Be Careful What You Wish For
Chapter One – Be Careful What You Wish For
“Man, I’m sweating like crazy,” Milo complained and pulled at his collar with a dejected look on his face.
“Only one month left, and we’ll be out of school and out of these uniforms,” Kai hurried to assure him. “Not sure if I want to become a grownup just yet.”
They were behind the school, and only the summer cicadas filled the air with noise. Milo had told him he had something to say to him, and now Kai was curious.
“Come on, man, what did you want to tell me? Did your folks buy you the latest T-box?”
Milo grimaced. “Seriously, dude, are you that ready for your life as a NEET? You’re only thinking about video games all day long.”
“Correction, my dude. I’m not thinking about them. I’m playing them all day long. And night. I’m also watching anime.”
“Yeah. That’s why you’re so pale and skinny.”
Kai laughed and punched his best friend in the shoulder. “So? I have you as my guardian. Nobody dares to touch me while I’m walking side by side with The Beast,” he joked.
Unlike him, Milo was into sports, particularly basketball. On the court, he was focused and determined, which was why he had earned himself that nickname. Also, unlike him, Milo had prospects to go to college in the fall. For now, Kai didn’t have the slightest idea what he wanted to do with his life. Most probably, he would end up scanning barcodes at the supermarket, which pretty much was what he was doing already – part-time – to feed his addiction to games.
The difference between him and Milo was visible from a mile away. Milo was athletic, blond, and handsome, while he was gangly, with dark hair, white skin, and often taken for a goth or emo kid. Some people had never heard of the music revolution.
“So, what did you want to tell me? Here, in the middle of nowhere?”
“We’re behind the school, dude.” Milo looked away for a moment and leaned against the wall.
Kai followed his every move with increased curiosity. “What is it? Now you’re starting to give me the willies.”
Milo laughed for a moment, like he was embarrassed by something, and then ran one hand through his wavy hair. Kai had always secretly envied Milo for his fantastic hair, but he didn’t let petty things get in the way of their friendship.
“What the hell… are you blushing? Ah, I know. You got yourself a girlfriend! You sly dog.”
Milo suddenly looked straight at him. “No, I didn’t. There’s something else I want to tell you, Kai.”
“So? Go ahead already. Or I’m starting to think it’s something bad. Wait, is it something bad?”
“No, no, nothing like that.” Milo inhaled and exhaled. “It’s just something… look, I’ve never seen you with a girl.”
“I’ve never seen you with a girl, either. Seriously, dude, you’re only hanging out with me, and you could have anyone else as a girlfriend or a friend or whatever.”
“I don’t want anyone else.”
Kai couldn’t recall seeing the same intense look in Milo’s eyes, except for when he was playing, and he wanted to score. Did Milo want to score now? “Cool. I mean, it’s cool that I’m your friend. You would be a dumb jock without me.”
“Kai, I’m going to tell you something. Promise me that you’ll be honest when you reply to what I’m about to say.”
“Sure thing. Just spit it out already. I’m boiling in this uniform just as much as you, although I might not look like it.”
Milo looked away again but then set his eyes on Kai. “I’ve always liked you.”
“And? I like you, too, bro.”
“No, like… like.”
Like, like? “Um …”
“Will you go out with me? On a date? A real date?”
Kai felt his jaw falling, his eyes going out like popcorn, and his knees turning to jelly. He stiffened, pulled back his jaw, and closed his eyes. What the hell was he supposed to answer to that? No, no, no, this wasn’t happening…
If only I got transported to another world like in those cool anime series --
He gasped as the ground beneath his feet suddenly disappeared, and he struggled to open his eyes, but his eyelids were heavy, and he couldn’t move a muscle in his body. The sound of a dreadful wind passed by his ears and a deep fear engulfed him.
Then, just like that, he opened his eyes, and the wind was gone. The first thing he noticed was a high light blue ceiling adorned with delicate filigree the color of gold.
The second was that he was lying on a bed and that the room he was in looked nothing like the back of the high school where he had been only seconds ago.
