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FAIR LADY BY: MAYRA DURAN

GENOVIVIA, before my life turned upside down ― Follow your heart… it will tell what you should do.‖ my mother spoke to me softly. ― You will choose the be suitor if you listens to your heart. The kingdom will stand by you and bless your marriage, no matter what your choice is.‖ I nodded and my mother left the room. I turned back around to the window and sighed. ―I don't know how much I'll have to wait till my true love arrives .‖ I watched my servants milling around outside, preparing for today‘s festivities. The stable hands were exercising the horses that were going to be in the tournament later. I watched as the maids rushed outside with buckets, and mops, and started to wash the courtyard. I saw when the cook approached my mother with a plate of food. To my immense horror, I became witness to the murder of my mother. I did not see what hit her until I saw my mother falling to the ground with blood spilling from a wound in her chest. I was still watching when the maids ran towards my mother. What I did not see was the stable hands creeping up towards my room. I did not watch as they reached the castle guards and receive weapons from them. I only realized the mutiny when they broke down my door and my father fell in gagged and blindfolded. I did the only reasonable thing that I could think of: I jumped out of the window. I heard the shouts of the men when they thought I had committed suicide. Luckily, for me I knew that the laundry maids liked me despite my snotty behavior. They always helped me escape by placing a bin filled with sheets that always remain ―dirty.‖ I gave a simple prayer of thanks for the hardworking servants that give so much. Someday when bloodthirsty mutinous men were not hunting me down, I am going to give them at least a simple gift of thanks.

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PART ONE: CURSED

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1 ― Pull that wreath of flowers.‖ ―Well… If you‘re sure… Oh!‖ she clapped her hands. But the path is the path and I have to move forward in my life. only the eyes. I sighed as I remembered the feel of silk on my skin back when I was still the Princess Cecilia. ―Celi…. the other. ―I‘ve moved on from that particular time of my life. My hand maidens can‘t understand me like my goddaughter. pull the other. Sure enough. Every day that passed got closer to THE day: my wedding. fiery red hair. Not that wreath. Of course.‖ I smiled in response and ducked back into my room to get dressed. ― You can‘t keep dwelling on the path… your kingdom-‖ I shrugged off her words. I smiled remembering the shock when I went downstairs for breakfa and Charles was sitting at the table. By marrying Charles. ― The red not the green! Honestly.‖ I opened my eyes and smiled. I would have Princess Status again and I would make life living hell for those… but that was for later. I had said yes. I stopped in front of the full-leng mirror on the back of my door and looked at myself. my godmother was fixing garlands around the hallway. and hair resembled the famous Princess Cecilia. I no longer have bad dreams . cream colored skin. She caught sight of my head and smiled. Emerald green eyes. skin. What are you thinking?‖ my godmother came up and hugged me. ―Celi hurry and dress.‖ 3 .‖ I got up from my bed and peeked from around the corner of the door. I sighed again and opened the door. He had asked me for my response as soon as we were alone. if you want something to be done right. simple white cotton gown with blue embroidery and ankle boots. ―Don‘t worry Goodie. ―You‘ll like this news.‖ I smiled and hugged her tightly. No one could quite get the voice of exasperated matron quite like my godmother. I walked over to the bureau and pulled out a cotton gown. you have to do it yourself.

I wanted her to be there as if she were my mother. Charles. ―I understand…‖ Goodie Goldrich was my mother‘s be friend and understood completely the loss I felt with her death.‖ I smiled. You can understand me. He‘ll bring the selection of fabrics to choose from.‖ She smiled sadly and placed a hand on my cheek.‖ she laughed.‖ 4 .‖ ―I know Goodie.― What news. ― Do you want me there?‖ ― Yea. I could not wait until you awoke so I have eaten but I shall like to think Cook still has warm porridge. Goodie‘s house was not the same thing as my castle but it was luxurious enough for any person.‖ Goodie sighed and turned around.‖ ―I remember how it was to be young and alone in the world.‖ I said without hesitation. ―This Goodie might be old but still remembers her you. eighteen year old that is going to get married in a month. some things are set now. ―Come downstairs. ―That is why you are my godmother. Ever since that… time I have learnt to dress simple. ―He said to expect him around 3 o‘clock. ―Goodie?‖ ―Hmm?‖ ―Wilt you stay with me. Goodie?‖ ―Charles came early and said the dressmaker would be here today. That was precisely what I was going to say. ―Well. Remember you must-‖ ―Dres s like an ordinary. ― No one can be your mother and even though I try to give you that motherly love… I know I can never replace her. ―I want you to be there as if you were-‖ I broke off. However. Goodie was a great caretaker but she was not my sweet mother. And I must never speak of my real identity. I try to protect you from harm. and the dressmaker?‖ She stopped and looked up at me.‖ I smiled.‖ I smiled. I know. almost. ―I know my girl.‖ I followed her down the magnificent oak staircase.

As soon as Goodie set foot on the first floor. As I looked on from the top of the stairs. What other colors are symbols of yuletide? Only red and green.‖ Goodie‘s maid spoke with familiarity to my godmother. My love.I laughed with her and we continued our descent. ―Ma‘am-‖ my personal maid interrupted the attendant. I opened it up and read Charles‘s scrawl. Your vague allusions to colors were not helpful. Charles. I smiled and folded the paper. I instinctively fled to the top of the stairs.‖ said a man with an olive green beret. Loving you always. They stopped in front of Goodie and bowed. I stopped by to tell Lady Goldrich I am to bring the tailor and fashion your dress. ―I told you already. ―Lady Goldrich. Goodie spoke first to her maid. I shall stop by at three o‘clock. ―Lady Goldrich-‖ the doorkeeper started. three servants quickly flocked to her.‖ she turned to the doorkeeper. It was obvious that she had been in service to her for a significant amount of time. Oh and please tell Cook I want her to cook a meal from her native land. we ask of your leave to search your house for a fugitive. ―Goodie I need for you to say what colors you want for the decorations. He gave me this message for you. 5 . I was not aware she was awake and told him she was still asleep. We must choose fabrics and designs and it shall be better if you chose the style and fabrics for your own gown. I watched a pair of men wrestle their way through the door despite Robert‘s be efforts. Robert?‖ ―His Royal Highness came by ten minutes ago and said that he wanted to speak with Princess Cecilia.‖ he handed a folded paper. Goodie was talking to my maid when suddenly there was noise outside. ― Yea.

If we find her. may he rest in peace.‖ ―May I ask what woman is dangerous enough that your leader sends out armed forces to find her? Is she so dangerous that he finds the need to search in lands that are not his?‖ ―Lady Goldrich our ruler respects you very much on behalf of the memory of Lord Goldrich. If she gets caught when we are watching.‖ ―The Princess Cecilia is my godchild.2 ― You have already forced your way into my house. Lady Goldrich. We have further evidence the former Princess are now planning a rebellion on our leader.‖ 6 . you may only risk a fine. it shall be be for you to let us search this home. and still are. ―We are looking for an outlaw. ―Why is there a sudden hunt for the Princess? This is the second Yuletide that has passed and not an unwelcome visit until to-day. he is also aware that you were. He would never allow me keep some vagabond in this house. the godmother of the former Princess.‖ Goodie spoke with the confidence of aristocracy.‖ ―We are aware that…you may think the former Princess is no danger. the monarch epoch has ended. However. She is very dangerous and might even be armed. She is highly dangerous and may try to harm our leader. ―How are I sure if I do not give you leave to search. He wore the uniform of a high-ranking official. you shall not trespass anyway?‖ ― You are not giving us permission then. We have a new leader. What of it?‖ She jutted her chin out in a familiar posture of stubbornness as she spoke.‖ ―I am not harboring an outlaw. The Royal Majesties asked my husband and me to be godparents when their only child was born. My husband worked long and hard to help Their Majesties keep justice and equality in their reign. you shall go to prison and lose ownership of all the land. ―Cecilia is no longer the princess and her parents are not the reigning monarchs. If you are harboring her.‖ beret man spoke up. Lady Goldrich?‖ another man stepped forward. Never in my right mind would I give room to a wrongdoer.

The official said. When the searchers bur into my bedroom. ―It is a pleasure to meet you Miss Ingrid. I am Lieutenant General Richard Swanson. how may I help you?‖ They looked at each other. I know her personally. Princess Cecilia would have never hurt a fly.‖ ―Search all you want. seemingly there the whole time. I picked up my half-done embroidery and sat down in a rocking chair. I had almost finished my embroidery.‖ ―Rumors of a rebellion have circulated. I am part of a hunt for the former Princess.‖ the Lieutenant kissed my hand. ― Yea. ―Miss…‖ ―Ingrid. I am niece to Lady Goldrich.all. Ingrid Goldrich.‖ I scrambled down the long hallway and ran into my bedroom. you have not seen her in your life.‖ ―Why would I be involved with the princess? I do not know who she 7 .‖ is. ―Lady Goldrich with all due respect please either give us leave to search the house or say that you are not allowing us.‖ The high-ranking official said. I stood up and stepped towards the door but standing at a respectful distance from the men. It is said she is the one behind it ― Your leader suspects her simply because she was the only one who survived the overthrow of the reigning monarchs.‖ I lied smoothly stretching my hand. Richard Swanson? That name sounded recognizable… but… ―This involves me how?‖ somehow the lieutenant seemed familiar ―We need to search your room for clues that might involve the former princess.

I frowned and said a bit huffily. you may. ―I shall be right down. we are sorry for the trouble we have given you. ―Miss Ingrid we have found nothing.‖ I shrugged. we believe. they moved on to my sitting room. ― Yea Delilah?‖ ―Prince Charles is waiting for you downstairs.‖ ―Why should my Aunt be harboring an old princess?‖ ―Lady Goldrich is the godmother to the former princess.‖ ―Hmm. ―We do not want any drawn to my home.‖ ―Either way we have to search. they felt content with the thoroughness of their search and returned to my room.‖ The lieutenant asked looking at me suspiciously. ―If must you search.‖ For once Delilah thought fast. We shall leave now.‖ ― Your betrothed? There has been no news about his engagement. 8 .‖ ―I have not seen any woman in this house apart from Goodie and her servants. is the only one who survives the royal lineage. She fled the castle after the overthrow and. Cecilia may have come to her house. ―He is my betrothed.‖ They started to search through the drawers of the bureau. When they finished with my bedroom. It is part o f regulation. They left and I exhaled relieved. Finally. daughter to Janet Montgomery and Peter Alexander Gerald Emmanuel Zilarra. that she is delivering threats to our leader.‖ I shrugged.―The former Princess Esmeralda Maria Elizabeth Joana Cecilia Zilarra.‖ ―Prin-‖ my maid walked in and made my blood run cold.‖ ―Prince Charles? He was one of Cecilia‘s close friends and suitor.‖ the lieutenant looked at the other guy and shrugged. The Prince rarely goes out of his lands and he is easier to harm when he comes here. My maid walked in slowly.

wistful for old times when everything was simple. ―Ingrid. he likes to be punctual and slightly early if he can. I pulled back.‖ ―Ingrid.‖ ― Yea. I sighed. It is only two thirty. ― Greetings Aunt. I hugged him and stood that way for a while. ―Wait for me in the parlor. ―Charles!‖ He turned around and I realized that the lieutenant was talking to him. I turned around and stood up. I shall be there soon. Suddenly two hands covered my eyes.‖ he made a face. I smiled.‖ she smiled. Then I went into the parlor where my godmother was sitting. I wrinkled my nose when I saw it written in Old High Nurmish. ―Charles has arrived early.‖ I ignored the others and kissed him on the cheek. I had forgotten completely about him. He had paid a tutor to give me lessons every day. ― What is wrong?‖ 9 .‖ he gestured towards the men and made a face.‖ I sat down next to Goodie and picked up a book. ―Charles?‖ ―My princess. I went down to the first floor to see Charles.‖ ― Oh dear me. So I came to tell to Your Highness that Prince Charles has arrived and that he is downstairs . Taking the stairs two at a time.‖ I got up and ran out the door. ― Are you busy?‖ ― I believe so . ―We shall see the tailor to choose fabrics and the dress design. It reminded me when my father had tried to broaden my horizons with a foreign language. I thought they have left.―Delilah?‖ ― Yea…‖ ― Do you not know the men were here?‖ ―No miss. I reached up to try to figure out who it was and felt the ring I had given Charles back when I was still the princess.‖ he winked at me. I smiled thinking of how angry he was when he‘d found out I had was obsessed with the tutor.‖ he kissed me on my cheek and let go of my eyes.

I placed my arms around his neck and melted in his arms..‖ I started towards the door when he grabbed my hand. ―We should go to the tailor. He hugged me closer to him and deepened our kiss.. ―Was that an accusation?‖ I laughed. Since you do not have one anymore I was going to bring him to help with the dress.‖ ―What do you say?‖ ―I answered yea but they kept asking questions about Princess Cecilia. It‘s just…‖ he touched my forehead with his. Why do you ask?‖ ―The Lieutenant General asked me if I had an intended.― It is nothing. ― Your false name is Ingrid. ― Yea?‖ He looked down uncomfortable. He shrugged. yea?‖ ― Yea. ―Wait.‖ He leaned in. placing a finger on the tip of his nose. I always make excellent choices.‖ ― You should fix that. ― Have you noticed?‖ he whispered in my ear. ―And we are awfully close.‖ I looked around him and saw that my godmother was not in the room any more. ―What?‖ ―We are alone.‖ I smiled.‖ I accused him when we broke free. ―I forgot to bring my royal dresser.‖ I turned around expectantly.‖ I said with a smile before he leaned down and lowered his lips to mine. ― You do not want your bride to wear a gaudy gown?‖ ―Well…‖ I laughed at his expression. ―That was neither princely nor noble.‖ 10 . I answered that I did. I meet his eyes. They also inquired whether you were my bride. ―It shall be fine.

―Well they saw beautiful.‖ Charles said smiling. ―Either way.‖ he smiled.‖ ―The lieutenant general was a tutor.‖ he paused. They do think now the Princess as an excessively arrogant woman.‖ ―They saw you?‖ ― Yea. I do not think he would-‖ ―What do you say?‖ at the mention of tutor.‖ I laughed.‖ ―Why do you think that ?‖ ―I was full with superiority while they searched the room. ― The only difference between you and the princess was the prideful scorn for commoners . they did.‖ ― Why thank you. it is good they never saw me as Princess. ― then they inquired if the princess looked more or less like you…‖ ― You answered how…?‖ I felt my heart beat faster at the thought of the façade ending.‖ ― You cannot change the way you are. ―He was a tutor?‖ ― Yea he taught ancient languages. ―I said the princess was more so beautiful than they could imagine. You strongly dislike learning to begin with so…‖ 11 .― What kind of questions did they ask you? What do you answer to them?‖ ―They asked me if the princess was as extremely beautiful as your legend says.‖ ―Well then that‘s why they asked me exactly how she looks and I told them. my blood ran cold.

If I have paid more attention to the Lieutenant…‖ ― Be at ease love.‖ 12 . ―He was wearing a hat. ― Who were wearing a hat?‖ ―The lieutenant. He must have taught a number of people before and after you. I can guarantee he will remember my face. He was a good teacher.‖ I said in a wooden voice. your mother dressed you in simple gowns and left your hair down.‖ ― You are changed since you were four-and-ten.‖ yea?‖ I thought back to the lessons. He said it would make me seem refined. Now your elegant gowns and hair styles are very much the contra.‖ ― How do so?‖ ―When you were four-and-ten. he cannot possibly remember you. Green eyes the color of spring grass with flecks of gold. I closed my eyes.‖ ― Yea.‖ ―Who else in the wretched government they now have would know who I am?‖ ―Well…‖ ―The lieutenant general‘s name is Richard Swanson?‖ ― Yea. ―I do not think the tutor you had in the path is the same who is now a lieutenant general.‖ ― Yea but I was mad about him.―My father forced me to learn Old High Nurmish with a tutor when I was four and ten years. Why?‖ ―My former tutor had curly brown hair with a bit of yellow.

I feel time are passing too quickly. If they tried to hurt you while being my wife. Ever.―Thank you Charles. ―How will you manage that?‖ I said leaning into his chest.‖ Charles reached out to me and pulled me into a hug. He will know that I am the princess and come back for me.‖ ― You are right but if you could be my wife sooner…‖ ― Are you trying to change the date?‖ I said raising my eyebrows.‖ he said sarcastically.‖ ― You can‘t understand!‖ he said frustrated. I want to be with you as well. ―If we are married they cannot enter my country. Although I am seven-and-ten.‖ he kissed me softly.‖ ―No he will not.‖ he spoke again my hair.‖ ―So why can we not wed sooner?‖ I frowned. ―I promise they will not take you away from me.‖ I said smiling ―however my face is the same. ―The more of my life I spend with you the happier I shall be.‖ I sighed. ― Will you change the date?‖ ―Why should I?‖ ―Becaus e I love you and want to be with you for life. ―I‘m unsure Charles.‖ he said. 13 . ―That‘s true… but still. ―I think it is too soon in a month but… I cannot wait any longer. ―But I am not your wife. I promise. Is it too soon to wed ?‖ ―I think your parents would be overjoyed to have you married after years of pleading to choose a suitor. ―Why do you want to get married soon? You were delighted when we were to wed in a moon‘s time. they are dead. I laughed. Only a year has passed since my parents‘ deaths. I am just your bride-to-be and I shall be that for a month. The sooner the better.

―Unless you do not want to marry me?‖ ―I do. I cannot travel from my palace to here for another month. ―How will I wed in two weeks?‖ ―Two weeks. ―I love you…‖ he paused and lowered his voice. ―My princess. I always want to be with you. I want to be the proud husband to the most beautiful woman in the world .‖ ― It is too dangerous for you?‖ ―My parents are becoming strict on my visits. ―If you really want to change the date… then change it we will.‖ He turned to me with hope in his eyes.‖ he kneeled. However.‖ he grabbed my hands and kissed them. say you shall marry me in two weeks and be a Princess again. ―Please.‖ ―Two weeks from now.‖ he closed his eyes and walked over to the window. I am willing to get wed soon..‖ ―Charlie… it is hard to be wed in two weeks.‖ 14 . I just cannot conceive it…‖ I pursed my lips. I thought he would say three weeks minimum… but two? ―Two weeks?‖ I chewed my lip. I wrapped my arms around his waist and kissed him. After Genovivia they cannot afford trust. Was I ready to tie my life to another person in two weeks? ― You told to me to place the date…the sooner the better. I am getting used to the common life but to return to royalty…it shall be strange. ― I love you Esmeralda Maria Elizabeth Joana Cecilia Zilarra. The distance is too great! Sometimes during nighttime I want to see you and I cannot visit because it is dark and too dangerous for me. ―Place a date.‖ ―Charles…‖ ―Please… I want all to know that you are my one and only true love.‖ he took me by surprise.― Why do you say that?‖ I said confused.‖ he placed a finger under my chin and pulled my face up. I stared at him for a second and went to him..

‖ ―Will you?‖ I said with my heart pounding.‖ He hugged me back but with lack of enthusiasm. ―I love you.‖ ―Why can I not do that?‖ ―Charles.‖ I kissed him again. ― My parents are trying to get me to change my mind about our marriage. You are the only being I shall never change for another.‖ I placed my hands on his cheeks. ―Please.‖ he got up and hugged me. This is not a light talk.‖ I smiled and hugged him. ― You always get your way.‖ ― Do you have Power over me or is I weak? Yea then.‖ ―Why?‖ ―I told you why.‖ 15 .‖ He groaned. ―Please Charles… respect my decision. ― You cannot answer my question with another question. ―I love you as well. we shall wed in a moon‘s time. Stop playing.‖ I kissed him softly. Never.‖ he scowled. I love you and I want to be with you as soon as I can. Please.‖ ― So what do you have again being wed in a moon‘s time?‖ ― What do you have again being wed in two weeks?‖ I frowned. you are the love of my life and in name of the love we share… I plead you to respect my decision to get married in a month. ―Not ever shall I change my mind about you.‖ ―Why do you think I speak lightly? I want to be wed and soon. If you wait good shall come of it.―That is why I want you with me. ―Edmund Charles Pendragon.‖ ―Good things come to those who wait. ecstatic. ―If your parents are upset with you on the cause of your denial to marry a wealthy princess… your parents do not want you to wed me because I have lost all… will you change your mind?‖ ―No.

my parents shall be angry. engaged. ― Let me hear the reason you have for leaving your bride-to-be. By royal law. How could you go out in the middle of the night and go to a costume party with me but not be able to arrive late a few minutes to your house?‖ 16 .‖ ― Should we put this for another day?‖ he looked at the floor.‖ Charles sighed. My name has already been marked enough! I thought you would understand.‖ ―Let them talk!‖ ―I cannot allow my name to be damaged.‖ ―Well you have better give a good one why you are suddenly walking out. I let go of his hand. you have to be the next King whether or not you get back late to your house. I have lost too much in my path.‖ I raised an eyebrow. ― You are acting like you are still five-and-ten. and the only successor to the throne. ― I have another…‖ he quailed under my furious glance. ― You have to understand… I have realized that the woman I love does not want to wed me. ― Now we should go to the tailor. ―Why cannot we go see the fabrics and the designs?‖ ―It is getting late Ceci and if we become indecisive … If I should get back late. I love you.‖ I frowned.‖ ―I do want to be your wife. I do not want to spoil our reputations.I grabbed his hand and pulled him towards the door. Charles. That is painful. I thought you had more courage.‖ ― I have no reason. ―Ceci please. I remember all those adventures we had when we were younger. But think of what the people will say if we wed so soon. I do not want to fight.‖ ―Umm… can we go tomorrow?‖ he looked at his watch.‖ ―I do not either but you are trying my patience. You are two-and-twenty.

I do not really want a big wedding. I wanted to get wed soon and now you are telling me that I have to wait four more moons !‖ he raised his voice at the end. ―It is the opposite.‖ 17 . I do not deserve you. And the Power help me. ―Fine. His expression softened.‖ ―And what are you going to do? Are you going to tell your mother I spurned your suit to marry in a moon? She shall be happy that you shall not be wedding a poor girl.‖ I bit my lip to hold back the tears. my parents might not pay for the wedding. You knoe she shall be happy. I made the guards who went with us to not say a word. ―But I would not have it any other way. I shall not take this. ―Look. Threaten them that way.‘‖ I laughed bitterly. it shall be on their conscience.‖ I shook my head. ―I cannot believe I have known you all this time and I never knew that about you. I mean. my mother never knew about it. you know that is not true. it shall be five. Run home to your mother‘s skirts and when you have finally matured. When I snuck out with you. ―All right.Charles coughed. No. I have been under my mother‘s guidance during my entire life.‖ I walked back to the armchairs. Ceci… I wish to have the courage you had to challenge your parents. I could not do that to my parents. ―Ceci. Now if your parents want the shame of having their only child married like a commoner. You are the love of my life and I cannot live without you. However.‖ I shrugged. ―I cannot take that Ceci. ― You cannot suspend the wedding even more. come back. ―Well… if I get back late.‖ wed?‖ ―Wait… what? Are you telling me that you are ending our plans to ―Instead of a moon. She will say. ―Go.‖ ― You sound so confident. I leaned my head on his chest. ‗son it is for the be. ― It may be that all I do not know about you shall surface in time. Honestly.‖ I covered my eyes.‖ he smiled. As long as I have the dress and a High Priestess to give us the blessing.‖ he said in response to my questioning look. I shall be pleased.‖ he walked over to me and hugged me. you make my life miserable when you gets angry…‖ I smiled.

