Co A/N: Thanks for everyone's response to last chapter. This is a bit shorter than usual but I think DK it's just as good. Hopefully our readers and reviewers will agree. - Rei
Anaxandridas gazed steadily back at the giant standing before him, trying to place where such a man could come from. Unlike his fellow Spartans, he had been educated a little on the world outside of Greece, and its close neighbors. And in his mind this man closest resembled those of Germania, or at least the coloring of his hair and to some extent, his eyes were that of what the philosopher described, in the hand full of documents in Sparta. But the man's height was nothing like he had any experience in. The stocky king didn't doubt this person was even taller than the Nubians.
"They appeared in the sand storm my king. Nikias took the others to see the Ephors." Bion told him almost too innocently. Whipping his eyes from the giant's intense gaze to the dark eyes of his captain's son, "Others?" Unmoved by his King's suddenly thunderous look, Bion informed his sovereign of exactly what happened upon the Calloways' arrival. And throughout the telling of the tale, Anaxandridas's expression grew steadily more enraged. "Father?" Abruptly the Spartan king snapped out of his rage to look toward his approaching son. Dorieus was still young only six summers had passed since his birthing.
His two elder brothers Cleomenes and Leonidas were both men grown by the reckoning of their' people. Younger still was his little brother Cleombrotus, only two summers old. Taking a cleansing breath lest he loose his composure, Anaxandridas beckoned the boy closer. Suddenly Chassie's green orbs were trained curiously on the boy that could be no younger than she. The elder Calloway child tugged at her father's short sleeve, silently telling him to let her down. Mark set her down gently and watched as Chassie and Dorieus stood a few feet apart, unaware of the tension between the adults.
As only children could they cautiously approached one another, holding their hands out until their fingertips touched. At the contact both jumped back, their eyes wide. Dorieus had never seen a girl with fire flowing from her head, he had thought that she was vision; called up by one of the priests that his father had keep in the throne room with him. To feel her skin, as warm as his own startled him, he had expected her to cold as the white marble that covered the floor. What she did next stunned him, "Chassie." She said slowly as she pointed to herself. Dorieus cocked his head to the side and she said it again, "Chassie."
It dawned on the small boy that she was telling him her name. With a small grin he pointed to himself and said, "Dorieus." He said it again for good measure and held his hand up, palm out. Chassie took a couple of steps closer and pressed her hand against his and giggled as he then haltingly reached towards her hair. Mark watched as the two children interacted, amazed that they seemed to be able to communicate without knowing each other's languages'. He looked back up at the king and seen that he had the same astonished look on his face as well.
The two children continued in the same vein, studying each other closely. Dorieus was still intrigued by her hair, it was the color of flames, yet was cool to the touch. Certainly she had to be Goddess; none living could have fire for hair. And her eyes, they were the color of blue topaz, regarded as pieces of the sea frozen and given to souls by the gods. It was said that it could make the wearer of a topaz invisible if in danger. He found himself wondering if she could turn invisible. He jumped at her and growled, hoping to scare her to see if she would disappear, but all it did was made her laugh.
Chassie stayed quiet as the boy touched her hair repeatedly, even though it took all the willpower she had in her little five year old body to do so. When he jumped at her and growled she couldn't help but laugh. She figured that he was trying to be scary, but he ended up looking foolish. With a small grin she should him how it was really done, just like her daddy. Chassie watched amusedly as he ran up to where the King stood and hid behind him, the sight of him peeking around the chair to look at her make her smirk as she walked back over to her father.
She tugged on his pant leg and waited patiently for him to pick her back up. He did so without a thought, even as he kept a wary eye on the boy and his father. At the moment Mark didn't know whether to laugh at his eldest's characteristic boldness or scowl at the boy whom caught his daughter's attention. Chassie was far too young to be thinking about boys in such a manner but it didn't stop Mark from being defensive. "Chassie girl, I don't think you should have done that." Mark said as the King now regarded his daughter calculatingly.
Anaxandridas was proud of his son's show of bravery when he touched the seemingly unworldly child yet equally as miffed when he retreated. Spartan's never retreated regardless of how frightening something was he was going to have to speak to his son about it later and away from prying eyes and ears. But now he watched his two guest, taking in how similar yet how utterly different the two were. The little one seemed frail, small, and pale, yet when she growled and glared he had seen the same steel in that child that he saw in the giant. It was unnatural for a child, even Spartan born to have such iron will.
