Dark Mage

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12_Summer Prince and me

"You know, they say that the stars are the reincarnation of our dead ones, so basically they can hear you if you talk to the stars," a voice startled me. Making me jump from the bench.
He laughed and I've never heard of such a melodic laugh before. So hypnotizing and contagious at the same time. I smiled at him and curtsied.

"Pardon my intrusion, your highness."

"You can stop groveling now. No one's around to see it." Prince Ashton gestured for me to sit.

"I did not mean to ruin your night," I said meekly. Geez, I couldn't catch a break with these people. It's like wherever I go, one of them is there.

"Oh hush, you can't ruin something that is already ruined. I like the gardens too you know. It's so peaceful and quiet," he smiled at me.

"You're the mage from the dark court, what's your name again?" He tapped his finger to his chin as if trying to conjure the name he has forgotten.

"Everybody calls me Eve, your highness."

"Well I am not everybody, aren't I? So give me the honor of knowing you by another name miss Eve." He smiled at me and I don't know why but I'm pretty sure that smile can warm even the coldest heart there is. I did not expect him to be this gentle. I expected him to be a douche like what Daphne told me earlier.

"You know, names in the dark kingdom are sacred. No one can know your full name. We follow the old law of the goddess," I told him honestly.

Our kingdom is not like their kingdom. The implications of knowing one's name means you are intimate with them and only your soulbonded and your parents can know your full name. Being soulbonded means that your partners soul is tied to yours. It is rare to have a soulbound now a days but the royal family of the dark court is strict on this protocol. I cannot be caught dead with a man unless he is my bonded. It is believed that we cannot choose who we are bonded with. The goddess Nike chooses for her children.

"Oh, I forgot about that law. We followed it here too but I think somewhere a long the line, people forgot about it and chose for themselves. You know you can choose, right? And it's not like you don't already know what you want." He countered, offering a sweet smile that made me feel butterflies in my stomach.

My feelings are in a haywire ever since I got here. I must be coming down with something.

"If I tell you then you'll have to take responsibility." I looked at him and he was looking at me too. I've never seen those kind of eyes before. It's so vibrant and full of life, unlike the stormy gray eyes I was looking at before.

"I'm a man with honour. I'll take responsibility," he crossed his hand at his heart and smiled his boyish grin that made his eyes sparkle even brighter. I laughed at him and shook my head. I could tell him part of my name but even that would cause a stir if my mother knew about it. I am seriously not considering telling him but what my mother doesn't know won't kill her, right?

"Fine, if you insist. I can only tell you my second name. Because if you do know my full name then you'll have to marry me." I smiled at him. He laughed and smirked at me.

"I'll take what I can get," he offered his hand for me to shake. I took it and boy was his hand so warm it's like being near the furnace in a cold winter night.

"It's Andriea, your highness." I whispered at his ears, making sure nobody heard me say it. I was assaulted with the smell of lavender and honey. I inhaled it, taking my time to straighten up so that I can take the smell into memory.

"Andriea, I like it," the way he said my name made my heart beat irregulary faster than before. Oh this is not happening to me. Dear heart stop your antiques and beat properly.

"I'll call you Drei, if that's okay with you but I promise to do it only if were alone. To give you something in return I'm giving you the permission to call me Niklaus or Nik for short. No one's ever used that before." He looked at me, waiting for my acceptance of his suggestion.

"I'd like that Nik." I smiled at him.
"Out of curiosity, how do you know if someone is bonded to you?" He inquired at me. Tilting his head sideways, making the moonlight fully illuminate his face and his curious eyes. I was wrong when I said that Prince Levi's face is more beautiful. Nik is gorgeous and almost in parr with the gods. I considered him for a while.

"I don't know. Only the royal family of the dark realm fully practices the law. The lower noble families like where I'm from follows some of the rules but not all of them." I lied at him. It's not like I can tell him the truth.

You can know that you're bonded to the person if the goddess visits you in your dreams and tell you who it is. My father used to tell me that the night before he and mom met the goddess visited his dreams and told him that his bonded would be the woman who will ask him to run away with him. Surely enough, the next morning, when my mom was out of the palace and posing as a commoner she ran into trouble and my dad was there to help her. She grabbed my father's hand and told him to run like his life depended on it. I remember him telling me that the first time my mother held his hand was like finally coming home and the missing piece that you have never known that was missing was suddenly there in your heart. To this day, my mother won't tell me about the dream she had.

"Huh, My parents never mentioned it to me before. They married for political reasons and not for love. Being bonded here in the summer court is rare. But I think my nana once told me that being bonded was the greatest thing that could happen to a person. When she and pops met they were automatically attracted to each other. Like they couldn't live without the other. They just knew that their lives will never be the same again." He said wistfully.

"Wait, so you call the queen mother nana and the king pops?" I laughed at him. He laughed a bit and looked at me, passing a look that was gone before I could recognize it.

Good gods, his laugh sound like sweet melodies that my wind chimes at home produce when probed with the north wind. The tension between us is too heavy and it doesn't sit comfortable in my stomach. Maybe, I really am sick.

"Yeah, but don't tell the queen that I told you that. I'll be in so much trouble for breaking decorum." He laughed and stood up.

"Speaking of my mother, I better run or she might miss me and send out an army to find me," he joked but I know from experience that she would do it in a heartbeat. He took my hand and kissed my knuckles and every touch of his lips sends jolt of lightning to my spine. More of this and I won't be able to control myself and reveal all my secrets to him. He is dangerous not only for my cover but also for my heart.
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