The Flames That Bind Us

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2. The Brightness of Her Flames

♛♛♛ Gabriel James Imarnia♛♛♛

I poured myself a glass of brandy; a type of alcohol that mortals drink in their realm. Although I fancied our traditional wine, especially if it was mixed with the elves’s honey drops, but I had to admit that what mortals drink nowadays is quite delicious. I walked to my study chair and seated myself while sipping down my drink, enjoying the cold liquid run down my warm throat.

Aero was sitting opposite me, one minute he seemed to have the world on his mind and the next he stood up and walked to the window. Leaning, he folded his arms over his chest and gave me a long, fixed look. I already knew what he was going to say. “So, you’re sure today is her birthday? Do you think maybe they gave you the wrong date?”

“The sisters told me when her birthday was; it’s on the tenth of October. I don’t believe they would make an error in something as important as that.” Honestly it was beginning to be quite irritating to have to hear Aero’s pondering questions every passing minute.

He sighed. “But we’re already at half the day, don’t you think the girl would be here by now?”

“How should I know?“, I scoffed.“It’s not like I’m responsible for her. She could be anywhere for all I care!”

“Now, don’t say that. You won’t hear the end of it if Lis hears you.” Lysa, who sat at the far corner steering her special cup of tea, smirked and raised her pink eyebrow. I shot her a glare but she only drank her tea silently.

“Lis would hear everything since you two are so keen on telling her every little word I say about this matter,” they both shuffled in their places, trying not to meet my piercing eyes. “And obviously you’re not willing to obey your King and keep your mouths shut?”

The pair looked at each other before turning to me and grinning. “Nah!”

I scowled. “Then maybe I shouldn’t be telling you everything?”

Aero came and patted my shoulder, that stupid grin still on his face. “We know you can’t do that. Everyone knows you can’t keep your mouth shut when it comes to something you don’t like,” he gave a little bow and added, “Your Majesty.”

“You speak like that to your King?”

“No, I speak like that to my friend.” Although his tone was humorous, his voice softened when he said the word ‘friend’, almost like he wasn’t sure if that word applied to me still.

Aero and Lysa have been my friends for centuries, ever since childhood. Aero was the son of my father’s best and oldest friend, and since then Aero practically lived with us in the palace, until the day he trained to be a solider and eventually earned the title of the Captain of Imarnia’s army. His magic also benefited him in his days of training, for he posses Shield Magic; the kind of power that turns his skin into any hard material. So it was only natural he appeared larger than any average wizard.

Lysa on the other hand wasn’t a wizard, and since numerous creatures lived in Ignolia; she was a fairy. A proud and beautiful race that Father had made international affairs with a long time ago, resulting in the stay of Empress Nura; Lysa’s mother. And now she works for me and my sister as our personal ‘designer’; a mortal word for a person that makes outfits. Once, I refereed to her as a seamstress and she threw a fabric roll at me for calling her such an ‘old-fashioned name’.

Well, that was a long time ago, back when things were simpler and I was a simple man.

“What are you going to do now?” Lysa snapped me out of my thoughts, watching me carefully. She had finished her tea and was inspecting her bright pink-colored hairs, though her attention was clearly directed towards me. I noticed that Aero was watching me as well.

I rolled my eyes, putting my glass down and pulled back my armchair. “You two aren’t going to rest, aren’t you?”

“Well, you can’t just sit there. Shouldn’t you be getting her?” said Aero, making me flinch at that thought. I do not, under any circumstances, want to get her.

“Absolutely not!” I gritted my teeth.

“Gabriel—”

“I don’t wish to speak about this any longer, and neither should you.” Fortunately, they managed to do as told....for about three seconds.

“Do you know what the girl looks like? What about her name? Or the element she controls?” Lysa showered me with questions and I resisted the urge to growl and flip the table before me. Oh for the love of all that is holy, do they ever listen!?

Sighing in frustration, I ran my hand through my thick black hair. “I already told you everything I know, Lysa,” I groaned out the words, but she didn’t seem satisfied with the answer.

