Curse of the were rabbit chapter 5
Bell didn't know what to say.
After hearing Riveria's words he felt like he had acted like an idiot.
But a broken heart isn't a switch, it didn't heal instantly when he had realized the truth, the pain would have to be worked through.
But now he just felt guilty for upsetting Aiz and stupid for letting his own doubts mess with his head.
He turned to Aiz and embraced her.
After a few minutes he whispered an apology in her ear.
"I'm sorry Aiz."
That was all he could say for the moment, he was still awash with emotions he didn't fully understand.
But he felt she deserved an explanation at least.
He pulled back a little so they could talk, but still held her close.
"I..." he tried to begin, but it was hard.
"I'm sorry. It wasn't your fault, you didn't do anything wrong."
"A friend joked that I was your pet. She didn't mean it, she was just teasing me."
He paused for a moment trying to get his thoughts together.
"I became worried that it was actually true and because I couldn't see you while you were on your expedition, I thought about it more and more and..."
He trailed off.
"I got a bit lost in my head I guess, thinking things that weren't true."
He looked down at the floor, not wanting to meet Aiz's gaze for the moment.
"Riveria came to me earlier and told me about you."
Aiz was curious, but let him speak.
Bell paused again thinking on her words.
"She explained why you fight so hard. She said that she had never heard you giggle until you met me."
Then in a quiet voice.
"She explained that you care more about me than anyone else."
Aiz thought about this for a moment. She knew Riveria was right, she had known the moment that Bell had run from the tent.
All Aiz wanted was her revenge, to kill the one eyed black dragon. Even if she lost all her Familia and friends doing so, she would have her revenge.
But the moment Bell had run from her, she had panicked. The thought of Bell not being with her, not wanting to be with her was devastating.
She was slowly beginning to understand how she felt for Bell, though she was still very confused.
"That and..." Bell had started talking again.
"A few months ago, I was a normal human. Just a farm boy dreaming of being a hero."
"Then I wake up one day and I'm a rabbit person. Its been... difficult to cope with the change."
"Then learning of my parents death…"
He shook his head, the last few months had been rough.
"Finding out your not human... its... "
Bell didn't know how to express himself, too many conflicting emotions were wrapped up in his words.
But Aiz smiled at him. She had a secret she wanted to share with him.
Bell gave her a confused look. How could she understand?
"Bell... I... I'm not human either."
"I'm... a demi spirit."
Bell's confusion grew even more. What did she mean? A demi spirit? how?
"My mother was a wind spirit."
She suddenly stood and called out "Awaken Tempest"
Bell hadn't seen Aiz's magic before now there had never been a scenario where they fought together while has was rational. Even though she had used tempest during the fight with Goliath, Bell's mind was far too gone to understand and was far too involved with the fight at hand.
Aiz's wind wrapped around her body, green wisps floating all around her.
She spread her wind out around them causing a gale to buffet the trees and make them lean away from her.
Then she stopped and smiled at Bell who was still sitting on the floor with a shocked expression on his face.
"But Aiz, there is only one wind spirit. Aria" he said looking at her in awe.
Aiz looked at him sharply, almost a glare although she didn't intend to. Bell had surprised her that's all.
"How do you know my mothers name?"
"The Dungeon Ortoria. Albert marries Aria and they fight the black dragon together."
But then it strikes him.
"Waldstein. Wallenstein. Aiz..."
But Aiz knew Bell had figured it out.
"My father." she said and sat down next to Bell again.
Bell tried to think, but all that he thinks is that was one thousand years ago.
"I... don't know what happened." Aiz tried to explain.
"I was only seven at the time. The black dragon came and..."
She choked on her words, trying to hold back the tears.
"I woke up in Loki's arms nine years ago. She won't tell me what happened."
Bell draws her back into a hug.
"Thank you, for telling me."
"It's OK Bell."
"We can be... not human... together."
After hugging her for a few moments Bell decided to make a peace offering.
"You can... stroke my ears if you like."
Aiz squirmed with delight and very soon, Bell was purring on her lap.
Hand in hand they wandered back to the camp to find it was dinner time.