―I know how you are. I have become used to how you are.‖ I shrugged. I was not planning on sharing my fortune until I was thirty and then only for the good of my country. I do not know how else to prove that I am in love with you.―Are you sure?‖ I said looking up at him.‖ ―How can it be perfect when we are the complete opposites? You are the King-to-be and with plenty of weal.‖ he said frustrated. because if my existence does not contain you… I do not know what I would do. not really. Then when you should think of me: there is a search for me. ―In fact.‖ I said softly. Your status does not matter to me.‖ ― You say that. ―Besides. it feels 18 .‖ ―I shall give you a life. I know that we belong together. how can I be dependent when I have been forced to be independent?‖ ― That is why we should be together… I mean you shall help me reach normality and be more independent. ―I do not think that is going to happen soon.‖ I bit my lip. No matter how much you say that you are too poor or with too hard a life. Trust me. ―I do not think your country needs a commoner for a princess. It is a perfect match.‖ ―So are you still angry?‖ Charles asked softly. If you ever changed. ―That are the only way you can prove you love me. ―No.‖ he said firmly. because I love you for you. before we are married. but I have always known that I belong at your side. I have nothing to offer to your country. ―We shall share the times ahead. I am living on my godmother‘s weal.‖ I looked down. and with no chance of a life due to my infamo us face. Honestly Charlie how can you be so dependent of your mother? I am the complete opposite of a dependent child. I would not have accepted any man for my husband when I was still Princess.‖ I smiled.‖ he shrugged. forcing me to look into his eyes. not for your money. how shall it be when we are married?‖ ―It does not matter to me. You are realistic and practical. ―Do not push for more time. I would try my be to have you like you were. ―If I make your life miserable now. When you wait for someone to be at your side.

―I have waited almost eight-and-ten winters to find my perfect half.good when you are finally together. I know how I was in the path.‖ I smiled and looked straight into his eyes.‖ he laughed. I have always loved hearing I were such an annoyance. savor time for what it is.‖ I laughed at his mortified expression.‖ ―I said nothing of the matter. ―I know. Do not rush things.‖ ― You should know…‖ he started smoothing back a stray lock from my face. You should let me experience this a bit more. I pulled him to the door. I had enough with his excuses.‖ he said lifting up his hands. I did. We must go call the royal tailor with no more prote. ―I je.‖ ―Thank you so much. You have changed much since the overthrow. Do you understand?‖ Without waiting for him to prote further. Now you are mature and adult. 19 . ―I am the immature one now. ― You said the most profound words I have ever heard.

The crystals that were sewn onto it were so beautiful and the design was … oh.‖ Goodie made a face.‖ I laughed to cover the sudden silence.3 ―We saw so many fabrics and the designs were gorgeous. and a bit miffed.‖ I said to my godmother at dinner. I cannot even explain it. so I may never suffer. you do not need to lose weight because if you do then the dress shall not fit. Goodie you know I cannot lose weight unless the standard goes down. supposedly on the very night I was born I was visited by five fairies. so I may be my Country‘s Fine Jewel. ― You know how those faerie godmothers are. 20 . They think of everything. ― You always eat no matter what befalls you. One blessed me with Heal.‖ She pointed a fork imperiously at the food. ― Yea… my parents did not tell you?‖ She shook her head and I continued. that‘s what I have say to that. We shall talk after dinner.‖ I laughed. so I can wait for good things. so I may never get sick. as she asked me. I started in on the lobster without enthusiasm. I was not completely convinced until I saw a part of the bodice. so I may rule my country wisely. ―Well darling. Another blessed me with Fortune.‖ ―Being a glutton is good?‖ I said laughing.‖ ―Right. ― Do you not know that it‘s a sin?‖ ―Child talk. The Third one blessed me with Intelligence.‖ ― You had other godmothers?‖ Goldrich looked surprised. ―At times. I am always perfect and my weight does not change unless the standard does . if you do not finish your meal… the dress will not fit. understood ?‖ ―I believe so …‖ I said glumly.‖ She said smiling. Since I was blessed with Beauty. ―Well. ―I never thought the day will have come when you would not want to eat. I could not even touch my food. The Final Faerie blessed me with Beauty. However. She was just as riveted as I was in the conversation. The Four gave me Patience. like now when you are to be wed. ―Eat.

I sat down in an armchair trying to erase the words that I had read. Thus. ―Of course I am sweet. the new leader burned the books. but I got the feeling that she was not really paying attention. she laid a curse on me. Except she was not there to bless me. When dinner was over. although it explains to detail. but I noticed the lack of warm in it. it mentions my ―faerie‖ godmothers. Moreover. you are. it had been from her mother‘s side. I let go of my suspicions and started explaining my gown. I excused myself and went into the library. I had been blessed by five faeries. she took it as an offense that my parents forgot to ask her to bless me. since she was born in the time my grandmother was barren. Instead. Goodie was also of the Zilarra blood. and soon.‖ I smiled in response. Her mother had been my father‘s half-sister. so that none remembers the glorious days of the Zilarra Reign. Just as the six faerie was getting ready to bless me. 21 . ―No worries. encouragingly. the seven faerie interrupted. ―That.‖ ―But you are Human… Are you not?‖ The silence stretched to a screaming point until Goodie smiled. what she left out was that I had been visited by seven faeries. So just to confirm what my mother told me I began to read the 30 pages that narrated my birth.‖ ―Eat your lobster and forget this conversation. I am going to die.‖ Goodie smiled. You should tell me more about that dress. my dear. The first editions were in the palace. including the family tree.―Hmm I was under the impression that I was your only Godmother. That part my mother told me. I had read three fourths of it when I stopped and dropped the heavy tome. Doubtless. I am your Human Godmother Goodie. According the books. and since either way. Goodie had most of the books that my old home had. I also blessed you. giving her entitlement to the second set of family books. she dropped it from her name. Goodie hummed and answered in the right places. Goodie had once had Zilarra name until she married Lord Goldrich. the night I was born. and only had the name linking her to royalty.‖ she patted my hand. I sighed and reached for the last volume. The last book of the family name ends with my birth.

The curse said I would die on my eighteen birthday, which is in two days. My heart is going to stop beating in just two days, before I ever get to marry Charles. Tears sprung to my eyes and I tried as hard as I could to keep them from spilling. If I was going to die in two days, I was not going to give the hag that cursed me the pleasure of breaking down. I got up from the armchair, picked up the book, placed it back on the bookshelf, and got out of the library. I needed to talk to Goodie; she is the only person who might have been at my birth who still lives. ―Goodie?! Where are you?‖ I stopped my maid as she carried my laundry to my room. ―Have you seen my godmother?‖ ―No, miss. About an hour ago, she went into the gardens. The rear ones .‖ she continued up the flight of stairs. What is my godmother doing in the back gardens? The back garden, where it borders the fore is the only place where there is a gate to open. So obviously, there is a guard to watch over that patch but why would Goodie go to the only weak spot in her land? I sighed. Oh well, now I guess I have to go look for her. ― Close the door after me please!‖ I yelled to the maids as I ran out. I had a feeling my godmother did not want me to know what she was up to. I ran down the paths until I reached the guardhouse. ―Greetings, Paul.‖ I said out of breath. ―Have you…seen my…uh…godmother?‖ He stared at me for a long minute. ― Yea, she went into the forest.‖ ―Thank you.‖ I moved to open the gate when Paul put a hand on the gate. ―What do you think you are doing?‖ ―She made it quite clear the day you arrived here; you are not to go into the forest.‖ ―Child‘s talk, I lived in the forest for two months before I came here. So it pleases you, let me through.‖ since the day I had come to the house, I had not been denied anything. That was not about to start now. ―Lady Goldrich told me herself you were not to go into the forest.‖ He insisted, without removing his hand from the gate.

22

― I am sure we could talk this out.‖ I stepped away for a second from the guard, and removed one of the pins from my dress. When I turned around again, I moved quickly so he could not track my movements. First, I stabbed the pin into his jugular. Second, I slammed the palm of my hand into his nose and finally, I kicked him in the groin with the heel of my boot. I stood up and straightened my gown, so I could sneak a last peek to Goodie‘s house. This was probably the last time I was ever going to see it. I took a deep breath and opened the gate. I looked down at the dirt path and saw indentations my godmother‘s sensible heels had left. I followed the path until the prints left it. I looked up and realized my godmother had simply walked off into the dense forestry. This whole affair was making my senses tingle; I stepped off the path and batted aside a rather large bush. Behind it was another path, it was barely visible, but I could see a print of Goodie‘s shoe. Therefore, I walked on that path as well. My godmother could be up to something dangerous or mutinous, and if that rebellion had taught me something, it was to not trust anybody. I tried to trust my godmother and lose my suspicions, but with this escapade; I could not help but wonder if Goodie was as good as she appeared. If anybody else had dared to say that perhaps Goodie was not as virtuous as she appeared who knows what I would have done. I had always given my trust to her; after all, she had been the only person to give me a home when everyone else was intent on giving me a hard time. My godmother could not possibly betray me. Could she betray me? As I battled internally, my feet continued the path until I saw something that shut up my internal chatter.

23

4

―There is no reason to tell her that we still exist! We have been hiding for almost twenty-one years in fear of discovery by Griselda. Can you imagine what she shall do to us when she finds out what we did to her…curse?‖ a small plump woman dressed in a blue cardigan and a white skirt was talking to Goodie when I made a noise somewhere between a gasp and a choke. The reason for my rather tactless reaction was that the other woman had wings. She had two wings, white and translucent, like dragonfly wings. Goodie had them as well, except hers were a golden color. They were hovering about two inches off the ground, apparently arguing, until they realized I was there. Goodie landed slowly, speaking to me all the time. ―Ceci, this is not what you thinks. We were talking unstable matters about a girl whom these ladies have as a granddaughter. It is a difficult issue since she does not know they are still alive. And as you can probably understand, they-‖ ―I know about the curse.‖ I looked at Goodie in the eye. ―I know I am to die in two days. Nobody had ever told me about the curse, if I had not read the books I would not ever known. Why could no one tell me I was going to die when I turned eight-and-ten?! Is it that difficult to tell the truth? You knew all these years, Godmother, and still you could not tell me! Why?!‖ ―Honey, you are not going to die in two days. That is absolute ly foolish.‖ the other woman spoke to me in a kind voice. ―And you are?‖ I said in an almost rude tone. ―I am Luisa Maria, your faerie godmother. I blessed you with patience.‖ she winked at me and turned towards the small cottage behind them. ―Girls, Esmeralda is here!‖ ―Cecilia, please.‖ my response was automatic. I could not wrap my head around the idea that the faeries were still alive. ―My father said all were dead.‖ ―Of course, he told you that. We went into hiding after your birth. Since you know about the curse, I bet you know everything that happened.‖ ―Well I- uh, I stopped reading after the part where I was cursed.‖

24

I am Ateina. she blessed you with beauty. So thank her for that. ―I blessed you last. small and pear shaped.‖ a soft voice spoke in the middle of the other faeries. this was so much better than Yule and my birthday. ‗When the Princess is eligible to be Queen.‖ A blonde haired. orange haired slender woman with elfin features and grey eyes flecked with blue. dressed in a brown flowing skirt and green blouse with a wreath of leaves around her head. ―Krisee. five other women walked out of the cottage. I could have sworn I saw the events unfolding.‖ As Maracaeda spoke. she gave you health. she shall prick her finger on a sewing needle and die. When you fall into that deep sleep. They also had wings. I am Maracaeda. Everyone in your castle will fall asleep with you. ―This is Masel. The owner of the voice turned out to be a small. blue-eyed woman with a wildly curving figure dressed in a beautiful yellow sundress. nobody shall die. turned out to be Ateina. and rose hedges shall surround your castle. I blessed you with intelligence. ―Actually Luisa was to say is that I merely transformed the spell. ―I do not like to be introduced nor spoken for so I shall do it myself. As she reached the end. slender light-skinned woman with light brown hair and startling intense blue eyes dressed in an ethereal white dress. I saw a fair-haired man looked up at a rather large rose bush. ―We were all at your birth.‖ Luisa Maria said after Maracaeda stopped talking.As we were talking. but it was thanks to Maracaeda that you shall not die in two days.‖ Krisee tur ned out to be a red head. you shall merely fall into a deep sleep. The curse that Griselda placed on you could only be lifted by her as that was not going to happen I changed it.‖ ―So I am free of dying?!‖ I could not believe it. The original spell said.‖ Luisa gestured towards a tall. ―She was the only one left to bless you when Griselda placed that horrible curse on you. you will transport to your Quarters in the castle where it shall be out of the reaches of time. 25 . Luisa Maria turned to them to introduce them.‘ but instead of Your Highness dying. These hedges shall not bloom until your true love comes to the gates of your Castle to free you from the spell.

― You may try it if you wish.‖ all the faeries looked at me as if I was insane enough to voluntarily stab my finger to fall into the ‗deep‘ sleep. Otherwise you could be in that sleep for hundreds of years. ―I gave you patience so that you may have a clear head to put your intelligence in practice without frustrating thyself. I shall not live in fear of needles for the rest of my life. so I would suggest leave the embroidery and never go near a needle in your life until you are good into your golden Years. ―So can I do it now? Does it matter if I puncture my finger before the date? Well I suppose it does…‖ I answered my own question. The stab will become fatal two days from now. ―The only thing that shall break the spell is a love so true and pure that it can break evil.‖ ―Ah that is true. it is your choice. He can kiss me at once and everything will be fine. ―I have pricked my fingers when I am embroidering before.‖ I turned towards Goodie. ―Think your decision well. After that if you wish to voluntarily sleep.‖ ―I have no reason to worry because Prince Charles is my true love. For wise men say that love triumphs evil forever. Only if you are certain Prince Charles is your true love. I shall voluntarily prick my finger two days from now. Only then will you and your kingdom be free from the spell. until your true love is born and finds you. That is if you do not want to suffer the curse. Your one and true love must place a kiss on your lips with a heart full of innocence and no blemish. You have two days to think about it. ―Are you really my godmother?‖ 26 .‖ Maracaeda spoke as if in a trance and as she recited the words she raised herself off the ground about two inches. However.‖ Ateina spoke breaking in through my thoughts.‖ Luisa Marie put in. the finger you shall stab will be the smallest one. Can you tell me what he has to do to break the spell?‖ I said hopefully to the faerie. The intelligence I blessed you with shall help you make the correct decision Cecilia. ―Think this through.‖ ―All right. I shall think about it.‖ I said firmly.―Well it shall not be such a long sleep because Charles is my true love and we shall get married in a month.

How can a good lady of the house overlook that? Do not fret though my dear. You will spend two days with them. ―Good -bye Goodie. I decided to balance things out with common sense.‖ I could not picture a day when I could not see Charles. There has not been a day in six months that I have not been with Charles. You killed my guard. ―I cannot go back to your home?‖ ―Of course you cannot. ―I will tell him where you are. ―All right. there is room for everyone. ― You will be very pleased by the room. I shall see you at my wedding in a month. Then I turned towards my other godmothers. He must save you from the curse.‖ ―Do not worry godmother. They will take good care of you for the next two days. All of my wonderful sisters blessed you with very useful things. I blessed you with common sense. ―Of course I am. Always practical. ―Take care. 27 . Sometimes too much intelligence is a bad thing.‖ Luisa pulled me by my hand into the cottage. Think very carefully about your decision.‖ ―How can I stay here? I have never been with them a day in my life. ―Please send him here if he goes to your home.‖ ―Of course I will. Every single day since we got engaged he has been at my godmother‘s house. a good common sense is worth more than all the intellect in the world. I am ready to see my bedroom.‖ she smiled and pulled me into the cottage. Your feelings aside. we shall show you the bedroom where you will stay for the next two days. you should tell him about the curse.‖ I smiled at her and felt a bit better. my sisters love you every much as I do.‖ I said as convincingly as I could.‖ My godmother hugged me one last time. Do not worry.‖ ―Come darling.‖ Luisa Marie spoke as she saw Goodie‘s hesitation at leaving me with them.‖ ―Well consider your luck. I know Charles is my true love. However.She stepped forward to hug me. now that I knew Charles could come to visit me. Since we have expanded the inside with magick.‖ ―What will you say to Charles? I need to see him.

‖ the godmothers looked at each other. and we shall be inside the cottage fixing up your room. ―I have to think about my decision. I could not imagine more than three people living in it. I was assaulted by wonderful pieces of art. the inside was nearly as large as Goodie‘s mansion.‖ I nodded and walked into the cottage. Once I stepped through the grand vestibule.‖ ―All right Cecilia. The faeries hadn‘t lied to me. I would like some time alone. It is a rather life or death subject. It is fenced in so no wild animal can attack you. Maracaeda was looking at me and when I looked into her eyes. There is a small herb garden on the other side of the cottage. 28 . The sculptures and paintings seemed to date from the earlier years of humanity and were so beautiful that I could only stare. On the outside though.―Is there a garden somewhere? If you do not mind. If I will voluntarily prick my finger or live in fear of needlepoint the rest of my life. I heard a small giggle behind me and turned around. I felt the strange sensation.

Of all my sisters. her magick is stronger than any of ours although she is also half human. ―I have never felt that with Goodie or is that only a quality of your eyes?‖ I asked.‖ she laughed softly. Will you dare?‖ 29 . With none of them will you feel that sensation if you happen to look into their eyes.‖ she spoke softly. would you?‖ I hoped with all my soul that she would say yea. ―None of the. although firm. only I am entirely fey. but her voice broke the trance I was falling into.‖ ―If I ask you to see my upcoming life.‖ She turned around and looked at me. none. as I am fey it is common for humans to feel as if they are falling into my eyes. ―Since you are the only one who is not half human. Griselda‘s curse was very strong and that certainty of death marred your coming times permanently. you can see times to come? I have heard many tales of magickal beings that can do so. your life is tied with magick and only an elder could even hope to glimpse a second of the unknown. ―But it is said that if you can master the sensation that you feel when you look into my eyes.‖ I followed her as she walked away. she can see both path times and the yet to come. you will also see your forthcoming. Many say that the eyes are the portal to the soul. However it takes a great amount of concentration and strength to be able to gaze towards the unknown. I‘ll show you to the garden. I neither recommend nor like to temper with time. ‖ ― Yea I can. ―But enough of me.5 ―Do not worry. looking away from her. With eyes like that. I can do nothing. ―Child. Only Griselda happens to have that gift of time gazing. She has human blood that tempers the magick within her. ―My sister Goudiwyln is only half fey. it resulted dangerous to gaze into them.my faerie godmothers can see the yet to come?‖ ―No. Of course she is one of the oldest of us.‖ her voice was apologetic.

I floated towards the ceiling and went through the second and third floor until I reached my suite. The butcher was lying face down on his cutting board. The blue flecks within her grey eyes began to swirl and I received the impression that I was falling. There I found confirmation to what I had suspected. As I breezed through the courtyard and neared the entrance to the palace. I glanced around me and I saw all my people asleep throughout the courtyard. After I blinked. The once lavish quarters that my father had kept according to my whims and desires were now in decay. The world seemed to recede and all I could see were the swirling grey and blue colors. the ever-so-vigilant guards were slumped again the walls. The curse was evidently very strong when cast and hadn‘t lost its power when it was transformed. In the mid of the long-forgotten splendor I lay. The rest had perishable merchandise and hadn‘t escaped the ravages of time. all the silk had slowly rotted away and the lace curtains that had hung from my four-poster bed was now in tatters slowly floating in the breeze. It seemed as though each one had fallen asleep simply by where they were at the time. I glided towards the window and from there observed my once alive and thriving people. The same could be said for each street vendor. I blinked. Everything had rotted or in the process of becoming so. My whole kingdom had fallen asleep at the same time … it had to be the curse that my faerie godmothers had warned me about but there was only one way to find out for sure. a knife cleaved in a bone that had once been surrounded by juicy meat. I felt the loss of my balance but with a sudden rush of adrenaline. the colors solidified and suddenly the blue became the sky and the grey became the walls of my castle. still as death on ratty sheets. I had no sense of my body although I gathered that I was simply a spirit. I saw the same scene repeatedly… and when I finally reached the grand gilded oak doors. although only the potter and blacksmith still had them in good condition.I looked up and met her eyes. The wooden windows had fallen off their hinges and the wind came and went at its pleasure. 30 . Acting on the impulse that the stone wouldn‘t hinder my spirit body. The only sign that I lived was the occasional breath I took but to all appearances I was good as dead. The only clue I had that the sleep had been induced was by the strange positions each person had. My skin had the pallor of the dead and even my hair had lost its lustrous shine. they were all slumped across their goods.

easily bigger than Charles by at least half a meter. I glimpsed the monstrous prickly hedges beyond the walls of the courtyard. his wavy hair seemed like spun gold but with his green eyes and a scattering of freckles across his nose. Just when he was about to walk away. his eyes seemed to darken and his face filled with something similar to pity. I gasped and whirled back to the edge of the bed. With eyes wide as saucers. In the sunshine that streamed from the window. The spot where he touched me bloomed and my entire face suddenly filled with life until even my hair regained its fiery tone. he lowered his lips to mine and my eyes fluttered open. ―I always thought she was the most beautiful woman alive but you are beyond comparison. he simply stroked my cheek. As I caught sight of the first rays of the sunrise. even the banners with the Zilarra crest had long ago faded and were now little more than blue rags waving in the breeze.‖ As if magnetism drew him in. his overall appearance was boyish although very handsome. Curiously. 31 . When he caught glimpse of my body. I breathed and slightly moved my head…causing the crown on my head to catch the ray of sun sending colored reflections across the room.the only things that were surviving were the people‘s clot hes and the people themselves. a young man about my age walked into the room. Before I could assimilate everything I had seen. He was tall and well-built. I heard him as though he also spoke to my spirit. he neared the bed and reached a shaky hand towards the crown but in the end. He seemed mesmerized by my face and whispered in my ear.

In fact. However. Even you would have difficulties recovering and she is actually doing a splendid job of it. I cannot marry as planned since Charles is not the man I am destined to love. she had already seen my eyes but somehow broke the trance on her own. She is quite untroubled after returning from a journey that would have most mortals shaking and half-dead. ― This is another business besides that of your journey but… I think you may have fey blood in you.‖ Maracaeda nodded. They are just anxious to know all that I have recently learned myself. ―Charles is not my true love but I have seen the one who is. returning my attention to my impending date with destiny. ―Cecilia! Are you all right?‖ I blinked and shook my head trying to clear my head. ―Never mind that.‖ Then finally caught a glimpse of the room where the godmothers had me.‖ I laughed weakly.‖ Silence greeted my speech and the godmothers glanced at each other. what did your vision show you?‖ Ateina demanded. After all. ― Yea and I believe I almost made a mistake.5 Suddenly I was before Maracaeda and her grey eyes were peering at me in concern. ―Sisters… let her sort her thoughts thoroughly. Finally Krisee spoke.‖ I cleared my throat and got up from the chaise lounge. No mortal could do that. However.‖ Maracaeda scolded softly the two impatient women. Cecilia?‖ Luisa asked me. no… don‘t reproach them Maracaeda. ― Well. It was identical to my quarters in the castle but smaller. ―I have also been watching her. ―No. she just returned from a spirit journey… from the unknown time. even the half-fey have trouble with that. from what I have seen you must be nearly all fey since even we have difficulties looking into our sister‘s eyes to see the unknown. ―What did you mean by almost making a mistake. I will prick my finger seeing as it is the only way to meet my love.‖ 32 . you certainly have an idea of my taste in décor. with less softness in her tone.

