“Red, I have to tell you something,” Ajax whispers into my neck.
It was still dark outside, early hours of the morning. I could still hear the crashing of the waves, and the intoxicating smell of the God-like man laying next to me. Our naked bodies are intertwined, his head on my chest. I am in heaven, Ajax made love to me all night and I am still reeling from it. I feel like we are eternally connected, a bond that can never be broken. I never want to leave this moment, it’s beautiful and utterly perfect.
If you told me three months ago that this would happen, I’d call you a complete lunatic. Even now I can’t barely wrap my head around it. It’s only something a fairy godmother can do, Fairy Godmother Inc.
“Tell me,” I whisper, feeling his lips on my neck.
“The next battle is the wild card; it only happens every so often. Only a hand full of times in our history,” he whispers, but I can sense his anger. “This is the sole reason why I am pushing Leon to get the license at all costs.” He leans up on his elbows, looking down at me.
His gorgeous raven hair falling forwards, pale eyes practically glowing in the dark morning. Ajax is so unnaturally beautiful it shocks me that he is so infatuated with me. It’s quite the humbling feeling.
Ajax continues as his gaze traces over my face. “Not that I do not want to marry you quickly, but this might be only way to save your life Red.”
I frown. “What is this game?” I ask, feeling my pulse jump.
“It’s the end game.”
I stare at him.
“Whoever wins will most likely win the entire competition, a hundred points is awarded. So, if we win, it’s all over,” He says carefully. “But there is a big catch.”
“And that is?”
I am not going to like this, I know it.
“Only two teams will participate this time. On game day, tomorrow, and everyone will gather in the large arena, in front of the entire world. Each of the teams will vote on one person they want to see in the ring,” he says and leans down to kiss my shoulder.
I shiver. “Oh shit,” I whisper.
Ajax looks away. “This is done by design Red, when you did not die last game, I was not surprised when this was announced. They want you dead as soon as possible.”
“They will vote me in,” I whisper.
“And they will vote in another, most likely the strongest player to take you down,” I can see this is hard for him to talk about it. “It’s a battle to the death, Red. This is very serious.”
I feel sick.
“I won’t let that happen,” I hear him say.
I take a breath. “How will you stop it?”
“I marry you.”
“Ajax, if you don’t know if you can, it can backfire,” I say, searching his face. “You could be the one on the chopping block.” I can feel dread seep into every pore of my body. “What happens if you intervene with the, fight-to-the-death battle? This wild card match.”
Ajax closes his eyes. “Imprisonment. I can lose my birthright.”
“Ajax,” I say, “You can’t marry me yet, it’s too risky.”
“I have to gamble Red, the odds are against you,” he says and sits up, ranking a hand through his hair. “It’s our only hope. They will put out their best combat fighter!”
I flinch. “Leon said it could take weeks to acquire that information,” I say and sit up, pulling a velvet blanket up to my breasts. “You don’t know if they will vote me in, maybe you are just paranoid.”
He glances at me. “I would bet my life on it, Red.”
“You still are just assuming,” I try and be positive, but I know. I’d be a fool not to think there is master plan behind this decision. “Do you think they know of the loophole? Hoping you will come in to save me, thus losing your inheritance, your birthright.”
“That is my hope,” he says and takes a large breath.
I need to talk to Pierce and beg him.
We need this marriage to be legit.
“I have to go and find Leon, we need to be married by tonight, before tomorrow happens.” He gets up and I can’t even appreciate the view I am so sick with nerves.
“But if Leon can’t get the papers to prove the marriage is a legit one, what then?”
He turns to look at me. “You fight.”
Flix rubs a hand down his face. “Pierce is working as fast as he can. Altering fate takes major steps of approval.”
I hug myself, sitting on my bed. “I have to go train in an hour for tomorrow.”
“That might be wise.”
I sniff, wiping a tear of frustration. “Why is everything so damn complicated.”
Flix looks up at me and pauses his typing. “Well, when you change the course of an entire existence, it tends to get messy.”
“Pierce says hold off on signing the marriage license, in case they are denied. Ajax getting killed is very real, and can happen. Fairy Godmother Inc. cannot intervene on something like that.” He gives me a pitting look.
I frown and gasp. “Really?! I am just supposed to tell Ajax no?!”
He sighs, his little body looking slumped. “I have no clue; I am just as confused as you are. This is one F-up situation sista.”
I stand and wipe my face. “What’s crying going to do about it? Fucking nothing. I am going to go and train. I will win the piece of shit game tomorrow. I am pretty strong myself, despite what everyone thinks.”
I’m Big Red, not a little bitch.
We both jump when we hear a knock at the door.
Flix is gone as the door swings open.
My heart is pounding as Ajax walks in with a group of people. Ajax, Leon and more Fey that I cannot place. What’s going on? Ajax makes me shiver as I look at him in question. He is in body armor with combat weapons strapped to him looking very threatening. His hair is barely long enough to be pulled back and his bulging muscles has my cheeks heating, remembering what he did to me last night. A slow shiver slithers down my spine as I watch his pale gaze zone in on me.
I look at all the people in my small room then back to Ajax as he holds out his hands out to me to grab. I take a breath and grab his hands. “Ajax?”
He turns while still holding my hands, nodding to Leon. “Get it set up, fast.”
“Ajax?” I say again, fearing that I know what is happening. The last man that entered most definitely looks like a priest of some sort, in a long dark and white robe holding a weathered book.
