A youth named Cross reflects on his less than stellar life.
No others clothes were garnished in black, nor was their hair so long.
And no other child had that same intense stare of full on emerald.
Because of this, he'd never been well liked.
The fact that he looked so much like his unsound elder brother hadn't helped.
Despite their guilt, everyone had breathed sighs of relief when his hair was cut and he was put into the slaver's hands. Everyone, including his Guardian and eldest brother had made no move to retrieve him.
He'd been with those monsters for three years, doing his best to hold onto himself.
In the end, he had barely succeeded.
In the end, he was bought by a wonderful, gracious, beautiful red haired woman with emerald green eyes almost like his own.
He had been happy, and he had vowed to do everything he could for her.
All she had to do was ask.
She wasn't happy, however, and he could see that in her eyes. She hated it when he called her Mistress, hated to see the stiff collar about his neck, hated it when he was kind and courteous and so obviously fake.
Ostentatious was the word befit of the personality that had been forced upon him.
Gradually, he'd learned to unravel said personality from his mind. It had been a slow, arduous process, but he'd begun to go back to his basics.
By the time she'd disappeared, he'd almost been back to how he had been before his imprisonment.
By the time she'd been found dead, he was his own person once more.
By the time she'd been found dead, he'd already been bound to another family, where he found his brother and his Guardian, the one who was supposed to take care of him.
It had caused him to be bitter, especially upon meeting the head of that family.
An overmodest, tearful and ashamed child no older than twenty-five, already mother of three and wedded to an old demon.
And everyone, it seemed, fell to their knees before her and loved her.
Everyone including his Guardian, who had especially taken a shining to her, often times ignoring him completely or being grudgingly 'affectionate'.
Everyone including his elder brother, twin of the one he looked like the most.
And she had ruined his elder brother, too. Before he had been genial, loving, giving of himself and astute.
He had admired his brother for the way he had sacrificed himself so much for others, yet never asked for praise or endearments in return.
His older brother had loved him, too.
Now, his older brother was gone and ruined, hair cut short in a show of humiliation and punishment, aware of only himself and the simpering woman-child.
His eyes were empty, and he was brimming with untoward emotions.
When he'd seen his older brother, he decided that he hated the woman. Earning others love and adorations without holding a piece of that for herself was one thing, but devastating one who had been so heartfelt was another.
And it was because he had been bonded to this woman that his redhaired love had died. Because of that bond, he'd been unable to leave and search for her...
He had been unable to save her.
It wrenched at him deeply, for he'd always held hope for her return.
He'd yearned so longingly to see her glittering feathers against the bask of the grey sky.
He'd never see her again.
And he grew positive it was his fault.