Ateina. Charles these are my other godmothers: Luisa. this can only be an outcome from her blessings. Masel. ―Sisters. Then Charles appeared in the doorway and my smile slipped from my face.‖ ― You have your chance now… Charles has arrived. the mystical eyes of a faerie.‖ I said with a smile.‖ I shook my head.‖ Ateina said forcefully. my petition may sound too forward but I must say I need to be alone with Prince Charles. I doubt she has magickal blood and even if she did… she still would not be able to manage the fey eyes of Maracaeda.‖ Maracaeda said by way of explanation. ―She went to bring him up.‖ Luisa announced before disappearing with a slight puff. I do not want to sum more magick into my life. We are used to having magick help us during our tasks and we are certainly going to make you feel uncomfortable at times. Krisee. Human Mages have not existed for many ages but I doubt we will have much problem teaching her. we are to be wed before spring !‖ the godmothers looked uncomfortable and I stepped forward to hug Charles before addressing them. My only intent now is to bring an end to my upcoming marriage and wait for the next two days to pass. ―She has to train to be Mage. ―This is my husband-to-be: Prince Charles of Cliantus.Masel shook her head and spoke up for the first time. In any case.‖ ―‗Tis just two days. She has tapped into the power that come from seven spell-casters … working magick on her.‖ I ignored the outcries of my godmothers and waved my hands at them to quiet them. for example.‖ I gestured to each of them in turn and they each offered a handshake or a hug as a greeting. ―Nay. Would you leave us for a few moments ?‖ 33 . ―Oh love. Else how could she manage the journey to actually see her love?‖ ―‗tis clear then. ―I want to meet my destined love the way it is supposed to be. to me ‗tis clear. Goodie told me about the curse and I have been looking to solve it… after all. After all. The raw power that is concentrated in her body is what keeps her safe again magick in its pure form…. ―Godmothers. her love will exist sometime in the time to come and if she becomes a spell-caster her life will go beyond her human mortality. ―We shall try to keep our magick at a minimum but we also ask for patience. and Maracaeda.

―What are we to do?‖ I stayed silent even as I heard his racing heart. ―We are not to be wed. ―Charles! Listen to me. However. ―I have waited four winters for you. No.― Do not fret my dear. My patience has been never-ending for I knew that in the end … you would be my Queen. This.‖ Charles looked at me with a blank expression.‖ He smiled and lowered his head as if to kiss me but I turned away. You are a Prince and I am aware ‗tis not simply your title… I know of the duties you have to your country. After an age of sleep… he will find me and we shall be together. Charles pulled me into his arms.‖ ―My true love will save me. I cannot even bear to think about losing you again!‖ ―Charles…‖ I said softly but he paid no mind and continued fretting. ― I simply cannot lo se you …. His eyes were wild and his face had a fevered look to it. He was obviously worried for me but I couldn‘t honestly say that I still loved him knowing what I did about the other man. We are quite aware that you have much to talk with your intended . I have seen him and you are not the destined love for me.‖ Luisa said with a smile and they all filed out the door. I have endured countless fits and procured your many notions. He took a step towards me. 34 .‖ ―No…. willingly.‖ ―My love… you could never wake. ― Pardon me?‖ I said as calm as possible. As soon as the d oor shut. I do know he shall exist in time. I am going to prick my finger. ―Who is this man that will take away the woman I love more than my country?‖ ―I do not know his name.‖ He sucked in a breath and let me go. ― You shall believe me a hypocrite with all I have said to you but… my true love is waiting to be born. A heir is of great importance…every solstice wasted is a solstice less to produce one… the constant worry becomes unbearable… and I have made you lose time. NO!‖ he raised his eyes to my face and I took a step back instinctively.‖ ―Who is he?‖ in a fit of anger he raked his fingers in his hair and began pacing the room. I am truly sorry and contrite for wasting your time. ―What is the matter Cecilia? You are not yourself to-day.

‖ ―Charles. How dare you say that despite my best efforts … a man yet to be born have bested me! There is still hope for my suit though. Your true love is out there… think about it. She is waiting for you to find her and you are wasting time with me.‖ He backed me up until I was almost near the bed. kicking and biting him all the while. you deserve much more than me. 35 .however. I pushed again him but to no avail and only succeeded in shoving him away for a few seconds. That is what one does when love is true and pure.‖ Suddenly he snaked a hand around my waist and pulled me uncomfortably close to him. Even as I felt the burning heat of tears brimming at the corners of my eyes. I still fought at Charles. I flailed at his chest with my fists but he simply gathered my wrists with his left hand and pinned me down. ―Listen to me Charles. Unfortunately.‖ ―My dear beautiful Cecilia. Do not act recklessly. You will not like it one bit. I fell on my back on the bed and couldn‘t scramble away before he reached me.‖ He gave a small chuckle but didn‘t stop his advance ―Then again maybe you will. Once I managed to knee him in the groin and had the pleasure of seeing his contorted expression of pain. has crossed the line. If you do truly love me. you must place my happiness above your own. I fled the room. Calm down. even as he stroked my cheek with the back of his hand. I screamed for the godmothers but nobody arrived.‖ He tutted. do you honestly believe that love has driven me all these years. ―‗Tis truly a wonder that you are beautiful otherwise… it would not go well for you.

I believe it‘s causing you to forget what really happened. Prince Charles?‖ I was still angry at the thought of what he had tried to do to me. What is your account on these doings ?‖ ―I-‖ He cleared his throat nervously.‖ ― My sweet. Were it not for my quick thinking.‖ I looked at him contemptuously. funny how I had felt an attachment to her more so than the others.6 When I reached the bottom of the stairs the godmothers gave a gasp as they saw my ripped dress and flushed face. we had been blessed enough think alike on many things but on this. ― How could I forget what you tried to do? You always were a coward when challenged . ―Did you swallow your silver tongue. ―Cecilia! What happened ?!‖ ―Charles -‖ He appeared at the top of the staircase. Cecilia and I simply had a slight misunderstanding. You never stumbled on a word during reading nor did you 36 . the shining jewel of his country.‖ He half-smiled incredulously.‖ I clenched my jaw and raised my chin in defiance. I stepped forward and faced him squarely. we did not. ―I cleared your doubts about our marriage. you were always a delightful orator. ―These are wicked charges stated by my goddaughter at you.‖ ―Is this true. of such pure lineage intended on forcing me into… a very shameful situation. ―Come my love. you happened to hit your head into the door as you ran out. we still have a few wedding details to smooth out.‖ Even before this whole sordid affair. I would not even be here to give witness to it all. ―Do not fret good godmothers. Charles had always been an eloquent and persuasive speaker … and during these moments he oozed charm and grace. ―Come now. Your Highness?‖ Luisa asked. I hurried to Maracaeda‘s side. My people had been fearsome warriors that had never backed down from any enemy. This noble man.‖ ―No. You should tell my godmothers how you reacted to the information I gave you. I was not going to disappoint a lineage filled with honor and bravery. gracious and self-composed as always. Go on. could not bear the knowledge that my destined love ‗tis to be born. ―Prince Charles.

Only one person has it and unquestionable rise to the throne is swift. each Fey Race broke away from the united Mythical Beings Nation to form their diverse countries. There has not been one strong in the Power suitable for such a high rank during many generations. orders to get home and best of all. It was then that we understood how wrong it had been of us to keep our sister‘s power from them but by that time. ―He won‘t be knocking on our door anytime soon. we were overjoyed. That cannot be true. High Felk flows off your tongue like water in a babbling brook. She looked at each of the other godmothers before continuing. ―Memory wipe. Come with me Prince Charles. ― Your whole body is glowing … and ‗tis the Blessed Fey glow.‖ ―I beg your pardon?‖ I asked incredulously.‖ ―She threatened to kill us all if we mentioned it to anybody. look at your hands.‖ ―Cecilia…. it is. she simply froze us and threatened to burn us to ashes. Now we really should get back to Cecilia. nobody respects the laws if there is no one to discipline them.‖ ―Actually Cecilia. ―The last Queen had been dead for ages and yet Gris did not heed the call of our brethren. Only Lidel. Soon I heard sudden wind turbulence in the gardens and before long. it was too late. she just showed great power… such as our sister Gris elda did during her youth. ―That glow comes from the Queen of the Mystical Beings. ―We need to clean the air before speaking of this. one of our foremothers.‖ Maracaeda said with a self-satisfied expression.‖ Ateina said dryly. However…. After an era of patience. we left Griselda 37 . bettered his distasteful conscience. interrupting my tirade on Charles.‖ She grabbed him by the arm and displayed extraordinary strength for such a small. Griselda laughed at our pleas for her to restore peace and when she tired of hearing. After all. Our populace fell into disorder. was Queen but that was ages ago.‖ Maracaeda said softly. Obviously when Griselda showed her purpose as ordered by the Gods. However…‖ she shot a rather nasty look at Charles before continuing.‖ Krisee said. Finally. she was back to where we stood near the stairs. Griselda was far from being delighted with her preordained high status . frail-looking creature. ―I believe you said I displayed the same glow of power as the mad faerie who tried to kill me.ever pause while answering questions.

―However.‖ ―Once they see the glow of Queen Power. we have seen other signs that you far from common: the journey for example. they stood once again. None should pay worship to me.‖ Ateina spoke quietly and humbly for the first time since I had arrived.‖ Maracaeda said in a reverent tone. and bowed like Maracaeda. If I am indeed Queen of the Mystical Beings. ―To be honest.‖ I paced across the room. None in our family have ever been treated with such kindness by a Queen. ―Although you are simply mortal. ―Please godmothers you are my second mothers in this world. I believe I have also been rude.and came to settle in your kingdom. sounding still a bit reverent. I believe the other beings should honor me but not you. To my immense shock. Your word shall be my only law. Your people were thrilled with the thought of having Fey People as neighbors but Griselda was seething in fury because of our departure. No being shall dare to question because you have Power that none can even hope to match.‖ Then she proceeded to kneel and bow all the way to ground. ―I guess we now have the answer. how you stayed alive in the forest for so long. It has been many lifetimes ago since the last Queen died and the People should believe the line broken. they would not believe me to be their Queen. I humbly place myself at your orders. Besides.‖ ―We always wondered when the restoration of our nation would occur.‖ 38 .‖ Luisa said. We believe in you. My departed father only readied me to rule mortals. each godmother placed a hand over their heart. I cannot be the leader of such powerful magickal beings. they shall believe.‖ ―My sisters have been rude to you Your Majesty. ―We have never been so blessed as to have a Queen touch us. wished me long life. Do the Queen Mothers of the mortal world give praise to their Ruling children? I think not. ―I have been stripped of my kingdom but now I have another kingdom thru into my hands. and your escape from armed men during their uprising. I do not understand how I can be Queen of the Fey People when I am not Fey myself.‖ Luisa smiled at me.‖ I placed a gentle hand on each shoulder of my godmothers and as I did.

for allowing me to stay with you during these troubling times.‖ Maracaeda bowed and when she unfolded herself. Fate is calling me and I do not believe it is to be Queen.‖ Luisa gestured in the air and pulled out a wand out of nothing. True love awaits me in the time to come. squeezed my eyes shut and counted to ten. it‘s a great offence again ones honor. I hugged her. ― The vision showed me at this exact age.‖ ―We shall help you. ― A wand? That is a delightful way to begin fitting me in the mold of magick. I believe you have spare time before falling into the deep sleep. Then letting out a slow breathe. we could teach you the uses of magick. I do not want to be the second Queen to deny taking the throne but… I believe that I have another affair with destiny.‖ ― You have two days to think about your choice. ― You are my second mothers.‖ I wanted to sound majestic and wise but I couldn‘t help but feel like a lonely teenager looking for some motherly love.‖ ―It‘s our honor to have the Queen under our roof.I stopped in the middle of the room.‖ Krisee said earnestly. I looked again at my godmothers. I do not think that the revolution would have ever happened. We begin proper lessons to morrow. though. I thank you godmothers. I shook my head. Do you consider it an offence when one makes ones mother pay respect to one? To mortals. Had I been blessed by the Heavens to be a ruler. Maybe it will change your mind. 39 . ―I am sorry. I am cursed but there is a blessing found when the curse has been broken. During this time. every wand has a bond with its owner and won‘t work with nobody but you. weeping. I pray you shall excuse my rather odd behavior…‖ then I almost ran up the stairs to my room and collapsed on the bed. For the rest of today I think you should test it. Take care of not losing it.‖ I lifted my brows in cynical surprise. ―Do not worry. Your love shall be born in the centuries to come and your curse will begin from two days on. ―I should like to be alone now.

I could still hear all that was happening in the house and when I stretched my conscious… I could faintly sense Goodie in her home. the godmothers taught me all they knew and while I slept. He was fond of the memories of our growing up and spent much time reminiscing. one even they could not fully master.7 During the next two days. I pried on Goodie. they cast spells on my subconscious so that I could retain those and other new ones better. I would know all he knew and be his equal. 40 . I felt an immense draining from my body and fell asleep immediately. they taught me the last spell. In fact. I smiled in my sleep. They showed me the correct pronunciation but since none could even cast it. That night as I readied myself for sleep. It seemed that I had felt the lag on my mind by being aware of my surroundings all night but since my body had been resting. I was also completely renewed. The only thing Charles remembered was a hazy memory of me still a Princess but nothing else. Curiously. When I sensed the sun rising. I had mastered the spell that would allow me to keep in touch with the outside world while under the curse. it was as if I knew ten or twenty new spells and when I cast them. despite my curious condition. He had arrived home safely that night but his mother was suspicious about his sudden lack of knowledge of me. his dreams were all of us during our brief royal courtship and he was truly heartbroken about my death. I would hear his mind and gather my own opinion about him. they worked perfectly. During the hours of that night. I couldn‘t bear to wipe the memories from his heart. I crammed my conscious back into my body and awoke feeling tiredly refreshed. When I truly awoke to be with my true love. Finally on the eve before third day. He had no recollection of my survival and since he hadn‘t told his mother of our impending wedding… she knew nothing of me and my whereabouts. I stretched my arms cautiously testing for any side effects of the spell but all seemed well. Each time I woke up. I took a deep breath and cast the spell. knowing that I should erase my existence from all the land so that I could be forgotten but somehow… as I saw his face light up in joy while he dreamt of our first kiss under the apple tree outside in the stables. it was up to me to determine if their teaching had paid off. my godmothers and … on Charles. I was watching him and his dreams. The only surprise I found was that somehow Charles still harbored a childlike love for me. Better yet.

If Griselda shall know of my survival. As I ascended to my quarters in the center tower. ―I pray you shall not think ill of me but I must ready for the moment of the curse.‖ ―If you shall allow me. You are a true and loyal godmother. cast the curse with strength to encompass the entire world.‖ I said in response to their questioning looks. my mind finally felt in harmony with my body.‖ And they did. I felt two droplets of blood fall onto the ground and from there pull me straight into my castle. she will be furious. I will consider it the highest honor to heal your pain. effectively cutting my train of thought. When I finally finished arranging myself.‖ I rallied all my strength. It will be curious to know if I shall feel the same way then as I do now. When I awake.―We await your decision. if you do not want this. When she finished. you do not need do it. I couldn‘t help but feel a flicke r of fear. ―I feel refreshed and renewed … as normal after one‘s sleep but I also feel tired and with a slight ache in my head. I conjured a needle for the fatal stabbing but even as I held it. it‘s something I must do. and drove the needle into my smallest finger.‖ Luisa said. I felt another single drop of blood land on the ground and from it sprang a rapidly growing prickly hedge surrounding the courtyard.‖ The godmothers barged into my room. ―Your Majesty. I 41 . ―I thank you godmother. I mean to say. I sighed but allowed her to cast her healing spells on me.‖ I smiled at her for a second before remembering that I had to get ready for my date with destiny. ―I have decided it‘s better to suffer the curse. Your Majesty.‖ ―We shall help you in any way possible. Before crossing the castle walls. With a searing pain accompanying each.‖ Maracaeda spoke softly and I would have dropped the needle immediately but for her eyes. ―The spell you taught me last night is wonderful. The pain blacked out my vision but at the same time.‖ I stepped down from the bed. I remembered the face of my beloved and I couldn‘t help but smile. ―No Maracaeda. I saw a dragon‘s blood crimson red spread behind my eyelids while I felt my earthly body fall into unconsciousness. They each kneeled in a semi-circle around my bed but their anxiety was apparent.

―Ah… what do we have here?‖ she suddenly grabbed at my throat and seemed to pull at me until… my spirit popped out of my body. But the trail of sleeping citizens weren‘t the only things I left in my wake. What I did gather was that she was confused by my lack of dead body. around her neck was a thick gold chain with a diamond-studded dagger hanging. Those who had participated in the rebellion and even the leader himself flew across the wall and couldn‘t cross back into the land. I dangled from her hold on my throat and peered helplessly at my mortal body. I was laid gently down on fine silk sheets and the Queen‘s crown appeared on my head.left a trail of my people asleep but those who weren‘t citizens were literally thrown out of the kingdom. ―You should be dead but you seem to be completely healthy… what‘s more… you seem to radiate Fey Power. She had simple cut deep purple silk robes although ornate with golden embroidery on the entirety of it.‖ I didn‘t understand what she was saying because she spoke in another language that was similar to High Felk but at the same time different. ―Well… we really should give you the lecture of what happens when a spirit leaves its body… and your test will be to save your own life!‖ 42 . All I could sense from her were barbed spears and behind them steel girded walls. Certainly. What most surprised me about the woman though was that the moment I tried to read her mind I was forcibly thrown out. ―This is very strange. a trail of forgotten grace and glamour followed as well and as I crossed each place it returned to its former glory as when my father ruled. and in her mahogany hair was an intricate headdress depicting two dragons intertwined. I was assimilating all that had happened when suddenly a stately woman about my mother‘s age appeared. seeing my breaths move my chest. What a way to receive coronation as Queen.‖ Her voice was husky but at the same time held a slight lilt that made it sound almost musical. Her hands were heavily ringed. it had most zest than my predecessors‘ ceremonies. When I finally arrived in my quarters.

While my spirit was in my body. ―Pay tribute to our Queen.‖ All six of them spoke in unison and raised their palms in direction to Griselda and I somehow knew they would try to kill her with lightning bolts fired from each. mustering one would take an enormous amount of power. The godmothers would place all their energies on a single attack … but Griselda had disturbing black tendrils snaking out from her own shadow of malevolent power. 43 . The only physical body I was in touch with was Griselda‘s and even though I knew that casting spells with her power is the only way to save my godmothers from their deaths… I had a squeamish reluctance to embrace the darkness that surrounded her. I tried to remember the lessons of spell casting and the rules that came with the Power … when I finally grasped the key to all magick. While you are stronger than any of us… our powers are still stronger than you are. ―Leave our godchild.8 ―Griselda. I couldn‘t. Perhaps if I was to be in touch with another body I could somehow command the Power in it.‖ Griselda turned around with my spirit still in her hand. and reached out to the shadows around Griselda. ―I forgot… none can see the future but me.‖ To my surprise. The godmothers were badly outmatched and my own power was no longer mine to command since my spirit was detached from my body. ―I do not know what you are speaking of… but you should do well to remember what happened when you tried to attack us.‖ Goodie spoke while my other godmothers also appeared in a flash of light and colorful smoke. Maracaeda spoke in a strong self-assured voice that betrayed her own power that now surrounded her in a bright blue glow. unless you not want war.‖ She said speaking in High Felk so that the godmother‘s could understand. But I sucked in my breath.‖ ―We fear you no longer. You all speak that High Felk nonsense b ut I don‘t. closed my eyes. she is not alone. Lightning bolts didn‘t come naturally to any faerie and even to Maracaeda. Forgive me if I don‘t speak like all of the riffraff from this century. If only there was a way to cast spells without using my own. I had access to the Power stored within but now that I was out of it.

The only solution to the dilemma was to kill him but without my Power. I could hear the whispers advising me to end the other godmothers and finally understood what had happened to Griselda. she kept her power and the hound was now filled with her evilness. My godmothers were thorough in my teaching and I know how to kill you!‖ I smiled maliciously and somewhere deep in my phantom heart.―What are you doing?! You foolish child. I continued to stretch out into the darkness until I was completely within. Then I absorbed all the darkness and malice into my spirit … once I did that I quickly went into the courtyard and stuffed all that evil into the body of the dog. The power she commanded was vast but… I could feel it was less than my own. As I stood victorious over her body. she was powerless to stop it. trying to find me in the darkness when I threw a lightning bolt through her body. he crumbled to dust beneath my gaze then I trapped the dust into a single metal cube I conjured. it was triply charged with malevolent specialized venom that was calibrated to her own life spark. Suddenly a lightning bolt hit me squarely and I heard a chorus of voices while I was lit with the energy. ― You have tried to end my life… let me return the favor. Your Power comes from Heaven itself. stop what you‘ re doing!‖ She shook me angrily but since it was only a spirit she held in her hands. I looked at the dog again and without saying a single word.‖ Griselda batted angrily at her own aura of Power. the light disappeared again but I could feel Power still surrounding me… this time double of what I had ever had. Use it wisely… While I humbly nodded. None could know that woman better than her own shadow and when it attacked again her. I couldn‘t even make him a nightmare. 44 . With her immense magickal strength. Only pity filled my heart as I looked down at her and I cast a healing spell on her. Now with a clear head I looked at the sleeping dog that I had cursed with a sin so ancient that none could ever forgive. I felt the darkness begin to permeate my spirit… almost making it solid. Since I had only taken the wickedness. I was concerned with the touch of evil in my tone. The last thing I wanted was for that much evil to spread into the world. ― You are lacking the knowledge of controlling power.

with the knowledge I had… I could now control limitless amounts of Power and cast spells without even saying a word.‖ Luisa took my hand and kneeled before it. ―I thank the Gods that it was Maracaeda who hadn‘t blessed you yet.As I slowly drifted back to my quarters. I didn‘t want to be powerless before you so I cursed you.‖ ―Should that be possible?‖ I said wondrous. Your Majesty. your spirit will not fit into the shell and will have to wa it to grow a new body. ―I couldn‘t understand that they were only looking for my best interests. ―To have a new body grow from my spirit? That would mean an immortal life!‖ ―It would take thousands and thousands of years to grow a new body but yes… it is possible. but I needed to wreak vengeance on my sisters. If you should delay any more. who outlived your kingdom for ages. I. a mere human. I thought of all that had passed.‖ ―The moment that I set eyes upon you I received a vision and I saw that I would kneel before you. the other godmothers also kneeled and even Griselda covered her face from me.‖ I spoke flatly and without any emotion. I wasn‘t even living here. I brought d estruction to my sisters and myself but they protected me with great zeal and loyalty. Behind her.‖ ― You decided to kill me.‖ 45 . I knew that to harm you would cause them great distress. ―Childe you are the Queen… but what you have done has made you also the strongest of all Queens. I tracked them for many years.‖ ―What must I do now?‖ ―Return to your body. When you were born…. Since my sisters showed an extraordinary amount of attachment to you.‖ She let out a slow breath. I couldn‘t have asked for better brethren than they however I… was… ambitious and wanted them to be my servants. ―Drastic measures. Imagine my surprise. It was then that they decided to leave me…‖ she paused as she tried to control her quivering voice. I really was the strongest being in the world. would bow before you. ―I was Queen but I refused the throne. My other sisters couldn‘t have changed the spell even if they tried.

