A lavender-haired FalcoKnight feels alone in the world, but there is a certain blue-haired lordling who wants her in his life.
I do not own any characters in Fire Emblem, nor do I own anything else involved with the story, except the story itself.
Alone No More
It was finally over; Nergal was dead, Ninian was back, they stopped the dragons' return, and everyone was happy...Well, not completely happy and not exactly everybody.
Of course, there were some a bit saddened to part with Nils, like his sister, and a few others because of Sage Athos death, but neither of the two was the situation of one unique lavender-haired FalcoKnight...
The current occupants of the boat to return of Lycia were lively and happy. Many were chatting leisurely to battle partners, companions, friends, mostly social circles, and some to lovers, and the main topic was basically anything that was on the mind if the one talking. It was an amazing thing to see, so many different people chatting like lifelong friends.
That night, only a few people were on the deck of the boat, and majority of them were either pirates or workers on the boat, and those not were slowly going in the boat. However, one female looked like she wasn't going inside soon.
Florina's arms hugged her body as the cold evening breeze swept through her body, her hair swaying in response to wind's contact.
'I shouldn't have left my armor,' she thought. When she got on the boat, she went to her room and left her armor, and then she went up to watch the sea on the topside of the boat.
She had been in the same area for some time, meekly greeting familiar companions whenever another greeted her, except towards certain men like Geitz, and whenever someone asked her what she was doing, like Nino, she would say it was nothing, and although not many were convinced, she was left to her pondering, and the tense and unsettled air around her repelled most of the sailors away from her.
'Where can I go now?' she thought, staring into the sea.
The sea was a welcome distraction from her current problem. The sea, to simply put it, was beautiful that night. The stars' reflection shining on its surface, the full moon's own reflection shining brightly in the dark night sky were what kept the FalcoKnight from thinking too much of her dilemma.
At first, she never pondered on her dilemma. She was as happy as everyone else, although she a little somber over Nil's departure. She was cheerful and was even more confident around the men of the army, but only a little. That is, until she overheard her sisters' conversation. She could still remember it vividly in her mind...
Florina and her sisters were flying on their Pegasi on their way to the boat. Her sisters lead the way and she was a bit far back, but she could somehow still hear her sisters' conversation.
"So, Farina, are you finally going come back to Ilia after this?" a azure haired woman asked.
"Nah, I think I'll stay in Lycia for a while," Farina replied. "And besides, I'm thinking of becoming a pirate!" she added.
"A what!?" Fiora exclaimed incredulously.
"A pirate," she said simply, "I hear it's becoming quite profitable."
Fiora, however, couldn't believe what she was hearing and stared at her sister unbelievingly. Farina misinterpreted it.
"You know, a pirate. Like Dart and Fargus."
"I know what a pirate is!" Fiora said, frowning visibly. "And why in St.Elimine's name are you planning to be a pirate!?" she asked heatedly.
"That's my business, little sister, and why do you care?" Farina exclaimed, becoming frustrated.
"Um...sisters?" Florina tried saying, but her voice was but a whisper in the wind.
"I care because you are my sister and you have duties as a knight of Ilia!" Fiora said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Well, I'm staying and you can't make me go anywhere I don't want to!" she retorted, fire's spark beginning to burn in her eyes.
"Ooh! I...fine..." Fiora finally said, defeat in her voice.
"Well I- wait a sec, what?" Farina asked, half surprised and half disbelieving.
"I said fine. Do what you want," Fiora said calmly, although there was a little obvious disappointment accompanying the sound of her voice.
"Okay...Look, it's not like I'm complaining, but why are you giving up so easily?" Farina asked curiously.
"You have your reasons, I guess, and I'm tired of all the arguing," Fiora replied, smiling.
Farina smiled in return and said, "You take care, okay?"
And then, she said the statement that put Florina in her dilemma in the first place...
"And its not like I'll be alone with people I don't know, Dart and Murphy'll be there with me."
Florina sighed once more thinking on that one single statement that was making her wonder and ponder so much. It was a wonder to her why tears haven't threatened to stain her face since she started gazing into the sea and sky.