“I’m actually very curious to know what element she controls, I have never seen a Slifer in my life. I just know about them from the books my mother used to read me when I was a child,” Aero pitched in.

“I wonder if she’s beautiful?” Lysa jumped in her seat, and from the gleam in her violet eyes I knew what she was thinking. I could tell she was imagining the girl with various types of gowns I didn’t even know it was possible to make.

“Don’t even bother, Lysa. I am not keeping her,” I told her, and that snapped her from her dreamy state.

“Why not?” She frowned.

“She is not a toy you can keep, Lysa.” Aero shook his head.

She turned her head towards him, her eyes narrowed into slits. Instantly, I placed my palm on my forehead, knowing what was going to happen next. Not again...

“Don’t stick your nose into everything I say, Shield Boy. I just wanted to know more about that Slifer girl.” She snorted, grabbing a fashion magazine. She crossed one leg over the other, flipping through the pages.

“Shield boy? What is that supposed to mean?” snarled Aero, glaring at Lysa who didn’t even glance at him. Instead, she busied herself with the content of the magazine.

Aero’s nostrils flared, giving her a heated look. He hated when people mocked his magic, especially Lysa, and she was one to never pass an opportunity. His angry expression quickly turned into a devilish one, a smirk forming his lips. “Well, with my magic, I am able to fight and defend. What do you have, Tinkerbelle?”

Lysa’s head snapped at him so quickly I was afraid it would whirl off to the wall, but the look she gave him would make any fool who dared call her that tremble in their place. But Aero was loving the way she responded to him, and I fought back the attempt to roll my eyes at how obvious he seemed to enjoy his little bickering with her. Well, let’s just say that his magic wasn’t the only thing that made him hard...

“What did you say?” she hissed.

“You heard me, Tink.”

Lysa’s face turned red, which is something that fairies tend to do when they are mad or annoyed, which is also the reason why Aero calls her Tinkerbelle. She rose from her seat slowly, not taking her eyes off the bulking man before her.

“I dare you to say that again,” she threatened, taking a few, slow steps towards him while he stepped backwards each time she got closer, a smug expression crossed over his face.

“Easy, Tink. You look all red. Red is really not your color,” he drawled in that irritating, teasing tone that Lysa hated so much. Her face became redder, which means that wherever this was heading, it wasn’t going to end well.

I was about to scold at those two for acting like children in my study room when I had important duties I needed to fulfill, but a sweet voice had cut in. “Oh dear, you two are fighting again? Why do you always fight in my brother’s study room?” My younger sister, Lis, emerged from the door with a bright expression on her face.

Lysa and Aero stopped killing each other with their eyes, and turned around to look at her. I also noticed that Lysa’s skin color turned to normal. “Tell that to him! he started it!” Lysa pointed an accusing finger at Aero.

“Oh, really mature, Tink. Is your mind as small as your body?”

At that she didn’t hesitate in throwing the magazine she was currently griping at Aero, slapping his buffed chest then tumbling to the floor. All the while, he had the most obnoxious smile he could muster, and a darkening in his brown eyes that as a man, I was familiar with.

Even Lysa looked entirely flushed and it had nothing to do with her fairy nature.

Lis laughed softly, shaking her head at them as she walked to sit before me. “You two should get married.”

“As if!” yelled the two.

She turned her attention towards me, the smile fading slowly as she straightened her back. “Hello, Brother.”

“Sister,” I said curtly.

“So,” she cleared her throat. “I heard that the girl’s birthday is today.” I sighed heavily, wiping my hands over my face tiredly. Physically, I was fine. Mentally, I couldn’t stop thinking about this and my family and friends didn’t help in taking my mind off it.

“Yes, it’s today.”

She nodded. “And?”

“And what?”

She blinked, clearly trying to phrase her words as carefully as possible. “Well, I thought you would have reached a decision on what to do—”

“I’ve already reached a decision from the moment I was informed about this. I won’t be seeking the girl, Lis. I believe I’ve told you that many times before.” She tried to remain impassive, but her thin brows creased and her lips pursed.

