. He could tell that she was very bored.
"Sure," he said scooping her up in his arms and looking at his wife. "We won't be long."
Tamina nodded as the seamstresses continued to fit her for her garb.
"How about we go for a walk somewhere I haven't gone to in a long, long time." Dastan said as he and Anya left the palace.
"How about the marketplace. Perhaps you can find something for your mother. A pretty necklace or cloth for a new dress?"
"Ok!" Anya said with a smile on her face. She loved going to the market in Alamut with her father or mother on occasion. Her favorite part was seeing all the different things from different parts of the Persian Empire. But she hadn't been to the Nasaf market yet.
To speed their trek to the market, Dastan carried Anya all the way there. During the walk, Dastan pointed out different things to her – from the shop that he used to run errands for to one of the many homes that he stayed in during the nights.
"You weren't born in the palace?" Anya asked.
Dastan shook his head no. "My parents died when I was very young. One day, King Sharaman was in the market and saw me. He decided that I needed to be his son as well. So he made me a part of his family."
"Oh," was all that Anya said. Dastan could tell that she was a bit confused.
"You'll understand someday," he said kissing her forehead. By then they were in the market.
For the next hour or so, Anya pulled her father through out the market, looking at the various items. She had never seen so many different types of things in her life. There were all kinds of pieces of jewelry, ornate plates and even various spices that were used on food.
"Which one do you like for mommy?" Dastan said as he knelt down to Anya's height as she looked over a display of gold bracelets with various designs on them or gemstones.
"That one," Anya said pointing to a thick cuff bracelet with pearls and turquoise pieces along it.
Dastan stood back up, picked up the bracelet and handed the man who was in charge of the display the cost of the bracelet. "Thank you, sire," the man said as Dastan and Anya turned away from the table. But something caught Dastan's eye. A simple blue stone pendant lay on the table. It was on a thin silver chain. Perfect for Anya.
"I'll take this one too," he said picking up the other necklace and paying for it as well.
Dastan knelt down and slipped the necklace around Anya's neck. "And this is for you," he said.
Anya smiled and hugged her father's neck. "Thank you daddy. It's pretty."
He told her she was welcomed and was about to pick her up again so they could make their way back to the palace, when he heard someone yelling.
Dastan's head whipped around to see a young boy, no more than 7 or 8, running frantically through the market, avoiding the various guards coming to the aid of the vendor. He watched as the boy turned and headed right for him and Anya.
"Gotcha!" Dastan said, snatching the boy by the back of his tunic as he moved in front of Anya to protect her from any encounter.
"Let go of me!" the boy said struggling against Dastan's grasp. Yet Dastan wasn't letting go.
"Just calm down and tell me what is going on."
The boy kept on struggling.
"Would you rather talk to me or them?" Dastan hissed motioning towards the guards that were approaching them. The boy turned and looked at Dastan and then at the guards.
"You," he responded.
Dastan nodded in agreement as he turned to face the three burly guards that were approaching them. The guards immediately stopped and bowed before the Persian prince.
"What has this boy done?" Dastan asked, still holding onto the boy.
"Prince Dastan," the head guard said. "He stole fruit from a vendor."
"It's for my little sister! She's sick!" the boy quickly said showing an apple and an orange to Dastan.
Dastan let go of the back of the boy's shirt. "What's your name?" he asked.
"Jasper," the boy said.
"Ok Jasper," Dastan said. "Here's what we are going to do. I'm going to pay for the fruit you stole but you are going to take me and my daughter to see your sister. If you are lying to me about your sister, I'm just going to take you up to the palace myself to receive punishment from King Sharaman. Understood?"
Dastan handed the guard two coins to take to the vendor before picking up Anya, who had a look of shock on her face from the entire ordeal. "Ok lead the way," he said turning to look at the young boy.
Jasper nodded and led the Persian prince and his daughter out of the busy market and into the slums of Nasaf.
"Where are your parents Jasper?" Dastan asked as he and Anya followed the young boy.
"They died in the quake," he softly said. "That was also when Lyla began to get sick."
"That's your sister?"
Jasper nodded yes. "No one will help her. I don't know what is wrong with her."
By that time, Jasper had led them to a ruin down tent in the middle of the slums. Laying inside on a single blanket with flimsy piece of cloth over her was a little girl who was Anya's age. Jasper knelt next to his sister and helped her sit up before beginning to feed her the orange. The little girl looked like she was a ghost, not a vibrant little girl full of life – much like Anya was. That was when he got an idea.
The king at one time had seen a little boy who had the potential to be great. And here, Dastan saw in this boy the same thing. Perhaps everything happened for a reason. All part of their destiny.
"Lyla," Dastan asked kneeling next to the brother and sister. "I know someone who can help you. But I have to carry you there. Is that ok?"
"Jasper too?" she softly asked.
The little girl nodded. Dastan carefully picked up the frail little girl into his arms and stood back up. He looked at Jasper. "Get anything that you need or want," he said. He turned to Anya. "Make sure you stay close to me since it is almost dark."
Anya nodded as she fell in step beside her father. Jasper walked on the other side of the prince. "Where are we going?" he asked.
"Up there," Dastan motioned towards the palace.
Jasper stopped in his tracks and stared at the palace in wonder. He couldn't believe that he was actually going to go to the palace!
Anya stopped when she noticed that Jasper wasn't walking with them. "Come on!" she yelled. Dastan stopped as well and turned back to look at Jasper.
"Come on," he said. "We've got to hurry."
Jasper quickly ran towards them and the small group continued the trek to the palace.