There were a few knowing smiles as the couple walked together but they were left alone and not teased. Riveria had been very specific about the punishments that would be doled out if people teased the pair. Mostly for Aiz's sake. She didn't want Aiz to lose the happiness she had found.
She had specifically picked out Lefiya and Bete and given them an earful. Lefiya just sulked for the rest of the evening after stomping off shouting "Stupid human! Stupid rabbit! What even is he!" But Bete's response had surprised her.
"You don't need to lecture me old hag. I ain't gonna tread on their toes." with that he had wandered off, not caring what Riveria had to say.
The couple found the party in full swing and went to join their friends.
Lilly and Welf were sitting with Tiona, Tione and Lefiya as the five had been together since Bell ran away that morning. Both concerned for their Familia members and their relationship, there had been a lot of discussion about the pair. Though Lilly mostly kept her mouth shut, knowing full well it was her fault that Bell had such doubts which caused the scene that morning. Tiona had been quite interested in Welf's comments about men's hearts. Weren't all men just driven by lust wanting to sleep with as many women as possible? Welf had admitted that was true for some men, but not most. Those kind of men, women should watch out for. However, most men just wanted to have someone to love who would love them back. Most men, just wanted a happy family. It was a males instinct to protect and provide, their sex drive was just a way to achieve that.
Tiona had found this all rather fascinating. She rather fell for Welf that evening and tried several times to come on to him, but each time, he gently turned her down. After the third attempt, he explained he loved another. Frustrated Tiona wanted to know who her rival was and was rather shocked when Welf had admitted it was his goddess, Hephaestus.
Bell was back to his normal self by the time they had returned and it was clear the two had patched things up.
Aiz had sat in his lap while they ate, a happy little princess, then she had laid in his lap afterwards while they all chatted, being her quiet self and enjoying Bell stroking her hair.
Bell had stayed in rabbit form all evening. He preferred it and he needed practice being around people in that state. He had rather quickly got used to it but practice made perfect after all. But that had meant Tiona had been growled at several times as she kept trying to grab his ears. Eventually Aiz had got annoyed and chased the Amazon around the camp, while Tiona giggled and laughed as she ran away.
Later that evening, Bell and Aiz had snuck away for some privacy and had laid down together under one of the large trees. Not too far from the camp, but far enough they wouldn't be overheard.
Laying in Aiz's lap, purring away as his ears were stroked, he stared up at the ceiling of the eighteenth floor and marvelled at the sight.
It was like looking at the night sky full of stars, but each star slowly winked out and was replaced with another. It was like a shifting sea of stars and was one of the most wonderful sights Bell had ever seen.
"Beautiful." He said gazing up at the ceiling.
"What is?" Aiz asked.
Bell smiled at her. "You."
She ran her fingers down his cheek then spent the rest of the evening giggling as Bell nuzzled her over and over.
Welf had levelled up after returning from the dungeon and that evening he wanted to celebrate. Bell and Lilly had joined him at the bar called Hibachitei, The flaming wasp. It was famous for it's red mead which Welf rather enjoyed. It was full moon, so Bell was in Rabbit form. He'd worn his disguise in the streets, he didn't want to freak out the public, but once he had arrived at the bar, he'd taken his hood, scarf and googles off. People were beginning to get used to him now although the odd looks still made him feel uncomfortable.
They had cheered Welf's level up and were discussing the black Goliath that they had fought on the eighteenth floor.
A loud voice cut through the din.
"Get this, some 'bunny' just got famous overnight!"
The bunny was sitting right there after all. Bell looked over to see who was speaking.
A prum adventurer in an expensive looking uniform was mouthing off. Bell chuckled a little. Expensive uniform perhaps, but the bowl cut hair do made him look even more like a child then a prum normally did.
"That rookie sure got some guts! Don't care if he really is the record holder, it's amazing that people swallow all of his lies! I couldn't pull that act off in a million years!"
"Anyway, I've heard he's extremely good at running away. That must be how he got the level-up he ran away from that Minotaur until it collapsed from exhaustion. That's a bunny for ya! Quite the talent!"