“I was hoping you had changed your mind—”

“Why would I?”

“Damn it, Gabriel!” She spurt from her seat, her composure melting as she fixed me with her usual worried look. Lysa and Aero backed away, isolating themselves from the tension currently growing between me and my sister. “I won’t let you sit here and do nothing while there’s a possible threat against your life!”

I breathed in as I pinched the bridge of my nose. “Lis, there’s nothing threatening me. When will you understand that?”

“So you’re telling me that the Watchers of Fate specifically sent a person to protect you from nothing?”

“I am sure I can handle myself if anything came to happen to me. I don’t need anyone to protect me, it is I who needs to protect his people.”

“But, Brother, I only want you to be safe, and that girl might be helpful. Why can’t you understand that?” She leaned forward and placed her hand over mine, her expression softening, “You have changed, ever since...” She trailed off, glancing down at our hands.

My whole body tensed, knowing what she was going to talk about. “Enough, I don’t want to speak any further.” I removed my hand from under hers, getting up and walking pass the three of them towards the door.

“Where are you going?” Lis stopped me before I was able to reach the door knob.

I turned to meet her and said, “I’m gathering some guards, I want to visit my kingdom, see how things are going. It’s been a while since I have done that.” The truth is I didn’t want to stay with them any longer, knowing that they will just try and bring the subject up.

And without waiting for any of them to say something, I exited the room.


≼ ≼≼ Lydia Voltaire ≽≽≽

My smile never left my lips. I was grinning from ear to ear to the point that my jaw began to slightly hurt and I was momentary worried that my lips would stay peeled back on my face for quite some time. However, that could be the least of my concern as I skipped pass crowds with Luxus cradled in my arms. Every step I took allowed my eyes to expand further to whatever the heart-taking streets of Imarina had to offer.

“Lydia, this place is amazing!” Luxus whispered excitedly, his eyes trailing at a series of expensive-looking restaurants that had various mouth-watering cuisines displayed at the front, some of them were even specifically meant for animals.

I agreed silently, walking closer to a restaurant window to see house animals of all kinds being fed in the most sophisticated manner I’ve ever seen. Cats, dogs, several small and large birds, and even some animals I only read about were seated in distinctively designed tables. Even the way they were dressed screamed that they weren’t just ordinary pets, and I suddenly felt very under dressed compared to them.

“Wow, talk about fancy...” I said, looking at some of the equally richly-dressed owners dropping off their pets.

“Maybe some day I could eat in here”, Luxus pressed his paw on the glass, his eyes glued at a passing shrimp-layered dish being served to a cat with the most ridiculous hat I’ve ever seen. “Although I don’t think I could do the hat.”

“Yeah, I don’t think so either. Besides, a meal here must cost at least fifty gold coins.” And with that, I continued on my way forward. The streets here were wider, and longer than the streets in Vera. The floor was made of small bricks that were the color of sand. On each brick, there was a unique, beautiful black drawings.

Not to mention the tall, silver, light posts scattered across the streets. Of course, since we don’t really have electricity in Ignolia, pixies’ stones of light were used to illuminate the post. Apparently, of what I heard, the stones used to cast light in Imarina were gold and silver, but I couldn’t really see them since it’s daytime. In Vera, we only had a very fading shade of orange to keep us from not bumping into people at night.

Large, expensive looking carriages were scattered near the sidewalk, carrying even more expensive looking individuals. Some children were playing near the Moxars, the creatures that are used to drag the carriages.

They looked exactly like a horse, but Moxars were different because they were all white with blue lines spread across their bodies. They all look the same, except for the black Moxars, which are black ones with golden lines. I haven’t seen one before, but it’s different because it’s a lot faster and only people who are considered very important have it.

