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The Moon Outskirts > The summit

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message 1: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
The summit of the mountain. The view is breathtaking from up here. One can see the entirety of the Moon City and even starting across the Bridge.

message 2: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
Will gazed down the summit at the view of the moon kingdom, sneering slightly. He was supposed to be searching for the hideout of a man he was going to kill, but he couldn't really be bothered at the moment. He knew his commissioner wouldn't change his mind about the hiring, even if Will took a little longer getting the job done. He was one of the best assassins in the country, and he rarely asked many questions, which was always good for the people who hired him. He didn't see the point in finding out more about the people he eliminated, and it was always the same type of person anyway; most of them weren't any better than he was. His eyes caught on a fox that dissappeared into the undergrowth a moment later, and Will's sharp eyes followed its movements. Despite being lost in thought, he never let his guard down.

message 3: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz was walking up to the summit of the mountain. He'd needed to get out of the castle for a bit. Well away, somewhere where it was much more unlikely for someone to come across him. And to make sure that damn girl that had been pestering him lately didn't find him. Especially since, he'd heard a whisper from a few of the Moon Court lords that the King was planning for a meeting a little later in the afternoon, and that he wanted Kaz and Marlina as well as Kael to attend. So Kaz wanted to avoid that. His father often tried to make him attend meetings, and he would try and get him to talk and express an opinion, usually to no avail. Kaz didn't want to have to go through with that. He made it to the summit, glancing up and scanning the area. His sight rested on another man standing there, but he laid him no heed, and strode silently on to a different point at the summit.

message 4: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
Will turned slightly as he sensed someone else climb to the summit. He was surprised - and slightly annoyed - that someone had been willing to make the treck to the top of the mountain, as the summit was usually deserted. However, he was glad that his train of thought had been interrupted, since he didn't like letting himself think for too long; it didn't usually end well. He could tell immediately that the person was royal, not only from the clothes, but the way he carried himself was an indicator of his birth. Will continued watching him, not worried in the slightest about being caught. He couldn't care less what some spoiled rich kid thought of him.

message 5: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
((Oh damn, lol))

Kaz sensed the other man watching him. Usually he didn't care, people often stared at him as he passed them in the corridors of the castle or if they could ever see him walking along, but this time he felt something at being the subject of this man's gaze. So much so that Kaz did something he didn't usually do. He looked up, turned his head, and met the man's gaze with his own dark, hard eyes, narrowing them slightly as he studied the man studying him.

message 6: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
((lol don't worry, he'll take back his assumptions))

Will had to admit that he was a little taken aback at how easily the royal matched his stare, as most would be afraid of him. He wasn't used to being surprised at all these days, so he walked over to the royal and said, "So. You're Kaz." It was a statement, not a question. Through simple deduction, it was easy enough to make the assumption that he was Prince Kaz, as his age, appearance and attitude were blatant hints towards his identity. Will rarely started conversations that he could avoid, but Kaz (Will was certain it was him), seemed like he could be an interesting person. Potentially.

message 7: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz continued to meet the man's gaze as he walked up to him. When he then stated his name, he didn't react, or even blink. He just continued to stare unflinchingly. Silence usually meant a yes from him anyway. He was a little surprised at how willingly the man had come up and talked to him, especially regarding the fact that he must've known who he was. And if he knew who he was, then surely he'd heard the things that went around about him. Kaz didn't say anything, but stayed where he was.

message 8: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
Will held his gaze for a moment longer, then turned away and faced the edge of the mountain again. He didn't see much point in standing around and staring at each other, and the princeling was obviously not interested in lowering himself to conversing with the peasants (not that he was a peasant, but that wasn't the matter at hand). As such, Will's mind had already moved on to more important matters, such as the impending assassination. It wouldn't be difficult to trail the idiotic target to his hideout, but the man had his bulky quasi-bodyguards that stayed by his side every minute of the day (and, Will suspected, night). If he had to, he would eliminate them all, but he wasn't really in the mood for such an ambitious mission. It would be far easier to lure the target out, somehow.....

message 9: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz eyed the man as he turned away. For some reason, his interest was stirred by this guy. He usually didn't care about any people he saw or met, and was just content with staying away from them and not having to talk to them. But something about this man just seemed... intriguing. And Kaz wanted to know who he was. He didn't seem to be any kind of noble, but what kind of average lower class citizen would be daring enough to just address him so casually and informally? So, Kaz did something he hadn't done for years. He talked even though it wasn't necessary too.
"You are?" He asked to the man's back, his voice low, deep and quiet as usual.