“What the hell…” he murmured.
“Up already?” A gruff voice asked from his right.
Kai snapped his head toward the source of those words.
The third thing he noticed was the young man in bed with him. A very handsome, very naked man. He had eyes like molten lava and dark hair that caressed his shoulders.
Kai whimpered when the man pushed aside the coverlet, letting him see a… thing of impressive dimensions. He moved his eyes to the filigree on the ceiling in an instant.
“Ready for another round, then?” the man asked.
Another round of… what?
Oh, he needed to say the words out loud if he wanted to be heard. “Another round of… what?”
“Are you done playing with me?” The man scoffed, and much to Kai’s relief, got out of the bed.
Not that it served too much to watch him parade his naked body around. Kai had nothing but bro feelings toward guys, but he couldn’t stop staring. The man had tanned skin, and if anyone needed a model for studying anatomy or art, they could use his body for learning all the group muscles.
He cocked his head and squinted. Yeah, totally, all the muscles were there.
“What are you doing?” the man inquired in a tone that left no room for imagination about what feelings he nurtured toward the other person in the room.
Kai closed his eyes for a moment and then exhaled. “Where am I?”
Now, the man looked at him like he had just escaped from a mental institution.
“Oh, right,” Kai said and pushed himself up on his butt. He put one finger up. “I’ve been transported to another world, and I’m… the hero?”
At that, the man scoffed. “I suppose your people must see you as the hero,” he said through his teeth. “Although I doubt it.”
Kai blinked a few times. The way he got there was wrong on so many levels. First of all, it didn’t look like he had been summoned. There was nothing like some curvy goddess needing him for daring quests, and instead, he had been teleported to some dude’s bed. Not to mention, everything pointed at this world belonging to a particular sub-genre called…
“Boys’ love?” he asked out loud.
The handsome man gave him the evil eye now. He sneered. “Where do you see any boys? Or love?”
Hmm, so it wasn’t? Kai rubbed his chin in thought. He had plenty of questions to ask, but the handsome naked dude didn’t look like a good source for finding information. He was no expert, but he could tell the guy hated his guts.
Which wasn’t fair since they had just met.
His train of thought was interrupted by the huge doors opening. Another attractive young man in butler livery came in, pushing what looked like a mobile food tray. Well, maybe this servant was his guide in this different world.
This one had short blond hair, brushed over his head, and delicate features. However, he wore a sour expression on his face. “Your breakfast, Sire,” he said in a frosty voice that dropped the temperature in the room by at least four-point-five degrees.
Kai eyed the tray on which several plates covered by shiny lids lay. By how the butler slash servant looked at him, he wasn’t sure that food was safe to eat. The guy must have spat in his breakfast or something before coming here.
“I think I’m good,” Kai said and got to his feet.
The naked man stared at him with a mix of disdain and reluctant lust on his face. The servant’s eyes grew wide, and then, he quirked an eyebrow. His lips twitched and stretched into a smirk as he looked down.
Kai did the same and then he realized he was completely naked. But that wasn’t all.
His body didn’t look like his body at all. He quickly searched the room and rushed to the tall mirror in a corner.
His reflection stared back at him in the same disbelief he was feeling. If the mirror wasn’t magic or some serious shit like that, he was a six-foot hunk with platinum blond hair that poured down his back to his waist, eyes the color of blue ice, and lean muscles in all the right places.
“Oh. My. God!” he yelled. He turned toward the other two men, who stared at him in unhidden confusion and disbelief. “I’m hot!”
The servant pursed his lips. “Are you running a fever, Sire? That’s hardly believable. Your Majesty is healthy as a bull.”
Right, right, this was a world where words like ‘hot’ didn’t mean the same thing as they did in this world. Well, he should have been disappointed that his body hadn’t traveled with him, but could that mean…
“I’m overpowered?” he asked out loud.
The servant and the naked guy exchanged alarmed looks. Well, none of them was his guide, for sure, which meant that, at best, they were secondary characters, and his first quest was to find the entity that had summoned him to this world.