Everyone chalked it to him being a coward but the trust was that I had manipulated his mind to kill himself. Nothing could avoid my detection and through the millennia to come. When the great country titled ― Tilmizia‖ reached the status of superpower I felt deep within me that my time of sleep was reaching its end. A great war broke out between all the countries in the world and I knew I had the power to end it … but I found men who were determined to end it in their own way. I felt a strange occurrence with my Power. I finally reached an awareness of the entire Xamatril Planet. little did he know of what would come in the future. From there those looking for the best interests of humanity had an easier way to end the great wars for the last time. So I expanded my awareness until it spread across the entire continent. It seemed as though the Power I had before were merging with the new Power given to me through the lightning bolt. His name was Royce Pens and he was completely infatuated with a woman named Elizabeth. I ached to stop them but I waited for the man of the vision… and I stayed asleep. Each year that passed. I ended the sadist‘s life. As I settled in. That knowledge enabled me to see firsthand arguments and each petty war that started. I stretched my magick to its limits and mentally searched through each individual in the world until I found the man I was destined to love. I would be the only one to have first person knowledge of the scandals and diverse problems.Despite my growing curiosity to find out if such a thing was possible. In the end. I breathed easier when I saw the end but then another great war broke out. After one hundred and fifty years. The resulting Power was staggering and even I couldn‘t believe that it was truly that much… I smiled in my sleep and I knew that I now had enough magick to end my curse but I chose to wait for my love. Funny how he thought to love a woman with the same name as me. 46 . They only needed better strategies and I gave them that knowledge during their sleep. This time it was worse than before. I drove my spirit back into my body. I found that my mind began covering the entire world.

‖ His grandfather said while leading him by the hand to the living room. It was one of those nights that his parents had a party to attend to and left him in his grandfather‘s c are. As he watched his parents‘ car drive away until the snow blocked the sight of it.‖ ―It isn‘t a fairy tale. he couldn‘t help but feel let down because to him… it was a fairy tale. I don‘t know. ―I just want to be home with Mom and Dad. ―Come son. His family history hadn‘t been carefully scrutinized during many ages and perhaps it was better that way. his grandfather pitied him. let me tell you a bit of family history. I don‘t want to hear a fairy tale.‖ Little Royce finally let his grandfather lead him to the living room with the thoughts of pirate stories swirling through his head.‖ Roy said while yanking his hand away from his grandfather. That night his grandfather passed away in his sleep from a heart attack and Roy was the one who found him the next morning. however. It‘s more like a legend passed from father to son in our family. his dreams were filled with dragons and moats as he valiantly rescued a beautiful Princess (nevertheless that the Princess looked like his classmate Becky).‖ ―Gramp! I‘m ten years old and besides… I‘m not a girl. As his grandfather told him the story. ―I don‘t want to know about the family history. he swore to be the man that Grandpa had said would be worthy of a Princess. But all I wanted was to tell you a story about a Princess. When they were burying his grandfather. Why can‘t they be home for two days in a row Gramp? Why?‖ ―Son. he forgot his vow and continued his life… without paying any heed of the story that his late grandfather had told him during his last night of life.Royce’s story He was a simple boy while growing up and he most definitely hadn‘t heard of any mythical Princess sleeping her life away in a castle. If many knew that he came from ancient 47 . As time passed. That is until his grandfather told him the story when he was ten. Still when he went to bed.

Even on his deathbed. His peers would simply jeer and create new nicknames for him. or Sleeping Beauty as she later grew to be known. All of the Royal family died at the hands of the conquerors except for a small boy named Denel. King Kitan was a great and wise ruler but when it came to his father‘s last wish. the legend remained as just that: a legend. it was good that no one knew he was a many times great-grandson of King Charles Pendragon. Throughout centuries. passed from father to son until no son was born… then it turned into a fairy tale told only to young Princesses. was born. Prince Kitan rode out in chase of the biggest buck when he almost fell into the thicket outside the castle of the supposed Princess of his father‘s story. He honored his lineage in a way that wouldn‘t get his head chopped off and he continued the blood line in secret. Charles married another beautiful foreign Princess although the first story he passed down to his sons was that of a long dead Princess who was the fairest of them all and that he. although he still kept a part of it. While Cecilia was occupied with world affairs. he obeyed even though it was foolish to leave the safety of the castle just to try to pass the hedge. He was smuggled out and raised by a kitchen maid as her son. the legend of the Fair Lady. 48 . glued to the monitors of his computers and the TV. He insisted on taking each of his sons and grandchildren to the castle when they came of age but none could pass. he would have been harassed even more so. his lack of physique made him look gangly and awkward. Roy was a handsome young boy but as he grew up. the castle threw a grand feast and hosted a hunt in his honor. When his firstborn turned eighteen. the Princes of all the neighboring lands had their try of passing through the thicket but none could. After time. he adopted another last name out of fear. For many this was the norm after visiting the castle… except for King Charles and his progeny. He went back to his father as fast as he could and from that moment on. was the favored suitor. One of his great-great-great grandsons lost the kingdom in an ambush that came as a precursor to war… while they were traveling to the castle. Yes. Charles Pendragon.royalty. he became pasty and although he was tall. his last words to Prince Kitan were never to stop trying and taking all of his male offspring until one could pass. When he came of age.

―Royce! Honestly. 49 . ―I guess it won‘t be that bad.‖ My mom stopped in the doorway and watched as I packed. I sighed but grabbed my suitcase and walked out the door.Eight years later… ―Mom. it was apparent she loved him… even though I got lost in the picture.‖ I rolled my eyes. ―Mom. I think it‘s too late to try to pull the family together. ―You always said that you wanted to meet them remember?‖ ―Yeah when I was like twelve. can‘t you ever say something cheerful for a change?‖ Even though she tried to fight it.‖ She spoke lightly and even forced a smile but I could tell that she was falling apart in the inside.‖ I walked over to her and put my hands on her shoulders. I‘m telling you that you‘ll have lots of fun. Just you and your Dad. ―Are you sure that you‘ll be fine while we‘ re gone? You won‘t get lonely in this mausoleum?‖ She batted at my shoulder. Whatever stupid thing my dad had planned for our mini-vacation had to be better than the hell I lived in the Talmizia. Although she acted indifferently towards him. ―Royce! Don‘t talk like that! Besides it will be fun to visit your Dad‘s family in Mylka… you‘ll see. It really would suck if my miserable childhood had been in vain… and my parents would get divorced after all. I hoped that my dad hadn‘t actually told my mom about the affair. Don‘t you?‖ I said mindful of the amount of sarcasm I put in my voice. Why aren‘t you coming again?‖ ―Oh you know… I hate flying. she smiled and I could see that for just that moment she felt better.

PART TWO: CURED 50 .

When I checked. cynical and most of all dependent on what they called ―technology‖.‖ Although it irked me that he was comparing me to a simple mortal girl. I could smell the exquisite fragrance that they gave out. What he didn‘t see was that behind him. the time that they had spent asleep hadn‘t been exactly a nice dream state for them. They were polite. Considering the fact that I was the Queen of all Fey Beings. I had seen the evolution of humankind. I felt a minor disturbance in the energy field surrounding my castle. The castle had returned to its former splendor and decorated in its usual lavish way: gold. having the late fad in fashion. I wondered if Royce. As he neared my doors. without having to suspect every stranger of being a lunatic ready to kill me. While I was daydreaming away. From what I had seen of his nation … those of my age were the worth in the entire world. I didn‘t think any display of magick would be favorable for me. courteous people when I was still awake but the world I was going to meet now was the complete opposite. and of course. Then I gave a small peek into Royce‘s mind and what I saw there really surprised me. silver. The humans had turned distrustful. he stopped to look behind him and stopped to look in awe at his surroundings.9 During the time I spent asleep. Just as I had seen in my vision. or Roy as I had seen he likes to be called. would be the same way. my people were waking up and by the time he reached my room they had all fled the courtyard. I hadn‘t been able to read his mind while I had seen the vision and now I understood whom he was speaking of when he said. ― I always thought she was the most beautiful woman alive but you are beyond comparison. I couldn‘t help but feel satisfied that my beauty had remained intact throughout 51 . It was as if I were from a different planet… one where I still functioned properly without being rude. and jewels covered most of the walls. Before his feet was a path of rosy colored lights leading the way to my chambers. None could have resisted the allure of such weal but somehow he pressed on to reach my room. They were obnoxious and not to mention incredibly disbelieving in magick. Royce had just crossed the hedge… I caught a glimpse of the roses and even in my spirit body. he burst into my room looking wild but I supposed that it came from the sights of riches that he had just seen outside my room. Apparently.

‖ I said as he looked at me. it began to manifest as a crackling storm of blue energy filling the room and when it began filling my body. As I mustered all of my power. I could cast a spell so that I would speak his rather odd language albeit similar to mine. I see. I decided to cast the spell. ―You know…. I finally cast 52 . Well he stared at me as if he was seeing a ghost and when I spoke to him. You speak … what was it called?‖ he tapped his head with his index finger repeatedly until he said. it was the same situation as with Griselda. With a roll of my eyes. ―Are you alone?‖ ―What?‖ ― You have arrived alone. ―Greetings. But that was spoken … like… in the fifth century! And even then it was being replaced by Common Felk … only the Royalty spoke High Felk. I didn‘ t understand any of what he had said before but since he had nodded his acceptance to believe in magick. Nu-uh no way. When I opened my eyes for the first time in a millennium (well almost).‖ He nodded. If he did. Is your company waiting for you?‖ ―Oh.‖ He continued to fret and mumble to himself while pacing across the room. he was the first person I saw. like when someone had dementia people called it a curse… stuff like that. then yes I do believe in it. ―You can‘t understand anything I‘m saying and I can‘t understand you…This is a complete nightmare.‖ ―I beg your pardon?‖ I looked at him in confusion. ―Magic? Isn‘t that what people during the middle ages called scientific phenomenon?‖ I stared at him blankly. If you‘ re asking me if I believe in magic but referring to science. I began to levitate. he nearly jumped out of his skin. ― High Felk! We saw this in school.‖ ― Do you believe in magick?‖ I asked anxiously. I got off the bed where I was still sitting and stood in the center of the room. ―How in the world did that just happen? This can‘t be happening. I glanced at Royce but he stood again the wall near the door with an expression of fear plastered on his face.the years.

I placed a hand on his shoulder and willed a small healing spell on his soul. Um.‖ ―Tradition? Of what?‖ at first. it was Grandpa who told me this story. I laughed again. but just when they were going to get married. Somehow. ―Don‘t look so surprised. Well my name is actually a little longer but let‘s go with that.‖ ―What am I supposed to tell my father when he sees you?‖ Roy said as we walked down the stairs. ―Supposedly.‖ I smiled encouragingly at him and stretched my hand out to him. he seemed more at peace. ―He brought me here because he said it was some sort of wacky tradition that began centuries ago. ―I‘m Royce Pens. I landed on the floor and looked towards Royce again. our great-great-great … well you get the point. You know how I didn‘t understand you nor did you me. ―You can call me Cecilia if you want or just Celi. the Power I dispelled gave off a light blue glow that surrounded my entire body.‖ He gave a small derisive laugh. what was that blue lightning show?‖ I laughed gently.the spell and as words flooded into my mind. Now I had other pressing problems. she fell asleep in her castle and this huge hedge protected it from undesired visits. I cast a spell so that I could speak Trade Felkish Common. grandfather had been dating this really beautiful Princess. During the struggles. Roy was one of them and this second millennium was another. So here I am. I‘ll explain who I am as we walk. ―Hey. a sudden coup interrupted their plans. When I could at last speak. ―Actually. Come on. ―It wasn‘t lightning… it was magick that I was using.‖ Finally.‖ 53 . You were right before you know. I‘m Princess Cecilia Zilarra. I prefer Roy though. it felt strange to speak in this other language but since it was already settling into my brain. let‘s get out of here. My godmother used to call me that. it began to feel nice. As he continued speaking. He seemed to be trying to muster his courage to walk over to me and shake my hand. everyone thought the entire royal family killed but I guess she survived. sorry I didn‘t introduce myself. he neared me and shook my hand tentatively. instead of dying. Dad has always been too busy to sit down and talk to me.‖ ―I was?‖ he seemed taken aback.

―Who told that story first?‖ It was obvious that Charles had started this whole mess.‖ We stopped by the gate of the courtyard and I looked back to my castle. None had ever been able to try but the faerie had been clear: one of the men in our family would awaken the Princess and help her reach her destiny. she said that when you awakened.‖ 54 . for me. I can‘t believe they are still hanging on to that!‖ I punched the wall in a fit of anger and the entire castle shook. Magick augments everything of the spell-caster. it became a sort of tradition for all the men in our family to try to pass the hedge once they became eighteen. Ugh. ―Um.‖ ―Destiny?‖ now it was my turn to be surprised. you had to fulfill your destiny and become the Queen of the Fey-― ―Beings. He‘ll believe it. any who has magickal power lives much longer than any normal human. she appeared to the first man who had dared to reach the castle… or at least the hedge. but considering your little show earlier … I guess I‘m safe. I‘m going with you back to the Talmizia. and of course life. intelligence. From then on. Granddad said that it had been a faerie. was that normal?‖ ―No.‖ ―What? You‘ re not staying here?‖ ―Of course I‘m not. That goes for physical strength. ―I‘ll miss this place so much. It had returned to its former splendor and even the flags were restored as they waved merrily in the soft breeze. Um.‖ ―Life? What do you mean by life?‖ ―I mean. ―And what am I supposed to say to my dad?‖ ―That you were the man of legend and awakened the Princess. Who knew that the man who had tried to rape me was the ancestor of the love of my life? ―Well… if it was any other person I wouldn‘t even say this.‖ he looked at me incredulously. ―Yeah. Well yeah.

―Correct my grammar then. and encrusted with jewels. ―There.‖ ―I‘m guessing you‘ re a millionaire. I couldn‘t quite explain it but it sent a small thrill through me to hear him say my name. ―This is heavy… are you sure that you can take the other?‖ ―I made the entire castle shake when I punched the wall and you‘re worried I won‘t be able to carry a sack with gold and jewels. All the jewels came off the walls and the gold melted to form a puddle in the middle of the courtyard.‖ ―Speak for yourself… Celi…‖ he added the last in a small voice. You‘re the one who speaks a horrible version of Felkin.‖ ―I already met him but I guess you haven‘t‖ I stuck my tongue out at him.‖ ―Oh yeah… well if you‘re not going to return. embroidered with gold thread. I then formed small coins of the gold and placed them with the jewels.‖ ― Felkin?‖ 55 . ―Well then.‖ I laughed.‖ I sighed and gestured towards the castle. To add to the picture of ancient royalty was my rather impressive crown: an intricate weaving of white and yellow gold with an arrangement of diamonds. Roy gave a low whistle but I ignored him. ―He‘ll totally buy it. I‘m just saying‖ he raised his hands in an apologetic gesture. and emeralds. We‘ re done. Finally. rubies. why don‘t you take all of your jewels and gold and stuff? I mean. ―I guess you‘re right.lost?‖ ―Nah. My gown was made of green silk. you‘re going to need the money once you get out into the world. ―You are one strange character Roy. let‘s meet your dad. can‘t you say that you‘ re just another tourist and that you got ―Yeah… many tourists can pass through the impenetrable hedge of prickliness and dress like this?‖ I gestured towards myself.‖ He grabbed a sack and hoisted it on his shoulder while letting out a small huff. I conjured two great sacks and filled one with gold coins and the other with more coins and the jewels.

I think I spoke too quickly for the spell to keep up and the archaic version came out.‖ I gave a small curtsy that gave the man a clear view of my crown.‖ Mr. the technology. I always thought his cousin had a better chance but anyway. Felk. we were joking and teasing each other. ―She always was the most talkative of the group. ―I can prove it. We kept talking as we crossed the bridge and by the time we reached his father.‖ ―Sir. this is Princess Cecilia.‖ Roy mumbled.‖ ―Royce?‖ he spoke to Roy in a tone that didn‘t seem glad at all. ―Pleased to make your acquaintance.‖ From the sight of his father‘s face.‖ ―So what was it like to be asleep all those years?‖ he asked as we walked out. ―um. ―Yeah?‖ ―We need to speak for a moment. ―Oh he did make it to be King. suitors. I assure you that I‘m the Princess of legend. I guess I was right. Your ancestor Prince Charles -― ―King Charles. Pens broke in. he looked embarrassed but straightened himself. I had never had a male friend during my time as Princess and it really was different to talking with my ladies-in-waiting. and the late fashions but Roy spoke about the world. Anyway. Sorry. actually. You just disappeared on me!‖ His father came and hustled Roy into a bear hug as soon as he caught sight of us. With them. she told that first person that I was a sleeping princess waiting for her true love to end the curse and let me become Queen. and even about the future career that he wanted. you‘re crushing me. ―Dad. It seemed as if friendship came easily to us but who knew if that would make a good ground to build an enduring love.‖ I was a bit peeved that he didn‘t believe me. When his father let go of him. King Charles was my suitor and during the overthrow everyone thought me to be dead until somehow somebody stumbled into the hedge and heard the story from one of my faerie godmothers… probably Luisa.―I meant. it was always needlepoint. I‘m not sure if they told you that I was also Queen of 56 . ―Roy! Oh Gods I was worried sick.

―Sir. So why don‘t you get these notions of double crossing me out of your head and just take us to Talmizia ?‖ he made a wild grab at the sack but I froze him with magick.‖ ―Shush. I won‘t kill you as my tradition dictates on dealing with traitors of your kind. I had a horrid life.‖ ―Dad! These are Cecilia‘s! We can‘t take them from her… besides.‖ His father opened one my sack and looked at a particularly large blue diamond. if she were an imposter would she have all these jewels and gold?‖ Roy gestured towards the sacks. ―He was a jerk. No.‖ I said when Roy began to look uncomfortable.‖ ―Or you could be a very able liar.Genovivia as of that day I fell asleep but beforehand I had been called the Queen of all Mystical Beings. ―Take a look if you want but these are the real deal. Pens. very handsome.‖ ―Don‘t bother Mr. and of course. But this is my only inheritance and I loathe to part with it.‖ ―What are you talking about Cecilia? You would kill my father if it weren‘t for me?‖ Roy looked at me in shock and with the same expression of fear before when in my room. It‘s the twenty-first century. You don‘t know about how I lived and maybe you think that as a Princess it was all butterflies and rainbows but it wasn‘t. ―I‘m sorry Royce. When I found out about the 57 . we‘ re already rich. I‘m an impatient woman and I‘ve been used to getting my way when dealing with others so bear with me. oh he was every little girl‘s dream: a Prince.‖ ―Dad. I‘m just… For almost three years before falling to the curse. During the overthrow. for god‘s sake! Everyone is skilled at bending the trust a little. no I won‘t go on about your ancestor. wealthy. However. my parents were killed… I saw my own mother get shot before my eyes! I survived and thought to marry the man of my dreams… Charles. For your son‘s sake. ―She could be a jewel thief but either way… with these you are welcome into the family! We can sell these on the black market and be very wealthy. she might want to steal from us next. either way you wouldn‘t go far with these sacks. I wouldn‘t steal from anyone even if I were dirt poor. So there… I doubt any imposter would have known the full story.

―Apology accepted. ―I can see that you are a really compassionate woman but you don‘t like to be taken for a fool and that‘s what‘s really bothering you about my Dad. I was a ticking time bomb but he was the one who could reverse the ticker and make me calm down. Mr.‖ ―So? Just because he was a jerk doesn‘t mean that we have to pay the price. sorry Dad. My dad is a bit of a prick. My godmother Maracaeda had to cast a spell for him to forget I was still alive.‖ ―A Queen has to make the tough decisions. Just wait and you‘ll see. I knew why he was my other half. Your many times great-grandfather was a nasty piece of work and that was enough to ruin my life. ―What are we going to tell your Mom about her?‖ ―I think that I can pass off as your neighbor. I didn‘t hear that. He seemed oblivious about my ferreting through his memories 58 . Pens touched Roy‘s shoulder.‖ I smiled widely at Roy and he winked at me.‖ Roy smiled and grabbed my hand.‖ ―Yeah but still… just like make him unlucky in everything… curse him with something but killing him won‘t be the answer to your problems. But this is completely diff-― ―No it‘s not. of course not… we give him a hot meal and let him go home. He‘s just also used to getting his way… unfreeze him and I‘m sure he‘ll apologize.‖ ―I‘m sorry for trying to steal from you. ―Sorry. Pens stood straight and mumbled something to his feet.‖ I already had a plan hatching in my brain as I searched through Roy‘s mind for information.‖ ―Now that everyone is happy we should go back to the hotel and from there catch our flight home as planned.‖ Roy insisted and in that moment. but you don‘t have to kill him just because he tried to rip you off. ―Being a Queen… it may be tough but when somebody tries to steal food from you… do you kill him?‖ ―No.‖ Mr.curse and about you… he tried to… well he wasn‘t very happy.‖ I hesitated but I did unfreeze him.

I couldn‘t help but feel a small pinch of guilt as I heard his opinions of me. I felt worried. who knew that what many in my era would have thought a flaw… Royce found a bit charming. No man alive had ever eluded my charms but what a way for karma to get back at me: the only man I was to love didn‘t love me. I had my work cut out for me even though he found me attractive and thought of me well… he was still obsessed with the so-called Elizabeth. I could hear his thoughts and they were all about that girl. 59 . Anyway. I closed my eyes and settled into the seat as I fine-tuned the details of my new life.and thoughts. For the first time. Beautiful but headstrong that’s a girl worth her weight in gold. Maybe when I was in his daily routine he would change his mind and love me instead but as we rode on into the city. I smiled to myself as we walked back to their car.

―Hey! I was talking to you. ―Um. waiting to hear words of encouragement but I couldn‘t.‖ I smiled when I heard his voice. whatcha doin after school?‖ Rick leaned on the locker next to mine and I tried to ignore him the best I could but… a huge 180-pound jock is hard to ignore. It‘s about time!‖ 60 . My excuse of class hadn‘t been true since it was actually lunchtime but I guessed that it was my be chance of escape.‖ I could hear the derisive hoots that his teammates gave as I walked away. I mean you‘ve been in love with her for like… ever. ―I don‘t want to talk to a bonehead. ―Are you okay Celi? You look like you‘ve just seen a ghost. For the three months that I had spent in that school. well I guess it‘s great that you‘re finally going to take the risk. He was my best friend and I was always supportive… no matter what. That guy and his goons were the terror of all the girls… well for those who didn‘t find them attractive . hassled those who pretty much spat in their face. I think I‘m finally going to ask Becky to the prom. they plowed through the other girls who did fling themselves into their arms and as a pastime.‖ He smiled at me.‖ He grabbed my arm and pulled me back. ―What‘s up?‖ I asked as he got near while taking in his flustered expression. Just Rick again… you know… um. ―I‘m fine. Unfortunately. ―Celi! Wait up. I spent most of my time with my newfound friends but occasionally he found me alone.‖ ―I‘m…‖ I shook my head to clear my thoughts. ―I have to get to class. Roy still wasn‘t over the supposed Becky but we were best friends. Now let me go.10 ―Hey babe.‖ I yanked my arm free. ―Haven‘t I been clear that I don‘t want to go out with you?‖ I said coldly before beginning to walk away. it had been just my luck to have to deal with the captain of the thugs.