On the right and the left sidewalks, different types of shops were spread through the entire way of the street. There were all kinds of shops, ones for clothes were only sophisticated outfits and dresses are sold. And only those who are filthy rich can afford to buy them, obviously. There were shops for jewelry, which were gleaming so brightly you could probably spot them from a mile. Shoes of all materials and designs, one was even decked with feathers that I mistook it for a bird for a second. Potions and medicine, blacksmiths, and more than one library that each sold different categories of books.

I’m definitely going to mark those down as must-see. I would have done the same to the jewelry shops but I’m afraid I would go blind once I enter them.

Not to mention they would probably kick me out for looking like a beggar. Well, I didn’t actually look like one, but to the people in here I most likely did.

Everyone was looking at me, simply because I did not fit in. It was like I was a strange looking creature among those who are normal, especially the way I was dressed. I wasn’t exactly dressed in a fancy-people kind of way. I wore a short-sleeved, dark brown tunic that was long and fell all the way to my knees and had two splits at the sides, in which I wore black leggings underneath. I threw in brown and gold sandals and a matching cross bag which I owned since I was eleven.

But what made people’s eyes wander more at me was the way I tucked in all my hair underneath a worn-out black hat that somehow managed to make my head bigger and smaller at the same time. I didn’t wear hats often, nor did I like wearing them much, but sometimes I would walk around in one whenever I didn’t want people staring at my unusual hair.

My eyes were bad enough already, and contact lenses didn’t work since I found out, in the most unfortunate way, that they burn off the moment they are in contact with my irises.

The hat didn’t stop a pair of eyes from glaring at me though. “What?” I raised an unseen eyebrow at Luxus.

“Are you going to wear that stupid thing all the time?” he said.

“Lux, you know I hate it when people stare. This is better.”

“I still think you should take it off.” He was reaching up to knock it off my head, but I kept his paws away.

“Lux, stop.”

“People are staring anyway, Lydia. You shouldn’t doubt yourself. How are you going to own up being a Slifer if you act like that?”

“Shhhh,” I glanced sideways. “Keep it down. People will listen!”

“I think people would be more surprised at a talking cat, not the word ‘Slifer’”

“Still...”

I got a few weird looks from passing crowds at the girl who was whispering to her cat, but I straightened my back and tucked down my hat and went on my way. My grandpa, who teleported us here since Imarnia could take days to arrive to, went to only gods knows where. He said that he had something he wanted to receive from an old friend, and he left me and Luxus to wander around. And honestly, I was happy for that since my Grandpa could get very grumpy during trips.

Especially when he has to use teleportation magic. But what can he do? He is the only wizard in our town that can use teleportation magic. Not every wizard can use that, only powerful ones; like Grandpa, the four rulers of Ignolia, and other high-ranked wizards.

Since I’m a Slifer, I have used teleportation when I turned ten. At first, Grandpa would chain a tracking charm to my wrist to know where I was, and thank Gods for that since I ended up nearly in other countries for the first couple of tries. Later, the miles shrunk to meters and I was soon able to teleport almost perfectly to where I wanted to go.

I stood next to a stone-carved fountain, admiring for a moment the heavily detailed silver-painted phoenix that spout out sparkling water from its mouth. When Imarina was founded, it was said that the One God; Azareth, gave its first king a silver phoenix as a gift. Later on, the God of Fire; Decimus, blessed the bird by having it breath white flames instead of red.

I don’t know if that actually happened or if it was just a story, for no one knows what happened to the phoenix after the king died.

“Lydia!” Grandpa shouting snapped me out of my daze, turning my head to see him pushing his way through people before he reached me. I noticed that there was a small black square box in his hand, and he was seemingly out of breath. “I never thought that you would wander off that far...”

“Where were you?” I asked.

He glanced at the box in his hand, looking oddly hesitated and conflicted for a second but he lifted and opened the box, revealing a very beautiful silver bracelet. My eyes widened and my lips formed a huge smile as I admired the beauty of it. The bracelet looked more like a charm, with a small silver girl, a cat, and a man wearing a hat dangling from it, each one a bit farther away from each other.