'I don't want to be in a place alone with people I don't know,' she thought to herself sadly. 'Lady Lyn will go with Sir Rath to Sacae, Ninian will stay with Lord Eliwood in Pherae, sister Farina will stay in Lycia, and sister Fiora will go back to Ilia and I don't want to burden anyone,' she thought somberly.
That was it.
She couldn't go with Lyn because of all the plainsmen would wonder why there'd be a pegasus flying about, not with Ninian, Fiora, nor Farina to be a burden, at least in her mind, and not with anyone else because she was mostly too shy, or too scared, to males in general, to start a conversation with anyone, let alone stay with that person. And she only knew of a few men whom she talked to, namely Kent, Sain, Wil, Nils, a few knights from Caelin, some men in the army, Eliwood, and Hector.
'Lord Hector,' she thought. She felt her heart skip a beat at the thought of the blue haired lord, and a few moments later, she found herself wondering what a life with him would.
'No! Not him,' she chastised herself. 'I...I can't go with him...' she thought somberly.
She sighed at herself for falling in love with him. She thought it shouldn't be...that it couldn't be. She thought of herself as only a mercenary and he as a noble who couldn't possibly like her in that way.
'Why did I have to fall for him?' she thought. Of course, she already knew the reason; because he was everything she was not, her exact opposite.
He was brave, strong-willed, confident, loud, and bold whilst she was too shy, fragile, timid, and was only a small whisper in the loud wind. And to add to that, he protected her fiercely in battle, not that she didn't do her part against magic users, and not only that; he acted as a shield whenever archers were nearby.
She shivered as she felt another breeze sweep over her body. And then she thought she saw a large figure's reflection on the surface of the water a few feet away from her own.
Slowly, she turned her head to face whoever the owner of the reflection belonged to, since the it was barely visible on the sea surface, and to her surprise it was the same person whom she was thinking about, and to add to her nerves, he was looking at her with an examining look, making her blush seven shades of red.
"Ah...Lo-Lord H-Hector?" she said meekly.
"Hm?" he replied, still watching her, which only made her blush even more.
"Um...C-can I he-help y-you?" she asked, ducking her head to hide her blush, but her eyes were still on him and her arms closed around her body more.
"Oh, I just came out to get away from Oswin and all his nagging," he said, frowning. "He's been nagging and annoying me ever since...let's not get to that," he said, shaking his head. "What are you doing her anyway?" he asked, looking at her curiously.
"N-n-nothing r-really," she said, her gaze quickly returning back to the endless horizon. 'Why is he talking to me?' she wondered to herself. She still felt that she was inferior to the lordling.
After a few awkward minutes, Hector's voice broke the silence. "You know, I rarely see you without that pegasus at your side, even on the boat," he pointed out. "Where is that witless flying horse, anyway?" he asked.
"Huey? He is d-down be-below with m-my si-sisters' pegasi," she told him.
"Oh...Well, is there anything I can do for you?" he asked, concern in his voice and out of character of himself.
She looked at him, surprise in her face, and not only that, but she was blushing a lot. Of all the time she spent with him, and with all the comments she heard about him, she was surely surprised at his question.
"Florina?" he said, snapping her out of her reverie. His face was now showing his concern.
"Oh! I...um...n-no. I-I'm f-f-fine," she said, still a bit surprised. 'Why did he ask me that question?' she thought, but she couldn't help but feel a bit happy that he was concerned for her welfare and found herself smiling, albeit faintly.
"I guess I'll go back down then," he said as he walked back to the door. However, before he went down the stairs, he turned his head over his shoulder and said, "Are you sure?"
Florina, who watched him as he walked back, nodded, her smile widening a bit more.
At that, Hector returned below deck. However, Florina thought she heard him sigh, but then told herself that she was just imagining it and she turned her attention back to the deep blue sea.
For a few minutes, she couldn't stop thinking why he kept on asking her questions. She found many reasons, but one explanation kept caught her attention right as it entered her mind.
'He couldn't possibly feel the same way,' she thought to herself.
"Could he?" she wondered, her voice almost inaudible to her own ears. She shook her head to get the thought off her head. "You should stop thinking about him," she chastised herself once again. And yet, there was a lingering hope in her that wished it to be true.
