Chapter 3:

Chapter 3

Prince of the Sun

Though Jace Townsend was the well travelled Prince of the Phoenix, it was still a rare occasion that he saw outsiders not swaddled in the floor length coats of the vampire slayers. How soft and gentle their eyes were. Though the training had been drilled into him he found it incredibly difficult not to stare at them.

They were introduced as the leaders of the neighbouring pack by Kalina.

Claude instantly came to life walking toward them with a friendly ease. “How was your journey?”

“It was delightful to see your lands while the sun is still around,” Reiko, the Luna of the Pack, said.

It was Momoka that took Jace’s interest though. Her rich dark hair drew so many rich warm colours as the setting sunlight kissed it. He could feel her eyes upon him. He turned his head away from her.

The pack was in a slightly protective formation surrounding the Alphas and Momoka. Jace had met only a handful of werewolves in his time and curiously admired their cooperation. How seamlessly and consciously they moved together.

He could still feel Momoka’s eyes upon himself.

He couldn’t exactly blame her for staring. Though it was more than normal for him the outside world did not have many that shared his appearance. Often scared mortals would mistake the royal Phoenix for ghosts. Communities of myths were no different either, though eye colour and hair colour could vary so much, none quite looked so bleached by the sun.

Jace however held his head high, he would not be embarrassed by such things.

Claude was happily chatting away to the two Alphas but the Luna turned to Jace and he could feel her eyes upon him as well.

“We are very grateful to you for allowing us to stay for so long in your magnificent home,” She said.

“You are welcome,” Jace said with a brilliant smile. Though it puzzled him to think of the Palace as his home alone. Hundreds of people resided within the palace, the wolves would be staying closer to where his quarts were for sure but they hardly needed his permission to stay within the palace. Though it was the home of the Phoenix they got many visitors and permanent residents that were other kinds of myths.

“I should show them to their quarters, they are probably exhausted,” Kalina said.

Jace watched them go curiously bidding his goodbyes though he could still feel Momoka’s gaze lingering on him until the door was shut.

Claude whirled on him as soon as the door was shut. “What did you think?”

“They seem nice enough…” Jace tossed the encounter over in his mind. “Their lands are to the south huh?”

Claude said, “I believe so. I don’t get to meet that many werewolves.”

Jace smiled to himself. “They like to stare don’t they?”

Claude shrugged. “I suppose. Culturally they are quite the opposite to us.”

Werewolves, while not completely animalistic, still shared characteristics of wolves. Jace knew that physical touch and scent was extremely important to them. While no one dared to touch the royal Phoenix with the power of the sun beneath their skin. Jace looked at his own hand, so pale his own veins were a delicate lace.

“I’m excited to get to know them,” Claude continued.

“Is that only because they’re an important ally?” Jace asked.

Claude was destined to be the head of communications within the Phoenix clans and with myths of the world, learning from his Aunt who currently held the position.

“I’d be lying if I said no. However it would be nice to have some friends closer to home. Sometimes in this frozen land it feels so isolating,” Claude said and he walked over to the window.

Jace looked over at it.

The sun had completely set, leaving only the moon’s light to illuminate the snow. Outside there was a forest of trees that could withstand the constant snow. So hardy they had their own beauty.

Claude did have a point, the royal Phoenix usually had to travel to visit other mythical communities. Few knew the location of the palace and even fewer ever visited. It was a cruel journey through the frozen world. Only those used to it dared to brave it, leaving them with few neighbours but they were highly valued. The importance of forging a good relationship with the Fujimura pack was not lost on Jace.

“What did you think of Momoka?” Claude said, after a moment, a hint of playfulness on his lips.

“She didn’t exactly say much to me.”

“You’re a two metre tall beacon of light, did you expect her to?”

Jace snickered. “I suppose, she seems curious. It’s normal I just don’t quite know what to make of her yet.”

Claude smiled. “You know she’s pretty much a Princess in her own right.”

“What are you trying to imply?” Jace narrowed his eyes.

“Just that you are on the same level there isn’t as much of a power imbalance,” Claude said, coyly.

“Maybe I like power imbalance.”

“Not concerning at all,” Claude mirrored his sarcasm.

Jace kept his eyes firmly planted on the snow below, it glittered in the moonlight like diamonds.