#slapdashsat (the Warrior Fae of Faegon Valley)

I had to craft a scene for class, thought I’d share.

Tamara 😊

The seventh sun disappears inside the moon, announcing the end of the grand wedding feast. This is the night that Dinala dreads, the night that she is to give herself over to being a wife. She has been ever so careful to keep away from the wedding festivities. She hates the fae, and is not about to party with them as if they had not shed the blood of her people so long ago. Of course, it was easy for them to forget their transgressions when they were probably drinking in the blood of her people like a fine wine, becoming inebriated off of their life force.
“Are you prepared to receive your king, my queen?” Says Bodin.
He had stealthily entered her chambers, probably on the night breeze. One of the fae’s gifts was cloaking themselves in the elements. She shivers in his arms as he lovingly embraces her at her waist. But she is surprised when she feels pleasure, instead of revulsion as his heart beats like a soft drum against her back. She cannot fall in love with the fae king, not when her people were counting on her to take his head as price for the Syfrid lives that his people had stolen.
“I know that we have only known each other for just a week’s time, but I feel as if I have known you far longer” says Bodin.
His warm breath is soothing against her inner ear and she closes her eyes trying to fight against the loving sensations stirring within her.
She remains silent, refusing to honor him with her words. Bodin only laughs at her weakening resistence.
“Come now, Di, we have known each other since the summer of the crescent sun” says Bodin.
Dinala turns to face him with wide eyes. She has been made and now he is going to kill her, but she is not going to be taken down easily. She is a warrior every bit his equal. Let him try to bring the fight. She is certainly prepared to meet his challenge. She has been training for this moment her whole life.
“How long have you known, Sire?” She asks.
She grits her teeth so tightly that she thought they would shatter.
“Almost from the start, my Syfrid beauty” he says.
He envelops her even tighter inside his embrace with a grin. She closes her eyes against the mesmerizing power of his cerulean gaze.
“How could you have possibly known? I was so careful” she says.
“Not nearly careful enough, my dear. The song of the Syfrid hums in your blood and I have been intoxicated by every lovely note” he says.
When she opens her eyes again, he is smiling even bigger. The jubilant smile makes his eyes dazzling.
“I suppose that you will have me beheaded for treason now. I suppose you have told the Counsel of High Lords. So, are you to have me and then turn me over to your men for my execution?” She asks.
Bodin’s smile never wavers, as he just drinks in her words.
“My but you are beautiful” he says.
As he places his forehead gently to hers with a light chortle, she relaxes in his arms.
“What makes you think that I have told anybody anything?” He asks.
“You are a king of the Fae are you not?” she says.
The words leave her mouth like a curse.
“That I am, my Syfrid beauty, but I have resolved within myself not to be a king like my fathers before me. I shall be a king of peace, a king that builds bridges instead of burns them. I want Fae, Syfrid and Human children to enjoy many more summers of the crescent sun, and I want them to enjoy those summers as one the same as we once did” he says.
“You speak the language of younglings” she says.
As she rolls her eyes.
“And may my language never mature” he says.
He lets loose a hearty laugh. She can’t help but smile at him.
“That’s the summer that I hid my heart inside yours, the same summer that our connection of spirit became unbreakable. Yes, the love of many beings can be fickle, but when a Fae’s heart becomes hidden inside another, nothing can change it. I have memorized the patterns of your heart, Dinala, and I will know them until I fade into the elements never to return” he says.
She lowers her eyes from his trying to hide her rising tears of emotion.
“You have hidden your heart within the wrong woman. If you know who I am, then you must know why I am here” she says.
“Yes, I know that the Syfrid has sent you to kill me and take the throne for their own. Your heartbeats speak volumes.” he says.
She looks back at him with furrowed eyebrows.
“Yet, you still took me as your wife, knowing full well that I carry your doom?” She asks.
“Yes, because you also carry my heart and while you do not wish to acknowledge it at this very moment, I carry yours” he says.
She rolls her eyes with a smirk.
“Just like a Fae royal to be so arrogant” she says.
“Oh no, beloved, this is all confidence. You love me every bit as much as I love you and you will admit this sooner than you think” he says.
“If I don’t kill you first” she says.
He hunches with a grin.
“Your sword is no match for my charms” he says.
“So, is that why you’re in my chambers to prove to me how charming you are?” She asks.
“Precisely” he says.
“And I suppose you are expecting…”
“I expect the gift of your love and until you give me all of you. I will have none of you” he says.
She decides to test his resolve by bringing his lips deadly close to hers.
“Not even just a little taste?” She asks.
He groans under the weight of her seduction.
“Not even one, unless you are willing to relinquish your rage and give me your heart” he says.
He drawls pulling her closer.
“Nice try” she says.
“Well, I guess that it is time for me to take my leave then” he says.
“Then be gone, King of the Fae” she says.
“Good night for now, Queen of the Fae, until the night that I have stolen your heart again” he says.
And he kisses her forehead softly, before disappearing into the breeze once again.


# slapdashsat (The Fae Warriors of Faegon Valley)

So I had to craft a scene for class and I thought I’d share it!

Tamara 😊

 

The seventh sun disappears inside the moon, announcing the end of the grand wedding feast. This is the night that Dinala dreads, the night that she is to give herself over to being a wife. She has been ever so careful to keep away from the wedding festivities. She hates the fae, and is not about to party with them as if they had not shed the blood of her people so long ago. Of course, it was easy for them to forget their transgressions when they were probably drinking in the blood of her people like a fine wine, becoming inebriated off of their life force.
“Are you prepared to receive your king, my queen?” Says Bodin.
He had stealthily entered her chambers, probably on the night breeze. One of the fae’s gifts was cloaking themselves in the elements. She shivers in his arms as he lovingly embraces her at her waist. But she is surprised when she feels pleasure, instead of revulsion as his heart beats like a soft drum against her back. She cannot fall in love with the fae king, not when her people were counting on her to take his head as price for the Syfrid lives that his people had stolen.
“I know that we have only known each other for just a week’s time, but I feel as if I have known you far longer” says Bodin.
His warm breath is soothing against her inner ear and she closes her eyes trying to fight against the loving sensations stirring within her.
She remains silent, refusing to honor him with her words. Bodin only laughs at her weakening resistence.
“Come now, Di, we have known each other since the summer of the crescent sun” says Bodin.
Dinala turns to face him with wide eyes. She has been made and now he is going to kill her, but she is not going to be taken down easily. She is a warrior every bit his equal. Let him try to bring the fight. She is certainly prepared to meet his challenge. She has been training for this moment her whole life.
“How long have you known, Sire?” She asks.
She grits her teeth so tightly that she thought they would shatter.
“Almost from the start, my Syfrid beauty” he says.
He envelops her even tighter inside his embrace with a grin. She closes her eyes against the mesmerizing power of his cerulean gaze.
“How could you have possibly known? I was so careful” she says.
“Not nearly careful enough, my dear. The song of the Syfrid hums in your blood and I have been intoxicated by every lovely note” he says.
When she opens her eyes again, he is smiling even bigger. The jubilant smile makes his eyes dazzling.
“I suppose that you will have me beheaded for treason now. I suppose you have told the Counsel of High Lords. So, are you to have me and then turn me over to your men for my execution?” She asks.
Bodin’s smile never wavers, as he just drinks in her words.
“My but you are beautiful” he says.
As he places his forehead gently to hers with a light chortle, she relaxes in his arms.
“What makes you think that I have told anybody anything?” He asks.
“You are a king of the Fae are you not?” she says.
The words leave her mouth like a curse.
“That I am, my Syfrid beauty, but I have resolved within myself not to be a king like my fathers before me. I shall be a king of peace, a king that builds bridges instead of burns them. I want Fae, Syfrid and Human children to enjoy many more summers of the crescent sun, and I want them to enjoy those summers as one the same as we once did” he says.
“You speak the language of younglings” she says.
As she rolls her eyes.
“And may my language never mature” he says.
He lets loose a hearty laugh. She can’t help but smile at him.
“That’s the summer that I hid my heart inside yours, the same summer that our connection of spirit became unbreakable. Yes, the love of many beings can be fickle, but when a Fae’s heart becomes hidden inside another, nothing can change it. I have memorized the patterns of your heart, Dinala, and I will know them until I fade into the elements never to return” he says.
She lowers her eyes from his trying to hide her rising tears of emotion.
“You have hidden your heart within the wrong woman. If you know who I am, then you must know why I am here” she says.
“Yes, I know that the Syfrid has sent you to kill me and take the throne for their own. Your heartbeats speak volumes.” he says.
She looks back at him with furrowed eyebrows.
“Yet, you still took me as your wife, knowing full well that I carry your doom?” She asks.
“Yes, because you also carry my heart and while you do not wish to acknowledge it at this very moment, I carry yours” he says.
She rolls her eyes with a smirk.
“Just like a Fae royal to be so arrogant” she says.
“Oh no, beloved, this is all confidence. You love me every bit as much as I love you and you will admit this sooner than you think” he says.
“If I don’t kill you first” she says.
He hunches with a grin.
“Your sword is no match for my charms” he says.
“So, is that why you’re in my chambers to prove to me how charming you are?” She asks.
“Precisely” he says.
“And I suppose you are expecting…”
“I expect the gift of your love and until you give me all of you. I will have none of you” he says.
She decides to test his resolve by bringing his lips deadly close to hers.
“Not even just a little taste?” She asks.
He groans under the weight of her seduction.
“Not even one, unless you are willing to relinquish your rage and give me your heart” he says.
He drawls pulling her closer.
“Nice try” she says.
“Well, I guess that it is time for me to take my leave then” he says.
“Then be gone, King of the Fae” she says.
“Good night for now, Queen of the Fae, until the night that I have stolen your heart again” he says.
And he kisses her forehead softly, before disappearing into the breeze once again.


Lavender’s Summer

Greetings,

This is my short story from class! And allow me to just say that I MISS my adverbs desperately. I know, I know that some people think the adverb is useless and not needed, but I can’t help myself I LOVE my adverbs. Ah well, it’s all about becoming a stronger writer. I still LOVE my adverbs though. 🤣

 

LAVENDER’S SUMMER

        “I can’t stand by and watch you marry him, especially knowing that I had a chance to stop it and didn’t at least try,” he says.

“You don’t get to do that, Caleb St. Jean, not now. It’s too late,” she says.

Lavender backs away from him with a scowl. The trees in the apple orchard rustle around them drowning out the temporary silence. But Caleb approaches her again filling in the space between them with vulnerability in his eyes.

“Don’t do that to me,” he says.

She looks up at him and her scowl softens a little.

“You know, this is classic Caleb St. Jean,” she says.

“That’s not fair,” he says.

Now it’s his turn to scowl as his eyebrows furrow.

“You’ve had eight years to tell me how you feel Caleb. I wrote you every day for two years and you ignored all my letters,” she says.

Tears well up in her eyes as she backs away from him again and when Caleb tries to approach her to wipe her tears away, she holds up her hand to stop him. He stays planted in his current stance.

“I was hurt,” he says.

“You told me to go,” she says.

“Yeah, could you imagine your resentment toward me if I had asked you to stay, Dr. Lavender Sykes,” he says.

He rolls his eyes with a snarky half smile, while the words were meant more as a compliment, they come out more as mockery.

“If you wanted me to stay, you should’ve asked me to stay,” she says.

“And be the cause of you missing the opportunity to pursue your education at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania? Lavender, I couldn’t do that to you,” he says.

“If you really loved me you could’ve,” she says.

She purses her lips together when she sees Caleb grimace at the sound of them.

“I loved you so much that I had to let you go,” he says.

She opens her mouth to respond, but no words escape, so she closes it back just as quickly as she opened it. Caleb wraps his arms around her, and she doesn’t pull away.

“I loved you so much then, that I couldn’t bear seeing you not take advantage of an incredible opportunity that you earned. There are very few colored doctors, and even less women. You worked so hard. I just couldn’t hold you here in Whispering Valley Montana when you were meant for greater things,” he says.

She buries her face in his chest, completely speechless at his confession.

“And for the record, Lav, I love you even more now than I did back then,” he says.

She looks up at him and he smiles.

“I didn’t write you back, because I was young and stupid. I know that’s a weak excuse, but there it is,” he says.

“You just think that you can gaze at me with those blue eyes of yours and get whatever you want, don’t you?” she says.

“It’s always worked before,” he says.

She shakes her head and pushes away from him with a giggle.

“Well, your blue-eyed charm no longer works on me, Mr. St. Jean,” she says.”

He raises one of his eyebrows as he smirks.

“Really?” he says.

“Really,” she says.

She walks over to a nearby tree and picks up her empty basket to commence with apple picking, Caleb follows close behind. After picking several apples, she stops and looks directly into Caleb’s eyes. He smiles as he gazes at her. Lavender takes her eyes away from his immediately.

“Does the sheriff of Whispering Valley, really have time to go apple picking?” she said.

He hunches.

“My deputies know where to find me,” he says.

When she reaches for another apple, Caleb puts his hand softy on top of hers and the loose apple falls to the ground as Lavender pulls her hand away from his.

“I thought that my blue-eyed charm no longer worked on you, Dr. Sykes?” he says.

“Caleb, Bertram, will be here in a week. I’m getting married on Sunday and then my new husband and I are going back to Boston,” she says.

“So, you’ve told me like a million times,” he says.

He grins as he rolls his eyes.

“I’m not sure whether or not it’s getting through that thick head of yours,” she says.

They both laugh.

“Look, Lavender, I heard you, but I’ve spent far too long loving you to give you up without a fight,” he says.

He stares down into her eyes. She can’t pull her stare away from his.

“I’ve made up my mind, Caleb,” she says.

She stares at the grass, until he puts his fingertips under her chin and tips her face up to meet his.

“But have you made up your heart?” he says.

The rustling of the trees is the only sound between them for a long time. She holds onto her basket for dear life, it is the only thing that separates them, until Caleb takes it from her and puts it on the ground. He wraps his arms around her, and she closes her eyes, as she melts into the embrace.

“I’m still so in love with you, Lavender Marie Sykes, and if you are going to marry any man this coming Sunday, that man should be me,” he says.

She rests her head on his shoulder.

“Why does this feel so…”

He takes the words out of her mouth.

“Right?”

“Yes,” she says.

She smiles a little.

“Because darlin’, you were never built for city life. You aren’t a high society type of girl, you are a walking through the apple orchard bare foot type of girl. You are a horseback riding with the wind blowing through your hair type of girl. You are my girl,” he says.

He kisses her forehead softly. Her eyes fly open and she puts some space in between them, as she shakes her head.

“I love Bertram, Caleb, really I do,” she says.

“I’ll give you that, darlin’, but you don’t love him nearly as much as you love me,” he says.

And he fills in the space between the two of them again. She nods her assent to his previous statement, as he takes her in his arms once more.

“He doesn’t set fire to your heart like I do,” he says.

She shakes her head.

“Then why are you marrying him, darlin’?” he asks.

“Because I made a commitment, Caleb. You know a promise? He was there when I needed him. We understand each other,” she says.

She scowls again, but this time Caleb just grins.

“What you described isn’t love, darlin’, it’s the empty shell left behind after love has flown away. It sounds to me as if you both are rather comfortable with each other, but what stirs the passion?” he says.

“Maybe it isn’t all about passion, Caleb,” she says.

“I agree. So, allow me to put this another way, does he know your heart as well as I know it?” he asks.

Lavender could only look into his eyes.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought,” he says

He smirks.

“Must you always be so smug?” she asks.

“It’s not smug to state the obvious darlin’,” he says.

“Be that as it may, I chose Bertram a long time ago. Why can’t you face that what we had was what we had, and all that is left of that is history?” she asks.

“What we had was history?” he asks.

“Precisely, Mr. St. Jean,” she says.

“Well, if all we have is history then this shouldn’t mean anything to you,” he says.

A look of mischief passes his countenance, as a look of bewilderment passes hers.

“What shouldn’t mean…”

And then he kisses her a sweet slow kiss. She wraps her arms around his sturdy shoulders and melts into him. When the kiss is spent, he laughs.

“Funny, that felt like a future to me, Dr. Sykes,” he says.

She is dazed into silence.

“Tell me that all we had was in the past, Lavender,” he says.

“So, you can still kiss,” she says.

As she tries to catch her breath.

“Yeah, so can you,” he says.

“But we’re not kids anymore, Caleb, you can’t just go around kissing soon to be married women,” she says.

“I can, if the woman is soon to be married to me,” he says.

“You can’t always have your way, Caleb,” she says.

“You still haven’t told me what I want to hear, Lavender, you still haven’t told me that you no longer love me,” he says.

She doesn’t speak for a long time, but he stands waiting.

“Caleb, please, why can’t you just let it be?” she says.

“Because I can’t let you go and commit your heart to another man, if there’s a chance that it still belongs to me. Tell me, that you don’t love me anymore, and you and Bertram can go live happily ever after in Boston,” he says.

Tears escape Lavender’s eyes as she looks at him, and he wraps her up tighter in his embrace. He places his forehead to hers.

“I want you to be my wife, Lavender, if you will have me,” he says.

She smiles through her tears, and he laughs.

“You have got to be the most insufferable man,” she says.

“One who’s completely in love with an insufferable woman,” he says.

“What am I going to do with you?” she asks.

“Marry me,” he says.

“You know, Bertram never was a match for that blue-eyed charm of yours,” she says.

He laughs.

“So, sweet darlin’, is that a yes?” he asks.

“Yes, I will marry you,” she says.

And they share one long kiss, in the middle of the apple orchard with the rustling trees swaying all around them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Adventures of Brady Malone #SlapDashSat

He looked danger straight in its soulless eyes and laughed. But not just any laugh, a big and hearty laugh that originated from deep inside his perfectly taut belly. There wasn’t much that he feared, and those things that did leave him shuddering; he faced as if they didn’t scare him at all. Some called it grit, others called it sand, while many called it chutzpah, but as for me I called it dashing. You know those old fashioned heroes? I mean, every generation had theirs, those heroes that seemed to stand above every other man, the Errol Flynns, John Waynes, Clint Eastwoods, Sylvester Stallones or Kevin Costners.
But then there was Brady Malone, and in my opinion Brady left all the rest in the dust. Brady didn’t have to try to be all that he was because, he simply was who he was with very little effort. He was such a phenomenon wrapped in surfer dude attire. The man did all that he could to remain anonymous, but he couldn’t hope to hide such greatness. His kind of greatness was undiluted light, like a beacon calling everyone to it. However, it was so quiet and subtle that many missed it. The world was far too loud, one would need to stop and be still to take in his tranquil presence.
He came into the Tomes & Grounds Coffee Shoppe every morning around nine, this morning was no different. But instead of going to place his usual order, he smiled directly in my direction. I didn’t know what to do, so I buried my nose in my book, hoping that I would melt through the floor. I had been caught staring at him, and he knew it. Yeah, he probably thought I was a total freak!
I tried to retreat deeper into the dark corner I was sitting in, hoping and praying that he would pass me by.
“Hi.” His voice was smooth velvet.
My heart stopped for a fraction of a second before starting again. My tongue felt heavy, I couldn’t find words. My mind went blank. You’d think that a Rhode’s Scholar would know how to return a proper greeting. But I had no common sense around him.
The chair scraped the wooden floor as he pulled it out from the table to take a seat right in front of me.
Oh my goodness gracious, why was he sitting? He must have friends far more interesting to share coffee with. No, this wouldn’t do at all. Should I get up and leave? But before I made plans to make my retreat, he spoke again. And the giant sized butterflies in my stomach responded.
“I see you here every morning, right?”
I dared to look into his eyes, and they were just like moon prisms exploding. If moon prisms existed in real life. My fanciful nature was all my parents’ fault, they both were total loons, there was no way that I was getting by unmarked. Dad’s Symphony of the Woodlands fantasy series was to blame for my talk of moon prisms because, he mentioned them in his first best selling series quite often. But my gosh, if Brady’s cerulean eyes weren’t just like the glowing blue stones dad described.
He smiled patiently.
“You’re Arwen Reynolds, right?”
I cringed away from his knowing my name. Ugh, thanks mom! Your love for Lord of the Rings has made me look like a loser geek in front of a Sexiest Man Alive contender. Oh, why can’t I just disappear? He laughed.
“Where are my manners, I’m Brady Malone.” He extended his hand for mine.
I closed my book, and placed it on the table as I took his hand tentatively in mine. I kept my eyes on the table the whole time because, the beauty of those blue eyes of his was just too lethal. I had to say something quickly, so he wouldn’t think that I was a total loser.
“I know.” Dang it, wrong thing to say. Now he’s going to know for sure that you’ve been checking him out. Cover it, fix it, say anything else but that! I looked into his eyes stuttering through my words. “Yeah I mean, your parents are the famous astrophysicists Peter and Heather Malone. They’ve made some amazing discoveries for NASA over the past decade. They say we should have colonies on the moon before too long.”
I looked at him to gauge his response.
He lifted one of his eyebrows with a snarky little smirk. I took my hand out of his because, the electricity was getting a bit overwhelming. I cleared my throat.
“Yeah, that’s my parents.” He leaned in closer to me. “But that isn’t how you know me, is it?”
I opened my mouth, but his soft chortle let me know that I couldn’t come up with a fib beliveable enough to convince him otherwise.
“You know me from sweatin’ me for months, then googling me after you asked the barista my name. Am I wrong or right?”
I said nothing, which only served to confirm the handsome astronaut’s assumptions. How could he even read me so well? He didn’t know anything about me. But I knew everything about him, everything that could be found on the internet anyway. However reliable those “facts” were. He was late thirties, beautiful of course, but wickedly smart at the same time. I mean, the man had travelled the galaxy numerous times, invented a new form of jet fuel to make the journey two times quicker and he lived on this big ranch where he ran an animal sanctuary when he wasn’t travelling space.
Heaven help me, I even knew his regular order. He loved his grande iced sugar free vanilla latte with soy milk and bear claw on the side.
I look into his face to see him staring at me with a big grin.
“That’s okay, I’ve been sweatin’ you too. I’m just better at being a bit more discreet about it than you are.” He winked as he sat back in his seat. “And your mom is the world renowned Dr. Dana Reynolds, Yale professor and fantasy/sci-fi enthusiast, while your father is best selling international author Daniel Reynolds. Love his books by the way. Tell him that I’m waiting on the last Symphony of the Woodlands book.”
“You’ve read them?” I was shocked.
“Of course, the man is the new J.R.R. Tolkien, after all. But the fourth book kinda ended on a cliffhanger, I’m really gonna need a fifth book. There are way too many loose ends for me to be satisfied.”
Wow, my crush on this guy just got a thousand times bigger.
“I’ll let him know.”
“Great! Now that we’ve done with the pleasantries, I should really get to why I came over here in the first place.”
Yeah, I should’ve known that the astronaut with the body of a perfectly crafted sculpture wasn’t talking to me as some kind of romantic gesture. I cleared my throat, and tried not to look embarrassed.
“You really don’t see yourself well, do you?” He looked at me deeply with a slow smile.
“Huh?” Was I missing something, it was almost as if he could read my…
“Your what, your mind? No, I’m afraid it’s far more complicated than that, Arwen. Your dreams are just really fragrant.”
Well, his words sounded so intriguing, albeit weird but intriguing none the less.
“You can smell my dreams?”
“Yes,” He whispered. “And as I said, they are very fragrant. I mean, some people’s dream gardens are so overrun with weeds that the dreams have all but been chocked out, killed from the lack of belief in them anymore. But yours, yours just seems to flourish. Until I touched your hand, I was only able to smell the sweet scents but thanks to the contact I have seen it’s depth and wonder and it is so beautiful.” He touched my hand softly with his fingertips, but all I could do was look at him in awe.
“You want to take a walk through my garden now, don’t you?” He grinned.
“Well, it’s only fair seeing as how, you traipsed through mine without even being invited.”
I couldn’t believe this! Was I actually about to take a walk through this amazing guy’s dreams? It would be almost like being dreamfasted like the Geflings in the Dark Crystal.
He guffawed.
“Precisely.” He entwined his fingers with mine. “Now,” He whispered. “Settle into me, as I settle into you, breathe and open your senses to the beyond.”
I did as I was told and the wonders within his garden were endless. I sat upon a swing that was strung up on a mighty oak’s branch, as Brady swung me higher and higher; I let my toes graze a pool of starlight and he laughed. As he brought me to a halt, he whispered the following words to me:
“Come with me Arwen, sail with me to the far reaches of the galaxy and I will show you wonders like you have never known. I will take you to places that you have never seen. Let me plant new seeds within your garden, so that new dreams can breathe breath.”
I look at him, and his eyes were the color of sparkling forget me nots, I couldn’t resist him. And when I took his hand, I was whisked away into the many adventures of Brady Malone, Sailor of Stars.

The End


The House Where Twilight Touched

I returned to this place often, this quiet structure of tranquility that, sat perched high amongst the trees. This was a place between time and the timeless, right in the middle of the real and imagined, the intersection that divided waking and sleeping. Our special chasm of peace in the midst of the chaos that, drowned the rest of the actual world. I didn’t know why I had bothered to cook so much food. I mean, he had not been back to this house for months. Did he even know how much I wept when he didn’t show his face? I craved his presence like many women craved chocolate. Yet, I had left most of my thoughts shut up in the golden vault of my heart. How could he not know? Was I not obvious enough?

My thoughts were suddenly jostled to focus, as the real world beckoned me back. I could feel my physical body waking, twilight was moving its sweet face and it would soon be time to get up and greet another mundane day. Well, at least I would have my books to offer me comfort. I got up from the perfectly set table, and walked over to the sink with our plates in hand. Both were untouched again. I always found it difficult to eat without him. I turned on the faucet and as the rushing water began to flood the sink, I let my tears go. That’s when it happened, I felt his warm embrace envelope me and I instantly relaxed.

He turned off the faucet before the sink could overflow. I couldn’t turn to face him, not with the evidence of my tears upon my face. I didn’t want to appear weak and I especially didn’t want to crush him under a boulder of guilt. But how could I possibly wipe the tears away, when he had me comfortably trapped within the steel cocoon of his arms.

“I’m sorry.” He lulled in my ear and I shuddered at the sound of his bass voice as it wrapped around every part of me.

I said nothing because, I could not trust my voice in this moment, it was sure to betray my intense desire for him, and that was definitely not the emotion that I wanted to convey in this moment. I wanted to be furious with him, but he made that incredibly difficult. So, I said nothing and he chortled softly pulling me closer.

“Forgive me?”

I still refused to say anything.

“Rain, please talk to me. I need to explain…”

I turned around in his arms, not caring anymore if he saw my tears or not.

“I’m listening.” My response was all sass and he grinned.

“You have no idea how beautiful you are when you’re all fired up do you?”

I turned my face when he tried to place his lips on mine for a wraith kiss. Wraith kisses, were merely a shadow of an actual kiss, these were the only kisses that two could share when they were in their soul forms, without the physical body, the fully awakened spirit and the wholly aware heart these kisses were only a promise of a kiss. But they still managed to stir me in all the best ways.

“Dissed.” He chortled.

“And dismissed.” I sassily added.

He let out an uproarious laugh.

“That’s just cold.” He shook his head with a smile. “You know, I’m tempted not to give you your gift now.”

I turned to face him then, and his eyes were lively oceans, changing all kinds of different shades of blue at once. I was tempted to act all nonchalant about the whole matter, but darn him for knowing my fanciful heart and mind so well and darn me for being so eager to give into it.

“Cody, you didn’t have to buy me anything.” But the excitement in my voice betrayed that statement.

“Ah, now I have your attention.”

And he opened his hand to reveal the most beautiful ring that I had ever saw. It looked kind of like an antique mood ring, with a stone in the middle that matched his eyes perfectly. How could it not be stuck in the happy mood, when it was being held by Cody, it was virtually impossible to move him into a stormy mood. He placed it on my finger and it was the perfect fit.

“Where did you find this?” I gushed.

I couldn’t take my eyes off it as I marveled at its odd beauty. He laced his fingers in mine with his hand turned to me, where I could see the simple ring upon his finger. He had used the same blue rock that was in the middle of my mood ring, to fashion for himself a simple band.

“You have one too?”

I unlaced my fingers from his, and took his hand in both of mine, so that I could study his ring closer.

“They’re soul trackers.” He answered my unasked question.

Cody Brewer, the brilliant astrophysicist was speaking in code again. I looked at him bewildered.

“Yeah, you heard me right, they’re soul trackers. It took me three months  of trial and error in the lab to figure them out, but I believe that I’ve calculated the equations precisely this time, and we should find each other in the waking world in no time now.”

My eyebrows furrowed deeper than they had before, and he pulled me close as he chortled softly.

The Astrophysics for Dummies version please, Dr. Brewer. So all of us lower level geeks can understand. I mean, only one of us in this room is touching Mr. Einstein’s intellect and it’s certainly not me.” I smiled draping my arms about his shoulders.

“Right, sorry. Well, you remember my explaining to you how I designed this house, when you first stumbled upon it?”

“Kind of.”

“Well, I used the same science, technology and mathematics to design the rings that we are wearing. Souls, can’t really process things that are logical, and right at present our physical minds aren’t really awake. We are in a ripple in time between that which is logical and illogical, dream and reality, awake and sleep. I can touch you, but I’m not really touching you, even now we’re both being pulled back into our sectors on the planet we call Earth.”

“Yes.” I said drowsily, forcing myself to hold on.

“Stay with me just a little longer, Rain.” He pleaded.

“I’m trying.”

I was determined to fight against the strong current of the real world, as he held me fast to him.

“These rings will draw our souls together like magnets, and we can finally meet when our forms are whole.” He whispered.

“But I like it here.” I protested.

My words were a mere echo now because, I was more in the real world than in our tranquil house where the twilight touched.

“So do I, but you must admit that there are some drawbacks, sweetness.” His voice sounded so far away now.

“Like?” I challenged him.

“Aren’t you tired of seeing and experiencing things through a veil of dream like haze?” He chuckled.

“No, I find it rather beautiful actually.” I was just being contrary now.

“You can be so pig headed sometimes, Rain Lamont.” He sighed in exasperation, but I could hear the love through it.

“The world is full of chaos, one needs an escape.”

“I concur, but would you agree that the sharing of hearts, could be just as much of an oasis as this place is?”

“Touche.”

“That’s why I was gone for so long. I had to figure out a way to pull us together, so, our whole selves can meet. I adore your soul Rain, really I do, but…” He kind of blushed as he trailed off.

“What?” I encouraged him to continue, knowing that these would be some of the last words that we would speak to each other before waking.

“I want to adore your body just as much.” He gazed into my eyes deeply, and then he kissed me a passionate wraith kiss. “Until we meet each other in the sea of realism.”

“And we can always return when we feel like we’re drowning?”

“It’ll always be here waiting for us.” He kissed my forehead softly, and I rested my head upon his shoulder and closed my eyes, drinking in his Cool Water scent as if I would never smell it again.

 

And then I woke up to sirens blaring just outside my window and the chime of my cell phone alarm blaring obnoxiously. I grabbed my phone to shut it off as I sat up and turned around to place my feet on the icy floor. The dream that wasn’t a dream was still fresh in my mind, as I showered and then sat down to breakfast. I was drinking the last drop of my dandelion tea when there was a knock at the door. I rolled my eyes. Who could be bothering me so early in the morning? I didn’t answer it at first, not wanting to be bothered, but the annoying interloper just refused to give up.

“I’m coming.” I finally bellowed.

I was fully prepared to be so much less than kind to the pushy solicitor banging on my door, when I opened it to see the handsomest man on the other side looking down at me with those striking blue eyes of his. Of course he was right, his veiled dream form paled in comparison to the flesh and blood man standing before me. Dr. Cody Brewer looked far more like an athlete than an astrophysicist, and his laid back surfer boy attire made me giggle. From his light blue shirt to his wrinkled blue jeans and faded blue converses, he looked like he should have been posing for People’s Sexiest Man Alive, then stuck in a lab coat for many hours in a day.

His eyes never left mine and every part of me lit up brightly with his appraisal.

“How did you find me?” I looked away from him, as he smiled.

“I told you that they would work.” He lulled lacing his fingers in mine.

I had forgotten all about the ring, it had melted into me at my waking, so I barely noticed it as I went about my morning ritual. But when I looked down at it now, it was glowing a bright blue, as was his band.

“What’s happening?”

He placed his fingers under my chin, to bring my eyes back up to meet his.

“Your soul pulled mine here.” He grinned as he wrapped me into his arms.

“So, the rings really are soul trackers?” I laughed.

“Did you doubt me?”

The way he looked at me then made me weak in the knees.

“So, this is me, am I…”

“You’re stunning.” And then he was kissing me.

His wraith kisses were strong, but him kissing me with the fullness of himself was mind numbing. When two fully awakened hearts collided into one, the feeling could not be bought or sold; it was truly beyond description when two living souls caressed. When the kiss was spent, he looked at me with a smile.

“May I have you forever, Rain Lamont?”

I draped my arms around his massive shoulders.

“Only if I may have you forever, Cody Brewer.”

“Forever it is.” And then he was kissing me again.

 

…40 years, six kids, thirty-two grand-children and 3 great-grandchildren later. Cody Brewer and I were still feverishly in love. I stood watching the sunset burn the sky a warm orange on our Gone With the Win- style porch in Healing Springs, Montana. In the distance, Dewdrop, Pecan and Buttercup were in the corral still running about trying to wind themselves down for the night. I breathed in the clean open air of our ranch and I silently thanked God for all of our blessings. That’s when the strong pillars that he called arms enveloped me. Cody Brewer was still as sturdy as a mighty oak that, refused to be broken. I giggled to myself because, the man’s charm still held so much sway over me.

“Come to bed, sweetness?” His whispered words were more of a loving request than a command.

“Haven’t you gotten enough of adoring my body, yet?” I teased.

And he turned me to face him and placed one of his Earth shattering kisses on me. When the kiss had spent, he just grinned slyly.

“You promised me forever woman, and forever is what I am due.”

I wrapped my arms around his shoulders seductively.

“Take me to our special place, and you can adore me all you want.” I challenged.

“We haven’t been there for years, darling, do you even…”

“Our souls remember it.” I cut his words off short.

“Well, you may be right and seeing as how our souls and physical bodies have merged so often in the realm of reality, in the plane between the logical and illogical; we might be able to…” He wiggled his eyebrows with a smile.

“Must you always be an astrophysicist, Dr. Brewer?” I rolled my eyes as he ran his lips across my neck softly, the scruff on his face tickling me tenderly.  “I can’t help it sweetness, an astrophysicist is what you married.” He whispered in my ear with a chuckle.

“I guess I’ll just have to make due.” I looked deeply into his eyes, as he tangled his fingers into my natural raven curls.

And he swayed me under the stars, until we were in our secret place once again. The place that he had crafted with his own two hands, when in his genius, he figured out how to manipulate time to create a ripple in its movement and from the collection of stars and other celestial bodies formed a house perched high amongst the trees, a tranquil house for two where only the twilight touched.

THE END

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


When Poetic Tamara Gets Ticked…

Greetings,

I have learned a lot about writing modern scripts from Mr. David Trottier’s Scripwriter’s Bible, however, that doesn’t mean that I have to like it ALL! 😂🤪😁 I mean, writing scripts the modern way REALLY ticks poetic Tamara off. I like to explain the characters’ emotions and this is a BIG no no because, those kind of emotions can’t be filmed. What?

When writing action lines for a script, you can only limit yourself to what can be filmed and everything that cannot must be cut. My Jane Austen sensibilities are not loving that, not one little bit. I’m afraid I like to overwrite a little bit, okay maybe a lot and I am a little too descriptive; okay, okay maybe ALOT. 😂 However, I am learning, even if that means ticking poetic Tamara off a little bit.

Here is my first short film script for class, and I’ve stripped my writing down to the bare bones. Now, I know how the Emperor felt in his new clothes. 

Tamara 😜

CantyTamaraMyShortFilm

 

 

 


Princess Solarias & the Moon King Pt. 2

Hey Fellow Writers,

I thought that in honor of Valentine’s Day, I would upload the final chapters of my book. I am currently editing, so these chapters are super rough and raw because, they haven’t been edited yet. However, I am not one the kind of writer who waits until their work is perfect to share. Yes, it’s wordy and there are probably major grammatical errors, but I’m gonna share it anyway because, a work in progress will always be a work in progress to the author who wrote the words long after it is published. So, happy Valentine’s Day!

~CHAPTER 12~

QUEEN SOLARIAS

Dane and I went exploring through all of the rooms in the suite, and we learned rather quickly that, nothing was quite as it seemed in this place. For instance, all the rooms were not rooms in the traditional sense of the word; we had our honeymoon suite and there was a kitchen, but all the other rooms; seemed to be exotic portals to other worlds in the galaxy. Now, we understood just what the Star Breather meant by; this place holding all of our wants and needs—and He could have easily added our dreams and desires. We were currently in a world far beyond our honeymoon suite, a world that possessed all the cold dimness of the moon; with the sky still holding onto some vague brush strokes of the sun, almost like dawn or dusk—the sun and moon were holding each other—neither form of illumination; completely giving up its light for the other one to take dominance. This world was complete paradise.

The beach was unlike any that I had ever seen before, the waters were aquamarine and full of moon crystals—golden sun dust also filled the waters. There was no one around for miles and miles; so, Dane and I swam until our hearts were content—with the ethereal cloak of moon light covering us. The water was the perfect temperature, as we held each other close; letting the waves beat against us.

“What are you thinking, right now?” He whispered, as he enveloped me in his strong embrace. I could feel his sculpted muscle against me, and I wrapped my arms around his broad shoulders so that I could melt against him, and feel the strong beat of his heart against mine.

“Do you not know, my lord, can you not read it in the windows to my soul?” I smiled, and he chortled softly letting his lips caress mine.

“Yes, I suppose that I could; but I would much rather hear you speak it to me, love. I do so yearn to hear you speak, gift me the words of your mouth.” He looked deeply into my eyes; the blue was dazzling as star light shot across their passionate sapphire brilliance.

One of my brother Allius’s poems immediately came to mind; it was perfect to describe this moment. So, I decided to recite it for my dear sweet husband; it had been many sun lightings since Allius had recited it to me, but I could quote every word in my sleep. I so, loved his lovely words, and my heart ached because I would never again hear him recite them; at least, not on this side of the Celestial Kingdom. I put my lips gently to his ears, and began reciting.

“Woe viscous hate, oh burning love. Orbs eclipse in the skies above. Ripping and tearing at each other, for dominance of the skies.  Oh the tears of the Star Breather’s eyes. Sun melt into the glorious moon, moon into the glorious sun. In the bosom of love, may all hatred be undone. Both equally beautiful, both equally beloved. Cry no more boiling tears, scream no more glowing fears. Let love in, oh radiant sun glow into the dazzling moon.” When I was done, I could feel the tears spilling down my face; he brought my eyes back to his, and let the pad of his thumb caress against my cheek.

“I have never heard that, where did you get it?” Tears filled his eyes too.

“Allius.” I breathed his name out in pain. “He once had love in his heart for a moon maiden, but the love was silenced; she chose to honor her Mandatory Nuptial Contract to a man of the moon—it broke Allius, he never stopped loving her.” I buried my face in his stone chest to hide my soft sobs, but he took my face in his hands once again.

“That will never be us, my love, never. I will fight to keep you, you will never belong to Barongard, that is my solemn vow.” He let his lips lightly fall on mine.  “I am strong enough to bear a lot of things, but this love lost; is too much for me to bear.” He placed his forehead to mine, and I have tried time and time again to explain what happened next, but words still failed me. I saw our destinies entwined, and the vision was not one of happily ever after; it was one of doom and destruction. My Destiny Sight had never come on so violently before.

We only broke the union of our hands for a moment, and then everything plunged into utter darkness. People, of both the sun and the moon were dying all around us; swallowed whole by the Dark Force and a barrage of his dark escorts. The Dark Force rode toward me on his opaque steed, the steed looked at me with the very fires of the Netherworld present in its eyes; and as Dane fought against the dark escorts valiantly—the Dark Force took me up on his steed, and I was gone. All I heard ringing in my ears, was the anguished cry of pain from my beloved’s lips.

Unfortunately, this was not the end of the horrible vision; Dane came all the way to the Netherworld, and he stormed the gates; in an attempt to take me from the clutches of the Dark Force. When he was there, he unsheathed his sword and engaged the Dark Force in all of his bravery, and just when I thought that Dane would win the fight—the Dark Force took his burnt black sword and plunged it right into Dane’s heart. I could feel him dying, I pulled against the iron chains that had me bound, but they refused to give way. The Dark Force looked at me—with pure evil in his eyes, and spoke in a demonic whisper.

“Your puny love is not strong enough to defeat me.” And then his lips turned up into a malicious smirk, as he brought the sword—stained with Dane’s blood—to his mouth, and begin to let his tongue caress the sword; savoring the taste of my lover’s blood.

Dane had completely stopped struggling against death, and he lay on the ground completely still; I screamed out in pain and the Dark Force threw back his head, and laughed hilariously at our calamity.

With the vision’s end, I fought against my body’s desire to collapse against the horror, that it had just witnessed; but Dane held me steadfast in his arms. When I looked into his horror filled eyes; I knew that he had been gazing into the depths of my soul, and had seen his own destiny in my visions. Maybe, he would let me go, now. Maybe this would give both of us the courage that we needed to just walk away. I knew that he could not possibly want me now. Our love was bitter gall that was never meant to be consumed. I pushed against Dane, as the dark vision fully melted away. Nevertheless, he foolishly struggled to hold onto what he should have so easily let go.

“Solarias, please do not do this to me, I need you.” There was a soft cry in his voice, as he lulled softly into my ear.

His resolve to keep me, made me furious; how could he still love me when he had seen perfectly well that I was his doom?

“I will cause your death, Dane, you have seen it. Why can you not accept that we can never be together?” My eyes pierced his. “I am your doom, walk away; pretend that you never met me. Marry Brynyana as your contract dictates, live.” I pleaded.

“I cannot.” My words were breaking him. “Not when there is still hope.” He rested his forehead gently against mine.

“What hope was there in my vision, you saw your demise. There is no hope.” I shouted with tears in my eyes.

“Your Destiny Sight is not 100% certain, your visions pour from a glass darkly; they do not take into account the specks of illumination, the hope that still exists in the situation. They only reveal half the story, my love.”

I succeeded at breaking away from him, and I just looked at the disgusting hope that was present in his tranquil blue eyes.

“I am poison to you, and I will separate myself from you; if that will save your life.” I held up my hands as he tried to approach, and he stopped where he stood. “Your death is not worth our love.” I closed my eyes against the pain of those words; I did not even hear his steps in the water—as he closed the space between us—I just felt myself gently enveloped in his embrace once again.

“You underestimate just how deeply, I am tied to you.” He brought my eyes to his, and smiled. “We must be together, you heard the words of the Star Breather; our union cannot be undone without destroying both of our worlds. Our destiny, whatever it may be; is bigger than the both of us.” He brushed the pad of his thumb against my cheek. “If you sever your heart from mine, the Dark Force would not have a chance to murder me, because you would have done the job for him.”

I could not help myself, gentle sobs tore through my body at his words; and I buried my face in his stone chest. He swayed me back and forth in his arms, saying nothing. His silent strength was soothing.

“Why must our love always accompany such pain?” I whispered through broken sobs, holding onto him for dear life.

When he brought my eyes back to his, his blue eyes were illuminated by the brightness of his smile.

“Funny,” He lulled softly. “All I see is the pleasure.” And then his lips gently danced with mine; making me forget the reason why I started sobbing in the first place. I broke myself away, so that I could clear my head, but he grabbed me to him again and kissed me breathless.

I had to be sensible, but how could I be; when his mint flavored tongue was decorating my mouth delicately. I had to be witty, but how could I when the gentle caresses of his hands were stealing all of my wit from me. I had to have the courage to leave his side, and never return, but how could I when all I wanted to be was by his side. His strong heartbeat drummed with mine, we were much too woven into each other to separate; far too tangled to untie—this love was much too deep to deny. We belonged to each other, destiny and doom. There was nothing either of us could do.

 

Back in our bed, we lay interwoven in each other; soft moon glow mixed with sunlight illuminated the room, almost like it was ablaze with candlelight but with the collective sweet scent of our passions combined—we did not require the dulcet aroma of scented candles to permeate the room. Dane mindlessly strummed my backbone—trying to catch his breath—while I rested against his perfectly sculpted chest; trying to get my heartbeat to slow. I giggled softly, and he brought my eyes to his with a smile.

“What is going on in that intoxicating mind of yours, my queen?” He spoke the words through labored breath.

“Are we so foolish that our love blinds us to anything else?” I let my fingers trace the perfect planes of his chest.

“One can only hope.” He softly traced my lips with his fingertip, before gingerly placing a kiss there.

“Should not a person require their wits, even when love is involved?” I could feel my face scrunch with my inquiry, and Dane let out an uproarious laugh.

“Absolutely not, my beautiful sun maiden; too many wits only serve one purpose, and that is to drown out passion.” He sat up then, and brought me deeper into his side. “Grant it, wits do serve their purpose; I suppose I would not have fallen in love with you if you were not as witty as you are, but I have seen what too many wits do to passion. In our worlds, our people have designed Mandatory Nuptial Contracts, to pick suitable mates, and look where that has gotten us. Look at our parents’ marriages for example, would you say that they loved each other?”

“In their way, yes, I would.” The adamant nature of my voice only made him smile.

In their way,” The words were like acid in his mouth. “There is only one way to love Solarias, and that is with everything within you.” His eyes drank mine in. “Our parents knew no other way to love, so they clung to what their traditions told them love was. Their brand of love, was only merely one of convenience; whether or not my spouse is suitable or appropriate enough for the throne, but they have never felt what we have felt. They have never felt breathless in each other’s arms, or ache when they are apart, or experience rapturous joy when they are together. Their love was lawfully thrust upon them. We chose each other, we listened to the Star Breather’s beckoning to our hearts; they ignored it; thus forfeiting any chance at real love. I would not for all the world, choose a love of wits.” His countenance twisted in disgust.

“When did you choose me Dane; when did you know that I would be your wife?” I wanted to know when the Star Breather had called to his heart, was it the same time that He had called to mine.

He looked at me with great depth, and smiled.

“Allius and I were playing some silly game in the Lighted Valley, you know the place where showers of the sun stream down at noonday,” I nodded my head in concurrence. “And I will never forget when a beautiful ray of sunshine came barreling into the middle of the valley—lighting it even brighter with her radiance. The many hues of the sun, bounced off the golden specks of sun dust embedded in your skin,” He caressed his fingers against my forearm as he reminisced. “And I was completely in awe, my heart was gone from that very moment; stolen by some little maiden of the sun.” His dimples grew deep in his cheeks, as his smile struck his eyes a rich sapphire. “I felt a tugging in my heart, like I had never felt before; I knew then that no Mandatory Nuptial Contract would ever bring happiness or love to my life. I knew after laying my eyes on the most perfect creature in any galaxy that, I had to have you. No tradition or edict would choose my wife for me; I had no other choice but to listen to the nagging ache in my heart.”

“But I was a complete mess that day, curls everywhere; gown torn and dirty,” He placed a kiss on my neck gently, ignoring all of my words. “And then there was the horrid way that, I spoke to my big brother.” His eyes were fixed on mine, and then he smiled as if all the words that I had just spoken were irrelevant.

“You were such a beautiful mess.” And then he gently lay me down again, and looked down at me passionately. “I want to tell them, I want all of them to know that you are mine.”

“Dane,” I wove my fingers into his hair, as he decorated my neck with kisses making me forget all of my thoughts. “We could cause trouble, we must not do it until the time is right.”

“I want you to take your place beside me on the throne of Luniris.” I gasped at his words, he was talking sheer insanity; there was no way that the people of Luniris would ever accept me as their queen.

I pushed him away, and he looked at me sobering from his passions.

“What is it?” He asked with his worried expression, answering my horrified one.

“Dane, your people will never allow you to coronate me as your queen; there are still laws of your land, as well as mine. We knew that this marriage would be difficult, we knew that it would be impossible; we knew that it would not be acknowledged under the law. How could you even suggest such a thing? We could both be executed for treason, as it is, but to make our marriage public. You would be signing both of our death scrolls.” I could feel myself plunging into panic.

But as always, Dane’s demeanor was unmoved from its carefree state; for him to be so calm was maddening.

“What the Star Breather has joined together, let no man put asunder; you are correct when you say that our marriage is not lawful to our people, but our people did not join us—the Star Breather Himself has joined us.” He smoothed the pad of his thumb against my cheek. “They could not break that with a thousand edicts.”

“But that does not mean that, they will not try; my heart. You know how fiercely they hate each other; they will never let us be together without retribution. We would be their excuse to continue their war.”