"Miss Florina?" a new voice called out.
She once again turned to her back, and to her mild surprise, it was none other than Ninian.
"Oh, hello Ninian" she said, smiling.
Ninian smiled back and nodded her head in greeting.
"Is there anything I can help you with?" Florina asked, head tilting and still smiling. She and Ninian were already best friends, even with the little time they spent together, and she almost never stuttered around her.
"No, I just came here to watch the sky for a while," Ninian said, looking up.
"Yes," Florina said, also looking at the night sky. "It's beautiful isn't it?" Florina stated.
And they were right. Since the sea was only reflecting the night sky, it was beautiful, but it could not compare to the sky itself. The stars twinkled, as if they were joyous that Nergal was defeated and the world was at peace once more, and it even looked like the moon was smiling serenely at them. And they just looked at the sky for a few moments.
And for that few moments, Florina was happy. Her problem hadn't entered her mind. And for that, she was grateful, and even more for Ninian's company, although some thoughts about the bold blue haired lord entertained her thoughts.
"Um...Florina?" Ninian suddenly said after a while.
"Yes, Ninian?" she asked, looking at her. Her arms seemed to have unwrapped themselves and her hands were clasped behind her, one hand over the other.
"I...I was wondering if there was anything troubling you," Ninian said, looking a bit concerned.
"W-What g-gave you th-that idea?" Florina asked surprised. She knew for a fact that she didn't look the part since Ninian arrived, so she wondered how she could have known.
"Well, I heard from...someone...that you looked like you were troubled, so I wanted to see if I could help," Ninian told her.
"N-no, I do-don't have a p-problem," Florina said, becoming a bit anxious and showing it.
"Are you sure?" Ninian now looked very concerned.
At first, Florina debated whether to tell her of her little problem. Other than Lyn, Ninian was her best friend, and she couldn't tell Lyn because she would only make her more protective of her, and the FalcoKnight didn't want that. In the end, she decided that telling someone, especially one of her best friends, was better than telling no one at all.
"I...I guess I do," Florina said hesitantly, looking a bit sad.
"Florina, I'm sorry. Maybe I shouldn't have pried," Ninian said, now looking sorry. She didn't want to force her to tell her. "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to," she added.
"No, I think I need to tell someone, and you are the easiest to talk to," Florina said smiling, but she also looked sad at the same time.
"I'm sure y-you know that L-Lyn is g-going back to Sacae w-with Rath," Florina stated, and Ninian nodded in response. "And m-my sister F-Fiora will go b-back t-to Ilia report to a-another div-division while sister F-Farina will s-stay in L-Lycia n-near Badon with S-Sir Dart?" she asked, her stutter slowly increasing.
"Yes, I heard from Farina herself," Ninian said, "but what does this have to do you're your problem?"
"I-I don't w-want to b-burden them with m-me, b-but I d-don't w-want t-to be a-alone!" Florina said, tears threatening to fall from her eyes. Her smile was no longer on her face.
"Oh, Florina," she said, and made a move to hug her friend. Florina was only too grateful to return the hug. "You aren't alone. You can come back with me and Lord Eliwood," Ninian said. "I'm sure he won't mind."
"B-but I d-don't w-want to b-be a bu-burden," Florina protested, reeling away from the hug.
"You won't be a burden," Ninian told her. "You're a great knight, and don't tell me otherwise, because I've seen you fight," Ninian said before Florina could degrade herself.
"S-Still," Florina protested.
Ninian sighed, and held one of Florina's hands. "Please, Florina, just think about it," Ninian said.
"...O-okay...I'll th-think about i-it," Florina said, wiping away some tears from her eyes with her free hand and smiling slightly.
Ninian smiled and let go. "Come down soon okay? I'm sure that Lyn or your sisters would not like for you to catch a cold," Ninian said in good old-fashioned fun.
Florina smiled wider and nodded, although she knew that she wouldn't come back down for some time, and that she wouldn't get a cold because she was accustomed to cold temperatures.
Ninian walked back, but before she could go down, Florina's voice called out to her.
