IN THE BEGINNING, we are together.
He is standing there with his back to me. Such an amazing back it is, too. Strong, muscular. The kind of back that made you want to see his face. A face that I know is spectacularly handsome. So much more handsome than any human male could ever hope to be. So much more handsome than any human female could ever hope to see.
We are in a palace.
It’s a grand palace, built smack in the middle of the Cosmos. The palace has been made of pure gold and stardust. The windows—which go from the floor all the way up to the ceiling—hug the entire palace. Our staff was created from our thoughts and children’s laughter.
The sight of the Cosmos is truly awe-worthy, the kind of sight that could please even this beautiful male warrior in front of me.
There are stars.
Thousands of stars. Hundreds of thousands of stars. No, billions of stars. They are all across the sky as if they exploded. The sky itself is pitch black, but with spots of color. Purple, hints of pinks and blues.
“Come to bed, my love,” I call out to him.
He turns to gaze at me and yet again, I am sucked into his beauty. Hair as dark as the night sky, skin as smooth as the moon and where most beings have eyes, I see stars. His stars are the most dazzling things I’ve ever witnessed in my nearly thousand years of existence. The ring around his pupil was green, yet around the green was a deep shade of blue.
His eyes captivate me. They can look into my soul, my very being and not let me go.
It has been that way since my eyes met those stars.
He walks toward the bed, laying above me, situating himself between my legs, staring down at me with a gaze so intense, all I want to do is fall into him.
He doesn’t speak. My love is a man of few words. He prefers instead to show his affection. His hands moving across bare skin, his eyes gazing at me with fondness, his lips capturing mine with fierceness.
I can always tell what he is thinking by these actions alone. The touch of his skin seems to be like a floodgate that pours open only for me.
When he enters me all I can do is grip his shoulders as he moves inside me. My eyes close, wanting to enjoy this here and now with him. The love of my existence.
When we are done, he leans back against the pillows, my head resting against his broad chest, tracing the birthmark shaped like a star on his chest. The birthmark exactly like mine. The birthmark that is proof we are Soul Mates. A term that for many mortals seemed impossible, but for us is every bit as real as the Cosmos.
As a shooting star flies by, he murmurs, “I go off to battle tomorrow.”
I stiffen. I hate the idea of him going into battle. I know that war is who he is, it is his duty and his honor to protect our species from him. The man I had been betrothed to before I fell for my beloved has not been handling being told I would not be marrying him well. He has declared war on my people and my love will be on the front lines of that battle.
“I wish I could fight alongside you.” I sigh.
It is not as though women aren’t allowed to fight. We have many female warriors, every bit as strong and as fierce as the males. However, when you are the princess of the kingdom, your job is to stay behind closed doors and let no harm come to you. For if your life is lost, then the kingdom will fall also.
“You are needed here,” comes his soft voice, his calloused hands rubbing my arm softly. “Do not worry. When this is over, we will fly to Jupiter and be married. Once you’re Queen you can do as you please.”
My lips turn up into a smile. The thought of a wedding on Jupiter and becoming Queen with the man I love by my side makes me so happy that it’s a wonder I have yet to burst.
“You’ll come back to me, won’t you?” My voice is high with the nerves I’m feeling. I know he is a strong warrior, the fiercest of them all, but I can’t help but wonder, what if?
“Rania, do not fret,” he says, cupping my face gently in his strong hands, staring directly into my eyes. “Nothing can tear me away from you. Not even death. If I should die tomorrow, I swear by this mark,“—he gestures down at the birthmark that ties us together as one—“that my death will not mean the end for us. My soul will wander the Cosmos and wherever you go, I will go, too. All that I ask is that you recognize me.” He gives me a smile filled with boyish charm.
Unable to help myself, I smile back, my heart swelling at the words he just spoke.
“No matter where you are, no matter if you were mortal, I’d recognize you. If the roles should be reversed and I die before you, then I swear the same. Would you still love me if I were a mortal woman?”
He leans forward, pressing his lips against my forehead.
“I would love you no matter what you were. You are all that there will ever be for me.”
I close my eyes.
You are all there will ever be for me, too, my love.