One of Bell's ear's twitched and Welf noticed.
"Cool it, don't worry. Let 'em say whatever they want."
"Master Bell, don't listen to them"
Bell however had already decided to play it smart.
"Don't worry Welf, Lilly. I have to learn to control myself when I'm in this form. This is probably good practice."
Bell carried on ignoring the stupid prum and thought of ear strokes from Aiz instead. That always calmed him down. It was a shame she was in the Dungeon, Bell had wanted to invite her that night. He smirked to himself. What would the prum be saying if Aiz was here sitting on his lap?
However the prum continued.
"Oh you know what else? The bunny joined up with two random pieces of riff-raff! A washed up smith and some puny supporter. The party's so unbalanced I'm surprised they can even stand!"
"I also know that his Familia is led by some goddess not worthy of even the slightest shred of respect. You'd have to be pretty weak and stupid to join a disgraceful deity like that!"
Bell gritted his teeth, but forced himself to keep calm. If he lost his temper now, there was a good chance he'd kill everyone in the bar except Welf and Lilly. Bell knew full well that if he allowed himself to rampage, innocents would be involved and at best he'd be expelled from Orario. At worst executed.
He had to keep control no matter what.
Welf however, had enough, but he also knew full well not to make the scene violent.
He stood up and walked over to the prum then squatted so he was at eye level.
"Are you dumb?" he asked surprising the prum.
"Tell me little prum." He poked him in the chest.
"Do you know why the Were-rabbits were hunted to extinction?"
The prum backed off from Welf a little.
"B..B..Because they rampage... They go berserk."
"And right now, your stupid enough to mouth off in front of one? Are you a retard or do you have a death wish? This isn't a bar fight your starting. You set him off and the only survivors would be the two random pieces of riff-raff he teamed up with."
Welf looked up at the other five people the prum was drinking with and noticed they all had the same uniforms.
Taking a guess that the tallest was probably the leader, he looked up and spoke.
"You in charge of this?"
Hyacinthus, captain of Apollo family nodded.
"Put a leash on this one. You've got morons on your team."
Hyacinthus stood up with anger, pushing the table back as he did.
"How dare you speak to me like that!"
However, before he got a chance to move a large slap sound was heard.
Hyacinthus's head snapped to one side as he received the slap. He swiftly turned his head to work out who had done it when he found himself staring straight into Bete's eyes, who was now standing straight in front of him.
Bete grabbed him by the collar and lifted him into the air.
"Now you say 'Thank you Mr Bete for saving my life'"
"W. ?" Hyacinthus struggled in Bete's grip.
"I said: Now you say 'Thank you Mr Bete for saving my life'"
Hyacinthus just spat in his face.
"WANNA BE TORN IN HALF PRETTY BOY?"
Bete slammed Hyacinthus into the floor as hard as he could, then he stepped on his neck to stop him getting up.
"Know your place weakling. None of you are strong enough to take him on. I have never seen such stupid weaklings as you."
He looked at the party on the table including the prum.
"Leave. Now." He growled at them.
The Apollo Familia members all scrambled to get out of the pub as fast as possible, falling over each other in their mad dash for the door.
Bete picked Hyacinthus up from the floor and held him up by his neck.
"Not you though. I feel like slapping you around for a bit. You ruined my drink."
Bete dropped him, but Hyacinthus landed on his feet. He was level three after all.
Before he could react though, Bete slapped him again making him spin around and fall to the floor.
"Don't get up unless you want another."
Hyacinthus was arrogant though. Despite the three level difference between the two, he stood up and tried to swing a punch at Bete.
"Tsk. Baka." Was all Bete said as he side stepped the punch and returned his own blow, a punch to the gut.
Hyacinthus collapse to the floor gasping as he was winded. Bete had aimed right into his diaphragm and shocked the muscle hard. Hyacinthus choked and struggled to draw breath for a few moments, his face going purple.
"Want another?" Bete asked.
But Hyacinthus, crawling on the floor just held his hand up in defeat.
Choking and gasping, he grabbed a table and pulled himself to his feet.
