The next day Nova and Daniel both gave excuses to leave for the forest where they first met. For Daniel it was quite easy to get away as his father cared little about where he was when he didn’t need him. For Nova it wasn’t that simple. Her parents weren’t exactly overbearing but they would probably want a good reason for Nova wanting to go so far away from home. Luckily, her parents had been busy with their own devices to really give much thought to Nova’s request. They let their daughter go without much hassle.
In the woods, Daniel paced, waiting anxiously for the mysterious girl to arrive. He heard a sound behind him and spun to see the girl easing out from around a tree, a shy smile on her lips.
“Hi,” Nova said, stepping closer with her hands held nervously behind her back.
“Hey,” Daniel replied, just as uncertain.
They stood for a moment, neither of them really knowing what to do next.
“You want to...take a walk?” Daniel suggested.
“Yeah, yeah, that sounds great,” said Nova, quickly.
They started off in no particular direction, both of them silent for the most part, just trying to think of something to say.
“I hope you didn’t have to come too far,” Daniel said, not looking in her direction.
“No, no, it was just a few miles is all,” said Nova, smiling. She knew full well it was much longer than a few miles.
“That’s good, I wouldn’t want you to go so far out of your way just to see me.”
Nova frowned. “Why not?”
Daniel blinked and stared at her, his cheeks turning a slight pink as he shrugged. “I just don’t think I should be worth the hassle is all.”
Nova continued to frown and stare at him, not sure what to make of his remark, but he spoke again as a distraction.
“That’s a really cool cloak,” he said, studying the black fabric around her slender shoulders.
She smiled and thanked him for the compliment; from there on they became more relaxed about speaking to the other. They talked and talked as they continued their walk through the jade-leafed trees, they talked about anything and everything that came to mind, just laughing and talking and enjoying each other’s company. The only thing they kept to themselves were their parents. They both had reputable parents, either by good or bad causes, and they figured if the other knew they probably wouldn’t be inclined to meet again. That was something neither of them wanted, and by the time it was getting too late to stay out, they promised to meet at the same place and same time tomorrow.
They met the next day, as promised, and the next day and next day after that. They had such an amazing time together it was hard to resist another date, and soon two whole weeks had passed and the pair was starting to grow very comfortable with each other, to the point where they almost didn’t have any secrets between each other—almost. It was also growing easier for the two to sneak away from their parents, who they had still refused to inform of their meetings.
It was on a seemingly normal date that the two finally revealed their true identities, though if not completely by accident.
The two were walking and talking, just as always, and Daniel was telling Nova about his daily frustrations with his father.
“I don’t see why he even bothers trying to teach me! He acts like I’ll never amount to anything close to his achievements and treats me more like a servant than a son,” Daniel vented, the hand that wasn’t holding Nova’s clenching at his side. Nova listened in concern to his troubles.
“Why not leave then? Its obvious he doesn’t care about you,” said Nova. Her face suddenly lit up. “Hey! You could come and live with us! I’m sure my parents wouldn’t mind, especially knowing how your father treats you.”
Daniel sighed, “I’ve thought of leaving quite a few times, but I...I just don’t think I could do it. It’d feel like I was betraying him.”
Nova thought for a moment, trying to think of something to cheer him up, when his next words stopped her in her tracks.
“Sometimes, it really sucks being the son to a brilliant scientist,” he sighed, not even thinking of what he just said.
When he realized Nova had froze he turned to her, quizzically.
Nova turned to him, wide eyed, “What did you just say?”
Daniel only looked incredibly confused. “I asked if their was something wr—.”
“No, before that!” Nova insisted, taking her hand away.
Daniel only stared and rewound what he had been saying, and, realizing the meaning of his words, his face became horrified. He searched for the right words but decided the truth was the only thing to say.
“I said my father was a brilliant scientist, which he is and I know most of the scientist in the area don’t have the best reputations but he really isn’t all that bad,” Daniel said, almost pleadingly.
“What’s his name?” Nova whispered, and when he didn’t answer she spoke louder, “What. Is. His. Name?”
Daniel sighed in resignation. “Lalna, his name is Lalna.”
Nova’s expression shifted from blank to horrified.
“But look, my dad isn’t all that bad and I’m nothing like him anyway!” Daniel said, desperately.
“I have to go,” Nova whispered, she spun around and was about to take off when a strong arm grabbed her shoulder.
“Please, wait! I may be his son but that doesn’t mean anything! We can still be together. This doesn’t change anything between us, right?” Daniel was on the verge of tears but was stubbornly holding them back; he couldn’t lose Nova, not like this, not because of him.
“Don’t you get it?! Don’t you see?!” Nova suddenly screamed, turning on him. “We can’t do this anymore, we can’t see each other anymore!”
“But...I don’t understand,” Daniel said, hurt. “Why can’t we see each other anymore?”
“Because...because,” Nova stuttered, unable to come out with it. She worked herself up and let it spill out. “Because I’m Rythian’s daughter!”
Daniel only stared at her, shocked into silence.
“Wha—What?” he choked.
“You heard what I said. Now...now, I have to go!” With even a backwards glance, Nova took to the skies and flew home as fast as she could, the last look on Daniel’s face burned into her memory.
As she flew, tears dipped down her freckled face and in her mind all she could think was, I’m in love with the scientist’s son.
On the opposite side of the forest, Daniel was flying home as well, his mind just as cluttered as hers. I’m in love with the mage’s daughter.