He ignored my warnings of peril and took me into his arms again, and gently caressed my womb.

“If we were to produce an heir,” He pumped his eyebrows seductively, and smiled; I was completely mortified. “They could not contest the viability of our marriage; younglings have a way of ending the bitterest of wars.

“Or make them worse,” I gasped. “Danolian Fwynshool Hiyanartay,” I rarely used his given name, and this sobered him a little. “We could never bring a youngling in the middle of this, they would fight to destroy our seed, and you know it.”

“Not as long as I draw breath,” His words were menacing. “Solarias, if we cannot tell them of our union; why did we get married in the first place. I did not make you my wife just to keep you hidden, I made you my wife because I could not bear to be without you any longer. Bedding you every once in awhile is not a marriage, a whore could give me physical connection; I want more than that. I want us.” He entwined his fingers with mine. “I want younglings, a complete home; I have never had that. I have always had a house, but never a home; I have had people that share my same blood, but never family; I have had some form of affection, but never real love.” He ran his fingers through his hair in frustration. “I want a life together.” He lulled in a broken whisper.

How could I deny him what he asked? All I wanted to do was keep us both safe, but this love had never been safe; we both knew that from the start. In fact, the Star Breather had made us understand that when He married us. This marriage would be harder to keep together than all others, because it went against our traditional laws, but for this man I would break all of our laws. All the things that, he said that he had just been missing were all the things that I had been missing as well. We both were the square pegs in our family, because we were not meant for our families; we did not fit into them—the only place we truly fit was with each other.

I cupped his face in my hands; both of his jaws were tensed.

“I want to make a life with you too.” I sighed deeply when he embraced me tightly. “As soon as the Star Breather wakes up our families, we shall tell them of our nuptials, and whatever will come will come.” I steeled myself against all other emotions that threatened to rip apart my courage; now was not the time for fear. It was time for me to put my love on the line, to feel the passion was not enough; it was time to act on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~CHAPTER 13~

THE MOON KING

I could feel her heartbeat against me, sure and courageous as we both slept; I could hear her breathing—feel her warm breath against my neck. And that is when I heard His voice call to me, it refused to let my soul rest. Could she hear Him too, feel His pull, His beckoning? If she did, she gave no indication; as she gently exhaled and inhaled—deep within the land of her own dreams. Nevertheless, the voice called to me; it stirred in my spirit, awakened my heart, moved violently within the depths of my soul; I could not sleep restfully, there was no peace. So, I gently, placed my beloved on the pillow and lightly hurried from the bed. One of the doors, to one of the rooms swung open; one that Solarias and I had not yet visited. I looked back at Solarias only briefly, and she stirred slightly and fell back into tranquil slumber.

I smiled, and the voice became more insistent. So, I focused my attention on the open room door once again. The room at first glance appeared black as pitch, until I approached and then a bright light spilled forth from it. When I stepped inside; the door slammed behind me. I saw nothing, from the brightness of the light; I closed my eyes quickly—fearing that the great light would burn a hole clean through my retinas. That is when the floor beneath me disappeared, and then I started to fall at speeds that should have ripped my entire body asunder; I had no idea how long the fall would last—it seemed that I had been falling for an eternity through utter blackness, when I finally landed, but I did not fall on a solid surface; it was more like falling on a gathering of pillows. I stood to my feet immediately, and I was ready for anything; even though I had no weapon—I had prepared myself to fight until I could fight no more. The blood of the warrior pumped through my veins, awakening the spirit of the lion in me. I relished this feeling, it made me feel alive in ways that Solarias could not, and I could not explain how much I needed this feeling to revive me sometimes; how much I needed to feel like a warrior.

Suddenly, I found myself out of the blackness; my eyes adjusted to the dimly light room, and I saw nothing for what seemed like miles and miles. While the pitch had gone away—drowned out by the light—I still felt as if I were in a lighted void of nothingness. What was this place, and why had the enigmatic voice beckoned me here.

“Hello,” I shouted into the chasm. “Where exactly am I? Hello. Is anyone there?”

Nothing.

“Come to me.” The voice thundered through my spirit, and I could feel my feet propel forward, but to where exactly I do not know.

I walked until my bare feet were sore. Where was I going? This had to be a dream, a very detailed dream. I could feel the rising flames of my ire, as I became more and more annoyed.

“Listen to me, I am King of Luniris and I demand to know what is going on here,” I shouted into deaf ears, and still the voice did not respond. “Where am I going, I do not appreciate being made a fool of.” I demanded, and still nothing.

That is when I saw it; I had been walking all this way toward another door.

“Is this some kind of joke?” I folded my arms about my chest, and refused to turn the knob to go inside, but it would seem that I had no choice, because the door opened and I was pushed inside—by an invisible force—without a word.

The force was so strong that, it pushed me over face forward on the ground; when I collected myself from the ground and looked back toward the direction of the door—I found that it was not there anymore. However, I no longer wanted to leave; the beauty of the place intrigued me—it was so lush and green, and had the tallest fruit trees that I had ever seen. In fact, the fruit was so ripe that, I could taste its juicy sweetness on my tongue. Everything was so vibrant and alive, the sky held the exact same blue as my eyes and there was not a cloud present in it. The mountains in the far distance; were ablaze with what looked like fire, but the fire seemed to be trapped on the tops of the mountain—the blaze ventured nowhere else. All of my attention was held captive by the fiery mountain, until I heard the most beautiful birdsong, but not like the native birds of lands that I had travelled before; these birds sang new songs that I had never heard.

I was captivated by the bright red markings that, each of the birds carried on their bodies; no matter what other colors that their feathers possessed—all of them bore the same red markings. And as if this were not odd enough, the birds began to gather just above my head; so many of them until the blue of the sky was blotted out by the swarm of birds. I tried to evade them, but they swooped down toward me, and all of them attached themselves to a piece of my clothing; before I knew it my feet were up off the guard, and the birds were flying with me—wherever the enigmatic voice had directed them to take me. I no longer struggled against their flight, because I did not want to be dropped back down to the ground. So, I had no other choice but to enjoy the wind carelessly blowing against me.

The eerie flight did not take long, before I knew it; the birds had come to a complete stop over the flaming mountains. Surely, the birds had no intention of dropping me here; I would be burned alive.

“You cannot be serious.” I yelled at the birds. “Fly on, you cannot possibly be considering dropping me in the flames.”

But before I knew it, I felt the birds letting me go one by one; and then I began to descend downward—faster than a sinking stone—to meet my fiery death. I closed my eyes, but when I hit the flaming mountain; I did not even smell the smell of searing flesh. I slowly opened my eyes, and while the flames were surrounding me; I was not engulfed in them, I was not even being burned. What was going on here, it certainly was real fire; because I could feel the heat, but the flames just were not effecting me as real fire should.

“You are on Holy ground, young king,” And when His soothing voice touched the ears of the mountain; the flames were immediately drawn into His body and extinguished. “I apologize for the flame, but the impurities within you; needed to be burned out before I share the gifts with you.”

He was different than I had seen Him before; for one thing, He looked taller and greater in body mass, and for another the curls of His dark hair had become pure white like snow, and were wild and unruly—not tame and coifed as I had seen them previously; His amber eyes were now blazing with the fire that He had just consumed, and His feet were like burnt brass. All of His splendor and awesomeness nearly drew all the life out of me. I could not speak, words just refused to form in my mouth.

“Come now, my young king; you know me well. I am still the Star Breather; it is just that I have decided to reveal myself to you in my glorified form.” His laughter was like many babbling brooks.

I fell to my knees, not being able to handle all the weight of His glory. He came to me, and placed His hand gently on my shoulder; the heat from His hand burned straight into my soul.

“Arise, my son; so that I may bless you with your gifts.” The light in His face was like a million suns, shining in all of their brilliance. I knew that I would never be the same again; I could feel the weight of His presence changing me from the inside out. I could feel the power coursing from Him to me, and I was slightly weakened by it; but despite this, my legs gained great strength and I stood—a little wobbly at first—but I eventually found confidence in my stance.

“Why me, Sire, I am not worthy of any of your gifts,” I had to let my eyes rest from staring into his brilliant face. “I am just an ordinary man, I was not even meant to be king.”

“You were meant to be king, young one; it was your destiny,” He coaxed my eyes to His. “The softness of your heart, is what makes you king; it has very little to do with how you wear power, it is more about how you wear grace and mercy. I have watched you from your youth, and I have always seen greatness in you; a greatness that is often hidden from others. You are great now, young king, but I shall make you mighty.” He smiled then, the crinkles around His ageless eyes responding to His mirth.

He held in his hands seven stars fragments, and they were more beautiful than I had ever seen; the light of the small balls of light were radiant and blinding, but at the same time they were as clear as glass.

“My essence and power is in these star fragments, young king; and now I shall pass all that I am onto you. My power is your power, my strength is your strength, my authority is your authority, my righteousness is your righteousness. If you so choose to accept it; it shall be yours.”

“I shall accept it, with honor; my Sovereign.” I bowed my head, and the Star Breather burned the star fragments into my right arm; I felt a slight scorching sensation on my skin, and when I looked at my right arm—the seven stars were in a circle seared into my flesh; spilling their power into my entire being.

“Now stand back, and be amazed; young sire.” He smiled, and when I stepped away from Him; the Star Breather opened His mouth wider than I had ever seen a being open their mouth, and out of His mouth came two swords. Both were breathtakingly beautiful, and lethal; they would put Leonus’ sword to shame. “Pick them up, young king; they belong to you and your lady. They are the weapons of my warfare, and I am entrusting them to both of you. Use them well, guard them with your lives; for in the wrong hands they have the potential to be dangerous.”

Standing in His presence, I had forgotten all about Solarias; I wondered whether or not she was still sleeping.

“She still sleeps, my king.” He smiled, reading my thoughts. “You must return to her, she will be awake soon; and I am planning on waking up your families momentarily, so both of you must make ready—the honeymoon has come to an end.” His voice was a calming river.

“How long has it been, my Lord; I know that you do not work on time such as we do. So, I need to know; how long have Solarias and I been in the suite?” My curiosity seemed to run wild in His presence, because He was such a mystery.

“It has seemed but a phase of the moon, has it not?” He smiled.

“Yes.” I concurred.

“Well, it has been ten phases of the moon.”

“Ten?” I was astonished that we had been together that long.

The Star Breather laughed, and nodded his assent.

“You and your lady will need great power to face your families, with the news of your nuptials. So, I implore you; to pass my essence along to your lady, fill her with power such as I have given you. Prepare yourselves for all the obstacles and trials that are to come.” He placed His hand gently on my shoulder, like a beloved father. “Love her such as I have loved you, and be ever ready to give your life for hers. If you are able to promise me this, then nothing can break you or your lady.”

“I promise you, from the depths of my heart; that I will love her.” I shuddered at the truth that I had spoken, because I knew for certain that I would give my life for Solarias without question.

“Now, go, the time has come.”

“But how do I…” And before I could ask, how to descend the mountain; I was back in my honeymoon suite, holding the two swords in my hand. The Star Breather’s words echoed in my spirit.

“Be prepared, be vigilant, be sober; for your Enemy lurks.” His voice spoke on the winds of my soul.

I took His words to heart, and gently sat the swords on the table; then I walked over to our marriage bed where Solarias was still sound asleep. I lay down next to her, and placed a kiss on her bare shoulder; and when I had done this, her beautiful caramel eyes opened and she smiled. She sat straight up, astonished by my presence; being in the Star Breather’s company must have altered my appearance somehow.

“My king, why does your face glow so brightly; it is almost blinding?” She cupped my face in her hands, as if she were surveying me; then almost as if a hidden knowledge had been revealed to her—she gasped. “You have been with Him, what has He spoken to you?”

“Many things.” I smiled into her amazed eyes. “And I will share them all with you, but first; I must fill you with His essence as He has filled me.” I took her hands in mine, and eclipsed my mouth over hers; it was amazing how she never asked any questions—she just received all of it with her childlike faith. And I gently blew the Star Breather’s essence into her lungs, I could tell when I was finished, because now we both held the glow of the Star Breather upon our faces. She tried to catch her breath; when I had finished. “Are you alright, love?” I smoothed the pad of my thumb against her cheek.

She touched her hand to mine, and smiled with her flaming eyes.

“Yes, I am better than alright.”

“Good.” And then I jumped off of the bed in a flash. “Because we have no time to waste, the Star Breather is planning to wake our families; here, take this,” I tossed one of the Star Breather’s swords over to her, and she caught it without hesitation. “Another gift from the Star Breather.”

She admired the sword in awe.

“It is quite exquisite, even more beautiful than Leonus’s.” She ran her fingers carefully along the golden blade.

I approached her again, and let my fingertips caress her cheek softly.

“We must protect the swords with our lives, love. If they were to ever get into the wrong hands; they could be dangerous.” I cautioned, and she nodded her understanding.

“I am ready, to face our families, and our people.” She jumped out of the bed, ready for anything; as she held her sword in hand she was a fiercer warrior than I could ever hope to be.

I approached her, and embraced her with my one free arm; as I held my sword in the other. I let my eyes caress her beautiful face; she was my equal in every single way.

“I love you.” I breathed, and she smiled.

“And I you, my Moon King.” She gave me a tender kiss that, reached all the way down into my soul. It was not intensely passionate really; I had shared those kisses with her before, it was one of submission, she was honoring my position in her life—honoring me as her husband, her protector, her warrior, her hero. And when I looked into her eyes again, tears were escaping down her face. I wiped them away with the pad of my thumb.

“What is it, love?” I whispered never breaking my gaze from hers.

“I honor all that you are to me, my King,” She put her sword down on the bed, and did the same with mine; and I immediately took her into my full embrace—speechless and amazed at the words that she had just spoken. “I give you my heart and my life, to protect and to hold; I submit and commit myself to you and your leading. By the Star Breather’s name, I will do all that I can to help you; I cannot imagine walking through this life at anyone else’s side.” Her cheeks colored crimson, and she took her eyes away from mine; at her words, a passion rose up in me like never before—I felt like a king and warrior all at once, and the feeling was inebriating. To have one so strong, relinquish her position to me was arousing. I struggled for breath as I brought her eyes back to mine.

“How could you yield so much trust to me? I am completely untested with your heart, my lady.” I smiled into her eyes, as she draped her arms around my shoulders and let her body melt against mine.

“You could not be more wrong, my lord; when you stood before all of our people and declared your love, no matter the consequences—you took my heart in your hand, and you can hold it forever.”

I could not help myself, she had to be kissed; and this time the kiss was intense, so intense that it sent a tremor through my entire being. I could actually feel her soul dance with mine, and for the first time in my life—I knew I was home.  When we had wearied of the kiss, I placed my forehead upon hers.

“I will hold your heart, my lady, ever so carefully. And it is my solemn vow that, it shall never be shattered in my grasp.” I looked into her eyes with a smile, and rested my chin on top of her head. “Shall we go, and face the rest of the world?”

“We shall.” She tilted her head up to look into my eyes, and smiled; I grew stronger at the complete trust that I read in her soul language. I was completely captivated by her faith in me.

I would be the man that she believed me to be, or die trying.

 

All of our kingdoms were gathered in the Star Breather’s grand dining hall; where they had assumed that, they had just enjoyed a wonderful dinner, while in truth their dinner had actually been several moon phases ago—Solarias and I were the only two abreast to this fact. My heart beat a little faster when we were about to step over the threshold to reveal ourselves, hand in hand. I pulled her back to me with gentle force, and she smiled and wrapped her arms around my shoulders; as all the noise from the dining hall wafted out to us.

“Together?” I wanted to confirm that she was ready for this.

She lightly brushed my lips with her own.

“Together.” She confirmed.

And then she loosened herself from my grasp, and wrapped her arms around mine—she gave my bicep a gentle squeeze of encouragement that propelled my feet forward. We were not even looking at them; we were far too preoccupied with looking into each other’s eyes—we did not even realize that the entire room had become completely devoid of chatter at our entrance. A wall of hateful soul language made my entire being quake.

When we finally looked at them, all I saw was a room full of people with twisted countenances—none were friend to our entwining.

“What is the meaning of this?” Leonus thundered, as he stood up from his chair knocking it backward.

I felt Solarias shudder against me with fear, and this brought my anger to the surface; I wrapped my arm around her in protection—pulling her closer to me.

“She is my wife Leonus, there has been no impropriety here; I have acted out my feelings in a gentlemanly manner, I love her,” I elevated my voice passionately, and the whole room gasped at my confession. “Therefore, I have done what my heart has compelled me to do.”

“And what was that exactly, to treat my naïve baby sister like a whore? You forget little king; you needed my permission to wed her. I have signed no agreement with you, you have paid no bride price, and you are not her betrothed. How do you think that your nuptials are even legal? I do not recognize them, and never shall; you have made yourself no more than a thief and the last time I checked, my laws give me grounds to execute you for your thievery.”

“I do not need your permission to act out the intentions of my heart Leonus.” I shot back, I could feel myself losing control; I had to fight hard to keep my composure, after all he was still my brother-in-law whether or not his hatred would allow him to admit it.

“Guards, seize the Moon King.” He commanded, and I drew my sword in response to his command. Everyone gasped at my having a weapon, because this was against the Star Breather’s rules for this particular celebration. There were some who were wishing that they too had brought weapons, I could see the visions of how the Solarians desired to kill me in their soul thoughts.

But before the sun guards could move, the Star Breather stood up from His throne; having been listening and watching the events unfold.

“All of the kingdoms will take their seats, and simmer down; I do not wish to tarnish this celebration of peace with war. Young Moon King, sheath your weapon.” I immediately did as the Star Breather bid. “I have married the two young ones, because their hearts ached to be joined together, and the union that I have bound together cannot be broken.” He looked to Leonus with narrowed eyes. “Not by a thousand edicts, Leonus. The young Sun Princess, shall be the Moon King’s queen; you might as well let the papers be drawn, because I have already ordained their nuptials and my word cannot be reversed.”

I heard whispers throughout the kingdoms, my mother and brother were shooting daggers at me with their eyes. And then Barongard stood up, slamming his hand against the mahogany table. I rolled my eyes at his emotional outburst.

“Sire, would you rob me of my right?” His eyes were shooting stars, as he addressed the Star Breather.

“Sit down, Barongard, and please do not attempt to convey emotions for the sun maiden that, you do not have. I see all, and I know that you have not been faithful to her; your affection for her goes no further than the power that her crown would have afforded you. You only wish to be elevated by her position at court, nothing more. You are a duke of the Lower Star Realms; if you do not take your seat right this minute, I shall strip you of that title as well.”

He sat down shame faced, and there were ripples of laughter throughout the hall; I tried to stifle my own.

“Leonus, will you show your people your heart as their king; sign the nuptial agreement between these two young ones, release your sister to the hands of the young Moon King so that he may protect and love her for all time.” The Star Breather’s tone was pleading, but this did not quelch Leonus’s hatred. “Bring peace among your lands, once again.”

“Never,” His words were acid. “Never will I release my sister, a maiden of the sun; into the hands of a dirty thief of the moon.” He looked directly at me, and let his words find their purchase in my heart. If he could have murdered me with his words, I would be lying on the floor covered in blood.

All of the men of the sun, beat their fists against the table in agreement with the hatred of their king; especially his two younger brothers, whom hung onto his every word. The beings of the moon kingdom began to hurl insults back at the people of the sun. I could feel Solarias sadness, and her sadness was my sadness.

“Silence,” The Star Breather beat His golden scepter against the floor, and the whole room quieted instantaneously. “I see that, there is no reasoning with you feuding kingdoms; so hear this, I have joined the Sun Princess to the Moon King in Holy matrimony and none can break that covenant. Whether you beings agree is irrelevant, they will stay bound in their union for all eternity and there is nothing that any of you can do about. So, I suggest that you find a way to deal with it. Or if not, your hatred will destroy you.” He sat back upon his throne, and all was still silent.

A mischievous glint hit my eye, and Solarias shook her head reading the mischief in me; she did not want me to provoke anyone further but I could not resist.

“Sire,” I addressed the Star Breather. “If I may, I would like some private time alone with my wife.” I glanced directly at Leonus, and Solarias’s other brothers; purposely provoking their ire.

“I grant your petition, young lord.” He extended His scepter to me, and I bowed.

“You black hearted fiend, you will pay for this Danolian; mock my words. You will pay.” He stood with warrior’s rage flashing in his eyes, as he stabbed his finger in my direction.

“Again with the threats, Leonus; we can go right now if you so wish.” I stretched out my arms for him to come and get me, when he made a move to do so the Star Breather stood up again.

“Enough!” His voice boomed. “Leonus take your seat, I do not want to have to humiliate you in front of your kingdom, and make you to sit.” Leonus marched back to his seat, with fumes seeping out of his ears, and then the Star Breather looked at me with narrowed eyes. “Young king, please learn to pick your battles; it is not wise to provoke a man so. Now, take your young bride and go.” He sighed deeply, and sat back down in his throne.

I entwined my fingers with Solarias’s and towed her out of the dining hall; the noises of lively chatter had began again—no doubt gossiping about Solarias and I, and our forbidden nuptials. Both of our kingdoms, and the Lower Star Realms would be talking about this for a great while. When we were out of the hall, Solarias snatched her hand from mine, and the cinnamon stirring of her ire was greatly apparent—she stabbed daggers into me with her eyes.

“What were you doing in there?” She shouted in a whisper so that, the kingdoms would not hear us arguing.

“Are you mad at me, really Solarias?” My ire was being stirred by hers.

“You could have showed a little more humility.” She walked away from me then, and I approached her and gingerly turned her to face me.

“Humility, to those racist bigots, we call family?” I drew her into me. “We are both equals, neither one more royal than the other; yet they act as if our color puts us on different sides.” I calmed my voice, and smoothed my hand against her cheek. “I am sorry, love, but they make me sick to my stomach with their behavior. Both kingdoms were created by the same Star Breather, as were the people in it; yet, we act as if we have a right to hate each other; when the very nature of the Star Breather is love.” I rested my forehead on hers, as the cinnamon essence of her ire dulled; which was a sign that her anger was waning. “I do not want to fight with you, my sun maiden; all I want to do is love you—without being told that it is wrong. They just make me so crazy sometimes.”

I felt her pull herself closer to me, and she cupped my face in her hands.

Shushia tayo.” The dulcet fragrance of her cinnamon was one of passion now, and I was astounded at my understanding of her words in the sun language; she told me to make love to her.

Kilatahi mhidraya tana.” I lulled softly in her, if that is your wish; hearing the words in the depths of my soul, we were so connected now that we could speak in any language that we wanted to, and understand it fully.

I kissed her then, a kiss so passionate that it had the power to rock all of the planets in the universe; I was drunk on the sweetness of her. Nevertheless, it might not have been best for me to take her in the hallway; somewhere more private was in order. I broke our kiss and smiled.

“Gija.” I spoke in my own tongue, through labored breath; I told her to come.

En hidyai.” She responded; with the words: you lead in the language of the moon, as she wove her fingers through my hair.

I entwined my fingers with hers, and took off running; she followed close behind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~CHAPTER 14~

QUEEN SOLARIAS

CORONATION DAY

The day of my coronation had finally arrived, and all of Luniris was abuzz with it. For the most part, the beings of this kingdom hated me, and wanted to see me fall flat on my face. All of them had expected Brynyana to be crowned queen, and if I was being completely honest with myself; I thought that she looked a lot more equipped than me to rule the beings of Luniris. She and Dane were two halves of the same coin; I on the other hand was the colored stocking in a chest full of dull plain ones—how I long to be a dull plain stocking, so that I could blend into the crowd—right now I stuck out like a sore thumb. If I did not feel as if I fit into the royal family in Solarian, I certainly did not feel like I fit in here. How could I possibly; when everyone here had porcelain skin, and mine bore the coloring of honey.

And another pain in my heart, was the fact that, my family or any other member of the Solarian kingdom would venture over for the ceremony. My brother—the Solarians’s king—had condemned it, thus it was marked for doom and none of the beings dared to touch it. The only individual of my kingdom that; would not leave my side was my faithful lady in waiting, Baylin. She would stay with me no matter where I roamed, just as she had from my birth. It was heartbreaking that, my own mother; the woman that actually gave birth to me—refused to utter my name anymore. In her eyes, it was as if I had never been born.

“Mistress, you must let me know if this hurts you any.” Her voice was like the clanging of temple bells, as she blew her breath on the hot comb that she held; so that she and Baylin could take turns ironing out my hair.

Eloin, was one of the servants in the palace, and one of the only beings of Luniris that would address me or look me in the face. She had long shining auburn hair that, blazed like fire and she always wore it in a loose braid that travelled down past her waist; her eyes were a pale green—not emerald like Barongard’s—nonetheless they were full of kindness, even if they lacked vibrancy; she was a slight maiden, and looked to be many sun lightings younger than me. She was also small in stature, but she had more strength than individuals gave her credit for.

“I shall Eloin.” I tried to smile as I sat looking at myself in the mirror; I wanted to cry, I wanted to run. I missed my cottage; so quiet, so unassuming, so free of any expectation. How had I gotten here? And then his face flashed across my memory; the flawless face of my Moon King, who had pledged his life to me, and risked giving up his throne, just to have me seated at his side. If I could just look into his eyes tonight; and his eyes only, I would be just fine. If I could only hang onto his words of love; I would be able to withstand anything. I was going through all these torturous beauty rituals just for him, I would have been far more satisfied in one of my leisure  gowns, with my hair braided in my usual one braid going down my back—to keep my unruly curls tame. Nevertheless, here I was allowing these women to practically burn my hair out of my scalp; in order to achieve the look of the moon maidens.

I had even let them put powder on my face, in hopes of lightening my skin a little; so that its tawny hue would not offend. He deserved to get some of his dignity back, and I was not going to be selfish enough to deny him that. If had to go through a million beauty rituals to make that happen; I would without delay.

“You flinched a little, my queen, are you alright?” Her round eyes, held worry as the hot comb shook in her hands. I had not even realized that I had flinched when the heat of the comb hit my neck; I had my feelings and emotions turned off, I was trying to numb myself in preparation for the events ahead.

Before I could speak, Baylin took the hot comb out of her hands and commenced to finishing the job herself.

“Eloin, she is fine, my darling. Why do you not go to the wardrobe, and prepare your lady’s gown for the evening? I shall finish up here.” Baylin smiled as the little siren flitted over to the wardrobe, and when the maiden was out of earshot; she commenced to talking about her. I had no other choice, but to smile at Baylin’s backbiting ways. Her gift to be as sweet as moon fern fruit to your face; and as poisonous as a sun dart behind your back was astounding.

“By the Star Breather’s name, could that youngling be anymore incompetent?” She combed the hot comb through my hair without mercy, and put it back atop the blazing hot stone of the fire place.

“Baylin, she is trying; you cannot blame her if she is not accustomed to our barbaric rituals.” I smirked to myself.

“Barbaric ritual, my lady, please do not be so dramatic; you know that we have to straighten every strand or it will all be for naught.” She took the hot comb from the hot stone, and mercilessly pulled through my wild curls; I flinched only slightly. “There now that shall do.” She said as she wiped her brow, as if straightening my hair was such a task.

“My lady, you have the most beauteous hair!” She exclaimed, as she practically pushed Baylin out of the way to get to it. “May I brush it Baylin, please.” Her eyes were so big, almost like a youngling’s; Baylin rolled her eyes.

“You might as well, all the work has been done; I shall go and bring the gown over, so that my lady can dress.” She went over to my bed; where Eloin had sat the gown out, to make sure that all was in order.

As Eloin brushed my hair, all I heard were gentle coos of pleasure.

“My lady, it is as soft as the garments spun from moon bug larvae; how in the High Star Realms do you get it so soft?” She breathed out her astonishment.

“I drink lots and lots of Sun Tea.” I grinned having a little fun with her.

“And what do you put on it, to produce that heavenly smell?” She closed her eyes as she inhaled my strands.

“Well, that cannot be brought or sold; little one,” I brought her around to face me, and I took the brush from her and placed it on my vanity mirror; as I took her hands in mine. “The cinnamon pulses through my veins, and permeates my entire body with that essence. You can buy cinnamon in Solarian, but there is none quite like the actual essence that our body produces naturally.”

“You are so kind, my queen, how can these people not love you as I do?” She said averting her eyes from mine shyly.

I brought her eyes back up to mine.

“Love is hard to feel, when your heart is so clouded with hate; let us thank the Star Breather that we are not that way.” I touched her cheek softly, and she nodded vehemently in agreement.

“Yes, my queen.” There were tears in her eyes.

“Alright, you two; we do have a coronation to make ready for.” She tried to act as if tears were not clouding her throat, but I could hear them. “Eloin, would you help me dress our lady?”

“Yes, it shall be an honor.” She wiped the tears away from her eyes quickly.

So, that she and Baylin could help me put my gown on; I stood in front of my floor length mirror, but unlike my mirror at home—the border was not golden; it was instead engraved with moon crystals. When they pulled the gown all the way down, so that I could see myself completely dressed; I had to admit that all of the torturous beauty rituals were worth it. Baylin helped me to put my hair up in a lose bun; which is how most of the Luniris royals word their hair for important ceremonies. I was sure that Dane would be pleased.

“My queen, you are completely stunning.” She sighed as she looked at me.

“Baylin, what do you think?” I asked with a smile, knowing full well that she would not give me a straight forward complement.

“You will do.” She said wiping the tears from her eyes.

Just as soon as I thought of him, he came into the room; and when he saw me in full dress—his eyes were not pleasured or pleased—in his eyes I read disappointment and I could sense slight ire burning through him. Why was he angry? I thought that he would be pleased with my new look.

Eloin bounced over to him in her jittery way.

“Sire, what do you think of my lady, is she not stunning?” She cooed.

His eyes never left mine, as he spoke to Eloin in a subdued voice.

“Eloin and Baylin, would you leave us; I need to speak with the queen alone.”

“Yes my lord.” They bowed to us both, and left the room; they seemed as bewildered by Dane’s response to my appearance as I was.

When they had taken their leave, I was almost frightened at what Dane would say in their absence. At first, he said absolutely nothing; there was just stone silence between us, and then he started circling me as if he were appraising my attire—I did not like the feeling that this was creating in me. I wanted to crawl in a deep hole and hide. He finally stopped circling, and looked directly into the depths of my soul, and for the longest time he just stood there staring.

“Solarias,” He opened his thoughts to me, at last. “At any time, have I ever given you the impression that, I do not love exactly who you are?” His words were not spoken in malice; I could hear tinges of hurt in his voice, but why was he so hurt?

“No, my lord.” I lowered my eyes from his, and tears began to fall down my cheeks taking some of the white powder with them.

“Then why, have you done this to yourself?” He took the pad of his thumb, and began to wipe the tears from my face; I could see the white powder residue on his thumb. “If I wanted to marry a maiden of the moon; I would have chosen one to marry, but,” He took me into his embrace. “My heart chose you, I wanted you, I married you; not some watered down version of you. I did not bring you here to disappear into my world, I brought you here to stand out in it.” He smiled at me then. “Solarias Morsiat Hummony Garyius, Princess of Solarian, Queen of Luniris; I want everything that you are: your almond colored skin, freckled with the golden dust of the sun,” He let his fingertips gently caress my arm. “Your full lips, so much sweeter than any honey that I have ever tasted,” He kissed my lips gently and passionately. “The cinnamon essence of your skin,” He brought me close, and let his nose roam my neck; as if he were appreciating the aroma of a bouquet of flowers. “And the soft unruly curls of your hair,” He released my hair from the loose bun, and ran his fingers through the silky smooth tresses as if he were missing the unruly curls. “Please, my queen; I want to present you tonight, I want to celebrate you, I want to honor you.”

“I thought that this would make your people comfortable, if I were more like them; maybe they would love me.” I looked into his blue eyes, and they were full of mirth and amusement.

“But the king already loves you, my sweet, and his opinion is the only one that matters.” He pecked my lips softly, and walked over to my wardrobe; and pulled out my favorite gown—the one that held every hue of the sun—and brought it over to me. “I would like to see you in this one, my love.”

“But I will stick out, especially when everyone else will be dressed in the white, grays or powdered blues of the many faces of the moon.” I was horrified at the idea of all eyes being glued to me.

“Yes, that is the objective; this is your night and you deserve to be revered.” He kissed me on my cheek softly, and lulled in my ear. “Oh and would you please wash that garish white powder off of your beautiful skin, it hides your sun kissed glow; and please bring back my soft unruly curls, I do so love to tangle my fingers up in them, my maiden of the sun.” He looked at me deeply. “Never be afraid of who you are, that maiden is the maiden I love. And it does not matter whether my subjects love you or not, they will respect you; or by the Star Breather’s name they will pay for their insolence.” He took me in his embrace again. “Know this Solarias, I will always protect you, you are my queen now.” He kissed me one last time. “Hurry, I will be waiting for you.”

And then he was gone; leaving me and my ladies to undo all of the hard work that had already been done. As I looked at myself in the mirror, I had to acknowledge that what my kind husband spoke was true; I did look ridiculous trying to hide who I was. I was a Princess of the Sun, soon to be Queen of the Moon; married to my beloved and I would show his people all that I was—at his gracious request.

 

The Moon Palace was made entirely out of blue moon stone; and it had miles long windows, so that the ethereal glow of moonlight could peek in whenever it desired to do so, no other light was required, because the bright moon beams spilled through the throne room illuminating everything with its silvery streams. As I expected, every being in the moon kingdom; wore their finest attire in different shades of the moon’s face—even my husband wore a powder blue tunic, as he waited for me standing atop the throne platform with a smile upon his perfectly chiseled face. He looked so regal wearing his pure white circlet—with blue moon stones engraved in it—upon his head, and his white cape to match; the light of the moon struck his eyes to a radiant blue that sparkled.

I could hear whispers as I made my descent down the aisle; to meet my husband at the throne, and I could sense disdain for my very presence. I must have looked like a bright flame of fire—to them—set in their midst to destroy all that they held dear, but I kept my focus on my dear husband and all others faded. I walked to him alone, as far as I was concerned no one else was in the room; he was the only one that I had to please, him and no other. When I finally made it to him, my lungs were screaming in protest—I had not realized that I had been holding my breath. He extended his pure white scepter to me, and I calmly released my breath; and touched the blue moon stone, that sat at its tip.

“Kneel, my lady.” He tried to stifle a smile of joy, but I could still hear it in his voice.

My heart must have swollen twice its size in my chest, as I prayed silently that I would not fall face forward, and make a fool of myself. He held his scepter up right, so that it touched the ground; and with his other hand he gently guided me down on the pure white pillow that was sitting on the ground waiting for me. I took his hand, and he squeezed it in encouragement and gave me a small wink of his eye as he guided me to kneel.

“Lady Solarias Morsiat Hummony Garyius, Princess of the Solarian people; it is my great honor and privilege to offer you a place by my side on the throne of Luniris as my queen. All that I am, I extend to you; all that is mine is now yours.” He took his scepter and gently bounced it on both of my shoulders; the burden of the transference of his power was extremely heavy. “Do you solemnly vow to be loyal, true and loving to the King of Luniris and his subjects?” He said placing his scepter back upright at his side.

“I do my lord.” I bowed my head in all sincerity, but he smiled; I heard a ripple of whispers through the room; at what the beings of Luniris must have viewed as, their king’s unkingly behavior at such a somber ceremony.

He ignored them all, and kept smiling into my eyes; the royal crown barrier then took his place beside the Moon King, and the crown that was upon the royal pillow was breathtaking; it looked exactly like Dane’s circlet but instead of being white it was made of pure blue moon stone. He broke his stare from mine—momentarily—to take the crown from the pillow, and when he had done so, the royal crown barrier scurried away.

“Then by all the powers vested in me, I pronounce you Queen Solarias of Luniris.” He placed the crown on my head, and offered me his hand; I graciously accepted and he helped me to stand from kneeling. He then, brought me up to his level on the throne and turned me to face the people. “Long live the queen.” His voice resonated off of the moon stone walls in the room.

And the people mechanically repeated his words, but there was no happiness or cheers at my being crowned their leader; I do not know what I expected. I just hoped that perhaps I would get a better reception once I was their queen, but none of them would still look me in the eye and I could sense their feelings of disdain and disgust at my being crowned their queen. All of a sudden I sensed my Moon King’s emotions above all others, he was planning mischief and what happened next I never saw coming—as he pulled me into his arms and kissed me more passionately, then should have been done in public sight. I forgot that anyone else was present, as I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and succumbed to the kiss. His overwhelming emotion was one of joy, his goal was to make them as uncomfortable as possible; he knew not one would dare leave without being dismissed.

When he had satiated his thirst for my kiss, he placed his forehead on mine and smiled.

“You are wanted and beloved my queen, far more beautiful than any creature that I have ever beheld; I cannot believe that you chose me and if these hateful people cannot see your true worth, they are all fools.” He turned back to his people, and chortled softly; all of his words audible enough for all of them to hear. “Reception in the Great Hall, and all are required to come; if any decide to make themselves absent—I assure you that a day or two in the stocks will teach you to respect your queen.” He smiled right into his mother’s eyes—who happened to be standing right next to Brynyana—and then he looked back to me, and offered me his arm. “My lady, shall we; I am starved. “

“We shall.” I took his arm, and we descended the throne to make our way to the Great Hall before anyone else. I could feel daggers in my back, but I did not care; I was flying far above the High Star Realms all the way into the Celestial Kingdom as I walked arm in arm with my protector husband.

 

The reception was wondrously delightful, nothing had changed from the coronation ceremony; as usual my only two sources of conversation were Eloin and Baylin, but I did not exactly view this as a bad thing, I hated social gatherings of this magnitude—I would much rather entertain a small handful of friends, because the setting was more intimate. My Moon King, held my hand for the entire reception; as if we could not be separated—it was amazing how we could be engaged in our very own conversations, but still be so completely together. He would give my hand a delighted squeeze from time to time; to let me know I was still wholly on his mind.

My conversation was interrupted almost immediately, when the orchestra abandoned their fast paced music; for a piece of music that was so unlike anything that I had ever heard before—this music was light and airy, almost as if it had been written for the Celestial Kingdom specifically. As the beings of the moon kingdom took to the dance floor, my breath was taken away by the grace and beauty of their dance.

“Does my lady fancy the Moon Dance?” My Moon King lulled into my ear, just adding to the hypnotic effect of the music.

I could only nod acknowledging my pleasure of the dance. He stood from his seat, and took leave of his cape as he held out his hand for mine.

“Would you care to dance, my Queen?” He smiled, I almost declined; until he took my hand in his and entwined his fingers with mine. “Please, my lady; show them how it is done. Your grace would put them all to shame.”

I smiled, and allowed him to lead me out of my seat.

When we were on the dance floor, I let him lead me in the dance; because of the natural rhythm in my body—I was a quick study and was soon able to keep up with him. The moon painted us in its otherworldly glow, as our bodies swayed in oneness to the music. My Moon King let his eyes caresses my face gently, before he spoke again.

“Must you take my breath away, in everything you do?” His hushed words, were honey in my ears. And then he kissed me softly; not paying attention to any of the looks of revulsion that we received.

He rested his forehead gently on mine, and closed his eyes savoring the moment; that is until his older brother ruined the moment by whispering something into his ear. Dane parted with me immediately, there was worry present in his azure eyes; he came back to me and held both of my hands in his—his look was full of contrition.

“Forgive me love, I must go and take care of some trouble at the Protective Mist.” I could tell that it brought him no pleasure to part ways with me, but when I looked into his brothers eyes; all I saw was a dark twisted lust that started to grow. And then he gave me a malicious smirk, I could sense the Dark Force’s presence in his heart and I shuddered—ripping my eyes away from his immediately.

“You must go, please be careful.” I touched his cheek softly. “And please, try to talk peace to the problem; there has been far too much war already.”

He took me in his arms and kissed me.

“I would not dream of harming my brothers of the sun, they are my family as much as they are yours; I will do my best not to shed their blood,” He smiled into my eyes. “For it is now like shedding my own.”

“Thank-you, Sire; I shall wait up for you.” I whispered.

“Please do.” He took both of my hands in his, and kissed them both. “I shall return.” He caressed my cheek one last time, and then he was gone.

No sooner than Dane had departed; I felt a strong breeze of cold air, so cold until it chilled me to the bone—and when my eyes surveyed the crowd; I saw him, the Dark Force and he was smiling at me with wicked glee. Did anyone else see him? Everyone else continued in the dance—oblivious to such evil among them. Could they not feel him? Clearly, their hatred was blinding them to his malicious presence. I shuddered once more, and then he disappeared. I was determined to tell Dane of his appearing later, maybe we could put our heads together and figure out what he was doing here. Alas, deep in my heart of hearts; I knew why he was here—to wreak havoc and destroy all that was good. How would we stop him from making a mess of things this time?

 

I was not much company after seeing the Dark Force among the oblivious moon court, Eloin and Baylin had stopped trying to engage me in conversation long ago; and instead were now cheerfully talking to each other. I was already anxious enough from seeing the Dark Force, but further piling onto my anxiety, was my Moon King’s ongoing absence—he still had not returned from the Protective Mist border—and my imagination was working overtime. Had the Dark Force given me that sadistic smirk, because he had caused, my love, harm? My whole body began to tremble just thinking about it; I had to get my mind on something else.

That is when my eyes roamed to Queen Mahaliquin and Brynyana—at the end of the moon stone table—laughing heartily and enjoying each other’s company, as they sipped of their honey wine and ate of the grand feast. It might have been foolish of me, but I decided right then to get up, and go over and engage the both of them in conversation—in order to build a peaceful bridge between us; she was after all Dane’s mother, and now she was my mother as well. I meant her no ill will, and maybe she would come to love me, because of my love for her son. Perhaps, if she knew how much I loved him; she would come to accept our marriage, and maybe even accept me as her queen. I went to her in such hope and faith, I do not know if I still would have gone; if I knew that my hopes would just be dashed.

When I approached them, their laughter stopped abruptly; in fact all the people around them stopped their conversations to hear what I had to say to their former and almost future queens—even the orchestra had stopped playing. I could sense their anger, hatred, prejudice and bigotry; it was like a hot iron scorching my flesh—I slightly winced away from it. Despite the hostility, I was determined to be the better woman. So, I put on a smile, and tried to hide the pain of the people’s obvious disdain of me.

“My lady,” I bowed to her in humility, and her countenance twisted darkly; then I looked to Brynyana and offered her the same humble greeting, but she refused to even look at me. “Brynyana, how are you both enjoying the festivities?”

There was a long pause of silence, until the queen put on a sweet as honey smile; I did not know that the smile masked the deadly venom of a viper.

“Better if Brynyana had taken her rightful place tonight.” She sipped her honey wine, and Brynyana giggled a little; my heart writhed painfully in my chest. Nevertheless, I was not one to cry easily; I held my head up high and played with the hilt of my sword—imagining a thousand different ways to kill the former queen. I suddenly asked the Star Breather’s forgiveness; for letting such dark images take residence in my head, he had not given me this gift for the purpose of killing a petty queen. I shook them away, and narrowed my eyes.

“Well, my being crowned proves that, the king does not share your opinion; my lady.” I smirked a little at my retort.

The entire moon court gasped at my comments to their queen, but the queen was unmoved; she simply glowered at me—dreaming up something more vicious and hurtful to say, and when her glower gave way to that faux smile; I knew that she had come up with another dagger to stick into my heart.

“Stand up my sweet,” She directed Brynyana, and Brynyana did as she was bid. I had to admit that she was beautiful, but no more than I; we were the same in stature, the only differences lie in our race—other than this we were equal in every way. If the queen’s motivation behind doing this; was to show me up or intimidate me, she had failed miserably. I crossed my arms about my chest, as Brynyana sized me up with her eyes; and visually discarded me as no competition for her. “Now this is a queen.”

The people in the moon court nodded their assent, all this served to do was fan my ire; I would not speak until I could calm myself, because I feared if I did—something nasty would come out. The queen smiled; enjoying the fact that I was becoming unhinged, I am sure that she could smell my cinnamon—signaling that I was becoming frustrated.

“Well, what do you have to say to that, sun maiden?” She snarled.

I decided to take the high road; the Dark Force would love nothing more than for me to start verbally slashing this ignorant woman with my tongue.

“I mean you no ill will, Lady Mahaliquin; in fact, I mean no ill will to any of you.” I looked to the whole moon court. “I love your king, and I would love nothing more than the opportunity to be your queen. No, we are not all the same, but the Star Breather formed and shaped us all; we should be embracing our differences, not tearing each other down because of them. You may not believe me, but the people of Luniris need the people of Solarian; just like the people of Solarian need the people of Luniris. None of us can live the way that we are supposed to, apart from one another.” I could sense that the people were not accepting of my words, because their queen had a look of mockery on her face; in response to every word that I spoke. “Love cannot be picked and chosen like clothing from a wardrobe, it is something that is felt deep in the heart; and once felt it cannot be rescinded. Love knows no bounds, no race, no station, no law; it simply is. The very nature of the Star Breather is love, and to deny this is to deny him.”

My emotions did a full 360 degree turn; my speech had only moved me to tears, because none of the people in the moon court could feel it. Well, almost no one, when I looked down to my end of the table tears were escaping Eloin’s eyes—Baylin was begging me to sit down with every expression on her face. The queen stood up with a cold expression, and looked to Brynyana silently commanding her to take her seat—Brynyana once again did as she was bid.

“You will not sit on the throne of Luniris long, mock my words sun maiden.” She too wore her sword about her person; if she had taken the time to get to know me, perhaps our love of sword play could have been something that we could have bonded over. Nevertheless, she was making it perfectly clear that we would never bond.  “My son has a tainted itch for you, but I can assure you; when he has fully scratched that itch, his mind will be clear and more focused to see reason. Your being crowned is merely a farce, a mockery of the traditions of this land; he is doing this to rebel. All the young ones are prodigals, but soon he will come home to Brynyana and the old traditions.” She narrowed her eyes at me, as her voice deepened darkly; and the shadow of the Dark Force passed through her countenance, once again everyone was oblivious. “You might as well go home now, sun maiden, so as not to embarrass yourself any further.” She sat back down, and turned back to Brynyana.

“Thank-you Madam, for making me feel so welcome.” I bowed to her, while holding my tongue so that I would not say anything hateful back to her. She would not even look at me, I began walking with my head held high to exit the Great Hall—Eloin and Baylin tried to get up to follow me, but I held my hand up, and motioned for them to sit back down. I did not want company right now; I wanted to be alone, they reluctantly did as they were bid. There was not so much as a whisper as I exited, but when I finally reached the outside of the Great Hall; I could hear the orchestra start up again and people talking about the dramatic scene. I felt tears prickle in my eyes, but I still refused to cry them. Queen Mahaliquin would not get to me; she would not taint the love that I held in my heart for Dane—she would not make it ugly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~CHAPTER 15~

THE MOON KING

THE PEACE TREATY

She was part of me, I could not separate from her. She was breath to me, without her I could not hope to breathe. She was all that I craved, no physical sustenance would ever be enough. She was all that I thirsted for, no amount of drink would ever satiate it. Why could people not see past the different colors that, the Star Breather had so beautifully painted us? Every time I touched her, I was reminded of every single exquisite wonder of this endless galaxy. I hated this war with every fiber of my being; the hatred in these people that we called family was nauseating.

Why would Leonus lead his troops into the mist on a mission to ruin the coronation? Why did we have to talk with our swords drawn? Did these people not understand that, Solarias and I were trying to join them into the same precious love that we shared? We no longer had to fight, we could find peace. By the Star Breather’s heart, I wanted to find peace, and the only way to do that was to activate Tranquil Negotiations with Solarias’s brother Leonus, the King of the Solarian people. Nevertheless how could you engage someone in peaceful conversation, when they would have just as easily taken off your head and stuck it on a pole for all to see? I did not care at this point, I had to try it; for her, for us. I had to risk going to Leonus, there was no other way; I had to end this. As long as that Protective Mist divided us, there would be room for mistrust and hatred; the only way to end the war was to end the divide. However, pulling back the veil of mist would not mend divided hearts.

“Star Breather, please, help me. I cannot do this on my own.” I pleaded with the Creator of the Galaxy, and got only silence; as I went through the palace searching for my lost queen. The hour was between night and dawn, the festivities of the evening had long since ended. Had she not returned to her chambers all night?

I wanted to kill my mother for the hateful words that; she had spoken to her in front of the entire moon court. I should have thrown her in the stocks for her insolence; but I settled upon restricting her to her chambers for a fortnight instead—at least I would not have to deal with hearing her wretched voice for fourteen moon phases. I had to find my love, I had to speak with her and hear her wise thoughts on my desire to propose peace to the King of Solarian—by way of a treaty. I always felt so much stronger as a king when she was near; she made me feel as if I could do anything. I so wanted to be the man that, I saw in her soul thoughts, but the truth was that at this particular moment I was lacking in confidence.