"Leave." Bete said simply and watched as the Apollo captain walked out of the bar still gasping for breath.
However, he had to pass by Bells table. Hyacinthus was already very jealous of Bell. He couldn't understand Apollo's interest in the boy. Hyacinthus was the kind of vain man who would preen himself in a mirror every day to look as good as he could. Bell seemed like riff-raff in comparison. He wanted Apollo's love for himself, but all Apollo did was talk about Bell recently. Hyacinthus was full of envy.
As he passed by, with a fit of jealousy he screamed "This is all your fault!" at Bell.
He grabbed one of Bell's rabbit ears and crushed it in his hand catching Bell by surprise, who had just been laughing at the whole incident until that point. Bells ears were very sensitive and having one crushed by a level three's hand was probably the most painful thing he had ever experienced.
He didn't even have a chance to hold back. He twisted out of the grasp causing him even more pain with an angry snarl then bit down onto Hyacinthus's arm.
The two sabre fangs penetrated all the way through the man's arm shattering the bones inside. Hyacinthus was lucky that Bell then withdrew the bite without shaking or tearing the man's arm off. Hyacinthus had no idea how lucky he was at that moment.
Bell had been doing everything he could to keep his self control.
Hyacinthus screamed in pain and jumped back from Bell his arm shattered, blood flowing freely from the two holes in his arm where Bell's sabre teeth had cut into him.
Bell just growled, his eyes bloodshot. Again, he did his best to keep control and not let the rage descend, but it was hard. His ear being crushed had really hurt and it was still very very painful. The table splintered as he gripped it. But it was too late, Hyacinthus's blood had hit his tongue, he couldn't stop it now, the bloodlust began to descend.
Bell roared at the top of his voice.
"SHIT!" Cried Welf, it was too late now and he knew it.
"Oh no.." Lili said in a sad voice, she knew she would be fine, but how many people would Bell kill before he calmed down? She feared the incoming bloodbath.
"FUCK." Bete cried out leaping towards Bell.
"Dungeon… Dungeon…Get to the Dungeon." Was all Bell could think as he stood and tried to run for the door.
"Oh no you don't." Bete tackled him to the floor and got him in a choke hold.
Hyacinthus ran, screaming in terror.
Bete was shocked at Bell's strength as he held him down and compressed his neck with his arm. Bell was level two, but it felt like he was struggling like a low level five would. It only took a few seconds for the choke hold to kick in though. Bete was compressing his neck hard enough to stop any blood flow through the jugular veins, Bell passed out after a few seconds.
Bete released the pressure, but still held Bell firm. He would wake up in a few minutes as the blood flow returned to his brain and Bete couldn't be sure if Bell would still be in his berserk state when he recovered.
"Quick." He called out to Welf and Lili. "Wash his mouth out or he will just go straight back into a rampage."
"Gotcha." Welf replied. He forced Bell's mouth open and with a handkerchief soaked in mead, washed the blood from Bell's tongue and teeth.
After a few moments, Bell woke and his eyes darted around as he tried to work out where he was.
"You calm now?" Bete asked, still holding Bell, ready to choke him again if needed.
"Yes." Bell replied and went limp to demonstrate to Bete that he really was in control of himself.
"Thank you Bete."
"It wasn't your fault Bell." Bete replied as he gently let go of the Were-rabbit.
"Still" Bell stood, he wasn't happy with himself. "I'm not sure what would have happened if you hadn't stopped me. The last thing I remember is tasting blood and thinking I had to get to the dungeon as fast as possible."
Bete stood up and offered his hand, helping Bell to stand up too.
He laughed again, grabbed his drink and pulled up a chair at Bells table.
"Mind if I join you?"
"Go ahead." Bell growled, still very much in pain, clutching at his ruined ear.
"Anyone got any potions on them?" Welf called out.
The bartender threw him one and Welf adeptly caught it.
"On the house." He said. "Thanks for not ruining the bar."
Welf passed the potion to Bell, who drank half then poured the rest over his ear, wincing as it healed.
"Thanks." He called out, the bartender just gave him a nod.