And now looking at them both, their' faces set upon him in the same eerily cold stares, he began to doubt, doubt that they were from Germania, doubt their' humanity. How they came to Sparta was not explainable and Anaxandridas knew his captain's son told him the truth. They were not of this world. It was this reason alone that he would give his blessing to whatever ends, and prayed that he did what he did was right.
The Ephors, wisest and closest to the gods, priest empowered in an otherwise militant state. In them were entrusted them were all the children and religion of Sparta. And though they had great power in their' community, they were almost universally if not quietly despised. It was this hatred that caused many Ephors to become corrupt, but Kreon son of Chryses and brother of Bion was young still. Not yet embittered by the hatred and fear of the grizzly task of deciding whether a newborn of Sparta lived or died. But Kreon like his younger sibling was far from stupid. So when Nikias brought in the red giant, golden goddess, and the little red haired blue eyed child, he did not join his cohorts in their' inspection.
And as it turned out that was perhaps the smartest thing he did in his entire life, because when the Ephors inspection became intrusive, things became violent. The woman was separated from the large male and child in his arms. He winced at the child's panicked scream and the feral growl that accompanied it. Nikias tried to subdue the brunette with dismal results. Even Kreon winced when the one he had unconsciously dubbed 'Cruentus' (blood red/ bloodthirsty) punched the skilled warrior's lights out. Guards joined the fray and many of them had to hold the suddenly vicious beast down. The masked one railed against them as the priest felt up the elder female Kreon thought of as 'Solfilia' (sun daughter).
Then one of the guards made the mistake of grabbing the child. Now 'Solfilia' began to fight, clawing, and snarling impressively at her captors. It only increased when the guards were able to get 'Cruentus down. Both woman and child were able to get away from the ones holding them prisoner and to their' fallen protector. The blond looked upon the male with concern, and didn't see the guard's pummel coming. It was now the child's turn to scream in rage, attacking the one that Kreon had no doubt was little Aella's (Whirlwind's) mother. The guards laughed at her, until she bit deep and hard into the man's ankle.
And just as the guard was about to retaliate, 'Creuntus' was up again, somehow stronger and more pissed off than before. It didn't matter that he was outnumbered. It didn't matter that they had weapon's and he didn't, and it didn't matter that he had two females to protect, every single person in that room saw that he would kill each and every one of them. Guard and Ephor alike suddenly stilled, even the guard with Aella's teeth still sunk deep into his ankle didn't dare breathe. Then 'Creuntus' moved.
Glen bent over and picked Sara up gently, pulling Gracie off at the same time. He kept a watchful eye on the ring of men around them, glaring at those that dared to move close. Gracie moved in his arms and he tightened his hold, looking down at her. Her cherubic face showed more worry than the big red machine deemed healthy, and he wished that there was something that he could do to lessen it. In his mind his younger niece should never be afraid. She had been barely one when she saw him lose his temper for the first time, and instead of being frightened, Gracie had laughed, and smiled up at him with an innocent trusting expression.
And the big man couldn't see the little blue/green eyed toddler any other way. It was why he didn't bother reigning in his temper now, because no matter what, his niece would never fear him. A groan from Sara pulled his attention to her. She was starting to move a little bit and he wished that he had somewhere to set her down. He seen a marble bench a few feet away from where they were and he started to move towards it, growling as he got closer to the men. As if on a timer they parted and allowed him to go through, none seemingly wanting to tangle with the large man. He set her down gently then placed Gracie besides her.
"Can you be my big girl and watch mommy for me?" He asked quietly, his body on high alert for any noise signaling the approach of anyone. Gracie nodded her head and grabbed Sara's hand. Slowly he turned and stared at the men that had closed the gap in which he had walked through, eyeing them all in turn. His growl turned into a ground rumbling snarl as one separated from the group and walked slowly over to him. The man barely made it to his mid chest, and lowered his eyes, as if understanding that if he didn't show submission he was likely to get himself killed.
Glen noticed he seemed to be on the priest, he wasn't dressed as the guards. Instead he was wearing a robe similar to the one that he had on and looked to be unarmed. The little man raised his hand as he continued to walk forward. Silently the two men regarded each other, almost as if two alpha males would before a battle for dominance. Glen tilted his head to the side, shielding his normal eye and waited for the shivering that he knew was going to happen. It never came; instead the man went down to one knee and bowed his head.
The action confused Glen; the man was baring his neck not knowing if he was armed. And even if the Glen wasn't, he was most certainly able to kill with his bare hands. The little man got back to his feet and clapped his hands three times. Glen watched transfixed as the guards dispersed and soon it was only the five priests like men and the one that had led them there. Idly Kane mused that he was going to have a hell of a time explaining this particular situation to his brother, and twitched.