“I need to get out of here,” he said matter-of-factly.
“Like that?” the servant asked, pursing his lips in disapproval and letting his eyes travel over Kai’s body once more.
“Right. I need clothes,” Kai said brightly. “What’s your name?” he asked the servant or butler or whatever he was.
The guy stared at him in shock, then looked hurt, and then schooled his face into a neutral expression. “It’s Pepin, Sire. I’ve been serving you for fifteen years.”
“Really?” Kai didn’t hide his surprise. “Like since you were a baby?”
“I was five when I was brought here,” Pepin said slowly, and a frown wrinkled his forehead.
“Ah, so you’re twenty. I’m eighteen,” Kai offered, wanting, for some reason, to make friends with the guy. After all, it looked like he was in charge of the food.
The naked man scoffed.
Oh, right, maybe his character was a little older… He could be twenty-five or so.
“You’re twenty-two, Your Majesty,” Pepin supplied the information.
“Right, right,” Kai hurried to confirm. He needed to watch his mouth. He had no idea what rules governed this world, but maybe he could break the magic that had allowed him to be transported here by saying the wrong things. “And you are…” He turned toward the naked guy, keeping his head stiff so that he wouldn’t look down at the thing between those muscular thighs. The strongest reason was that he didn’t want to trigger himself into a bout of envy. There was no other reason.
The immediate response was a sneer. “Are you sure you don’t know my name? I bet you’ll remember it when you need to communicate it to the executioner.”
Kai grimaced. “The executioner? I won’t do that.”
A skeptical look countered him. “You won’t remember it even then? You’ll just say ‘off with his head’?”
Kai guffawed. “Off with… Seriously, who says that?” Seeing the stricken expression on the other’s face, he reconsidered. “Oh, right. No, I won’t… condemn you to death or stuff like that.”
The man walked closer, with a menacing look on his face. “What kind of new torture do you have in store for me?”
Kai took a few steps back until he met the bed with the back of his legs. For good measure, he climbed backward on the bed and put as much distance as he could between him and that dangerous man. He was no fighter, and he was no lover. Actually, he didn’t have too many skills, to begin with.
“Sir Conrad.” Pepin hurried to stop the menace from advancing by placing himself between them. “I believe His Majesty is not quite himself today. I advise you to withdraw to your quarters and wait for further orders.”
“Which are? To put my neck in a noose on my own accord?”
“Let’s not get so dramatic here,” Kai found himself talking. “It must be a show for kids.”
The moment the words left his mouth, he knew he was getting ahead of himself. What show for kids showed full-frontal male nudity? Shit, it could be that Conrad’s worries were not exaggerations.
“Look,” he put both hands up, “as long as I’m here, no one is going to execute you or anything.” Technically, not a lie. “Ah, here’s a better idea. Why don’t you go somewhere that’s not here? Like your home or something?” he suggested, pleased with his idea. This way, he could send Conrad out of harm’s way even if he didn’t stick around for too long.
Conrad’s face twisted with hatred. Pepin put both hands on his chest to keep him. “Why are you taunting me like this? Tired of me already? Don’t I have any more use for you?”
“Nope,” Kai said. He could guess the ‘use’ Conrad was talking about. And he definitely didn’t want to be part of that, even if it was a BL show. No, he would play this his way. “I have no more use for you. You’re free to leave.” He gestured with his hands to shoo away Conrad.
“I have no place to go, no home,” Conrad started, and his voice heated, “because of you!”
Oh, shit. That was bad. “Hmm, but don’t you have like relatives? An aunt in the countryside, stuff like that?”
Pepin proved too weak to keep Conrad. Kai yelped as it took Conrad only two seconds to push the servant away and reach him. They fell on the bed, Conrad’s hands wrapped around his throat. Out of instinct and not because he thought himself capable of fighting off that killing machine, he grabbed the guy’s wrists and squeezed.
Much to his surprise, the intense look of hatred on Conrad’s face turned into pain and the tight grip on his throat loosened. “I am overpowered!” he exclaimed as he moved Conrad’s hands away and pushed him off him with ease.