Bete spoke up. "I'm impressed Bell. You did well right up until the moment he grabbed your ear."
Bell was still nursing his ear in his hands. Despite the potion, it still ached.
"Yeah. I have been working on controlling my temper. I... don't want to kill an innocent person by mistake. That's why I wear this mask, it blocks smell, so I won't lose it if someone's blood is spilled. But when he grabbed my ear like that, it was instinct, I couldn't help but bite him. Once I tasted it…"
Bell trailed off, rather angry at himself.
Bete shook his head.
"Not your fault Bell. I mean come on, what kind of idiot would grab a Were-rabbits ears? Guy must have a death wish or something."
"Like I told you before Bell, you already have remarkable control. Well, unless its around blood or Aiz." Bete said, trying to lighten the mood and get the topic away from Bell's bloodlust.
"Huh? Did I do something to Aiz?"
Bete just grinned at him.
"You don't remember do you? After the Goliath fight you... pounced on Aiz."
"I did what?"
Bete's grin got even bigger.
"You were nuzzling her Bell. If you hadn't passed out with a mind down... who knows, we might very well have had a pregnant Aiz right now!"
Bell choked on his mead instantly going a deep shade of red.
Bete slapped him on the back and laughed his ass off.
Bell pulled at his collar. The rented tuxedo he was wearing was uncomfortable. The stiff collar of the shirt rubbed raw against his neck.
He wasn't enjoying Apollo's party so far. It was pretty boring to keep saying hello to god's and goddess's he didn't know as he mingled with Hestia. It had been nice to see Miach though, at least that was someone he knew and with Naaza being there, he at least had someone to talk to. Later Mikoto had joined them with Takemikazuchi and finally Hermes had wandered over and was teasing the girls about their appearance.
Suddenly a wave of sound from the crowd, drowning them all out.
"Would you look at that?... The big cheese has arrived." Hermes sounded surprised as he looked in the same direction as the crowd did.
Bell looked to see a giant Boaz that had been stuffed into an expensive, but still ill fitting suit. Next to the giant warrior stood a silver haired goddess.
"Who's that?" Bell asked Hermes
"That, Bell, is lady Freya. I'm sure you've come across the name Freya Familia before?"
Hermes was expecting Bell's normal reaction, to laugh and smile due to embarrassment of not knowing who she was.
However, Bells face just went dark. Hermes had never seen him without a cheerful smile before and the look on Bell's face was shocking.
Bell was staring at Freya with anger! Hermes was expecting him to be charmed by her beauty and to be fawning over her like every other man in the room was, but this was not the case. Frowning himself, Hermes wondered what this was all about. Even without using her charm, Bell should be an embarrassed mess right now, drooling over her beauty.
After a moment Bell looked away, as if looking at the goddess was the last thing he wanted to do.
Freya turned to look directly at Bell. She wasn't surprised, Bell wasn't looking at her with deep love like he should be. He wasn't even looking at her at all! How could this be? She was hoping to charm him away from Hestia that evening, but he hadn't been charmed at all. She felt deep regret for her past actions, she had hoped her charm would be able to smother the black flame she had created in his heart, but it seemed to have no affect at all.
Her eyes glowed purple for a moment. Even though Bell wasn't looking at her, she pushed to full force of her charm unto him.
Bell's expression changed at that moment and with a smile, he started walking in her direction.
Freya gave a small smile of her own, he hadn't resisted her charm at all and he was coming right to her. Perfect.
Smiling gently, she enjoyed watching him approach, but after a moment she noticed something. Bell wasn't looking at her, he was looking over her shoulder.
Then, he walked right past her as if she didn't matter! In fact, he'd sped up to a slow jog.
Loki and Aiz had just entered the room and Bell had noticed straight away. Seeing Aiz is what had caused him to smile and he had started walking over to her.
He gave her a good look as he approached. She was stunning. Dressed in a green backless dress with white gloves, she was the definition of a women at her peak of beauty. To Bell, she overwhelmed all the other beauties in the room, he only had eyes for her.
Aiz began looking for Bell as soon as she had stepped into the room. She wasn't sure if he would be here tonight, but all the gods had been invited so if Hestia were here, Bell had to be.
