Raphael and Lillian....
“Yes....” I heard Sid yelling and fist bumping in the air. I was also somewhere near his reaction but didn’t display it.
“Get in fast children. Even the trees are against us.”
Ignacia hurried us to move inside her little house. But how can that small space accommodate all of us?
No one bothered to acknowledge that other than me. Everyone was so overjoyed in finding her.
Once we entered, Ignacia sealed the door behind us or I must say pulled it hard and sealed the door as we were closely packed. And through the window I saw our little house being surrounded by transparent liquid.
The house was empty, not even a chair highlighted the place. I could barely breathe due to the congested space, and so were others.
“Oh... I can see that my out house is quite small. James dear would you mind pulling that lever down. It’s right behind you.”
He did as asked and suddenly the wall on that space opened and red light illuminated from there.
Each one of us descended the spiral shaped stairs.
This forest is so full of hideouts. First it was James and now Ignacia.
Once reaching the end we were welcomed by a medium sized hall, painted red with adequate furniture which also happened to be red with some hint of beige. No wonder she is a fire goddess.
The place was neatly maintained and the interior decoration was simple and elegant. At the corner there was a small cooking range and few utensils on top of it.
I saw a small beige door on the right, guess it’s the washroom.
“Do you like it dear? It’s not much though.”
I was unaware of her presence all this while.
“The room’s lovely despite its size.”
“I know you’ll like it. After all we are one.”
That brought me to my present situation.
“Ignacia we really need to talk. You don’t know how bad my situation is right now.”
“Of course i know dear. That’s why am hiding here in the first place. But before that you have to take rest. Relax a bit and then we will settle down. Because believe me when I say there’s a lot you need to know.”
I nodded slowly, understanding her point.
Within half an hour she served us soup and meantime I changed into a comfortable clothing, as well as Helena. I actually felt safe being here. Something tells me that Asmodius will not find us here.
“Children please take your seats.”
Ignacia acted like a mother to all of us. She was a sweet and humble lady despite the power she possessed.
She sat on the couch. Ryan and Cole joined her. James just stood at the side leaning on the pillar. I, Helena, Sid and Adrian took the carpeted floor.
“To start with, am really happy to see you all here. I thought I’ll be found by Asmodius first but you proved me wrong. You all have worked hard.
How did you find my location anyway?”
Ryan explained everything to her. From the day he kidnapped me to how we discovered the lake.
“I must say that’s impressive. If it was not for Atarah you wouldn’t have found me. Only she and I have the access to this artificial lake and that too because she is my successor. Otherwise even if someone decided to take a dip in the lake, it would have been normal with aqua creatures and stones.”
“Why you a powerful goddess have to hide from Asmodius?”
Helena asked as if she was reading her thoughts.
“I may be powerful child but Asmodius is evil. He can kill me with his sinful powers, while I cannot.”
“Why?” Cole shifted from his position.
“Because I am a giver of life and not the other”
It made sense now. She was feared of being killed and that too because of me. Guilt started to consume me little by little.
“You are unnecessarily blaming yourself Atarah. It’s not your fault at all.”
I looked at her a bit shocked. How did she know what am thinking?
“I can read you like an open book. Not only you but everyone here, I call you my children for a purpose.” She smiled at me genuinely.
“So shall we start from the beginning... when little Raphael and Lillian fell in love.”
On hearing their names I became fully aware to her words.
(From here on it’s the author’s point of view.)
Raphael was not the first one to notice that beauty in golden gown. It was like the whole ball room was staring at her. But she gave notice to none.
He was aware that the werewolf princess was beautiful, but seeing her for the first time made his heart flutter with different emotions.
“What was her name?”
Raphael asked to the much younger version of Ryan.
“Lillian. Why, you seem to be so enchanted by her.”
“Don’t tease your uncle, Ryan.” He said not taking his eyes off her. Lillian.... such a beautiful name for such a beautiful girl!
“You know you are more like an elder brother to me.”
“That’s only because your father happened to be four hundred years older than me.”
“And am thankful for that”
Ryan said pouring wine onto the goblets and handing one to Raphael.
“Practically all the boys are killing to be near her. I won’t be having any chance right?”
He asked taking the goblet from him.
“You’ll only know that if you try.”
“Of course now off you go.”
Emptying the whole content, he placed the wine glass on the table and made his way to the ‘heart stealing beauty’ with a determined face.
“Would you grant me the honor for next dance?”
Lillian turned to answer a ‘no’ for the hundredth time today, but forgot the word seeing him.
Lillian knew that every boy on the hall was attracted to her, but she avoided them all. She didn’t wish to be the center of attraction but just to spend the night with little Cole who was her late servant’s son. She took him everywhere she went, as both of them enjoyed each other’s company more than anyone else.
Cole didn’t like the stranger’s presence at all but he kept his mouth shut.
Both Raphael and Lillian gasped hearing her response. She didn’t know what made her say that.
Raphael quickly masked his surprised face and extended his hand for her to take.
She asked her servant to take care of Cole for a little while and then took his hand.
Raphael heard low growling and curses from the other male population present while he accompanied Lillian to the dance floor. He mentally smirked at them.
They started to a slow rhythm. And despite the strangeness both of them were comfortable in each other’s hands.
Ryan and Cole watched the show with different emotions. While Ryan was happy for them, Cole sulked seeing how happy Lillian was with him.
“So you are Raphael ‘O’ Donnels.”
“You know me?” He asked bending his neck to see a smiling Lillian.
“Of course I know you. You are the Vampire Prince along with your nephew there.”
She said looking at Ryan who was busy talking with some random girl.
“Yes. But the throne belongs to him.”
“I know that too. But it doesn’t change the title for you.”
There was a comforting silence between them.
“Werewolf Princess ha?”
He looked at her confused.
“Just kidding Raphael Yes I am the one and only Werewolf Princess Lillian Sarah Marleigh.” She said in a sassy way.
Raphael smiled seeing how easily both of them got along.
They discussed about their kingdoms and royal families, exchanged few jokes and secrets.
What was supposed to be a single dance lasted till the end of the ball?
While leaving both of them bid their goodbyes but promised to meet again.
And so they met, not once or twice but as many as times till Raphael was sure that he fell hard for the werewolf princess.