message 10: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
Will turned back to face the prince, mildly surprised by the fact that he had actually chosen to speak. "William Procter." He replied, the fake name rolling off his tongue with ease. After all, he had been using that alias since he was thirteen, meaning that he knew every little detail about his alter ego, and that he had an airtight backstory. He doubted that the princeling had heard of his real name as an assassin before, but he wasn't taking any risks. He handn't come this far in life by being careless.

message 11: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz took the information in, memorising his name and face. He gave a small nod before glancing away and gazing back out to the view from the mountain. He stepped forward a little, clasping his hands behind his back in his usual habit.

message 12: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
One paradox in his life that Will could never find a solution to was that, while he disliked talking to people more than necessary, he despised silences when in the presence of other people. It brought back emotions and memories he would rather not recall. Shutting his train of thought down easily after years of practice, he looked the princeling levelly in the eye and asked, "Not to be rude, but what are you doing here?" He asked. He didn't really care about seeming rude, it just seemed like the appropriate thing to say. After all, he had enough enemies as it was; he didn't need to go provoking members of the royal family.

message 13: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz met William's gaze right back as he stared at him levelly. When it came to maintaining unflinching - and slightly unnerving - eye contact, Kaz had never been beaten. Others were always the first to look away. At his question, Kaz didn't react for a moment, then just shrugged. "Wanted to get out of the castle." He replied.

message 14: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
Will detected the hint of a challenge in Kaz's gaze, so he shifted his weight without looking away from him. Over the years, he had participated in a fair share of stare-downs, and he had used it as an intimidation technique often enough to know how to hold eye contact without getting uncomfortable. "I suppose you're allowed to just come and go as you please?" he asked. Though Kaz had no way of knowing, Will was collecting the information for future reference in case he should get a nobility-related commission.

message 15: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz raised an eyebrow slightly at his words. William met his gaze directly, and Kaz had to admit deep down that he was slightly impressed. Kaz only narrowed his eyes at him and crossed his arms over his chest. "Not particularly." He said, his tone still low and quiet. "But I do anyway."

message 16: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
Will nodded approvingly, his gaze still not wavering. He wasn't sure what it was exactly, but somehow Kaz reminded him of himself. He wasn't sure what exactly it was about him, or how he felt about this revelation. "Good attitude," he commented. "Don't people wonder where you are?" he asked, guessing that Kaz's parents had to be worried about their precious son's well-being.

message 17: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz's gaze hardened. He shook his head slowly. "Not really." He said. They don't care, he thought. "I roam around all the time." Mostly to stay away from them and all the others at the castle. To avoid having to talk to people. Even though strangely, he was talking right now. But William seemed different. Kaz found him... bearable. Almost interesting even.

message 18: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
Will immediately recognized the mark of someone who knew that nobody cared about them. It was familiar enough to him, not just from his own experience, but from what he saw in the eyes of all the beggars and helpless criminals in the darker areas of the city. "Trouble in paradise?" he asked instead, his tone completely void of sarcasm and the question posed completely seriously.

message 19: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz glanced back at him darkly. He narrowed his eyes, keeping himself closed off. "Not recently." He replied, the real answer being not that hadn't been going on for years. It wasn't trouble as such anyway, it was just things concerning him. Ever since the night of that incident. Ever since he'd heard those words that changed everything about how he felt. You're the least important prince. They don't care about you. Kaz stiffened and set his jaw in a stubborn line, glaring at William.

message 20: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
"Sorry." Will said. He wasn't apoligizing for asking an obviously insensitive question, but rather for whatever Kaz had been through that had put that pained, hardened look on his face. Will wasn't interested in making Kaz tell him what had happened to him - he knew how much he himself hated talking about his past, and it was none of his business, anyway - but he knew that he had to say one thing. "You shouldn't push everyone away from yourself. You're lucky that there are still people who want to help you, and you'll think of yourself as an idiot later for rejecting their help." Will could see so much of himself in Kaz that he knew exactly what words Kaz was leaving unsaid - they were exactly the same ones that Will never told anyone. The only difference between them was that there was still hope for Kaz, while for Will, there was... nothing.

message 21: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
((Aww my gosh!))