Kai looked at his hands in disbelief. Conrad was in the middle of the room, and the look in his eyes was now that of a hurt and humiliated man. For a second, Kai felt triumphant, but then he winced. It wasn’t like him to belittle others since he was generally helpless, and he wasn’t capable of hurting anyone, anyway.
But wait, now he could. Yet, that shouldn’t change who he was. He scratched his head. Where was the damned guide or whoever summoned him and all that?
Pepin grabbed Conrad by one arm. “You need to go to your room, now, Sir Conrad,” he said in a stern tone.
Conrad threw him one last look, and he walked out of the room with his shoulders hunched. Kai felt really bad about that.
Now, he was supposed to get dressed and go scout the perimeter. Later, if he got stuck around long enough, he would find a way to send Conrad someplace where he wasn’t threatened to lose his head or hang or whatever.
Kai stopped for a moment. But what if Conrad was the villain? What if he deserved it? Hmm, that complicated things. Okay, so the guy hated his guts, but he didn’t have the narrow, evil eyes of a villain.
That he needed to find out. But, first, he needed clothes. He walked over to a closet and opened it. “Wow,” he whispered as he took in the beautiful silk shirts and coats with delicate embroidery. “I’m not only smoking hot, I’m loaded!” What he looked at was, most probably, the equivalent of having a closet full of designer clothes in the real world.
Real world… Kai pondered for a moment. Could it be that he was dreaming?
The doors behind him opened and closed with a bang that startled him. He turned to find Pepin staring at him with burning eyes. “What is wrong with you, Sebastian?”
Ah, so that was his name in this strange world.
Sebastian steeled himself as invisible vines wrapped around his body, pulling him down. He was in a dream, a strange, vivid dream, and all he needed to do was wake up. He willed his eyelids to open, but to no avail. His body was growing heavier and heavier, and he was falling.
Could it be a curse? His entire body became taut as his mind searched for answers.
And suddenly, the heaviness disappeared, and he opened his eyes.
Before him, a new world lay. Behind a stone fence, strange-looking contraptions in shiny colors moved like guided by magic. He closed his eyes again. He was probably still dreaming.
“Hey, I know it’s not exactly what you wanted to hear from your best friend, but could you say something?” an anxious voice asked from his left.
Sebastian squeezed his eyelids. Last night… ah, he had enjoyed Conrad’s skillful ministrations as a lover, and he had been delighted to discover that the captive prince did live up to his reputation. Of course, the fact that Conrad had hated it every step of the way made it all the more delicious, although he had been a bit too enthusiastic to have truly hated it…
“Kai, could you please not ignore me?” the pleading from before started again.
Sebastian opened his eyes, and the same view from before welcomed him. He turned his head, and his eyes met a chin. A strong, chiseled chin. Hmm, this person appeared to be quite tall. Sebastian looked up and stared at a pair of green eyes and a handsome young face. If it was a curse, the witches that must have cooked it loved an irony. They probably knew his weakness regarding good-looking men.
Therefore, he needed to be cautious about this messenger, no matter how handsome. “Who are you, commoner?”
The young man was dressed in a simple dark coat and a white shirt. He had wavy hair the color of gold, and a particularly delicious mouth.
No, he needed to keep his lust in check. He had already debated with himself so much whether keeping Conrad was a good idea after all. His weakness would be the death of him.
“Commoner? Really, man? Are you going to try to get rid of me by pretending to be some character?”
The way the commoner spoke was strange. First of all, that was no way to address a prince and Prince Sebastian of all people.
Sebastian narrowed his eyes and stretched one arm. He wore the same dark clothes as the other young man, and from the cuff of his shirt, jutted out a bony hand. Surprised, he moved his hands to his face.
What a mighty curse! He couldn’t say exactly what was different, but he had been shrunk! He grabbed the commoner by the front of his shirt and pulled him close so that they could be level with one another. The beautiful green eyes stared at him in unhidden surprise.