My heart is hammering now, and I start to panic as I glance around at everyone. Ajax frowns as he looks back at me, eyes studying me intently. “We will be married now, Red. We can’t just sign the correct documents, as my wife, my queen, you must go through a small portion of the ceremony with witnesses.”
I swallow and feel my face heat, seeing eyes are on me. “Ajax,” I say in a quite plead. “This could be suicide.”
I pull back slightly and his hold on my hands clamp down, bring me closer to him. “Red, this is a gamble I am willing to take, you know this.”
Fairy Godmother Inc. told me to wait, but the look in his gaze is searing my soul. I shiver and I’m sure he can hear my heart beating hard, echoing throughout this quiet room. I don’t know what to do, go against Pierce?
“Red,” he whispers. “Trust me.”
I feel my eyes start to sting and I curse under my breath, this is not fair. “But you don’t know for sure. I don’t want anyone to sacrifice themselves for me like this. Not like this.”
“Fortunately, it’s not your decision who I can give my life to. And, it must be like this,” he whispers and that makes tears stream down my face and I look away. “Look at me,” he orders softly.
I sniff, trying to not break down in front of all these people. They must all think Ajax is half mad, delusional for taking such a big risk like he is. This marriage will shock this world to the core, the impact will be massive. Never in their recent history has something like this happened. I bet the priest was horrified when they told him who he was marrying together. Ajax does not seem to care, which is a bigger testimony on how he feels.
I look at him and he tilts his head at me, studying me with those pale orbs. He mouths, ”I love you.”
My whole body tenses.
I’m sorry, Fairy Godmother Inc.
I can’t say no to this. I am not strong enough to say no to that. I nod, and mouth back, ”I love you.” Praying I am not making a damning decision.
I close my eyes and pray for a miracle to save me, to save us.
I open my eyes to see them drape sashes and other meaningful jewels and crests around him. His eyes are on me and I shiver, seeing the level of intensity in them. This is happening. Leon walks up to me and drapes a blue velvet sash over my right shoulder.
“Breathe,” Leon whispers.
I barely acknowledge him, my eyes still locked with Ajax. His stare is unwavering, like he is trying to hold me captive, scared I will bolt. He’s not wrong either. I am marrying someone who has no idea who I really am. I love Ajax so profoundly that guilt is eating me alive.
Can I really do this to him without telling him?
It does not seem like I have a choice in this. It would crush him if I choose to run away right now, not understanding my reasoning.
Ajax is holding out his hands palm up, a faint glow emitting off them. He is watching me with a frown now, I can see the concern in his gaze.
“Red,” he prompts.
I feel another tear stream down my face as I back up.
“Red,” Ajax says again, confusion in his features.
“Ajax I can’t,” I whisper.
His eyes widen.
I look to Leon and everyone else in this room and almost have a full-on anxiety attack. I glance back to Ajax. “You don’t know me Ajax, not yet at least,” I plead.
“I don’t give a fuck Red, I want you however I can have you. I know enough,” he says with vigor, not caring who hears. “This has to be done.”
I am tempted to use a life-line this is so painful.
“Red, place your hands on mine,” I can see the fear in his eyes, and it’s killing me.
I don’t know what Pierce expects me to do here. I just have to follow what I feel and pray this won’t hurt him too much in the end’s reveal. I walk up to him and hold out my hands, my arms shaking as I place them over Ajax’s glowing palms. I feel electric vibrations emitting off of him, like he is branding me.
I can see the relief in his expression, as he expels a breath, looking to the priest, nodding. The priest nods back and starts talking in a foreign language that sounds ancient and serious. This is soul binding.
My brain is working in slow motion.
I can hear my own breathing, praying Pierce will not be too mad at me.
They drape glittering jewels over our hands and intertwine them together. This God-like man will be my husband very shortly. I shiver, feeling like I am dreaming, this can’t be really happening. Oh, but it it very real and scary. I look up at him and see an expression that makes my cheeks heat. He winks at me and I can see a slight smile pull at his lips.
I relax a few degrees, seeing that smile.
I smile back as another tear streams down my face. The Priest says something to him, and Ajax says while nodding, ”Aebella rel’ Valro.”
The priest looks at me and asks the same thing.
I don’t know what to say.
I look at Ajax and he frowns. “Red, just say the words,” he softly prompts.
I remember the first word he said but that’s it, my brain not working properly. My heart is beating wildly as I say, ”Aebella..."
Ajax tilts his head as he studies me.
I swallow, I bet now Ajax is wondering why I do not know their native tongue for marriage. I give him a desperate look.
"Rel’ Valro,” he says to me, his gaze seeing too much.
I blush and look at the priest. ”Rel’ Valro.”
The priest nods and motions for us to kiss, I hope, anyway.
Ajax takes a breath and removes the jewels and grabs my face, his thumb rubbing my jaw line. When his lips touch mine, everything falls away. His lips move over mine and I feel his smile against me.
“We are done Red,” he whispers into my lips. “You’re mine, forever.”
I am his, at least for now.
We are man and wife.
Holy shit I am married.
I shiver, feeling elated, wanting someone to pinch me. Now comes the hard part. Keeping this marriage a secret until Leon or Pierce can prove its authenticity. And, of course, not dying tomorrow. That would spoil everything.
“Red,” he lifts my chin, with another kiss. “Now we go train, I am training you myself. I have to keep my wife alive tomorrow in case you are voted in. I am not going to let you die,” he whispers.
Tomorrow will be the end game.
Everything will ride on if I get voted in or not. Wouldn’t it be nice, if for some miracle I do not get voted in?
What a silly, naive little thought.