Chapter 23 | Three Apples For The Price Of Two, Folks!

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Elena's P.O.V.

"I think I have a heart attack," I sang the last line of the song, listening to the final chord played by Francis on the enchanting piano.

"That was absolutely marvelous, my child - I have never heard anything like it before." The monk complimented, looking at me with his silver orbs filled with amazement that mirrored his smile.

I scratched the back of my ear and looked down, feeling conflicted about how I should react. "Well, it was you who did most of the work," I started, giving him the rightful spotlight. "I mean, do you really think that I, Elena, could have done this without you?"

Francis laughed briefly by blowing the air out of his nose. "Looks like we have to work on you taking compliments too, dearie."

I shrugged my shoulders, a small smile playing on my lips before it fell. "By the way, Frans, have you figured out what those noises you heard the other night were?"

The monk shook his head and let out a deep breath. "Unfortunately, I have not found any clue of who the confused souls were, but on the other hand, I have not heard anything out of order."

I nodded, letting air slip out of my mouth as if some of the weight had been lifted off my shoulders. "That's. . . good, I guess."

Although it may have been a coincidence, I still felt it was my fault that the theater was having unwanted visitors. The thought alone ate me alive, but it was the possibility of Francis getting hurt that actually left clear traces in my daily life due to the disoriented sleep I was having.

Francis smiled kindly with a hint of reassurance in the wrinkles surrounding his lips, "Elena, my child, do not worry - I am sure it is nothing." He covered my hand with his raisin-like hand, squeezing it in an attempt to make me breathe. "And even if there were some wolfs lurking around, it is not your fault that they are here. Do not beat yourself up, darling, because you have done nothing but bring life in this dead air."

My eyes met his gray orbs in an encounter that was filled with some kind of an understanding. An understanding that the both of us needed to fill the other with a light to drive the emptiness away.
To be alone was Francis' darkness, whereas mine was to be unwanted.
I guess we are quite alike; scared of ending up blind.

As I opened my mouth to tell him my gratitude, an idiot of a prince broke the atmosphere's borrowed moment. "Good afternoon, Francis, how has your day- oh, Elena, my apologies, I didn't recognize you behind your smile."

I rolled my eyes with a following sigh. "What do you want, your Royal Stupidness? If it's your dignity you're looking for, you should check the hall, but if it's your brain then good luck finding your imagination friend."

"And she's back," Ethan walked towards us with a smile tugging on his features. Although the prince didn't seem bothered by my harsh words, Francis didn't let it go unnoticed as he gave me a look of disapproval.

"Elena, dear, you should apologize to Prince Ethan for such loud and unnecessary comments." The monk said, rolling his glasses down to tell me that he meant serious business.

I scoffed with my arms closing in front of my chest. "He started it."

Francis' eyebrows arched even higher, settling on his forehead. "Do not make me repeat myself, dearie." His eyes mirrored his voice that told me to not contradict him.

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