Ninian looked back, tilting her head.
"Thank you," she said, her face looking grateful and relieved. Ninian smiled back and nodded, and went back down.
Florina sighed, now pondering more of her problem.
'I guess I can go with Ninian...and I guess I'm not too much of a burden...I think,' she thought, a little of spirit rising, but she still couldn't help but still feel alone in the world, even with Ninian, Lyn or her sisters around...
Florina was now sitting, her back against a small wall, but she was still looking at the sky. It was already past midnight, but Florina was too preoccupied that she never noticed.
'I wonder what time it is,' Florina thought, yawning. She covered it with her hand though. She rubbed her eyes with her hands and stood up weakly. 'I hope that I hadn't worried anyone,' she thought as she slowly began walking to the stairs.
"Eeek!" Florina cried out, bumping into what seemed like a hard stonewall. She fell on the floor of the boat, which was quite hard, and winced. Fortunately, it wasn't a wall. Unfortunately (or maybe not), it was none other than Hector.
He was without his armor however. He was wearing a dark blue sleeveless shirt with a V-shaped collar and brown pants.
"Hey!" Hector exclaimed, almost falling back down the stairs. Luckily for him, he was able to hold on the handrails. "Florina, are you all right?" he asked after regaining his senses.
"I...um...I th-think s-so," Florina stuttered, very surprised and mildly frightened.
"Here, let me help you," he said, offering his hand.
"Ah..." Florina made no move to reach out. In fact she just sat there, staring at his hand.
"Florina? Are you okay?" he asked once again, kneeling down beside her and looking at her face.
At that moment, she noticed how close they were and blushed profusely. The only time they were closer was when she fell on him in Laus, and right now, she wanted to pull away.
"Um...I-I th-think s-so," she said, looking away feeling embarrassed.
Hector seemed to have studied her at that moment, which did nothing to make her blush go away, the opposite really. Her face almost looked like a red tomato.
Then his face became stern and he said, "What are you doing here at this time of night? It's already past midnight!"
"Um...I-I w-was j-just...ah." She tried to say something, but she found that she couldn't properly say a sentence.
"You could catch a cold, or you could get sick!" Hector scolded her. However, even as he did so, concern was clear in his face, but Florina was too busy trying to form a sentence in her head to say something and too frightened to actually notice that she worried him.
"I w-was just g-going t-to go d-down n-now," she said, and she now looked like she was going to cry and her blush disappeared.
"Florina...come on," he said, standing up and pulling her up with him, which startled her greatly. "Are you sure your okay?" he asked, studying her face. His own face softened considerably after seeing her face, which threatened to shed tears.
"I...I..." She looked like she was going to cry any second. 'Don't cry! Not in front of him,' she thought, but that didn't seem to help her dilemma and soon tears stained her pretty face.
"Florina...I," Hector said, finding himself at a loss for words. "I'm sorry," he finally said, chastising himself for being so hard on the fragile girl.
"Y-You d-don't h-have t-to ap-apologize," Florina said sadly. "I-I'm j-just be-being a burden like a-always!" she told him, sobbing a lot more. She couldn't stop her tears anymore, and she'd just shed more if she tried.
"No you're not," Hector protested, his face becoming stern once more, but his eyes still held the same softness and care from before. "You were never a burden, Florina," he told her. "I mean, if it weren't for you, those mages would have gotten me by now," he said grinning, hoping to raise her spirits.
"B-but y-you al-always d-did more th-than th-that," she said. "Y-you p-protected m-me from a-all the a-axes and a-arrows wh-when you c-could g-go and fi-finish the b-ba-battle," she said somberly. "I'm j-just a burden t-to e-ev-everyone!"
"Florina, stop it!" Hector exclaimed, for once losing his patience to the lavender haired girl. That was also enough to stop her from saying anything for it frightened her, but she knew that it wouldn't make anything better if she ran away, no matter how much she wanted to right at that moment. The tears, however, refused to end.
"How many times have people said that you aren't a burden? I know that many people have, Florina," he said in a knowing tone. "And you should stop calling yourself one or else you won't be able to get better," he said, his face softening once more. "And I will say it again, you're not a burden," he said, his hands on her shoulders.