Almost straight away she had noticed Bell as he began to walk over to her, a big smile on his face. She returned the smile and walked as quickly as she could in her high heels. Oh how she hated those shoes, but Loki had insisted telling her that boots didn't look right in a dress. Aiz hadn't cared due to the unpractical nature of the shoes, but Loki had insisted she wear them.
Cursing the shoes that she wasn't used to walking in, she almost tripped several times as she tried to get to Bell as fast as she could.
Bell broke into a full run as he saw her start to walk to him.
Suddenly the couple embraced in the middle of the dance floor, shocking most of the people in the room. Well, those that were not currently staring at Freya.
Freya was watching the boy in shock. What had happened? How had her charm failed?
Aiz and Bell hugged warmly, both saying the same thing as they embraced.
"I missed you." They whispered into each others ears, causing both to giggle at saying the same thing.
Bell pulled back and looked into her eyes. He was about to say how good it was to see her, but didn't get a chance to open his mouth.
Aiz leaned forward, then gently rubbed her cheek against his, like he would do when he nuzzled her in rabbit form.
Going back and forth she nuzzled each cheek over and over making Bell giggle a bit.
He didn't realize exactly what she was trying to tell him with this gesture, but a while later he did figure it out.
This was Aiz's way of showing more than just affection for him. Aiz was trying to say to Bell that he was hers, he belonged to her. She was copying the same scent marking behaviour as if to tell him that she accepted his feelings and felt the same way about him.
Aiz had thought long and hard about Bell in the few weeks since they had last seen each other. She had missed him terribly and had behaved like a lovesick puppy at home. It had taken a while, but Riveria eventually grew tired of Aiz's behaviour and sat her down for a talk.
She had finally realized that she did love him and this was her way of showing it.
Loki gave an exasperated sigh and decided to take out her ire on Hestia. Marching over, she decided to give the little loli goddess a piece of her mind.
"This is all your fault Itty bitty! If you hadn't taken that damn rabbit into your Familia none of this would be happening!"
Hestia just sighed, looking at the couple who were lost in a bubble of their own, totally oblivious to the God's and Goddess's who were staring at them right now.
"Shut up ironing board. I'm not happy about it either, but..." She trailed off for a second, looking at the pair again.
"Look at them! Have you ever seen a couple in love like that?"
"Yes, it's quite perplexing." A new voice spoke, Hestia and Loki both turned to find Freya behind them.
"Ugggh. Freya. What do you want?" Hestia frowned at Freya.
"Now now Hestia, no need to be rude." Freya smiled elegantly.
"I'm just curious about your child, that's all. He must be quite the charmer to have stolen the sword princess's heart."
Hestia just gave a humph in response, folding her arms and looking away from Freya in irritation.
"You stay away from my Bell. I'm warning you Freya, you don't want to get involved with him."
"Oh-ho Hestia. Is that a threat I hear? And what does the tiny goddess think she can do about me?"
Hestia gave a wicked little grin. "Oh, it's not a threat. I wouldn't do anything to you dear Freya."
Hestia emphasized the 'dear' with sarcasm.
"It's a warning. Bell... is not a man you should be messing with."
"And why is that dear Hestia?" Freya also, emphasized the 'dear' with bitter sarcasm, although she was actually quite fond of Hestia being one of the few people who actually spoke their mind around the goddess.
"He hates you Freya. More than you could possibly know."
Freya laughed out loud at that remark.
"He hates me? Oh dear, what did I do to the poor child?"
"Tell me..." Hestia began with a dark look on her face. "Tell me... how old do you think Bell is?"
Freya squinted for a moment, looking at the boy. "He looks to be around fifteen I would guess. It can be hard to tell when they are growing."
But Hestia never had a chance to respond. Bell had mentioned to Aiz that they were neglecting their goddess's so they had broken their embrace and were walking over to the group hand in hand.
Bell gave them all a deep bow once they had approached.
"Good evening Lady Loki." Then through gritted teeth, whilst still bowing "Good evening Lady Freya."
