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Under The Same Stars

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   Lady Vex’ahlia of Syngorn wasn’t running away. At least, that’s what she was telling herself as she slipped out of the chamber given to her in the dead of night. She just needed a break from all this, the four days spent in a carriage traveling to Whitestone. Vex was out of touch with nature, and she missed the wind on her face, the crunch of leaves under her foot, and the wood of her bow in her hand. With a dexterous drop, she landed softly in the snowbank under her window and took off for the town below. Vex pulled her hood close to her face against the bitter cold of Whitestone, and let out her breath in a steamy cloud. Syngorn was never this cold, but she welcomed the change from the prison of her house.
Part of her wanted to turn back for her twin, but she needed time on her own from him as well. After all, Vax’ildan wasn’t about to be married off to a random lord from a far-off city. That was Vex’s problem. The lights grew closer, and Vex lets a few tears fall, leaving icy tracks on her face. She’d hoped to at least meet Lord De Rolo by now, but he had been curiously missing from dinner that evening, and she felt her resolve to stay crumble with every moment. So she made her first bad decision of the night and entered the first tavern she found.
   Inside was loud and warm, and she stomped the melting snow off of her boots. Intoxicating smells filled the air; roasting meats and hot drinks. Vex took a seat at the counter, pulling back her hood and shaking free her long raven-dark hair. The feathers she kept braided in- well, the feathers that Vax braided in, she couldn’t do her hair for all the money in the world- were limp from the snow.
   “How much for a bit of ale here?” She asked the barkeep. Vex would barter, but what the hell, she had her father’s cash to burn. The more of that she could spend the better. She desired the smallest bit of revenge she could garner from her father.
   Vex’ahlia raised the tankard to her lips and drank half the ale in nearly one swallow. Tonight was a fantastic night to get shitfaced. Maybe she would disgrace herself enough to make Lord de Rolo lose his supposed interest. Or his parents, at least. He was in the same boat as her, at least.
   “Here’s to us,” She muttered. “Equally fucked.”
   Vex lost track of time, and it was getting late. She’d accumulated a good number of drinks, and though she could hold her alcohol, she was most certainly buzzed.
   “I think you’ve had enough,” Joel, the bartender and her new best friend says, “I’m cutting you off.” Okay then, former new best friend.
   “Awww come on, darling.” Vex stutters, “Li’l more never hurt anyone.”
   “Go home,” he says, drying a glass. “Or someone will drag you there.”
   “I’d like to see you try,” She says, haughty. “I’m staying up at- hic- Whitestone. And that’s mighty far from Syngorn.”
   “You’re in Whitestone.” The woman next to her says. “Not really making your point here.”
   “Here,” Someone says from behind her. “I’ll take you up to the castle, that’s where you’re staying, isn’t it?” A hand rests on her shoulder, and Vex doesn’t think, she just acts. Quickly, she spins and decks the young man behind her.
   “That’s it!” The barkeep shouts, “Pike, would you?”
   “Of course,” The white-haired woman next to Vex says. She hops down from her barstool, and Vex sees she hardly comes up to her waist. Pike takes her hand, and, with great strength for someone so small, pulls Vex from her seat and throws her out the door. Vex lands in a snowbank, and for a moment, she leans back, ignoring the ache in her tailbone.       From here, she can see the stars, the same constellations from her room in Syngorn. The bear, the arrow, the hero shined down on her. The stars stayed the same, at least. No matter where she went, Vax would look at the same stars as Vex.
   “What did you do, Stubby?” Vax looms over her, all black leathers and cloak.
   “What does it look like, Shitbird?” Vex says, “I got shitfaced.”
   “Come here,” Vax pulls her up from the snowbank, wrapping his arm around her torso, “We have to get back before they find out we’re gone.”