I was disgustingly rich and the way things were going… my grandkids would be as well. Besides. seeing as they‘ re all complete meatheads. I had seen his calls but thinking that he was celebrating. I returned home when it was six o‘clock and as I pulled up to the driveway. ―Hey. I sighed wistfully and walked the other direction. I was surprised to see Roy sitting on the stairs. honest.‖ 61 . I put my hand on the stopper. ―No.‖ He got up in silence and walked directly to the bar I had in the library.‖ he talked with his head down and I coughed to cover my guilty silence. you know that she doesn‘t really like the boys here… and with good reason too. ―Don‘t take this the wrong way but… what are you doing here?‖ I opened the door as I spoke. You‘re the best friend a guy can ever hope for. ―Thanks Celi. Thankfully. She really had no idea how lucky she was. Well with the exception of you. ―Hey. You don‘t drink. taking me completely by surprise. that is if none of my offspring try to buy a country or something. With growing concern. dumped my books in my locker.‖ Then. the therapy that all sad girls need. I drove out and went shopping. Just as he was opening a rather pricey cognac bottle. After all. It really would suck if I go to pour my heart out and she already has a date… Wait a minute. what‘s wrong?‖ ―I tried to call. if all went well (and it probably would) Roy would have a ride home. I hurried out of the car leaving the bags inside. and walked out to my car. ―Well… I really hope that she hasn‘t been asked. come on.‖ I placed a hand on his arm and he relaxed. I hadn‘t answered. he hugged me. So I cast a minor spell to make myself disappear.‖ Roy‘s eyes widened and he looked panicked. ―Come in… you‘ll catch a cold outside. I didn‘t want to stick around and hear the buzz when the rest found out that they would go together.He laughed nervously. I blinked and watched as he hurried away to catch up with Becky. That won‘t happen. But you d idn‘t pick up.

―I can‘t believe I actually told her that I loved her since we were in Pre-K. She just looked at me and said ‗sorry… I have a boyfriend. who in their right mind would date that? ―From school?‖ he shook his head and dropped his head on the counter. ―I have issues too.‖ I said as I swallowed. so anyway. ― Where were you? I looked for your car all over the parking lot but you weren‘t there. Becky Harrison. I should know about it. grabbed two glasses. he covered his face with his hands.‖ My mouth opened with a slight pop. At least it was after school so nobody knows but still.‖ ―I ditched school. I drank another glass and half-mustered my courage. ―If you had such a thing as to suddenly want to get drunk.‖ I poured out another half glass. 62 . Maybe next time. and the ice bucket. But why are you drinking?‖ I gulped down half a glass of the cognac I had taken away from Roy. I gestured a glass at him but he shook his head. I was a magnificent Queen and overall friend but when it came to love… I was the worst: a coward. the school bitch… she hated everyone there and was very vocal about her scorn for the average people.‖ He suddenly turned to look at me. that really sucks …‖ ―Why did you ditch school? You always said that knowledge is power and suddenly you just go and leave in the middle of the day?‖ I got up. ―Um. ―I don‘t drink.‖ He scrutinized my face for a long moment until I looked away. ditch school. And I‘m your best friend.‖ With a small moan.‘ Then she walked away and I just stood there. We hadn‘t talked about the situation in which he had saved me from but… I guess I couldn‘t put it off any longer. you were right about that.‖ ―Not that you‘ve cared to share with me. ―Is it about… the curse?‖ he spoke hesitantly and softly.―Becky has a boyfriend. and act overall weird… I think as you r best friend. ― I think he goes to the town college. I sat next to him on another stool and waited for him to speak. But I could.‖ ―You wouldn‘t understand.

‖ Roy looked at me with wide eyes. I meant Roy. I‘ll see you tomorrow. but come on you should have at least told me!‖ ―I saw that you were passionate about loving her. So going with this logic you are-‖ ―Your true love. I felt angry tears well up but I bit my lip trying to prevent them from falling. I remembered the bags in my car but I 63 .‖ I blustered and gestured towards the door but Roy took a hold of my shoulders. With my alcohol-induced courage. You saved me from it. What does that mean?‖ ―I… you know… I suddenly got sleepy. remember?‖ Roy pinked slightly. But you didn‘t say a single word! Why?‖ ― I just wanted for you to be happy because I love you Char… Roy. ―Why didn‘t you tell me then? Back at the castle. ―Sorry.―It‘s sort of the curse… but it‘s nothing. ―You weren‘t meant to be my… my… best friend! You are supposed to be the love of my life and I to be yours. Please Roy!‖ ―We‘ll talk when you‘re in your senses and…‖ He paused with his hand on the nob.‖ Roy let go of me and walked towards the door but paused.‖ ―Roy I didn‘t mean it that way! Come on. I whined and bitched about Becky not loving me and you just … listened to it all! I don‘t love you… I think. ―And when you remember that I‘m not a long dead Prince. ―Why do you always blush when we talk about this?‖ ―I don‘t blush. we talked about many things but you couldn‘t say oh by the way. we’re kind of soul mates.‖ I walked towards him but he slammed the door almost in my face. I‘m just Royce. The supposed love of your life. It was my duty as your best friend to be supportive and-‖ ―To hell with that!‖ he raked his fingers through his hair in a peculiar way that reminded me of Charles when he got angry. I‘m a bit buzzed and you look like Charles when he got angry… I‘m sorry. remember? Only a love true and innocent can break that which a heart full of evil and wrong has cast upon you that was what my godmothers told me about the curse. An awkward silence filled the room. I just…‖ he looked at me strangely. ―It‘s the first time you say that I saved you . I hadn‘t seen Roy upset but now that I was. I finally said the truth. I couldn‘t help but see the similarities. ―The curse was broken because you kissed me.

If I can convince her to let you come over. While I worked on that mindless task.‖ I teased him. I‘ll let you braid my hair and paint my nails. I‘ll pop you over. I took a deep breath and willed calm into my body. That much was clear from his face when he heard my mix-up. I walked up the stairs to my closet. Roy thought that I couldn‘t forget Charles. I heard him hesitate and guessed that it was about his parents. Can we talk tomorrow? I promise to be comprehensive.‖ I laughed and heard as he called to his mother.‖ ―Listen. trying to make it sound like a friendly invite. It wasn‘t until I was back downstairs in the kitchen that it came crashing down. I mumbled the quick spell for magickal lights and soon the house became well lit. ―Okay. I‘m getting kinda s cared of being in this huge house by myself. My cell phone rang and when I padded over to it.didn‘t feel like going out to drag that stuff into the house. Deal?‖ I knew how much he wanted to see more magick displays so that finally won him over. ―Hello?‖ ―Hey… are you okay? I saw lightning strike behind your house and I got worried. I knew I shouldn‘t have begun drinking… it addles my brain and we were talking about a really delicate subject. but I‘m not letting you go near my go lden locks with your straightener. a fork of lightning crashed into my backyard. Can I sleep over? Or can you? You know… like a sleep over. I‘m sorry I wigged out on you earlier. My parents won‘t let me go out but thank God the li nes are still up. who knows how bad it would have gotten. I slammed my fist into the granite countertop and at the exact same time. summoned all of it. The lights went out and only my scented candles illuminated the room. ―Look. When she got on 64 . and arranged them into their respective spots.‖ ―I‘m fine. this time I wasn‘t going to waste it. put your Mom on the phone. ―Listen. I saw that it was Royce. I pushed the problem with Roy to the back of my mind.‖ I had an excellent opportunity staring at me in the face. I couldn‘t become out of control or bad things would definitely happen: while my thoughts became increasingly chaotic the weather had taken a turn for the worse and if it weren‘t for the lightning that brought me to my senses.

I had to use a compelling spell because she simply wasn‘t caving in.the phone. ―I‘m sorry for confusing you with him. Since I couldn‘t see clearly I cast another spell to see.‖ 65 .‖ I shrugged non-committedly. So do I just stand by my front door or what?‖ ―Yeah just stand there and as soon as I see you there.‖ I smiled and Roy smiled in response. Well no. he‘ll be home before school starts… I‘m just scared that lightning might strike again.‖ Roy said as he got back on the phone. ―Well. Now you have to pay the awful consequences. ―Hey. Or maybe even two more greats. In the end. ―I‘ll be ready in five minutes. ―Listen… I was just getting over the shock of Becky having a boyfriend and then I find out that we‘ re like soul mates. I spoke as sweetly and convincingly as I could. Sure. ―So any way… we should really talk about that‖ ―The curse?‖ I said raising an eyebrow. you are one good negotiator.‖ ―Well he is my great-great-great-great-great… grandfather. It‘s no wonder that when you mixed me up with Charles that I got angry. ―Yeah. I‘ll bring you directly to my living room.‖ Were his first words as he slumped over the couch.‖ I ended the call and settled besides the window trying to see through the rain.‖ He coughed self-consciously.‖ I tapped my forefinger and thumb together and his jacket appeared on the coat rack. once I glimpsed Royce on the porch I teleported him into my living room. It‘s on nights like these when I miss my own mother…‖ finally playing the orphan card I convinced her enough to let him crossed the street and stay with me. ―That was awful. It wasn‘t right… but you do have many of the same ticks and gestures. I don‘t think it will make much of a difference whether he‘s here or not but I just don‘t want to be alone. ―Well. you wanted magick. Was it true?‖ I stared at him blankly. ―What was true? Sorry… I‘m not really used to the effects of alcohol on my brain ad got buzzed too quickly. ―Oh okay.

but you didn‘t have to feel pressured into anything. ―I was drunk so I had the tendency to spout truths and love nonsense.‖ I stared at him in shock. ―Well… am I right?‖ ―I-…‖ I blinked for several seconds as I thought it over. kissed you. you could have one that hasn‘t even been born. ―Did you have a choice in love? Or were you just stuck with me and said what the hey… I‘ll just stay with this guy?‖ ―Of course I did. Everyone has a choice when it comes to love… and I think that you should as well. After all. hasn‘t Disney made a fortune because it sells the idea that you are the writer of your own destiny?‖ Roy looked at me for a long moment. and with your magick….‖ I shook my head. Beautiful and smart. and being the Queen of all the Mystical Beings. You could practically make yourse lf a perfect man. Honest.―You said that you loved me… or was I right in thinking that you love Charles?‖ ―No.‖ ―Did you?‖ he got up and set next to me.‖ Roy gently turned my face towards him. You‘re wrong. I didn‘t love you but after these months… your slightly caustic humor and intelligence and … overall goodness… I fell in love with you. ―What do you mean?‖ ―You say that you love me but at the same time it‘s as if you don‘t want to. Then I shook my head. Charles. you could have any man in this world. ―No. As if you don‘t want anything to change… you just said that everyone writes their own destiny… that makes me think that you want to rest-write your own.‖ ―Yeah.‖ ―Why did you choose me?‖ He looked into my eyes and spoke softly. ―I‘ll be honest though. Why me?‖ 66 . Obviously I chose you. I had to choose between you. I don‘t want to rest-write my destiny… I just don‘t want you to think that you have to be with me. ―Do you want me to love you?‖ he said after a while. But it was true. When I chose you. I frowned. ―You are a wonderful woman.‖ ―And that was why you didn‘t say a single word about the curse … and what it meant when I… you know.

I saw how I looked before you arrived.‖ ―Yet here I am.‖ As I spoke. ―A snack? Why in the world would I want a snack?‖ Roy looked at the counter.‖ I got up and walked away from him. No lady… not even a married one. ―I couldn‘t tell you all of this before because… well I was born in another era. It wouldn‘t be a happy life. ―I didn‘t want to stay that way for all my life… nor did I want to live in fear of that fate. 67 .‖ He looked up at me and winked. had wine. One where a respectable young lady never tells a man she loves him… I couldn‘t speak alone with a man… not even if he was my suito r. Do you want a snack?‖ ―What?‖ I asked incredulously.‖ I said blushing. ―Hey.‖ I gestured meaninglessly in the air. ―First you enticed me with promises of magick then you sweet-talked my mother so that I could stay over.‖ ―I‘m sorry. I meant easy. Honestly. a man worthy of me… one that could literally be my Prince Charming. ―That pretty much ruined my reputation in my own eyes.‖ He got up and went into the kitchen. suddenly self-conscious. ―I‘m sure then by tomorrow you‘ll have changed your mind.―I had a vision.‖ I blushed again. You‘re everything I ever wished for and more. ―I‘m even saying those profane words that were never to be heard coming from a lady‘s mouth. what happened here? It looks like an ogre slammed his fist into the counter. Only loose women drank in the presence of men. Loose?‖ ―Oh … pardon me.‖ ―I was kind of angry at … stuff. his eyes clouded over and I knew he was remembering how I was. as a good man. Oh if I dared to even insinuate such a thing… I would be disgraced forever. So I chose to believe in you. Why now?‖ ―I got drunk before. And you are. I looked on the verge of death. Now you‘re opening your heart to me. You know… whores.‖ Roy stretched. ―So you almost broke your counter in anger? Well… I guess we know who would be in the receiving end of domestic abuse if that ever happened.‖ ―So… since you hit rock bottom with your own self-worth… that‘s why you‘re suddenly becoming chatty about your feelings.

―I‘m serious.‖ ―Maybe this is why they say love is blind.‖ Roy said jokingly. if I let myself believe what you‘re saying… I‘ll be worse off than when I found out about Becky. ―We‘ re best friends… I know you as well as anybody can. You‘re handsome. friendly and… you understand me. Why did you always push on with as a Becky visionary?‖ he snorted again.‖ I laughed. got out ham. Well. lettuce. ―You never gave me any indication that you… you know. overall awkward. ―I‘ve been having thoughts of my own.‖ He turned away from me. you‘d be a real catch… even now. ―I‘ve never seen that awkward gangly nerd while you‘re with me. ―I‘m gangly. I‘ve seen you get strangely quiet when I talk about Becky… I chalked it up to normal worries of people who sleep for almost a thousand years and lose all their family but sometimes… I wondered. As I said. you‘re very beautiful and smart… funny. clever. ―Look at you. I‘m not completely oblivious as I seem. cheese.‖ I said as I went into the kitchen as well. I‘ve seen a rather tall.‖ ―You socialize just fine with me.‖ He gave a derisive snort. you‘re drop-dead gorgeous and I‘m just drop-dead.‖ He half-smiled and began making a sandwich. and to make matters worse. he looked at me in the eyes . ―I‘m serious. I have nothing else going on in my favor. ―If I let myself have hopes…. and then looked at me. He put slices of bread into the toaster. It‘s actually been going on for a time now. you doof. he pressed on speaking passionately. compassionate.‖ I was taken aback and when he saw that. You‘re practically a super model and I‘m far from being super. you are one hunky guy. rather handsome nerd but not one that gets tongue-tied.‖ I walked over to him and touched his face.‖ he waved at me vaguely. and wealthy as well.‖ I gently pulled his face towards me and this time.‖ 68 . ―You have everything going on. In my time. ―So why didn‘t you ever tell me?‖ Roy looked at me puzzled. and mayonnaise. liked me as more than a friend. I daydreamed sometimes what it would be like to date… you.‖ ―Of course I didn‘t. I have a chronic shyness that impedes my socializing like a normal human.―Why are you joking around… we were having a serious conversation. Besides the fact that I saved you from the curse. ―I‘d be completely brain-dead if I never thought of us that way.

―I know. I smiled and covered his hand with my own. I didn‘t miss my parents nor did I wish for everything to go back as before. When I returned to the living room. Want one?‖ he smiled and grabbed the packet of graham crackers. our foreheads remained touching and I could feel his racing heartbeat under his cotton shirt beneath my hand. ―Why?‖ he came into the living room and I set the pit on.We laughed for a second and then Roy placed a hand on my cheek.‖ He said to me when he saw me throwing a fireball into the pit. I looked into his eyes and for the first time in nearly a millennium. ―Well that‘s a nice party trick. We couldn‘t watch television because the lights were still out but I conjured an indoor fire-pit. You can convince anyone to see it your way and that is invaluable for rulers. Roy was spreading his 69 . ―I‘ll show you.‖ I laughed as he began to make his s‘more with exaggerated showing off. I felt perfectly happy during those moments and I somehow knew that everything would be just fine.‖ Roy said as he settled in next to me. ―You should get back to your snack.‖ ―You‘re just a sucker for chocolate. how to make the best Talmizian s‘mores. The light came back and my clock started blaring as it always did when it reset. ―You know. I start to see it.‖ I conjured a bag of graham crackers in one hand and in the other five king-sized Hershey chocolates.‖ Before I could ask what he meant by that. ―It is a cold night after all. The hours passed away quickly and before we knew it. ―Why it is that you were chosen to be Queen. I guess I didn‘t need much persuading though.‖ Roy laughed and I walked back into the liv ing room. please. When we broke apart. little Miss Princess. it was ten o‘clock. grab the bag of marshmallows and the two sticks from the drawer. he slid his arm behind my back and pulled me close so that he could kiss me. not breaking our gaze. ―Hey. Persuasion wins over force. just as when he first saw me in the castle. ―I thought we could have s‘mores.‖ I added. I smiled.‖ ―What?‖ I asked.

You‘ve stayed over at your friend‘s house who just happened to be a girl but not at your girlfriend‘s. ―I mean. darling.‖ ―I am?‖ ―Yeah. No not that either.‖ ―I have a guestroom.‖ I couldn‘t h elp it any longer and laughed. I just kind of freaked out. Even though I 70 .‖ he let out a breath and I laughed again at his relieved expression. I mean. ―Not to mean that you weren‘t a girl but I mean. ―It‘s cool. ―I‘m … uh. ―Don‘t worry.‖ I paused and looked at him in mock anger. getting ready for bed.‖ I raised an eyebrow. It‘s really your decision. I‘m still the same. I‘ve never stayed over at you know… a girl. ―We‘ re dating. ―Roy. if it‘s okay with you.‖ ―You‘ve never stayed over at a girlfriend‘s house. one who isn‘t my friend. Twice had been actual schoolwork but the others were when he went to small parties and lied to his mom about it. I—‖ I interrupted before he burst a vessel. You‘re always welcome to the guestroom… as I believe that you‘re used to staying there?‖ he had stayed over on various occasions for equally diverse reasons. ―We are dating right?‖ ―Yes!‖ he coughed. Don‘t worry. The guestroom is all yours.‖ Roy turned a deeper shade of red as he caught my meaning. you‘re complicating things way too much for yourself. I‘m not going to take advantage of you.sleeping bag on the rug and I couldn‘t help but smile as he was smoothing out the minute wrinkles on it. You won‘t find much changing now that we‘ re dating.‖ I said gesturing towards the other room on the opposite side of the house. I‘ve made a mess of things. what are you doing?‖ He looked up quickly and flushed scarlet red. ―Yeah… sorry. girl… house. You don‘t have to.‖ I went over to his sleeping bag and sat down next to him. ―I didn‘t mean that! Gods. ―Hey. I loo ked at him and he was looking at me with a half-smile on his face.

―This isn‘t the way… we should be. I didn‘t just sweet-talk you because I thought it would happen. I don‘t know how I was lucky enough to have you.‖ I looked at him.knew that it was wrong to do so. ―Honestly.‖ He kissed me again and somehow I ended up on my back on the sleeping bag. ―You talk too much. I mean. I forgot as well. ―You just are. 71 . it‘s our first day together… you know. We were getting pretty hot and heavy when he pulled back and said. I knew Royce wouldn‘t forgive himself if we actually did it… but at that moment.‖ ―You win then. somehow my qualms gave way and I teleported us to my bedroom… and in my bed.‖ I kissed him. officially. Not my idea of how I would I would lose my maidenhood. I sincerely do love you with all my heart and-‖ I pulled him back into another kiss and when it ended. He placed his arms around me and laid his head on mine. I just want you to know that if anything does happen. I whispered. Sorry. love. I leaned again on his chest and dimmed the lights. I didn‘t think he noticed and before long.

we need to talk. As I was finishing dressing. ―Hey. He raised his bedraggled and tousled head to look for me when he didn‘t feel me by his side. How do you manage to make that slight pop ping sound?‖ 72 .‖ Roy reached out to my face and stroked my cheek. you had that same reaction. As I looked at Roy‘s face beside me. The boy I had seen when I first woke up from the curse would be the same man I would see each morning by my side.‖ I said feeling a bit abashed. I forgot about her. Finally.‖ He slumped back to the pillows. I got out of bed and walked into the shower. ―Look. when I said that Becky had a boyfriend. Roy woke up.‖ I said kneeling on the bed and kissed him.‖ He pulled me back onto the bed and I sat down cross-legged. ―Ugh. ― Last night… I don‘t think it should happen again. I chuckled. ―Don‘t make me feel ashamed of ruining your shining virtue. I just laid there as I recalled last night until I remembered that he had to be home before school started. It was a cute thing to see him search for me on the other side of the bed. Mom.‖ I looked at him with narrowed eyes but then I remembered that he had tried to stop and that I had been the one who had pretty much forced him. ―That‘s not what I meant. It was truly the most wonderful feeling I had ever felt. ― I‘m sorry for…‖ ―Don‘t be. ―Uh…‖ he had a blush that was the brighte crimson red that I had ever seen but I knew better to laugh. ―You‘re a wonderful woman but this shouldn‘t happen again unless we get married.‖ I was standing back up again when he grabbed my hand. ―You know. amused with the idea that I had been with a man who literally still lived under his mother‘s thumb and that I had gotten so angry with Charles for doing so as well. sleeping beauty.‖ My mouth fell open.11 The next morning I woke up at four. I felt happiness so complete that I couldn‘t honestly believe it. ―But you‘ll be if you don‘t get back to your house. That meant he almost had to back or his mother would probably cut my head off.‖ I said as I kissed him again.

―I always have moist lips and when I suddenly open my mouth it just happens. took my hands out of my pockets. ―That‘s for a good reason.‖ He found his pants and put them on. and covered them with his.‖ I said . since fate brought us together.‖ He blinked several times but my mind was still spinning. I think it was a first for you as well… but since. my father would have probably gutted you like a fis h by now. ―You were… I mean…‖ he cleared his throat. ―It was your first?‖ I stared at him wondering what he might be thinking now. ―Thanks.‖ I got tired of seeing him search for his shirt and summoned it from the living room. Roy turned around. ―Question or statement?‖ ―Kind of a bit of both. I‘ll be darned if I don‘t treat you as I would have if I met you in that time.‖ He took it from my hand and put it on hurriedly.‖ ―If you had. ―We have to get married then. absentmindedly watching as he searching for his clothes while wrapped in the sheet.‖ I had followed him with my head down deep in thought and actually bumped into him as he paused in the doorway. in this century people don‘t get married in their teens. ―From what I have understood. She would have had you eating your own genitals and then bled you like a pig.‖ He seemed relieved but caught hold of my hands again. but you know. ―I know I wasn‘t born in your time… but I‘ll be damned. ―Here‘s your shirt. I doubt we‘ll find better people to spend our lives with than with each other. Roy had spoken of marriage and that alone had my head spinning.‖ I ignored the fact that he used a word like ―savvy‖ and tilted his face back up. ―She really had a bad temper but 73 . That is if my sweet mother hadn‘t gotten to you first. sorry for that… it kind of slipped out. I …‖ he looked down at his feet. ―What is it? Did you forget something?‖ I asked confused. ―It was my first as well.‖ My eyes widened and I heard him saying ‗get married‘ repeatedly in my head.‖ Then he began to walk out of the room. ―I‘m not quite savvy in this. ―Wait a second.