At that moment, he wanted to hold her, to comfort and care for her, to be there for her in her time of need.
"D-do you th-think s-so?" she asked, rubbing her eyes, her tears becoming lesser and lesser.
"I know so," he said, smiling. His hands were back to his sides. "Besides, if you were, then I'd be a burning pile of heap with all those Fire and Elfire tomes," he said, his smile becoming a good-natured grin. He may not be able to hold her as he would have liked, but he could at least be there for her.
And then, she did something that he never suspected. She giggled. She was closing her eyes and she giggled.
At first, it surprised Hector, but then he grinned and gave his own chuckle. This, then, made Florina blush yet again.
"You know, you look kind of cute when you giggle," he said. "I wonder how you look when you laugh," he said, his eyes looking at her intently, only making her blush for what seemed the millionth time because of what he did or say.
"Um...ah...I th-think I should g-go now," she said, smiling a little. It looked like the waterworks had stopped...at least for now.
In Hector's opinion, she looked beautiful, even with puffy red eyes, but he was not going to let her go, at least, not yet.
"Florina, wait, I...I wanted to ask you something," he said hesitantly.
"Um...w-what is it?" she asked, a little surprised and taken aback.
"You never answered my previous question," he pointed out a matter-of-factly.
"What are you doing here?" he asked once again.
"Oh." She didn't know what to say now. 'What should I say?' she thought, looking away, one hand on her chest. She couldn't tell him of his problem...could she? "I w-was just th-thinking about so-something," she said.
"About what?" he asked curiously. He didn't want to pry, but he wanted to help her. In a way, he knew something was troubling her.
"N-nothing important," she said meekly.
"Don't give me that," he said, folding his arms. "I may not have known you for long, but I do know that if someone stays up past midnight, not noticing the time I might add, there has gotta be something wrong."
"R-really," she said, "i-it's nothing." She hoped she sounded believable, but somehow, she knew she didn't.
Hector sighed, and for once, looked defeated.
"Florina, you're the only woman that ever made me this desperate, and I'm tired of all this guessing, now please Florina, tell me what's wrong, you're worrying me," he said, sounding, like he said, desperate.
She looked at him, and now, he didn't look like the Hector she saw just a few seconds ago. Instead of stern, confident, and full of cheer, he now looked completely concerned, worried, and troubled.
"Lord Hector..." Florina now felt remorse for worrying him so. One look at him made her want to hate herself. "I g-guess...if y-you're s-so worried about m-me," she said reluctantly.
"So, let's have it," he said, slowly reverting back to his former self. He really was worried and concerned; he just wasn't one to show that side of him often.
"I...I w-was just...th-thinking where I'd g-go after a-all th-this," she said slowly.
"And...where will you go?" Hector asked. At first, Florina thought she saw hope lingering in his eyes, and hoped she was right.
"I...d-don't know," she said, looking back at the sea. "I don't w-want to b-be a burden t-to anyone, b-but I don't w-want to be alone." Her hands were back in their previous positions: hugging her body.
Hector sighed as he shook his head. "Do we have to go back through this?" he asked, exasperated. "You aren't a burden Florina, and if you aren't convinced, I'll just have to ask everyone in the army," he told her, "and you aren't alone, Florina".
For a few seconds, he just stood there and looked at her. Then he looked like he was going to say something, but it took him a while to actually say it. "Besides, I can name one person that wants you to be at his side," he said hesitantly.
And then he frowned. "Other than Sain, that is. He'd willingly go with any unlucky female he sees."
He now had Florina's full attention. Of course she thought that, but then told herself that no one would want to be with someone as shy and uncoordinated as her. Fortunately for her, she was wrong, and what he said proved it.
"R-really?" she asked. She was almost too scared to ask her next question, but she needed to know the answer. "Wh-who?"
"You really don't know?" he asked her back. He looked anxious to her, scared even, but she wouldn't go that far.
She shook her head. "Please, tell me," she said. She didn't even notice that she hadn't stuttered and she was too caught up that she hadn't noticed how nervous Hector was at that moment.
