“Charisse,” there was a voice saying this name, somewhere behind her. The voice was masculine but soft, as if trying not to startle her when she thought she was alone. At first, the voice was far enough away. Then, when the owner of that voice noticed that the girl couldn’t hear him, he called out again, just a little louder, walking just a little closer to her. “Charisse.”
Soft and gentle as the voice was, she was still startled–that was within his expectations. The girl whipped around abruptly, nearly falling over into the waters, given that she was standing at the edge of the glass to begin with. Her eyes widened, her pupils dilated, and she parted her lips to scream, but a finger was put to her lips before she did. Strong hands caught her back, and brought her back to her feet.
“Be careful, my dear Charisse,” the male said. It seemed that he was still far away just a moment ago, but he showed up right by her side when she was about to fall. This phenomenon ought to be considered an odd one, she knew. But in this situation, with the glass and the dark waters, anything seemed possible.
“Charisse?” was the first word that she uttered. Surprised at how weak her voice sounded, she cleared her throat and tried again. “Who…are you?” She blinked in utter confusion, unable to recognize the beautiful young man with blond hair and green eyes.
“I’m Ajax,” he answered. Was it a trick of the–lack of–light? She thought she saw a hint of sadness flash by in his eyes when she asked who he was. “And you’re Charisse,” he added, as if knowing she wouldn’t have a clue who she was.
“Ajax…Charisse…” She observed him. Ajax was beautiful alright, with his princely attire and charming smile. Even the atmosphere he brought along seemed royal. Yet, at the same time, something didn’t’ seem to fit in with all this. If he were as high in status as his attire suggested, he wouldn’t have dark circles under his eyes. He wouldn’t seem slightly ill. Something about him made him seem tired, and something else suggested that he shouldn’t be.
“Yes, dear,” he said in a cordial tone, “Remember who we are.”
“Who are we?” Charisse muttered, gazing upon him.
He gave a forlorn chuckle. “Who are we?” he repeated after her. “When all this is over, you will know, my dear.”
“It will be over?” She glanced quickly at the ocean of evil things. Those creatures that made it impossible to cross the waters.
“I will take us there,” Ajax promised. “For you to find out who we are, my little one.”
She blinked at all those intimate names, but she made no comment. Instead, she let her eyes rest on the man called Ajax, the only beautiful thing in the world she found herself in.