It’s then that I noticed that those were me, Luxus, and Grandpa. And that only made me beam brighter at my grandpa. “That’s amazing! How did you do that?”

“I asked an old friend of mine to make it. It’s for you. Happy birthday.”

He grabbed my wrist and helped me put it on. He let go of my hand, letting me admire how the silver shined when the sun would spot it. “It’s beautiful, Lydia,” Luxus commented, freeing himself from my arms and jumping to land on the ground.

This has got to be the nicest, and probably most costly thing Grandpa gave to me as a birthday present. Usually, be buys me a book each year since he knows I keep asking him for that.

“Thank you so much!” I practically shouted, making everyone look at me as I threw my arms around his shoulders, hugging him tightly. His body tensed and his shoulders froze before his hands went to my arms and unclasped them from his neck, pushing me away from him gently.

He had something in his eyes that I didn’t quite understand, it’s like he was looking at me with a soft expression for a moment but then his face fell and was as unreadable as it always was, “Lets’ go.” He turned away from me and started walking. Luxus and I exchanged a knowing, and somehow hopeless look.

Sighing, I couldn’t help but be disappointed at my attempt of bonding with my grandpa. It’s always been like that. He never shows any kind of affection, or says anything that a parent might say to their child. I know he wasn’t really my father, but even so he was the man who raised me. I sometimes even considered calling him ‘dad’, but somehow I felt that he wouldn’t really like that.

Not to mention that I tried that once and the look on his face told me to never try it again. He acts like I’m a total stranger to him at times and I hated it. My grandpa is the closest thing I have for a father, and he always seems to push me away.

There are some times when he looked at me with a longing expression when I was younger, but he quickly masked it and went back to being his usual drunk self. I never quite understood him. He seemed very distance from me, and himself...

“Thief!” I was about to trail after my grandpa when a loud voice of a woman shouted from behind me. Confused, I turned around to see a red haired lady, standing on the sidewalk at a further distance away from where I was standing. I took a couple of steps to see well.

The woman looked classy, for she was wearing a fancy green short dress, hat and jewelries. However, she looked furious as she was shouting several things I wasn’t able to hear properly to a man standing in front of her who looked like he was attempting to calm her down.

I knew that this man was one of the royal guards. He was wearing a dark blue tunic top with a silver collar that only royal guards wear, some black and blue epaulets, silver trousers, and black boots. The woman looked afraid, and tears lined her stark-white face. A crowd of people surrounded her along with a bunch of royal guards.

“What’s going on?” asked Luxus.

“I don’t know.”

I stood on my tip toes for I wasn’t able to see that woman clearly anymore. People were scattered everywhere now, trying to know what was happening. And since I wasn’t that tall, it was hard for me to see clearly when all those tall people covered my sight.

I started hopping like a rabbit behind a line of chatting groups, my curiosity winning the best of me in attempt of seeing what on Ignolia is going on. My eyes caught a person wearing a worn out brown cloak, scurrying away from the masses to my left. It’s then that I noticed that this person was carrying a pink purse, trying to sneak it under his cloak. Wait a minute....that person is a thief!

Without thinking, I took off running towards the man’s direction.

I ignored Luxus’s voice calling after me as I made my way through the crowed. That man is a thief, I’m sure of it! I ran as fast as I could possibly run through that many people, almost falling and tripping at each step. Finally, I was able to see the man properly. However, his back was facing me so he wasn’t able to see me. I stopped, taking a few short breaths as I stood behind him.

“Hey, you!” I called out. The man froze in his spot, his back stiffening. I heard him curse underneath his breath as he slowly turned around to face me, trying to cover the purse in his hands with his cloak, “I believe that the purse in your hands belongs to that woman.”

The man’s eyes widened, his lower lip trembling, and before I was able to do or say anything else, he took off running in a zipping motion that made wind blow hard into my face. For a few seconds I just blinked rabidly before it registered in my mind what just happened. Wait...what!? Ah Shit! He has Speed Magic!? I know it’s a minor magic, but it’s very useful if you want to be a thief.