Where could my love possibly be, when I had first arrived home from the Protective Mist border; I assumed that she would be safely tucked in her bed—sleeping away in her chambers—but instead I only found her ladies in her chambers, fighting to keep awake to await their mistress’s return; and they regaled me with the tale of my mother’s assault on my love’s character, and after going to deal with my shrew of a mother; I proceeded to look for my love about the palace and its grounds.

At first I tried the gardens, we had a beautiful collection of herbs and flowers in the gardens; so, I assumed that she would be there picking herbs to ward off the stress and humiliation of my mother’s assault, but she was not there. Next, I tried the gymnasium, I assumed that she would be working out some steam by wielding her sword, but she was not there either. After searching several more places, it had hit me that she might have been in the temple; I had forgotten that, while she valued the protection that her sword could give—she valued one weapon above all others—her penchant for praise and worship of the glorious Star Breather. No matter what happened in her life, her faith would forever be her lifeline.

I ran to the temple, and as I suspected; she was there kneeled before the alter—with the book of Sacred Texts in her lap—this should have been the first place that I looked. She was so beautiful as the moon light bathed her in its silvery glow, as she prayed; I almost hated to disturb her—she had been through so much tonight, but I needed her now. I paid homage to the Star Breather before I crossed over onto holy and sacred ground; I released all of my rage from warring and crossed over into a tranquil river. When I approached her, she looked up instantly—with tears streaming down her face—I fought hard in that moment, not to hate my mother for what she had done to her.

“My King!” She tried to get up, and embrace me, but before she could I joined her on the floor and pulled her into my embrace. “Where have you been?” She looked into my eyes, as if I had been gone a great while.”

“It has not been that long since we last saw each other, my lady.” I smiled, taking my thumb and clearing her cheek from some of her tears. Was she crying for me, did she think that something had happened to me?

“I thought you dead, Dane.” She looked as if she were going to cry again, as she rested her head on my shoulder.

“I am here, my love, I am not going anywhere; I promise.” I lulled.

Suddenly her smooth caramel eyes licked to flame, as she looked at me; and then she punched me hard in my arm.

“Oh, Dane I could murder you; do you not know how I have suffered; do not ever do that to me again.” She pushed away from me.

I was confused, and while the punch did not hurt much; it still hurt.

“Ouch, what did I do?” I asked rubbing my arm.

“You have been gone all night, without word; that is what you have done.” She gathered up her book of Sacred Texts, and was preparing to get up from the floor, but I grabbed her hand in mine and refused to let her go—until she explained herself.

“I told you that we were having problems at the border, my lady; negotiations became quite hostile. The fighting lasted a good while; until my brothers of the sun decided to retreat. I did not mean to cause you worry; I thought that you understood that it could take some time. Please forgive me.” I pulled her into me, and she relaxed against me. “Do you forgive me?”

“I am sorry Dane, but I saw him tonight; I thought that he had hurt you, killed you—he gave me the most malicious look.” She shuddered against me, and I pulled her closer in an attempt to protect her from some unseen enemy.

“Who, love, who do you speak of?” I whispered.

“The Dark Force.” She breathed out in fear.

I turned her to face me.

“He was here?” I cupped her face in my hands.

She nodded her assent, because she was unable to speak words. That would explain everything, including my mother’s behavior; the Enemy would try to tear us apart by way of our families. I had to reassure her that, not even the evil creature from the depths could keep us apart—I had to make her understand that I was hers and she was mine, for all eternity. He would have to try a lot harder than using our families to separate us.

“United we stand,” I smiled into her worried eyes. “Remember?” I asked smoothing my fingertips against her cheek. “Divided all fall,” I whispered. “Nothing can break us, we will fight against him with all that we have. I told you before, my queen; I will never give you up.” She turned and rested against me, her heart quieted to a slow hum; as she took me at my word. Was it so easy to convince her of my love and protection? My whole being grew a lot stronger with her faith in me.

She felt safe in my arms, so safe that she closed her eyes as she relaxed her head against my shoulder; I let my lips gently caresses her neck and she grinned and sighed at the sensual contact.

“My love,” I let my breath blow gently into her ear, and her body trembled slightly; I smiled. “I am so sorry about my mother,” I entwined my fingers with hers, but she was far too hypnotized by the closeness of her bodies to hear me; I chortled softly. “You have no need to worry; she has been properly reprimanded and punished.”

Her eyes popped open immediately, and she looked directly at me; the sensual spell had been broken.

“Dane, you were not too hard on her; were you?” She was mortified at the idea, and I was shocked; with the way she had treated her—she should have been crying for her death or at the very least her banishment. “I am not saying that what she did was right, in fact it was incredibly hateful, and I worked out my frustrations at the gymnasium by wielding my sword—before coming here, but Dane, she is still your mother.” She let her fingertips, gently caress my tensed jaw. I was so irrevocably in love with this woman; her goodness, kindness and compassion were a wonder.

I kissed her softly, and she so easily submitted to the kiss; before falling back to rest against me again.

“Tell me what to do with her, my queen; I would do whatever you asked me to do.” I caressed her eardrum with my words, and she giggled her delicious giggle. “Do you desire her head, I would willingly give it to you on a golden platter; do you desire her banishment into the far corners of the Netherworld, I would have her sent there directly; do you desire her publicly whipped for your pleasure, that could be arranged.” She was laughing uncontrollably now. “Just tell me, what my lady desires; I am your servant—your wish is my command.”

“You are simply awful, my Moon King.” She smiled with her eyes still closed. “What shall you really be punishing her for, being an overprotective mother? She loves you, even if she may not be able to show it correctly. I know that she must, please be gentle with your punishment.”

“And I was all prepared to make her suffer.” I whispered into her ear with faux disappointment. “I was furious, when I found out from your ladies how she had assaulted your character in public, but my cooler head prevailed in the end. I gave her a fortnight’s confinement to her chambers for her insolence. Is that gentle enough for you, my lady?”

“That will do.” She smiled, and her smile was infectious.

“Now, that the issues with my mother have been discussed and resolved; there is something very serious that I would like to discuss with you,” I had to broach the subject tentatively, because I had no idea how she would react. “I need your help in figuring some things out, your wisdom is unparalleled, my queen and I must invoke it now.”

She looked into my eyes furrowing her brow slightly.

“What is it, my lord?”

“I wish to go to your brother, and propose a peace treaty between our two lands.”

Her face twisted in pain, and it was abundantly obvious what her answer would be; she got up from resting against me quickly, and shook her head vehemently before she spoke.

“Are you mad?” Her eyes were cloaked in fear, my countenance remained blank. “If you are not mad, you obviously have death wish. Have you forgotten that, this is the same man that nearly ran you through with a sword—without mercy, without grace? And you sit here proposing to me that, you just waltz over there and propose a peace treaty, just like that; with no forethought of the dangers that await? Well, it should be obvious to you that, my answer is no.” She brought down her blustering, and came close to me and cupped my face in her hands. “Please, do not risk your life, please.” There were tears in her eyes.

I placed my forehead to hers.

“We must try, love. You have no idea what it does to me, when I have to fight against your people; it is almost as if I am fighting against you.” I smoothed the pad of my thumb against her cheek. “I cannot do it anymore, we must unite; or the Dark Force will just tear us apart all over again.” I brought her closer to me. “Do you not see, the only way out is peace; and someone has to take the first step.”

She rested her head on my shoulder, and sighed in resolve to my proposal.

“But must that person always be you?” She looked into my eyes again, but this time she was smiling.

“So, I take it that you are giving me your blessing?”

She turned back around, and lay against me again; I enveloped her in my embrace with a smile.

“Yes, I am giving you my blessing to walk into the very bowels of death,” She opened her eyes, and looked at me in awe; and I saw myself in her soul once more, I was her champion, her hero, her warrior. The image of myself through her soul, was intoxicating. “Please do be careful.” She gently let her index finger trace my tensed jaw.

“I do so love you, my queen.” She grinned at my confession, and I let my lips gently fall on hers; the kiss found rhythm quickly, she broke apart first and just looked at me with those warm caramel eyes of hers.

“You better come back to me.” She brought her hand to my cheek, and smiled.

“Nothing will keep me from you, nothing.” I lulled.

I held my whole world in my arms, and I swore to myself then and there that, I would never do anything to jeopardize the paradise that I had found with her; but it was always a proven fact that, anytime anything was too perfect something would always happen to shift the balance of that perfection, and our perfect world was about to experience a crumbling blow. Could it withstand; could it possibly survive?

 

I stood on the Solarian side of the Mist—unarmed—fear should have tore my entire body apart, but I was at peace; I was determined to do this. I had to do this, mine and Solarias’s happiness depended upon it. My soldiers called me foolish not to take deputies, but there was no doubt that the King of Solarian would have viewed that as a threat. So, I told all of my soldiers to allow me to do this on my own. I would approach the King, alone with no aid to help me if a fight broke out. Was it insane, perhaps, but I was not thinking in those terms. My mission made sense to me, and I would see it through as I saw fit. None of my people expected to see me again, but Solarias had faith in me, and that was all that I needed. I could sense eyes looking at me, and I knew then that King Leonus’s scouts in the wood had spotted me; I quickly put my hands up in surrender.

“I come bearing no ill will, as you can see; I am unarmed.” I stood waiting for them to jump out of their hiding places; about ten jumped out from various spots and surrounded me—some even jumped down from trees that they were hiding in. They forced me to the ground, and tied my hands behind my back.

“Give us one good reason, why we should not kill you right now; King of Luniris.” The leader spoke, as he stomped his foot into my back; the rest of the soldiers laughed.

“It would be unjust for you to slay an unarmed man, besides I have no wish to fight you; I come to request an audience with your king.” I tried to keep my voice leveled, the pain of the soldier’s foot in my back was becoming blinding, but I refused to fight back.

All the men laughed; obviously I had amused them with my words, although I did not hear anything amusing in my request.

“And why in the Netherworld, should we take you to our king, you slew our last one; maybe you are here on some clandestine mission to slay this one.” He kicked me in my back hard, and the pain shot through my entire being, but I refused to cry out. They sought to humiliate me, but I refused to cower beneath their mockery.

“The only clandestine mission that, I am on, is to propose a peace treaty between our two kingdoms.” I tried to keep the pain out of my voice.

The men were stone silent; they said nothing for a long time, until the leader finally grabbed me up off of the ground to standing.

“Get up, you dog, we will take you to present this nonsense before the king; this should offer him a hearty laugh for the day.” He gave an uproarious laugh, and his men followed suit; as the leader pushed me along up to the palace.

As we passed Solarias’s old cottage, memories flooded my mind; everything seemed so simple inside of its walls—including our love. If we never had to leave the little simplistic hovel of hope; things would have been so effortlessly tranquil. I longed to be inside of its walls now.

“Move along you dog, we do not have all day for you to lag behind.” He pushed me forward, almost causing me to trip; I wanted to knock him to the ground, and give him a taste of the dirt in his mouth and see how he liked it. Nevertheless, I was not here for a petty fight—I was here to make peace. And I was going to make peace, or die trying.

 

When we got to the palace, all of the courtiers were in shock and awe; some of them spat at me, and some of them gawked with evil stares, while others broke out with gossipy whispers. Once we got past the general population of courtiers; the leader pushed me along what had to be the longest corridor in history, until we got to the very end; we were standing outside a closed sturdy wooden door when the leader knocked as hard as he possibly could.

“Enter.” Leonus’s voice came from the other side of the door, and the leader pushed me in; and made me get on my knees.

Leonus seemed to be in a war council meeting, two burly soldiers stood up and unsheathed their swords ready to take off my head if need be. I knew them well Garlius and Palius, twin brothers; whom I had bested in open combat before, I smiled at the thought. They would like nothing more than to make mince meat out of me, fortunately for them; they would have an easy go at it—seeing as how I was tied up and all.

“This dog,” The leader kicked me in my back again. “Claims that he wants to petition you about a peace treaty.”

All of the men, except Leonus laughed; he just looked at me intrigued.

“Quiet, all of you!” Leonus thundered. “Garlius, Palius sheath your swords!” He commanded, and they did as they were bid. He looked at me again, through narrowed eyes. “Leave us,” The king shouted, never letting his eyes leave mine; the men refused to be moved they just stood there as if they were astonished at his command. “All of you.” He ordered.

And they slowly began to move out of the room; the king refused to speak until the last man was gone, and the heavy wooden door closed behind them—leaving us alone. We just stared at each other for the longest time, and then Leonus finally spoke.

“Stand up, I refuse to speak with a man that is not standing on my level.” He approached me then, as I got to my feet, and pulled a dagger from his belt; and went behind me—I naturally assumed that he would have attempted to stab me in the back, but he instead cut the ropes from my wrists. I stood rubbing them, against the painful rawness of them being tied so tightly. We stood at eye level now, but there was a chasm of space between us; there was an awkward beat of silence until the king spoke again. “Are you really this foolish, to come to my kingdom unarmed; and demand anything from me?” His voice was tight, but I could hear the poison in it.

“I did not come to demand anything of you, King of Solarian; I came to merely make a suggestion. I did not think it wise to arm myself; while doing so, I supposed that you would have viewed it as a threat. Why would I bring weapons to discuss the prospect of peace?” I spoke with confidence, not letting my fears in anyway betray me.

“Peace.” He spoke the word as if it were detestable to him. “We tried your people’s so called peace before.” He said through gritted teeth. “And you, young king; betrayed that trust by killing my father.” His voice elevated, and his hard caramel eyes licked to flame.

“Only because your father, killed mine.” I shouted back, and pursed my lips quickly; so that I would not say anymore.

“So, a life for a life then?” He retorted darkly.

I said nothing.

“I should have killed her, when I found out that she helped your worthless hide, maybe it would have saved us all of this agony.” He spat the acidic words at me, and my eyes must have grown wide at his words, because he smiled—not out of mirth, but out of pure amusement of my obvious surprise of his confession. “What, did you think that I was stupid? I knew that my dear sweet little sister helped you, because she has always been in love with you.” My heart beat a little faster, and he chortled with amusement; obviously sensing out my feelings. “Yes, she would muse through this very palace; dreaming of being your wife. I told her many times that, whatever she was feeling was not possible; everyone tried to talk sense into her.” He turned his back to me, and sighed deeply. “Why, King of Luniris, why did you have to go and defy the law and marry her? You did not have to marry her, to bed her; you moon men have taken pleasure with the maidens of the sun, since the moon’s first phase and that is all. Why break edicts that keep both of our worlds balanced?”

“Balanced, there has never been anything balanced about the way we live.” My tongue loosened, because his words were just too nauseating for me to keep my tongue silent. “We have always lived on our own sides, that infernal wall has just solidified how we have been all along, and those Mandatory Nuptial Contracts, of which our ancestors call tradition; have just served as hateful reminders that we are to stay on our own sides.”I could feel my throat tighten with emotion. “Leonus, have you never had a desire to let your heart do the choosing, and not some contract that has been placed on you from birth?” We both said nothing else for a long time; I finally spoke up; breaking the silence between us. “Do you not feel that it is time Leonus, to end the fighting; to unite as one people again? I am not speaking of how we were before, divided in our hearts; we can really unite this time, and be much better than we were before.” My tone was pleading, and when Leonus turned back around to face me; I could tell that he was considering it.

“We have always been too different to unite, completely; everything must have its limits, young king of the moon.” His answer to me was solemn.

“Separate but equal, right; tolerance to a point, right; friendship is fine with the opposite sex if they are of a different race, just so long as you do not fall in love, right?” My tone was all sarcasm, and Leonus’s eyes licked to ire in response.

“I did not make the rules.” He thundered.

“But are you any better than the people who did; if you just sit by and allow the unjust rules to continue? Look around you Leonus; we are rulers of our kingdoms now—not our ancestors or their faulty traditions. We can make our worlds better, by changing all of the rules that they held so sacred and dear. We are all the Star Breather’s creations, he made the different tones of our skin; and I do not believe that it was to keep us separate from each other. He loves variety, you have stepped into the lower portion of his Kingdom; you have seen it with your own eyes.” I dared to approach him, closing up some of the space between us; and I extended my hand to his. “Brother, we must make peace; not for ourselves but for our children after us. Ignorance and hatred does not have to continue, just because that is the way things have always been done; is it not time to try really loving each other with no boundaries?”

He looked at me with inquisitive wonder.

“Why do this, moon king; what is in it for you?”

“There is nothing I gain, but the freedom to love her; with all of my heart, soul, and spirit.” I steadily held my hand out for his. “She is a part of me, Leonus; everything about her is beautiful—there is nothing about her that I would change. My heart chose her, and all we want is peace. You are her family, and that makes you my family as well; you have no idea how torn I have been—fighting against you is like fighting against myself. I cannot continue, brother; please be the king that I know you are, and join our lands.”

He struggled within himself, for several long moments; and then he tentatively grabbed my hand in his.

“Let the peace treaty be drawn,” He spoke in reluctance, but his faith in me and my people would get stronger with time. “I am not saying that, I trust you; but for the good of future generations—we must try to unify.”

We broke apart shaking hands, and he sat down at his desk; and took out a blank piece of paper and his quill.

“Come sit, young king; we have much to discuss. And I trust you will join me in celebration; after the treaty is drafted, we shall remove the Protective Mist immediately.”

I sat on the opposite side of the desk with a smile, as he put quill to paper—preparing to write out the treaty of peace.

“I like the way your mind works great king, Cierion shall rise again.” My heart held gladness like it never had before, but as soon as Leonus and I joined in shaking hands; I felt the darkness in the atmosphere shift—as if the Dark Force was setting up all of his defenses against the treaty. He had broken us asunder before; it would not be too difficult for him to do it again. Whether or not Leonus had felt the shift, was uncertain; but one thing was certain—the Dark Force was coming and we needed to be prepared for the fight he was going to bring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~CHAPTER 16~

QUEEN SOLARIAS

THE QUEEN DISHONORED

I had spent most of the day in the temple, praying for my king’s safe return. His going to my brother, and making a petition for peace was admirable and heroic; but it was also foolish and risky. Dane always seemed to have trouble distancing himself from adventure; when we were younglings, his passion for wild adventure was what made me fall in love with him. Nevertheless, we were no longer younglings, and his taste for wild adventure; was somewhat of an annoying flaw in his character—to me now. I supposed that a man could have far worse flaws, then an addiction to being a hero and warrior. His need to protect me at all costs was rather endearing, yes, I would keep him; I would keep him forever.

I was out in the garden with my ladies, picking herbs; awaiting my love’s return to hear what my brother had to say in reference to the treaty. I did not expect much there; in fact, I expected my king to fail miserably in trying to persuade my brother to make peace. However, this was Dane that I was talking about here; he could do anything. I had viewed his destiny with my Destiny Sight and I saw greatness in him; if there was anything that I knew the man would not give up, until he succeeded. There was an odd feeling on the wind, a cold dark chill in the air; I could not explain it, but something was terribly wrong. It was as if the bowels of the Netherworld had opened, and released some invisible cloak of evil; the Dark Force was on the move—I did not know where he was—but I could feel his presence near.

I should have paid more attention, to the eerie feeling; and I should have left with my ladies when they tried to get me to go inside, but I just wanted to be in the garden—drawing in all the lovely fragrances. My every sense had been heightened by the recent changes in me; Baylin, had confirmed it this morning—I was with child—a week and a half along. Baylin knew it when she came into my chambers later in the sun’s early turnings, because I was over my chamber pot regurgitating the delicious meal from the night before.

“My lady, I was with your mother with all of her pregnancies; after delivering so many babies, your mother used to say that I could smell when a woman was with child,” She spoke smiling. “And my darling, you are with child.”

I held my womb with both hands, and I closed my eyes imagining the blood of Dane and I mingling together to form new life. I imagined my belly protruding out with possibility, and I laughed joyously to myself; I could not wait to tell him that we would be expecting our first heir. I knew that he would be beyond pleased; even more so, if I produced a son—for him to train in his wild adventurous ways.

“My lady,” Eloin called to me with her angelic voice. “Baylin says that, we should be getting inside; she told me to tell you that you do not want to overexert yourself.” She smiled down at my womb, and clapped her hands as if she were playing with the baby already. “I cannot wait until the little one can run around in the garden with us, will that not be nice, my lady?”

“Wonderful.” I touched my hand to her, smooth snow white skin. “You and Baylin can go in, if you like; I will catch up.”

“Are you sure, my lady?” She sounded reluctant to leave me.

“I shall be safe, what harm can come to me in the garden?” As I said the words, a ripple of warning ran through my entire being; a warning that I ignored and should not have. It was as if the Star Breather was ringing a silent alarm inside of my heart; and I failed to take heed. How I wished that I would have taken heed.

“You will not be long?”

“No, not at all Eloin; I will be along momentarily.”

“Yes, my lady.” She walked away from me, leaving me alone in the spot where I stood; but she kept looking back as if she did not want to leave me. Had she gotten the same warning that I had received? She disappeared through the garden, and the only thing I heard was the drumming of my own heartbeat before he entered the garden.

Kantono, was my brother-in-law; when we were younglings I hardly ever saw him. He would venture over to the Solarian side only a couple of times a season; to go hunting with my brothers, but he never seemed to really associate himself with the Solarians like Dane had. He understood the lines of propriety and he did not cross them. When I was a young maiden; he would watch me, with the same look in his eyes that he had at the reception last eventide. Almost as if he were mentally undressing me, I always had a tendency to cover myself whenever he was around. He made my skin crawl with the way his eyes filled with lust every time he was near me; I almost slapped him for the dirty thoughts that I could only imagine were running through his mind about me.

“My lady, you are quite beautiful in the shifting sun,” He whispered in my ear; so unlike a brother-in-law should. “I can see why he fancies you.” His eyes drew me in with dark delight, his twisted craving coming awake and alive in his heightened cucumber mint scent.

“Thank-you, sire, but I must be going; my ladies are waiting.” I stumbled over my words, because his attention was making me unnerved.

He blocked my way.

“You will never guess what I heard, your love was actually able to bring the King of Solarian to some sort of agreement.” His voice slithered out of his mouth darkly. “And he will be gone for most of this eventide; celebrating the peace treaty with the Solarian people.”

My heart was full of rapturous joy at Kantono’s news.

“I cannot believe that he did it, I am so proud of him.”

His countenance twisted darkly.

“So, what shall we do this eventide, my lady?” He started to approach me closely, and I drew my sword.

“Do not come any closer, my lord.” I narrowed my eyes, in no mood to continue Kantono’s depraved game. “Trust me, when I say that I am not some helpless female; I do know how to use this sword, my lord, and if you come any closer I will make you rue the day that you ever stepped foot into this garden. Now back away slowly.” I held my sword steady and sure.

“Do you think that I fear you, little sun wench?” He smirked maliciously. “You see my brother made a monumental error in breaking the rules; bed you, he most certainly should have, but marry you, now that was his fatal downfall,” He made a quick thinking strategic move, one that he must have used on the battle field numerous times; and I was a beat too late to counter it. Before I knew it; he had unarmed me, and my sword was sticking straight up in the ground as he approached me with his dark intentions clear in the shooting stars of his eyes. “Oh I know that, you are most certainly sweet; you would have to be to entice my stupid little brother to go into the enemy’s camp to beg for peace. What dark arts did you perform on him, maiden of the sun; to make him do your bidding?” He pulled me into him, and brushed his lips against my neck—I wanted to die.

I struggled against him, but he was much too strong; my striving against him just made him more determined to fulfill his dark purpose. He kissed me violently, letting his tongue roam my mouth like a savage; none of his caresses were sweet or gentle. When I finally got my hands free, I slapped his face as hard as I could; this knocked him into reality for a moment.

“I am a servant of the Star Breather, and I do not act in the dark arts; what your brother has done, he has done out of love. I did not force him, all I want is to love him; please just let me go.” I took my eyes away from his, and it was obvious that my words had no bearing over him, when he forced my face up to his again; as I looked at the Dark Force’s presence come alive in Kantono’s dark countenance I knew that no amount of pleading would change his mind.

“I want you Solarias, and I will have you.” He snarled viciously into my ear.

I tried to push him away again, as he painted my neck with kisses.

“Please,” I decided to try to appeal to his conscience once more, but my pleas were falling on deaf ears; as his mouth covered mine again. “Your brother will kill you if you dishonor me this way.” I cried, tears flowing down my cheeks.

He stopped kissing me, and chortled menacingly.

“You cannot dishonor a whore.” He started to undo his pants. “You made me do this, Princess of the Sun; with that alluring cinnamon scent of yours, you have bewitched my out of my better sense—this is the only way that I can get you out of my head.”

I kneed him in his groin, and made an attempt to run, but he grabbed me by the curls of my hair and threw me to the ground. Before I knew it, he had me pinned to the ground and he was on top of me; I begged him to stop over and over again as he tore my dress. And then my mind travelled to a place far away, all I could see is my Moon King’s precious face; as his brother violently entered and desecrated my most cherished garden—a garden that was only meant for my lover’s entrance. He moaned and groaned in pleasure, as he satiated his thirst for me again and again—in no ways was it gentle; in all ways it was painful. Nevertheless, I refused to let him penetrate my soul, my heart or my spirit. I was a ghost, a wraith as I stood outside of my own body; watching. I gently sobbed, as I thought about the unborn youngling inside of me. Did he hurt the youngling?

I watched the sun completely die in the sky, giving place to the moon; before his lust was finally fulfilled. And he rolled off of me, and smirked evilly.

“And you love him that good every night?” He gave me one final kiss on my neck. “How does he leave you alone, my lady?”

I said nothing, and sat straight up; and collected my bloodied and dirty dress together—as I stood on my own two feet—I took up my sword, and started to walk away from him. He got up, and ran to me pulling me to him. His countenance was pure darkness itself.

“I have not dismissed you, wench.” He growled.

I snatched my arm away from him, and held my head high.

“I am the Queen of Luniris, I do not wait to be dismissed; I do the dismissing.” It was my turn to smirk at him. “You have stopped nothing, I love him still; and will continue to love him until the day that I die. Your vile acts on this eventide will soon be forgotten, and when I reveal you dishonor to him; I will look on you decaying corpse and smile.”

He stood in the garden, looking after me astonished that I still had fire in me; after he had tried to break me. I laughed and cried to myself as I struggled to walk away, because of the severe pain; I could feel sticky dried blood between my legs as I walked, and I knew that he had killed the youngling that was growing inside of me—the prevailing emotion in that moment was not pain, but vengeance.

When I got to my chambers, my ladies were waiting; just as soon as I closed my door—I collapsed on the floor—I no longer had to make a show of strength, and the metal of my sword clanged loudly on the stone floor where; I had dropped it beside me. My ladies rushed to me, I assumed that my body had reached its threshold for pain—both emotional and physical—because I completely lost consciousness. The last thing I remembered; was my ladies asking me what had happened, before they both disappeared into a sea of blackness.

 

The sun was high in the sky, when I awakened again; and there he was—he looked as if he had not slept for days. How long had I been unconscious?

“Star Breather be praised.” He breathed out, with relief; I sat straight up and threw my arms around his big strong shoulders, and he pulled me into him. “Sweet love, you have been asleep for three phases of the moon; I thought that you would never wake. Please forgive me, I should have…”

I put my fingertips softly to his lips to quiet him.

“Do not blame yourself, my king.” I was just so glad to see him, as he held me; I felt as if I was being mended of all of my wounds.

“Leonus agreed to a peace treaty, I could not wait to get right home and tell you the good news; but when I arrived your ladies told me that, they believed that you miscarried.” He brought me closer. “Love, I am so sorry.” I could hear the heart break in his voice, as he whispered into my ear. “We shall try again, my queen; I promise.” He smoothed the pad of his thumb against my cheek, gently.

The truth was I did not miscarry on my own; Kantono had killed our youngling with his brutal attack against me. And I had every intention of telling Dane as much, until Kantono slithered out of the shadows of my chambers; like the villainous snake that he was.

“Remember, Solarias, you collapsed in the garden; I found you there and led you up to your chambers.” A sly smirk slithered across his lips, as he had so easily settled into the convenient truth that he had spun himself.

I was speechless, as I narrowed my eyes at him; I refused to confirm his lies. He just continued to smile.

“I am so happy to see you awake, my lady.” He approached me, and I found myself moving further into Dane; he enveloped me even tighter and gave me a gentle kiss on my forehead.

“Would you all; please leave us, my wife needs rest.” Eloin and Baylin disappeared from the room first; and Kantono followed them, until Dane called to him. “Brother,” He spoke gently, as Kantono looked into his eyes. “Thank-you.”

He bowed his head in faux humility, and grinned a grin of poison at me.

“I hope you get well soon, my lady.” And then he was gone, taking his dark presence with him; I relaxed into the arms of the sunlight and was about to tell him of the injustice that his brother had done me, but when he spoke next; I could not find the heart to tell him.

“You know, I am so happy to see this peace treaty working already; I never thought that I would see Kantono save my wife’s life.” He looked into my eyes, with such naiveté that, I just could not bring myself to throw refuse all over his beautiful dream.

I was not the first woman in history to be used ill, and unfortunately I would not be the last; Kantono could keep his torrid little secret, because my heart always has and always will belong to this man and this man alone. I brushed my lips gently against his, and he put some space in between us; and smoothed the pad of his thumb against my cheek.

“Love, I want you to heal, first.” He entwined his fingers with mine. “You have been through quite an ordeal, we lost our youngling; I do not feel like you are emotionally ready to be with me in that way.” He smiled his dashing dimpled smile. “I told you before that, your body is not enough for me; I want to love all of you and I cannot do that when your heart is still nursing loss. Believe me, I understand, I do. I need time to grieve as well.” He took me back into his arms, and rocked me back and forth. “I do so love you, my queen.”

I was crying tears of joy, at the sheer magnificence of this man.

“And I you, my Moon King.”

While it was true that I loved him with my entire being; it just hurt too much to look at him anymore, and it was true that his arms were healing to me, but they were also constant reminders that we would never be the same again. In his embrace, the precious intimacy that we had once shared had been callously stolen. I would never in a million years admit it to Kantono, but something inside of me broke when he raped me; something that so wholly belonged to my beloved. Would I ever get it back?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~CHAPTER 17~

THE MOON KING

THE VENGEANCE OF A KING

I missed her, so much that it hurt; which was silly because I saw her all the time—we had been together every moon phase since she miscarried, but even though we were side by side we were not really together. Something changed in her after she miscarried, something that I could not fully understand. She never really looked me in the eyes now, she would flinch away every time I tried to touch her, and she barely spoke two words to me anymore. It had been 90 changes of the moon since the loss of our youngling, and still my queen had not returned to her vibrant self. She had shut off all of her feelings, she had pushed me so far away from her that, I could not reach her. Her body had long since healed, but her spirit, heart and soul still seemed to be wounded.

Would she let me close enough to help her heal? I had tried many moon phases past, but she would always put on a faux smile and tell me that she was okay. I did not have to be a Healer of the Mind to know that, everything was not alright; and I could forget looking into the windows to her soul for answers, because she had long ago shut those veiled curtains so I could not peer in. I longed to hold her in my arms, I missed the gentle collision of our bodies; I wanted to be one again—I wanted to feel her heart beat against me. I had been as patient as any husband could be, I needed answers. I wanted to know if she still wanted me, as I still wanted and desired her. I felt so all alone. I could scarcely breathe without her. By the Star Breather’s Infinite name, I ached for her.

On the positive side, the peace treaty between the two kingdoms seemed to be holding. In fact, all the kingdom of Solarian had been invited to a feast this eventide; Solarias had tried to make an excuse to take dinner in her chambers again tonight, because she did not want to be around a big crowd of people, but I told her that I needed her by my side. She simply gave me a blank stare, and nodded her assent. Why was she acting this way? I was determined to find out. I waited in the shadows, right outside of her chambers; I waited for her dismiss her ladies, so, that I could sneak in and talk to her before the Solarian people arrived.

These were her people, her blood, her family coming this eventide; it was not as if she did not know them, it was not as if they were strangers. She should have felt more comforted by their arrival, she should have been more excited—we were after all one kingdom again—even though we had not yet abandoned the separate names; I was hoping and praying that we would once again be Cierion—one united kingdom. Nevertheless, how could I ever hope to unite our kingdoms; when my wife and I were not even united at the moment? Her ladies had just exited her chambers, it was now or never. When I entered her chambers; she was staring blankly into her floor length mirror, she was such a vision in a gown colored with the subtle pinks of the dawn—her unruly curls were thrown up into a loose bun—I fell in love with her all over again. Almost out of nowhere, soft sobs rose up from somewhere deep inside of her. How often did she cry like this?

When I saw my love cry, it ripped me apart; I did not think, I just acted—I approached her and enveloped her in my embrace. She stopped crying immediately and tried to separate herself from me.

“I am fine, my king.” She lied, as she tried to calm her sobs.

I refused to let her go, seeing her so sad was killing me.

“No, you are not love; tell me, please. I cannot take you being so sad; it is killing me that I cannot help you.” I turned her to face me, and her face was completely devoid of any emotion. She had cut them off, in an effort to dull the pain. “Do not do that to me Solarias, you cannot shut me out; tell me what has you in so much pain. Please.” My voice elevated with passion.

“We will be late, my king.” She broke away from me, and tried to go to the door; but I blocked her way.

“No, we are not leaving these chambers; until you tell me why you were crying. Is it still the miscarriage? Are you still grieving the loss of our youngling? Tell me what it is, love, and I will do all that I can to help you, but if you shut me out—I am lost.” I approached her, and smoothed the pad of my thumb against her cheek. “I need you, Solarias, please stop shutting me out.” I begged.

Her face twisted in pain, and she tentatively melted against me; I could finally feel the beating of her heart against my own, and I closed my eyes delighting in its strong beat.

“Something is not right, queen of my heart; do you not think that I feel it. I feel it.” I brought her warm caramel eyes to mine, but she still had her soul veiled. “There is a deep pain within you, a pain that you have locked away; a pain that you are keeping from me. You should not bear it alone. Please let me share the load.”

She draped her arms around my shoulders.

“Come to me later, my lord, and we shall talk; there is much to say. There is so much that I need to tell you.” Her eyes were cloaked in tears.

I brought her closer to me.

“We do not have to do the feast this eventide, I will cancel; if you need me my queen, just give me the word and we can stay right here and talk all night if that is what you wish.”I lulled softly, and for the first time in 90 moon phases; I could feel her response to me and smell the inebriating cinnamon of her passion. My presence was breaking down her walls; I could feel oneness between us once more.

I would not force anything; I kissed her forehead softly, and separated myself from her but she gently came close to me again, and pulled my arms gently around her. My heart was beating so hard that, I thought it would pound right through my chest. She draped her arms around my shoulders again, melting her body against mine; I wanted so desperately to kiss her but I waited for her to make the first move, and she made it by gently brushing her sweet lips against mine—I was losing my mind at her closeness. I softly kissed her lips, and she did not flinch away. Could it be possible that she still wanted me? I backed away slightly; trying to ascertain her feelings, I did not want to take advantage of her vulnerability. She smiled, not a faux smile; but a real smile as if a heavy weight had been lifted from her shoulders.

“We should go, my queen; the Solarians will be here any minute.” I returned her smile, but she refused to let me separate myself from her.

“Do you not want to kiss me, my lord?” She was looking into the depths of my soul, which was not fair; considering that she would not let me look into her soul. Perhaps, later she would unveil her soul for me to view.

“Until I am feverish, but we have company coming; and we simply do not have the time for me to kiss you as deeply as I would like to.” I tasted her lips lightly, not allowing myself to kiss her too deeply or I knew that I would not be able to stop myself.

“Well, there is always later, my king.” She cupped my face in her hands.

“I would not dream of being anywhere else.” I lulled softly to her, and she closed her eyes at my closeness. “Now, shall we go to meet our guests?”

“Yes, my Moon King; I am ready.”

I held my arm out to her, and she wrapped her arms around it.

“Thank-you for being so patient with my, my king; I know that it has not been easy.”

I stopped, and brought her eyes to mine.

“Always, we are one my queen; my life is bound to yours in every way possible. I will always fight for you, that was my solemn vow when I took you to myself. Marriage is definitely for warriors.” I grinned at her, and she returned the grin. “And warriors do not give up.”

I continued to walk, and she rested her head on my shoulder with a sigh. I could feel a change happening in her; slowly but surely what was broken was being renewed again, what was dead was being raised to life right before my eyes. I remembered thinking then, that we had a chance of surviving the worst between us. However, I did not expect the truth to be so viciously ugly; I had not prepared for what was really plaguing my wife. Maybe if I had been spiritually prepared, I would have been able to handle the truth a lot better, but that is the thing about life—we can only learn from our mistakes, character is built through tribulation. And the best inventions come out of some of the worst trials and errors.

The feast had gone well, as could be expected; the food was wonderful, the orchestra played extraordinarily well and the people seemed to be getting along with one another—of course, there would always be those people who chose to stay on their own side. My brother and mother, were simply unprepared to accept the treaty; Solarias’s mother elected not to show up at all and the Elders of the Board on both sides were simply waiting for the whole thing to implode on itself. However, Leonus and I remained hopeful, and as long as the kings were in agreement—nothing could stand in our way. I tried to ignore, the evil forebodings that kept creeping up in my mind; something was terribly amiss, and a cloak of darkness hung over these festivities as if the Dark Force was just close enough to touch. However, I had not seen hide nor hair of him; since Solarias had claimed to have seen him on the eve of her coronation reception.

I just could not shake that, something terrible was about to happen; my mother and brother had been talking in hushed whispers all evening, and for some strange reason this unnerved me, but Solarias’s vibrancy made me blind to everything else and I simply pushed it to the back of my mind. When Solarias whispered to me that, she had to excuse herself to handle personal matters; I thought nothing of it, because I thought that she would be right back. I did not even think that it was odd that, my brother got up and excused himself around the same time. I simply was much too euphoric about the festivities going off without a hitch that, I did not have my eyes opened; as a warrior I should have known better than this—the first rule on the battlefield is to always keep your eyes open—but I never saw what happened next, coming; I was blindsided by it, and it was those moments that caused individuals to act irrationally.

Solarias had been gone far too long, I supposed that I could have sent her ladies to look for her; but I wanted to find her myself. Leonus decided to come with me, so, that we could share more pleasant conversation, after we had searched for quite some time; we found Solarias with my brother in the Sacred Hall, and my brother was holding my wife in his arms—while she was struggling against him. They were having a heated discussion, Leonus and I did not interrupt—we were stunned into silence by the whole scene. So, we watched to see how it would unfold.

“I thought that, you would have told him by now; my little sun wench. Why did you not tell him, did you feel the same thing I felt when we connected that eventide?” He tried to kiss her, and she slapped him; this only made him more violent and angry. “Why should you tell him, you wanted it; you little whore. And you liked it that is, why you did not tell him. You wanted me, as I wanted you.” He planted a kiss on her neck, and I felt a rage rise up inside of me that I could taste. They were having an affair, is that why she had been so distant? “You know, I still cannot get you out of my head; no maiden can compare with how you made me feel. I must have you again, he does not have to know. It will be our little secret, my lady.”

“No, please stop, do not hurt me again.” She sobbed. “I swear, I will not tell him, just let me go.” She was struggling against him.

When Leonus and I entered the room, Kantono released Solarias immediately; and Solarias ran directly into my arms. I could see it so clearly now, my brother had raped my wife. How could I have been so blind and stupid?

“So, this is what you people do? You have been passing around my sister like a whore.” Leonus’s countenance twisted in fury. The Dark Force had entered the room; I could feel his presence as he entered into Leonus; tainting everything that he had just heard.

“You have it all wrong, King of Solarian; I had no knowledge of my brother’s crimes against my wife. If I had…” I tried to explain, but he put up his hand to stop me.

“I will not honor a treaty, with a perverse kingdom such as this.” He looked to Solarias. “Solarias, my sister, come with me; you will not stay here another moon, you should be with your own people. Both of these beasts have used you ill. Do you not see what you are to them now? You are nothing more than a whore, a bed wench to be passed around and used at their pleasure.” He thundered.

“That is not how it happened brother, you do not understand at all.” Solarias was pleading with him, but he could not see past his own hatred. “Dane is innocent in all of this, he had no idea about the vile things that, Kantono did to me; I did not tell him because I was ashamed.”

“Are you coming home or not sister?” He boomed, discarding her explanation as if it were nothing more than trash.

“I am home, brother.” She entwined her fingers with mine; and refused to leave my side.

“Mock my words, King of Luniris; I will have justice for you and your brother’s actions.” He pointed at me in disgust, and narrowed his eyes at Solarias. “Stay here sister, and be destroyed with all the rest of these abominable moon people; for we attack at dawn.” He left the hall, there was no doubt that he would gather up his people when he got back to the dining area.

I turned to my brother, in a fit of rage, but Solarias refused to let me go over to him when I was so angry; she held me fast. I heard the Dark Force’s malicious laughter, in the air just above my head.

“Why did you not tell me, love, why did you allow me to believe that he saved your life; when all he did was take life from you?” My stomach turned in disgust. “Why, Solarias, why did you carry all of this pain by yourself? I could have had him executed for his crimes.” I could see tears in my eyes.

“He is your brother, one of your people; your loyalty should be to him.” She shouted. “I am not of your blood, I am just your wife; he is of your blood, do you not owe him your loyalty?” Her words cut me to my heart.

I brought her into me, and looked deeply into her eyes.

“Do you not know, how special you are to me; here,” I placed her hand to my heart. “He is of my blood, he is my brother, but I no longer owe him my loyalty; not when he has bought desecration and dishonor to my love. You are my wife, and now I must take my rights as a husband for his crimes.” I unsheathed my sword, and turned to my brother. “Draw brother, for I will not fight an unarmed man.”

I could feel the spirit of the Dark Force weighing me down, and taking control of me; this was not about mercy or grace—this was about vengeance and getting my own brand of justice. Right now, I did not care whether he lived or died; a black mass eclipsed my heart and no light could be found in it. I knew that, it was unlawful for me to do this without first consulting with the Elders of the Board, but I no longer cared. Kantono unsheathed his sword with a smile.

“As you wish.”

“Do you deny your crimes against my beloved?” I asked when I approached him, with the warrior’s rage boiling in my blood.

“Come now, Danolian; you know that putting a crown on a whore’s head; never made her a lady.” He mocked me, I swung in a fit of rage and he countered it. “Slow down now brother, you are beginning to fight brashly like those sun demons that you love so much.” He laughed, and I swung again; slicing him across his arm, he stepped away from me quickly so he would not get hit again.

“You raped her!” I snarled.

“She wanted it brother, you should have heard her scream; when I was inside of her.” He sliced me across the left side of my face, and I maneuvered to the right so; he could not get me again. “Over and over and over again.”

I lunged at him with the power of the Star Breather’s sword, and mixed with the dark powers of the Dark Force that, I was letting permeate inside of me—the sword turned completely black, and when I stabbed the sword in my brother’s shoulder; it seared inside of him, and he screamed out in excruciating pain, as he dropped his sword and fell to the ground. I kicked the sword away from him; he was completely defenseless.

“On your knees, brother.” I growled, my voice sounding foreign in my own ears.

He struggled to get up on his knees, while holding his shoulder in pain; this was when I was supposed to turn him over to the elders for them to pass judgment and sentencing, but he did not deserve a fair trial. He had raped my wife, and in so doing; he had murdered our youngling—he did not deserve to live. Solarias was screaming at me to stop, but I could no longer hear her, the Star Breather tried to push light and peace back into my spirit but I blocked it out—the only voice that I could hear was the Dark Force, and he was repeatedly growling in my ear; death, death, death. And my flesh craved his blood, this would be the only thing that appeased my flesh.

“As the King of Luniris, I now sentence you to death; for your crimes of dishonor against the queen.” I was seeing through a film of dark haze. “How do you plead, brother?”

Kantono just stared at me through narrowed eyes, and when he took too long to speak; I jabbed my sword into his other shoulder and he fell back as he cried out in pain.

“On your knees, you filthy animal.” I snarled in a demonic voice that, was wholly not my own.

“Please Dane, not this way.” Solarias’s voice broke through, only briefly before I shut it out.

Kantono struggled to his knees again.

“How do you plead, dog?” I screeched.

“Guilty.” His voice was as demonic as mine.

I readied my sword, and with one graceful swipe; my brother’s head was gone, but when the haze cleared and the Dark Force left me I realized what I had done—I had let my rage get the best of me and in so doing; I had taken another life.

“No,” I screamed, falling down beside the decapitated body of my brother; and I began to cry uncontrollably. Solarias knelt down beside me, and hugged me to her. I wept, because I had used the Star Breather’s precious gift to do the Dark Force’s bidding. None of my tears were for the brother that, I had just murdered; I could not gather the right type of feelings for my brother’s death, there was just no sadness in me. There was no doubt in my mind that, he deserved all the pain that he received in recompense for the agony that he had heaped upon Solarias, if not much more. Nevertheless, I was almost certain that, the Elders of Luniris would not view my actions as those of justice; but rather vengeance, not only could I be forcibly abdicated—I could even be executed for my passing the judgment of execution upon my brother without first giving him a proper trial. I slowly brought my eyes to mingle with Solarias’s, and I saw tears streaming down her cheeks; obviously sharing in my pain. I smoothed my fingertips against her cheek, and sat straight up; and pulled her into my strengthened embrace. She did not need my frailty right now, she needed my strength.

“I am sorry for the unjust way in which it was done, but I am not sorry that I killed him,” I lulled softly into her ear. “He deserved to die for his crimes against you. I do not regret his death; I only regret that I raised the Star Breather’s sword with the Dark Force’s hatred clouding my heart. I swore that I would never kill another man with such blind hatred and malice in my heart again.” I felt her melt deeper into me; as if she were holding onto me for dear life. Did she still see me as her warrior; her protector? I needed to feel her faith in me right now. I brought her eyes to rest on mine again. “Please, let me see inside of you, love, I must know what you are thinking.”

She said nothing, as she lifted the veil to her soul; and I saw all so clearly. He attacked her without mercy, he treated her like a common whore; not the classy queen that she was—he held her captive for hours as he ravaged her again and again. I thought I would be sick, but I would not close my eyes or turn from it. If she could bear it to be done; I would be man enough to share her pain, and through this maybe we could find healing together. When his brutal attack had concluded; she walked from the garden with her head held high to prove that he had not taken her dignity. The visions of her soul then quieted, and she looked deeply into my eyes and cupped her hand to my cheek.

“Thank-you, my king, for avenging me.” She hugged her arms around me, and rested her head on my shoulder; she sobbed softly. “He can cause me pain, no longer.”

To hear from my wife’s own lips that, I had acted as her hero brought strength to my heart; in that moment I could have conquered the world all at once.

“If I could kill him, everyday for the rest of my life, it still would not be enough—to make amends for your pains. You are such a warrior,” I had to look into her eyes when I said it. “My beloved,” I grinned at her in amazement. “How in the High Star Realms did you ever keep all of that, inside of you? You never should have felt as if you handle that alone.” All I could do was take her in my arms, I never wanted to let her go again. I only wanted to mend her delicate soul from the tears that, had been placed there by one that was supposed to be my greatest ally. “What can I do for you love? I will do anything.”

She looked at me and smiled.

“Would you keep looking at me, the way you are now?” She blushed crimson, and my heart did funny things inside my chest.

“And how is that love; I always look at you this way.” I returned her smile.

“Precisely,” I feel so wanted, so loved, so cherished when you look at me the way you do.” She took her eyes away from mine. “I was so scared, I thought that you would not want me anymore; I thought that your love would change. I thought that…” I brought her eyes back to mine, and she quieted.

“Nothing has changed; my heart still longs for you, like it always has.” I looked at her delicious lips then; Star Breather help me, but I wanted to kiss her until I could no longer breathe, however, we were still on the floor beside my dead brother’s body—my kissing her here might be a bit much. So, with quickness; I got up from the floor and held out my hand for hers and when I lifted her up we were standing face to face. I was so close to her, closer to her than I had been in quite some time; I forgot how easily her cinnamon essence affected me—I was drunk on it immediately. I shook off the urge to kiss her with much difficulty. “Come.” And I took her hand in mine, and towed her with me toward the door.

When we got to the door, she pulled me back to her as if she did not want to leave just yet.

“My love, the others are waiting; I am sure that they have questions about Leonus’s outburst—we must…” I stopped speaking when I noticed the, come hither look that was present in her seductive caramel eyes. “Love, let us be away.” But before I had a chance to try to leave again; she came dangerously close and through her arms around my shoulders.

“Am I not sweet to you anymore, my king?” She lulled, and my joyous nostrils accepted the sweetness of her breath.