“Tell me,” he said through his teeth, “what do you see?”
“Um, that you lost your mind a little over my asking you out on a date?”
“A date?” Sebastian was sure by now his eyes had turned to slits. No one resisted his icy look, no one. “What is that, a date?”
The young man laughed and blushed. “You know, go out to the movies or the arcade, and then grab a bite or something like that.”
Sebastian couldn’t understand half of it. “To what end?” The curse wanted something from him, without a doubt. He now needed to learn what.
“Um, I don’t know… maybe… a kiss?” The commoner bit his lower lip.
Sebastian swallowed hard. Damn his weakness! “A kiss?” That thing he understood. So, he only needed to kiss this stranger in plain clothes, and he would return to his realm?
There had never been stranger or sweeter curses then. He pulled the commoner close and pressed his lips against that enrapturing mouth.
It was as sweet as he imagined, so Sebastian bit on the lower lip the commoner had so enticingly teased just earlier. A small surprised gasp was the answer, and the beautiful mouth opened to him. Sebastian grabbed the other by the back of the head and moved his tongue for a full, hopefully satisfying taste.
The other was hesitant in front of his attack, so Sebastian leaned forward, trying to get more. Firm hands came on his shoulders, and he was pushed back gently. The commoner looked flustered. “Oh, Kai, I had no idea. I mean… did you… I mean…”
Hmm, the curse hadn’t been lifted. Sebastian looked around. The commoner appeared to be a simpleton, and he was probably just a trick used by the witches to stray him from the real purpose of this trial.
The commoner let go of him and straightened his clothes. “I should head home,” he said and looked down. “But, man,” he laughed like he couldn’t believe something, “I’ll see you later, right?”
Hopefully not, although the young man was beautiful. He chose not to reply. The commoner walked over to him and gave him a clumsy kiss on the cheek. “Bye, Kai.”
So, his assigned name in this strange world was Kai. As the stranger walked away, Sebastian acted on impulse and called after him, “What’s your name?”
The young man laughed. “You’re pulling my leg, right? I’m Milo Bennett and I’m the happiest guy in the world!” he yelled and threw his arms up while tilting his head back with a delighted smile.
Milo Bennett. What a strange name. As for being the happiest man in the world, he had to be mistaken.
Milo disappeared from view, and Sebastian stared after him for a while as he considered his next step. The shiny colored contraptions passed by the stone fence at astonishing speeds. Maybe he would catch one.
He touched his waist and grimaced at the lack of his trusty sword. But he had his ice magic, and that was enough.
He jumped over the fence and winced at the pain in his feet when he landed on the other side. One look at the thin fabric covering his feet convinced him that this world lacked proper footwear.
He stepped on the road marked by white lines and waited for one of those contraptions. Calmly, he put one hand up when he saw one approaching, and then he noticed that a human manned it.
The thing screeched to a halt, and the human inside began shouting something while a deafening sound came ringing from the contraption. That was a strange sort of magic the human used, or maybe he was trapped inside and needed saving.
With measured steps, Sebastian walked over, searching for ways to gain entrance. The human, a bald man, opened a door on his side. “Are you crazy, kid?” he yelled.
Sebastian looked around. Who was this crazy kid he was talking about?
“Damn wackos,” the bald man said and closed the door.
Before Sebastian could say a word, he took off and disappeared around a corner.
“Kai, what are you doing?” someone called for him.
He turned his head to see a girl who could be no older than twelve, with her hair tied in pigtails. She was wearing a dark dress and white shirt and had a bag on her back. And she was staring at him like he had horns.
She pursed her lips and hurried to him. Then she grabbed him by the hand. “Mom is going to be so pissed once she hears you were trying to do Goku on the street.”
Mom? Goku? What was this strange girl talking about?
“So?” he asked.
She must be his next clue in getting rid of the curse.
“So?” she asked in an angry voice. Then, she suddenly changed tack and stared at him with shining eyes while her lips stretched in a grin. “Pay for my silence.”
Hmm, what could that mean?