She sank lower into his lap, her arms curled into her chest and her sobs erupting from her throat. Amy couldn't believe it. One minute she had been so close to him, and the next driven so far away.
"Hush," Damien wrapped his arms around her small form and pulled her closer. "Everything will be alright." He did not know whether he spoke for Amy or for himself. Personally he himself was near tears of happiness to once again be the shoulder she cried on, the trusted friend.
"Th-the war-!" Amy tried to cry out, but her breath would not last long and she broke into tears again.
Damien smoothed her hair with his hand and lay his head against hers. "Shh, I know it's been hard." And it had.
For the last year, the Rejects had been at war against almost everyone. Most battles were lost, and many lives had been taken. Rafi, Amy's trusted and loyal friend, had been one of the first to go. And Jesse, the Prince of Rejects, was hardened and distant to Amy's company. He bore the war on his shoulders, and the eyes that had once shown kindness and hidden passion for Amy, now only saw her with a beaten courage and maturity that the war had bestowed upon him.
Yet the Rejects were still losing. A council had been held for the first time in a long while, and they came to the firm decision that their kingdom needed a true power, a king. Jesse, with much reluctance, accepted the honor, and it was that day that he had been named king formerly. It was a day of peace, and all of the kingdom and it's allies had attended. Much to Jesse's dismay, Amy was not allowed to stay close to him as he would have preferred, but she accepted the matter with quiet sadness. Instead she clapped and cheered halfheartedly in the rest of the throng, next to the friends she had made through the war. But they did not know her well enough to see through the smile. She knew that day was only the beginning of many others where she would be kept from her friend Jesse, and it filled her with some strange sense of longing that she tried to push away. She couldn't think about that anymore; she knew her place. As a foot soldier, Amy was unfit to even look upon King Jesse in such a manner. Yet, try as she might, she couldn't think of him in any other way.
Amy let the tears fall freely the moment she came home, not realizing that Damien had been waiting for her there. As she sunk to the floor in embarrassment and defeat, he floated over to her and scooped her up into his arms. He took her to her bed, and they held each other in their arms as Amy cried.
"I never even got the chance to tell him-" Amy whispered before she ran out of breath. Her friend, who desired much more than to be a friend, held her more tightly as his heart burned with pain. Damien had to remind himself that he was the one still there, still comforting her. He had remained a constant companion; surely his reward would come.
"Don't tear yourself apart over him, Amy," he crooned gently. "If he's stupid enough to ignore you, then he obviously doesn't deserve to be with you."
Amy sniffled and nodded. Damien was right... but wasn't he wrong as well? Surely it was hard for Jesse to rule over a kingdom, especially when it was at war. He couldn't help that he didn't have time for her. Even so, Amy's heart still ached at the loss of a second friend, one she held so dear.
"Amy?" a muffled voice came through the door, accompanied by a gentle knock. Damien tensed and nearly growled, and Amy sucked in her breath to keep from crying. It was Jesse.
"Amy..." he must have heard from one of his subjects that she had fled the celebration with tears in her eyes for his voice was filled with pity and regret. "Amy I'm so sorry... Please, if I could, I just want to talk to you."
Damien's fists balled up and he set Amy down off of his lap and onto the bed. He floated over to the door and opened it with such anger Jesse cringed. Jesse's frown mixed with fear as he laid eyes upon Damien, and Amy's crying form in the background.
"You what!?" Damien snarled lowly and dangerously. " Came to help? It's too late! Should've had the free time before now, huh?"
Jesse's wings snapped in anger. "Heaven knows I've tried to come to her before now!" He was reminded of the object he held behind his back, and his gripped it's smooth, circular surface tightly for comfort.
Damien scoffed and closed the door halfway. "Should've tried harder." Slamming the door shut, he left Jesse alone with himself and the gift in his hands.
Jesse bit his lip in a sorry attempt to keep from crying as he sunk against wall and to the floor. His breath shook and he tried desperately to steady it. With a sharp intake of breath, he brought out the object that he had concealed behind him. In one hand he held a jade and gold crown, studded with cats eyes, and in the other he held a ring. It was the most precious thing to him, taking him several months to refine its rosy gold, and the craft the delicate vines that supported the purest of diamonds. As he looked at it, fresh tears began to form in his eyes and his nose burned. He curled his fingers around it's small shape as he stood up. With a rasping sigh he headed down the corridor. This was only another pain of war he would be forced to endure.