Freya watched as the black flames in Bell's soul raged at her. She became more heartbroken than ever, the pain of the mistake of her past actions was confirmed now. Still, she had to maintain the act. Bell could not be allowed to know that Syr and she were the same person.
"Oh how charming." Freya exclaimed a hand on her cheek. Bell stood up and she reached for his face, gently brushing his cheek.
"Will you give me sweet dreams tonight?" She asked him, looking into his eyes, her charm unleashed, her own eyes glowing purple.
Bell just frowned at her. "No." then he coldly turned away back to Loki and Hestia.
"Lady Loki, I must thank you and your Familia for helping my friends and I on the eighteenth floor. If Loki Familia hadn't been there, I don't know if we would have survived. We own you our lives."
Loki just snorted. "Right place, right time, you got lucky rabbit man." She then poked him in the chest. "Look after my Aiz-tan will ya? Be a good rabbit and make her happy."
Bell smiled, from what Aiz had told him about Loki he was rather surprised that she wasn't tearing into him right now. Apparently Loki was very possessive about Aiz and had often declared that Aiz was hers and no man could ever claim her. That slight approval from Loki had caused Bell's heart to soar.
Freya's smiled never wavered during her first encounter with Bell as her goddess self. She had learnt all she needed to know during her conversations with him as Syr. But to have it confirmed like that was devastating to her. Her heart broke a little more and she cursed herself over and over. She would never have what she wanted, her charm had failed. What perhaps hurt her the most wasn't the fact that she would never have him as her soul mate, it was the fact she could not use her charm to sooth the flames of hatred that burned within him. His soul would remain tainted and there was nothing she could do about it. She had never felt so powerless. It wasn't a feeling she welcomed. She was a goddess after all. She had grieved the death of past Familia members, she understood pain, but this, this was a pain she had never experienced before and she did not like it one bit.
At that moment a band stuck up a waltz and various couples began to appear on the dance floor.
Bell, despite beginning to realize that Aiz felt the same way was still nervous when he went to ask her to dance. However there was no way he couldn't ask her, he'd been hoping she would be here and they would get to dance together as soon as Hestia had told him they would be going to Apollo's party.
He reached out a hand to Aiz
"Would..." he stammered for a moment.
He coughed and swallowed a gulp before gathering his nerves.
"Would you like to dance Aiz?"
She gave him a broad happy smile and took his hand.
Bell led her out to the dance floor, but hesitated.
"Ummmm..." His face flushed with embarrassment. He didn't know how to dance and now he was standing in the middle of the dance floor, with the women he loved so much. Utter panic set in. What would he do?
"Err... Aiz, do you know how to dance?"
Aiz shook her head. She had never danced before.
However, Miach bumped into him from behind, getting his attention.
Giving Bell a quick grin as he turned to look, Miach knelt down and took Naaza's hand in his own.
"May I have the pleasure of this dance m'lady?" he gently asked Naaza, causing her to blush. She had been waiting for that all evening, though she was disappointed that Miach had asked her to help Bell, she still wanted to dance and Bell was her friend. She was happy to help him if she could.
"My pleasure." She replied accepting Miach's hand.
She winked at Bell and Aiz, who were both staring at the couple. "Watch" she mouthed the word without saying it.
Bell and Aiz watched as Miach put a hand around Naaza's waist and took her other hand with his. Bell watched for a few moments, noticing the foot movements and how Miach led the dance and Naaza followed. The dance was a few simple steps repeated back and forth and both of the couple quickly understood what to do.
Bell gave a slight cough and turned back to Aiz.
Copying Miach, he placed his hand on Aiz's waist and took her other hand in his, she placed her spare hand on his shoulder the same as Naaza had done with Miach.
Miach and Naaza twirled beside them happy smiles on their faces. Without looking away from Miach, Naaza suddenly said "Look at each others eyes, not your feet." and then the couple waltzed away.
Bell took the first step backwards, Aiz hesitating slightly before moving her own foot.
Then gazing at each other, they began to dance. It was a little awkward at first, but they quickly found their rhythm to the music and each other.