He muttered something almost inaudible, but Florina could hear it because of how close they were.
"What?" she asked. Her eyes were wide and her hand went to her chin; she restrained herself from covering her mouth.
"It's me, Florina," he said, "I want you to be at my side." He looked away and scratched behind his head. He thought that he would be confident whenever he was talking about this with opposite gender, especially to someone like Florina; unfortunately for him, he was wrong.
"L-Lord Hector...I...ah" It was her turn to be at a loss for words. It was a wonder for her that hadn't fainted.
"Look, Florina, I know that this seems...awkward...but I really do want you to be with me," he said. "When I said I didn't want you to leave my side, I guess I wasn't only referring to the battlefield," he told her. "So will you stay with me?" he asked boldly. "Please?" he added as an afterthought.
"Oh...Lord Hector!" she exclaimed, now crying once more, but they were tears of happiness. She rushed towards him and embraced him. She buried her heard in his chest, and as the tears started to increase in quantity, Hector didn't seem to mind.
Florina hadn't known what had gotten into her that night, but she was happy it happened, and she hoped it would have lasted for just a little while longer. It was very surreal to her. She had always dreamt of him holding her like this, she almost thought it was, and she always woke up blushing madly after.
To Hector, this was a big surprise, especially with Florina's normal attitude, but it was not an unwelcome gesture however. He slowly returned the embrace, careful not to crush her petite form, and let his cheek rest on her head. He let on of his hands run through her hair.
"So, I'm pretty sure this is a yes, right?" he asked, but he was sure of the answer.
Once again, she giggled and nodded her head against his chest.
Hector sighed happily and raised his head to look at her.
"Florina?" he said softly to get her attention.
"Hm?" She turned her head towards him. She was still crying a little, but his shirt dried up most of the tears, and her eyes were a bit red and puffy and her cheeks were a bit pinkish. Besides all that, she smiled at him.
'Beautiful,' Hector thought, entranced. He cupped her cheek with his free hand and his other hand stopped running through her hair.
She closed her eyes and pressed her face against his palm. She half-opened her eyes and gazed at him dreamily. She was beginning to think that this really was a dream.
'Oooh, he's leaning closer!' she thought 'What do I do?' she thought, but she couldn't do anything either way, for it seemed that her body already made the decision for her. She leaned closer and closed the gap between them, closing her eyes.
Florina had never felt that way before. She thought that he tasted similarly to honey. She was all tingly inside and she felt her cheeks heat up, meaning she must have blushed again. For Hector, he thought that her lips faintly tasted sweet, but also like milk. However, he also had a similar experience as the FalcoKnight in his arms.
"Um...uh...well, that was...ah," was all Hector could say after they broke the kiss. His hand fell from her face and to her back and he looked away, feeling a bit embarrassed, but he turned back when Florina gave another giggle. "Well at least I did something right," he muttered, flashing her his trademark grin.
Her blush once again intensified, but she only rested her head on his chest, still smiling meekly. She sighed and closed her eyes as his head rested on her own.
'I...I want him to know,' she thought.
"Um...Lord Hector?" Florina's voice piped, her eyes opening a little. She looked at him with sleepy eyes.
"I...um...ah..." She couldn't find the words to say to him anymore. He smiled at her.
"Don't worry, Florina, I know," Hector said, pulling her head back to his chest and then he smelled her hair. Her scent made him relaxed and calm, and he wanted it to stay that way, at least, for now.
Florina's smile lessened, but she was happier that ever before that night. She closed her eyes and snuggled closer to him.
And they just stayed in that position for a few more minutes, until Hector suddenly felt Florina suddenly becoming limp in his arms.
"Florina?" he said, looking at her face. 'She's asleep!' he thought. 'Well, she was up most of the night...I hope no one will mind if she isn't in her room.' In truth, he was almost as tired as her. It was a personal amazement to him that they were able to stay up that long.
He slowly slipped his hand under her legs and lifted her up, one arm under her knees and the other supporting her upper body. Her arms were still around him however, not that he minded.
He walked down the stairs, carefully carrying the sleeping girl.