Was she kidding? She was all I thought about during these past long and lonely moon phases. I wanted her so much that, it hurt. Nevertheless, whenever it got too much; I knew how to turn that particular emotion off—so that the pain of not having her body against mine—would not consume me. I had to do it now, because holding her in my arms was fanning some serious flames of desire. I dared to gently caress her lips with the pad of my thumb.

“You are so sweet, my lady, that, you consume my every waking thought and you permeate my sweetest dream.” I held her at her waist. “I can scarcely breathe when you are near me.” I whispered into her ear, and this ignited her into flame; the spicy smell of cinnamon was beginning to overtake me.

“Then why will you not touch me?” She brought her body closer to mine, and we were one.

I was losing my fight to resist her, but because I loved her; I had to make sure that she was alright. I did not want my touch to threaten to stir painful memories of my villainous brother’s brutal attack against her. I forced some space in between us, and looked into her eyes.

“Love, I do not want to hurt you.” I spoke through labored breath, and she smiled a seductive smile; and closed in the space between us.

“I know that you will not.” She lulled hypnotically, as she caressed her lips gently against mine.

I could not resist her anymore, I fastened her to me; and made the kiss more insistent—I was a thirsty man, quenching his thirst. My hands gently explored her, and she groaned in pleasure; as she threw her arms around my shoulders and entangled her fingers in my hair a passionate snarl escaped me. Star Breather be praised, she was so much sweeter than I remembered. Suddenly, the passionate storm was interrupted by a small mob entering the room. Solarias and I stopped with their entrance; quite embarrassed at their surprise and inconvenient visit.

All of the elders poured into the room, as did my mother, Brynyana, Baylin, Eloin and some of my loyal subjects. While many of them were looking at us with ridiculous smirks on their faces, I heard some gossipy whispers in the crowd, and saw stern reproachful countenances of the elders. All I could do was smile, and pull Solarias close to me, I was unashamed—there was nothing wrong with a husband loving his wife. I would never apologize for taking pleasure with her. In my passionate cloud of joy, I had forgotten all about my dead brother lying on the floor.

Ramadin, the leader of all the elders—noticed Kantono’s headless corpse first, and did not hesitate to call everyone’s attention to his lifeless form.

“Who has done this vile evil?” He said pointing his cane over toward my brother’s direction.

Just then there were gasps, and cries of horror; my mother pushed her way through the crowd and ran over to him—Brynyana followed and tried to console her, but Kantono was my mother’s favorite son; therefore none of Brynyana’s soothing words could console her.

“Those sun demons shall pay for this!” She screeched out in pain.

And the whole crowd agreed, as they gave Solarias evil looks; I would have to diffuse the situation before the accusations went any further.

“The Solarian people had nothing to do with Kantono’s death,” I resonated, but the bloodthirsty crowd was so busy planning their quest for flesh that, they completely ignored me. So, as their king I would have to make myself clearer than I had before. “Silence!” I shouted, and everyone obeyed; the only sound was my mother’s uncontrollable sniffling. “The Solarian people had nothing to do with Kantono’s death; I as your king, passed the judgment of execution against Kantono for his crimes against our queen.”

There were whispers among the crowd, and then my mother stood up and tried to run over to Solarias—I shielded Solarias with my body.

“You vicious little wench, what did he do to you? Whatever she said that he did; the dark skinned whore is lying.” She pointed her finger at her, and I pushed my mother back.

“I have seen it in her soul mother, Kantono viciously attacked my wife; therefore he had to be punished. You have no idea of the pains that, he has caused her mother; she was with child and because of his vile acts—he killed out youngling.” My eyes narrowed at her, as I tried to control my rage.

“You do not see how the little wench threw herself at him, she made him do it.” She hurled the accusation at Solarias like a deadly poison, but I had heard enough.

“Brynyana, take your mistress to her chambers; I will hear no more of her bitter tongue this eventide. She is dismissed.” I crossed my arms, and then she slapped me across my face as hard as she could.

“You insolent fool, is the black tramp that much to you? Do you choose her over your own brother?”

I stood, unmoved by her slap; I refused to show any weakness to her—I was her king after all.

“When he decided to put his filthy hands on my wife, he forfeited any bloodlines to me; and if you continue to talk against my wife, mother, it shall be the same with you.” I looked toward the guards that, had just arrived. “I have heard enough of your insolence for one eventide, mother; guards,” They approached me awaiting my orders. “Take my mother to her chambers, she is retiring for the evening.”

The guards dragged her off kicking and screaming, and Brynyana followed them—giving Solarias an evil glare as she went.

“All of you are dismissed; I will talk to the Elders alone.” I addressed the crowd, and they reluctantly dispersed; Solarias tried to leave with them, but I pulled her back to me with a smile. “Not you love, I will have you stay; I need you.”

When the room had cleared, I had a seat upon my throne; with my beautiful sun maiden at my side. It felt so good to have her so close, so near.

“Gentleman, have a sit down.” I directed them to sit at the table; where we had held so many meetings, and they did as instructed. “We have much to discuss.”

Ramadin stood first, and pointed his cane directly at me; all the elders wore the same reproachful, disdained and disappointed look upon their faces. I could tell that whatever sentence that, they were about to lay down was not going to be good.

“I would say that we do, young king; we have dealt with your outright defiance of this board, we have sat quiet and accepted your insolence toward our decisions and we have kept close watch on how you continuously disregard tradition. This will no longer do.” The old man had to put his cane back on the ground, just to stand up straight; and then his eyes were filled with indignation toward me. “What have you done, young king; your brother’s blood cries out to us from the ground—it cries out demanding justice for his unjust death. And we must act accordingly.” The other five elders banged their fists on the table in assent.

I was disgusted by their blinding hatred, and I stood up from my throne as my anger kindled against them.

“So, you will ignore everything that I have told you that he did; to bring about his own demise?” I shouted.

“We do not deny that a crime was committed on Kantono’s part, but he has already paid for his crimes at your unlawful hand; now, you must pay for your crimes against him.” He had gained enough strength in his legs; to point his cane my way again.

“My crimes?” I snarled.” He raped my wife, and killed our unborn youngling; the courts would have surely found him guilty, and would have executed him anyway.” I put tension in my jaw.

“We will never know, will we young king; because he was never given a fair trial.” He retorted, and all the other elders nodded their heads. “We are charging you with disgrace to the crown, mismanagement of power and the unlawful execution of your brother. Your trial will commence at dawn, and unlike you, young king; we shall let the people decide your fate.”

I heard Solarias let out a gasp of pain, and out of my puerperal vision; I saw her put both of her hands to her chest. I wanted to run to her and comfort her, but I was much too angry right now.

“Guards,” Ramadin called, and about four of them came as soon as they had been summoned. “Take the young king down to the dungeon to await his trail.”

The guards looked confused at first, because I was not giving the order.

“Did you not hear me,” Ramadin reiterated himself. “The young king, has committed a crime, and therefore must be punished accordingly—no being is above the law.” And then he sat in his seat, callously; as the guards moved toward me slowly.

“You racist cowards!” I spat the words at them like acid, as the guards approached me to take me away. “This has nothing to do with my rightfully executing Kantono; you are trying to make me pay for my marriage to Solarias, because it went against your traditions and edicts of bigotry.”

Ramadin and the elders turned away from me, it was as if I were speaking to deaf ears. The guards put my hands behind my back; to ensure that I would not try to hit any of the men, and they unsheathed my sword and confiscated it, so that I would not lash out and kill any of them. I saw Solarias get up from her throne, run to the Elders’ table, and bow at Ramadin’s feet; I wanted to go over and gently grab her away from groveling before him—he moved away from her in disgust.

“Please, do not do this Elder Ramadin; he was only avenging my honor, against the vile evil that his brother had done me. You must pardon him; he was only acting out of love.” She was sobbing.

Ramadin looked at her coldly.

“No man is above the law, my young sun maiden.” He refused to even acknowledge her as queen.

I fought against the guards, and momentarily broke free; and I went over to Solarias and pulled her up from Ramadin’s feet and held her in my arms.

“You look down to no one, my love; you grovel at no man’s feet—you are the Queen of Luniris and you should demand respect.”

She sobbed.

“You were protecting me, you were only protecting me; we have to make them understand.”

“All these fools understand is their own twisted justice.”

And then I blacked out, one of the guards must have hit me over the head; because when I next woke—I was in the palace dungeons like a common criminal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

~CHAPTER 18~

QUEEN SOLARIAS

THE TRIAL

When I was a young maiden, Baylin used to love to tell me a story from the new version of the Sacred Texts. It spoke of the Star Breather, and how he had once died and was raised again; it spoke of his betrayal into the hands of death. Even though, no one could prove Him guilty of any crime, but the crime of love; He was still executed. The story made me cry each and every single time, because I remembered thinking how unfair it was that, He had to be put through a trial in the first place for nothing more than His love. The death was beyond painful, but He endured it all for love; every ounce of His blood drained from His broken and bruised body. I shuddered to think of Dane’s death; I could not watch my Moon King endure any sort of suffering, or pain for nothing more than His love for me. I could not stand by and watch him die.

I had tried to appeal to the council of Luniris Elders for hours after the guards had knocked Dane out, and taken him away, but none of them would even look at me—let alone talk to me. After a while, they got tired of my begging and pleading and one by one they got up and left me in the Sacred Hall—alone—to cry my body dry of all my tears. After I could cry no more, I got up from the stone floor; and decided to walk to the dungeon to see Dane—it was the peak of eventide—no longer night, but not yet morning. I had to be strong for him, he did not need to see my tears right now; he did not need to see that I was falling apart. He needed to see my strength and resilience, and I was going to show him every single ounce of it. No matter what I had to do, my love was not going to be sentenced to death tomorrow; even if I had to put myself in his place.

The dungeons were dark and dank, and provided very little illumination of moon glow; I was surprised that the guards could even see to work down there. Nevertheless, I was determined to see him before I would have to watch him being tried in a crowded court room; I needed to see him alone. I needed to feel like us again, before we were split asunder from each other—perhaps forever. As I approached the guards that, were guarding his cell; they gave me lust filled looks but I refused to acknowledge their depraved appraisal of me—I was after all their queen; they were my subjects, they were bound by the laws of Luniris to obey my every command. So, I held my head high, and ordered them to do my bidding.

“I want to see the King of Luniris.”

“A conjugal visit is it, my lady?” The wise mouthed guard; slapped the other one on the back while pumping his eyebrows.

“I will thank-you to keep your vile comments to yourself, and just let me pass.” I narrowed my eyes at him, and his countenance turned dark.

“Who do you think you are, you little sun wench?” He growled. “Do I have to finish what Prince Kantono started; to teach you a lesson?”

I unsheathed my sword, and held it to his throat; and in one quick maneuver I disarmed the other guard—while never moving the sword from his throat.

“You are certainly, welcome to try.” My voice was pure venom. “Now if you do not mind, I wish to see my husband; and you do not have to keep watch—I will call you back when I need you.”

I held the sword to his throat, as he unlocked the door with shaky hands. When the door to his cell was opened; he was doing push-ups on his knuckles, like a true warrior; he was keeping fighting fit. He jumped up on his feet; when he saw the dull moon glow stream in—he was not wearing his tunic top, and his beautiful muscles were dripping sweat from the exercise. His eyes caressed every inch of me, and I blushed under his intimate appraisal. I stepped into his room, and the guards closed the door behind me—I waited until their shadows disappeared from around the door before I attempted to speak to him.

He approached me, with no words; I could sense his intense passion as he took me into his strong embrace. I could feel every one of his strong muscles against me; the sweat on his body, along with his heightened desire for me, just made his delicious cucumber mint scent so potent and dizzying. I could hardly breathe him in; the stare of his cerulean eyes was mesmerizing as he penetrated into my soul, slowly and completely. I was perfectly still in his arms, as he released my hair from the loose bun that it was in; he grinned as he let his fingers get lost in my unruly curls. And then he tentatively let his lips find mine; I was captivated by his kiss, as he perfectly massaged his lips into mine. Nothing was done quickly or urgently, as he softly explored my mouth with his. Every part of me was on fire, cinnamon; cucumber and mint permeated the cell. He let his lips decorate softly against my neck, and I sighed in euphoric pleasure; at my only beloved’s sensual touch.

“Where have you been?” He lulled, giving his lips a rest, as he let his breath gently caress my ear drum; I could barely control my breathing and he chortled softly.

“Have you been expecting me?” I spoke through labored breath.

“All night, I could not sleep,” He let his hands gently curve around my bottom, and I naturally drew closer to him; our bodies were one and then his mouth found mine again. I draped my arms around his shoulders, and tangled my fingers in his hair. He separated his lips from mine to catch breath, as he trailed kisses behind my ear lobe. “Daydoda muara linsya.” He spoke in the language of the sun; he told me that I haunted his dreams.

I could not take it anymore; my body was screaming to be entwined with his.

“Sisan hiolop, luncrownia.” I looked deeply into his eyes, as I told him to touch me in the language of the moon people.

With his hands gently and firmly on my bottom, he lifted me up off of my feet; my legs straddled him as he took me over to his bed. When we were there, he placed my feet on solid ground, and looked into my eyes once more; as if trying to ascertain whether or not it was okay. I put his hands gently on me; I would withhold my body from him no longer, his brother would not tarnish our love—I was his and he was mine. I slowly guided him in undressing me, and when my gown fell to the ground—he loved me with his eyes. I smiled, as I brushed my lips against his; and then I helped release him from his tunic pants. We were both bare; in heart, soul, and spirit—the dim moonlight painted us in celestial robes. Tears escaped my eyes, as he grabbed me to him. He brushed them away with the pad of his thumb.

“Are you alright, my love?” He lulled, as he cuddled me in his strong embrace.

“I feel so connected to you right now, like when we were in the High Star Realms; and I gave you myself for the first time.” I smiled, and his eyes filled with tears.

“I have missed you so much Solarias, I have missed us.” He kissed me tenderly, as he lovingly lowered me down on his bed.

He let his hands gently caress me, and then he ever so lightly wove himself into me; I could barely breathe—I thought that I would break into a million pieces of love. He was in stark contrast to his brother in every way; he did not ravage me, he carefully made love to me. He played on my heartstrings like a fine and exquisite instrument. He entwined his fingers with mine, and when our wedding bands touched; an electric current flowed through both of us—binding us into one being. Our breaths were in unison, as the highest peak of our pleasure was reached—I lay cuddled into his side with his arms around me; when our desire was fully satiated.

“I would die a thousand deaths, just to feel that; live in this moment.” He looked into my eyes, and caressed my cheek with his fingertips. “I regret nothing, no matter what they decide; if I knew that this was how it would end up—when I first set eyes on you. I would still choose you.” He whispered. “Always.”

“I do not believe that, you shall die tomorrow love.” I put my palm to his, the same palm that held our ring fingers; and when the rings touched we could feel the slight shock. “The Star Breather placed us together for a very specific purpose, my Moon King; and it was not to face the agony of defeat—it was to face the triumph of victory.”

“Do you really believe that, I mean look at us Solarias; he put us together in the High Star Realms, but to what end? Our people still hate each other, and they are ready to destroy each other; meanwhile He sits far above our heads—doing nothing to intervene.” He was frustrated with the Star Breather’s inactivity; I brought his face to mine.

“You must have faith.” I smiled into his troubled eyes. Baylin always used to say that, when He is silent; He is doing some of His greatest movement.”

“Let us hope that Baylin is correct.” He kissed me softly, the moonlight had so quickly turned to sunlight. “You should go, the guards will be here any minute, to collect me for my trial.”

“No love, it cannot be dawn already; I am sure that the moon is still high in the sky. I am sure that the sun has not taken its place yet, I want to stay and share more love.” I pouted, and Dane laughed.

“What happened to that faith you were speaking of a few moments ago? Have faith love; I believe that we shall have many, many more nights just like this one.” He took my hand and placed a tender kiss on it. “Now go, I will see you at court in a little.”

 

The trial was to take place, on the platform outside of the palace; the platform was only reserved for executions. So, it was obvious that the Elders had already condemned him to death in their hearts, and this farce of a trial was only a formality to humiliate him. I bit down on my bottom lip to the point of pain, as the guards brought him out to stand before the Elders of Luniris; to be judged and sentenced. A hush fell over—the once rowdy crowd—when their king was brought out before them. I wore a wrap over my head to keep the burning sun from scorching me, because the sun was especially blazing today. Eloin held my hand, trying to offer me some comfort; as she stood beside me—Baylin was silent.

I was mystified by the fact that, the Elders had obviously ordered the guards to bring Dane his best kingly attire, because he was wearing his best royal apparel—from head to toe—to include his crown and the royal robes. What was the point when they were planning to put him on the chopping block anyway; but the answer to that question was abundantly clear, the elders were all about appearances. The thrones were positioned on the platform for the royals to sit on, but I chose not to take my position. I would not give the elders the satisfaction of making a spectacle out of me. Although, it was obvious, that his mother and Brynyana did not mind; because they were seated upon their thrones, so, that they could have a front row seat to the grisly decapitation. Queen Mahaliquin looked as if she were relishing the fact that, her son was about to be beheaded, and Brynyana’s sentiments seemed to follow those of her cold mistress.

I had no regrets about not taking my position on the throne; save one, my heart squeezed inside of my chest, when Dane gazed at my empty throne, and a sudden surge of panic crossed his blue eyes—when he did not see me seated upon it; his eyes roamed the crowd, and when he finally found me—he smiled, my pulse quickened. He seemed to strengthen at my presence; the spell between our gazes was shattered when, the first Elder of Luniris, Ramadin banged his gavel against the stone table that, he and the other five elders were seated at. The trial had begun.

“Danolian Fwynshool Hiyanartay, King of Luniris, Knight of the Four Armies, Lord of the Outer Star Realms,” Dane rolled his eyes at Ramadin having to mention all of his titles; as if he did not know him from birth. “You have been charged withdisgrace to the crown, mismanagement of power and the unlawful execution of your brother, how do you plead young sire?”

Dane made no hesitation before he answered; he narrowed his eyes at each and every one of them before he shouted his plea loudly for the whole crowd to hear it well.

“Guilty.” He annunciated, and ripples of gossipy whispers spread through the crowd like wildfire. “Without question, I am guilty on all charges.” He snarled.

“You do realize, young king that, this opens you up to the harshest form of judgment before this board?” As Ramadin pointed his cane at Dane with disdainful eyes; I could feel the Dark Force’s presence began to lurk.

“Would it be better for me, if I groveled to you of my innocence; would that really change anything Ramadin? You and the Elders have already condemned me to death, do not persist in acting as if you are giving me a fair chance here; this farce of a trial is merely a formality.” His words were dripping with sarcasm; I do so wish that, he would tread lightly and not try to provoke them. Had he forgotten that his life was in their hands?

He folded his arms about his chest, as his pride swelled; and he threw the elders a condescending smile.

“Do you accuse the board of performing to the crowd, with this trial, young king?” Ramadin sputtered angrily.

“Like a court jester.” He retorted with a smirk, and the entire crowd burst into uproarious laughter; I tried to hold the laugh in, because none of this was a laughing matter. What was Dane doing?

Ramadin’s face grew beet red, and he struggled to stand up and used his cane for balance.

“You mock our justice proceedings, boy?” His countenance took on a film of darkness, and his voice was cloaked in malice.

“Careful, old man; I am still your king.” His eyes narrowed indignantly. “You call this justice, this whole trial is the very definition of injustice; you name the crimes of which you claim I am being charged with, while you are charging me for something entirely different. Do you think I would be standing before you, if Kantono had raped and dishonored a moon maiden, and I elected to take his life to avenge her?” He spat the words out of his mouth like poison. “I will not stand here, and let you make a mockery of my love; this whole trial is being used as an instrument of your own prejudice and bigotry. So, please spare me your speech on justice.”

The crowd began to get rowdy with Dane’s speech, and Ramadin had to bang the gavel several times to settle the crowd back down.

“None of your words have anything to do with your crimes, my king; you must be punished for your crimes—nothing more. Do not make this a bleeding heart attempt to justify your preposterous marriage.” The Dark Force had entered him, and made him speak such words; Dane lunged for him, but the guards held him where he stood.

“She is your queen,” He thundered, still struggling against the guards. “I will have no other.”

“Such insolence, I will here no more,” He banged his gavel, and addressed the crowd then. “By the powers vested in me, as a member of the Elders of Luniris—I find you guilty of your crimes as charged. Your sentence, shall be death by the executioner’s ax.”

The crowd went absolutely insane, I screamed out in pain above them all; and I lost myself—I tore my hand away from Eloin’s and ran up to the platform—Baylin tried to catch me and hold me fast, but I outmaneuvered her. I ran straight into my king’s arms, and refused to let go.

“I will not live, if you must die; my lord.” I sobbed uncontrollably, and I could see the heartbreak in his blue eyes; the guards did not have the heart to keep their king captive. They let him go, and he embraced me with all of his strength.

“You will live, my queen; Luniris is yours,” He lulled to me. “You must make it into the kingdom that, we always dreamed it could be; please,” He smoothed his hand against my face; the crowd was hushed. I could see pure hatred in the eyes of Queen Mahaliquinand Brynyana; and while I could sense sympathy from the crowd gathered—I also felt daggers of hatred thrown at me. The ground quaked below us; our sweet display of love was unsettling the Netherworld. “Will you do this for me? Will you take care of my kingdom? Will you be the change that they all are seeking?”

“I cannot my lord, no one has ever loved me as you do; please, let me go with you.” I buried my face in his stone chest, and he brought my eyes back to his.

“Solarias,” He spoke my name with such love that, I thought I would faint in his arms. “I married a warrior, you are strong; you can accomplish what needs to be accomplished here, I trust you, I believe in you. You will turn the hatred into love.” He was crying now. “I love you so much, what we share is so beautiful; never let anyone trample it under foot.” And then he kissed me, and all of the Netherworld roared at the complete love that broke forth from our contact; the Dark Force’s kingdom fought against it violently—the ground split in two—releasing every vile member of the Dark Force’s army, when they had all come from the depths; the ground closed itself back up. Dane pushed me behind him; to shield me with his body, as we watched the supernatural scene unfold. I had never witnessed creatures so entirely ugly, as the Dark Force’s army. People broke out into a panic, and some tried to run; but the Dark Force froze them all captive with a wave of his hand.

The sun had been shining just moments ago; but was now blocked by the cloak of the Dark Force’s presence. He ascended the platform where Dane and I stood, with a wicked glee shining in his eyes—a smirked slithered across his face as he stood before Dane.

“You never cease to amaze me, young king; your love for this woman is quite unbelievable.” He clapped his hands with sarcasm. “I mean look at you,” He mocked Dane as he stood up straight, mimicking his kingly walk. “So, self-righteous,” He laughed heartily. “It has all been quite entertaining to watch really, to hear all of your speeches of righteousness and love; when you, young king are capable of such explosive acts of hatred. You can address these good elders, so impudently; when you yourself are as hateful as they are.”

I unsheathed my sword, and stood in between him and Dane; I was tired of his accusations toward my love, Dane tried to shove me back behind him but I refuse to be moved.

“Why do you not just go back to the Netherworld, you are not welcomed here,” I could not fight the boldness that holding the sword of the Star Breather gave me; I felt such power course through my veins and I could feel the Dark Force shudder from the sword’s powerful light. “You cannot even comprehend the depths of this man’s love; or our love together; that is why you are here is it not because you fear that love?” I narrowed my eyes at him.

“I fear nothing, little queen.” He said getting close to my face; his breath smelled of sulfur and brimstone, and the heat from it singed my nose hairs but I refused to let him intimidate me. He looked to Dane again. “My, my, my but she is delectable; young king, I can see why you chose her.” He touched my face with his fingertips, and I slapped his hand down with the sword; when the sword made contact with his skin it burned him. And he backed away from me holding his hand in pain.

“Take yourself, and your evil escorts and leave this kingdom; dark lord or I will be forced to send you there.” I said taking my warrior’s stance.

The Dark Force and his entire army laughed hysterically.

“You and what army, little queen?” He approached me again, I held out my sword so that he would not get too close.

“That will be far enough, creature.” I commanded.

“Well, I have just come to warn you all that, the people of Solarian are on their way over here this very minute; you see in the young king’s haste to make peace with the King of Solarian, he let his heart get a bit too soft.” He chortled darkly. “Both kings forgot to put the Protective Mist back into place, so your kingdom is no longer divided; the entire Solarian army will have access to wipe you all out.” He hunched his shoulders while smirking. “You see all I have to do now, is sit back and let you destroy yourselves; I will be here until the last youngling is dead in the massacre.” He clapped his hands together, as the warning bell sounded; and soldiers came running into town from the border. “And here we go.”

Right after the soldiers of Luniris came running up, the Solarian soldiers came right behind them on horseback, and Dane was once again face to face with my brother Leonus, the King of the Solarians but this time there would be no talks of peace, because my brother was dressed in full battle armor—ready for war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~CHAPTER 19~

THE MOON KING

TO THE NETHERWORLD AND BEYOND

I was paralyzed by the Dark Force’s accusations, they just unloosened something inside of me; and for the first time I saw myself. While it may have been through a glass darkly cloaked; his words had hit their mark. Could his accusations be in anyway, truthful? If I were being completely honest with myself; I would have to say yes. I talked of love, I even practiced it in some ways, however, when it was difficult to love—I often retreated into darkness. It was so easy for me to give into anger, when I should have loved harder—even when the person was difficult to love. I was no different than the Elders of Luniris, I was a bit self-righteous in my own beliefs; every bit as self-righteous as they were in their old ways and traditions. When faced with my true self, I did not like what I saw; what I saw was a monstrous man who was responsible for the deaths of two men.

“Solarias, sheath your sword, my love; we shall not fight today.” My words hurt coming out, I saw the Dark Force chortle a little; Solarias was completely bewildered as she did what I told her to do, and then she returned to my side, the warriors of Solarian were utterly flabbergasted by my willingness to just let them kill me. The rest of my kingdom remained frozen in the Dark Force’s invisible hold on them. I sighed deeply, how wrong I had been about everything. Love was meant to be practiced wholly; half way simply was not enough. The kind of love that the Star Breather exhibited was entirely sacrificial, and if I were honest I had made no real sacrifice. “We cannot bring an end to violence, by violence; we cannot continue to fight each other and expect anything to change.”

“Where is that foul brother of yours,” Leonus yelled in anger. “He will pay for his crimes against my sister.”

“He has already paid, at my hand.” I tried to control my emotions, I did not want to elicit anger with an angry tone of voice; especially when a soft answer had the ability to turn away wrath. The Solarian warriors were silenced by my confession. “Yes, I killed my brother; for his crimes against my wife—I cannot undo what I have done, which is why I beg of you now brothers, do not make me kill anymore of my family.” I started to move off the platform to stand amongst them, Solarias gripped my arm tightly—refusing to let me go. I gently released her hands, and smiled at her; then I continued my descent. I held up my hands to them in surrender. I looked at the Dark Force’s face, and he was frightened by my actions. “I have had malice and hatred in my heart brothers, and I do not wish it to remain. We will win nothing today by fighting each other; all we will succeed at doing is wiping each other out. No, kingdom will stand victorious.”

“Justice must be served!” One of Leonus’s brothers shouted, but Leonus looked at him with narrowed eyes.

“Peace,Patrius.” Leonus quieted him. “Let him speak,” He jumped down from his horse, so that he could stand at eye level with me.

“Brother,” I extended my hand out for his, and he tentatively took it. “I apologize for the death of your father at my hand, I should have made amends long ago; his death was senseless and it was done out of pure hatred. There is no excuse that will ever justify my actions. Will you forgive me?”

There were tears in Leonus’s eyes, as he looked at me in awe and amazement; he could not move his lips to speak. He was becoming overcome by emotion; his cinnamon fragrance gave his emotional breakdown away.

“That was a terrible night, so much bloodshed; so many lives lost,” His voice was trembling. “But you lost someone that night too, King of Luniris—you lost your father as well, and for that I apologize.” One lone tear fell down his cheek. “Where do we go from here, brother?”

And then I was overcome by emotion.

“I wish your sister’s hand in marriage; I wish to ask your permission as it should have been done long ago,” I looked to her, and tears were escaping her eyes. “I love her Leonus, with all of myself; loving her redeems me in so many ways. We cannot help how the Star Breather decided to paint us, but I do not believe that those differences have to divide us; I believe that they should unify us. We all need each other, there are things that both of our kingdoms can contribute to each other. No more separate but equal, all of us should be equal.”

“You are wise beyond your years, little brother,” He looked to his sister, then. “You may have her hand, with my permission and my blessing; her heart is yours to protect and hold forever.” He addressed his warriors. “What say you brothers, are you in agreement; can we be done with this senseless war?”

The men cheered their assent, and they all jumped down from their horses to offer their hands to me. The ground quaked violently, because the Dark Force knew that he had been defeated.

“You are all weak!” He snarled. “How can these ridiculous sentiments of love, erase all that has happened between you? Love means nothing, when put up against pain and suffering.”

I ascended the podium again, and addressed the people; who were now becoming unfrozen from their poses, because the Dark Force could not hold them fast and have a tantrum too.

“Good people, for too long we have been under this foul dog’s boot; for too long we have listened to his vicious lies. What say you to driving him back to the Netherworld where he belongs?” I shouted, and everyone cheered. “What say you, to freeing ourselves from his tyranny?” They cheered louder. “Then let us fight him, with all that we have, for love, for honor, for freedom, for justice, for unity.” The cheers shook both of our kingdoms, and then a Mighty trumpet sounded; and the sky cracked wide open.

The Star Breather rode the air down, on Arogun’s back, and He was not alone—He brought His own army—all the way from the Celestial Kingdom. All the men were on white horses, and wore golden battle armor; they were fully armed ready to war. And when the Star Breather, and his army landed; they immediately jumped down from their horses and took their warrior stance. The Star Breather climbed the podium steps, and gave me a bright smile.

“I have been waiting for this moment, King of Luniris; waiting for the love to return to your lands and now that it has—I am here to do all that I can to ensure that you win this war.” He held out another sword to me. “I think that you will be needing this.” I was in awe of how much more superior it was to the other sword that, He had first given me.

“But Sire, you have already gifted me a sword.”

“Yes, but you have grown; therefore your sword grows with you—every mighty king—needs a mighty sword.” I took it from His hands, and felt the power as soon as my fist clamped around the hilt.

“Young king, this shall not be an easy fight, it will be to the death; only one side will win—good against evil.” He placed His Mighty hand on my shoulder. “Lead them good king, you have my essence inside of you; my stamp to empower you. There is nothing that you cannot accomplish; nothing that you cannot do. I am on your side, I am here to guide you; follow my path always and you will not go wrong.”

“Yes Sire.” I bowed to Him, and then I turned back to Solarias. “My love, would you make sure that the maidens, younglings and elders get to someplace safe?”

“But my lord, could I not stay with you and help?” She was pouting, I loved it when she pouted; her lips look so delicious but I could not focus on that right now—I had greater things to worry about.

“I will not be able to fight with a clear head, if you are near.”  I smiled into her warm caramel eyes. “Can I trust you with this mission?”

“Certainly, sire.” She smiled, but I could see some disappointment in the smile. “You better be careful.”

I could not help myself; I pulled her close and kissed her quickly, and then she was gone to complete her mission—making sure that the maidens, younglings and elders got to some place safe. When they were at a safe distance, I turned back to my battle ready warriors.

And then I threw off my kingly robes; and held the sword up. “It is time to battle!” I shouted loudly, and every single warrior began to war against the Dark Force and his wicked army. The Dark Force proved himself to be a worthy opponent; as he summoned his dark sword from the Netherworld—he and his army began to kill without mercy. War was war, and while I hated it because of all the bloodshed, and innocent lives lost; there was no place that I would rather be, than here right now fighting alongside my sun brothers. We were now truly one kingdom united, as we fought valiantly fought to push the Dark Force out of our lands.

The battle lasted two full suns, and while I had started with so much energy; my energy was now waning fast. Leonus never left my side, and the Star Breather was not too far away either; after putting my sword through another demon knight, I nearly fell backward with exhaustion—when a Mighty trumpet blast from somewhere up in the Celestial Kingdom signaled—to the soldiers fighting—that the war had been won; the Dark Force and his dark army were retreating. Nevertheless, as the disheveled Dark Force jumped onto the back of one of his evil army’s horses; he gave me a small smirk, which was to say that, he still had some more of his malicious tricks up his sleeve. He had been obviously beaten, but he was not crawling back to the Netherworld quietly.

When he disappeared into a puff of black smoke, I could not shake the look on his face; something deep within my core told me that Solarias was gone. However, before I could go check on her; Leonus grabbed me up in a big bear hug.

“We won brother, we must celebrate.” He laughed heartily, placing me back down on the ground; and his smile quickly faded when he noticed the worried look on my face. “What is it brother, I thought that you would have been happier about our victory.”

“I am overjoyed, but there is something wrong; I feel it within my spirit—something is just not right.” I could feel my eyebrow furrowing. “I have to go.” I ran into the palace quickly, I had to see Solarias to calm my worries, Leonus was close behind.

“I will come with you.”

The first place we went was the temple, Solarias loved that place; and I was sure that there is exactly where she would have taken the people for safe keeping. When Leonus and I entered the temple, everyone was safe but they certainly were not sound; the temple was in disarray as if a fight had ensued, and when I scanned the room I could not find Solarias—Eloin and Baylin came running up to me as soon as I entered. Eloin had tears in her eyes when she spoke, Baylin looked as if she had seen a ghost—she was eerily silent.

“My lord,” She cried. “He took her.” She sobbed.

I took her by her arms firmly.

“Who took her Eloin?” But she seemed to be too overcome with grief to answer me, so I shook her in my attempt to get the answer out of her. “Who?” I screamed.

Leonus gently placed his hand to my shoulder.

“Little brother, you will hurt her.”

I realized what I had been doing, and I stopped immediately; contrition washed over me for my treatment of Eloin.

“I am sorry Eloin,” I placed my hand to her cheek. “Please tell me.” But she just kept crying, so, I looked to Baylin with a silent plea in my eyes.

“An agent of the Dark Force.” She breathed out quietly. “She was singing to the younglings, when he came in; she fought so valiantly like any warrior of Luniris or Solarian, the elders tried to help but he was just too strong; my lord. I am so sorry,” Tears spilled from her eyes. “I should have been protecting her.”

I took her hands in mine.

“Do not fear Baylin, I shall bring her home; if he wants me, he shall have me,” I snarled. “I shall settle this once and for all.”

I stormed out of the temple, and Leonus followed.

“Little brother,” He called to me in inquisition, but I was deaf to him because I was so focused on my logical strategy to save Solarias. “Little brother,” He spun me around to face him. “What are you planning to do?” He looked worried.

“Go after her, of course.” The words spilled from my lips without hesitation.

“You mean to the Netherworld?” I could hear the fear in his voice.

“If that is where my love is, that is where I shall go.” I said with a determined air.

Leonus sighed, and placed his hand to my shoulder.

“You do realize that you are riding to your death?” His voice was cloaked in warning. “No man has ever gone into the Netherworld, and lived to tell the tale, little brother. Let us put our heads together and think about this.”

I smiled trying to lighten the mood, or I would go crazy.

“I thought I was supposed to be the logical one here.”

“Little brother, it seems that I am the cooler head this time, so let my wisdom prevail.”

“There is no time for wisdom Leonus, wisdom will get her killed; he would kill her just to break me—he knows what she means to me Leonus. I cannot stand by and do nothing.” I felt tears prickling my eyes.

Leonus sighed deeply.

“Well, if you are going to go into the very bowels of death; you know that I am not about to let you go alone.” He smiled and held out his hand for mine. “To the death?”

I took his hand and grinned.

“To the death.”

 

The Star Breather blessed Leonus and I before we took off for our quest, but I had a feeling that the Star Breather wanted me to defeat the Dark Force without Him being physically present, because this was a true test of my faith and spiritual strength. If I could do this, then I would finally be able to step into my true destiny as the Moon King; I had never quite fit into my position and had been lamenting my place as king since my father passed the title onto me upon his death. I had never wanted to be king, because it was a lot easier to just hide in someone else’s shadow, but maybe now it was time for me to step into the light.

After riding three whole phases of the moon, with one stop because Leonus wanted to make sure that the horses were well rested and watered; we had reached the precipice of all kingdoms; we were at the edge of all light—one jump into the void would put us into the depths of darkness. When we leapt off of our horses, and took a look into the deep; my heart twisted inside of my chest, the fear in me became so overwhelming that I could actually taste it filling up in my mouth. I wanted to turn back, but I had come too far to turn back. Solarias was worth leaping into unknown danger for; I would not leave her here, I could not leave her here. Leonus looked over at me, and slapped me on my shoulder.

“I am with you, little brother.” He smiled.

“You ready?” I spoke through the lump of fear clogging my throat.

“Whenever you are.”

And then we jumped over the precipice; our horses looked at us take the deep, dark descent, and when they could no longer see us—they stepped back from the edge neighing. We were falling so quickly that, the precipice opening now seemed like a million miles away. Smoke, sulfur and brimstone filled my lungs the deeper we went into the void. I could hear the rattling of chains, and the sound of tortured and torment voices; these were the voices of the eternally condemned. I thought that we would never reach the bottom, until we finally did. Leonus and I got up on our feet quickly, and unsheathed our swords; making ourselves ready for anything that might be lurking.

Our soft landing was due to our landing on black sand, in fact, the entire Netherworld looked like an endless desert but Leonus and I could barely walk upon it because it was so hot. Both of our eyes had to adjust to the dim light, and we had to move extremely fast because the sand seemed to shoot up geysers of fire at will—we never knew when the next geyser would shoot up. So, we had to watch our steps. When we looked in the distance, we saw a charcoal colored palace; it had to be the home of the Dark Force himself.

On our way to the dark palace, there were many surprises in the hellish desert. For one, the tortured souls of all beings in the galaxy would reach out and grab at us from beneath the sand; begging us to have mercy on them and give them a drop of water for their parched tongues—before the sands of the desert would suck them back in like quick sand, for two, there were poisonous vipers that were birthed from the flame geysers that would spout up, for three there were certain spots in the sand that would consume a person if they were not careful—I almost lost Leonus to the sand more than once, before pulling him to safety, and he did the same for me when I nearly fell in. The place was an endless gauntlet of surprises, a gauntlet that I was determined to beat so that I could bring my love home.

We were nearly to the palace, we could almost touch the gate; that is when four of the Dark Force’s escorts attacked us. We fought them back valiantly, and every last one of them were turned back into the black sand; when they were fatally wounded—only to be rejuvenated again if the Dark Force decided to use them for another mission. We had made it through the gate without anymore incidents, but we kept our swords drawn just in case we ran into anymore trouble.

The doors to the palace creaked open, as if they were rusty from not being properly maintained. The place was ablaze with flame that, never seemed to run out—there was no need for candles because the palace itself seemed to be the source of the flame. The voices of the tormented were a lot louder in the palace; which meant that the dungeons must be burning with everlasting flame, and the people below were the ones denied access to the Celestial Kingdom for their denial of the Star Breather’s precious gift of love. Over the voices I could hear the beautiful sound of an organ playing; which was like an oasis in this place of infinite suffering.

Leonus and I walked down a long corridor—following the sound of the sweet music, and when we had finally reached the musician; we were both shocked to see that it was none other than the Dark Force himself. We did not go into his chambers immediately, we just stood outside of the door surveying the place; I nearly barreled into the room—when I saw my beloved trapped inside what looked like a rainbow bubble. She did not see me; she just sat inside waiting, as if she knew I would come for her. Did this woman have the capacity to doubt me? A playful smirk crossed the Dark Force’s lips, he had sensed our presence; he knew that we were here.

“Gentleman, do come in and join us,” I looked at Solarias, as Leonus and I walked into the room—with our swords drawn—she stood up immediately and smiled at me, my heart melted inside my chest. “It would seem as if you have denied me my victory, little king, and I would like the chance to earn it back; if you would be ever so kind.” He stopped playing his burnt mahogany organ.

“I denied you nothing, creature; you and your dark army were conquered fair and square. Now, if you relinquish your hold on, my love; I will walk away and leave you in solitude, but if you will not—I will be more than happy to give you the fight that you so crave.” I took my warrior’s stance.

“Excellent.” He spoke getting up from sitting up at his organ, and then he summoned his sword; which flew to him from some unknown place. “I would have expected nothing less, but this will be a fight between just you and I,” He lifted Leonus up off of the ground, and relieved him of his sword; it was almost as if Leonus was in suspended animation—unable to move. “Now, if you best me; you and your friends may go free, but if you do not, little king, you all belong to me.” His voice was a demonic growl.

Why did I feel as if I were stepping into a trap; then it dawned on me exactly why I felt this way—Solarias had had a vision of me in this very situation. This situation had to happen, because it was a vital part of my destiny, but would I survive it? In her Destiny Sight, I died; I could not make that part of the vision come true. I had to stay alive for her; we still had so much life to live together. I looked at her once more, and she was crying; obviously remembering her Destiny Sight vision as well. I encouraged her with my eyes.

“I accept your challenge, creature.” I spoke with narrowed eyes.

“As you wish.” He smirked darkly.

When he spoke, we were no longer in his chambers in the dark palace; we were somewhere else—in another part of the desert that was lit up with the orange of the dawning sun. I knew that the Dark Force was a master at manipulating time and space, but why the change of venue—I could have fought him right in his chambers just as easily.

“I brought your precious Star Breather to a similar place, once upon a time,” He answered my silent questions, by reading my bewildered face. “Here is where little boys, are made into men; little king.”

“Well are we going to get on with the contest, or are we going to talk all day?” I narrowed my eyes at him, as I readied my sword.

He snickered darkly.

“I like you, little king; it is unfortunate that I must destroy you.” He swung his sword to take off my head, but I blocked the blow. “My but you are quick, little king, but are you quick enough?” He swung again, this time slicing me across my arm; the sword seared into my skin—its bite was excrutiating—more painful than anything that I had ever felt, but I refused to give him the satisfaction of crying out.

“You will have to do better than that, creature.” I swung my sword, in the logical and strategic way of my people, and the blow landed exactly where I had intended it to land—right across his shoulder. I could see the pain in his dark soul, when I looked into his eyes and I grinned.

Blow for blow we battled, light against dark; neither man giving an inch. I could see the frustration in the Dark Force’s eyes, because he was not expecting me to be such a worthy opponent; he assumed that I would just fall down and die. Well, I was sorry to disappoint him, but I was not about to just lie down as easy prey. His countenance twisted to reveal his true likeness; in truth he was no more attractive than his demon army. All of a sudden, gone were the lawful rules of engagement; when he rammed against me as hard as he could—knocking me to the ground, then he was standing over me; with his sword ready to strike—I rolled before he could fatally wound me by plunging his sword through my heart. I recovered my sword where it had fallen out of my hand, and I swung quickly getting him across the face.

He cursed in the language of the dark realms, a language that I was not familiar with; and never hoped to be. Suddenly, he started to chuckle heinously; as I felt him rummaging around in my brain, when he had wormed his way inside—he started speaking to me telepathically. I knew then that we were engaging in a higher form of combat now, the battlefield was now in my mind. Could I fight him on this level, a level that left my sword useless?

“I have given you the power,” The Star Breather thundered through my soul. “Use it, young warrior; use it!”

I looked directly at him, and wormed my way into his brain; in the same manner as he had done me. We were now, ready to war telepathically.

“I will always come for you, little king; you shall never be safe,” He growled. “You shall be forever hunted, by my dark presence.” He threw the first blow, and I could feel the jab against my physical body.

I recovered quickly, and countered his claims.

“But the Star Breather, shall never abandon me; bring the fight, Dark Lord and I will war against you every single time.” My words pinned him to the ground, he snarled and was back up on his feet in an instant.

“You are struck down!” His words upper cut me, and I could taste the blood in my mouth; I spit it out on the ground and smiled.

“But you cannot destroy me.” I gave him a right cross, and he fell backward; with each spiritual blow that I threw—I got stronger—but so did he.

When he was up on his feet again, he raised me from the ground—by my neck—without even touching me.

“You are a weak king, useless and inadequate; the honor should have gone to your brother.” He laughed as he chocked me out with his words. “All of Luniris knows it, I know it, and you know it; do you not little king?” His hold became tighter and tighter, I could not respond; I could not breathe—I was losing consciousness. His words had found their mark—I felt myself slipping away; I could not lose this battle.

Just then, Solarias came crashing into the lighted desert; breaking through as if the whole scene was an elaborate piece of glass—the whole scene shattered to the ground—and we were back in the Dark Force’s chambers; we had never left. The Dark Force was certainly a master at painting pretty pictures, literally. He turned and lost focus on me, and dropped me to the ground; I struggled for breath as I picked up my sword. His focus was now wholly on Solarias, but she evaded him and ran to stand in front of me—as if shielding me—I tried to move her behind my body so that I could shield her, but she would not be moved. Meanwhile, the Dark Force ran in our direction at full force; with his sword pointed at us, ready to strike.

“Do you trust me?” She whispered, with a carefree air in her smile.

“Of course.” I answered bewildered by her question.

“Then drop your sword, my love, and wrap me in your arms; my Moon King.” Her eyes seared into mine, was she insane; we would both be run through? I had a tough decision to make, would I drop our only source of protection; to prove my trust in her? She continued to smile, and I was captured in her smoldering eyes; I did as she told me to do. And as the sword clanked to the burnt stone below, I enveloped her in my arms as her back rested gently against me; and she entwined her fingers with mine—our two rings met each other, and as the Dark Force came close to us—with every intention to impale us with his dark sword—he was blasted back and reduced to a pile of cinders and ash.

I did not know what had happened, until after the miraculous deed was done; I just held her in my arms—staring into her eyes. Was our love really that powerful?

“You keep saving my life.” I smiled into her eyes.

“Yes, well you are my one and only true love; I cannot very well have you die on me can I?” She joked playfully.

I turned her to face me, and kissed her until we were both breathless; the whole kingdom of the Netherworld shook in response. Leonus cleared his throat, to remind us that he was in the room.

“I do so hate to end this little love fest, but we are still in the bowels of the Netherworld; and you know that he is not going to remain as cinders and ash forever,” He rolled his eyes playfully. “I really would like for us to be gone, when he rejuvenates.”

We all laughed, as I walked over to Leonus; and held out my hand to release him, a great light passed from my palm and surrounded him in pure light—he fell to the ground when the light broke through the darkness. I had no idea how I had done it, I just knew that I could; the Star Breather’s mark upon me was making me more spiritually aware of things. I just wanted to go higher, and grow more in the gifts that he had given me. Solarias, brought my sword to me and as soon as Leonus recovered himself; we were on our way out of the depths of the Netherworld. We made our way back to the place, where Leonus and I had originally jumped in—I could see a small crack of light far above our heads—where the precipice was waiting for our return.

I touched Solarias’s shoulder, and then I touched Leonus’s shoulder and we became light on our feet as the Star Breather’s light surrounded us—we began to sail upward far away from the realm of the Netherworld. Before we knew it, we were back upon the precipice; looking over into the great chasm that we had just come from, our horses had not travelled to far, they stood a few feet away from the precipice awaiting our return. Leonus looked at me in amazement.

“There is a great light in you, little brother; I hope to one day understand it.” He patted me on the shoulder, and I just smiled.

Then I looked to Solarias, who had mounted my horse; she was just sitting there grinning at our brotherly display of affection.

“If you boys are ready, I think that we should be getting home.”

“Quite, right, my love.” I jumped up behind her, and gave my horse the order to carry us all the way home.

Leonus came up behind us a short time later, and as we rode toward a new horizon; I could feel new hope for the future bursting forth in me—a whole new era of peace—where the only Enemy that the people of Luniris and Solarian fought against was the Dark Force.

 

 

 

 

 

 

~CHAPTER 20~

QUEEN SOLARIAS

SECOND WEDDING

I had wed him before, in the High Star Realms, but we were to wed again; this time in my home kingdom of Solarian. I do not know why I was so nervous, I knew that I loved him; there was no question in my mind about that—it was just my intense hatred for public events that caused me to be frazzled. I would not classify myself as shy really, but I was definitely introverted; I would rather a small intimate affair then this big flamboyant display. I hated to be all feathered up, and presented before court; for the whole kingdom of Cierion to judge like a prized peacock. I was no longer in the lower levels of my maturation, but still; I did not believe that this part of myself would ever change. On the good side of things, Leonus and I had completely repaired our relationship and my other brothers followed suit—they could not help it, because they looked up to him so much. My mother and I were a different story entirely; we were steadily working on it, but there had been such fractures in our bond that it would take some time. I was sure that, there would come a day when we could talk like actual mother and daughter—but until then we would work on it. She would be at the wedding today, along with the rest of my people—joined under one banner with the people of Luniris—my fears were eased by this factor a little. However, it still helped minutely in dealing with my nerves.