Kaz eyed him, tensing even more at his words. Why did everyone lately keep insisting on trying to get him to talk, to open up, to let people in, to change? He wasn't going to change. He didn't want to. He wasn't going to let himself be a naive fool ever again. That younger version of himself was gone. No one could be trusted, he'd survive the best on his own. If he didn't trust anyone, no one could ever do anything to him again. Hurt him, betray him, take advantage of him. He wouldn't let that happen ever again. The only way to make sure of that, was relying on no one but himself. He said one emerge word in reply to William.
Nevertheless, he still felt intrigued by William. They seemed... similar in ways. Kaz recognised the darkness in his eyes. It was the same darkness that was in his. Maybe the two of them were more alike then they'd ever know.

message 22: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
((lol they're such a pair of pessimists XD))

Will shrugged, letting the matter drop. He knew that Kaz had obviously been telling himself that letting people in was bad - a few words by a stranger weren't going to change that. Though he was finding it surprisingly difficult to just let the prince go ahead and make the same mistakes as him. Sighing, he asked, "So your plan is to become a lonely bacholer and die alone?" That was probably what was going to happen to Will, after all; but most people had said that he wouldn't live past the age of twenty with his profession and reckless attitude.

message 23: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
((Yeah, they go so well xD))

Kaz just stared down at the ground. At William's question he just shrugged. He had no idea what his parents would plan for him. He suspected they'd just allow some high status noble lady to marry him, for purely political and class reasons. Since everyone goddamn knew he most likely wouldn't be marrying for love. Besides, he was the least important prince, the least important one of the royal family, so what did it matter? He didn't say anything.

message 24: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
Will rolled his eyes at the lack of answer, beginning to get a sense of deja vu. Kaz was the mirror image of Will's younger self, before Will had given up completely, and before he had decided he might as well do whatever he wanted, since nothing really mattered, anyway. "Fine. Tell me one thing, then, at least. Are you happy?" he asked, piercing Kaz with his gaze.

message 25: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz glanced at William, feeling a little pinned by his piercing gaze, even though he still met it unflinchingly. This stare down in particular made Kaz think, the two of them indeed seemed very similar. He shrugged again, then said.
"Enough." He narrowed his eyes at William. "Why?" Why do you care? Was the real question behind the question.

message 26: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
"You remind me of myself." Will answered unhesitatingly. "And nobody tried to help me, so I'm trying to help you." Besides, the fact that Kaz had evaded the question was an obvious indicator towards the answer.

message 27: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz glanced at him at that. He reminded William of himself? How? He wondered. He tilted his head questioningly. "Help me with what?" He asked stubbornly. He suspected he knew the answer though, what William would say.

message 28: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
Will smiled, though the gesture lacked any warmth. He couldn't even remember the last time he had genuinely smiled - it wasn't like he had much reason to. "Help you to not become like me." he said.

message 29: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
((dun, dun, dunnnn XD))

message 30: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod

Kaz looked at William, studying him intently. He raised an eyebrow at him. "Like you how?" He asked, eyes narrowing slightly in suspicion. What did he know?

message 31: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
Will snorted. "Come on, look at me. You of all people should recognize someone who doesn't care about anything." Will crossed his arms, still smiling coldly.

message 32: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz met his gaze, realising easily that he was right. His tone, the look in his eyes, it all conveyed it. That was just exactly what he'd been thinking about this whole time. Kaz just stepped forward, until he was standing beside William, even though they were facing opposite ways as he stared back down from the summit.
"But you care what choice I make." He said. It wasn't a question, it was a statement.

message 33: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
"Maybe I do." Will replied thoughtfully. It was true, he didn't want someone else to lead the same pathetic existence that he did - especially not a prince who had a choice to save himself. "Whatever happened to you, I guarantee it shouldn't be enough to wreck your entire existence. You have a family that cares about you and a life of luxury. You shouldn't let that all to to waste." Will said, slightly bitterly.

message 34: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz clenched his jaw a little, glancing sidelong at William. "You think I care about a life of luxury." He said through gritted teeth, before he could stop himself. He rapidly regained his composure, relaxing his hands which had suddenly for,ed into fists. It was the most emotion he'd shown in a while. Going back to normal, he went on.
"They don't care about me." He said simply, his tone even.

message 35: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
Will's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "What makes you say that?" he asked, folding his arms as he turned to face Kaz. "And, believe me, this is coming from someone who knows what it's like to have family surprise you in the worst of ways." His vision blurred momentarily, and it took a few seconds for the dizzy spell to pass. He hadn't split open those particular wounds in a long time.

message 36: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz looked down at the ground broodily, staring downward. "Because I know." He answered. Then he said. "Someone told me. Those exact words." Along with the reasons why. The words were echoing in his head, and Kaz felt his heart pound ever so slightly. Her words... They'd been so truthful, seemed so true... He hadn't been able to stop believing them.

message 37: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
"Your parents told you they didn't care about you?" Will asked in disbelief. Apparently, the king and queen weren't quite as golden as they seemed. While they always seemed to pose as the perfect couple, parents and rulers, Will knew all about presenting different personas to the world.

message 38: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz shook his head in answer to William's question. It wasn't his parents who had said that. "Not from my parents." He said. "But I know it's how they feel. It makes sense." That was always how he had thought. If anything, he made himself believe it even more over the years.

message 39: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
Will shook his head. "You should never, ever believe anything anyone tells about other people. Why do you trust this mysterious individual more than the people who have never attempted to hurt you?"