'Thank Elimine I left the door open,' he thought as he went down with extra care, especially since it was hard to see inside, even with the torches and lanterns.
Hector sighed in relief when he was finally done...that is, until a sharp voice sounded through the corridor of the boat.
"What are you doing at this time of night, Hector?"
Hector almost dropped Florina when he quickly turned towards the owner of the voice, which was none other than the tactician, Gales.
"It's you," Hector said, his heart slowing back to its normal speed. "I should ask you the same question," he said, slightly irritated.
"I always wake up this early. You should know that, since I wake you and Eliwood up some of the times," Gales retorted, frowning. Then he saw Florina and smirked. "And why, may I ask, is Florina in you arms?" he asked mischievously.
"Ah, well, you see, that is," he said. Hector tried to find an excuse, but he was drawing a blank all thanks to his tiredness.
"No need to explain," Gales told him. "I'll see what I can do when Lyn and Florina's sisters wake up," he continued.
"Wha?" Hector was dumbfounded.
"I know that Florina's been there all night, and I think that she needs all the rest she can get with you watching her most of the time," Gales said, folding his arms. "And don't even try to escape from this one, Hector. I know that you've been watching her." And before he could protest, he added, "And that you've been worried 'bout her, so just get some rest."
Hector shook his head in defeat. "How do you know, anyway?" Hector asked.
"That's for me to know, and for you to never find out," he replied smugly, walking the opposite way of Hector's room before the blue lord could ask him the question again.
Hector gave up at that and went back to his room, still carrying the sleeping Florina.
When they reached his room, he laid Florina on his bed and he sat at the edge, gazing at her petite form.
"Beautiful," he murmured as he looked at her, and he felt the urge and need to protect her hit him full force. "Hopefully, Lyn and her sisters will give me a fast death," he said himself, running his hand behind his head.
No, he didn't underestimate Gales' offer to 'save' him against the three, it's just that he doubted that anyone could stop three enraged women who will most likely want to rip his head off. He knew how overprotective those three were when it involved Florina, especially Lyn.
He got a nearby chair and put it beside his bed. He knew how far he got with his relationship with Florina and he wasn't going to push his luck. He got an extra pillow from the bed and laid it behind his head. Luckily, the chair was tall and it reached his head.
His last few thoughts before he fell asleep were only about the petite figure sleeping in his bed that night.
"Mmm," a waking Florina murmured. She felt someone shaking her sleepiness away...most of it anyway.
"Oh good, your awake," a familiar voice said to her.
Florina rubbed some of the remaining sleepiness out of her eyes and focused on whoever woke her up. To her surprise, it was Priscilla. She was sitting at the edge of the bed opposite to where she was sleeping.
"Lady Priscilla? W-where are we?" Florina asked, sleepily sitting up.
"We're in Lord Hector's room," Priscilla told her, smiling.
"L-Lord H-Hector?" Florina asked, now fully awake.
"You don't remember what happened last night?" Priscilla asked, frowning a little.
"It's a l-little blurry, but I think I remember s-some," Florina replied, her cheeks pinkish.
"Well, maybe it's because you just woke up. You'll remember sooner or later," she said, smiling once more.
"Um...w-where is L-Lord Hector?" Florina asked meekly.
"Hm? He's with Lady Lyn, Sir Gales, and your sisters. I think in Sir Gales' room; I'm not sure. Sorry," Priscilla replied.
"Oh..." Florina was now sitting on the bed beside her.
"I hope you don't mind if I ask, but what are you doing in Lord Hector's room?" Priscilla asked, tilting her head.
"Um...I...ah..." Florina blushed three shades of red and looked away, embarrassed.
Priscilla giggled and said, "You don't have to tell me. I was just curious."
Florina smiled and giggled. And then she noticed how she was less shy around her now. 'I guess Lord Hector was right,' she thought happily.
Right then, she thought better of herself and that she should try to make friends with Priscilla. When she first saw Priscilla, she thought that she shouldn't even try because of their social standings. She was a mercenary and she was the daughter of a noble, but she now saw that Priscilla was the same as any other person she met.
Of course, that still didn't mean she wasn't shy anymore; she was still the same Florina that everyone knew, just a bit more confident in herself.
