Vailea opened her eyes; raven slits dilating with the sudden jolt of awakening. She looked at her sister, Nixie, smiling dubiously at her. "Good morning, dear sister," she called softly, almost too caring. Her violet eyes had a spark of mischief as she looked at her, as they often did. Vailea sat up in her bed and peered out the window. Light shone down from way above the surface; beams of light swaying haphazardly through the current.
"Good morning, Nixie," she stammered back. Nixie thrusted her hand out like the crack of a whip to grab Vailea's face, pinching the skin underneath her sharp nails. She smiled dangerously.
"You look a little flushed this morning, Vailea. A good sign of youth and purity," she inspected as she turned Vailea's face in either direction. When she was done, she let go forcefully, leaving small nail marks on Vailea's supple face. Vailea clutched her cheek and grimaced. Nixie rose and swam over to her vanity where she brushed her hair calmly. She hummed ceremoniously, her reflection staring back at Vailea with dark intent. She raked her brush through the thick strands, wisps floating at the ends as they left the bristles . "Get up, dear. You must look suitable for our guest."
"Nix, must I have to...?" Her voice flinched without even getting a reaction. Nixie whipped around at her rebuttal, eyes piercing her before she could finish. She put her brush down calmly, and swam back towards her. Vailea shrunk her neck into her shoulders, expecting a slap or strangle.
"Vailea, as your older sister, I expect you to do exactly as I say. When this kingdom is back to its highest form, you will thank me for everything I have done to help fulfill the prophecy."
"Father is a fool!" she yelled, her voice echoing in the bedchamber. She paused to collect her thoughts and tucked a piece of Vailea's hair behind her ear, clipping it with a beautiful nautilus shell. "Father is a coward, and no longer knows what is best to save us."
"He's sick, Nix, you can't expect him to rebuild when he's not at his best."
"Vailea, he will be leaving us soon enough. It is time to take these matters into much more capable hands." She gripped Vailea's arm and tightened her grasp. "Masen, you may come in," she spoke out loud.
The door opened, and the silhouette of a strong male made his way towards them. "Nix, please, I don't want this."
"Shhh, dear sister, you will do this. Even a future queen must do things that she doesn't wish to do." She beckoned the male closer to them, and whispered in his ear, peeking glances at Vailea. "Take good care of her, she is worth so much," she said, finishing their hushed compromise. And with that, Nixie swam off, shooting another spiteful glare in Vailea's direction before closing the large doors behind her. Vailea swore she heard her cackle softly in the hallway before swimming away in song.
"You don't have to do this, you know," she tried to convince the man. She was nowhere near as coaxing as her sister. He gripped both her arms and pulled her closer to him, digging his face into her hair and collarbone. She tried to wriggle and writhe free, but he empowered her quickly. He pushed her back into her bed, and before she knew it, the screaming was of no use and she fell back into a dream of sun and the smell before rain.