‖ I looked at my wristwatch. I just don‘t understand what it is with you Pendragons and getting married quickly. You should head on over to your house.‖ ―Oh…‖ then the rest of what I had said seemed to sink in.‖ ―That‘s a month away!‖ I said in shock.‖ ―Obviously.‖ I shook my head. It was originally Pendragon but I guess through the years. ‖ He laughed and continued walking out. 74 . I couldn‘t bear not being close to him for another second and hugged him tightly. When we reached the living room. when would you have us married?‖ ―When we graduate.‖ I said frowning at him. When he was finished he put the bag near the door and began to grab his coat. he began to gather his sleeping bag and put it into his carry-on bag. she was the gentlest of all women.‖ ―I forgot that you don‘t know what your real last name is.when she was happy. Love. ―Okay then… I don‘t guess you would like for me to cook breakfast?‖ ―Mom must be getting anxious. ―I do.‖ ―Pendragon? My last name is Pens. ―You don‘t want to get married. ―Five o‘clock. Besides. she likes to keep an eye on me as I eat. ―What do you mean by ‗you Pendragons and getting married quickly? Did you marry Charles?‖ ―No! Of course not. ―He wanted to get married in two weeks… imagine that! Obviously this was before I knew of you. your family dropped part of it. We can talk on the way to school… you do want me to pick you up?‖ Roy searched my eyes for something but I guess he what he found was to his liking and nodded. Roy let go of my hands. She has this insane idea that someday I‘ll choke to death on a too hard piece of scrambled egg.

my cell went off and I hurried to answer it. When I shut the door behind him. and planted a soft kiss on my lips. While I was frying bacon.‖ I said as I looked into his eyes.‖ I let go of him then. ―As I love you Celi.―I love you Roy. I couldn‘t help but feel a horrible sensation in my stomach… sort of a bad feeling. watched as he pulled his coat on. and walk out the door. Roy smiled. ―Cecilia! Royce just had this horrible accident and …‖ 75 . hugged me back.

‖ She whispered the last part but I paid no heed as I hurried into the foyer not even bothering to thank her.‖ ―She can save him. Pens! Where is he?‖ Gina. When I felt all the Power flowing through me. and his father stood behind her still holding the phone next to his ear as if he didn‘t even know it was there. It was still beating although faintly so I closed my eyes and concentrated. his 14-year-old sister came out to greet me. She‘s probably the only one who can. In my hurried state. I didn‘t feel like wasting time in such things as walking so I turned off the stove with a glance and popped to his back yard. ― He was on the fourth floor leaning on the banister of the balcony when it suddenly gave way. I know all about you! My husband went mad trying to find the way to break the curse… then he took my son to that god-forsaken place… now look at him. I don‘t know if my brother will make it!‖ I heard the rest of what Gina was telling me and I couldn‘t help but feel dazed finally my sense kicked in and I interrupted her. Pen whispered to his wife but she gave no heed. I kneeled next to him as well and placed my hands over his heart. He fell head-first onto the floor… marble floor. sobbing wretchedly. and then I continued working on Roy. we‘ re waiting for it. ―I‘m saving his life. Finally. ―I‘m here Mr. The Power was just beginning to flow through my body when suddenly Mrs. I got tired of her shouts and simply froze her. Have you called the ambulance?‖ ―Yeah. ―I‘m coming over. you little witch?‖ she said in a voice dripping venom.12 ―Oh my god.‖ I hung up without waiting to hear any more. and Mrs.‖ ―I‘ll be damned if you touch him with your cursed magick.‖ Mr. I concentrated on his slowing heartbeat and whispered the one word of blessed 76 . ―What are you doing to my son. Pens yanked my hands away from him. His mother was beside his body.

fey magick that would save his life. ―Heal.‖ I sensed each spark of Power that scurried down my fingers and into his heart. They realigned his spine and fixed the vessels that had been broken by his splintered bones. His lungs inflated again and he took a long painful breath… then the little sparks began to knit each bone back together until he was perfectly fine again. As my Power circulated through his body making small repairs here and there until it flowed back to me, giving a clean bill of heal. I remembered his mother and unfroze her. She was just about to tackle me when Roy opened his eyes. ―Celi?‖ he blinked twice as if to clear his sight. ―What are you doing here?‖ ―Oh Roy!‖ His mother grabbed him in a tight hug as she started to cry again. ―I thought I had lost you forever.‖ Just then, the paramedics burst into the house. They took in the splintered wood around us, his wailing mother, and the rest of us just staring in shock at Roy… well except for me; I was just tired… and thought the worst. ―Ma‘am, we‘ll have to take him back to the hospital, unless you wish to call the funeral home right away?‖ Mrs. Pens stared at them in shock. ―I think I‘m fine, sir,‖ said Roy as he stood up from his mother arms. The expression on the paramedics‘ faces was priceless. ―The call came for an eighteen-year-old male who had fallen four stories onto a marble floor.‖ ―Yep, that‘s me.‖ He rocked back and for as if waiting for reprimand. I stood and cast a small compelling spell on the paramedics so that they left without asking more questions. ―I‘m guessing you had something to do with this Celi?‖ I smiled at him, tiredly. ―Aw shucks, it‘s nothing.‖ ―Nothing?‖ Gina came out from the shadows and pulled me into a tight bear hug. ―My brother was half -dead and you brought him back to life! And he‘s completely healthy! I don‘t think that‘s nothing.‖ Mr. Pens stretched his hand to me but seemed as if he was containing tears again. ―I thank you as well. It was a good day that my son found you.‖

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―No.‖ Mrs. Pens looked at me with burning hatred in her eyes. ―I told her to wait for the paramedics but she just cast a spell on me and kept on working. I can‘t trust a person like that.‖ ―Ma‘am… you would prefer to have a dead son in the hands of the paramedics or a hale and hearty son in your arms?‖ I said as respecting as I could. ―Obviously a healthy one.‖ ―You‘d have had a dead son if you‘d continued to harass me and prevented me from healing him. I‘m sorry ma‘am but it‘s the truth.‖ ―What is it to you if he‘s dead or alive?‖ said his mother with narrowed eyes. ―Since when are you so concerned for my son?‖ ―I have always been concerned for your son.‖ I shot back and it was true… each time he got the flu or some minor virus; I had always visited him to heal his little aches and pains. ―Why can‘t you just be happy that he‘s alive?‖ ―If it had been anybody but you who had saved him, I would be.‖ I gasped, her sons looked agape at her, and Mr. Pen just shook his head. ―You‘ve meddled in my life before you ever laid eyes on Roy. The very first date with James I had to listen to his prattle of a beautiful Princess that he was going to free from a curse.‖ She took a breath and continued. ―Then I went with him to Mylka so he could have his go at finding her but when he couldn‘t pass the hedge, he was so angry. He blamed it on me… said that it was my fault for being there that he couldn‘t go through. So he sent me back home while he tried again. Two weeks later, he came back and asked me to marry him. I was ecstatic but… he wouldn‘t shut up about you. I always felt as if I was his consolation prize since he couldn‘t have you.‖ ―I apologized many times and assured you it wasn‘t so.‖ Mr. Pens interjected. ―Prattle and nonsense. Then after apologizing, you would go off on some mythological research and always the same topic ‗curses‘. I convinced myself that he was going mad but then he began to insist on taking Roy. My Roy, I wasn‘t going to let him addle my boy‘s brain with that silliness. I agreed in the end, but on the condition that he would leave my son alone after that. Imagine my surprise when they show up here with you in tow. I thought

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that since you were free from the curse you would set up home somewhere else on earth… but no, you bought the house in front of ours, enrolled in my son‘s school, and even became his best friend. I‘m just tired of you. You‘re a Princess… can‘t you find another boy to pester?‖ ―Mom…‖ Roy spoke softly. ―I love her.‖ He took my hand and pulled me to his side. ―I plan on marrying her… and I really don‘t want to her to pester another boy.‖ Mrs. Pens just about had a heart attack and if it wer en‘t for a small Tranquilizing Spell that I mutely cast… she would have. ―You‘ve gotten into his heart… now I guess I‘ll never be rid of you but my son‘s happiness comes first. So… if you hurt him, I swear you will find me similar to a bear protecting her cubs.‖ With that, she huffed and walked up the stairs, I reassembled the banister and floated it up to the balcony where I had been but she shouted, ―Leave it! We have money to fix it the old -fashioned way.‖ I looked at Roy but he shrugged and I dropped the banister again. ―I‘m guessing you finally told him about the rest of the curse?‖ Mr. Pens asked me. ―Yeah…‖ I looked at Roy and smiled. Gina came up to us then and began to ask me questions so fast that my spell worked overtime to translate them. While I thought the answers and waited for the translations, I barely noticed when Roy let go of my hand and moved to talk with his father. In the middle of answering Gina‘s second question, I remembered that Roy had his A.P. World Geography test that day. When I turned to tell Roy, I saw that he was deep in conversation with his father and I turned back to Gina. ―Listen Gina, I have to go… I think I left the stove on and anyway I have to get ready for school. Can you do me a favor and tell Roy that he has an A.P test today?‖ she nodded and I waved good-bye to Roy as I walked out the door. I stood on the edge of the sidewalk, looking both ways when I felt the sensation that someone was looking at me. When I looked back at the house, I saw a window on the second floor open; I thought nothing of it… until I remembered that the house had an integrated heating and cooling system. I turned back around and saw the muzzle of a rifle poking out; I faintly recalled when Roy told me that his mother had been an excellent markswoman while in the Marines during her youth. As I saw the bullet speed towards me, I had enough time to consider my chances of healing from a wound of that kind but in the end, I materialized a shield in front of me and the bullet dropped on the

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Roy bounded out with Gina on his heels. ―You have to shower because… you know… last night. I smiled indulgently at him. ―Roy. No bullet can hit you and anyway you can heal yourself. ―So anyway there‘s a minute left before class starts… do you need more than that?‖ ―Of course I do.‖ With that. ―No. ―Okay then…‖ I closed my eyes and gestured with my index finger into the air. Suddenly the door opened and broke into my thoughts. ―My mother just shot you but you‘re asking me if my sister told me about my test today?‖ ―Ah.‖ I smiled and gave him a quick kiss. Alas. it seemed odd to me that their father didn‘t follow them but as I concentrated on what Roy was telling me. we were out of time now so we were alone. ―Are you all right love?‖ he peered anxiously into my eyes for a second before examining me. When I looked back up at the window with the bullet in my hand. so she did tell you..P. 80 .‖ I said not wanting to tell him outright that he needed to shower. Pens. I walked back to my house. she hasn‘t lost her edge.‖ I showed him the bullet. it was closed. A person like you… is practically immortal.‖ he nodded then and I settled back to where I was. ―It was aimed directly at my heart but I put up my strongest shield and it couldn‘t pass. Once at home. she was fourteen so she probably got the gist of what I was saying.ground by my feet. I forgot about Mr. ―I‘m going to get ready for school. without bothering to check for cars… either way. ―Thank God the years have dulled her edge or I would have lost you. Um.‖ He hugged me tightly but I pulled back.. It‘s still in that last minute. ―You survived. ―I‘ll pause time for fifteen minutes… is that enough?‖ he nodded. honey. if you need more time. Gina giggled and I smiled uncomfortably at Roy.‖ I didn‘t feel the need to tell her that I was immortal anyway since I could always grow a new body.‖ Gina looked wide-eyed at me. test?‖ He blinked in surprise. I still have a lot to do. Roy didn‘t and continued looking puzzled at me until I whispered in his ear. ―There… it starts now… don‘t waste any second of it… oh and don‘t bother checking your watch. did Gina tell you about your A.‖ He said sheepishly.

as soon as I end it… we‘ll be back in the time stream and go on with our normal lives.‖ ―And me showering was a special occasion?‖ he said looking skeptical.‖ Roy settled again the seat and glanced curiously at me.‖ Roy laughed.‖ I said after giving him a quick peck on the lips. ―It‘s odd. ―Oh all right. ―Hey… I didn‘t know you were already in the car. ―But I like to be with the rest of humanity so I don‘t keep it for long except for special occasions. ―How does this time pausing work?‖ ―Well. ―You healed me when I was on death‘s doo r and stopped a speeding bullet. I held on to his hand for dear life. ―I didn‘t feel like pulling out into your mailbox again. ―There should be a bunch of traffic now. whil e I was getting ready. And at home. Finally. nobody was around and it felt really creepy.‖ I said. When I finished.‖ He said as we breezed through the clear streets. Come on. Then I searched for yesterday‘s assignments and got to work answering using the teacher‘s copy. I was born ready. Can you take it?‖ ―Love.‖ He said as he got in. When he did. ―This will be our first day together as a couple.‖ he continued to look skeptical at me and I caved.I finally got around to making my breakfast. how much more can you show off?‖ ―You don‘t really want to know. while pulling into the school parking lot.‖ Then I got out of the car and waited for him to join me. 81 . he arrived looking quite fetching in a sea green polo shirt and jeans. ―What do you mean?‖ I said looking at him. I just wanted to show off some more.‖ ―How long can you hold the pause?‖ ―Indefinitely. I checked the oil on my car and waited for Roy. ―I heard from a certain specialist that it could be harmful to let that …sit in.‖ He said giving me a brief but passionate kiss.

Roy pulled me to face him. ―Listen. obviously overlooking the fact that we were obviously a couple. I wanted to talk to you about yesterday. so would you go? With me. ―I guess I decided too quickly and … um. I‘ll go with you. I was thinking… remember how I wanted to go to the opera hous e and you talked me out of it?‖ ―Yeah. I like the opera. As I drove home. I met up with Roy by my car and was in the middle of hugging him when Becky came up to us.‖ She wrinkled her nose.‖ He looked properly rebuked so I took pity on him.‖ I laughed at his exuberance but didn‘t bother cutting his inspiration short. don‘t tell me that you‘re recycling dates. I mean.‖ She crossed her arms over her chest and with a crimson blush on her face walked huffily away. I let go of him slowly but held on to his hand. ―I still have to buy the tickets for the opera so we can go to the movies tonight but tomorrow we get our opera on. ―Oh.‖ I said before giving him a kiss. you wanted to take Becky and I told you that she couldn‘t appreciate a good opera if it bit her on the-― ― Er… yep. ―Hey Royce. ―Lucky for you. ―Oh some stuff… women know how to get under their skins be.‖ He hugged me enthusiastically. ―That sucks.‖ I smiled sweetly. ―Not as bad as having the girls implanted.13 When school let out.‖ I looked at him disapprovingly.‖ I narrowed my eyes at her but she pressed on.‖ ―I‘m going with my girlfriend … Cecilia. ―Hon. rebound… huh?‖ she said looking at me. ―Really?‖ I nodded and he hugged me again. he talked about his plans and 82 . ―What was that all about?‖ he said as he pulled me into a hug. It was obvious that he didn‘t want to stay in and be tempted to repeat what happened last night.

―I serious Roy… my younger sister she was like that too… paranoid as heck and thought that I was going to kill her so I could keep the throne. I glanced at him wistfully. I would bleed to death before reaching the hospital. ―Royce…‖ I said using the full version of his name. ―My mother is an unstable woman… I‘ve seen that with today‘s events. I understand. ―She‘s my mother. But I think that you can take care of yourself…‖ I shook my head and pulled away. what do you want me to do?‖ he asked with a touch of anger. Roy. Roy grabbed his bag and got ready to get out of the car but I placed a hand on his arm. it‘s cool. I can‘t feel safe around her.‖ He looked a bit baffled and I continued before he spoke. Suddenly. my sister was in… it was too late. I felt tired of hugs and hungered for a kiss but Roy. ―Your mother… she hates me… enough to want me dead.‖ I said even as he shook his head.‖ ―No. One day the maids took her lunch to her room but my sister was in another of her confused states … when the p oor woman tried to give her the tray. I can‘t just lock her up. When I pulled into my driveway.‖ ―I know you may not want to get married young… and if you aren‘t okay with it.‖ ―I‘m not saying that you‘re immortal… but you are obviously very powerful. didn‘t even try. You could heal yourself.‖ He shrugged and pulled me into a hug. It‘s another thing about it that has me worried. I‘m okay with marrying you. ―If she ever manages to get me by surprise and actually place a bullet in my heart. I can‘t heal. I was simply well prepared today.once. I can‘t.‖ ―She could be a danger to herself and others. My mother refused to have her locked in her room.‖ ―Well. as if he expected the rebuttal and prepared for it. ever chivalrous.‖ I looked at him and saw the set of his shoulders. ―About marriage. I was supposed to have been married a month ago… but here I am. gentlemanliness didn‘t seem so perfect. Until the metal is out of my body. ―You forget I‘m from a different era. she grabbed the knife and slit her arms from 83 . when she realized the danger. she would have effectively killed me.

and settled into the Jacuzzi. peeled of my clothes. I spoke to him before he got out. ―Anyway. I slammed that one as well and went into the library. I wondered why he didn‘t kiss me? It‘s not as if I was going to lose something. ―Roy. Just as I was getting comfy. and jammed the key into the lock of the front door. She bled to death and my mother blamed herself for many years. fine have it your way. Nothing is more relaxing than a nice long soak in a whirlpool bathtub. Suddenly in a fit of anger. I don‘t want to see you suffering that way too. ―Certainly not worth getting drunk over. more like a peck. and smiled tenderly before leaning in to give me a quick kiss.‖ He looked at me with the saddest eyes I had ever seen. ―What the hell am I doing? So my boyfriend doesn‘t like kissing me.‖ He got out and walked to his house.‖ He pulled me close and I thought he was going to kiss me but in the end only kissed my forehead.‖ I smiled at him and patted his arm. I heard my cell phone ring in my room. Just as I was pouring another. stalked crossly across the lawn. ―Yeah you were spying and not bother denying it. Please it‘s our second day together… I don‘t want to fight. ―Hey before you go… good -bye kiss. I paused. I let it ring twice before getting up to grab a bathrobe so I could answer. Once I opened it.‖ He looked at me. I checked the ID and I saw that it was Roy.‖ I heard Gina shouting angrily in the background.‖ He mumbled absentmindedly. throwing my bag into the ground.‖ ―Okay… okay. Gina was spying on you from the window and saw your little fit.‖ I went into the bathroom. ―She‘s my mother. I poured out a glass of cognac and gulped it down.elbow to wrist in a single vertical line. are you still up for the movies or are we staying in?‖ ―I have homework. love. I slammed the door. ―See you tomorrow Celi. I‘m sorry for saying those things about your mother. ―Hey. What‘s wrong?‖ ―I just wanted to apologize. I had pretty much given him all last night. I‘m just saying what‘s best for the both of you. Who cares?‖ I picked my bag up from the ground and walked up to my room. I shut my eyes and then got out of the car slowly.‖ I smiled as I heard their 84 .

she gets really sensitive when I catch her stalking you and even more when I tell you. ―Don‘t worry hon. ―I‘ll take my chances. Love you. Despite recently coming out of the shower I was the picture of perfection. I was curious about what he wanted since he had been clear about not wanting to hang out at my house. Now. ―So why were you apologizing?‖ I didn‘t thin k his clean mind could find the source of the problem. he was less than likely to come. Just as I suspected. She said I probably did something wrong and that it was my fault that you were angry. I‘m fine. Somehow.‖ he hung up. As I walked down the stairs.‖ I laughed. Listen can you give me a call when you‘re Jacuzzied ―Sure. Finally. want to join me?‖ When I first bought the house. though it wasn‘t as relaxing as usual.verbal sparring until Roy shut the door. Roy was clueless.‖ ―Sure. ―Hey I didn‘t make it to the shriveled pruniness so I guess you can come over. ―Sorry. albeit perfection with damp hair. I resigned and stepped into the shower. he had come over like five times just to be in the Jacuzzi … that is until his sister started to tease him that he came to see me in a bathing suit. I just couldn‘t understand why Roy seemed so standoffish with me. I dried off my hair then set the towel on its rack. I‘ll be right over. The doorbell interrupted my musings and I hurried down the stairs. not noticing my bare feet until I was opening the door.‖ I sighed. 85 . I hope she‘s not right. Roy really was a piece of work. Now he was coming over nearly during sunset. bye.‖ ―Love you too‖ and he hung up. I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a hall mirror. Just be warned… if you come over. out?‖ ―No… I‘ll pass. you‘ll find me all shriveled and prune like.‖ He laughed. I sighed and got back to the tub. I was actually getting my Jacuzzi on when you called. Once I was dressed and ready. ―Well… I‘m not sure but Gina harassed me until I called to apologize. I called Roy back.

leaned in for a kiss . The question is would you marry me for love or just for a tradition ingrained in you?‖ I looked at him surprised.‖ I rolled my eyes. ―And here I was. I want to marry you because I love you and because it‘s the right thing to do.‖ ―I do love you.‖ ―But I do!‖ he seemed desperate enough but I didn‘t know whether to believe him or not. I believed you loved me.‖ ―So marriage?‖ I shook my head. ―The more I hear Roy… the less you convince me that you love me. ―Sit down. ―Thanks… they‘ re my favorite pair. I was raised to be a gentleman. that‘s your name.‖ I half smiled incredulously. It was wrong for me to take advantage of you last night. ―I swear that I love you beyond belief.‖ He thought for a second. in that order.‖ ―You don‘t even know my full name and it needs to be on the invitation.‖ Roy said as way of greeting.‖ I gestured towards his formal button-down shirt and dress pants. ―Cecilia Zilarra. ―It‘s clear that during your time period… it was imperious that you married at eighteen o r younger… for child bearing purposes. ―Love the shoes though. He laughed and. ―So come on in.‖ ―The right thing? Because we had premarital sex?‖ ―Well yeah. You look nice yourself. ―I think we‘ re not meeting eye to eye on the marriage thing. It isn‘t because of love or anything else… just drilled-in tradition.―Hey… you look delectable in that dress. But with me it isn‘t that way. Anyway… what‘s on your mind tonight?‖ He relaxed in the couch for a second before talking.‖ ―You want to marry me because we were to gether last night and because you were raised that way. I have to respond for my actions now.‖ ―What?‖ ―You could marry a thousand guys now… if you wanted.‖ 86 .‖ He walked in a bit anxious and hung his coat on the rack. dreaming of rainbows and pink butterflies. for once.