There were butterflies eating butterflies in my stomach, and this particular grand event; made me a little more nauseous than any event ever had before. I wanted to put my head inside of my chamber pot, and never bring it back up again. While anxiety over public events often made me nauseated, this was something else; something entirely different—I really did not feel well. Baylin came over to me, where I was staring at myself in my vanity mirror; and she had a ridiculous smile on her face.

“What is it Baylin?” I spoke out of frustration, because I was feeling so poorly.

“Star Breather, be praised; my lady,” She rested her chin on the top of my head. “You are with child, my girl.”

I turned to face her with wide eyes.

“Are you sure?” I could not help but smile myself.

She sniffed in my direction.

“You have that smell about you.”

I jumped up and hugged Baylin with joy, Eloin bounced into the room; and joined in the hug.

“What are we happy about?” She chimed, as if she needed a reason to be happy.

“Our lady is with child.” Baylin blurted out happily.

“Oh, that is wonderful; the king will be out of this galaxy with happiness.” She jumped up and down clapping her hands.

“Not a word of this to anyone.” I swore them to secrecy. “Not even the other servants at court, news travels like wildfire; I want to tell the king myself.”

“I will not tell a soul, my lady.” Baylin vowed, and then we both looked at Eloin.

“You are not suggesting that, I would say anything?” Her eyes gleamed, but she looked hurt.

I hugged her close to me.

“Awww, I was not suggesting that you would tell anyone on purpose Eloin, but you get so excited.” I giggled. “Could you try to keep your excitement down, just this once; until I have a chance to talk to the king—myself?”

She looked into my eyes with her pale green orbs widening.

“Of course, my lady; you can count on me.” She held up her hand, as if vowing.

“Thank-you,” I kissed her forehead, lightly. “Now, I must finish getting prepared for the wedding; will you help me?”

“Most certainly, my lady.” She skipped over to my wardrobe, to get my dress out.

And Eloin and Baylin began the tortuous beauty rituals that I hated so much, but I knew that they would be so worth it; when my Moon King set eyes on me.

 

When all was complete, and I was nearly prepared to make my grand entrance; I stood staring into my floor length mirror—imagining the swelling of my womb—I did not care about presenting myself before court today, because that would mean that it would be closer to the time when I could tell my Moon King that we were going to have a youngling. I closed my eyes, feeling the joy consume me. A whole new kingdom, a whole new life, a fresh start; if I were dreaming I did not want to ever wake again. And then I could sense him, the smell of cucumber and mint played in my nostrils; sending my heart in flight. My Moon King had come to my chambers, and he probably stood aloof in the shadows watching me. I smiled—opening my eyes—with the complete knowledge that he was there.

“Does my Moon King wish me to pretend that I do not know that he is here?” I coquettishly whispered, and he came out of the shadows with a smile; and enveloped me in his arms—he moved my hair to one side and placed a tender kiss on the back of my neck.

“I knew that you would sense my presence, why pretend; I just thought I would sneak in, and get a peek of the most beautiful bride in all of the planets.” He turned me to face him, and caressed my lips softly with his. His hair looked more golden; in contrast to the white that it was when he did not get enough sun, and his skin had taken on a more bronzed look as well. I always thought that the sun loved my Moon King, as much as I did; how his body craved it and how it did him such justice.

I swooned in his arms, and smiled when he steadied me; there was worry present in his eyes.

“Are you okay love?” He looked deeply into my eyes. “You do not look well.”

“Oh really?” I spoke with faux offense.

He chortled softly.

“You know what I mean.” He placed his forehead to mine. “You have been a little moody these past few sun turnings, not to mention; I have been hearing you vomit in the chamber pots in the early dawn.”

I did not know that he was awake, and I would always clean the chamber pot before he did wake, so, that he would not have to see my slops in the risen sun. Well, it turns out that I was not fooling him at all.

“And here I was thinking that, you had not noticed.” I tried to lighten the mood, but Dane’s face was serious.

“No, love, I am not jesting; if there is something wrong,” He lowered his eyes from mine, as his voice caught in pain. “You would not keep it from me would you?”

I brought his eyes back to rest on mine.

“I am not terminally ill, you silly man.” I smiled.

“Star Breather be praised,” He sighed in relief. “Then what is it then?”

I took his hands from around me, and placed them gently on my womb; he smiled instantly and brought me back into him.

“Really?” He lulled.

“Really, my Moon King.” I draped my arms around his shoulders. “In a little over 273 moon phases, and 273 sun lightings; I shall give you a most precious gift.” I melted against him. “Are you happy, my love?”

He brought my eyes to his, and there were tears in them.

“So, happy.” He said smoothing the pad of his thumb against my cheek.

And then I brought his lips down to mine, and we kissed until we were both drunk on each other’s inebriating scents. We did not care that the people were waiting for us, let them wait; we were in love and we knew now that love conquered absolutely everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~EPILOGUE~

THE MOON KING

THE OUTER STAR REALMS

I was exhausted; the crown was not as heavy as it used to be; seeing as how I was sharing the responsibility with Leonus. However, being on a board of kings, was hardly favorable when the ancient elders were always trying to undermine your authority. Leonus and I would attempt to pass a law and the Board of Elders would insist on vetoing it, citing tradition as the reasoning behind their vote. Removing the Protective Mist permanently, was a law that was easily passed, but the abolishing of the Mandatory Nuptial Contracts was a law that refused to die as easily; while, things were changing prejudice and bigotry still existed in the kingdoms—it was due in part to the fact that the Star Breather was the only one that could completely destroy the Dark Force.

The armies of Cierion would fight him back into his territory in the Dark Realms of the Netherworld, but he would never fully go away, especially when there were pockets of resistance in the kingdoms. When it was brought to my attention that, my mother was consorting with the Dark Force about kingdom business—she was charged with treason, and sent into banishment in the Lower Star Realms—the place of her birth, Brynyana followed her like an obedient pet. I fear that, mother never could reconcile with me after I killed Kantono; he was after all her favorite son. I needed a rest, my soul was weary and I needed rejuvenation. Along with my responsibilities as king, came my duties as husband and father as well.

Solarias and I; had five rambunctions boys; and all of them just as devious and mischievious as I was at their maturation levels. I loved every single one of my younglings, but parenthood had a way of really testing your patience and medal. I thought that being a king and a warrior was hard, being a father was harder. It was completely easy for me to leave my little monsters behind, but Solarias had to be coaxed into coming on our adventure into the Outer Star Realms—with my responsibilities as king; I had never had the opportunity to bring her to the lands that, I had inherited at my father’s death. The lands were a part of my mother’s bride price to my father; therefore, he was able to pass them along to me when he died. The place was complete tranquil solitude—there was no one present for miles, and I relished the silence. It was almost like being on a smaller version of the Star Breather’s High Star Realms, of course, my lands could not compare with the Star Breather’s but they were pretty close.

I watched her on the balcony as I lie in bed, and she was still so breathtaking. I would never get tired of the way she made my heart pound, hard against my ribs; or the way she possessed my soul with one simple glance; or the way she made me breathless when I kissed her dulcet lips. I still wanted her to the point of pain, still felt love for her that, crossed all boundaries, still craved the gentle collision of her body against mine. I never could and never would love another. She turned back to come into the room, and gasped when she saw my eyes opened; as if my being awake frightened her—her smile was blinding.

It was as if she brought the sun in with her, because it trailed behind her as if it longed to be in her presence.

“You are awake.” She sat on the bed, and I let my eyes just caress every inch of her face; I was in awe—she blushed. “Are you hungry?”

I surveyed her flawless form—through her sheer night gown; spun from star dust—with my eyes, and she blushed a deeper crimson.

“For food I mean.” She rolled her eyes with a playful giggle, and I gently brought her to rest on top of me; positioning her legs to hug my hips and I seductively raised her night dress and wove myself into her. She exhaled in bliss as our bodies tenderly collided, and then I eclipsed her and smiled. Our intimate moments were as natural for us as breathing, a loving conversation that; never seemed to end. Star Breather be praised, she was so beautiful.

“You are the only thing I crave right now.” I spread kisses on her neck, and she could hardly breathe; I chortled softly.

“Dane,” I loved it when she called me by her nickname for me. “Do you plan on adoring me like this, for the entirety of the sun?”

I stopped and looked into her caramel eyes that, held flames of passion within them; the cinnamon scent of her passion was making me dizzy.

“No, the entirety of the sun is not nearly long enough; I want you for the entirety of infinite suns.” I lulled, and she giggled. “And even that is far too short.”

She smoothed the pad of her thumb against my cheek.

“I love you, my Moon King.” There were tears of joy in her eyes.

“And I you, my Princess of the Sun, my Queen of the Moon.” And then I gently tasted the sweetness of her mouth, her tongue held many pleasurable spices.

Our intimate conversation started all over again, our love was boundless; there was no planet big enough to contain it or hold it. We belonged together; moon spilling into sun, sun spilling into moon. Our love was an infinite well that never ran dry.

 

 

 


A Collection of Flash Fiction

Greetings Fellow Writers,

I decided to upload my other flash fiction assignments. 🙄 How I loathe writing this genre. I just want to say too much at once for it to be effective. I’ll get better though!

Tamara

KING JACK OF THE FROST CLANS

As I came to the Frost Palace, in the Kingdom of Icicle, the intense chill wind nipped at me from every side carrying with it voices that had long sense passed this way, but never made it to their destination. I wasn’t used to this type of cold. How could a maiden of both Spring and Autumn blood ever get used to these brutally frigid temperatures? I was sure that, the warmth of my pumping heart was the only thing that kept me alive. The falling snow was dazzling as it fell from a milky white sky. My mesmerized eyes were being pricked by crystals of ice, but they were so beautiful that I would withstand the stinging that my eyes were receiving as they fell furiously, just to view their intricate patterns up close. I pushed through the pure veil of snowfall to meet with King Jack of the Winter clans because, I needed his assistance in helping rescue my dear father. 

My father, King Leafton of the Autumn clans was taken captive by King Infernion of the Summer clans as a prisoner of war. Our kingdoms had been at war for many seasons, neither kingdom was quite sure what began the enmity, but it was clear that there was no ending to our bitter feud in sight. I had tried to seek King Uflortius’s help because, we were of the same blood on my mother’s side, but he refused to involve himself in anything related to war, his being a man of peace and all. 

So, I risked the perilous journey to the young King Jack, once a brave and mighty warrior, whom had decided long ago to retreat high above the rest of the seasons in his mountain palace. Would he help me? I knew him as a child, we once played in the Valley of the Seasons Turning but that was ages ago. He was a few ions older than I and I wasn’t sure that he’d remember me. What if he turned me away? Nevertheless, there was no time to consider that now, seeing as how, I had arrived at the Frost Palace and I had forgotten just how overwhelmingly beautiful it was, in all its icy splendor. I giggled to myself as the chilly wind blew its way through my parted lips because, the taste of it was like sweet peppermint on the tip of my tongue. 

When I grabbed ahold of the frozen knocker upon the palace door to announce my presence, its icicle teeth bit straight through my gloves right into my fingertips, and I retracted my hand from the frozen beast immediately. But before I had the chance to scream out in pain, the palace doors swung wide open and I was suddenly met with cool cerulean eyes of King Jack himself. The sweet scent of peppermint became overwhelming as he drew closer, it became clear that I had forgotten the power of his intoxicating aroma as it hit me all at once. He smiled at me with knowledge and recognition. Could he possibly remember me after all this time? 

THE END

THE YARIYAN WARS

I couldn’t remember anything. Why couldn’t I remember anything? The last thing I remember was being on a deserted road with my thumb hanging out, as car after car sped by me as if I were invisible. The night was pitch and I could feel the darkness creeping inside of me, especially when the road was devoid of car headlights. I wasn’t anywhere near a big city, of that I was sure because, the only thing that kept me from falling into the embankment was the starlight and moonshine; there were no glaring streetlights to guide my way. I kept my thumb out, even though the road was black now, my hopes were dwindling with each mile that I trod. I just knew that, no one was coming to my rescue, and tonight had a biting chill in the air and I wasn’t wearing a coat on my sleeveless arms. I grabbed my stomach as intense hunger pains tried to claw their way out. And to make matters even worse, I wasn’t even wearing any shoes! Why wasn’t I wearing shoes? And my clothes were dirty and torn. 

My memory was so hazy, but the racing of my heart told me that I had escaped from someplace awful and my walking on this deserted road was a welcomed change when compared to where I had escaped from. Where had I escaped from? Either way I could feel my weak body crumbling under exertion coupled with hunger. I wasn’t going to make it, I was going down. But before I could, a pair of strong arms caught me. I hadn’t even seen the kind man pull over. There was worry in his sapphire eyes, and I could see his lips moving as he held onto me, but there was no sound coming from his mouth. 

He picked me up into his arms, and I lost consciousness as my head rested against his stone chest. I didn’t even have to hear him say that I was safe with him because, in his embrace I felt safety. I felt as if I had fallen into a warm bed tucked securely into a down quilt. 

When I woke up in his old broken down Chevy, the brightness of the sun was blinding me. It was morning. When did that happen?

“Thank God,” He breathed a sigh of relief, as he grinned in my direction. “You had me worried for a minute there, Ry, I thought you’d never wake up. Welcome back to the land of the living my sleeping beauty.”  

Who was this handsome man? Was I his? My memory was still a bit hazy. 

“Where am I?” 

While I knew the man had every opportunity to hurt me if he wanted to, but hadn’t. I still didn’t fully trust him. How could I? I didn’t even know him, but the funny thing was he seemed to know me. But if I didn’t know him, why did he seem so familiar to me? Why did everything have to be so confusing? 

“Here, Ry, drink this and your mind will clear.” He handed me a vial of some mysterious fuchsia liquid that, he retrieved from the breast pocket of his shirt. 

My dubious look brought on a healthy guffaw from the man. 

“Ry, I know things aren’t quite clear to you now, but I would never hurt you. If I wanted to, don’t you think that I would have by now?” He pulled over to the side of the road and cut the truck’s engine. “Trust me, love, drink this and you’ll feel much better.” 

I took the vial from the man, and uncorked it. I gave him one last look before raising the vial to my lips. 

“Trust me.” He lulled. 

And while everything within me screamed for me not to, I did. The liquid didn’t feel like liquid at all as it entered my mouth, it was almost as if sweet air was floating on my tongue and just as the handsome stranger had promised, all of my memories came rushing back to me at once. The memories were a deluge in my brain, and when the flood had settled I looked at him with complete recognition. 

“Quinn,” I breathed, as I threw my arms about his neck. “I thought you were dead. There were so many of them.” I looked at him then. 

He placed his lips upon mine, and winked. 

“You underestimate me, my Queen.” He turned back on the truck and pulled back onto the road. “But it’s best if we keep moving, it’s not safe here.” 

“Did we win the fight, my King?” 

“Yes, but barely, Hagath and his Shadows ambushed us. We were nearly overtaken by them, had it not been for your quick thinking, we would have both been destroyed.” He brought my hand to his lips and placed a kiss upon it. “Thank-you, Ryan.” 

I closed in the space between us, and lay my head on his shoulder placing a gentle kiss on his neck.   

“We rescued each other, love, you have no need to thank me.” I whispered and he smiled. “I suppose that we are on our way to the Ripple in Time.” 

“Yes, we must return to Yariyan and warn the troops that Hagath has brought the fight to Earth.” 

“We’ll need all the help that we can get.” 

THE END

THE GIRL IN THE GOLDEN CAGE

I had finally drifted off to sleep. It was getting harder and harder these days to find peace in rest. I didn’t know why exactly, except that every time I closed my eyes, I saw her. The mysterious girl in the golden cage, with those dark smoldering eyes beckoning me, always beckoning me. But what was she calling me to? I always woke up before I got the chance to figure that out. It never failed, I was back in a throne room of some sort and the golden cage was right in the middle of the room with her inside. This time I was determined to get to her, this time I was determined to get answers. I was almost there and then came the banging at my front door. 

When I squinted over at the clock it was 3:00 A.M., the knocking didn’t stop until I shouted. 

“I’m coming!” 

I got up from my bed, leaving a pool of sweat behind and I opened the door. But the delivery person had gone, leaving a giant box right at my doorstep. What courier service could possibly be working at this hour? And how could they just leave without helping me get this giant box inside? After much exerting effort I finally got it inside, and closed the door behind me. I had to go and retrieve a towel from my bedroom, so that I could towel off all the sweat. Sure, my trainer kicked my butt every week, but he had nothing on the box. I hung the towel around my neck, and just stared at the thing for awhile with my arms crossed. 

A sudden uneasiness gripped me when I realized that, once the thing was opened there was no going back. It was funny how opening a huge cardboard box, could possibly change the trajectory of my entire life. But here I was walking toward it, anxious to see what was inside. I didn’t waste another minute tearing the tape from the seams and when I had stole a peek inside, my blood froze cold because, my eyes refused to move from the golden bars of a cage. Instead of stopping I tore into the box like a wild man and when I had finished, there she was the beauty with the smoldering eyes that haunted my dreams.  

I knew that my mouth was opened because, I could feel the air going in and out, but I just couldn’t close it. I mean, here she was looking right at me with a smile on her lips. I had to be still dreaming. And when she spoke her first words to me, they seemed to weave around my heart. 

“Only you can set me free, Sire.” 

Her words were completely insane, there was no doubt about that, but how she made them sound so sensual I would never know. Maybe it was her accent.

“You have the wrong man.” I was finally able to muster when my mouth started working again. 

“No, Great King, you are the one that I seek.” 

Gosh. I had to shut my eyes and grit my teeth against her exotic beauty. It would be so easy to take advantage at a time like this and that’s the last thing I wanted to do. 

“You have the wrong man,” I was far more insistent this time when I repeated myself. 

“Come to me, my king, and I will prove to you that I am right,” her words were a tender plea. 

What could I do, but approach her? She was a damsel in distress and I always did have a nagging knight in shining armor complex. But when she let her soft caramel colored hand caress my cheek, I saw many wondrous things, things that could not be of this world. And when she removed her hand, I could barely breathe. 

“What was that?” 

“Your home, my lord.” 

She let her fingers linger about my cheek. Suddenly, I felt the electric connection between us. Who was she to me? I had to know. 

“If that was my home, then who are we to each other?” 

She lowered her eyes from mine, as her smile melted to sadness. 

“I am your Queen, my lord. So, you have forgotten me?” 

I could feel her breaking heart and it cut me. 

“Not completely,” I brought her eyes back up to mine. “You haunt my dreams, Lady,” I admitted. 

This made her smile. 

“Tell me how to release you.” 

“A joining of our lips will set us both free.” 

And when my lips fell softly on hers, I was able to open the golden cage’s door and with the opening of that door came the opening of my mind. 

THE END

 


Wolf Brother

Greetings Fellow Writers,

If anyone wants to know my number one pet peeve genre in the style of writing, I don’t mind telling you that I DETEST WRITING FLASH FICTION. Now, I can read it well enough because, the authors who write it are just so talented at it. But when being challenged to write it in a creative writing class…I STINK. I mean, NO ADVERBS, NO ROOM FOR DESCRIBING CHARACTERS or THEIR SURROUNDINGS and it is a sin to TELL INSTEAD OF SHOW. I HATE, I HATE, I HATE FLASH FICTION WITH A PASSION!!!!!! It is the bain of my very existence!

Yet, I am about to share a flash fiction that I just wrote for this week’s assignment. I was inspired by seeing a certain handsome actor on Home and Family just recently, and the love that he showed toward his special needs dog! The gentle giant was moved to tears at his precious dog’s plight and I don’t know, it’s just something so special when a gentle giant cries. Anyway, here it is, but before I share I must reiterate that I LOATHE WRITING FLASH FICTION…that is ALL!

Tamara

Wolf Brother

 

“I am dying, Wolf Brother.” he said. “Leave me be.”

The Elder Wolf, known to his pack as Dahnawa Danatlini or Warrior put his gray paw on the hand of his human son, Solomon Barrett.

“You’re not dying on me, old friend, I won’t let you.”

Solomon was the most renowned doctor in the Montana territory. So, it was no surprise that Dahnawa Danatlini, would have stumbled into his cabin after being shot by hunters.

“I can feel my soul leaving me.”

Solomon shook his head refusing to accept the defeated words of his fading father. He worked frantically over the bloody wound, but the deep ruby color of the blood was a clear indication that the bullet had nicked a major organ.

“Stop talking like that!”

Solomon’s hands were stained with his father’s blood as he tried to fend off tears, while trying to thread a needle to stitch up the wound after extracting the bullet.

“Wolf Brother,” he said. “I am dying, leave me be.”

Dahnawa Danatlini, smiled a weak smile and Solomon nodded finally accepting the inevitable truth that, the Elder Wolf was taking his last shallow breaths. Solomon stopped striving with the needle and thread, so that he could focus on him.

“You can’t leave me.” Solomon said.

He began to sob like a young boy in need of the sage Elder Wolf’s comfort one last time. But the Elder Wolf refused to let him continue in sadness. His growl came out exhausted, yet strong.

“You cannot leave someone that shares your heart, Wolf Brother. he said. “I will continue in you.”

He placed his gray paw on Solomon’s hand again.

“I will continue in you.”

The Elder Wolf smiled one last time.

“I love you, Father.” Solomon said.

“Live well, my son.”

And then the Elder Wolf passed, and Solomon let loose a howl of mourning that, could be heard for miles.

Solomon’s wife, Moon Child, had been standing in the doorway for the entire sad scene. And when Solomon had howled his voice sore, his wife dared to approach. She went to wrap her arms around him from behind, but at first, he flinched away from his wife’s comfort.

“I tried.” he said.

And he turned to face her with tears falling from his eyes. Moon Child wasted no time wrapping her arms around him, and he embraced her right back.

“What good is my skill if I could not save him?”

He rested his chin on top of her head.

“You did all that you could, Wolf Brother.” she said. “Dahnawa Danatlini could not have been in the hands of a better healer.”

She took her husband’s face in her hands.

He smiled at her as he placed his forehead to hers.

“He was the only father I knew, Moon Child.” he said. “The only father that I had for a very long time.”

“I know.”

“He taught me everything about life and love,” he said. “Everything.”

“And you have learned well, my blue-eyed love.” she said. “Now, you can teach the Elder Wolf’s lessons to your own son.”

She placed Solomon’s hand to her swollen belly, and he smiled placing his lips softly on hers.

THE END

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Princess Solarias & the Moon King

Greetings,

Fellow bloggers, this is the first fantasy novel in a series of books that I have taken a hiatus from working on; this is the first draft so it’s extremely rough. However, I love sharing my work in all of its forms. So, here it goes.

Tamara

~PROLOGUE~
Once, we were one people, all different, but somehow the same. We were accepting of each other’s differences. Once upon a time, we loved each other, we saw the beauty in our unique qualities—like pieces fitting perfectly into an intricate puzzle, like silken threads woven into the Star Breather’s grand quilt, we were one harmonious song that we all stood side by side singing. Once, before our own ignorance and hatred blinded us to the utopia, that our world had once been; we fought against our only enemy, the Dark Force, that was before we allowed that same Dark Force to rip us asunder. Once, long ago during the First Star Annual; when I was just a boy, things were so much simpler, how I longed for once, once more.

~CHAPTER ONE~
PRINCE DANOLIAN
We all lived happily in the Kingdom of Cierion; we had no conflict between us that Tranquil Negotiations—before the Board of Elders—could not solve. We would agree to disagree, and walk away as members of one intact loving family. Looking back now, I could see just how naive we all were; we had not erected our walls of defense high enough to keep the Dark Force out, and this would prove to be our tragic downfall. It was amazing to me how a being’s mind would stubbornly hold onto memories, that you would much rather forget, not because they were particularly bad, but because they caused excruciating pain to your heart. We were two peas in a pod; she and I—as cliché as that sounded.
However, that was an extremely simplistic and crude description of our relationship. We were one soul, that nothing in our worlds could ever hope to tether, that was until our woven souls became casualties to the scorching flames of hatred. We lost each other—the way we used to be—in the fire. After all these moon annuals, I could still see her flawlessly breathtaking face and my entire being still responded in knee jerk reaction to her multi-faceted beauty. No matter how much I willed myself not to love her, I still ached to possess her heart as my very own; I still longed for the people we were—those people could have found a way to merge two quarrelling worlds together again, fusing us all back together as one, this time for a star millennium and beyond to the outskirts of all time.
My mind wondered aimlessly back to the celestial wood, that rested directly in the midst of our two worlds; where the sun and moon intersected. I could vividly hear the clanking of hard and sturdy steel, and the corners of my lips went up instantly in reminiscence. I was precisely 6,570 moon annuals at the time, and she was exactly 5,840 lightings of the sun. We battled as if we were experts. I had brought her to the secluded wood to train her; I do not even understand why, because we had no enemies.
Well, this was not altogether true, because the Dark Force was a deadly enemy to all living beings; including the Earthians whom lived millions of light years below us, but he was not a threat to us now, because our ancestors joined in battle with the Star Breather many, many annuals ago—driving him into the Netherworld which existed in the lower regions of all worlds. We were currently in a season of peace and prosperity, and this was generally when a people tended to get complacent in thoughtless merriment. We had completely stopped watching, meditating and training—we were taking our peace for granted. Unfortunately, this lack of regard for danger was a downfall for all kingdoms and all living beings. Watch as well as meditate, should have been our mantra, but it was not and as a result; the enemy, along with his minions—would inevitably advance against us; blasting our peace into oblivion.
Nevertheless, she desired training, because she was curious about the ways of my people in battle; Lunar Tactical Maneuvers had become the basis for much of Cierion’s way to engage an advancing enemy during wartime. While she preferred the moon peoples’ way of doing battle; I preferred her peoples’ way of doing battle. The moon peoples’ way might have been more logical and strategic, but her peoples’ way was more brash and bold. Of course, because the blood of my people coursed through my veins; my head still leaned more toward logical strategy, while my heart leaned more toward—the sun peoples’ way to combat—which was brash, bold and in your face. Their way of combat centered more on unbridled passion, and if I was being honest with myself; I had a penchant for vain glory and all the empty courageous dalliances of a young man at my maturation level, because I had never experienced real war—I glorified it in my mind. Now, I wished that I had steered clear of it altogether; if I knew the actual gruesomeness of war—I would have fought with all of my being for peace. I was covered in crimson regret, and no amount of sweet water bathing would ever remove my scarlet shame.
She too, had obviously glorified war in her mind, which is why we got along so well. She and I would play war games for hours, as children things were simple, but we had been fighting a lot more lately about silly things—we just could not seem to see eye to eye. Maybe it was because the moving from one maturation level to another, came with some growing pains that made being such close friends with the opposite sex nearly impossible. My growing attraction to her was making me crazy, and being around her carrying around this silent passion was becoming exhausting. Maybe I should just stay away from her, after all, both of our hearts had already been given away by our parents through Mandatory Nuptial Contracts, that were unbreakable. She belonged to another from her birth, and so did I, but every time my hand gently brushed against her smooth honey almond skin—without intention—my heart refused to embrace this fact.
Thus, leaving me wondering, dreaming and imagining how sweet it would be for us to be bound to one another in every single possible way—this thinking was dangerous. In fact, it could threaten to tip the balance of an already fragile kingdom. If I had known of the quiet hostility that existed between our people; would I have still risked our serenity for her love? The answer was simple, my heart thundered it even now; yes! Blow for blow, maneuver for maneuver she refused to give an inch; she was such a quick study in the art of war, absorbing everything; that I had been teaching her for the past couple of moon waves. I could have bested her easily, but instead I found slight ways to give her the advantage, so that it was made easy for her to best me. While I thought I was being clever, she was always more clever—her wit was maddening. When I allowed her the advantage of the last blow, her amber eyes licked to furious flame; no longer were they warm caramel sprinkled with dark brown sugar, they had ignited with her intense fervor.
“You are not being fair, Dane,” My heart stopped every time she called me by the nickname, that she herself gave me. My true given name and title was Danolian Fwynshool Hiyanartay crowned prince of Luniris, or People of the Moon, but with all the power, wonder and awe that this name conjured for some people; it was mundane to me when weighed against her nickname for me.
“If you refuse to give me a fair fight; why agree to train me in Lunar Tactics of battle?” By now, the cinnamon essence of her body was beginning to spill forth from her overheated pours; this was a telling sign, of a Solarians’ heightened emotions—the stronger the agitation or anger, the stronger the spicy aroma.
At this very moment, I was drunk on cinnamon. How could her people handle being around such a mind bending scent all the time?
“You gave me your word, and yet you keep holding back. Why?” My mind cleared and my body sobered at her elevated voice. She was still fuming, but all I could do was suppress a grin that was threatening to break free, and I dared not laugh because judging by her expression that had the potential to be lethal. By the Star Breather’s name, did I hold as much sway over her as she held over me? When did this happen to my heart? There was a time when she was just an ugly duckling, and I mocked her mercilessly along with her seven brothers; now she was one of the most unique and glorious of swans.
My silent glance made her agitated beyond redemption, as if she was fully abreast of my wordless mockery of her school girl temper tantrum. She sheathed her sword in heated aggravation, and started to storm off. I don’t know why I did it, perhaps I should have just let her leave; this would have ended all possibility of the trouble that we later found ourselves in. Perhaps, if I had let her leave angry enough, she never would have spoken to me again, but she was too much a part of me. I could not allow her to leave, what I should have done; gave way to what I wanted to do and what I truly wanted to do, became the beginning of our demise as a people. So, without thinking I sheathed my own sword, and dared to pursue her; ever so gently I grabbed her hand and turned her to face me. She had ventured over to the side of the wood lit by the moon; and the cloak of the moon, my moon; made her so entirely ethereal in my sight that I forgot any sort of protocol and drew her into me.
The anger had melted away from her eyes, and the cinnamon essence of her skin had mellowed to a dull permeation that still tickled all of my senses—this signaled that her mood was shifting. She fit so perfectly in my arms, and while there should have been some sort of protestation—from her—at my holding her so familiarly; she stood completely still in stunned silence looking into my eyes with fascination and wonder—almost as if she had longed for me to take her into my arms; almost as if she had been waiting for me to do just what I was doing. Did she feel the growing connection between us, a connection that had long ago exceeded that of friendship?
“You do not have to leave.” The words finally lulled softly out of my mouth, and while I spoke them as gingerly as I possibly could; it still sounded to me as if I were yelling them into the intrusive ears of the silent wood.
“Yes, I do,” She stammered, as she tried to tenderly squirm her way out of my grasp, but I was not about to let her go; my arms had ached for far too long to envelop her in this intimate oneness of our bodies. Her body began to spill forth cinnamon again; but this time it was not from agitation, frustration or anger—this time it was from something else; her passions had become awakened by the twin beating of our heart. Had she been suffering with her love for me, as I had been suffering with my love for her? I had to know, but before I could speak; she spoke first as if she could look into my eyes and tell what I was going to ask her. All of a sudden she looked like a scared rabbit in my embrace.
“You have been distant and distracted all day, not to mention you have been letting me win; as you have been doing for several sun seasons now. Why are we here, if you are going to persist in treating me as if I am breakable?” Her eyebrows furrowed slightly, but I just smiled; because she was trying to find a way to bait me with her arguments. She was trying to bait me as a means of avoiding what she was feeling. So, the little princess of the sun; did feel as deeply for me as I did for her?
“Solarias, I do not wish to fight with you. Why do you persist in trying to stoke my anger?” I had brought her wondering eyes back to rest on mine, because she was trying to avoid direct contact with me; as if not staring her emotions in the face would make them magically disappear. Oh no, she was not going to squirm her way out of this agony; she was going to feel every bit of it, as I had been feeling it.
“Why do you persist in provoking me,” She tried to squirm her way out of my grasp again, and I could feel her agitation rise as I refused to let her go. “And what gives you claim to hold me so familiarly, this embrace speaks of intimacy Prince of the Moon; and you know that that is made strictly prohibited by our Mandatory Nuptial Contracts to other parties.” She was throwing the contract up in my face, as if, I had not been reminded of that ridiculous contract every single day of my life; since I had exited my mother’s womb.
I brought her eyes to mine again, and tried to evoke my gifts of reading her soul; I did not like to use this gift often—a gift that pulsed in my veins—but she had left me no choice in the matter. Or at least I would try, because as of late she had become quite skilled at putting a veiled curtain over her soul to keep my inquiring eyes out. She was hiding something from me, and right this minute I was going to find out precisely what it was. I prayed that she had left the curtain open this time, when we were young; the curtains were always open, but recently she had managed to keep them annoyingly drawn. As I peered into the windows to her soul—all I saw there was nothing, nothing to give me hope; she had become hopelessly guarded around me, and I could not for the life of me understand why.
“What is happening to us Solarias, we used to be able to share everything with one another; yet now all I get from you are guarded imitations of what our friendship used to be?” I did not mean to spill out the contents of my heart before her, but my lips just loosened when I held her within the envelope of my arms. I was not too proud to be desperate in this moment.
“I need to go prepare for the First Star Annual celebration this eventide, and I have forgotten the lateness of the hour; Baylin, would have to be going mad to know where I am right now. I had a gown fitting early this dawn, and I slipped away from her to be with you…” She swallowed back the words of her last statement, and immediately took her eyes from mine. Something was certainly amiss; because she was bumbling through excuses, as her cheeks flushed a delicious and inviting red. I was definitely affecting her by holding her in my arms like this.
Just then her dulcet cinnamon fragrance crashed over me like a giant wave from the sea, and I was caught in its undertow; I tried not to breathe her in too much but I was intoxicated immediately. I had never smelled the cinnamon of her body to this potency, and she had been getting angry with me plenty of times lately, but still as long as we had been friends I had never experienced her delightful scent at this magnitude. I did not need to see into her eyes to know how she felt; I was being covered in the aroma of her unguarded passion. Now, in this moment I could not lie and say that warning bells were not ringing in my being; I should have let her go before it was too late. I should have accepted that, while we lived together in peace and harmony; the moon people and sun people had an understanding—a separate but equal understanding.
We were friendly with each other, we lived, worked, and honored the Star Breather—in worship—together; but we did not intermarry; the people of Luniris stayed on their side, and the people of Solarian stayed on theirs. We were afraid of sharing souls, we all smiled at each other and tolerated each other, but this, this love that I and Solarias were experiencing now—was forbidden. However, I had heard a saying many times as a youngling; a saying that clung to me and never seemed to fall away—forbidden fruit was always the sweetest. I began to wonder at the thought of letting my lips gently and passionately caress hers, I imagined savoring the sweetness of her mouth, I knew that it must have been as dulcet and saccharine as the fruit of the Moon Fern. Did I dare to pull her closer, did I dare to venture there?
She already possessed the best parts of me, to deny it would be to deny myself, but she was promised and we both could be charged with treason if it was ever found out that we broke the sacred vows of our nuptial contracts. And us experiencing passion together, was against all of our unspoken laws. Yes, I should part away from her now; we should go our separate ways, and prepare for the First Star Annual—we should pretend that we never felt this fire. I was of the moon people, and we prided ourselves on thinking logically, but my heart was yelling at me—it had taken over all of my common sense. I could have let her go, if she had resisted against me again; if she had not stared at me with those smoldering dark eyes of hers, and lifted the veiled curtains to her soul—she allowed me to see all the multifaceted colors of her passion, of her desire, of her love.
I was struck completely stupid with the revelations that, I read in her eyes; she had loved me since she was a young girl—the way she saw me was hypnotic.
“Why,” I closed my eyes in excruciating pain, at all of my desires unfulfilled and incomplete. “Why did you show me this now?” I rested my forehead gently on hers. “I could have denied my heart, buried my feelings if you had not shown me; I could have pretended that your friendship was enough.” I opened my eyes and looked down into her innocent dove’s eyes, and tears streamed down her smooth honey colored cheeks. I ached to kiss them all away.
“You needed to know, you needed to see all of my feelings Dane; if only once, if only for this moment.” She smoothed her soft fingertips against my tensed jaw, and the electricity of that touch shocked me to my very core—my mind went numb; I could no longer process or function logically, all of my reasoning skills were dead. “Good-bye.” She pushed against me, once again steeling and caging all of her emotions in; her voice held a tinge of finality, as if she were saying that we were never to see each other again. And just like that she was separated from me—walking through the wood; trying to stifle tears—I stood watching her walk out of my life. I was broken instantly, the best parts of me severed.
I could not bear that; never to see her again would be like tearing out my heart and ripping it slowly and painfully into tiny pieces. I had to have her, reason and logic be hanged; I stepped outside of myself and ran to her, and she willingly submitted as I fastened her to me again—this time I would not deny myself the saccharine touch of her mouth against mine. She had offered herself to me, and I would take what was mine.
“Dane we cannot, you know we cannot.” She tried to resist, but only briefly; she could no more resist me, then I could resist her.
And then it happened, the event that would change both of our worlds forever. Our lips touched, awkwardly and clumsily at first; but it did not take us long to find our rhythm and then the kiss was as effortless as breathing. Her mouth was so much sweeter than anything I had ever tasted, and I overindulged; her tongue was cherry wine and I was drunk on its velvety smoothness. I felt the moon crystals that, made up my blood expand and explode within me against the passionate weight of the kiss; I had experienced kisses before, but this was so much more than a kiss—this was love awakening inside of me—altering my whole being, transforming me into the man that I was always supposed to be.
The spicy cinnamon of her delicious breath, burned my lungs pleasantly; all I wanted was more—I pulled her closer—taking her hair down from the restrictive bun atop her head, and it fell like an unruly sea of curls far past her shoulders. I could not help but tangle my fingers in the soft mess, she groaned in pleasure, as she pulled herself closer to me. I needed breath, but right now; she was a far greater necessity. I could have kissed her until the universe disappeared, until all the stars from the Star Breather’s golden kingdom fell to the ground, and burned up.
She separated from the kiss to draw breath with a scrumptious giggle, but I would not let her separate too far from me as I trailed kisses against her delicate neck; and then I stopped at her ear with a chortle.
“I could never train you like a man, love, because you are far too great a treasure to me. It is not that I doubt your ability, but I could not bring myself to inflict even the smallest amount of pain upon you. To hurt you in anyway, would be like hurting myself.” I looked into her smiling eyes, and passion licked through them again; and then our lips were dancing together once more.
This time something supernatural and extravagant happened, we were sharing the same dream; a dream of our future. I saw our children, our home, our small sphere of the universe that we shared, I saw our lives stretched out like a magnificent scroll. Was she seeing this too? I stopped our kiss abruptly.
“What was that?” I glanced into her eyes in wonder.
“Dramaxa Deya, or Dream Waltzing; it is like having a shared prophetic day dream or night vision.” She laughed at my ignorance, where the moon people were more practical, the sun people held more tendency toward all things fanciful.
“But the moon people do not dream, either in the day or the night.” I reminded her.
“This is true, but the cinnamon in my blood carries with it all the essence of myself.” She smoothed the pad of her thumb against my cheek.
“Give me your essence again.” And then our lips were tangled together again. Would I ever get tired of kissing her?
“Dane?” She pushed away from me. “We have to go, people will wonder.”
“Let them wonder.” I said pulling her to me again, as I let my lips fall on hers.
“Dane, please; the First Star Annual.” Her giggles were stifled by more of my kisses.
“I would much rather be with you.”
“They will come after us.” She was still giggling.
All of sudden I stopped kissing her, and I just stared at her in complete adoration; she stopped giggling and touched my cheek softly.
“Dane, what is it?” Her voice was clouded with worry.
“Marry me.” I took her hand, and wove my fingers with hers; I wanted to be with her for the rest of the annuals that I lived, I had to be with her. So, I knelt before her. “Solarias Morsiat Hummony Garyius, Princess of Solarian; I cannot live without you; yes I could breathe and I could exist, but the only way for me to live any type of life is to be joined forever with you. Please consent to take this hopeless prince that, humbly kneels before you pledging his life, his breath and his very existence as your devoted husband.”
“Dane,” She gasped, and I could hear her appeal to my reasoning side; even before I heard the words escape her sweet lips. I rose quickly and brought her to me. “What you are asking is impossible, it has never been done; to break nuptial contracts is forbidden. Us together could get us executed, under the Unspoken Laws of Cierion. You know this Dane, we cannot be together.” She tried to back away from me.
“So, we should ignore our hearts; just to appease the unjust edicts of our families and their ancestors before them?” I was livid at her suggestion, and hurt all at once. How could she stand to my face, and discard my love like a broken toy?
“Dane, we cannot; you knew this from the start, I knew this from the start, but it does not mean that my love for you does not thrive within me, here,” She brought my hand to her heart, and it skipped a beat tenderly at my soft touch. “I long more than anything to be your wife, to bare your children; I have dreamed of it and imagined it for quite some time. You have seen it within my soul, take those thoughts, and keep them; they are yours. Please let them be enough.” Her dark eyes were pleading, but my ears fell deaf to her cries; I knew that she loved me, as I loved her and I would have her as my wife no matter the cost.
Looking back my agenda may have been far too brash and bold, but I wanted what I wanted; and my awakened heart would not let me forget.
“Do you love me?” I lulled softly in her ear, as I pulled her closer.
“You have heard my declaration, but,” She was still trying to protest, and I put my finger to her lips to quiet her protestations; I only wished to hear her heart in this moment and not logically answers of the unfeeling brain.
“Do not answer me with your head, what does your heart say?” I chortled a bit to myself, had we actually switched roles here; usually she would be the wide eyed dreamer and I would be the voice of reason? Yes, things had definitely changed, we were interwoven now, and there was no going back.
She looked at me with a pained expression, I saw the struggle in her eyes; she loved me—there was no denying that. However, did she love me enough to go against the whole Kingdom of Cierion for that love?
“I love you.” She finally spoke with tears streaming down her face, I approached her and wiped them away with the pad of my thumb.
“Then be my wife.” I whispered, and she shuddered at my closeness.
“I shall with every single beat of my heart.” She answered after an excruciating long pause of silence.
I took her up into my arms.
“Everything will work for our good, you shall see; a love this strong cannot be denied,” My heart was bursting with joy, but even as the joy began to swell; I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of dread and doom. I could feel an evil beyond definition or description lurking about, an evil that would try to thwart this purest of loves. “I shall petition your father for your hand, at tonight’s festivities; I will appeal to him so that your nuptial contract will be broken, and your heart shall be free to be joined with mine.” Even though I was smiling when I said it, I never believed that my venture would work out exactly as I said it, but I did not know that our love would cause a war either. Unfortunately, that was exactly what would happen. Tonight would mark the end of the Kingdom of Cierion forever.