Then there was a knock on the door.
"It's open," Priscilla called out to the person out the door.
It wasn't much of a surprise to Florina when she saw Lyn come in. Farina and Fiora would have come, too, but Farina needed to talk with Dart and Fiora still had to feed their pegasi, so they let Lyn take care of Florina until they were done.
"Good morning, Lady Lyndis," Priscilla said politely. "I'll take my leave now," Priscilla said, walking away and waved Florina goodbye.
Florina returned it with a nod. And then she turned her attention back to the other occupant of the room.
"Um...Hello Lady Lyndis," Florina said shyly.
And then she was bombarded by questions like "Are you okay?" and such, and she wasn't able to answer most of them.
"Hey, hey, give the girl some air?" another voice cut in.
The owner of the voice belonged to Gales, who just came in the room with Hector.
"Ah...g-good morning Sir Gales...um...L-Lord H-Hector," Florina said, shyly looking at the pair.
Hector smiled and nodded. He didn't dare say anything, especially since Lyndis was still angry with him.
"I don't know why I even bother with you, Gales!" Lyn exclaimed. She was also angry with Gales for not telling her where Florina was last night when he found out.
"She's alright, ain't she?" Gales asked back. "Besides, would you rather wake her up when she stayed up past midnight?"
"Well, no...I guess not," Lyn said, "but you still could have told me!"
"And get beat up because you were cranky? Not a chance, Lyn," Gales retorted, smirking.
Hector stared in wonder at Gales but said nothing. Gales was too competitive and too much of a daredevil.
"Gales!" Lyn said threateningly.
"Okay, okay, I'm sorry," he said. "But you know I'm right. I still remember the last time I tried to wake you up," he added, muttering the last part to himself.
"Nothing. Now come on, I still need your help in something," Gales said, walking out.
"Hey! I'm not done with you, yet! Come back here!" Lyn called out, running after him.
When she was out of earshot, Hector burst out laughing, startling Florina.
"Didn't think she'd fall for that," Hector exclaimed, his laughter dying down.
"Huh?" Florina was utterly dumbfounded. 'What just happened?' she thought, blinking.
Hector stopped laughing and looked at her.
"Sorry, I kind of made an agreement with Gales, since I wanted to have some time with you before we get off the boat," Hector told her.
He went towards her and sat beside her, his hand over hers, and she made no move to pull away.
"I hope you don't mind," he added softly.
Florina shook her head slowly. She smiled slightly and her cheeks became pink. She ducked her head to hide it, however. Whatever she did, she could never help but be shy around him.
"You are staying with me in Ostia, right?" he asked, eyeing her curiously.
Florina, too nervous and shy to say anything for the moment, nodded meekly.
"So I guess what happened to you last night was a one time thing, huh?" he asked, smirking playfully.
Her blush deepened as she remembered how she just ran towards him and embraced him unexpectedly.
"I-I guess," she replied meekly.
Hector sighed and rubbed his eyes with his thumb and index finger.
"D-Did I say something wrong?" Florina asked, concerned a little.
"No, I'm just glad you remembered, and I'm still a bit tired thanks to Lyn and your sisters," he said, facing her again, grinning. And then he just stared at her again.
'Does he always stare at me like this?' she thought, her blush intensifying a lot more. She felt like she had blushed more than a whole year in just a few hours.
"Eep!" Florina squealed as Hector suddenly pulled her towards him and on his lap and then embracing her. It took her a few seconds for her to respond, but she returned the embrace, letting her head lie on his shoulder, and his on hers. She sighed as she snuggled closer to him.
"And you don't have to worry anymore, Florina," he said soothingly, "you're not alone." He looked at her lovingly. "You're not alone," he repeated.
Florina's smile widened. Hector never knew how much those three words affected her, especially by him. His hand went to her chin and pulled her face to face his...
...And then, she felt his lips touch hers into a passionate kiss...
Okay, that's it! I hope that you enjoyed reading it. It took me a while to get some scenes right, so it may not be the best, but I'm sure I did okay, right?
Thanks for reading, and please leave a review!