You aren‘t getting cold feet are you?‖ ―Of course not.‖ I smiled.‖ I looked at him confused. ―I‘m sorry that I always make such a mess of things. Is this still about the marriage thing?‖ I looked into his eyes. ―Sorry again. You just… you‘re so beautiful. ―No. Your plasma should do just fine. Who knew what he was planning? ―We can watch a movie. I‘d walk through fire just to be at your side… I‘d give up my Power and my immortality … if it came down to making a choice between you and magick… I‘d c hoose you every single time. ―It‘s just that I want to make right everything as soon as possible.‖ I snuggled into his side and he placed an arm around me. He was holding himself in check. Once I had placed the bag into the microwave. you‘ll probably get an apoplexy. To my surprise. ―Sure… just choose a movie while I make some popcorn. He seemed uneasy but also excited. I‘ll marry you because I love you and because if I don‘t. I gave his mind a quick read and saw that his thoughts were in turmoil.‖ He smiled back at me and kissed me softly.‖ He sighed and hung his head between his hands. ―Listen… I was angry but it doesn‘t matter. That‘s the short version.‖ 87 . Personally. he turned to me and kissed me with a passion that had my head spinning. You o bviously deserve much more. ―What‘s wrong honey?‖ I asked him as I walked over to him.‖ I reluctantly got up and walked over to the kitchen. ―I told you already … We‘ re getting married because we‘ re in love. Esmeralda Maria Elizabeth Joana Cecilia Zilarra that‘s my full name… you should learn it. I also… um… I‘ll get to it later. He hadn‘t moved from the couch and had his head in his hands. I looked over at Roy from the sink where I was washing my hands. It‘s fine.‖ I walked over to where he was sitting and placed my hand on his shoulder. ―Was that your only problem in mind?‖ ―No. ―Then I remember that I‘m a totally undeserving cowardly cad of a man and I think to myself … why is she with me?‖ ―I love you… that‘s why. ―I don‘t know… I‘m just… each time I‘m here with you and I see your beauty before me…I can‘t believe my luck…‖ he let out a slow breath.‖ He half-smiled and tucked a stray red curl away from my face. Now I understood why he didn‘t want to kiss me.‖ ―I‘ve made you angry.I laughed.

but I always imagined that my wife and I would have our first during our honeymoon. He pulled back for a second and I wiggled my left hand in front of him. maybe I‘m being an ass. I know this is an old-fashioned idea and. ―I… I really thought you were going to leave me…‖ I whispered. Besides. ―It‘s not like it‘s the end of the world.‖ He cleared his throat and got down on one knee. in a Princess setting. why not?‖ I muttered sarcastically. Quite the opposite in fact.‖ Roy looked at me for a long moment before speaking. ―I wanted to finally be yours… and to know that you were mine. and spoke the words I needed so desperately to hear. 88 . Roy!‖ He looked at me in shock. The band was made of silver and held a large diamond fitted. This morning came as an eye-opener for me when I woke up in your bed. ―I‘ve never heard you curse before. accordingly. ― Esmeralda Maria Elizabeth Joana Cecilia Zilarra… Will you make me the happiest man on ear by agreeing to be my wife?‖ I was speechless as I looked at the stunning engagement ring nestled in the small velvet box that Roy held in his hand. ―I just about had a stroke just thinking I was going to lose you. your wife won‘t even know the difference. This problem you keep imagining… it‘s all in your fucking mind. Magick you know?‖ ―It really does become you.‖ ―Since you‘re going to leave me anyway.‖ He said admiring the ring. ―I already put it on. ―You know that I felt the same way but I‘ve always believed myself a gentleman. ―Instead I‘ve—‖ ―You had sex with me… so?‖ I got up from his side angrily and began pacing.‖ He lowered his head. ―Yes!‖ I laughed and pulled him to his feet to give him a thorough passionate kiss. ―What?‖ he walked to where I was.‖ ―So… that‘s a…‖ Roy began rather awkwardly.―Made right?‖ I repeated confused. ―I‘m sorry ok? I just…‖ I felt a warm bloom on my cheeks and knew I had a bright red blush on my face. befo re remembering that he was still berating himself for last night. hell. ― I love you and I‘m not going to leave you. took hold of my hands in a tight grip. if you don‘t marry me.

―Hey instead of watching movies… we should celebrate our engagement!‖ I gave him a quick kiss before popping myself to the kitchen. is that spaghetti almost done?‖ ―Yep. Just then. I sent three small sparks to light each candle in the middle of the table. ―Um…‖ ―Don‘t worry I‘ll just make spaghetti‖ I said with a laugh as I started the spell that I‘d perfected for cooking. the microwave pinged and I wistfully broke off our kiss.‖ I gave him another passionate kiss. ―There… fully done. 89 . ―Whoa. ―You don‘t have to…‖ Roy started saying as he walked into the kitchen. ―Of course it is. and dimmed the lights.‖ I said giving him a quick peck before grabbing the casserole and setting it on the table. Finally. ―I‘ll get that… choose a movie or something.‖ Then I had a better idea. the table was set.‖ ―Is that even edible?‖ he said while I pulled the place settings out of the air.‖ I smiled as he pulled the chair out for me and waited until I had served my own plate with spaghetti before eating.―Everything does my sweet.

‖ I flushed. Becky was my distraction from you. Watch.14 ―Why don‘t you choose a movie to watch while I wash up these dishes?‖ I said while popping each dish into the sink. During our friendship…. and cram my head with information until I was about to burst. ―Anyway. open my quantum electrodynamics book. I‘m just going to magick it all clean. I‘m not really used to having company over and I forgot that we always did the dishes together each time you stayed over before. If I allowed my thoughts to settle on you for too long.‖ He said before pulling me close.‖ He said as he settled next to the dish rack. finally making up my mind. I plan to right my small mistake 90 . I just did it out of habit. ―Magick cuts corners on things. ―Do what?‖ ―Send me off to do some meaningless chore while you work. As I decided to either magick them clean and thus enjoy more time with Roy or to do them the old-fashioned way so that I could think of some wedding details. I‘d find myself in a crazy daydream where we lived our fairy tale ending because you loved me. now that I have you. ―So… I should get going now…‖ he said after looking at me for a long second. and spoke in a low murmur.‖ I pointed a finger at the dishes and they became sparkling clean before floating over to their respective cabinet. and kissed his nose. ―You‘re the most beautiful woman I‘ve ever seen in my entire life. ―Why?‖ I didn‘t move an inch from his arms and noticed that he didn‘t either. I shifted in his embrace.‖ I shrugged. I‘d shake my head. his struggle apparent in his expression. ―Sorry. I‘m perfectly capable of helping you. his left thumb softly grazing my lips. Roy himself appeared in the kitchen and grabbed a dish rag. Besides it‘s marriage not a housekeeping contract. ―I hope you won‘t do that when we‘ re married. When this happened. That was the only way to stop thinking about you… and now….‖ ―I suppose I‘ll get used to it. curled my arms around his neck. ―Why are you so worried about being alone and close with me?‖ Roy looked tenderly at me while tracing the contours of my face.

I ran my hand down the front of his shirt. and pulled him again me. He placed his hands on each side of my head and tried to regain his composure. I vanished our clothes away. I reached for him. Quantum Physics. Once there he took me in his arms and carried me to my bed. to make matters worse he began to explore my curves and lifted me on the countertop. and I want to be closer still… and then… things get out of hand…‖ I smoothed the worried lines from his forehead and gave him a kiss on each cheek.and give you that fairy tale ending that I had envisioned before. Why not?‖ With a shaky hand. I left only a few spheres of colored light to illuminate the room before falling into ecstasy as his intense desire peaked. you should know that… well. ―Wait. ―This isn‘t…right?‖ he spoke less certain than before. ―It‘s just the tiniest way on how to demonstrate affection for someone you care deeply about. I didn‘t want him to back away from me. Hours later. He hesitated for another instant before dropping his lips back to mine and he lowered his hands onto my waist. sending small wisps of magick to pop each button. The moment our lips met again. not when he was finally giving affection to my hungering senses. He kissed me back with an ardor that had my body enflamed with yearning. I gazed at his face lovingly and gave him a small kiss.‖ I said teasing him lightly before giving him a small kiss. ―Why not?‖ I said while looking into his still-lust-darkened eyes. ―We‘ re in love… and engaged. But a kiss doesn‘t always end that way. impatient to have him close again. But each time I‘m near you. and pulled it off from him. He gave me a wicked grin again my lips and shifted our bodies into a better position. if you‘re adamant of not acting on our justified desires towards each other… then I won‘t push any more. ―You‘re the love of my life and now. setting me down gently. we‘ re getting married. at least in principle Mr. and I wrapped my legs around his torso. wait…‖ he said breathlessly while breaking our kiss.‖ I punctuated the sentence with a kiss but I didn‘t think about his reaction. I settled again him again and I felt 91 . when the scent of your skin reaches me. I awoke spread across his chest before he stirred. I reached out to his face and outlined his lips. He whispered in my ear to take us to my room and I willingly obliged. You don‘t have to worry about the fairytale ending anymore… it‘s guaranteed. I don‘t know what comes over me. That being said.

Get out.‖ Just when I was about to let loose a torrent of angry profane insults.‖ I blinked in surprise. I didn‘t reply and instead closed my eyes. much less tell me to bring us to my room.‖ My mouth fell open and I was instants away from blowing him up into a billion microscopic pieces but I took a deep breath and cleared my head.‖ I shot back angrily. he looked at me suspiciously. He gently moved my arms off him.‖ ―I know I have only myself to blame. you shouldn‘t have given me that second kiss. 92 . I felt a wave of emotion from him. tantalizing your senses… not to mention giving you heart and soul in a silver platter. I could understand why he felt guilty but his gloom was incomprehensible to me.‖ Roy spoke over his shoulder and resumed dressing. ―Fine then. When I finally saw why he acted that way. When I did speak. By the way we were going.when he finally roused. ―If you knew you were going to regret doing this. thinking that I was still asleep. His ache and sadness engulfed me and I overlooked my anger. Pausing in his search for his shoes. ―And it was you who said my name as we made love… wasn‘t it?‖ ―What else was I supposed to do besides enjoy myself? You did seduce me after all. ―Home. I couldn‘t resist smiling. ―What‘s wrong love?‖ ―I told you how mistaken this was. He spoke angrily but his feelings were an odd mix of sadness and shame. you could hardly think that we were going to play checkers.‖ He said stiffly. I‘ve learned my lesson about ‗seducing‘ you. I began to search his mind seeking answers to his strange behavior. I was levelheaded and answered in a cold voice. ―Where are you going?‖ I said when I saw that he was getting out of the bed. ―Well it was you who told me to pop us into my room. He had spoken the word in a curt tone.

‖ I said between kisses and he didn‘t even wonder why I answered to his thoughts since he hadn‘t spoken. He stood motionless as I wrapped my arms around his nude torso –his shirt still in the kitchen. Only one thought was at the forefront of his mind as he rationalized sleeping over for the whole night: his parents would be waiting for him to arrive home. You should be angry and wishing to kill me where I stand . either you suddenly stashed a weapon in those trousers…‖ I leaned forward and gave him a deep. ―Hey dad…. ―Do you have any idea what that does to me?‖ Throughout this exchange of caresses and words. we‘ll continue our little parley. almost purring the words.‖ ―I‘ll call Dad. ―Did I ever tell you that you look incredibly hot when you get angry?‖ I crept steadily across the bed towards where he stood.‖ I grinned and gave him a quick kiss anyway before settling back in his lap. ―I really should go home…‖ he shifted but the movement only served to show how ready he was for me. and not for home. ―I don‘t want to sound as if I‘m about to make love. ―Well. Just when I was about to give him another kiss. ―What?‖ I unfolded myself from the bed gracefully and glided to where he stood. I‘m just finishing up 93 . listen I‘m going to stay over at Celi‘s house…No. He alternated between momentary angst and flashes of memories of being in bed with me. ―I‘ll call your father and tell him you‘re sleeping over. Stay where you are and when I finish talking to him. he shook his head. provocative kiss that had us both gasping when we broke apart. I gave no heed and straddled his lap effectively keeping him my prisoner. ―Or home is the last thing on your mind. his thoughts went nonverbal.―Why are you smiling?‖ his thoughts were still an open book for me to read them.‖ I snapped my fingers and his phone appeared in his hand. although he sat up immediately. ― Oh you know…‖ I whispered in his ear before giving him a kiss on the earlobe. What is she up to now? His heartbeat went haywire but somehow he managed to answer calmly. ―How masculine and enthralling you look when you get all riled up?‖ I backed him up until he was back at the ed ge of the bed and pushed him down onto it.

―What‘s on your mind. vanished his trousers away. Ok. that‘s disgusting. he was happy and even gave me a soft kiss before making movements to get out of the bed. The next morning I awoke before he did and opened my mind so that he couldn‘t throw any nasty surprises at me. I‘ll be safe. Bye. darling?‖ I pulled his mouth back to mine. ―That clear up my opinion for you. Dad.‖ I wrapped my arms around his neck and leaned my forehead again his. fine….homework but we‘ re going to stay up late…I don‘t want mom and you to wait up for me… Dad. he thought to at least fa ke as if it weren‘t that way and stay at his house. ―I‘m all for relieving you of your agitation … but if you‘re still against that…‖ He took me by surprise and flipped us back onto the bed before rolling me under his body. Of course. and arched onto his full length as he thrust into me. Roy lay back down next to me and pulled me close before speaking. love. I laughed and popped to my side of the bed. This time though. I want to talk to you. ―Wait.‖ ―But…‖ he tried to think about reasons for my sudden change of mood but came up with nothing. sweet?‖ 94 . I‘m not having this talk now…. ― You got me all agitated … and now… nothing? Is this some sort of twisted game or revenge?‖ ―No. Before I had searched his mind last night.‖ he ended the call and I disappeared the phone again. While giving me sexy kisses trailing from my jawline down to the soft swell of my breath. he murmured again my skin. ―I was waiting to hear you lecture me again on why we shouldn‘t get all hot and heavy again… and that sleeping without touching should be the be policy… all that jazz that you were harping on about before.‖ I said placing a hand over his before he sat up. Since his principles were dust as far as I was concerned. not at all…‖ I popped back to his lap. once I saw that he‘d only been pretending to be mad so that I wouldn‘t try to make him stay the night. ―Where were we?‖ he said as he ran his hands across my back. ―I believe it‘s time to go to sleep. But… seeing as you changed your mind. just don‘t…. I was ready to fry him into nothing more than a pile of radioactive ash. He hadn‘t felt guilty about sleeping with me but about making me angry on purpose.

‖ he said after playfully swatting my behind. rather than saw.‖ ―I came this close to striking you with lighting. ―That has to be the very worst…‖ I felt. when he indignantly rose up and began his rant. God. honey. ―Are you staying for breakfast?‖ ―You did what?‖ I paused in mid -summoning spell for my slippers when I heard his livid tone. still not daring to turn around to face him. ―Roy!‖ I blasted him –on a moderate setting– and he listened to me. ―Roy.‖ I repeated. ―Who are they?‖ ―My godmothers and… Evan.” I spat his name out.‖ He said dryly. you would be put off.‖ I moved away and started to get up. I read your mind. Suddenly I felt a transporting spell at the edges of the lawn –where the protection hex I set around the house ended – and strode over to the window to see whom the spell-casters were.―Why were you so angry last night? Well before I made you forget all about it…‖ I winked at him. ―The thought never crossed my mind. ―I know.‖ I raised my thumb and index finger. Obviously I was wrong. just having the word pass through my mouth left me with a bitter taste. spread millimeters apart. My reasoning was that if you saw what an ass I was. ―That‘s the only priv ate place left to me and you just…. ―We have company. we have bigger issues to worry about. ―I wasn‘t angry. ―I just wanted you to think that so you would throw me out of the house and hopefully not let me in until we got married.‖ He rubbed his back while walking over to the window next to me.‖ I urgently called out to him without looking away from the window. 95 . and I can‘t even be angry because you were confused and…‖ I idly inspected my manicure and waited for his blustering to subside. ―I read your mind. He didn‘t pay attention and continued fuming.

―Your Majesty.‖ They spoke in unison and bowed before me. although that fink of Evan could somehow find the way if he had enough time. ―Actually.15 I hurried during my shower and pressured Roy to do the same. we were about to fully petrify when Maracaeda felt Roy‘s birth.‖ 96 . ―I thought you had given up magick two centuries ago… although it‘s great to see your faces again. We have to go talk to them. ―Come on. ―Ugh. During nine hundred and ten years.‖ Luisa spoke for all the women. ―What brings you here?‖ I said reaching out from behind the shield to give my godmothers each a hug and kiss. I curled my upper lip and looked him directly in the eye. She told us then that you were about to awaken and gave us hope again for Feykind. allowing them to pass but still kept their magick from being used on the grounds. pulling clothes for Roy.‖ I let the shield form around their individual bodies.‖ I said weaving my fingers through the air and once finished.‖ I snapped my fingers and he appeared clad in the clothes I had magicked up for him. Kudos on the spell repressing hex. ―Can we come in?‖ Maracaeda spoke softly and my heart warmed. come in. as usual. I eyed with distaste and ignored completely. ―I‘m sorry if it seems rude of me to keep this hex in your presence but I have many enemies and I can‘t take any chances. I remembered that it was thanks to her that I had Roy. My own outfit had floated outside the shower and I only had to wait for Roy to dress. ―If it weren‘t for my godmothers.‖ ―It‘s normal for the Queen to take precautions. I added silently.‖ Well almost all. this is making me impatient. I‘d let the shield do its work and kill you where you stand. ‖ Evan spoke for the first time. ―Yeah. I had worked on my own particular brand of magick and no soul alive knew how to bypass my security. though. It wouldn‘t do to let the unwanted visit have time to figure out my complex shields and protection hexes. Then I grabbed his hand and popped us out on the lawn before the godmothers and him. Evan though.

‖ Evan said in a droll voice as he spread out on the chaise lounge. ―Love. ―We‘ re getting married in a month. ―It really was a pity you didn‘t wake with my kiss.‖ I turned to Roy and spoke only to him. ―I know. ―If I want to marry him it‘s because he isn‘t my consort. you still think well of us despite our… mistake?‖ Krisee lowered her head.‖ I smiled shyly and presented them the ring on my finger. I just can‘t believe you would lose hope in your own sister‘s spell.‖ Ateina said as I ushered them into the living room and they sat down on the couches. ―He seems nice. She reminded me that she hadn‘t participated in the making of Evan although she had allowed it to happen. That daft boy you have for a consort ill becomes you. I just can‘t have a bad opinion of you.‖ Evan said casually before closing his eyes for a nap.―Your Majesty. ―High Priestesses never marry their consorts and Queens.‖ Maracaeda said as she reached out to pat my hand. 97 . ― We were better suited for each other after all. I felt the color rise to my cheeks and gave silent thanks that Roy wasn‘t there.‖ ―Maracaeda‘s spell was clear. ―I‘ll always think well of you guys. got it?‖ I wanted to tear him limb from limb with my own hands and he smiled roguishly when he detected the thought.‖ ―They did what they thought was be. would you do me a favor and pack your things at your house? We‘ re moving in together ok?‖ I silently sent him a Compelling spell and he nodded before walking out the door. ―Not true actually. I know that what you did was in my benefit. I shook my head and held the door open for them to pass into the house. why just the very idea of that is stupid. Roy is my true love. clearly demonstrating that the subject was closed.‖ I said before turning back to my godmothers.‖ He said giving me a wink.

―Don‘t tell me that you honestly want to have that mortal at your side for your entire existence just because some spell decreed it so? Maybe if you removed the spell. you should have known that we weren‘t meant to be.‖ I wanted to shout the words into her face but kept calm. No use in losing my temper when they were still being civil with me. and spoke in a neutral tone –devoid of his usual charm and slight tone of disdain that he usually used while talking. ―When his kiss didn‘t work. despite my judgment. I didn‘t know. ―I thought so: the most powerful Queen of all ages reduced to nothing more than a silly sentimental human girl. he seemed innocent and. somewhat attractive. I could take away Griselda‘s original curse –canceling Maracaeda‘s remedial spell in the process —but I didn‘t want to risk losing Roy in the process. she had brought the imprudent Evan into my life. not to mention clouding your judgment. If she hadn‘t talked my other godmothers into giving him their magick thus becoming somewhat my equal in Power. causing your strength to weaken. I have to take care of him. he wouldn‘t even be there. ―Why did you have to bring him?‖ ―He is my charge… until he either gets married or decides to live on his own. after all.‖ Evan had awakened again. and you can‘t cast spells that you normally could if you had full Power. or had simply faked being asleep.‖ She looked at where he was sleeping.‖ ―I heard somewhere that everyone writes their own destiny.I looked at Luisa incredulously. ―I love Roy and I want to be with him. even after I had warned them that if they ever tried to contact me again I would rip their innards out and feed the rest to the wolves. With his face slack and relaxed.‖ ―How much of that love is really yours… and how much of it is magick?‖ I was at loss and couldn‘t answer him because honestly. ―He‘s still young after all… We kept him at the age we found him so that he would grow old with you.‖ 98 . I knew that if I wanted to.‖ ―I…‖ His words echoed everything that I had thought before yesterday when Roy said he also loved me. You don‘t have to be with him… he‘s only the product of magick infatuation and I know that sooner or later you‘ll see how incompatible your relationship is.‖ ―I don‘t want him. you could finally have to chance to fall in love out of your own free will. Those two spells cast on you are taking an amount of magick from you.

‖ I pleaded to my godmothers. he refused to take a room until he was the last one.‖ Luisa hesitated and Maracaeda answered for all of them. ‖ ―No.―I don‘t care.‖ I felt slightly dejected and looked at Maracaeda in hope. I led him towards a room on the third floor. ―You have to let me give you retribution for taking me in when I had nowhere else to go. I don‘t see why it should be a problem. it doesn‘t matter if I lose Power or not. My house has ten rooms and it does get a bit lonely at times… as long as you don‘t mention any of this to Roy.‖ ―You can‘t blame me for still hoping. ―We will. the godmothers having taken the ones on the second. I think you should think about this on your own… we understand that it‘s a big decision that you will have to make and we won‘t pressure you. ―I didn‘t mean any disrespect Your Majesty but think about your subjects… they deserve to have you looking out for them and having a Queen in all her glory and Power.‖ I stated while raising my chin in a gesture of defiance. ―Wait. I‘m your Queen so mind your manners when speaking to me. ―I think it best… Evan made good point of Your Majesty‘s duties to the people and of the Power you should have. we are equals in Power. I felt Evan‘s eyes on me during the while and of course. Your Majesty. ―Surely you‘re not leaving?‖ Masel took me by surprise and answered.‖ He took a step towards me but I stood my ground. Finally having made sure he was fine.‖ ―Stay here. we won‘t trespass any more on your hospitality. I made to leave but he caught my hand. 99 .‖ I jerked free. While Roy is by my side. ―Get those ideas out of your head Evan. ―You‘re a lovely woman and technically.‖ As I showed them to their rooms.‖ I popped out of the room before he could say another word. It‘s useless. Thank you. and we were left alone as I showed him where he would stay.‖ He stood from the lounge and the godmothers did as well. We both know what Fey Law says about Soulmates. Evan raised his hands in surrender. ―Well.