Aiz thought it was a lot like training together, anticipate each others movement and respond. She giggled for a second and smiled.
"Something funny?" Bell asked her.
"It's like when we trained... Moving together like this... I like it."
Bell smiled and laughed. On impulse, he tried a move others had been doing, he pulled back from Aiz removing his hand from her waist and brought his other hand up high, pulling hers with it. Aiz knew exactly what he was doing and twirled under her own arm before embracing him in the dance again.
She giggled again and the two lost themselves to the music and each other's eyes.
Bell didn't know how long they danced that evening. At the time it felt like forever and he didn't want it to ever end. Afterwards it felt like a few fleeting moments, something he would remember for ever.
As they danced, Bell was fighting a powerful urge to kiss Aiz which was getting stronger and stronger every moment, however he decided that it wasn't right for their first kiss to be so public. He would wait until later, hopefully having a chance to talk to Aiz on the balcony outside.
Suddenly the music stopped and the room went dark for a moment only for Aiz and Bell to be illuminated by a spotlight.
They stopped dancing, but stood there holding each other wondering what was going on.
Another spot light appeared, illuminating a figure standing at the top of some stairs that led down into the ball room.
Bell recognized Apollo who Hermes had pointed out to him earlier in the evening.
"Guests are you enjoying the celebration?" Apollo boomed with a large voice.
He began walking down the steps towards Aiz and Bell, the spotlight keeping pace with him as he walked.
Hestia suddenly appeared next to Bell and grabbed him, he hadn't seen her sneak through the darkness. She was shaking a little and Bell wondered what she was scared about.
Loki did the same appearing next to Aiz and grabbing hold of her too. Both gods protecting their precious children.
"Much time has passed but... Hestia. It appears my children have caused you some trouble."
Hestia's eyes narrowed. What was Apollo up to?
"Yes, I hear that they did."
"My precious child was critically injured by your boy. I demand compensation!"
It was true. Bell had shattered the bones in Hyacinthus's arm. It couldn't be denied. However.
"HA! Laughable! Your own child brought it upon himself! Your Familia trying to bully my Bell and then being stupid enough to grab a Were-rabbits ears? Pull the other one Apollo, it's got bells on it."
She suddenly looked at Bell.
Bell shook his head. His name was no reason to take offence at the common phrase.
"Still, my child was severely harmed by your beast Hestia. Do you deny that he is not fit for public society? That he like all the Were-rabbits, cannot control himself?"
Bell has had enough though. This evening has been a roller coaster for his emotions and he's had enough at this point.
First he had to deal with seeing Freya for the first time which had brought back... well, not memories... he didn't have those, but the grief he felt for his murdered family. The fact that the person responsible was standing right in front of him and he could do nothing about it, was agonzing.
But then Aiz had shown up and nuzzled him, his heart melting in that moment of affection, taking him from a peak of anger, to one of utter most pleasure and happiness.
He had stayed on that high all the way through the evening as he danced with Aiz, both of them lost in each other, oblivious to the world around them. He had been really looking forward to a private moment with her later, but that was ruined now.
And finally Apollo was trying .. well, something. Bell didn't think he had done anything wrong, he was attacked, he defended himself, that was all.
"Your child attacked me first. I acted in self defence." He said in a blank monotone voice. Almost dispassionate.
Apollo blinked for a second, not expecting a child to speak to him in such a manner.
"Enough!" he shouted.
"Hestia, One of my beloved followers was badly wounded. I cannot accept this lying down. The reputation of my Familia is on the line...Hestia, will you not take responsibility for his actions?"
"Enough already! Like hell I'll accept that!" Hestia screamed back at him.
"The you leave me no choice! Hestia I declare a War Game!"
"Should my side prevail.. I demand you surrender the boy Bell Cranel to me!"
For Bell, this was the final straw.
"Bring it." He replied coldly.
"Hyacinthus is your captain correct? If he's the best you have..."
Bell gave Apollo a wicked grin as he stepped forward and changed into his true form.
"Then Ill personally send the rest of your Familia and YOU back to Tenkai."
Ignoring the shocked response of the room, Bell took Hestia's hand and left.