“Wait!” My feet moved on their own, trying to catch up.

The man was rushing in the speed of lighting, all I could see was a fast figure zig-zagging through people, startling them at the sudden wind rush. I rose up my speed, even though I knew that it was no match for him. I saw as he ran towards a beautiful stone bridge, where a river was streaming under it.

To my right and left, there were people that had their eyes on me, which was confusing but I shrugged that off and continued running after the man. I had to stop him, but how? My eyes landed on an empty wooden wagon, placed on the right sidewalk. I noticed that the man was still racing forward, but he didn’t get pass the wagon just yet. That’s it! I could trap him!

I stopped chasing after him, closing my eyes and remembering what my grandpa taught me. I inhaled a huge breath, transferring my magic towards my feet. I felt the energy of my magic inside of my body, as it seeped through my legs in white-hot waves.

I kept my eyes closed, feeling the heat of my flames being formed around my feet as I imagined it in a scorching circle on the ground. The sound of my flames filled my ears, I also heard some gasps along with it.

With that, I opened my eyes and spread my legs, making my knees part. I used all my fire force to bend for a second then leap high in the air. The flames burst from my hand in their bright color, curling into it to form a large lump.

I hurled the fire ball in my fist towards the wooden wagon, watching as it cut through the space and spiral towards its aim. My body landed back to the ground, steadying myself as my eyes followed the flame ball that was approaching the wooden wagon with it fast speed.

The fiery knot soon hit the wagon with a loud bang, my fire swallowed it completely, burning everything that was left. Soon, it began to crumble down till large chunks of black wood broke piece by piece and fell apart.

The flames spread in a long line, blocking the man’s way, and forcing him to stop in his tracks. He tried to go around it but the fire only stretched wider and higher. I quickly went to stand behind the man. “Give it up already. There’s no way out of this.” I folded my arms over my chest.

He snapped towards me, his eyes were practically bulging as his legs shook like a leaf. “I-I’m s-sorry. H-Here! Just don’t hurt me please!” he begged, throwing the purse near my feet.

His hands were raised in surrender but he was clearly scared out of his wits. What the hell is wrong with him? It’s not like I grew horns and fangs! “Geez, relax. I am not going to hurt you. I just wanted the purse.”

The man gulped, slowly dropping his hands to his sides. His small, wary eyes still lingered at me, as if I would bounce on him any minute. I threw at him a quirked eyebrow. “You know, stealing is wrong.” I took a few, careful steps towards him.

Luckily he didn’t scream and flee, he only sighed, but he was still quite nervous and shaky. “I know,” he swallowed roughly. “But I’m a poor family man that lives in a kingdom town. What choice do I have, young l-lady?” I ignored the fact that he seemed unsure whether I was an actual person.

“Why don’t you just go outside?”

The man looked surprised that I actually asked him that. I guess he expected that I would hand him to the authorities, or deal with him myself. But taking a look at him I noticed he was very thin, his hands frail and his face dirty and sunken. The clothes he wore underneath that heavy cloak was torn out at the sleeves and hems.

Although he appeared to be in his early 40′s, he looked worn out. And if he looked like that, I can’t imagine how his family must have been. It was obvious he wasn’t just a greedy thief, but a needy one.

His shoulders slumped underneath his loose shirt. “It’s not easy for men like me to find a place to settle in...”

“That’s not true. Anything is better than thieving.”

He only dropped his eyes to the floor. At his reaction the gears in my head started turning, and an idea popped into my head. Oh, I’m gonna get in trouble for this...

I smiled as I picked out my small, red pouch from my purse. I grabbed the man’s hand and placed the wallet in his palm. “I know that my grandpa is going to flip at this, but here, you need it more than I do. There are golden coins that could provide you and your family food for a month. I’m sorry it’s not much, but it should do for the time being.”

