Orion barely felt the light weight of Cedalion, who sat on his strong shoulders and gripped his curly hair between his fingers, guiding him to Helios. Orion could not see, but he heard the birds chirping around him and the leaves of grass fluttering in the breeze. The scent of the wildflowers tickled his nose. All of his trust was in Cedalion, the small creature who was telling him which direction to follow.
The elf was not one for conversation, so Orion was left to his own thoughts for entertainment on the journey. He didn't like the memories of Merope and her father which popped into his head. The reason he was blind and on this journey. He tried to focus on the sounds and scents and feel the tips of the leaves on his fingers, but Merope's beautiful gray eyes kept interrupting. Succumbing to the thoughts, he took himself back to that night.
Secretly, Orion and Merope had met in the formal gardens outside of her father's palace. It was after midnight, so the black sky was littered with stars twinkling at them. A cool breeze rustled the branches in the olive trees. Merope's soft, lithe fingers were entwined with his. Her father, Oenopion, would not approve. He had princes lined up for her, all of whom clamored for his beautiful daughter's hand. A lowly hunter would never be allowed to wed a princess. Orion didn't know what he had done to gain her attention, but he hoped he wouldn't mess it up.
Oenopion must have had a spy in the bushes, because the second Orion leaned in for a kiss, guards seized him and he and Merope were torn apart. She cried out, but none of her words were enough to set him free. Her father's anger ripped his eyes out and left him in the outskirts of town with no one to help him.
His memories of what happened after that were fuzzy. No sound of Merope coming after him, that he did remember. Somehow he made it to Hephaestus, who introduced him to Cedalion, and now here they were, on their way to the other side of the world.
Orion sighed deeply. Along with his sight, it felt as though his heart was ripped out as well. He never knew himself to be a sentimental man, but Merope held his heart in her delicate hands. And the second he was captured, she squeezed her hands together and crushed it mercilessly. He has heard nothing from her. She probably sits on her throne with her prince husband and has forgotten all about him.
Snap out of it, man! He sneered as he made his way forward. Once Helios returned his sight, Orion would go back to Chios and wreak revenge.