Malcolm thought he heard the noble woman called out to him and turned about trying to gauge from which direction the sound of her voice had carried. "Elyna!" He called, answered by the haunting echo of his own worried bellow.
Faced with the maze, Malcolm reached out with his right hand to touch the wall, having recalled a tip from a story he had once read, or perhaps it had been shared with him by a friend or past teacher. Put your right hand on the wall and follow it until you find the maze exit, just remember not to lift your hand. The knight did just as he had recalled and followed the right wall of the maze, careful of where he stepped.
Five and then ten minutes seemed to pass and before he knew it, he caught a glimpse of the tail end of a midnight-blue dress disappearing around the bend. Malcolm lifted his hand away from the wall and raced after the woman, donning a satisfied little grin. "Elyna!" He called as he rounded the bend and came to a brisk halt, faced with a scene he hadn't expected to find. The noble woman was only half dressed, arms clutched firmly by the hands of Yoreth Balckwater as the two stood engaged in a deep, seductive kiss.
Malcolm felt his heart sink and backed away from the pair quietly before spinning to race in the other direction, bare feet propelling him forwards at an alarming speed, right into another dead end. He slammed into the hedging and tried to fight his way though but was trapped by a stone wall he hadn't noticed buried within until now. With a deep sigh he closed his eyes and stood still for a moment, he knew which way he didn't want to go, and so, he had only one direction left to take.
There was music, not like the music from the ballroom in House Andaris, but something familiar and upbeat, music they had played in the Salty Grape the night Malcolm had met Vanessa. Confused, he carried on, a light knot forming in the centre of his brow. At the end of the path he could see the statue of a woman, though as he moved closer, he realised it was not a statue at all but his lover stood wrapped in a sheet with her back to him, her long dark hair loose, just as he liked it. Malcolm smiled, the warm gesture faltering as a large pair of hands snaked across the woman's lower back and as his gaze was lifted to head height, his son Marcus smirked back at him. Elyna turned, her cheek pressed to the man's bare chest, the right side of her mouth turned up in a slow, menacing smile.
"No," Malcolm shook his head and turned away so quickly that the world seemed to flip and throw him from floor to ceiling, back into the maze. Weary, the man's every step was cautious now, frightened of what he might find around every corner.
How long would the night wear on, he wondered as an age seemed to pass, and was there any end to this maze? The man's feet were sore now and he had lost all sense of direction and track of time. Tired, he turned against the hedging and folded his armed across the wall to rest his head. A gentle hand found his right shoulder and when he turned about to see who it was, Elyna stood before him, the skin under her eyes red from crying, tear tracks still wet upon flushed cheeks; she looked as if she had been searching, breathless from running to catch up to him. "Elyna," he mouthed, silenced quickly with a kiss, a kiss to calm his inner turmoil.
The noble woman drew back slowly and turned her head, her free hand lifted to caress the face of the familiar stranger from the wedding, the man with the fiery red hair and piercing blue eyes. As she leaned in to kiss the other, Malcolm separated the two of them, stepping in between them to shove Vakhanor back. "No!" He hissed. "She's mine!"
"And mine," Marcus called from the end of the passageway.
"And mine," Yoreth echoed.
"No," Malcolm's nostrils burned as tears welled in his eyes. "She loves me," he turned to pin Elyna with an angry and somewhat hopeless glare. "You love me," his hands shook as a single tear fell from his left eye.
"And me, and me, and me," the voices mocked him quietly.