The man looked at the pouch like it was a long lost treasure that he was looking for over a century. Then, he looked at me with wonder, shaking his head fiercely. “I...I can’t take this!”

“Yes, you can. I want you to. But, you have to stop stealing. You have kids and they definitely look up to you, don’t they? You don’t want them to think that their father is a thief, right? Now take this, and find a job even if it was a simple one to provide your family without stealing.”

The man’s eyes were full of tears, his bony fingers quivering as he clutched the coin bag tightly. “Thank you. Thank you so much!” he choked, almost like he was finding it hard to breath.

I smiled at him warmly and stepped aside to let him through. I noticed that the fire was still crackling with all it’s glory and I felt a tinge of guilt at whoever is gonna clean that up, and for the poor owner of the wagon.

Well, now I know that the streets of Imarnia weren’t fire-proofed...

I turned around, wanting to go back to Luxus and Grandpa, but I was surprised when I noticed that a bunch of people...well a lot of people actually, were staring at me like they were watching a ghost. A mixture of shock, confusion, and curiosity were written on their faces. Their jaws were hanging, that I was afraid they would dislocate and fall to the ground.

It’s then that I realized that I have just exposed my magic in front of the Kingdom of Imarnia. It’s why they were staring at me in pure shock. Dammit! I should have been more careful. It’s not just that, they were also scanning my hair, which now I noticed that my hat fell off when the man tried to escape.

I sighed. Well...this is awkward. How am I going to deal with this? Just waltz away?

Suddenly, the crowd before me scattered around, revealing a group of the royal guards lined up behind a man. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, gasped and bowed, even the children. Some people were whispering but I had no idea what they were saying.

The man was standing in the middle, the guards surrounded him on his left and right side. Not to mention that there were guards right behind him. I couldn’t help myself from staring at that man. He looked dark, like there were invisible shadows surrounding him. He was also tall, really tall actually, like maybe a foot taller than me.

His hair was thick and black, but not just any black. It was darker than black, if that was possible. It was falling over his broad forehead, and something inside of me thought of how would it be like if I ran my fingers through the thick strands?

That’s random...why am I thinking of that?

He had a broad chin, and a hard jaw line with high cheekbones. His squared jaw had a stubble, which added an edgier look to his manly features. My eyes went up to his face. His skin was pale and flawless. He had a straight nose, and full pink lips.

I wonder how would his lips feel? They looked pretty soft.

Hold on, why am I thinking like that?

I shook my head, this time focusing on his eyes. His eyes were hard, piercing and a color I have never seen before. His eyes were grey, but not just any grey. They were grey like how clouds are after a thunderstorm. It’s like a bunch of storms gathered in each eye...

In a way, they were nice to look at, even from a distant.

Then my gaze roamed over his body. He was wearing a black tunic designed with golden threads, with black epaulets the same design as his tunic, making his broad shoulders stick out even more. The tunic he wore clutched perfectly to his wide, strong chest, and I can even see a hint of muscles underneath.

And my mind imagined how he would look like without his tunic, or anything on, which made a disturbing image of him moving on top of my naked body appear on my mind. Ugh! Why do I keep having these out-of nowhere thoughts?

He was also wearing black trousers with black boots, and a long black cloak draped behind him, which had the same golden designs as his tunic at the end of it. That man was beautiful, that I had to say to myself. He was probably the most handsome man I have ever seen, and seeing him made something inside of me awaken. Something I have no clue of what it is, like a spring of fire burst within me and overwhelmed every limp of my body.

For a moment my body shuddered, and I suddenly felt cold despite the warm day. I could feel the pit of my stomach churning, and I couldn’t decide whether that was a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe it was both...

I caught the sight of my grandpa as he walked towards me and stood beside me. However, I didn’t look up at him, my eyes somehow refused to move away from that man. Grandpa stepped forward and walked to the strange man, and this time I turned my attention to him.

I watched as he stood in front of the dark man and bowed, and then he opened his mouth to speak.

“It’s been a long time, King Gabriel.”


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