~CHAPTER 2~
PRINCESS SOLARIAS

All these sun lightings later, and my mind still wondered back to the eventide; when nothing would ever be the same again. The First Star Annual when we were both still young in our maturation levels, everything crumbled to ash. The sun had decided to hide its blazing face, giving way to the ethereal glow of the moon; eventide was upon us and the Star Breather’s arrival was mere moments away. Finally, after so much poking, prodding, plucking, massaging, combing dressing and brushing; that I thought I would fall dead away from the sheer exhaustion of it all; my lady in waiting Baylin had given me some precious moments to myself, before I had to make my grand appearance in the Royal Processional. I hated any kind of party or festival, where the royals were paraded around like peacocks; to be stared at, fawned over and whispered about. I would much rather, be left to myself to indulge in the beautiful healing tranquility of the palace gardens; while reading a perfectly well written piece of literature or meditating on the magnificence of the Star Breather.
I had been born into privilege, responsibility, duty and obligation. I was supposed to enjoy being the center of attention, but the fact of the matter was that, I hated it and not just hated it; I loathed it with a passion. I always felt so awkward and ugly, I never knew what to say, or do when standing beneath the critical glances and judgments of the populace. I just did not belong there. I was the Solarians’ only princess, and the youngest of seven older brothers. Some days I felt as if mother and father should have just stopped while they were ahead. As I stood in front of my floor length golden mirror, all I saw was every single flaw and blemish on me; all of which the populace would be whispering about tomorrow. Were my hips too ample, would they be able to tell that the golden circlet around my head weighed a ton, was my make up too heavy or not enough, did I need to do more work on my upper body to develop more sleek muscle? I over obsessed! I wanted to be perfect. A plus though, was the dress; mother and Baylin had great taste.
The fabric for my glorious gown had been picked out a few sun seasons ago, and delivered all the way from the Star Realms. It was as if I were wearing every hue of the sun, the magenta of the early dawn; the brilliant yellow of the noon day sun, the fiery orange of dusk, the soft subtle pink of the sunset. I twirled once, and when I looked at my reflection in the mirror again; I jumped in unexpected fright because he was standing right behind me, and had enveloped me in his arms resting his chin on my exposed shoulder with a boyish grin that set his light sapphire eyes ablaze. I should have been able to feel his presence, but my senses had been occupied with myself. I blushed all over to think how long he had been standing in the shadows of my chambers watching me. Had he been there all along?
“Stop.” He lulled softly in my ear, bringing me around to face him and pulling me into him gently.
I knew what he meant in his firm and gentle chide, but I would not acknowledge it; I would pretend that I did not know. Besides, it was easy for him to talk; with all of his statuesque perfection. You could have carved this man out of ivory stone; he was so perfect, I would wager that he only took a maximum of five minutes to get himself that perfect; while my metamorphosis took an hour and a half, and I still felt incomplete. His tunic was a frosty gray, and sparkled with moon stone dust. He wore his simple gold circlet around a mess of sun bleached hair. I hated him.
He lived for the attention, he was always so lively and outgoing; every woman that came in contact with him wanted him, and I suddenly wondered in the depths of my soul why he would choose me, out of so many much more beautiful options.
“You cannot see yourself the way I do love,” He rested his forehead on mine with a light chuckle, a chuckle that sounded like a gathering of harmonious song; my cheeks burned, because I had mindlessly left my soul wide open for his viewing pleasure, and he had been reading all of my private musings. “If you could, you would see why I am blind, deaf and dumb to every other woman’s charms save yours. I told you, I treasure you and I am willing to pay any price.” He brought his delicious lips to mine, an aroma of fresh cucumber and mint leaves covered him; especially when his emotions were exposed. He spoke of my overpowering aroma, but his people smelled like this all the time.
Where the sun people held the aroma of soothing spice, the moon people held the aroma of a cool and soothing breeze. I wanted his kiss, did he realize how easily it was for me to surrender to his kiss before. I had imagined his lips moving with mine for so very long; he was blessed with lack of dreams, but I was cursed with them, because the same one had played over and over again night after night—only to find that with the turn of the sun light they melted into nothingness. Maybe right now, right this very moment; I was dreaming being safely locked in his strong embrace.
I backed away from him quickly before his mesmerizing kiss could find its purchase.
“Dane, I have caused myself enough trouble with Baylin already; she is still livid with me for abandoning her to play war games with you this dawn. If you do not leave my chambers right this second; I am sure that she would have no problem killing you with her bare hands.” I giggled while backing away from the hunter that, had obviously found his target and refused to be deterred from catching exactly what he wanted. “Now, Dane I mean it.” I laughed, as he caught me and allowed his eyes to caress me; I shuddered at his vehement stare. How could this man possibly arouse me, with just a glance; was this one of his gifts as well?
He took my lips, and I fell into a refreshing waterfall; all of my fears were soothed and washed away. When his thirst for me was satiated, he placed his forehead on mine; leaving me breathless.
“How could I deny myself such pleasure for so long?” He grinned a breathtaking dimpled grin, and caressed my lips softly with his. “How could you possibly think that you are not enough for me?” He brushed his fingers against my cheek, with an awed expression upon his countenance. “Antiqua.” He breathed, in the language of Luniris.
I narrowed my eyes in bewilderment, because I had no idea what he had just spoken to me; while we had been schooled in an elementary version of each other’s languages; I had no idea what the word he just spoke meant.
“Sufficient.” He breathed into my ear in hushed tones, and the music of his passion wrapped around my ear drum like star mist.
“You have to go,” My speech was dreamy, and unfocused as I slowly recovered from his inebriating words. “Baylin, will be returning any moment, besides should you not be preparing for the Royal Processional?”
He placed a light kiss on my forehead, as mischief struck his cloudless eyes.
“What is there really to prepare for, all we are doing is walking.” He whispered as he pulled me closer.
“I know that, court jester; but you cannot be here when Baylin returns or heads will roll.” I tried to be stern, but it was rather difficult with a smile on my face.
“Are you still sure about tonight?” For once in his life, Prince Danolian was humble and vulnerable. How could he be unsure of my love? His vulnerability made me crazy with love for him. I always assumed that he was so confident. He could have any woman he wanted.
“But all I want is you.” His words were almost unintelligible, if I had not been really listening; I would have missed them entirely.
I brushed my fingertips gently against his tensed jaw.
“If you are still sure that you want to risk it all, I am still sure. I have wanted nothing more in all of my 5,000 sun lightings than to be your wife.” I draped my arms around his broad shoulders, and the confident and effortless smile was returned to his unsure face.
“I cannot wait until your father gives his blessing,” His eyes eclipsed mine. “I want to be joined to you right away. I do not care about the fanfare of a royal wedding. I must have you as soon as possible, I have waited to call you mine long enough.”
“I agree, just something very simple; very intimate.” I placed my forehead gently to his, closing my eyes at his closeness drinking all of his cucumber mint scent in like aroma therapy.
“How about tonight, the Star Breather will be here; and everyone is already gathered, we are already dressed for the occasion. What is the delay? I wish to make you my all tonight.” He wove his fingers in mine.
“Well, we do not have a ring, my prince.” I was basking in the glow of the excitement of our being joined together.
“Actually, I made one for you, and I know that you will love it.” He shyly took a gold chain from around his neck, I had not even noticed it before he did so, and he took my hand gingerly in his and dropped the gold chain in my palm and cocooned my hand around it. “For my lady.” His eyes were blue shooting stars exploding, it was beautiful; I couldn’t look away.
When I opened my hand, I drew in a sharp gasp at its brilliance and simplistic beauty. Where had he found the time to do this? He could not possibly have done this in such a short period of time; it looked as if it had been carved by a master. It was light blue moon rock carved into a wedding band, shining and shimmering and the dazzling piece of a falling star—sitting in the middle of the band—would have put even the most flawless diamond to shame as it cast rainbow prisms between the two of us, in my dim chambers.
“Dane,” Tears were clouding my vision, because through this breathtaking wedding band; I knew that he saw me, he knew me, he understood me better than anyone else. The falling star piece was even modestly set into the moon rock band, not too small and not too large, but just right. The ring was not too ostentatious as to draw attention to me, because he knew that I did not like the spotlight. “It is so beautiful, and so me.”
“So, you love it then?” He brought my eyes back to his, because my attention had been stolen away by his gift of love.
“Yes, how did you find time to do this, love?” I slipped the ring off of the chain, and onto my finger; the band even fit like a glove. How did he even know my exact size?
“It was a small feat, really, I could have carved this in my sleep. We moon people may not be artists, as you sun people are; but there is nothing that cannot be done if you have an understanding of simple science and mathematics.” He smoothed the pad of his thumb against my cheek.
“So, love of my very existence,” I draped my arms around his broad shoulders, and he pulled me closer. “You figured out this design using nothing more than your moon logic?”
“And love, because without that, a man can hope to do nothing.” His delicious dimples became visible with his blinding smile of delight. “Are you planning on wearing it out tonight?”
“Definitely.” I rested my head on his granite shoulder, and closed my eyes as he swayed me back and forth in his embrace.
“Our families will grow suspicious.” Worry suddenly cloaked his voice.
If I had been more worried, maybe I would not have been so careless; but I was floating on a cloud of ecstasy, breathing in the dulcet perfume of love, and it was this kind of witless happiness that left a person blind to any evil. I should have been walking with my eyes open, so many sun lightings later and I realized just how naïve we both were to think that our love would not cause a fatal rift in an already fragile kingdom. I did not notice the holes in our serenity then, I did not clearly perceive all of the hidden animosity and silent disunity that existed among us, but I should have, we should have.
“I have to go, love,” He lulled softly. “I will see you at the processional in a moment.” He kissed me atop my head.
“So, you are proposing and dashing?” I smiled, and his body vibrated with a soft chortle.
“Not by choice, my love, trust me. I can hear Baylin’s soul loud in my ears, which means she is awfully close. And she is still quite livid with the both of us, best not stoke the fires of her ire.” His voice held an amused grin.
“Please, convince me that I am not dreaming; I fear that, if you leave me now, this moment will melt away in a vapor of smoke. Please stay.” I whispered desperately.
He brought my eyes to his.
“How I wish I could do just that, my love; wait until tonight. After tonight, I am all yours and I will never leave your side again.” He kissed me softly. “Just wait until tonight, my sun maiden; and we shall love until all of our pleasures have been satisfied. And you are not dreaming, you are wide awake; everything that has happened has happened in the world of reality.” He kissed me one last time, and then he was gone just as quickly as he had come; out onto the balcony and down the sturdy oak that had stood beside it for more than a complete turn of the sun.
The people of the moon were experienced climbers, as lithe and agile as cats; they were like phantoms of the trees—when I ran for the balcony to see him off—all I heard was the word tonight on the breeze as he disappeared into the fog of the moon. He had made a narrow escape, because right at that very moment Baylin came barreling into my room barking orders; exactly who was the lady and who was the servant here? She had to more than 30,000 sun lightings, but she bore no wrinkles or signs of her maturation level. Her skin was as dark as the beans that fell from the sun bean trees, and her curvy and sturdy frame spoke of power and strength; she was at least a whole foot and a half taller than me, and while she carried a stern and no nonsense air about her—she was all kindness and compassion.
I did not know how mature Baylin was, because she never shared that detail freely, but all I know is that she had been serving my family for as long as I could remember. And while she was like a mother to me, sometimes I just wanted to make her understand that I was no longer a child.
“Lady, the Star Breather and His escorts have arrived,” Her voice was all wonder and bewilderment at the mere mention of his Great Name. I had heard tell of his majestic and regal air, but like most in this phase of the universe; none, had yet come face to face with him. The Star Breather hardly made public appearances, he was very enigmatic and elusive; which is why the kingdom was in such an uproar over His coming—many people would be satisfied with just a touch of His garment.
I wanted more, I wanted to exchange words; that is, if I could get them out of my mouth.
“My lady, make haste; they are lining up the Royal Processional as we speak and you are still not ready. I did not leave you in this room alone to dawdle and day dream, and I most certainly did not leave you alone to entertain that rebellious little prince of the moon.” She put her hands on her ample hips, and gave me a narrow glare, but before I could open my mouth to deny her accusations; she threw her hand up to quiet me. “Do not insult me with your denials, we have no time.”
Did she really know everything?
“I see that you are wondering at my knowledge of his being here, young lady, I have a nose do I not? You might as well have cut a whole bushel of cucumbers in here, and my head is sick from the smell of mint leaves.” She fanned my opened balcony door, to release the smells of my love, but smells that offended her just bought succor and healing to my soul. “Now put on your shoes and let us be off, we do not want to bring reproach upon your family.”
I marched over to my shoes, and slid my foot into the stifling shoes that, matched the colors of my gown perfectly. I had to admit that I was not in the best of moods, and Baylin picked up on my sour mood immediately.
“And you can stop it with the attitude, this is an important day for your mother and father; no use shirking your responsibility. I do not care if you feel like smiling or not, you will smile this eventide.” Her voice was lovingly stern, and I do not know what possessed me to talk back, because I had never dared to talk back to her before but something in me just rebelled.
“Am I ever going to be able to make decisions for myself, I am so sick of decisions being made for me; I have reached the maturation level that allows me to dictate the course of my own existence.” I spoke boldly.
Baylin was tiring of my tart comments, just as soon as I had given them.
“What is vexing you this eventide, my lady? We have been planning for this celebration for many sun seasons, a woman that has reached a full maturation level; would know and understand her obligations, responsibilities and duties. You are royal, and your position dictates that you do things that, may not always be to your liking.” She crossed her huge arms, about her ample bosom as she approached me. “I am afraid, my love, that you still have much growing to do.” She let all the sternness out of her tone, and it gave way to pure unconditional love. “You know, if you were born in the Earthian Realm; you would be what is known as a teenager, or a young individual just beginning to live. I am not too mature, to understand how the middle of life is for a being; these are confusing times for you, you are no longer at the maturation level of a youngling, but you are not at the maturation level of an ancient either—you are basically stuck somewhere painfully in the middle. You are still trying to discover just who you are, and what you want.” She smiled, and touched her warm hand to my cheek. “Take heart my love, these times will not last forever; they change and grow with every new sun.”
I hugged Baylin tightly, and she laughed heartily as she hugged me back; I knew that she was right in a way. I was indeed experiencing growing pains, but the complications and stirrings of first true love—just made the pains all the more excruciating. I wished that I could tell her what was going on between Dane and I, she was not wise to what our relationship had become; she merely thought that we were still two mischievous children playing in the wood before our sleep cycles, but in just a short time we had become far more. I would allow her to remain blissfully ignorant for now, because soon everyone would know just how deep mine and Dane’s relationship went. Would it be deemed as something ugly and unlawful, or would our people acknowledge this love for what it was; perfect love? As I hugged Baylin close, I doubted the possibility of this; I could feel something lurking in the air—some evil consequence hanging on the stars ready to strike. Something had been bubbling deep within all of us under the surface, and that night; I felt as if it would finally explode.

~CHAPTER 3~
PRINCE DANOLIAN
When I was going through my years of schooling, I fondly remembered public speaking because I excelled at it. I had received high marks from all of my elocution tutors, and they raved about my ability to persuade the harshest of critics to my way of thinking; simply by my gifting of speech delivery, I knew that I was born with a silver tongue and I had always found a way to use it to my advantage. In fact, one of my tutors in exit schooling actually tried to persuade me to pursue a career as a Carrier of Justice, arguing people’s rights by the Unspoken Laws of our land.
If I was being honest, I was pretty much a loose branch in the wind; I had no inkling of what I wanted to do with my life. My elder brother Kantono, had it so easily; his career had been handed him from birth. He was the sovereign in waiting; he was to be the next king of the moon people—after my father sailed on the Mystical Shores to the Celestial Mountains far beyond the High Star Realms. While I envied my brother, because his career had been chosen, and he did not need to make that choice for his future; I most certainly did not envy him the career that was chosen for him. I longed to be free to pick up and go as I pleased, and when an individual was king; they were subject to the needs of the people all of their life—it was like being in a gilded prison—a breathtakingly beautiful prison, but a prison nonetheless.
I looked at myself in the mirror, trying to rein in my emotions; because I knew my gifting as a speaker, but this time I was not trying to get a good mark in some class—this time I was fighting to win the hand of my lady love—and that was a far more treasured prize than any high mark. Maybe if I went over what I was going to say, I would have some sort of logical strategy in place; while I was all for speaking from the heart—it would not hurt to have some solid counter arguments prepared, just in case arguments arose.
Tranquil Negotiations had always worked in the past, and I prayed that the Board of Elders would not let me down now; but who was I kidding myself? I was not some helpless pig farmer bringing my complaint before the board; about a careless citizen hitting his prized animal in a speeding chariot on accident—tonight I would be putting the Unspoken Laws on trial, and trying to prove that the establishing of Mandatory Nuptial Contracts was wrong. I was petitioning the elders and kings for a change of law, and I knew that there were major risks involved here; a risk that everything that we had ever stood for could come undone at the seams.
However, for Solarias Morsiat Hummony Garyius, Princess of Solarian; I was willing to put my own life on the line, for her hand and her heart—I was actually willing to die. And that realization thrilled me and frightened me to my very core. Perhaps, I should lead the argument with that; I loved her with my entire being and this love should be enough to break any law—ancient or not.
While the speech—swirling around in my head—sounded heartfelt and passionate enough; I could not shake the nagging fear that they still would lean toward the ways of old. I was so frustrated right now. Why was this so hard? Solarias and I, deserved happiness; we should be together—our hearts demanded it. Yes, I was promised to a maiden of the moon by the nuptial contract, but love was never meant to be expressed this way. My face twisted in disgust, an arranged marriage. I tried to process the foreign concept in my mind. I should be accepting of it; it was after all the way Solarias’ parents, and my parents lived out their lives; and they seemed to be in love. I supposed that love could blossom and grow in time, and Brynyana seemed to be a nice enough girl. She was tall in stature, and beautiful, but I had only met her a handful of times and every single time we seemed to have very little to talk about. It would be a really boring marriage.
Besides, my heart was already engaged elsewhere and there was no way for me to retrieve it back—Solarias had irrevocably robbed me of my heart, soul and spirit; I could not take them from her without doing irreversible harm to myself. I plopped down on my bed, and shut my eyes in extreme pain. What if this did not work? What if they made us separate permanently? I could not deal with that, not after being with her for most of my life. We had grown up together, she was as much a part of me as my own bone and marrow.
If the elders did not want us to fall in love, why would they have even allowed me to occupy the same space as such a sweet temptation? That was beyond cruel, it was almost as if they were trying to taunt and torment me with a dream or wish I could never hope to have. If I did not win her for my very own, after petitioning the elders; how could I ever look her in the eyes again? If I could not find a way to win her as my wife, I would retreat to the far reaches of the galaxy never to return; I refused to live in a place that was so unjust. And if I was really bold and courageous, I would steal her away in the night and take her with me, so that we could live in peace with each other and make a home all our own. I sat up in my bed, and stared out into space; tonight I was fighting for everything I held dear—tonight I was fighting for my future.
Just as I had finished my thought, Kantono intruded into my room with no warning; which was something that he always did. When I looked at his beaming countenance, my stomach turned at his sickening happiness. If only I could be that carefree, but there was far too much at stake for me to experience such mindless joy.
“So, little brother, are you ready for tonight’s festivities?” He plopped down hard on my bed, while rubbing his hands together as if he were getting ready to enjoy a delectable snack; which would not have been out of character for him—considering that he was always eating something, but he never lost his athletic build. We had been known to play moon ball from time to time, and he would not give an inch on the brutality of the game; even if I was his little brother.
My brother and I looked so much alike, and we were as close as two brothers could possibly be; we talked about everything. How I wished that I could divulge all of my heart, thoughts and feelings to him now, but he would not understand. He was the sovereign in waiting, and the laws had been ingrained in him from his birth; he would probably tell me to dismiss Solarias from my heart, and never think on her again; as if that were as simple as willing it so.
“Little brother are you feeling alright, you look a little piqued; is there anything that I could do for you?” He sounded genuinely worried, so I decided to jest with him a bit to lighten the mood.
“No thanks mother, I will mend.” I chortled softly.
And in the twinkling of an eye, my brother had me in a head lock; I had not seen it coming but I refused to surrender. Why did older brothers always enjoy, inflicting pain on the younger so much? Black edges were beginning to blur around my vision. I was about to lose consciousness, but I would not give him the satisfaction of saying the word, surrender. And with each second of my stubbornness, my brother’s grip became tighter and tighter; as a burst of maniacal laughter broke forth from his gut.
“You might as well surrender, little brother; because I am not letting go until you do.” His grip became tighter, as his laughter became louder.
“Never!” I spoke obstinately through a blocked trachea.
“Alright, you asked for it.” And his grip became tighter, with my refusal to surrender.
I had to find a way out of his powerful grip, the moon people were known for being gifted powerful strength; I had once heard tell—as a boy—that our strength was the equivalent of about ten regular Earthian men. However, because all the men of my race, possessed this gifting; I did not really perceive it as anything particularly extraordinary.
By now he was assuming that he had bested me, but when he lost concentration for a split moment in time—I found my opportunity to get free, and I seized that opportunity with unmerciful vengeance. I breathed in what breath I could manage to get into my blocked trachea, and I built up enough strength in my arm to raise it up; and while my brother was enjoying his hearty laugh at my expense—I hit him as hard as I could in his gut and his grip loosened, and fell away as he went to hold his injured stomach. I coughed out as I stood up straight, and then it was my turn to take pleasure in my brother’s pain as he stood inches away from me bent over; still trying to ease the pain of the blow that I had inflicted.
“Well, it looks as if you have underestimated my strength brother; I will wager that you wish that you would have just released me.” I was actually relishing his agony, I would never understand our display of brotherly love.
He conceded with a smile, as he finally stood up straight still nursing his affliction.
“Touche, I have taught you well; little brother.” He punched me in my shoulder, with brotherly affection.
I plopped back down on my bed, enjoying the circulation of fresh air. I had to admit that the rough housing was a welcome distraction from my problems, but when all the excitement died down; I was left to worry about my issues once more. My brother was far too receptive, and he wrapped his arm around me in protection as he plopped down beside me.
“I am no simpleton brother, something is bothering you; I have noticed it for awhile now. What is it?” His light blue eyes were mine, but the lines of wisdom upon his face were not; he had a few thousand moon annuals on me, and the kingly training had taught him to cater to the needs of the people, which would explain how he knew that I was being inwardly tormented.
I would have to lie to him, but would he be too perceptive to see through the veil of my falsehood? Either way, I would have to try.
“It is nothing brother.” I tried to keep my voice emotionless, and I cloaked the windows to my soul, so that he could not read the truth within its depths.
Kantono looked away from me, and I knew that I had been made; when he sighed out deeply and withdrew his arm from around me, and rested his hands in his lap.
“It is Solarias, is it not?” He looked back into my eyes, and I knew that he was reading me. How could he possibly have known that, I tried so hard to conceal it? I made no answer, and Kantono sighed a sigh of displeasure—the sigh of a disappointed father.
“I knew that it was dangerous for us to mingle with the Solarians, I had spoken to the elders long ago; during my sovereign training—we should have separated into our own kingdom many annuals ago. To mingle and weave in and out of each others’ lives; is bound to have disastrous results as far as soul connection goes. To know a race of people, will inevitably lead to understanding and understanding leads to respect, respect leads to friendship and friendship leads to love.” He ran his fingers through his sun bleached hair, in frustration. How could he speak this way? I thought that he and Solarias’ brothers were so close. I thought that he loved the Solarians as I did. I thought the people of Luniris and the people of Solarian were the people of Cierion all together, I foolishly assumed that we were one; hearing my brother speak I finally understood—tolerance was simply that tolerance, but tolerance was not love.
We had a semblance of friendship only, we were not family; we were two separate races of people that coexisted with each other—nothing more. How had I missed our quiet hatred of each other?
“Brother, are we not still one people?” I had to learn how deep the hatred went, was it only a select few elders that felt as my brother did; or was it all of them.
“Hardly.” He scoffed. “The people of Luniris have their own side, and the people of Solarian have theirs; the elders are in the middle of talks to disband the kingdom of Cierion, splitting the kingdoms in half; a barrier is to be erected between the kingdoms to avoid any further intermingling—this way misunderstandings can be avoided.”
He had taken my heart out, and crushed it with his bare hands; his words had made me nauseated, I was going to lose all the contents of my stomach if I did not move around. I turned toward my balcony, and stared straight into the ethereal glow of the moon—it always seemed to calm my raging emotions; the last thing I needed right now was to become unhinged in front of my brother, and have him run back to the elders and tell them all about my feelings for Solarias—this could put her in danger. And she was wearing my specially designed ring for her tonight. What if someone noticed? I swallowed down the rising bowel in my throat.
“Are Tranquil Negotiations no longer enough to help us to see past our differences, why is segregation the only solution to repair our problems?” I folded my arms across my chest, while speaking the words impassively.
“There has been a breakdown in Tranquil Negotiations for quite sometime,” My brother rose from my bed, and walked over to stand before me; and he was actually smiling at the terrible words that he was speaking. “You are still at a maturation level that, lends itself well to change, Danolian. When the kingdoms finally split, it will be as if they were always that way; and they have been. We have always dwelled on our own sides, the barrier will just solidify our separation—this is the only way.” He spoke in sweet honeyed tones, trying to convince me that his prejudice was justified; he looked at the expression on my face and his smile dropped. “Look, Danolian, I know that you believe that Solarias is your friend, but this not the natural course of things—she is a nice enough girl—but she is not your kind. Now, Brynyana is growing to be quite the moon maiden.”
I screamed inside my head, then you marry her, but I said nothing aloud, I was far too mortified by his words to speak. Kantono must have noticed the look in my eye, because his countenance distorted in disapproval and his next words were harsh.
“What is that look for brother? You must evolve and grow, just like all the rest of us,” His voice was all arrogance and condescension. “We have decided that we just cannot understand each other, and do we really have to? We are of different races, and those differences are bound to cause war; why not just break apart while we still can, peaceably? Why pretend that we can dwell amicably together, when we cannot?”
I was livid, this was not the Star Breather’s way at all; did he even know of the elders’ decision? They were making too much of our differences, they were forgetting that we needed each other to survive. How could we just abandon each other, because of differences that the Star Breather created? Why did they not understand that it was our differences that made us all beautiful?
“Does the Star Breather know this?” I spoke through strained emotions, I could only speak in a whisper, because I feared that if I spoke any louder; I would explode into millions of emotions all at once.
“We shall petition him, tonight, Danolian. Of course, the people of both kingdoms will be able to vote on the motion, and the people shall decide their own fate.” The grin returned to his carefree face, and the light returned to his light blue eyes.
“This is not right.” I spoke through gritted teeth, and my eyes narrowed fiercely. I wanted nothing more than to punch my brother right in the face, he did after all represent the perverse system; all of them were filled with such unforgivable hatred and I would like nothing more than to beat it out of each and every last one of them.
I stormed away from my brother, and he walked right after me and pulled my arm twisting me around to face him; his look was as ferocious as mine. He was losing control, and his eyes told the tale, because they had become a richer and darker blue and I could see moon prisms collide within their depths. I am sure that mine were the same, this subject had stirred some deep passions in both of us. For the first time in my life, my dear brother and I were on opposite sides of what was right and what was wrong.
“Never turn your back on me.” He snarled. “How dare you determine what is right and wrong in this matter, the only reason that you find it so unfavorable is because you have developed an itch for some little sun strumpet. Bed her and come back to your senses, little brother, you will find that that is where her value ends.”
His statements lit an unquenchable fire in me, and I responded the only way I knew how; I hit him so hard that he landed a whole foot away from where I stood.
“You watch your tongue when you are speaking about the maiden that I love, her value is priceless, brother, and you will never make her cheap—no matter how hard you try.” I pointed at him, as he looked stunned at me from where he sat on the floor; trying to shake off my blow. His eyes had grown darker until they were almost black, I had split his bottom lip with my blow and he was dripping crimson all over his celebration garments.
“Love?” He laughed. “We shall see what the elders think about that.”
“You do not have to worry about going and reporting anything to them, you all can present your petitions before the Star Breather if you wish; but I shall bring your laws into question right in His presence. Let us see you justify them before the author of love, and see what He thinks about your hateful edicts.” I growled as I prepared to exit my chambers.
“If you walk out that door Danolian, we are no longer brothers!” He thundered.
“If that is your wish.” I opened my door, and took a step out.
“I mean it, Danolian!” He threatened.
“And so do I,” I lowered my tone, and turned back to face my brother, who was still sitting on the floor. “If my love for her must divide us, then so be it. You, the elders and the kings are wrong brother, and tonight I will make sure that the entire kingdom knows it.” I sighed deeply, and turned around again.
“You know that you cannot win this little brother, renounce your previous comments and we never have to discuss it again, but if you go against the Board of Elders; you will lose everything.” His voice had lost some of its venom as he pleaded.
“Perhaps, but my conscience shall be clear.” And that is when I closed the door behind me, severing my relationship with my brother; whom once upon a time I had admired and adored.
I should have felt a sense of loss in leaving my brother behind, but all I felt was a strange inner peace that radiated from my core outward. I was right, and whether or not the kingdoms separated tonight; I would never stop seeking after justice. Love was worth dying for, and I would willingly give my life if that was the price to own her heart; could this been deemed a little melodramatic? Well, to some beings, I suppose it could, but to me it was necessary. I loved her with my whole self and no amount of hatred could ever extinguish that love. I would fight for her, no matter if I won or lost.

 

~CHAPTER 4~
PRINCESS SOLARIAS
The Star Breather sat upon his throne of honor, overlooking every royal’s entrance; and he was breathtakingly beautiful in all of his regal majesty. His tunic was a collection of all the realms of the galaxy. He wore the deep aquamarine tones of every ocean in the Earthian Realm; he wore every single hue of the sun, along with every single shade of the moon, every single ring of each planet was represented by the bracelets that he wore on each arm, and there was star dust embedded in every inch of his bronzed skin. His eyes were a deeper and richer amber; than any member of the sun people and his wild yet tame ebony mane, held brilliant golden streaks that were much more brilliant than the people of the moon’s golden hued hair.
To look directly at him, was nearly impossible because he was surrounded by a bright and colorful rainbow; that followed him every single place He went. He had brought twelve of His escorts, all of them looked stern, but they wore pure and perfect love in their eyes. I tried to read out their emotions, but I found myself baffled by what I felt in them; how could a person handle the weight of their kind of love, because love was all they felt at all times; this did not change with the passing of moments—it ever remained the same. No being, but these flawless beings could even fathom that kind of love. I was slated to sing for the Master of the Universe, and his escorts—as part of the festivities—and I shuddered at the prospect of exposing myself in that fashion before them. What music could I possibly offer, how could my sounds of worship compare with the sounds of the High Star Realms? Like everyone else in the room, I was taken away by all the wonder of him. I was frightened and eager to be near to him. Would he really love me? Would he see my heart past all of my imperfections? By faith, I knew that the answer to both of these questions would be a loud and resounding, yes; with no hesitation on the King of the Universe’s part.
The Processional of Royals seemed to drag on forever, and my mind had long since gone numb at the announcing of every courtier, knight, page, dame, lady, lord and so on and so forth. And not only did all the royals of Cierion have to be announced, but there were also present members of royalty from the Low Star Realms, which is where my betrothed was from. According to the Mandatory Nuptial Contract, I had been promised to Barongard, the Duke of the Lower Star Realms; and while the duke was pleasing to the eyes—he knew this too well and this nullified his beauty to me substantially.
Besides he was ten star fallings my senior, and while he did not look to be that much older than me—I cringed to think of the mountains of experience that he had with other damsels and maidens. The way he thrived on the attention of the lady population; gave me the sneaking suspicion that, his love for this attention would not end after we were joined in holy matrimony. He was nothing like the beautiful beloved that, my heart had chosen; Dane was far fairer to me than twenty Barongards. Why would the elders bar us from marrying? If they would allow me to marry one from the star realms, surely they could not object to my marrying one of the moon people, but alas this was just another glaring inconsistency in our laws; marrying individuals from the star realms was accepted, because both the people of the moon and the people of the sun were made up of a fraction of star dust.
However, if we were all made up of the dust of stars; should not this fact connect us and bind us together? Unfortunately, the answer to this question was no, people of the moon and people of the sun were somehow different, but every time Dane touched me—those differences seemed to fade away into nothingness. I loved him with every measure of the sun that pulsed through my veins, and it was every single moon prism that pulsed in his veins that made me love him even the more. I knew that we were different, but our differences only served to make us stronger. Why could not both of our worlds see this, and embrace it? We were one. I smiled as I brushed my thumb against Dane’s symbol of unconditional love; that rested comfortably on my ring finger. Soon, I would be his wife. When the kingdom herald, finally began announcing the high royals of Cierion; I mentally prepared myself to parade myself before the waiting populace, but my heart sank when I began looking around for my love. Dane was noticeably absent from the processional. Where was he? He said that he would meet me here.
Had he changed his mind? Would he not petition the Board of Elders this eventide? A million doubts raced through my heart. Either he was having second doubts, or every sweet confession of love had been a dream elaborately concocted by my own overactive imagination. Every class of being in our kingdom had all convened in the extravagant glass palace—from the lowliest peasant to the highest royal—we all stood side by side; with the stars and moon illuminating the palace with its magnificent light, I could even see trails of sunlight—just hiding beneath the cloak of night.
The trumpets blasted loudly to signal our entry, and the thundering blasts pulled me immediately out of my reverie. My brother Allius, held out his arm for me to hold onto.
“Come with me Sun Spot.” He said with an affectionate chortle, and I could not help but giggle a little—even though I was far too mature for his pet name for me—as I took his arm tentatively. I knew that a being was not supposed to have favorite siblings, but I cherished Allius better than all of my other brothers; maybe it was because we were so close in maturation level, but whatever it was he seemed to really understand me.
He was tall and beautiful with his cinnamon skin and wavy hair, his amber eyes were always full of mirth and carefree fancy. He was a very talented painter and poet, and both sun and moon maidens—alike–adored him. He looked as if; he himself could have been constructed out of that sun clay he was always using to mold and shape sculptures.
“So, where were you today, Sun Spot; I searched high and low for you, because I had some new verses that I wanted to run by you, but Baylin told me that you were out playing around with Danolian. You know, it was wrong of you to make her so livid.” He whispered in my ear with a light chuckle. “Apparently, you dashed out on a gown fitting, and it was hilarious to watch her go on the war path.”
“You really should not mock her when she is like that Ally, you just make matters so much worse.” I chided him, while stifling a smile.
“Yes, but it is so much fun.”
“What is the new poem called?”
“Hidden Sun.” His voice lit up with excitement.
The herald had already made it through Dane’s entire family, and still I could not see him anywhere; I bit my bottom lip in anxious tension at his absence.
“Do not fret, Sun Spot; he will be here, I cannot imagine his wanting to miss dancing with the most beautiful creature here.” My cheeks colored at his compliment, he was too perceptive.
“How much do you know, Ally?” I avoided his eyes.
“More than you think.” He brought his voice down lower, so that no one else could hear but us. “He was brilliant at hiding his feelings from our older brothers, but we are friends he and I; and while he tried to shield his feelings for you from me, he would always let down his guard in front of me. Every time, he looked at you Sun Spot, I could feel it. His love for you is so pure and real; it is all consuming and overwhelming. In fact, I am surprised that his love for you did not rip him in twain. You do not realize your power over him, he could not stay away from this place if he tried.”
“He wants to marry me.” I whispered.
“I know.” He responded sadly.
“Do you think that the elders will allow it?”
“No.” His response was solemn.
“You think that they will deny it?” My heart shattered into a thousand pieces.
“With a passion.” He gave his resolved answer without hesitation.
“But why?”
“They are afraid of it, Sun Spot; scared to death of it. Where have you been? Did you not know that, the elders are trying to vote to end the kingdom such as it is?” I was surprised that we could even hear each other anymore we were talking so quietly.
“What do you mean?” I was shocked at his statements, I had been too caught up in dreams to realize that my world was crumbling all around me, I was in a sinking ship and I did not even feel myself drowning.
“The Elders of the Board have not been getting along too well these days, they can no longer agree on anything; it has become moon elders against sun elders and things are getting worse. After tonight’s petition Cierion will be no more, and then the elders will work on erecting barriers; so that the people of the sun and moon will forever be separate.” His voice was clouded with pain and hurt. “I knew that this was a long time coming, I just did not think that our kingdom would implode so soon.”
“Ally, they cannot do this.” I was beyond consoling, my insides were going numb; I could no longer feel anything—I could only think of Dane.
“They can, Sun Spot, they can and they will.” While he was hurting, he would soon mend; I on the other hand would walk around an open wound.
“Where is Dane, I must see Dane.” I was losing control of my emotions, I could feel myself crashing; but Allius held me up with his powerful strength. I could not bear this.
“Hoonanan fiya, hoonanan fiya, hoonanan fiya.” Allius’ words were a popular prayer chant in the sun language; he was saying peace be steal over and over again, until the words could register in my spirit and I seemed to calm instantly when they did. “Sun Spot, are you alright?” His voice was cloaked in worry; as we approached the herald to be introduced.
All I could do was nod my head, in the motion of yes, but I was so far from okay—I was falling apart. And all I saw was the herald’s mouth move, but no words were coming out; I walked to my throne beside Allius’s in a trance. I did not care about the gasps of delighted pleasure over my gown; all I wanted to do was go over and take my seat before I fainted dead away. Allius held my hand tightly when we were seated.
“He is here.” He whispered, thinking that Dane’s arrival would offer me some form of tranquility, but all his presence caused me was excruciating pain. For one thing, his feelings were in an intense uproar; as if he had been fighting—I could feel his boiling anger when his eyes rested on mine, but then he ripped them away so quickly that, I was not even sure that he had been looking at me in the first place. What was he doing? He had missed the processional; and he was standing perfectly still in the middle of the floor, just then a figure shrouded in black robes came in right behind him and the dark figure was flanked with his own entourage of evil escorts. All of the men in black were covered from head to toe, no one in the room could see their faces.
Something was very wrong here, the whole entire room fell dead silent—looking toward the dark figure in wonder. The Star Breather rose with a look of disgust on his face, feelings and emotions of war were stirring within him; as the Star Breather’s escorts took warrior stances on either side of him. Yes, something was about to take place that would change all of our futures. I was holding my breath, and my lungs screamed in protest.
Just then the figure shrouded in black, took out a black bladed sword and forced Dane to the ground without words. Surely, he would not kill him; I was holding onto Allius’s hand for dear life. Dane got down on his knees, and his eyes eclipsed mine for a brief second and all I saw in them was unbreakable courage. I heard Dane’s mother gasp loudly, her gasp was one of pain and hopelessness; at seeing one of her children staring death straight in the face. The shrouded figure’s presence made the room unbearably cold, I shuddered in response. If I did not know any better, I would say that the figure was the Dark Force, but that was impossible—our ancestors had fought alongside the Star Breather long ago; banishing the Dark Force to the Netherworld, never to return. So, then who was this enigmatic creature in black?
The Star Breather finally spoke, and his words carried with them the most powerful thunderings and lightnings; he did not merely break the silence—he shattered it.
“Release the boy, Creature.” He commanded. “Your quarrel is not with him, your quarrel is with me.”
The creature laughed, and the laugh was what I was sure unadulterated evil sounded like; it held within it a million curses and blasphemies.
“I no longer answer to you, false king; I have come to take back everything that you have stolen from me.” And with his refined accented statement of rebellion; he and his dark escorts finally took down their hoods, and the whole room was able to see their faces.
The leader did not look—at all—how I imagined him to look. One would expect the Dark Force to be indescribably and incomparably ugly and gruesome. Nevertheless, he was extremely charismatic and stunning. In contrast to the Star Breather, his skin was pale white, his hair was curly and dark, and I could tell by his strong jaw that he must have been very well muscled under his robes; if I did not know better, I would have thought that he and his diabolical entourage were of the moon people.
They were like the villains from my younghood fairy tellings that, would persuade the innocent damsel into making bad decisions, because she always found out who they really were a beat too late. Looking at his charismatic air, and hearing his refined speech; I could understand—for the first time—how Eve could have been taken in by the serpent’s silver tongued deception. If you were not careful, it was easy to be fooled by the Dark Force, because he did not look at all like the Dark Force. He had not just come to our kingdom—arbitrarily; he was here for a very specific purpose—to answer an invitation that we had sent him, we had invited him in with our silent hatred and right now he was going to destroy us with that same hatred. War had come upon us, and we were all ill prepared.
“Let the young prince go, Dark One; he can give you nothing,” He had dulled his voice to a silent roar, but his tone was still chillingly menacing. “Your appeals should be to me alone.”
The Dark Force chortled darkly. “On the contrary, my Celestial Lord,” His tone was dripping with sarcasm and mockery. “The young prince here, will be making all the appeals or should I say petitions.” He reveled in his dark glee.
The Star Breather narrowed his eyes at him, as if they were having some secret conversation telepathically. While the Dark Force seemed to love where this situation was headed, the Star Breather did not like it at all.
“Well, young prince; now is your chance. Speak well, everyone is listening.” He whispered in his ear.
Dane’s eyes graced mine again, and they were glistening with tears. Why was he hesitating this way, had he changed his mind? Had his passions for me run cold? Was he simply playing a trick on me with his words? What was wrong? Why did he refuse to open his mouth and fight for me, for us?
“Get up, prince!” His voice was a demonic growl, as he jerked Dane to his feet. Why would the Dark Force be encouraging him to appeal to the board? Was he actually insisting that Dane declare his love for me, for the whole kingdom to hear? That could not be right, because love was a force far beyond his understanding; love was made from the heart of the Star Breather—true love, pure love had the potential to destroy the Dark Force.
So, why would he encourage Dane’s declarations for my hand and my heart, and then I held my breath once again, while the blood pulsed achingly through my veins: he was not encouraging his declarations, because they were declarations of love; he was encouraging them because these declarations were bound to spark hatred, because in hearts where hate dwelled—a love like Dane’s and mine could only be the perfect breeding grounds for war. I do not know what propelled me forward, but I stood up without even thinking; Allius tried to hold me seated, but I refused to be held down.
“Please, stop this!” I pleaded from the cries of my heart, and I could feel all eyes in the room shift to me, but I no longer cared about what any of them thought. I refused to sit by, and let the Dark Force hurt my love; even if it meant I would never see Dane again.
I would not let him speak the words that, would cause all these people that I loved dearly to start hurting each other. The Dark Force let a sly sneer slither across his lips, as I stood almost as if he were expecting me to do so.
“Ah yes, the lady speaks; could it be that you are protecting your knight in shining armor; dear little princess? Could this be the voice of love that, I hear speaking?” He mocked me.
“Leave her alone, you creature; I will never do what you ask, you will not use me to do your bidding—if you wish war—begin it yourself, because I will not.” Dane’s words were chilling.
“Enough!” The atmosphere shifted at the sound of the Star Breather’s thundering tone. “Leave, this place immediately, Creature.”
“Come, toward me and compel me; king of the universe.” He scorned.
Both sides of dark and light prepared themselves for the ensuing war, as did the armies of our kingdom. The Dark One would have his war this night, even if that meant sparking it himself.
“You would like nothing better, would you?” The Star Breather’s eyes licked to a full blazing fire.
“You are correct, sir.” He concurred darkly. “All I desire is to hear the young prince speak. Why not let him petition the board?” His face was all faux innocence.
“You know why that would not be possible.”
“Yes, I do.”
“You will not give up will you?” The Star Breather’s voice was sad and weighed.
“Never, I have waited far too long to get my revenge; and tonight is the night. You have no idea just how long I have waited to see that very look on your face; the look of inevitable defeat.”
“You will not win, you cannot win; you must know that?” His tone held sorrow, but not for the Dark Force; there were tears in his voice for the people surrounding Him—the people that He held so dear to Himself.
“But victory this eventide, shall hold me for awhile.” And his voice, released a darkness over the entire room; a darkness that I could not describe—even after all these sun lightings later, I still cannot describe the shift in the atmosphere. “Now, speak little prince; your audience awaits.” He spoke permeating the room with wicked glee.

~CHAPTER 5~
PRINCE DANOLIAN
I knew that I had felt a darkness lurking throughout the kingdom for quite some time, because the type of hatred that we had been experiencing lately; could have only be motivated by the Dark Force, but how could we have missed this? Had this hatred been deep rooted in us, festering like a pustule upon our spiritual skins, a pustule left untreated and un-drained of our own poisonous hatred; a seed planted that was now coming to its full fruition. When I appealed to the Board of Elders now, my words would fall on deaf ears; the Dark Force had affected everyone. Even now, I saw in their eyes that they rejected the Star Breather’s light; in favor of the Dark Force’s darkness.
We had studied the tactics and methods of the Dark Force, and we had failed to realize that he fed off of hatred; so, it was us who had invited him into our world with our deep seeded hatred for one another. Once upon a time, had been tainted long ago and we simply forgot to pay attention. I felt a sense of irony before I addressed the Board of Elders, because it would not be direct hate that would bring war; it would be love viewed under a dark and twisted lens.
I had never been so frightened to speak in front of people in my life, my eyes fell upon Solarias—still standing; holding her breath—pleading to me from the depths her soul, for me to renounce all the love that I had for her, but that would be far worse than war—that would be the vilest betrayal against her; and I could never deny my love. I had sworn to her that, I would pay any price, and I would live up to that swear—I had no other option, no other choice. I would fight for her using the words of my lips as weapons.
The Dark Force stuck his blackened sword into my ribs, waking me from the musings of my mind.
“Speak.” He hissed vilely.
Tears streamed down Solarias’s face as she shook her head, her tears were also echoed in mine; as I opened my mouth to speak. What could I do? I loved her, and I would never cease my heart from speaking it aloud.
All honor and glory to the Star Breather in all of his mythical magnificence, most wise kings and distinguished elders; I come to you with a petition, a petition to end the laws of Mandatory Nuptial Contracts and the Prohibition of Marrying Across Kingdom Lines Law. I approach you, not out of vanity, arrogance, or impulsivity; I realize that these laws have been on the books for many ancient turnings of our universe, but I feel that these laws are unjust, immoral, unrighteous, biased, inflammatory and against all texts of the Holy Scrolls; which we pride ourselves on following so completely. How can we say that we love the Star Breather, and how can we say that we love each other; if we deny ourselves the gift of experiencing love freely and without prejudice?
I do not wish to be discourteous to our laws, which have governed our lands and have created an utopic society; in which we all live in peace together, but is this peace or is this fear, gentlemen. I respectfully petition you, to reconsider these heinous laws. I am one to admit that, there was a time when I followed them without question, because this is the way things were always done. However, is that a valid excuse not to change? I will admit that, change will not be easy, and that to venture into the unknown can be a frightening thing, but for the sake of our future world—it is time to embark on a new frontier.
And as a start toward walking down a path of change; I wish to petition you most respected gentleman for the hand of Solarias Morsiat Hummony Garyius, Princess of Solarian, I am willing to pay the bride price as the law demands—more if that is what is required. I love her with a love that is all consuming and true; I love her with a love that obliges me to lay down my very life—if I thought that it would spare hers. I want nothing more than to make her my wife. What say you gentleman? Will you hear my plea, and do what your internal ethics should be compelling you to do at this very moment; for the eternal good of our two lands, so that we can really be joined together as one unified kingdom. Thank-you.
When my words had silenced, you could hear a pin drop in the room; while the inaudible soul words—of the people—spoke volumes from every inch and corner of the room. The Dark Force’s presence had most certainly taken its toll, and now, it was as if he had become the lord and master of this room. The Star Breather’s light had dimmed down substantially, and the mourning in his timeless eyes was palpable. Suddenly, both kings and all the elders stood; as if they were being made to do so by a force beyond their control.
King Theinopolis, Solarias’s father spoke first; and the smell of cinnamon coming from him was strong, as if this was not enough indication of his ire—his eyes had become a fierce blazing amber color.
“Take your seat Solarias,” His blazing eyes were trained on me, but when he noticed that his daughter had refused to acquiescence his request; his voice became commanding and malicious. “Take your seat, daughter, and do not embarrass your father, or your people any further by making yourself a harlot to this moon cad.”
Allius pulled her to sitting, his eyes were apologetic and sorrowful; I knew then, that we were still allies and friends. Allius had been more like my brother—at times—than my own blood brother. My father was about to let some ugly words release from him, insulting Solarias, and I spoke before he had the chance to release them into the atmosphere.
“Most honorable and wise King of the Sun, I have been every ounce the gentleman with your daughter; she is as precious to me as she is to you. I would never deal vilely with her reputation.” I fought to keep the venom out of my tone, because I was hurt and insulted by his evil accusation against me.
“Do not believe him sire, every male of the moon; only seeks one thing from a female of the sun.” One of the sun elders spoke.
The Board of Elders, was supposedly made up of twelve of the oldest and wisest men in the kingdom; six were of the moon and six were of the sun—thus making decisions fair and equal. A being would think that the elders were wise enough to encourage love, instead they were helping to spew hatred, and every being in the room seemed to be taking the bait. My father spoke, thinking that he was defending my honor, but he was just adding to the hateful tension.
“Yes, that is because the maidens of the sun give it so freely.” His poisonous words, stirred the riot; and the Dark Force’s vengeance would soon be appeased, because immediately everyone was at odds with one another—people of the moon were fighting against people of the sun.
King Theinopolis approached my father, and took him up by his collar and started shouting in his face.
“You recant your words, Kadin, or I will have satisfaction.” He released him, and took out his sword and my father did the same.
“Please consider your actions, people of Cierion.” The Star Breather pleaded, trying to end the fighting, but once the kings drew weapons everyone began to draw weapons—and the Star Breather’s words were lost in a sea of blood and vengeance. So, with the events of the evening growing darker with each passing moment; the Star Breather took his leave—disappearing in a trail of stardust—taking his escorts with him. I fought my way valiantly through the crowd, trying desperately to leave people alive; but unfortunately some made themselves casualties to my skilled sword.
All the women in the room were being evacuated out of the heat of battle—by the royal guard—as the men warred against each other, and my eyes connected with Solarias’s, as Allius forced her into the arms of Baylin—Baylin had to drag her out of the room, as she cried out for me. I breathed a sigh of relief at her safe departure, because I certainly did not wish her killed in our stupidity. While I hated war, and the shedding of blood; I had to admit that a new high coursed through me when I was in the heat of battle. I went into blind warrior mode, and all I could see was my target and my next kill. King Theinopolis’s sons battled valiantly, and their fighting style was wildly beautiful.
I wished I could move in the way they did, but my steps were more strategically and logically placed; I would get no marks for style, but I would most certainly get some for accuracy. I had almost made it to where the royals were, when I saw the two kings still warring against each other; I remembered thinking that they were quite skilled for men of their maturation level—when King Theinopolis—after making a loud war cry—plunged his sword into my father’s heart; causing him to fall to the ground dead instantly from the fatal blow. I do not know what happened next, I went into warrior rage, but even in my rage I was still logically planning out in my head how I would bring King Theinopolis down; I knew that his sons were otherwise engaged, so, I took my opening.
When I reached King Theinopolis, he was not expecting me; he did not even see me coming and that is when it happened—I took my sword and decapitated the King of the Sun; right then and there. When the fog of war cleared from my brain, I fell to my knees with a great scream of excruciating pain. The Dark Force caught my eye, and smiled relishing my actions; he and his escorts disappeared in a puff of black smoke—leaving their evil stench behind. I had killed my love’s beloved father; there is no way that she would forgive me this evil. I really hated war; it spread its putrescent essence over everything and everyone. Before I could be overtaken and overcome with my grief, Allius jerked me up by the arm; and forced me into one of the catacombs leading out of the castle. If he killed me, I would not blame him; and I would not stop him either.
“I am so sorry Allius, please forgive me; you must forgive me.” I cried, and with each tear that escaped my eyes; my soul became more and more vacant.
Allius felt my intense remorse and contrition, tears escaped his eyes as well.
“I love you little brother, but you can no longer stay here.” He placed his forehead to mine, and looked into my eyes willing me to understand. “Your love for my sister, is true and genuine; I know it, I can feel it, but you must let her go. We are no longer one people brother, from this night on; we must remain separate. Do you understand?”
I nodded my assent, and to do so broke my heart.
“Go to her now, she waits; where our two worlds intersect—there you shall bid her good-bye. And then escape to the safety of your own lands, never to return; for if you do I am sure that my brothers will kill you, little brother.” I could see the severing of our relationship in his eyes, we were once the closest of brothers and the greatest of friends; I first met Solarias through Allius. “I will miss you, my friend.”
We shook hands one last time, and then there were noises in the catacombs—probably in search of me.
“They have come for you, you must go.” And then he pushed me out, but before he let me go; he pulled me back toward him. “I am sorry about your father, brother; you have avenged him well. Now, be free of the pain.”
It took some major maturity for him to say those words, and then he released me; and I ran to meet my love, so, that I could bid her farewell, forever.