Memories threatened to overwhelm him. This was a bad idea. He should just leave before he actually rewoke the buried feelings and memories from so long ago.

message 40: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz blinked, still looking down at the ground. "Because it wasn't a mysterious individual who told me." He said. At least, she hadn't been at the time. She'd been his best friend... Then suddenly not knowing why or what exactly compelled him to do so, maybe on some inkling that William wanted, somehow needed, him to talk on some strange sense, he went on. He repeated the words she had mercilessly said to him that night four years ago. Before she had betrayed him. Well not repeating her words exactly, but close enough. "It's true anyway. It's logical. Karl's the oldest, the Crown Prince, the heir to the throne, the most important. Marlina's the oldest princess, mature, sensible, my parents' pride. (Don't know name of brother yet) is the youngest prince, the precious boy who doesn't have to have so much responsibility yet. And Alianna's the youngest princess, the beloved little girl." Kaz looked up, staring ahead, eyes cold and hard. "What am I? Nothing. The middle son. That's all." There, he'd said it aloud. Told someone. He didn't have any idea why.

message 41: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
Will listened quietly, knowing that this was probably the first time Kaz had voiced this in years, possibly ever. "I don't think you should believe that." he said once Kaz had finished speaking. "Just because you're the second of three boys, doesn't mean that you're the least loved. Age isn't a factor in these kinds of matters - personality is. If whoever told you this would have said more concrete reasons, like how your parents can't stand shy, quiet children, I would find the whole thing more plausible. It sounds to me like this person was deliberately attempting to play into your insecurities, in which they obviously succeeded." He was almost certain, however, that this hadn't been the only incident that had happened. Likely, some traumatic event had followed Kaz hearing those things, which probably made the words hurt even more. "What happened after the person told you that?" he asked carefully. If Kaz wouldn't tell him he would respect that, but he needed to ask.

message 42: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
At that Kaz stiffened extremely, his heart lurching into his throat. He narrowed his eyes, glaring at the ground, his hands tightening their grip on each other where they were clasped behind his back. He wasn't going to say. He couldn't. This guy was the same, he couldn't be trusted. Through gritted teeth, all he said was.
"She betrayed me."
There was of course, a lot more that had happened. Including one thing that has changed Kaz forever in another way. The other part of the reason he'd hardened himself and his heart to others.

message 43: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
Will knew what he was feeling was reflected in his expression - not pity, but empathy. He knew all too well what that kind of betrayal felt like. He could also see that Kaz obviously didn't trust him yet - before, Will would have considered this to be a good thing (what kind of person in their right mind trusted an assassin?), but now he felt like Kaz's trust was the only way to save the prince from himself. Never trusting anyone was exhausting, Will knew, and it ate one up from the inside. "Her betrayal shouldn't make you shut everyone out. There are still good people in this world." Though I'm not one of them, Will thought.

message 44: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
((I love this friendship so much! Will's like, reflecting on himself and everything and they understand each other! :D))

Kaz glanced at him moving nothing but his eyes. Then he turned his head and looked away. He didn't care if that shouldn't make him be untrusting. He preferred it that way. It was less risky. It was better. He could make sure he never got hurt that way or led into the same trap ever again.
"It's better though." He said firmly. "If I don't have to rely on anyone but myself, I can make sure I don't get let down."

message 45: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
The corners of Will's mouth quirked upwards. "You know something interesting?" he said, sticking his hands into his pockets. "That is literally exactly the same thing I've been telling myself for the last eight years." And he was beginning to question that logic, as it had resulted in his life turning out as it did.

message 46: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
((and same! I really like how this is progressing :D and it's doing loads of good for both their characters:P))

message 47: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz glanced at him sidelong, then found himself nodding. "I've been telling myself for four years." He replied. "You should know for yourself then, it's a wise policy." That's what he thought anyway. It was beyond him why William seemed to be almost smiling.

message 48: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
((It so is! :D))

message 49: by alma (new)

alma (bookworm_alma) | 170 comments Mod
"It's a good policy if you enjoy being miserable and friendless," Will said bluntly. He knew that that was certainly what the result of the policy had been for him. Glancing at Kaz, Will wondered what exactly had caused him to become as closed up as he was. Fortunately, Kaz still seemed to possess a moral compass - unlike Will.

message 50: by Lexie (new)

Lexie | 664 comments Mod
Kaz shrugged. "Or just independent." He replied. He didn't feel miserable. And friendless well... He wanted it that way. He didn't want friends. Friends could betray you. You never truly knew someone, no matter how much you think you did. He was better off alone. He liked things this way, he told himself silently.

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