I could feel tears pricking the corners of my eyes as I slowly made my way up to the long black box on the bier that sat nestled in a circle of candles. I still couldn't believe he was really gone. Yet there he lay unmoving and silent as I quietly placed a single red rose in his clasped pale hands. He always did have a soft spot for roses. At least this way he would have a rose to take with him to where ever it was ghosts went. stepping away from the coffin I gazed in grief at him as my brother and another person walked forward and gently closed the casket before taking the handles on either side and lifting it into the air. I watched them carry him away until they disappeared from the church building. I wanted to chase after them. Demand they open it again and let him out. Although I knew it was foolish. A part of me still hoped it was all just a terrible nightmare. Yet as I stood there, tears falling freely from my eyes, and the sounds of the church bells ringing mournfully overhead, I knew he wasn’t coming back.
Sighing I turned to follow them outside when I stopped as I noticed my step mom in a bright red sequenced gown staring at me a strange expression on her face. It was a mix between anger, and something I couldn't quite discern. I frowned at her unsure what it was she wanted. Seeing that I saw her watching me my step mom turned and followed my brother out without a word. A few of the guests stared at her as she passed confused by her brightly colored gown. I honestly didn't blame the others for staring after all she was the only one there not wearing black. It was customary to wear black at a funeral as it was considered quite rude to wear anything else. Yet that did not stop her from dressing as bright as possible. Her excuse. She was the queen and needed to make a statement. I had a lot of words for this statement but I kept them to myself. At least she came at all. I had to beg her just to come she originally didn't want to even hold a funeral for dad. She wanted to just drop him in a hole in the ground and move on. It took both Conner and I combined to convince her even just to do this much. Watching her go I was just deciding whether or not to give chase and ask if she is ok when I felt a hand on my shoulder.
"Hey Sasha how are you doing." Turning toward the voice I see Roger standing behind me a concerned look on his face.
"What do you think." I replied unsure of exactly what to say.
"Yeah I guess that was kind of a loaded question huh." He sighed removing his hand from my shoulder. Neither of us knew exactly what to say after that so for a moment we just stood there awkwardly staring at our feet. Finally the silence was broken by the arrival of my step mother who came waltzing in as though she was at a coronation rather than a funeral. I growled silently at the smile plastered to her face. Her eyes twinkling as she looked from sorrowful face to sorrowful face. Though seeing me and Roger together turned her smile upside down. It was replaced instead with a look of pure hatred and disdain. You could practically see the hatred swirling in the air as she sent bad vibes my way. Composing herself she walked over to me the hatred still apparent in her eyes.
"Sasha what are you doing. It is time to go." She stated struggling to keep her voice even as she glared daggers at Roger who was still standing beside me.
"What about Conner?" I inquired my frown deepening as I realized she planned on leaving him behind. Her eye twitched slightly at my question a mix of emotions flashing across her face before she suddenly composed herself hiding her emotions behind a wall once more.
"He and the guards are remaining behind to bury the king." She coolly answered.
"Then shouldn't we remain. It's customary for the royal family to stay until the coffin is completely covered." She didn't even try to hide her disdain this time as she glared at me allowing venom to seep into her voice.
"He is dead Sasha. He is not going to care if we don't watch him being buried. besides what if I get dirt on my gown watching some stupid ceremony." She sneered turning away from me and strolling toward the waiting carriage. I felt my heart break at her words. How could she be worrying about her stupid gown during a time like this. First she wanted to skip the funeral and have the guards bury the king without a ceremony, than she didn't want to show up, and now she is worrying about her stupid outfit over grieving for her husband, my dad. I could feel the anger boiling over threatening to explode when Roger grabbed my hand.
"Sasha it's not worth it. Don't forget what happened last time you spoke up about her unreasonable actions." I frowned as the memories of my step mom ordering the guards to whip me with in an inch of my life came back to me.
"How can I forget I still have the scars from that day. If you hadn't started that fire in her bed chambers to distract everyone I don't think they would have stopped whipping me." I sighed closing my eyes as the pain from that day radiated through my heart.
"Well I couldn't just stand by and watch them kill you. You mean everything to me Sasha. I nearly died with you that day seeing her standing there watching you screaming in pain. I was just fortunate that no one saw me leave or set the fire otherwise I don't think I would be standing here right now. Although I doubted they would have paid much attention to me leaving since I was only an apprentice at that time." Roger laughed holding both my hands in his. I felt my breath catch in my throat as his puppy dog brown eyes gazed fondly into mine. Blushing I pulled my hands out of his, and wrapped my arms around myself as I gazed at my feet.