She waited in the wood, our wood where we had spent so many carefree days together; it was amazing how the changing of the sun into the moon, could carry with it so many changes of events. When the sun was still lighting out world, I had asked her to be my wife, so, that we could share love for an eternity—now that the light of the moon was upon our faces, all of our dreams had turned to cinders. I ached to wipe this event out of my memory bank forever, because every time I thought of it; it was like taking a dagger and plunging it into my own heart. Still so many moon annuals later, I wished that I never would have left her there, standing alone with star dust spilling out over her elegant form and moon light caressing her face.
I should be with her right this minute, we should have shared many nights of love by now, we should have many younglings running around in play, we should have a house built on the bedrock of everything we stood for; we should have so many things by now, but we were cheated out of our love, by the deep seeded hatred of our people. I did not waste many moments greeting her, I ran to her; and took her in my arms and drank of her sweet honeyed lips, until I could drink of her no more. And then, I drank again—I tried to commit the feel of her body against mine, to memory, because I never wanted to lose the sensations that, I felt as her heart drummed against mine.
I did not even realize that I had taken her hair down; I just needed to feel her soft mess of curls through my fingertips. I would never love another like this, it just was not possible for this kind of passion and desire to happen twice. I moved my lips from hers, to the softness of her bare shoulder; how I loved the taste of her—it was like sipping all the spicy flavors of a cup of Sun Tea; which was a morning tradition in Solarian. I then moved my lips to her neck, and was immediately inebriated by the cinnamon smell of her passion.
She groaned in ecstasy, and I was delighted by her pleasure. How perfect we would have been—together—as man and wife. I kissed her lips softly now, with the passionate urgency wearing off; and then I looked into her eyes, she buried her angel’s face into my chest, and gently began to sob. She must have felt her father die and sensed my guilt for murdering him, and now her love for me was probably battling with her newly developed hatred.
“I am so sorry love, I would not blame you if you hated me; if you pushed me away now—and cursed the very day that you met me.” I was afraid to bring her eyes to mine, for fear that I would read her hatred in them.
She brought her eyes to mine immediately, and smiled through her tears.
“I could never hate you, love.” She gently caressed my tensed jaw with her delicate fingertips. “I could never kiss you like that, if I hated you.” She delicately caressed her lips against mine, and I shuddered. “I am sorry for what you have lost, I can feel your pain; I know how it hurts, but we tried; we tried so hard to bring peace between them.” She draped her arms around my shoulders. “My tears are not for what we have lost, our tears are for what we will never have, prince of my heart.”
I kissed her again, and then I rested my forehead against hers.
“Come with me.” I was breaking my deal with Allius, I was supposed to say my good-byes, but I just could not; I was supposed to accept defeat, but I could not. I wanted her, and I would have her in whatever way that I could; if I had to renounce everything—I would.
“Where?” She lulled, resting her head on my shoulder.
“To the High Star Realms, where only love exists.” I brought her closer, never wanting to let her go. “To a place where hatred cannot touch us; to a Creator that understands us and our need to be together. We will build a home of our own, we will have children and live life free.”
She sighed deeply as if my words were a sweet song that, she would never get tired of hearing.
“We cannot dear love, my desire is for nothing more; but we cannot.” She rested her hands on my biceps, as she looked deeply into my eyes; as if she were reading something beyond what we could currently see. Sometimes, the sun maidens could see destinies, they called the gift Destiny Sight; of all my annuals of living—I had very rarely seen them wrong about their visions.
“What is it?” I whispered. “What do you see?”
“Your destiny, my love, and it is much greater than the both of us.” Her words were solemn, yet hopeful. “You will restore unity to our worlds, but if we leave that will not happen.”
“What can I do, you see what happened when I tried.” I was scared to death of being responsible for anyone’s future, but my own.
“You must return to your kingdom, and see.” She smiled, but I frowned.
“I would much rather stay here.” I was being obstinate, but it was only because I did not want to leave her.
“I know, and I would much rather have you stay here with me, but it would not be fair. Destinies are very serious things, and if they go unfulfilled it could be disastrous in ways far past our understanding. Please love, see past what you want in this current moment, and go and do what you were created for.” She pleaded with me, while holding her hand to my heart.
I kissed her again, and this time the kiss was intense and desperate; all I wanted to do was hold her—I could not leave. She pulled back abruptly with tears in her eyes.
“Please, go now.” She sobbed. “For, I fear that if you do not go now, I will not be able to let you go. Please, I can no longer bear it, go,” She pushed me over to my side of the divide, putting her arms around her body; as if she were trying to hold her heart from spilling out on the ground.
How could I leave her this way, when she saw conflict in my eyes; she ripped her eyes away from mine and refused to look at me, until I finally got the courage to walk away. When I could no longer see her, I listened—in agony—to her soft cries as they mingled with the sad songs of the Juward Birds. After walking a couple of miles into Luniris, I could no longer hear her, and then I was free to let lose tears of my own. It was not until a few more turns of the moon that, I learned why Solarias would not go with me to the High Star Realms. She was right when she said that I had a destiny, because my Father—the former Moon King—of Luniris had left me my destiny posthumously, and this destiny would not only come as a surprise to me, but to all the Moon People most of all to Kantono, my eldest brother and the sovereign in waiting.
My father’s own personal Carrier of Justice, Wintropo, read the following statements from my father’s Death Scroll; or his last will in testament. Wintropo, was a very thin and wiry man; he wore thick spectacles and spoke with a lisp that, me and my brother mocked mercilessly when we were children. The royal family was not the only one’s made privy to the contents of the Death Scroll, every single member of the kingdom was given the knowledge of the words within the document.
The Death Scrolls of King Kadin Kantono Lolyipi Mysinthrompos Hiyanartay, Former Sovereign of Luniris:
To My Youngest Son, if the Death Scrolls are being recited; it should be clear that I am no longer present with you in the living world. Thus, I have elected Wintropo to relay the following message; I know that I have previously—deceived the entire kingdom into believing that, I will be passing along my blessing to my Eldest son Kantono Hysnos Pirtujan Hiyanartay as the next sovereign, but this is not to be. I have discovered something, almost too late; but by the Star Breather’s power, the following has been revealed to me concerning Kantono—while he would indeed make a shrewd leader—I am thoroughly convinced that he does not possess the heart to lead the people.
He seems to take in all of the concepts, but he lacks the grace to carry our laws out with mercy. A king’s first love should be for his people, and Kantono has not displayed this love to me. Therefore, I will pass my blessing along to my youngest son, Danolian Fwynshool Hiyanartay. He will be the perfect example of a king, because he will lead with grace, mercy and love.
Now, Kantono, I am trusting you to show your brother love; and help him along with all the theories that you have obtained about leading a kingdom. I apologize for the deception my eldest son, but it takes more than head knowledge to be king, and Danolian has the heart—head knowledge can be taught, but heart knowledge must be felt. So, all Luniris stand, and make welcome your new King and Sovereign, King Danolian Fwynshool Hiyanartay. Serve him well, love him well, protect him well.
Your Former King and Sovereign,
Kadin Kantono Lolyipi Mysinthrompos Hiyanartay
As the crowd stood up to cheer me, all I could hear was the doors shut to my gilded prison cell—locking me in with no hope of ever experiencing the freedom of the open sky again. What was my father thinking making me king? Kantono cursed me in his soul, my mother doubted me as the new sovereign, the under royals and the peasants all mocked me. That is when Solarias’s words finally hit their mark, to be the Moon King was my destiny, and as the new sovereign I would change things for the better. Or so I thought at the time.
~CHAPTER 6~
PRINCESS SOLARIAS
When I was a little younger in my maturation level, I thought war was exciting and glorious; I assumed that it would be non-stop grandeur and bravery, but the true reality of war was just plain ugly and evil. I had saw enough blood spilt to last two sun existences, and I no longer thought war as heroic as I once did. Of course, I respected the many soldiers who went, and I must admit that they were indeed brave for laying down their life for their cause. However, I never felt that the cause was justified; we were fighting out of hatred for each other. Where was the cause in that? We were striving against the wrong enemy, when we should have been fighting against the Dark Force; we had let him inside our peaceful walls—to pollute and permeate our light with sheer darkness.
I had already lost four—out of seven—of my beloved brothers to this war, one being my favorite brother, Allius, such a sweet heart and soul—lost to the senseless violence. Like me he never wanted this war; the only reason he fought, was to honor his people. My eldest brother, Leonus, King of Solarian; ruled the sun people with an iron fist. There was no room for kindness and mercy, when an individual was trying to win a war. I tried not to hate him, for his cruel treatment of me, his most recent cruelties centered on his trying to force me into honoring my nuptial contract to Barongard. I was thoroughly convinced that, Leonus blamed me for my father’s death, and this was his way of trying to punish me for it. My mother, still to this very sun; could not look me in the eye without crying. Had I caused my father’s death with my love for Dane? I was not even sure if I had dreamed it all or not. Maybe, I had; ever since our parting, many sun lightings ago—I had heard nothing else from him. Did he know how I still loved him, even after all this time? Did he still love me?
We were only a divide away, and yet I felt as if that divide was a thousand chasms wide. If I were being honest with myself, I would admit that; this was the real reason why I had my own secret cottage built here. It was not much, just so long as I did not have to dwell in the palace; near all those intrusive eyes and gossipy whispers. I stayed out here for most of the time, that is; until my presence was requested at the palace by my eldest brother, other than the occasional summons I was here—waiting. Baylin would still come out to fuss and fawn over me, but she was the only one. I do not know why I waited, so futilely—if he had come back—it was not as if he could walk directly through the Protective Mist that served as our border walls. They had been erected at the agreement of both kingdoms, to keep us on our own sides.
Allius was right, Cierion was no more; we were now our own separate people. The people of the sun and moon, no longer engaged with each other; unless it was in battle. While the borders were pretty much impenetrable; the soldiers always found flaws in the enchantment to serve their brutal purpose. Some nights when I was out here, I would hear night engagement; the battles would last all night sometimes—I had grown so accustomed to them that, I would sleep through them most nights. My house was nestled in the bosom of the wood, and trees held it in their arms; so, it was not really visible to those that were not looking for it.
Today things were quiet, and I was peacefully sitting on the window sill letting my sun warm me through; listening to the songs of the Juward birds that were perched right outside my window—occasionally I would lend my voice to their song; and they sang right along with me. One landed on the sill right beside me, and when I touched him—his feathers turned from robin’s egg blue, to a beautiful emerald green. We sun people, could sometimes manipulate nature—with the power of the Star Breather flowing through us, we could grow things from the ground so effortlessly. Where land was once barren, we could merely touch the barren places and things would grow—as if they had always lived there. The Juward Bird, flew away to show off his new emerald feathers to his friends, and other species of bird took his place. The Haminhowk, the Gildengray, the Billhopper and Doongad all paid me a visit; as the bright sun turned to the subtle pink of dusk. I closed my eyes, and despite the evil that was taking place all around me; I smiled to myself basking in the Star Breather’s love, because my heart was still wide open to receive it. No hatred dwelled within me, and this gave the Star Breather free reign to do whatever He wished to do in me.
“My Lord, will you ever bring him back to me?” I was felt myself drifting off to sleep, because the quiet was extremely soothing and tranquil. That is when I heard the Star Breather’s voice, as clear as any living being’s.
“Awaken, beloved; he is coming.” He spoke like a gentle river, ever so subtle and quiet; like a stone plopping gently into a still creek. If I had been talking or if there was birdsong; I would have missed it. My eyes popped open quickly, and I looked around; but I saw no one.
I thought it was just my imagination, until I saw the figure of a burly man; come barreling through the wall at full force—he looked fatally wounded, and when I saw him collapse in the waters of the creek dividing where the kingdoms of the sun and the moon intersected; I knew that he was wounded, maybe even dying.
Should I offer him aid? This would not have been a question if he had been a warrior of the sun, but this man was wearing the armor of a moon warrior and I was afraid to approach him. And how did he get through the mist, without being destroyed? He should have been blown to pieces from even touching the mist, was there a flaw in the border wall near my cottage? Now, I was even more afraid. I had almost reserved in myself to close and lock my cottage windows, and pretend that I had never even saw the man. That was, until the spirit of the Star Breather spoke to me yet again.
“Do not be afraid to go to the warrior of the moon, he will inflict no harm on you; his love has breached the Protective Mist. Go to him quickly beloved, you can heal him he is dying.” The Star Breather’s urgency propelled me out of my door without a second thought, because I knew quite well who the warrior of the moon was; the warrior was my Dane and he had come back to me.
When I went to him, he was hardly conscious; the sword had gone clean through his silver armor, causing a deep wound to his heart. I did not even know how he had not died instantly, he was struggling to catch breath. I cannot be sure, but when he saw me; I thought I saw him smile. He tried to reach out to touch my face, and this gesture exerted all of his strength; and he completely stopped breathing. I do not know, how I had strength to pull him all the way through the mist, and up to my cottage; but I am sure that the Star Breather strengthened my arms, because Dane was a lot more muscular than I remembered. When we were at a younger maturation level; he was more leanly muscled, now he possessed the massive build of a soldier. I pulled him into the cottage, locked both my doors, and drew the curtains to all of my windows.
Hopefully, the soldiers that were looking for him would pass my cottage by—thinking that I was not home. I knelt down on the floor to check his pulse, I would have to work hastily; he barely had one—so I knew that I was losing him rapidly. I prayed for strength, as my hands shook uncontrollably, I had no idea why I was so nervous; the power of healing had been supplied in my blood since the beginning of the sun. All the women in my family had been trained, to use our manipulative powers over nature; to find cures in nature’s warm embrace.
I knew the healing power of every herb, plant and seed, and I would need them all to heal and restore the wound, that my beloved was suffering from. However, right now I had to burn the infection out; because it would do very little to seal a wound that bore the festering grime of infection. There was only one way to burn out the infection, and I needed to do it now. When I touched him, Dane grunted in pain; the sound of his suffering stabbed me in my heart. His skin was burning up, which meant that the infection was already spreading causing fever. I ran over to my compact kitchen, and retrieve the smallest knife that I had, and almost as quickly as I left him—I kneeled to Dane’s side again. I would have to get him out of his armor; if this was to work properly, so I called on the strength of the Star Breather and pulled him up toward me.
I blocked out the moans and groans of his pain, because getting him out of the restrictive armor was the only way that I could save his life. When I had succeeded at releasing him from his tunic shirt and laying him softly back down on the floor, I could get to the wound a lot quicker and in the process survey the damage that had been done. The holistic nurse in me—mentally made note—of the severity of the wound. It was obvious that his assailant had almost run him clean through with a sword, and just as soon as I recognized the shape of the wound; it was made clear to me exactly who his assailant was, the sword that nearly caused Dane’s death belonged to my eldest brother Leonus, King of Solarian. Leonus had the sword specifically designed by Qogthorth, the royal arms designer. I remembered admiring how beautiful it was in its splendor, I still have never saw the like.
Anger surged through me, at how this war had made us completely forget; how we all used to be so close not too far in the past, but no matter my anger; I would have to silence this emotion quickly or it would taint my blood—inhibiting its healing capabilities. While the wound appeared gruesome, it was not as bad as I originally thought; wounds to major organs always bled out profusely leaving a being to believe that it was a lot more severe than it actually was—thank the Star Breather that my brother had not been so heartless as to twist the sword inside him, or the wound might have been a lot worse.
It was time for me to do, what was born in me to do, and without hesitation—I took the small knife—that I had retrieved from my kitchen, and made a small incision right below my forearm; the brachial artery held the most blood, I made haste before my quick healing power sealed the incision back as if it had never been cut. I brought my arm over Dane’s wound, and my blood began to bubble like hot lava—I could smell the cinnamon as the boiling blood dripped into Dane’s affected wound. He writhed in pain, for someone that had almost been run through with a sword; he was extremely vocal. I prayed that no one would hear his resonant cries, because I was sure that they reverberated off of the trees of the wood for miles. Nevertheless, I continued to pour my blood out into him; if it was not hurting it was not healing. Suddenly he passed out, having reached his threshold of pain. As my own wound began to heal up; I silently thanked the Star Breather, because Dane’s wound was also mending with the anti-inflammatory powers of the cinnamon. As the wound was being released of infection, I still had work to do; the healing process was a two step process, and I had only concluded step one. So, I gave myself no time for rest as I immediately began to work on step two; as Dane rested peacefully in his unconscious state; I gently placed my mouth over his, and breathed out of him ever so gently—taking the remainder of the infection into myself. I felt all of his excruciating pain, and I even felt the exertion of his warrior’s rage; as he engaged my brother valiantly. I experienced all of the feelings and emotions that had resided in him; in the many sun lightings of our separation, and with each feeling and emotion—one stood above the rest, the pain of love incomplete and unfulfilled.
As I took in all of his essence, I felt the infection die within me; I swooned only briefly, at the infection’s defeat against the anti-inflammatory properties in my blood—weakness became strength almost suddenly. And when I revived, I saw that Dane’s wound was slowly sealing itself up. He was out of any immediate danger, and I sighed in relief; as I looked upon him. I should have been preparing to clean him up, dress him in fresh garments and collect healing herbs; to mix into paste, so that I could apply the paste to the wounds; so that the nasty infection would not return. Despite, all the work still left to be done; I stayed and allowed myself to be mesmerized at the stunning magnificence of him. Dane had developed beautiful warrior’s muscle, in our separation; I blushed at the sight of his sculpted physique, he had always had a lean and athletic build but now he had the body of a warrior—with all the scars and bruises to match.
I ran my hand over the milky white pallor of his exposed bicep, noticing all the intricate and dazzling moon beam patterns that were present in his skin; I would spend hours admiring them, and how they shone like the most flawless of jewels. Although, when we were at our younger maturation levels, they were not as obvious; because his pallor had always held a hue of being in the sun’s light. I giggled to myself, as I thought about how much he needed the sun.
When we were younger, his body drank the sun all in, like it craved it. Now, it seemed as if it were starving from lack of it. My eyes surveyed his face next, he looked as if he had not matured a moment since the last time I saw him. He was still so breathtaking. The platinum blonde stubble growing wild upon his face was beautiful; I had never seen his hair this light before, because his being in the sun gave it a more golden texture—one less severe than the shade he wore now. I mindlessly trailed my fingertips over his face, he stirred slightly. And then his radiant sapphire eyes suddenly opened, and he gave me an unmistakable smile; his dimples were still so scrumptious. He took my hand firmly in his, and the look in his eyes was one of desire so intense, that I could not even begin to describe it; no time had passed, he still loved me. He smoothed the pad of his thumb against my cheek.
“Solarias.” He lulled, and then he lost consciousness again.
I would leave him now, and go about my work while he comfortably rested; I needed to regain some of my strength before I moved him into Allius’s old room to fully rest. As I tentatively opened my door—to go into the wood, and seek out herbs to aid in his full recovery—I breathed easy, because all I saw was the sun stepping aside to give position to the moon. I would have to move quickly, because the sun’s light—in the sky—was dimming by the second and it would be near impossible to seek out herbs in the darkness. Before I stepped out of the house, I gave one last look around; and heard only silence—I determined that it was safe for me to venture forward.
When I closed the door behind me, doubt struck my heart fiercely. Was I insane, I had the Moon King in my house; he used to be Dane, and I knew Dane well but I did not know this man? What if he had called my name, as a symptom of his injury? Would he soon forget my kindness when his injuries mended? I could bear a lot of things, and had, but his disdain was something that I could not bear. And as I went over all the negatives in my mind, I heard the Star Breather speak ever so calmly—be still, all will be well. I had no other choice, but to believe the Star Breather’s words, all would be well. Dane might be wearing the guise of the Moon King, but in his heart; he was and would forever be my Dane.

~CHAPTER 7~
THE MOON KING
The moon people did not dream, the last time I even came remotely close was with a certain princess of the sun; and that was more a day dream, but I was now coming out of one of the sweetest night visions. I did not want to wake up, even when I could feel my body leaving the world of fantasy; to re-enter the mundane world of reality. The moon people had very little use for dreams, they were just not practical in the day or night, because when the mind was at rest—it should logically make the most of that rest—dreams were a wasteful intrusion on a restorative night’s sleep. I knew this, and had been taught this from my birth, but seeing her, touching her, holding her last night—definitely did not feel like a waste. In fact, I wanted more of it, I wanted many more nights of dreams with her woven in them.
Wait a minute, where was I? The last thing I remembered was engaging Leonus in battle, and if memory served me correctly—he won that battle. I was dying, I could feel it. So, I decided to flee to the only place that, I had ever found peace and solace—back to our place. I had to be near her, even if she was just a shadow, a vapor of the life that I had left behind. The weight of the crown was burdening, and if I could give all the responsibility away; I would. Maybe, I would dream in the day as well; just to escape my life. I hated being king, and I was sure that my one time beloved hated me for being king; she would think my position a betrayal to her, because I was leading a people that were her enemies. Why did someone have to help me, rescue me, heal me. Why did they just not let me die? I wanted to die, what else did I have to live for?
I allowed my eyes to open a slit, and when I had completely let go of the dream world; my body surged with pain. I felt like I had been beaten against a boulder, then thrown to the ground to be trampled by a horse. I tried to sit up, but my body was not cooperating with me; wherever I was—I could not appear weak. I was the Moon King, I had to be strong; who would take a weak king seriously? Was this the house of a male or female; because while the room that I was in appeared to be masculine, the smells throughout the house were certainly feminine? Maybe the Star Breather had given me favor, and allowed me to land in the house of a kindly mature couple.
When I tried to sit up again, I found success, but the mouth watering smells of breakfast took my stomach captive—making me weak with hunger—I swooned at the delicious smells wafting in under the door. Could I stand? I was so unbelievably hungry, I had to get something in me or I was sure to faint dead away. How long had I been asleep? I felt as if I had not eaten in several moon annuals. After quite a few more attempts to stand, I finally found my legs; now if I could propel them to move that would be wonderful. As I began to tentatively walk toward the door, all of my herculean effort threatened to be undone; when I heard the sweetest voice trading tones with a Juward Bird—it was her—my beloved, the maiden of the sun. My knees became weak, and threatened to give way crashing me to the ground, but I steadied myself by leaning against the door.
What was she doing here? Was she the one who saved my life? Was that a dream that I was having, or were those dark pools of serenity—that I looked upon before losing consciousness—real? Why, would she risk her life this way? Leonus could have her executed; for treason for no other reason, but her offering me aid. I should get out of here, just my being here could bring her pain; and I refused to allow that. Now, if I could just stop my head from spinning; I could leave before she even discovered I was gone. I had enough strength just to make it back over to the bed, and I plopped down putting my head in my hands; and closing my eyes tight—the room’s topsy turvy dance was making me nauseated.
I could not go anywhere; I did not have enough strength. I loathed being weak. I laid my head back on the soft pillow, I could smell the sweet scent of the Grovesbird feathers inside. As I brought my forearm up to put it over my eyes, I recognized the tunic I was wearing instantly; it had belonged to Allius, my best friend, my brother. I mourned his death—in the Moon Mountains, in solitude—I was not sure that I had wholly healed from the news of his untimely departure. I still felt guilty over it, because I was king; I had the means and influence to be bring about peace, but I lacked the courage. I was a coward. After trying to unite the people; in the early years of my maturation level, I had only been successful at beginning a war. Not to mention, I had allowed the dark hatred to saturate through me, I shed the blood of the King of the Sun; without any thought for his family. Solarias should hate me; I hated myself for that heartless moment of callousness. I was a coward and murderer. How could I possibly expect her to still love me? Sides had been drawn, and we were on different sides of that line.
Who was I to talk of peace, when I had created the war in the first place? I closed my eyes shut, and my mind went back instantly to our last night together; a night that I had since tried to forget, but was never entirely successful—reliving that night, over and over again through my subconscious was like being run through with a thousand swords. No flesh wound could ever conjure up the kind of anguish that, this mental one did. War was an excellent distraction from the ache in my heart, but no amount of distraction could keep away the agony when the battle had died to silence, then I was left alone with her lovely face in my head. Now, I could no longer escape her even in my logical rest.
I could hear her delicate soul thoughts; she was debating whether or not I was dangerous, I winced away from her accusatory soul musings. Sadly, that was another evil of this war, it had not only shed the blood of countless beings, senselessly—it had massacred the special bond that she and I once shared. I missed more than anything, how easy it used to be between us; when we were naïve younglings. I was now, 10,950 moon annuals, and she herself was over 10,000 sun lightings—we were definitely not younglings anymore. Rummaging through her beautiful mind, I discovered an evil an awful truth: she only saw my title now, she only saw me as the Moon King, but I wanted to prove to her that, the title was not who I was—I was still Dane, heavy crown and all.
She turned the door handle hesitantly, and I could read the fright in her heart. Did she honestly believe that I could ever hurt her without destroying myself? How could she possibly think that all of my past declarations of love could wax cold so quickly? I was now determined, not to let her leave this room, until she fully understood that, I was still the same old Dane—I needed her to believe that. She finally opened the door all the way, and I struggled to sit up; she was taken aback by my being awake—I nearly laughed out loud at the inner battle that she was waging in her mind—she was now weighing her options between her fight or flight responses. The tray of food shook slightly in her hands, as she approached me; with her eyes dubiously glued to mine—obviously, her fight response had won out. She had determined that, because I was weak my reaction time would be slightly off from hers, and she could manipulate this weakness to overcome me in a fight.
I smiled up into her face, and she had placed the veil back over her eyes, so, I could no longer read her thoughts. Did she really feel as if she had to protect her thoughts from me?
“Really, Solarias, do you actually believe that you could best me? Even in my present condition, my warrior skills are stellar; I have killed men, while being in far worse condition than you see me now. You really should not underestimate me.” I was toying with her, and I saw the light come into her eyes; as she prepared to return my banter, with her own witty retort.
“Careful, my lord; you forget that you have taught all of your secrets of war to me, I would hate to have to best you with one of your own maneuvers, and wipe that smug grin off of your face.” A small smile tugged at the corners of her mouth, and it was as if we were back in the woods as younglings, but the formal title did not fit into the lighthearted moment—I longed to hear her call me Dane again; I wanted to break down the wall that she had erected between us.
With much difficulty, I stood up as if I were meeting her challenge.
“Less talking, princess, and more action.” I lulled with a smile, and her caramel cheeks colored crimson; suddenly, I caught a glimpse of her feelings when she let the veiled curtains to her emotions slide up—without realizing it—my closeness still affected her as it used to. Before I could question her, she veiled her emotions again, and my stomach growled insistently—ending any chance for romance—my hunger for her would have to take a back seat to my physical hunger, at least for the moment.
“Someone is hungry.” She giggled, and the delicious sound of it; did funny things to my heart beat.
“Yes, because the Princess of the Sun is trying to starve me to death.” I joked.
“As you can see, I have brought provisions; it is the King of the Moon who has decided to rummage through my head, and begin a war of words. I would have much rather fed your hunger, than play a game of wits; in which you are losing shamelessly, my lord.” Her well manicured eye brow shot up, as her red lips curved sassily; if I were not so hungry and if I did not feel as if my chest were on fire—she would be in my arms right now, and I would be kissing her breathless. Why was it so easy for this woman to stir all these emotions in me? It was not fair, for me to be so mind numbingly attracted to her.
I am sure that she could feel my desire for her, because her cheeks colored again. And as always, Solarias found a way to change the subject.
“Barley, mutton chops and kale, my lord,” She placed the tray softly down on the bed, so that I could start eating as soon as I sat back down. “I will leave you now, to satiate your hunger; if you would excuse me, I will go into the kitchen and return with your drink. What do you prefer? I have Sun Tea, Lava Water, Honey Wine; it is your choice.” She was trying to avoid my eyes, and that did nothing but made me long to drown in their depths; I was no longer thinking about my physical hunger or the pain in my chest—all I was thinking about was her.
Being here with her, sharing the same space, breathing the same air; I realized what I had been missing all these moon annuals. I could not move forward, because she was my future—I was hopelessly stuck in an existence of desires unfulfilled, cravings unsatisfied, because the beautiful siren before me; was the only being that could fill them. I closed my eyes, and let her inebriating scent soothe me. Why had she saved my life, if she was planning to keep me so distant? Now, that I was in her presence again, I feared that I would never be able to leave.
“I shall return.” She tried to escape being in the room alone with me, because she needed to catch her breath; to get some air to clear her mind, but I would not let her go to clear her mind of me, not when I could never hope to clear my mind of her.
I grabbed her hand, and pulled her back to me gingerly.
“Solarias,” I breathed, letting my tongue gently caress her name, she shuddered in my arms. “Why do you call me, my lord?”
“That is who you are, you are the King of the Moon; your title commands respect, we are no longer younglings, my lord. We must see things the way that they are now, and the fact of the matter is that, you are the King of the Moon and I am the Princess of the Sun.” Her eyes were emotionless, drained of any indication of how she really felt, she tried to push herself away from me, but I would not allow it. I decided to ignore her words, and since she was trying not to acknowledge her true feelings; I would acknowledge mine.
“Time has changed nothing, the passing annuals of the moon, the new lightings of the sun; nothing quenches my thirst for you, or satiates my craving. A love like ours, cannot be wished away in a million light years; all of the planets could fall dark, and I would still ever want you. You would like to think that we have changed, but we have not.” The blood coursed through my veins so furiously that it was painful, and I knew that my words had found their purchase, because tears filled her eyes. “Solarias, tell me that I am wrong.” I whispered, but she refused to look at me anymore.
“My lord, you must eat before your food is taken cold.” There were tears clouding her throat, as she denied me the words that I wanted to hear. “And I must go, and get you something to drink. Please let me go.” She pleaded.
And I reluctantly loosened my embrace, temporarily relinquishing my claim on her; when I finally released my hold she ran out of the room slamming the door behind her. I did not expect to see her again, and after that; I pretty much did not see her except for meals, and if I needed her help for something. However, whenever she came into the room; she would take extra special care not to look at me, we barely spoke and when we did our words were kept short and formal. Needless to say, I hated it; I hated the way we acted as if we were nothing more than strangers. There was a time when I would have given my very life for this woman, and if asked to do it now; I would gladly lay it down so that she could live. I had been trying to push my love for her to the side—for many moon annuals—I simply could not do it anymore, to deny my love for her would be like denying myself.
She had kept me under her care for several phases of the moon, and thanks to her expert care; I had almost completely mended. She was applying my last herb paste treatment, to a wound that was virtually non-existent; and the close proximity of her was making me crazy—to have her so close and not be able to touch her, was maddening. I inhaled the sweet scent of her cinnamon skin, and nearly lost control. How was she able to keep her composure so well? It was as if we had never loved at all. She had to still feel something for me, to risk everything like this. Why would she do it, if she did not love me?
Her touch was so meticulously gentle, I tried to ignore the feelings that her sensual and diligent caresses elicited. I was on fire, but she did not seem to be moved; she would not even honor me with the deep amber loveliness of her eyes—I was barred out of her soul, banished out of her spirit and locked out of her heart. I knew that her touching me was merely a form of medicinal recovery, she was stoic and removed from the entire situation; so, it was hardly romantic for her. Nevertheless, I was physically suffering, she was touching me after all, and my body could not tell the difference between a romantic touch and a medicinal touch. When she moved the tender kneading of her fingers to the muscles in my shoulder; I nearly lost my mind, I could not take this anymore. So, I gently grabbed her wrist, and brought her around in front of me; her eyes were totally oblivious, but she had to sense out every single facet of my passion—reading senses was after all one of her people’s gifts. I had to know, how she was doing it; how she could just throw our love away like it was the most putrescent of refuse.
“Tell me,” My words were spoken with much difficulty, as I tried to rein in my passions and desires; the look on her face was one of bewilderment; which meant that she must have turned her feelings completely off—she was a shell, a wraith of her former self—she really could feel nothing. I knew this tactic well, because I had been doing it for far too long, it was true that it dulled the pain, but it also made a being less than alive—you were merely walking through life existing—there was no life. Her eyes told the tale, the amber was a flicker, of their usual flame. “How you are acting as if our love does not matter. Does it not affect you, does this not affect you?” I put her hand gently to my heart, and I saw her shudder before she ripped it away and walked toward the sink. She was a vision, as she stood at the window, the orange sun of dusk; painting her skin a warm honey.
I approached her, and she tried to back away, but I grabbed her to me; she would not walk away from me this time. She was cold and lifeless, and I had every intention of waking her up.
“I know what you are doing, I have been doing it to,” My voice was a mirror of the pain that was present in her eyes. “You want to shut out the pain, but it also shuts out the beauty,” I touched her cheek softly, and she closed her eyes savoring the touch; before she tried to struggle away from me, but I tightened her in my embrace. “Look at me Solarias, look at me please, tell me why you saved my life; if you are just going to kill me again with your anguishing silence and coldness? You do not speak to me, you do not acknowledge me, you will not even look at me.” I was losing control of my emotions, it was a symptom of keeping them turned off for too long. Before I knew it, I had a kitchen knife in my hand, and I was kneeling before her; I grabbed her wrist and put the knife in her palm, and forced her hand to my throat as she held the knife in her shaking palm. “Finish the job that, your brother intended; take me out of my misery. What is life without love, true love, lasting love, real love; I am in anguish. Finish it!” I screamed, her hand was trembling violently. I could smell the strong essence of cinnamon coming from her, a sign that her emotions were awakening, and the dead amber of her eyes licked to flame.
Her body shook with her sobs, and I dropped her wrist, and she dropped the knife to the ground.
“I cannot, I cannot, I cannot.” She cried, and I stood up, and took her in my arms again. “You are healed, my lord, you must go.” She was still striving against her feelings. “Baylin will be coming to check on me, in a few more sun seasons and you should not be here when she gets here. It would mean trouble.” She averted her eyes from mine, as her sobs dried up.
“Again with the, my lord, I am Dane, just Dane.” I lifted her eyes to mine. “Remember, when we were younglings, and we were carefree in the wood; I longed to hear you call me by name, because it was as if you really saw me—the true me. No false pretenses, no titles, no ranks; just me.”
“It is not the same, my lord, we are not the same.” Her words were almost unintelligible.
“You would like to think that we are not the same, but we are still those two beings. I am still blown away by the sheer magnificence of you, lady, and you are still taken away by me.” My voice was a gentle caress in her ears. “Stop fighting what is inevitable between us, what will always be inevitable.”
“I wonder what the lovely Brynyana would say, if she could here you speaking in this very moment.” Her words were like a bucket of cold ice water over my head, mentioning my bride in waiting; under the Mandatory Nuptial Contracts Law, was bad form and she knew it.
I grinned mischievously, as I brought her closer and breathed into her ear.
“I do not crave Brynyana as I crave you, she is not woven into my dreams as I sleep, she is not on my mind when I wake; she does not and never will hold my heart the way you do. You are trying to deter me from loving you, you are trying to push, prod and poke; until you get the proof that you need, that I have changed. Well you will find no proof, because the Moon King title does not change who I am, and what I feel. I still want you, and I always will. So, throw your barbs, you cannot hurt me with your ill words concerning Brynyana.” I looked into her eyes again, and she was mystified.
“Just go, you are healthy, you are strong; there is nothing stopping you.” She pushed herself away from me, having no other retort for my confession. When she pushed me away, I noticed—for the first time—an unassuming gold chain around her neck—I do not know what drew my eyes to it, but they were drawn nonetheless. That is when I remembered the ring that I had designed for her so long ago.
I twisted her gracefully around to face me, and she narrowed her eyes; with her amber eyes licking to anger at my grabbing her again.
“Beautiful chain, very simple; I do not remember ever seeing you wearing it.” I spoke with the sneaking suspicion that my ring was hanging from that chain; hidden under her garment—close to her heart. If she still wore it, there was still hope.
“It was my grandmother’s.” She tripped over her words, which meant that she was lying, and then she became increasingly uncomfortable at being in my embrace.
“Really?” I asked with a grin, she was avoiding my eyes now; which meant that she was definitely lying. “May I see it?”
“There is nothing to see, it is nothing more than a simple gold chain; my lord.” She was still refusing to look at me.
“Still,” I smirked toying with her. “I would really like to appraise it for myself.”
“No,” She looked into my eyes in defiance. “It is mine, you are a guest in my home; I have the right to deny you anything that is mine.”
“You are correct, in a way,” I was relishing this. “But I do believe that, what is yours is also half mine.” And before she could protest any further; I gently pulled the chain from hiding, and lo and behold; there it was dangling from her simple gold chain: the light blue moon rock carved into a wedding band, shining and shimmering; with a dazzling piece of a falling star—sitting in the middle of the band.
She snatched it from me, and put it back in hiding beneath her garment; her cheeks were beet red, and she would not look at me as she backed away.
“Please go Dane,” The name stumbled out of her lips, and she fumbled around with her words; as if she was trying to shove my nickname back into her mouth, but the name had already been spoken and my heart had already been stirred. “You must go my lord.” Her reserve was weakening; I could no longer hold in all of my emotions, her using my nickname and her keeping my ring—proved to me that she wanted me every bit as much as I wanted her. “Please, or this time; my brother really will kill you.”
I could no longer hear her words, my attention was on the luscious pout of her lips. I had not kissed her for so long, would her lips be just as sweet as I remembered; or would they be sweeter?
“Let him try, if you love me; I can stand against any enemy.” I sauntered slowly toward her, and she became fidgety as she backed away from me. “You kept it, after all this time.” I was baffled by her devotion to me, and impassioned.
“It is nothing, merely a trifle.” She tried to minimize her act of love. “I only kept it, because you did not take it back that night; I kept it so if you ever came back for it…I would…”
When I finally stood before her; face to face, she stopped fumbling with her words immediately, and when she tried to go around me, I took her into my embrace.
“Tell me that you do not love me, Princess of the Sun; tell me with the veiled curtains to your soul fully open to me, so that I may view the truth for myself. Look into my eyes, and let me see into the depths of you, so, that I may determine what is true.” Our hearts beat together in harmonious rapture.
She battled between truth and lies, until truth won out; with tears in her eyes she could not deny me.
“Dane, you are in danger here; you must leave.” She sounded like the old Solarias, my Solarias; the Solarias that was alive and full of vibrant life.
“Not when my heart is here.” I lulled, draping her arms around my shoulders. “I have waited for this moment for so long, I must have you forever; my sun maiden, please marry me. I do not care where we have to go, what we must do; I must seal myself to you.” I must have sounded like a desperate mad man to her, but I did not care—I had to have her.
“The laws are still the laws, my Moon King, and we are who we are. Marriage between us, a life together in our own home; will only ever happen in our sweetest dreams. You have my essence inside of you now, my love; you will dream of me for a little and then no more, but I will be in your heart, in your memories. Hold onto that.” She cupped my face in her hands. “We are cursed with our love, imprisoned by it, it is our doom, our undoing. Please think of me, think of me often. I can live and survive if I know that you are thinking of me from time to time.” Tears escaped her eyes. “I had to turn off my feelings, because if I did not; I was afraid that I never would be able to let you go.”
Her words drew me over the edge, I jumped off of the precipice and was flying through the air; I never wanted to come down. I drew her into me, our eyes dancing for a long moment; she showed me all the depths of her soul—every dream, wish and desire that she had for our lives together. She unleashed the fragrance of her cinnamon, and the scent of her made me dizzy.
“Adaolto mystrana gynionta.” I murmured in her ear seductively, and she gasped; as I drew her even closer. “No force on any sun or moon can keep us apart.” I translated, and she wove her fingers in my hair. I let our souls caress a little longer before my lips gently touched hers; we were two meteors crashing into each other—this love, this passion was far too deep to be replicated; this could only be designed by the Star Breather himself.
Our lips parted briefly, and she looked into my eyes breathlessly intoxicated by our kiss.
“How long will you love me Dane?” She looked at me deeply.
I smiled drawing her into me, tasting the inebriating sweetness of her mouth; her tongue was liquid gold.
“Until the moon turns to dust, until the sun burns to ash; I will love you.” I rested my forehead to hers.
“You must go now,” Her eyes closed in agony. “We always knew that our love was forbidden, that it cannot be, but it does not mean that it is not true, that it is not right, because it is. Our hearts were designed by the Star Breather to be entwined; for our worlds to rip them asunder causes him shame.” She looked at me then. “But how can we make them hear over the hatred?”
“Trust me love, I will think of something; I give you my solemn vow.” I kissed her lips again softly. “I will marry you, and no other.”
I left her cottage moments later, and with her watching sadly from her kitchen window; I passed from the land of the sun back to the land of the moon. The distance between us was cold, and lonely. We were still one, while our worlds warred all around us; we were still one. The only thing to do now, was to appeal to the Star Breather, but how would I get to him? While it was true that I could always contact him in prayer, or through worship; I felt as if that were not enough. I needed a face to face audience with the Great One, which was nearly impossible in these dark times, because we had driven Him up into the High Star Realms with our warring, and hatred; all because we refused to submit to love, and our choice for hatred turned our worlds over to the Dark Force. The Dark Force was now polluting everything, and everyone in our two worlds. He used my words to spark this ridiculous war, now I would have to think up new ones to put an end to it. The Star Breather was the key, and along with our Celestial Leader, our worlds would have to join as one to have one final battle; to end all battles—one final war to end all wars—driving the Dark Force back to the Netherworld where he belonged, and if we were smart we would make sure he stayed there for all time.
~CHAPTER 8~
PRINCESS SOLARIAS
It was hard to know whether I had dreamt it all, some turnings of the sun; I was convinced that I had and then there were others when I knew that what had happened between Dane and I was as real as our flesh and bone. I hated not being able to see him every single new sun; to be held in his strong embrace was far better than any magic in our great wide universe. I had received several correspondences from him, courtesy of the birds, because their flight was their ticket between our two borders—nothing could hold them captive. To see his beautiful face, to hear the gentle hum of his voice; I ached to be one of my bird friends—if only for a moment.
I sat in the windowsill, as the sun was just beginning to relinquish its place to the moon; the subtle pink of dusk warmed me through. I clinched Dane’s latest letter in my hand, the words were several turnings of the sun old—I longed to hear his more recent thoughts. However, the duties and obligations of a kingdom could be overpowering and I knew from watching my eldest brother rule that, the crown could be awfully heavy—turning one into a being that they did not recognize. I closed my eyes in silent thanks to the Star Breather that, Dane had not allowed the position to taint him; nor the weight of the crown corrupt him—he was still in every single way; my Dane. I decided to open his letter and read it once more, it made me feel close to him; oh how I longed to be close to him. I was happy to read that, his feelings were mutual; our love to him, had not waxed cold in the ethereal glow of the moon.
Queen of my Soul,
How I long to be with you, to touch you, to feel you against me. Has it really been so short? I feel as if I have not touched you in a light year, and it is maddening. What is even more maddening and infuriating; is the blind and nonsensical hatred of men whom call themselves servants of the Star Breather, I am trying to convince the Elders of the Board but they are fighting me, love, fighting me with all of their being. I fear as if I can trust no one, especially not my mother or eldest brother; they have been coveting my throne since it was given to me by my late father. They are always holding secret meetings with the Elders behind my back, and not only this; but I also fear as if they have been trying to figure out a way to have me forcibly removed from the throne, and what is even worse; the Dark Force has been in attendance at some of those meetings. And you know how he hates me, because I stood up to him so long ago; he mistrusts my pure heart, as he calls it—because it is a threat to him, and all of his dark works. Pray for me love, as I pray for you. Pray that the Star Breather would intervene on our behalf. You have no idea, just how many times I have come close to crossing that line; just so that I can pull you into my arms—you are like a child’s security blanket, to me, my love; you make me feel so safe.
In the thoughts of your soul, I see myself as I have never seen myself before. You make me believe that, I can do anything; you make me feel like a king—and when I question my ability to uphold the responsibilities of the crown; I know that I can, because you have faith that I can. Please write to me as oft as you like, I know that your letters are more frequent than mine, but please believe me love when I say that they soothe my soul; continue to send them—I count on them. I cannot wait for the day when I can call you my own, when we can share life and love together. I still have dreams of you, and I prefer them greatly to my boring logical rest; sometimes I wake in the middle of the night, and reach for you only to find that you are not in my chambers—this breaks my heart every time. How can we be so close, yet so far? I wish I could write for eternity of how much I love you, cherish you, and honor you; but I must make these words my last. I so adore you, please do not ever doubt that. Until we meet again, and I hope it is soon.

Your Beloved Moon King,
Dane
I closed the letter, and held it to my heart; tears gently escaped my eyes. The burning of my heart—at his absence—refused to ebb; I felt as if half of me had died with his departure.
“Oh Star Breather, will I ever see him again?” I talked with the Ruler of all Universes, in hopes that I would hear his voice; I had not heard the Creator’s voice in so long. Dane asked me to pray for us, and while I had tried; I heard no confirmation—I felt no peaceful presence. Had the Star Breather’s voice been lost in my ears, or was He simply ignoring my request?
As a youngling Baylin used to read me stories from the Ancient Book, and I particularly remembered being fascinated by the story of an Earthian man whom actually wrestled with the Star Breather Himself, and while he had the audacity to wrestle him in the first place; he went farther than this, and boldly proclaimed to the Star Breather that he would not let Him go until He blessed him.
“Well, Star Breather; I am not letting you go, until you bless me with what I desire and what I desire more than anything on any planet; is to be Dane’s wife.” I smiled at the thought of it, and before I could get lost in the rapture of that possibility. Baylin burst into my cottage, with an excitement that I had never seen her carry. I stuck the letter behind the bread box, before she could catch me with it.
She ran over to me at the windowsill, and hugged me tightly to herself; I could scarcely breathe.
“What is going on, Baylin, what is the cause of all of this jubilation?” I pushed away from her, and slid off the windowsill, to stand before her.
“Well, your brother requests an audience with you.” Her smile was so wide, I thought she would crack her face; I laughed at the sight of her.
“It is not exactly exciting news, for me to be summoned to court; I have to get all dressed up. I mean it is a whole big ceremonious thing; for nothing at all. I hate it.” My mood began to sour at the thought of it; I really did not feel like dealing with Leonus tonight.
“Well you will not hate it this time.” There was a hidden knowledge in her bright eyes, and I demanded to know what she knew.
“Baylin, do you know why Leonus has summoned me to court?” I cocked my eyebrow, and folded my arms across my chest with a suspicious smile.
She tried to avoid my eyes, while going into my chambers to prepare my wardrobe for the evening; I followed her into my chambers, as she pulled out a beautiful lavender gown—it was my favorite.
“I was thinking the lavender, and we could perhaps sweep you hair up tonight.” She was talking over me, only deepening my suspicion and curiosity.
“Either you tell me what is going on right this minute Baylin, or I refuse to acknowledge the king’s summons; you can march yourself right back up to the palace and tell him that I am ill.” I was done playing games, I was much too old for them.
“Well, come sit, but please act surprised; I was not supposed to say anything,” She sat down on my bed, and I sat right beside her. “The entire kingdom has been invited to the Star Centennial in the High Star Realms. At the next turning of the moon, we shall be in the presence of the Star Breather Himself”
I was immediately mystified and intrigued; I could not find words to respond to Baylin’s news, so she continued to speak.
“The invitation has been made open to all kingdoms, including Luniris; which is why the Star Breather has forbad weapons to be brought into his kingdom—this is to be seven star fallings of peace and fellowship; and the Solarian Board of Elders has agreed to acquiescence the Supreme Lord’s request,” She smoothed her hand against my cheek. “King Leonus wanted the entire royal family present; when he made the announcement before the whole kingdom this eventide.”
Had the Star Breather answered my request so quickly? My brain was full of joyous fog; I could not think clearly.
“Well, what are we waiting for?” I finally spoke.
“You to get prepared,” She scoffed sternly. “I know that, you do not expect to go up to the palace looking like that.”
“Right.” I rolled my eyes. “Well, let the plucking and prodding began.”
In truth, I did not mind all the pomp and feathers, because I had nothing on my mind, but seeing Dane. A festival in the High Star Realms, with no weapons; it was sure to make for a peaceful and interesting time. And not to mention, with Dane and I sharing the same space; there would be plenty of time for us to get away alone. I wish the Star Centennial were tomorrow.