I appeared back in my room and worked on fortifying the hexes around it. deep in meditation. just ask. As I sat in lotus position on the bed with my eyes closed. I have a nagging feeling that her bad mood is because they arrived . Without opening my eyes. Now that I’m here she has her hippie moment and meditates while I have to deal with all this crap that I thought was important at the time. She wanted me to move in. ―Yes. Roy arrived with his belongings in tow. I couldn‘t take my chances with a man like that. Who knows if they had something between them… wouldn’t put it past her to manage having a secret boyfriend while we were still friends. I love you Cecilia.‖ I opened my eyes and unfolded my legs slowly. ―If you have questions. Once satisfied that it was strong enough to prevent him reading my thoughts. specifically the mindprobe blocking ones.‖ “He’s staying too?‖ Roy said already knowing the answer. She couldn’t tell me who that guy was or why he kept looking at her so much. The women are my faerie godmothers and they‘ re staying until I fix the situation that they‘ re in. so I bring my stuff.‖ He griped as the boxes tumbled to the floor. I fixed his clothes into a wardrobe and materialized another dresser and chest for him to fix his other things into it.‖ I still didn‘t open my eyes and in my magick heightened state. ―Questions? About what?‖ Shit. ―I never had any boyfriends. Could it be true that the spells were taking away Power without me noticing? That could be detrimental when trying to protect myself from other powerful spell casters.‖ I said when his worries finally got on my nerves. ―I thought you were going to pop me here. his thoughts peppered my mind without having to search them. Maybe he came to see what was up because she hadn’t called him in two days… and that was why she sent me away when they came inside the house. I forgot she read minds.‖ 100 . watching as he bustled around organizing his things. just ask. ―If you need anything else.Evan Dragonwild had an inborn ability of reading minds without having to use a drop of magick. I finally allowed myself to dwell on what he had said before. ―Very funny Roy.

Pixmen are the offspring between pixies and humans. ―Evan is an orphan pixman. his father simply disappeared into the night and out of Evan‘s life forever. I sighed and finally began Evan‘s story. they aren‘t as rare as you would think since pixies are not so different from us. Fey children‘s growth and magickal development comes directly from their mothers and when they are born. it would be impossible to spot that difference. Imagine Evan who hadn‘t been taught how to use his magick attacked by his own father who. It was then that Luisa came upon him and filled with compassion for the poor boy. Obviously he lashed out with his own reflexive magick that came naturally to him and other little tricks he had devised through trial-and-error but in the end his father decimated him until he was half-dead.―Who is he anyway?‖ I reached out and took his hand. Half-Fey children when in a human womb pull life from their mothers and when born. undoubtedly. Her body vanished 101 . so half-Fey children have greater amount of magick than all other pureblooded Fey. When he sat down. obviously. He grew up in an orphanage and never knew of his father or his heritage until the night my godmother Luisa found him. their tradition dictates to have a magickal sparring to set the second in command. pulling him next to me. they pull half of their mother‘s magick to begin their life sustaining magick. Fey males take seriously these sort of things and pixies more so. for a normal human. He patiently waited for me to start speaking but I knew that he wouldn‘t like knowing who Evan really was. the coming of age for all of Feyblood no matter their bloodline. Evan‘s mother was one such human who succumbed to a pixie‘s inborn magnetism and since Fey bondings with humans are banned. In a matriarchal society that has little to no room for men. since it was mostly backlash from improper use of magick. The only difference between pixies and humans are the pixies‘ inborn abilities and greater magick Power in their bodies. I took his hand and intertwined my fingers with his. I know humans have stereotyped pixies as diminutive creatures but they are the same size as we are. convinced her sisters to help her save his life. take all her life to convert it into magick. During his healing. He had recently turned eighteen. That night. Life is a much powerful force than magick. had centuries to perfect the use of magick. one of my godmothers had all her magick sucked from her into Evan. Evan‘s father came for him because once another male comes of age in a pixie family.

In Fey tradition.‖ 102 . ―The spell that kept me asleep until you saved me. they thought that maybe I had been wrong about my vision and that I was doomed to never wake. ―But yes. We should go downstairs.from this realm and even though she tried to warn the others. ―Is he your S oulmate?‖ I couldn‘t answer him: Evan‘s words from before were still echoing in my mind. that when they came back into living they didn‘t ask for their Power back and only Maracaeda keeps her magick as before beginning petrification. Anyway. The others were stronger in the Power and… actually. Evan healed and the godmother‘s took him as their charge. ―No. Roy took a deep breath. being a Queen. he had three-fourths of the same Power I had. the god mothers are making dinner. They honestly thought that Evan was my true Soulmate but when they saw that I didn‘t wake they gave up hope for me to ever return to life.‖ ―What spell?‖ he said for the first time confused during Evan‘s tale. Griselda also lost her magick to him. with his immense Power. they began to petrify and with that. Since I‘m their Queen.‖ ―Evan went to the castle?‖ ―Is that all you got out of it?‖ I sighed.‖ I said smiling at him and giving him a kiss before continuing. ―Do you love him?‖ That I could answer. ―Oh. they took him to my castle and had him kiss me. was my true Soulmate.‖ I was certain about that but I wasn‘t sure about Roy and our love. I finally lost their essence. ―Anyway. Soulmates are equal in Power and magickal experience. They taught him how to use magick and when they saw his potential. they began to think that maybe the spell was taking too long.‖ Roy looked at me. When they deemed him almost at my level. Griselda was much stronger than they were but when I became Queen half of her magick came into me so she was became weaker. It was then that all but Maracaeda renounced their magick and transferred it all to Evan… I lost track of them then because they also stopped in life. they got worried and thought that maybe Evan. she could have healed him alone without having lost her life or Power. he did go. Keep in mind that this was about four centuries before you were even born. If it hadn‘t been for me. As Luisa said. I couldn‘t have an equal but when the godmothers poured almost their magick into Evan. I‘m pretty sure though.

―I love you Cecilia. I literally have the same schedule. while giving my hand a small squeeze and I knew that later I would hear his opinion. I‘ m just here for the ride.‖ They shook. I won‘t be able to take your classes Roy… I‘ve never been much of an academic but Ceci‘s c lasses seem more of a normal level so I‘ll be taking the same ones. Ceci‘s godmothers have official business with Her Majesty and who knows when they‘ll finish.‖ Roy said. ―Didn‘t Ceci tell you? I enrolled in your school.‖ he smiled.‖ Roy stated through his tee not even bothering to make it sound like a question.‖ Roy said taking my hand again. I used a bit of magick to get my way. name‘s Evan. Ceci told me all about you guys. ― Hey Royce.‖ His kiss saved me from having to respond and when we broke apart.‖ 103 . ―Nope. As we began down the stairs. ―Anyway. It was a bit difficult to manage it b ut in the end.He searched my gaze for a long moment before nodding. ―Let‘s go eat… we have all night after that. Of course. Evan reached us.‖ I was rewarded by his chuckle and I knew that for the first time. Congrats on the engagement.‖ Roy gave me a sideways glance and I inwardly winced. ―Sorry that I didn‘t introduce myself earlier. trust Evan to open his big mouth. making a show of flexing biceps in the process. I rolled my eyes but kept my comments to myself.‖ ―During different hours.‖ ―I‘m sure that they‘ll be done in no time. ―Do you go to school?‖ Evan grinned and I had a horrible feeling that he was about to say something that would leave Roy spitting mad . I think that we‘ll have more than enough time to get to know each other. he would be anxious for us to finally be alone. how long will you be staying?‖ ―Well I‘m not really sure. I gave him a smile and pulled him towards the door. ―Oh. ―Don‘t worry.

Thankfully. ―Would you like to watch a movie or something?‖ I said to them as they settled on the couches. ―I guess.‖ I gave him a soft kiss and he finally relaxed. ―Okay Roy… let it all out. ―Sure… since we‘ re here. knowing that he‘ll be with you. I walked over to him and gave him a tight hug. being at school. ―We need a moment. ―I love you. It wouldn‘t do for Evan to hear Roy‘s outburst.‖ He made a face and I laughed. ―Excuse us Evan. I closed the door behind me and cast a soundproofing spell on the room.‖ He walked off in the direction of the dining room while Roy and I went into the library.‖ He took a deep breath and settled again the bar counter.‖ ―What are you talking about?‖ he said. I volunteered to do dish duty but Evan would have nothing of it and self-proclaimed himself the official dishwasher. ―Dinner is served and they‘ re only waiting for us. we had reached the bottom of the stairs. It‘ll be difficult though.‖ He smoothed my hair and kissed me. When dinner was over. and… I want to punch the smugness out of his annoying pixie face but I can‘t because he‘ll probably fry my butt with some type of voodoo crap. I looked at him with my eyebrows raised and he exploded. 104 . almost shaking with the effort to contain his jealous anger.‖ I said smiling up at him. we should enjoy ourselves. ―That jerk! He all but told me that he was going to be with you all the time! He probably knew that our schedules don‘t collide while we‘ re in school! Now he rubs it in my face with his stupid magick! And.‖ Maracaeda said while getting up to choose a DVD.‖ ―Sure. He‘s an ass but that doesn‘t mean you have to be.‖ ―We should get back to the godmothers. We broke apart and only walked hand-in-hand out to the dining room.‖ I said while pushing Roy to the library before he had a coronary. I gave in with grace and went to the living room with the godmothers. ―Don‘t let him get to you.

―I don‘t want to fight but that was really rude of you to not even sit down for a while. I had decided to recompense his heroic efforts. and passionate kiss that left him breathless.‖ ―I couldn‘t bear another moment with that guy. He could hardly tear his eyes away from you during dinner.I was about to settle in one of the armchairs when Roy spoke.‖ Roy said roughly. I told you that Evan is an ass but come on… leaving my godmothers just because of him. The only color they had was in red… do you like it?‖ Since he‘d mostly taken my godmothers in stride and hadn‘t protested about the lodgings. Roy was flopped on his back on the bed and didn‘t raise his head as I walked by. more ardent. He finally dragged his eyes back to my face and I resisted the urge to smirk. he finally looked up. He hadn‘t sat up while he‘d been perusing my nightie and now he was totally at my mercy. His eyes popped out and he had a slightly stunned look as he gawked at me. 105 . ―um…‖ I went over to the bed and pounced on him. ―It‘s a Parisian silk teddy.‖ ―Roy… that isn‘t right.‖ He sighed. as we walked in.‖ When I came out of the bathroom. ―At least I know that here. ―We‘ll do the ho st thing tomorrow. men were so easy. ―What are you wearing?‖ I pirouetted slowly. ―Well?‖ I said giving him a kiss. It‘s been a trying day and we‘ re exhausted. I turned to him. ―Is this a trick question?‖ he said trying to get free. allowing him to appreciate my apparel. I took hold of his hands and kept them in mine as I gave him a deeper. it‘s just you and me. ―If you‘ll excuse us godmothers. we‘ re going to have to retire early. ―Are you going to pick a fight because of him?‖ I rolled my eyes and walked into my closet to pick my pajamas.‖ ―Maybe tomorrow we can all share an evening?‖ I said in apology as I walked away with Roy. ―You… how… why are…‖ he stammered before finally clearing his throat and speaking. Once we were outside our bedroom door. ―We could have at least watched the movie with them.‖ I said walking across into the bathroom to brush my tee.

and walked towards the door. I materialized a robe and wrapped it around me so Roy wouldn‘t have a heart attack. ―Don‘t tell me you actually believe this guy!‖ Roy was officially on the warpath. why are you doing this to me?‖ I nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard Evan speak. ―I just came up here to tell Ceci that Maracaeda wants to talk to her. ―I hope that when I return. ―Okay. I tried to send her a mental message but this place is heavily warded.‖ He said with a bow before closing the door.‖ I materialized a loose fitting dress .‖ His mouth dropped open at my implication but I shut the door before he could say a word. I like it too. you lose the attitude or we will have a serious talk. I frowned at him. pulled it over my pjs. ―What the hell is wrong with you? Don‘t you know that a couple‘s bedroom is off-bounds… especially for guests?!‖ Evan shrugged. Then I turned towards the direction of his voice and 106 . ―That wasn‘t so hard.‖ ―For what it‘s worth. ignoring Roy‘s livid expression. He has to have a good reason to do so and I wouldn‘t dare to leave my godmother waiting.‖ ―I‘ll see Maracaeda. ―I also knocked. He wouldn‘t intrude just for the heck of it. he was furious at Evan for intruding on our privacy.‖ He tried to sound nonplussed but I could see that beneath the façade of indifference. Evan was upset at having intruded on our moment.‖ I said making shooin g gestures with my hands.‖ He said when I finally to re my lips away from his. I nipped his bottom lip before placing my mouth back on his. ―Ceci. ―Giving compliments on a woman‘s nightgown isn‘t a bad thing to do.‖ I grinned and gave him another kiss.‖ I said breathlessly. Even so. ―I do. ―Yes. With a sigh. Your Majesty. so why don‘t you go to your room.―Nope. I guess you didn‘t hear. more for his blooming love than for our privacy. I like it. ―I think I can go on my own though.‖ Evan‘s voice came from the door and I reluctantly rolled off Roy with an inward groan.‖ I meant it as a suggestion but it came out more like a thinly disguised command.

Not only do I have to live with the fact that you have him with you… but he‘s also your consort in all but name.‖ That was understandable since only he and I were able to go places we‘d never been before. Our destination however wasn‘t Maracaeda‘s cave.found him sitting on the floor next to the door.‖ I placed a hex on the knob so that Roy wouldn‘t come out and misinterpret the situation. it‘s natural that we live together. ―The least you could have done was lock the door. She left me directions so that I can pop you there. I had never thought that Evan was actually serious about his supposed love for me.‖ He walked off towards the stairs without another word and I followed him. She went out for a walk but told me that to tell you to meet up with her at a cave. 107 . he silently popped us away.‖ ―What did you expect Evan? We‘ re about to get married. I have to come back quickly and the sooner I leave the better. He lifted his head and I was surprised to see that he had tears in his eyes. But why would Maracaeda go to a cave? I murmured the spell for invisibility before lifting him up. I can‘t … that was the worst thing that you could have ever done to me. ―Let‘s go. ―Does Maracaeda really want to talk to me?‖ Evan dried his tears on his sleeve and nodded. Once outside the edges of the protection hex. ― Yeah.

‖ He finally let me loose and I still hesitated about leaving his side. I made out a king-sized poster bed with gauzy white curtains fluttering in the breeze and rose petals scattered on the mattress and the floor. He had started the kiss and he had to end it. You belong to yourself. I saw that and I‘m going to fight for it. I‘m going home.‖ ―Love?‖ I spat out. ―And your heart is still no-man‘s land. I tried to struggle but his insistent lips and seeking tongue finally broke down my walls. ―This isn‘t love! This is infatuation. experiencing this raw. Evan took me to the heavens and touching the stars with that single kiss… one that had me rethinking about undoing Griselda‘s spell. nothing more than your crazed hormones getting out of control. primitive desire.‖ He pulled me into his arms before I could pop out and kissed me. ―You intruded on my moment with my fiancé just to try to convince me to have sex with you?‖ He reached out to my face but I slapped his hand away. During the first moments of feeling his mouth on mine. I bit my bottom lip rationalizing staying. ―No. engulfing. it was as if I compared a match and the sun. ―I know I‘m your Soulmate but if you continue to deny the truth of it. Before when I was with Roy.‖ I threw the glass on the ground and faced him angrily.16 ―What is the meaning of this. ―As Queen you can have more than one mate… and more than one consort. I tried to catch my breath and at the same time.‖ ―No. I belong to him. Evan?‖ I asked as I took in the room. 108 . ―I…‖ still feeling the phantom tingle of his lips on mine.‖ He pointed towards my heart. I had thought it was enflaming passion but now…. Evan turned to me and offered a wine glass. I can live as your consort but I can‘t live without your love. ―Not love?‖ he said still holding me close. With only candlelight to illuminate it. I‘m engaged. ―Why did you have to complicate things?‖ I whispered. clear my thoughts before he could read them.

―You forget that no magick besides mine can exist in the house. I was sprawled across the bed wanting nothing more than for it to all be dream and that I hadn‘t cheated on Roy… my supposed true love. maybe with a shower the guilty feeling would fade 109 . indecisive if it would be right to go back to Roy when I was yearning for Evan.‖ Still I wavered.‖ ―Not with magick he won‘t. ―Well if it‘s all the same to you. With a sigh. ―You already kissed me.‖ Evan gave a small laugh.‖ ―No magick.‖ I said even as I repeated the spell. you wouldn‘t have been properly kissed. ―I did tell you that I liked it. ―He loves me. Five centuries ago.‖ Evan sent small sparks out the window and I knew he had sent a phantom of me to my house.‖ This Evan I could handle. he won‘t know the difference whether you‘re there or not.‖ He raised an eyebrow and gave me another searing kiss. ―Maybe I‘ll strip you down first. as soon as the sparks left my fingers Evan took the initiative and brought me into another mind blowing kiss… all the while undressing me until I was left in my negligee again.‖ I gave him an impish smile. When his desire finally abated. I rose up and looked for a bathroom. ―told you. he soon fell asleep. of course he‘ll know. I forgot all even my own name.‖ I was reminded he could read minds and chided myself for letting my defenses fall. I think we‘ve spent too much time talking while so close to my big comfy b ed. ―If I hadn‘t. but the other attractive tender sexy Evan I wouldn‘t dare trifle with.‖ ― It was much more gratifying this go around .Evan smiled roguishly. Unlike Roy who always had to be prodded and coerced. ―Too bad I have to take it off you. ―No magick.‖ He pushed me towards the bed and a flicker of guilt passed through my mind but with his kiss and accompanying caresses.‖ I made a few movements and his shirt and pants alternately flew and dropped.‖ He said pulling away so he could see better. ―You know he‘s a human.

the copy vanished from his arms. He suddenly shifted and searched for my body before turning to the other side. dripping in Evan‘s bathroom somewhere unknown. I closed my eyes and finally decided. shaking me like a puppet as it cleared all the small imperfections that as a human it was normal to have. As I stood there. As I began to levitate and taking on the characteristic blue glow of full Power. Evan had placed a blocking shield similar to mine around his house and doubled it around his rooms but I bypassed it and gave him a stronger than normal sleeping spell. Beginning to muster my Power. After I had scrubbed at my skin until I was pink. light began to pulse from my body and another rush of Power flooded my veins. somehow I didn‘t want him to think that I‘ d just trifled with him. As soon as my actual presence permeated the room. I felt him begin to wake. I felt a strange constricting force on my Power as if the curse were trying to grab onto something and not be ripped off but with a surge of light and Power. and my energy field began to expand with an incredible rate. ―Celi?‖ he said shielding his eyes from the light coming off me. I swore I could hear a chorus of other voices speaking in unison with me. His thoughts were groggy but they were no longer full of dreams. Just when I thought I couldn‘t possibly hold another ounce of magick. much the same way as I had when Roy saved me.away. Roy was fast asleep with his arms around the phantom I had sent before. When I popped into my room. I stepped out of the stall and materialized a thick terry towel to wrap around me. I spoke the words needed to cast off Griselda‘s original curse and. I couldn‘t bear the thought having Evan wake up alone. falling asleep again immediately. he rose off the bed and meant to walk towards me but a barrier of energy stopped him. maybe it was the stress getting to me. It covered the entire neighborhood and I gasped with the sudden Power rushing into my body making crackling sounds as bolts of energy escaped my fingers. Even though I wanted to see Roy. 110 . While watching his face –the striking face that had charmed me from the first moment I had laid eyes on him—I wondered if I had ever loved him… and vice versa. I gave up trying to push the shame out of my mind. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the need to see Roy. it gave way. Once the words were spoken.

I couldn‘t see a single thing. I blinked and tried to clear my eyes but despite much kneading and rub bing. ―Love is a powerful force in itself and it won‘t be destroyed so easily… not even with my magick. the Queens had called me that before. I abruptly regained my sight. Love will only leave you with death: yours. Empress. for that was what I believed they were. ―My name is Cecilia. That is the reason for your vast and mighty Power… you are to unite Fey and humankind into a single nation. and refused to let them cow my spirit. the onslaught of magick stopped and my Power swirled in and out of my body as it tried to settle.‖ Hearing the strange name snapped me back to where I was. ―Beware however. I stood just as proud and imperial as they did.‖ A multitude of female voices said in unison. a Queen never displays anything but dignity in presence of others. you are this planet‘s salvation because if you fail… there will not be another Empress after you. Troubling times are coming ahead… that which has been hiding will come out and make battle with you… she who has been blamed for another‘s wrong has now been placed among our ranks.‖ ―I refuse to believe it. Arliya. you have been chosen for a great duty. That was the purpose of your birth. Suddenly my vision jumped and a blinding white light filled my sight. ―Child.‖ I didn‘t know what to answer and the voices didn‘t pause to let me speak. your Soulmate shouldn‘ t be with you. ―May I know what duty I have been chosen for?‖ ― Arliya. you are the Queen of all Queens… Child. Esmeralda Maria Elizabeth 111 . ―Our Sight blessed sisters have seen your death happen when in connection of the man you love. For this lifetime.‖ I stared down the plethora of Queens. saw a crowd of regal looking women standing before me….‖ ―It was a mere suggestion…. of love. and remembered that I was still naked.Finally. I can and will do this task that I have been commended but… on my own terms. Even so.‖ I struggled not to let my mouth fall open in shock at the sight of having hundreds of Queens bow before me. you are the Empress that the world has awaited for so many years. You will need to tell friend from foe in heartbeats and love will only take away concentration.

Having the curse as 112 . ‗saving‘ my life.‖ ―NO. a half-Fey child. had actually been a chaining spell on my Power. ―If I were half-Fey my parents would have said so.‖ ―They were desperate humans who were reac hing the age where childbearing became impossible and they had no qualms about taking a small child as their own… even if she had arrived outside their balcony in a small basket. you can rule both with the same wisdom. For brief moments. While it was true that my Soulmate was descended from Charles. Evan was. the orphan took up the last name Pens in honor of his adoptive father. The spell she had placed on me.Joana Cecilia Zilarra… not Arliya and another thing. and keeping my Power from expanding to its full potential.‖ The words resonated in my head fading away in the white light that pierced my eyes again. hid a purer evil than any could ever imagine. elevating her in my esteem. I‘m human… My parents were human. We repeat the warning of love… leave your half Fey Soulmate. Being his child in all but name. Denel Pendragon had adopted a small orphan before his first marriage. She made sure in one fell swoop to find a puppet to control –Roy–. The reason why Maracaeda had the most Power. I‘m not Fey. my awareness expanded to fill the world as before my awakening and found answers to the questions I had swirling through my head. They placed a human name on you and raised you as a human but you are half elf as well. All the other Queenly attributes that Gris displayed were also Maracaeda‘s machinations… her soft voice that rarely if ever used. of her sisters when she was pure Fey and the others were supposedly half Fey was because it was only her and Griselda who were half-Fey. Being half of each kind. Roy wasn‘t a true descendant of him. His mother name was Dragonwild… keeping part of the origina l last name and the family standard at the same time. your name means Ruler of Multitudes and it was then that we knew you were the chosen one for this tremendous task. I can‘t be half -fey. aside from Griselda. How will I be able to rule Fey people?‖ ―Your name was known to us before your conception… you are Arliya. In elven tongue. She had been the one who had cast powerful mind-altering spells on her sister so that Gris would take the fall for her.‖ My mask of composure began to slip and I took a deep breath to calm down.

Evan. This and more in the next installment: Arliya: Empress of Two Worlds . and Roy still have many adventures before she can become a true Empress. Now I saw all as it truly was and thanked God that I was finally cured. 113 .a blindfold. Not the End… Cecilia. I hadn‘t seen what had been before my eyes this whole time.

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