Baylin and I arrived—by coach—to the palace a little after the moon took its place in the sky. I missed my secluded cottage already, as I listened to the feasting going on inside. The palace was luxurious and glorious in every possible way, with its open glass and gold tinged exterior—I had never seen a palace of the like. It sat up on a raised mountain; overlooking the entire kingdom, and when the sun hit it; it looked like a blazing ball of fire. Everyone looked to it and marveled, I on the other hand; looked to his with discomfort, because it never quite fit me.
I always felt like the odd one out in my family, the only female; of seven rugged brothers. I knew that my family loved me, in the best way that they knew how, but I never truly felt it. We were too busy keeping up appearances to truly love each other; like a regular ordinary family would. Before the wars, we were a family of ten; a royal family in which all others—of the kingdom—envied, idolized and mimicked. I always hated being the center of attention, but that was a hazard of being royal; no matter your decisions or choices; everyone had an opinion about it, and felt compelled to voice it.
King Theinopolis was the wise, handsome and charismatic leader of the Solarian people; he laughed easily and often. He stood taller than most of the men in the kingdom, and he had devoted his life to physical fitness; his muscle made him look larger than life and threatening to everyone who encountered him, especially me. His skin held the hue of cinnamon, and his eyes were the perfect shade of caramel; when his ire had not been stoked. Some say that, he could have had any woman that, he wanted because he was skilled in the arts of music and poetry, but he had eyes for no one else but my mother. Her audacious and vibrant personality captured him right from the start.
Queen Candronia, was not the same woman these days; the death of my father made her silent and withdrawn, and she withdrew herself farthest from me. My mother and I shared the same hue of skin, the perfect mixture of honey and almond, but our facial features and body make up was where the similarities between us ended. She used to be more outgoing and free to laugh, I was more of an introvert; comfortable talking to individuals in smaller settings. Her hair reached all the way below her waist, and she always wore it in one long braid. When I was a youngling, she would let me brush it sometimes; but now, she did not have two words to say to me. She and I were never close, Baylin was more of a mother to me; mother was beautiful to look at and admire—like an untouchable fairy tale princess from a book. It was almost as if, her emotions and feelings only lit up when around a crowd; privately she was cold and overly critical.
My parents rarely took down their guard to love their children; I mean really love them, sometimes love was foolish and silly and mother and father were too perfect and royal to be foolish and silly.
All of their sons, basically took after them; they were aloof, beautiful and untouchable; save my beloved brother Allius—who shared my same heart and spirit—we did not mind being foolish and silly, this is what made us family outcasts; freaks among our own blood. Leonus, Patrius, Allioni, Misipin, Hanoli and Centrisus all wanted to be just like my father; they all shared the same interests and did the same things, and Allius was always ridiculed and scorned because he wanted to do something different. How I missed him now, were he here; I would lean on him for support, and this would not have been so uncomfortable.
While I only had three brothers left, they were the three eldest and took the most after father; they did not understand me at all.
“My lady, you are going to go in are you not?” The coachman was holding out his hand for mine.
I was shaken out of my reverie immediately, as I took his hand.
“My apologies Frilin,” I spoke as I took his hand to step out of the coach. “I do not know where my mind is this eventide.”
I could feel my cheeks burning, he smiled and took both of my hands in his.
“Princess, I am glad to have you here; you are here so rarely.” He set his mouth in a hard line, trying to contemplate; whether he should say what he said next.”If you do not mind me saying it madam, you should not be frightened of them; you are the person that they are all pretending to be. You should hold your head down to no one.” He released my hands, and jumped back onto the coach; tipping his hat to me as he rode off into the night. He was not much older than I, but his words held the wisdom of someone far beyond his maturation level.
Baylin had long since gone inside; I supposed that I just needed to gather all of my courage; to deal with parading myself before court. Leonus summoned me so rarely, and I liked it that way; I liked the solitude and exclusivity of my small cottage in the wood—it suited me so well. Allius always said that, he stayed with me, because he did not like the idea of my being so far away from the palace without protection, but I always suspected that he liked being in a place where he was not fawned over too.
I ascended the grand staircase, and prepared myself for the deluge of stares and whispers that would follow my entrance. As soon as I was inside; the light from the royal chandelier in the middle of the ballroom blinded me, while the heralds announced my name and title. Barongard ran up the stairs to escort me; at first I drew back in disgust, that is until I saw my king brother give me a look of disdain and disappointment. I took the arm of my betrothed—tentatively—and Barongard stared at me from head to toe as if he were trying to imagine how I looked free of my garments—I cringed away from his intrusive look. Barongard, Duke of the Lower Star Realms made me want to vomit. Thankfully the people had started ignoring us, and went about their own business; after all the whispers and fusses over my lavender gown.
I had to admit that he was nice looking, beautiful; even—with his green eyes, dark hair and sun kissed skin, but he was also a callous cad, with no heart or soul and it was these reasons that made me detest him. Nevertheless, Barongard pursued me with a vengeance, because I seemed to be the only female immune to his charms.
“You are absolutely ravishing, my lady.” He breathed in my ear seductively, but I refused to honor him with a look or a word.
I simply nodded my thanks, and counted the steps until; I was at my throne and would be free from him—as I sat and watched the festivities from a safe distance—had Dane been here, I probably would have danced all night; just to be held in his arms. Barongard, interrupted my vision with his mindless meandering. Why was he still talking to me, there was nothing that I loathed more, than hearing words coming out of his conceited mouth.
“You know, when your father approached mine; to discuss our nuptial contract, I was thrilled and do you know why?” He was trying to get me to talk, but I would not give him the satisfaction.
I hunched my shoulders, and he chortled darkly.
“Because you are the most beautiful being in all the kingdoms, I cannot believe that your father chose me.” He dared to stop our walk, as people chatted all around us, and brought my eyes to his as if we were caught up in our own private rendezvous. “I have waited Solarias, for quite a while. You drive me mad.” He tried to brush his fingertips against my cheek, as the lust in his eyes became palpable but I backed away—not wanting even his fingertips on my skin.
“You are mad, because I am one of the few maidens that; refuses to lower herself to lay down on my back for you. If I had allowed you the satisfaction of bedding me, you would have lost interest in me quite a long time ago.” I narrowed my eyes, and started to walk away; but he jerked me back to him—no one noticed, because they were too consumed with merriment.
“Now you see here you little tease, I do not know who you think that you are dealing with; but your father made a contract with mine, and I mean to collect on what has been promised me,” He scoffed as he looked me up and down. “I may not have gotten you on your back yet, darling, but I will soon have my pleasure; with or without your permission. Your brother, has assured me that our wedding will take place on eight moons hence,” He kissed me violently, and then lulled softly in my ear. “Believe me lady, I will have what is mine; now, you could either be willing or I will take what is mine by force—your choice,” He looked at me again with a serpent’s smirk slithering across his face. “But I have a sneaking suspicion that you will be willing.”
He walked away, leaving me to finish the walk to my own throne, my knees shook violently with rage. I would never marry him! As I sat down by my mother, she actually shook her head and tsked me.
“I do not know why you insist on provoking his ire, daughter, you should have honored your contract long ago.” She refused to look into my eyes when she addressed me, she just focused her eyes out on the dance floor; while the beings were dancing. I did not even hear the orchestra start playing.
“And does love mean nothing, mother?” I spewed the words out like venom.
That is when she trained her cold eyes on me.
“Love has caused us enough heart ache and pain, do you not think, daughter?” The implication in her statement was clear, she held me responsible for my father’s death, because I fell in love with Dane.
I was so tired of her quiet disdain, and her snide comments; if she blamed me for father’s death—we were going to get it out into the open right now.
“Why continue to mince words mother, you hold me responsible for father’s death; just say it!” I was losing control of my emotions, and this made me lose all of my shyness—right then I did not care who heard or who was watching. And people were beginning to watch, and listen as my voice elevated; pretty soon the orchestra had grown completely silent. It seems as if they were just as engrossed in the scandalous conversation between queen and princess as everyone else was.
“Child, calm down and relax; no need to be so dramatic.” She had put on her public queen face, so that her audience would see what she wanted them to see; but not today—today the entire kingdom would see the truth, that the royal family was not as perfect as they wanted to make us out to be.
“No mother, I want the truth; do you hold me responsible for father’s death or not?” I was standing up, I knew that my eyes had to be blazing flames by now.
And that is when mother lost her temper, and stood up to look me eye to eye; we were both tall women, but mother was an inch taller than me—I almost shrunk back at the no nonsense fury blazing in her eyes, but I stood my ground.
“Responsible,” She shouted back. “And punishable, if you had just listened; if you had just honored your contract to Barongard long ago, your father would still be alive.” Her words severed my soul, I was bleeding out and all she did was sat back down on her throne; and held her head up high like the regal queen that she wanted everyone else to think she was.
Leonus came up to the thrones from dancing with his wife, and gave me a look of indignation mixed with hatred.
“Solarias, what do you think that you are doing; how could you dishonor the memory of your father in such a way? These are his subjects, and we have invited them into our home for a celebration, not for a public airing of private family matters.” He jerked me to him. “Leave sister, go back to your little cottage, and I will decide how to deal with you later.”
I snatched my arm away from him, and defied my king brother openly.
“I will not leave, I know that I am a stain on my family’s good name; I know that I am the freak, to believe in love such as I do, but I will not honor my contract to Barongard, because I do not love him!”
I could hear whispers among the crowd from where I stood, and as fire blazed out of my brother’s angry eyes—he backhanded me for my open rebellion against him—the slap was not gentle, he withheld none of his strength and my ears rang as a result.
“Leave, sister, or I will have the guards escort you out.” He snarled with a menacing look in his eyes.
I looked back at mother, and she was still sitting with her head held high, and her eyes trained on the crowd. I slowly walked down the stairs from my throne—still holding my face against the burning sensation of my brother’s hand print—as I started my walk out; the crowd’s gossipy whispers became louder and louder. When I opened the door to retreat from the ballroom, into the light of ethereal moon; I heard my brother order the orchestra to start up the music again, and I could hear talking and merriment—to which I had been barred. No carriage came to take me home, I was forced to walk the five and half miles back to my cottage; in the black of night—with only the stars and moon to guide me. I suspected that this was another one of my king brother’s cruel punishments.
When I finally reached the cottage; my feet ached so bad that, I thought they would fall off. I felt as if I had been walking across jagged rocks. I fell to the floor just inside my cottage, and wept bitterly; the only hope that I had tugging in my heart was the fact that I would be in the Star Breather’s perfect kingdom on the morrow, which meant I would be in Dane’s arms. I held onto that as I cried myself dry, in the dark; all alone.

~CHAPTER 9~
THE MOON KING
I found war council meetings to be mind-numbingly boring; I had already fought on the battle field all day, what was the sense in going over what had already been done? How many lives were lost? What maneuvers and tactics were used, what ambushes were successful? What ambushes were not? I would rather fall on my own sword than listen to this. I knew for a fact that, the sun people were not going over war strategy tonight; they were having a celebration—in honor of being invited to the Star Breather’s Centennial on the morrow. And for a chance to roam about his breathtaking land, the Sun People were more than willing to give up their weapons for seven glorious phases of the moon. However, the Moon People had to be more logical brained about the whole situation; the Star Breather was not allowing his guests to bring weapons, and they felt to be in a place with their enemies without protection was far too great a risk.
Nevertheless, the centennial was on the agenda to be discussed this eventide; and my vote was the deciding vote—and I already knew how I was voting. For a chance to see Solarias after such a long separation; my vote would be a thousand times, yes. After the last general had spoken concerning battle strategy and logistics; my mind was suddenly awakened, because one of the elders broached the subject of the centennial.
“I believe that we should forgo the whole centennial, how could we possibly go to a celebration that is makes merry over peace; when the people of Luniris and the people of Solarian are in the midst of the cruelest of wars; with no end in sight? How can we trust the Solarians to keep their word?” The Elder was on a cane, and he had a tendency of waving it around when he spoke; I rolled my eyes.
When the conversation subsided—in response to Ramadin, the elder’s statements; concerning the centennial—all eyes fell on me awaiting my feelings on the subject.
“We may not trust the sun people, but the celebration is not in their lands; we are venturing to the Star Breather’s territory and I have every confidence that we can trust him at his word.” I enjoyed flexing my kingly muscle, the elders faces were astonished at my answer; and they all found themselves nodding in agreement.
That is until my brother spoke up, and ruined everything.
“I am in agreement with Ramadin’s original statement; we cannot trust the sun people, and we are venturing to foreign territory, whether it is the Star Breather’s territory or not makes no difference. Have we forgotten that the war was begun at the First Star Annual, and the Star Breather was present? And when the fighting broke out, what did he do; he left.” Kantono crossed his arms, as he grinned maliciously. He had been striving against me since I was made king, and it irked me that he always found a way to undermine my authority in front of the elders.
The elders began their murmurings of doubt amongst each other, disregarding my last statement; and the armies sided with my brother.
“Well, brother you are a general of the west army; you are trained to think like a soldier, I am the general of all armies and your king; and if I say that there is no danger, you will have to take my word as sovereign wisdom. So, I say that if the Star Breather says that this is a celebration of peace; He is not a man that He should lie.” I stood up, and glowered at my brother. “And I say that to deny the Star Breather’s invitation; would be an insult to Him, and I will never insult the Creator.” I crossed my arms, and gave him a mocking grin; his countenance contorted into something demonic, but I ignored him and turned my attention to the other men in the room. “Now, what will it be gentleman? A vote against this celebration is an insult to the Creator, will you insult him? The Supreme Ruler in whom you claim to place you trust; in whom you claim to pledge your allegiance and your service? Or will you swallow you hatred and honor his invitation?” I waited as all of them fought and discussed, and fought some more; the room became rowdy with voices for and against my motion, but I was swelling with joy that most of the voices had gone out for my motion.
Suddenly the sea of voices, completely ebbed; and Ramadin stood up to bring forth the decision that the men had come to. I sat down in my throne, ready to receive the good news.
“My lord, we have decided to honor the Star Breather’s invitation.” He bowed his head in silence, and sat back down.
“I am glad that, you have seen reason; gentleman meeting is adjourned. We prepare to travel to the High Star Realms on the morrow.” I reveled in my pride, but not for long; as the men prepared to leave the Sacred Board Room, I heard my brother’s voice over the dispersing crowd.
“Stop all of you; will you let my brother beguile you? His only intention of going to the High Star Realms; is not to honor the Star Breather’s invitation, but to fondle his little sun strumpet. Have you all forgotten, this man disappeared for almost four phases of the moon; and no one seems to care that he was holed up in her home. Who knows, he could at this very moment be plotting and planning with his sun strumpet, to lead us to our deaths.”
My brother’s inflammatory and accusatory statements, stoked the fires of my anger something fierce. I stood up from my throne, and walked to him; so, that I could look into his eyes. The crowd of men was silent as I addressed his ridiculous accusations.
“I am sorry that father blessed me as king over you, brother, but I will not let you call my integrity into question, especially out in the open like this. You and mother have been sowing discord in this kingdom, since my coronation. You think I do not know about the secret meetings behind my back? I am not an imbecile; I see what you are doing, and it will not work. Now, either you will do as father commanded, and lead me on the right path; or you will be banished and stripped of all of your commendations as general for your insubordination toward me. Make your decision now brother, because I must do what I must do; and if that means making an example out of you. I shall.” My eyes blazed into his.
He walked away in his anger, without answering my question; I could tell that our battle was far from over. His evil countenance when he stormed off made my spirit quiver; it was as if the Dark Force had inhabited him, and took my brother away in his dark undertow. As the men filed out, I could hear their gossipy whispers; they were worse than the women at court in their sewing and quilting circles. I plopped down in my throne with a sigh. I closed my eyes, and pinched the bridge of my nose with my index finger and thumb; trying to stave off a headache—I could really use one of Solarias’s massages right now. The crown was too heavy. Could I really do this? Perhaps it would be easier to just abdicate the throne, let Kantono have what he wanted. Was it really worth warring over the kingdom?
Why did father bless me anyway, did he see something in Kantono that I missed? Was Kantono just too hungry for power, to wear the crown with grace, as father assumed? I leaned my head back in the throne, and went over father’s Death Scroll over and over again in my head. Father never really spoke to me, we were never even close; he and Kantono were stitched from the same cloth—I was always the third wheel. I longed for his approval and affection when I was a youngling, and it always eluded me. Was this some cruel joke? Did father believe that I could not wear the crown well; did he give me this responsibility to torture me?
“My king, do I have your permission to enter?” Her voice was soft, and genuinely submissive, which was completely out of character for my mother. She wanted something, and I was much too tired to figure out what it was. I brought my head up to stare at her; I grew even more tired, as I anticipated the argument that was sure to ensue between the two of us.
Queen Mahaliquin was tall and statuesque, she had long blond hair; which was so platinum that it looked more white than golden, she was breathtakingly beautiful. Her eyes were a piercing blue, when I was younger they used to scare me. She was not generally a quiet and submissive woman; she was more likely to spend time in the training arena then in quilting or sewing circles. She was of the lower Star Realms, I had heard tell that she was quite lethal with a sword in her earlier maturation levels, however, the only evidence of that was the sword that she always carried on her person; because after she wed my father—I had not witnessed that side of her. While she tried to appear nice, underneath the surface; she could be heartless, manipulative and cruel.
I really did not have the time or energy, to figure out exactly how she was trying to manipulate me; when I opened my eyes I noticed that she and Brynyana were standing side by side—they could have been twins—the only difference in their appearance was their ages, it was no surprise to me when mother chose her, because Bryn was the quiet and submissive type, and mother found it easy to persuade and bend her to her will. She molded and shaped Bryn into her image; it was sad really.
“What is it mother?” My voice was cloaked in dubiousness. “I am actually on my way to bed, so, whatever this is; it will have to wait for another date.”
“You will hear me, now, my son.” Her voice elevated, and I smiled; knowing that her quiet and submissive demeanor would not last—it was just not in her nature.
“Now there is the mother, I know and love.” I narrowed my eyes sarcastically, standing up from my throne. “What can I do for you, or may I say; what can I do for the both of you this eventide?”
“Brynyana has come to me this eventide, and expressed her concern—over her delayed nuptials—she has confided in me that, you have stopped all courting rituals and will not even look at her.” Her words were venomous as she narrowed her icy blue eyes. “A king leads the people by example, if you will not honor your nuptial contract; my lord, how do you expect the people to do so?” She folded her hands in front of her, and continued to stare me down with her acidic glare; Brynyana just stood by her side saying nothing.
“Mother, I am much too tired for this.” My head was throbbing now.
“Well, wake up!” She shouted. “It is time to honor your word to Bryn, my son; people are beginning to talk.”
Her words filled me with rage, was I not king? Did I not reserve the right, to carry out laws as I saw fit? I was tired of everyone telling me what to do; father had entrusted the kingdom to me, and everyone else would just have to deal with my decisions. And I most certainly was not about to answer to my mother, about my courting rituals or my nuptial plans.
“Watch your words, mother, I am still your king; and I will honor my contracts when I see fit to do so.” My voice elevated, but my mother stood steadfast with her countenance challenging me; it was rather difficult to try and assert authority over a woman who changed your diapers and burped you. I sighed in frustration; knowing that I would eventually give in to her demands—if not for any other reason, but to make her go away and leave me in peace.
“Be that as it may,” My mother’s tone was dismissive, as if she had taken a broom and brushed my words out of the door. “Bryn desires an audience with you, and you will acquiescence her request, because the laws of the land demand it; or have you received the required votes to rewrite the laws?” She arched her eyebrow in mockery; knowing full well that I had been trying to get the laws of the land rewritten, but had faced opposition after opposition—due in part to her and my brother’s involvement.
“You know I have not, mother.” I retorted through clinched teeth.
“Good, then you will grant her audience as per the law.” She put her hands on her hips in triumph. “I will leave you two alone.”
She whispered something to Bryn, and then mother had vacated the room—closing the door behind her—at the door’s heavy slam; I felt as if I was trapped without oxygen. I plopped back down into my throne, and I watched as Bryn sashayed toward me; as if my mother passed her manipulative spirit, onto the usually shy and quiet girl—that is when I knew that my mother had given her explicit instructions to seduce me.
“My lord?” Her voice was even different, as she continued her seductive walk while ascending up to my throne.
“What is it?” My words were curt, as I closed my eyes shut and put my head in my hand; desiring nothing more than for her to leave—my headache had grown in intensity.
“Look at me, my lord,” Her words had become breathy and deep, as I felt her standing directly before me; I sighed deeply in frustration as I opened my eyes to look at her, and when I did I shut them back immediately, because she had disrobed herself right in front of me. “Am I not beautiful, am I not sweet? You may do whatever you wish, whatever you desire; I am yours.”
Before she could come any closer, I vacated my throne with my eyes still shut.
“Bryn, cover yourself.” I tripped all over my words, because I was in such shock and disbelief, but instead of covering herself she came over to me; and wrapped her arms around my shoulders. When I opened my eyes again, I gave her a cold, stern look to convey my displeasure.
“You desire me, I can see it in your eyes. Am I not more beautiful than your maiden of the sun? Where her skin is rough and dry from being baked by the sun, mine is soft and smooth,” She took my hand, and placed it on her cheek and she was right; her skin was smooth but Solarias’s was smoother. “Are her lips as red as the Moon Fern’s,” She caressed her lips gently against mine; her breath was heaven, the scent of mint and cucumber was on her tongue—a scent that matched my own—the scent of our people. “Are they as sweet?” She lulled hypnotically, like a viper leading the mouse to its untimely death; I had been away from Solarias too long, my flesh grew weak. “Has she offered you pleasure, or has she teased you with the kisses of her mouth?” She pulled herself closer to me, my body was enflamed; I could smell the cucumber and mint scent of my passions unleashed. She was definitely doing the job—that my mother sent her to do—well. “Touch my body, my lord, unleash the desires of your flesh; entwine yourself with me. I would never tease you the way that, that dark skinned whore does. I would give you a king’s honor.” She was spreading kisses on my neck, but her words against Solarias sobered me. I pushed her away and glowered at her in disgust.
“So this is your definition of giving me a king’s honor? You know nothing of Solarias, she has never cheapened herself as you do now. Her love does honor me, you do this for your own benefit; not out of love but to manipulate me into honoring my contract to you.” I shook my head in disdain. “Put your clothes back on, my lady, because you will never seduce me out of my own will; or out of my true love.” I looked at her in compassion as she bent down to pick up her dress with shaking hands; I covered her with my robe. “Do you not want to find your own love, one that has not been contracted to you?” I gently offered her my hand to help her stand, and brushed the tears from her cheek. “I can never love you the way that you want, my lady, and you should join yourself with a man that is able to give you his whole heart—mine has already been taken.”
She lowered her eyes from mine, and wept bitterly; I walked out of the room leaving her with her grief. There is only one place that, I desired to be right now; more than any other place in the world and that was in Solarian with Solarias, my true love. I knew that I would see her on the morrow; in the High Star Realms, but I had to cross through the Protective Mist—to see her right now, this eventide. I had to look upon the face of my beloved.
As I sat atop Hyndrona, my horse looking at the Protective Mist, I hesitated slightly and Hyndrona tried to back himself away from it, as if telling me that what I was thinking was a foolish idea. When I ran through the mist, the first time; I had been run through by Leonus’s sword and the pain of the flesh wound—dulled out all other pain—including the excruciating pain of going through the Mist. And I had heard tale that, the pain was nearly unbearable—some said it was like walking through open flame, or swimming through hot acid, and this was only the beginning—if one did not suppress their emotions of hatred, the being would be eaten up by the mist; totally and completely incinerated by it. A soldier had to be willing to take extreme pain, and hide their emotions in order to cross the chasm; that was the Protective Mist. There were a great many soldiers; that had successfully conquered the mist—to win many battles—and while I had been one of them—I was not fully alive to attest to how hard it was to get through. Nevertheless, I would attempt to make the jump now, fully alive and fully awake. I got down from Hyndrona’s back, and I took him by the bit with a smile; I looked deep into his dark eyes—knowing that he understood me.
“Wait for me.”
Hyndrona shook his head, and neighed loudly as if he were trying to convey his displeasure; I hunched my shoulders and smiled.
“I will be alright, boy; how hard can it be?” I swallowed a lump of fright that was threatening to rise in my throat, as I turned away from him and faced the unknown of the mist.
I dropped to one knee, and petitioned the Star Breather for strength; going through the mist was risky enough, I did not want to take any chances with trying to hide my feelings—if there was any hatred in me; I wanted it gone.
“Star Breather, purify me completely, and if there is any hatred in me—please remove it all. I venture into the mist; out of pure love, I do not wish to do harm to any of my sun brethren. Will you grant me access to pass?” I got up from my knee, and stood before the mist; just then I felt a gentle wind at my back, as if the Star Breather Himself was propelling me forward. So, I rode the wind through.
It took all that was in me not to scream out in pain, as I was going through the mist; I felt as if my whole body had been engulfed in flame, and not just from the outside, but from the inside as well—almost as if I had been eating fire. Every single cell of my being was ablaze—I felt as if all of my vital organs were melting. Would I survive this? If I died in search of Solarias, it would be worth it—I would do anything for her; even risk life and limb just to see her flawless face.
After what seemed like forever, I finally landed on the other side; I was standing right in the creek that I had fallen into half dead, before Solarias found me and saved my life. The pain of the mist had stopped, almost immediately when I had jumped free of it. The wood was mostly quiet, the blinding stars and the one eyed moon providing the only light. That was when I heard the most graceful footsteps—breaking through the silence—and I could not have mistaken the sound of cold hard steel slicing through the air. I walked from the creek, and saw her—glistening with moonlight—as she sparred with her imaginary partner; in the heart of the wood, just a few steps away from her cottage. She had grown in her training—by leaps and bounds—since the last time that I saw her. She must be putting some work in, at her arena.
I was jealous as I saw the fancy footwork—of her people come through, in her fighting stance—the Solarians had such a way of making their violence look so graceful and rhythmic. I shuddered at the memory of Leonus running me through with his sword; the look on his face was one of animalistic vengeance, but his footwork was almost like a cordial dance. I was besotted by her grace and beauty, even though she wore the lethal look of war in her eyes. A small smile spread across her face, and her soul beamed with the knowledge that I was here; she had sensed my presence. She pirouetted over to me, and held her sword at my chest.
“Do you come into my wood, unarmed my lord?” She spoke coquettishly engaging me in battle, and I stepped into her sword as if challenging her to run me through.
“Yes, you see my heart has been touched by a certain; Princess of the Sun, and I would like safe passage to pay homage to her. I mean you no harm.” My smile answered hers, but then her smile suddenly dropped; as her soul twisted in pain. And that is when I saw the nasty bruise on her face; as if someone had struck her—ire rose in me like I had never felt before in my life; not even on the battlefield had I felt this kind of rage. I took the sword from her and stabbed it into the ground, and gently took her into my embrace, so that I could get a closer look. “Who has done this to you?” I gently caressed the pad of my thumb against the bruise, being careful not to press into it.
She lowered her eyes from mine, and said nothing; I brought them gently back to me and her caramel orbs were swimming in tears.
“Please tell me.” I lulled softly, pulling her closer as if to protect her.
“Leonus,” She buried her face in my chest, and I almost lost control in my anger. “It happened at the celebration tonight; he struck me for questioning his authority as king.” Tears cloaked her voice; I wanted to kill him for putting his hands on her.
“Where is he?” I could hear the darkness in my voice, and it scared me.
Her eyes held pleading when she looked at me.
“You must not do anything, Dane.”
“I must not do anything? Solarias, he hit you.” My voice thundered. “He is your brother, his number one responsibility is to protect you; not to hurt you,” I looked at the disgusting evidence of Leonus’s brutality upon her face, and I blindly began to walk to the palace. “I am going to go see how he handles being challenged by someone of his own size.”
She stepped in front of me, and begged me to stop.
“Dane please,” She threw her arms around my shoulders, and sobbed. “I am alright, now that you are here; please do not do anything to put yourself in danger. You are unarmed; he would like nothing more than to kill you for what; you done to our father.”
I winced in pain at being reminded of killing King Theinopolis, did she still hold me punishable for my crimes?
“I do not blame you for what you did, my love; I probably would have done the same thing if I watched your father murder mine. It was such a horrible night.” She buried her face in my chest, and I sobered from my anger at her gentle touch. “I do not ever want you to be so blind again, rage and hatred will not heal our people; only love will.”
I drowned in her eyes for the longest time, by the Star Breather’s heart, mind soul and spirit; I was so in love with her. Would my heart ever be full of her? Would I ever get enough? How I longed to be near her forever.
“I have missed you.” I drew her closer, and breathed in the sweet spices of her soft ebony tresses.
“And I you, my love.” She melted against me with a sigh. “You endured the mist, just for me?”
I brought her eyes to mine.
“Yes, I would endure far worse; for you.” I looked into her eyes, and I knew then that Bryn had it all wrong; Solarias did not need to do anything to make me love her—her gentle heart beat, the light in her soul, the strength of her spirit and wittiness of her mind made me want her far beyond imagining. “I do so love you.”
“Shinadoa gisanya.” I could smell the cinnamon stir in her, as she responded to me in the language of the sun people.
“What does that mean?” I asked with my own heightened passions, matching hers.
She smiled as she gently caressed her fingertips against my tensed jaw.
“Only you, forever.” Then she wove her fingertips into my hair, and brought my lips down to hers; I groaned in ecstasy at the feeling of our lips moving together. Her lips were so sweet, but I wanted so much more; I wanted the honor of entwining my flesh with hers—the deeper intimacy that could only be achieved from joining our souls together as one body. I wanted all of her.
I pushed her gently away, breathless.
“What is wrong?” She breathed.
It took me forever to answer her, because her beauty was just so alluring.
“I want you Solarias, I want all of you,” I entwined my fingers into hers. “I cannot take this anymore, I want to be your husband; I want you to be my wife. And if no one here will join us, I want us to be joined by the Star Breather in the High Star Realms. We can do it in secret; I must have you, please.” The passion unfulfilled was just too much, I had to have her completely. “My soul has been separate from yours, for too long; I want our souls to collide.” My lips gently brushed against hers, and she gasped in pleasure. “To connect.” I gave her a soft kiss on her neck, and she clung to me. “To be one.” I breathed into her ear. “Please, end my agony; be my wife.”
She brought my eyes to hers.
“If that is your desire my Moon King, we shall marry at the Star Centennial.” She let her lips touch mine, and I joyously returned the kiss, for after the Star Centennial; she would be my queen—sealed in marriage to me by the Star Breather himself, and no one in our world could ever hope to undo the sacred union. I reveled in my own clever genius; not once counting up the cost, passion had blinded me and I would pay dearly for it. In that moment of sweet love; I could feel the most intense hatred, and the Dark Force’s wicked laugh wafted into my ears on the breeze, polluting the dulcet moment.
~CHAPTER 10~
PRINCESS SOLARIAS
When we arrived at the gate, the Star Breather was there to welcome us Himself with open arms; I could not look upon him, because I was in such awe. And the fancy did not stop there; I almost fainted when my king brother Leonus began exchanging dialogue with the Star Breather’s war horse, Arongun. The horse spoke to my brother, of many battles won and lost; the horse was pure white—with a mane of beautiful deep crimson.
“Welcome, Solarias, how do you find my Kingdom, beloved? I hope it is to your liking.” The Star Breather took my hand in his, and kissed it. “I expect to hear you sing for me at the evening meal tonight,” His voice was a soothing wind, his tone a calming river. “Seeing as how I missed it at the First Star Annual.”
“Yes my lord.” I was barely able to speak as I tripped all over my own words. “You know,” He bent down to me, and spoke in a whisper that only we could hear. “They are here because of you, because of your prayers; because of your undying devotion and worship. You continue to give to me Solarias, to give all of yourself in the quest to bring them together in love; I honor them with my presence, because of you.”
I felt my cheeks burn hot, and tears prickled my eyes; threatening to break free.
“Thank-you, my Lord.” I choked out my meager sentiment of gratitude; which felt small in his Great Ears.
The Star Breather laughed, a laugh from deep within Himself.
“Your thanks are more than adequate, my sweet lady.” He winked His timeless eye at me. “Enjoy the celebration.”
I bowed to Him again, and He to me; Arongun bowed to me as well and raised his horse mouth into a smile—as I passed through the gate into the Kingdom.
None had ever ventured to the High Star Realms before, these lands were forbidden to all beings that the Star Breather did not give access; because these lands were His home. And only peace and love were allowed to cross over, which meant that the lands of Luniris and Solarian would have to be on their best behavior, while they walked through the extension of the Celestial Kingdom; now the Celestial Kingdom was higher than all living beings, and only beings that had passed from the living world to the world of the dead could cross over into the Celestial Kingdom.
The High Star Realms were beyond description. Everywhere I turned; my appetite for all things fanciful and whimsical was satiated; the Star Breather’s world was one out of my deepest dreams. My close relationship with him, had only allowed me access to this world—through a dimly colored glass, but now the glass had been made clear. I was walking and breathing in far beyond what my desires or dreams could ever muster. The High Star Realms did not have our dusty roads, the roads were paved with pure gold; there were beautiful palaces everywhere—which lead me to believe that there were no class distinctions in this place; there was no royal or peasant, only beings living together in peace and harmony; the trees were of many colors and bore all kinds of fruits—the trees did not just blow in the breeze; their dance was one of grace and beauty; the very grounds were fertile—life could not help to burst forth, all life flowed through and to the Star Breather Himself; there were no seas, lakes, brooks, or creeks here—the only water flowed from the Star Breather, and to drink from His fountain meant never thirsting again. I never wanted to leave, with each joyous breath that I drew in; I longed to be filled even more.
Baylin came up behind me, breaking into my appreciation of the new world all around me; as always she was left with the responsibility of mothering me—never mind that I was now a fully grown maiden—capable of taking care of herself.
“Your brother wanted me to remind you to steer clear, of the Moon King; he told me to tell you that, he almost killed him once, do not make him do the job properly this time.” Her voice conveyed the message, in the same stern no nonsense way that my brother would have; if he had been talking to me. “Do you understand, Solarias?”
I nodded my concurrence, but as I did; Dane’s eyes fell on mine in complete appreciation of my dress—I blushed scarlet and tore my eyes away quickly—before Baylin could see, and he grinned allowing his scrumptious dimples to show.
“Solarias,” She snapped, putting her hands on her hips. “Are you listening to me?”
“Yes, Baylin; I heard you.” I narrowed my eyes at her in annoyance. “The Moon King, is off limits.”
She followed the path that my eyes had just left, and she saw Dane at the end of it.
“Dear sweet girl, please do not do anything here; to cause your family anymore pain.” Her dark chocolate eyes were pleading. “Please forget him, forget your naive philosophies concerning him.” She placed her hands on my shoulders.
“So, forget to love?” The words slipped out, but when the look in her eyes changed to one of fury; I immediately regretted them.
“Your heart is already contracted to another, love for the Moon King will only cause you pain and sorrow; forget your infatuation with him, and focus on Barongard—the man who will own your heart in just eight moons hence.” Her eyes lightened, and were filled with compassion; in response to the look on my face. “Barongard loves you, I know it may not seem like he does, but he does; every callous thing that he has done, is in response to your lack of love for him. Love him, my lady, and he will give you his whole heart.” She touched my cheek softly, and then she smiled. “Well, let us go to your quarters; we must prepare you for tonight’s dinner. You will be seated by your husband in waiting, at his request.”
My skin began to crawl; thinking of my having to sit next to Barongard for the whole dinner. How I loathed him, but all of my appalling thoughts disappeared; when I allowed my eyes to roam to Dane’s once again—his stare was still turned in my direction—even with people from his kingdom all around him; he was still wholly focused on me. He mouthed the words: are you alright; to me, and I nodded while blushing and then I took my eyes from his and ran to catch up with Baylin.

Eventide had fallen in the High Star Realms, and all were preparing to attend the Star Breather’s grand dinner. I was nervous as it was, because the Star Breather had asked me to render him a selection after dinner; and while I assumed that the Star Breather’s asking me was simply out of His infinite politeness—one of his escorts came to my chambers just moments ago to ask me if I was still planning on singing for Him. I could not possibly deny the Star Breather what He wished, but I felt so ill prepared. Could I ever render a song beautiful enough to appease the King of the World? And Baylin did not help my nerves at all, because she kept trying to make me up according to Barongard’s desires; she had just moments ago left my chambers in a huff, because I refused to wear the tangerine gown that Barongard had sent up with a hand written letter.
I would not even condescend myself to read his depraved words, because he always thought that; he was perfectly within his rights to speak to me in vile innuendos, for no other reason, but for that we were bound by nuptial contract. I would not even give him the satisfaction of opening the package, in which the gown was wrapped; I told his servant to take it right back to him—untouched and unopened. Barongard was such a creature of habit that, I did not have to look at his abominable gifts to know what they were—the gown could be no other color, but tangerine because he whispered in my ear once that, the color tangerine would curve around my body nicely. I recoiled at the memory even now. Why would I ever be a duchess in an unhappy marriage, when I had the opportunity to be a beloved queen?
Besides, I would only think of one man when I attired myself; this eventide, and that was my one true beloved—my Dane, the Moon King. I loved to look into his eyes as he admired me; I quivered at the butterflies that floated around in my stomach, when I thought of how he would adore me in this dress. He once said that, our skies were the bluest in Solarian; bluer than they could ever be in Luniris, because the moon’s glow dimmed everything. It was the opposite in Solarian, our sun would set but not to the point where it was completely snuffed out—there was always traces of the sun’s light to be found in the sky—even in the black of night. I twirled once in the floor length mirror, yes he will love this gown on me.
As I stopped twirling, and looked once again at my reflection in the mirror; I knew that I was not alone—he was here in my room watching me, I could sense his presence and that gave me a thrill of pleasure through my entire being.
“Do you plan to just stand there gazing at me, my lord, or will you come to me and delight in your treasure?” I let the words drip from my mouth, like sweet Asaylin Syrup from the Asaylin tree of the Sun Mountains.
He chortled softly, and sauntered out of the darkness—revealing himself right behind me.
“You know, I could stand in the darkness admiring you all night.” He enveloped me in his arms, and whispered softly into my ear. “Is there any way that, you can stop being so desirable? I have no idea how I am going to make it through dinner—it will drive me mad, to stare at you across the table; knowing that I cannot touch you until we are joined by the Star Breather later.” He gently let his lips caress my shoulder.
I turned around in his arms, to face him.
“Are you not afraid, my lord; to defy your people, I mean,” I could not bear to look at him anymore, so I shifted my eyes away from his. “To marry me would be considered treason to the crown, you would have broken all of their laws; they could not only have you forcibly abdicated—they could have you executed.”
He brought my eyes back to his, and he was smiling so brightly that, the joy shocked his blue eyes into radiance.
“I do not fear their hatred, but I do fear not having your love.” He caressed the pad of his thumb against my blushing cheek. “I would defy a million worlds, break a million laws; just to hold you like this in my arms, you have no idea how embedded you are into me. You are not disposable or interchangeable; I cannot just go somewhere else and find another love, you are far too vital to me, to separate you from me would mean a slow and painful death. Life without you is not life, it is existence, and merely existing moon phase after moon phase—would make me a lifeless shell of my former self.” He placed his forehead to mine, and pulled me even closer to him. “They will not scare me out of my love, they will not threaten me out of my desire, they will not rob me of my passion. Let them do what they will, I will never let you go.” He kissed me softly, pulling away before; he could not.
I stood staring at him, beyond the chasm of space that, he had created between us.
“You move me Solarias, in ways that I have never been moved; when I touch you my whole soul shifts,” He ran his fingers through his hair, trying to calm his raging passions. “But I would not for all the world, dishonor you; I want to do what is right—the joining of souls is sacred, the giving and taking of pleasure, is a right only to be afforded to; the one with whom I intend to share my life,” He tentatively made his way back to me, and entwined his fingers with mine. “I want to love you forever, a quick moment, stolen and undeserved; is empty and meaningless. I want to earn what is mine, I want to win your heart; the body,” He said bringing me to him again. “Is merely a bonus.” He kissed me softly. “Until tonight.” He whispered to me through labored breath, and then he was gone; just as quick as he had come.

The dinner, was unlike any other traditional royal dinner that, I had ever seen; it was truly a celebration. The peasants and royals—alike—were finding amusement and entertainment everywhere that they looked. There were winged jugglers that had the face of Earthian men, and the turquoise scales of sea creatures on their arms; their wings were beautiful and wide—they wore no tunic tops, only jeweled bottoms; there were also dancers present, and all of them female—they wore beautiful floor length gowns, that were covered in star dust; they seemed to be a beautiful color of the rainbow and kind—from which planets the Star Breather obtained them from, I would never know, some of them had faces of Earthian women; while others were females of the sun lands, moon lands, both star realms and other different places. They did a dance of otherworldly grace, as they leapt through the air and waved their streamers—made of pure light—I was in awe. I do not know, how they kept in such graceful step; with the robust speed of the orchestras’ music but they never lost their slow and steady rhythm.
I sighed to think how they all seemed to live together in peace and harmony. Would the people of Solarian and Luniris ever see the light? There were even fire breathers with gold dust embedded into their skin—from head to toe—the fire astounded me, because it was not the color that fire should be; the fire was a light subtle blue, the same color blue as my love’s eyes tonight—when I looked across the table to take a quick gander at him; I noticed that he was staring directly at me—admiring me. When he caught me admiring him, he smiled and the smile set fire to his eyes; turning them a different color blue—I could see both starlight and moon glow in them.
I took my eyes away from his—my cheeks burning hot—before Barongard could notice, but it was too late; when I looked back into his eyes—the emerald had become dark green and threatening as he glowered at me. The dinner was finally being served, as a group of servants came out one by one, bringing the first course of the grand meal. They were all extremely tall in stature, well muscled and sturdily built; they—both male and female—looked as if they might have been living breathing statues with their blue marble skin. With all the splendid wonder surrounding me, I tried to work up an appetite, but so many fanciful sights and sounds had fed me that; I was filled up—leaving no room for food. I looked to the Star Breather sitting upon his throne; holding his golden scepter—which held all the planets of the universe, and at the very top was a humongous shining star. He seemed to be enjoying all of the sights and sounds as if they were brand new to him, because for him they never grew old—he inhabited worship of him and no matter how many times he heard it; he loved it as if he had never heard it before.
When my attention had been drawn back to the table, with the setting of the first course; I tried to ignore the livid heat that Barongard’s eyes were giving off. However, he had seen me trading looks with Dane, and he was not about to let me forget it.
“Did you let him touch you?” He hissed in my ear.
I acted as if I did not hear him, as if the music had drowned his voice; but he refused to be ignored.
“Did you let him touch you?!” He shouted louder, and my eyes snapped up to his; in hopes that my attention would make him quiet, so that no one else could hear is vile insinuation.
“No,” I hissed back with my eyes narrowed. “Why would you even ask such a question, I am the Princess of the Sun and he is the King of the Moon; our kingdoms are at war. You know this, why would you assume that I have any dealings with him?” I looked back at my plate, but he brought my eyes back to his almost immediately; the stormy look in his eyes told me that he was not buying my story at all.
“The Lower Star Realms are neutral in the wars which, is how I am made privy to certain information,” His lips held a malicious smirk, and his eyes a dark knowledge. “I know that you helped him, princess; I know that you were the one who healed him and sent him back to his lands whole. He was in your cottage for quite some time,” He was reveling in his arrogance, especially since he knew that he had information that could destroy me, and would not hesitate to use it for his menacing purpose. “There is still an open investigation into that act of treason, and if your brother should find out; he would be forced to execute you, sister or no.” He touched my cheek softly, his touch made my skin crawl. “All I ask is that, you look on me in the same way that, you look on him. Am I so disgustingly impossible to love, princess?” His eyes were pleading, I supposed in his own twisted way; he did love me, but his affections had always been unreturned from my end. Why did he not spend his time focused on other beauties? Why did I have to be the one that touched his heart?
I lowered my eyes to my plate, and refused to look at him anymore and this just stirred his ire again.
“It is your choice princess, either you choose me; or I will tell your brother of your treason. What shall it be?” His whisper was pure acid.
“I will honor my contract,” I looked at him with nothing, but malice in my eyes. “I will join myself to you in marriage, only, but you must understand that my love shall always be reserved for another. You may ravage my body, but my heart shall remain untouched and untainted by you, Barongard, Duke of the Lower Star Realms.”
His look of malice answered mine.
“You can deny it all you wish, Princess of the Sun, but I know that you have allowed the moon boy to touch you; I see the way he looks at you. I cannot prove it now, but believe me I shall; and when I do—not even your herbs or spices will be able to heal you from the wounds inflicted by the executioner’s ax.” He turned away from me, and began openly flirting with a peasant maiden sitting next to him.
I looked to Dane again, and his eyes were shooting stars at the way Barongard had just talked to me; I knew that it took everything in him not to jump over the table and beat him to within an inch of his life—I was proud of the way that he had contained himself, and while I tried to smile; I knew that I had forgotten to close the veiled curtains to the windows of my soul, because he had read everything in my eyes, and his change in mood reflected it—his sadness answered mine. Just then, the Star Breather’s thundering voice; interrupted our gaze of doomed hopes and dreams.
“Welcome, to all kingdoms; I hope you are enjoying the festivities so far.” His eyes connected with mine immediately, and He smiled, His timeless eyes beckoning me toward Him with no words. “Now,” He addressed the crowd again. “I would like for you all, to make welcome; the Princess of the Sun, whom has agreed to delight us all with a song of worship.” The Star Breather, extended his hand for mine; as if he were asking me to come forward.
I rose from my seat, and my legs were like jelly; I prayed silently that I would be able to ascend his grand throne without falling flat on my face—every kingdom was quiet and I felt all eyes on me. All the attention was overwhelming. The Star Breather’s hand was still held out for mine, as I had almost ascended his throne to put my hand in his. When I felt His hand envelop mine, all of my fears seemed to melt away; I instead took on all of his power and gloriousness. I felt Him stir inside of me, giving me confidence. He smiled at me again, with His timeless eyes creasing at the corners; and then He whispered to me so no one else could hear.
“Solarias, Princess of the Sun, daughter of my heart; do what you have always done, pay no never mind to the faces; worship and exalt me and this entire room cannot help, but be eternally effected—no one can fight against the weapon of pure praise. Give me all of your heart through your voice; do not withhold any of it from me.” He winked his eye at me, and released my hand; then I was left standing in the middle of the platform to His throne, as he took a seat back upon his throne; waiting for me to began the song.
How was I supposed to do this now, when my heart was so heavy? I glimpsed at Dane, and he was smiling in anticipation of my song. I could not think of him now, it would make my heart hurt far too much; and I needed my whole heart in this performance—the Star Breather deserved it. So, I closed my eyes; shutting out all distractions, and I let my heart cry out a melody of perfect praise. The Star Breather’s orchestra played my music, as if they knew and could anticipate every single note that my heart was going to sing. I put all of myself into the song, and every cell of my being seemed to be filled up with the weight of the song. I felt something wash over me, I cannot exactly say what; but the invisible force filled the entire room. I was told later by Baylin that, a cloud of starry mist went forth from the Star Breather’s throne; and clouded the whole room. When the song had met its end, I opened my eyes; and everyone was just dumbfounded by the feelings that were taking place in them—Dane met my eyes with tears in his, there was only one mood pouring from him now; unconditional love. I ached, because I would never be wrapped in that unconditional love; it was not meant to be. We would have to stay away from each other. I would do anything to keep him safe, and if that meant denying him myself; I absolutely would.

~CHAPTER 11~
THE MOON KING
I watched her from the balcony of my chambers, but while my eyes delighted in all of her magnificence; my heart died, because she had made it perfectly clear to me that we could never be together. The way she moved about the Star Breather’s enchanting gardens was breathtaking, star dust floated in the air about her; and the moon’s glow caressed her ebony tresses, she let them fall carelessly below her waste tonight—how I longed to run my fingers through the soft curls. If her life was not on the line, I would have climbed down this balcony in a matter of seconds; to hold her in my arms, but it was, therefore all I could do was desire her from afar. She was collecting herbs tonight, she would probably make a healing paste with them later; she always had a way of resorting to this activity whenever she was nervous. She was an exotic treasure, locked away from me.
Barongard knew that she helped me, and was using this information as a means to keep her captive to her contract. If we ever tried to honor our passions for each other, he would turn her over to her brother, and Leonus would have her executed. I could not live with myself if I caused her death, I longed for her to live—and if that had to be in Barongard’s arms—then so be it. I slammed my fist on the banister in disgust, back home I probably would have broken it in twain from doing this, but here it did not even make a dent. The Star Breather’s palace was obviously made out of sterner stuff; than our palaces back home. I ran my fingers through my hair in frustration, I nearly went crazy when I heard her sweet voice trade notes with a Starflood Bird; it reminded me of the way she used to do the same thing with the birds that lived just outside of her cottage in the sun lands. I was going mad, wanting her this much was a sickness; of which there was no cure—nothing but her love.
That is when I felt his soothing presence.
“Calm yourself, my son,” He came up behind me, and gently placed his Almighty hand on my shoulder; His eyes immediately went to where I had been watching Solarias—He smiled. “She is quite the maiden, is she not, young king?”
“Yes, Sire.” My answer was labored, as I tried to swallow down all of my passions.
But I did not fool, the Sovereign of the Universe; He simply laughed with complete knowledge.
“I can feel how you still love her,” He looked into my eyes, with all wisdom. “I was there when you professed it before both of your kingdoms, I felt the passion in your words; the pure love in your statements.” He put His hand to my heart. “I am the author of all that you feel.”
“Please take it away.” I begged. “Rip it out of my heart, so, that it does not hurt so much. I cannot bear her being married to Barongard; make me numb, make me feel nothing. Please, my Lord; I am suffering. This love is too much.” I was desperate, and all He did was smile as if it were of no major concern.
“This love that you feel, will reconcile both of your kingdoms, young king; I knew that, from the night when you stood for her and declared your love—even though you knew it could carry with it great consequences.” His eyes were filled with pride for me. “Your love is pure, it is of my creation; and there can be found no evil in it. I will grant what your heart craves, but if I do; will you take all that comes with it—the good and the bad?”
I looked to Solarias, and there was only one choice to make; I wanted her—through all the good and the bad, I wanted to experience it all with her.
“Master, I would do anything for that maiden; I would walk through fire. Please, I want to be joined with her in marriage; I do not care what I have to give up, I just want to be with her.” I wanted him to see all the noble intentions in my heart, and his laugh of serenity proved to me that He had.
“Well, my young king, go and prepare yourself; and I will speak with Solarias—this eventide you shall make of her a wife.” He put his great hands on both of my shoulders, and smiled.
I felt such joy, but it was also mixed with doom; and even here, in the Star Breather’s kingdom—I could feel the presence of the Dark Force. Nevertheless, I would not let his cloud of darkness; take away my bliss—not this eventide—for this eventide I would become a husband to a wife that my heart had chosen.

I stood in the garden with the Star Breather by my side—waiting for Solarias to make her appearance, so that we could be wed at last—the Star Breather’s war horse Arogun was also there to bear witness to this joyous occasion. My heart was in my throat, I was so nervous that perhaps she would not show up. I had never been so scared or nervous about anything in my life, I was about to come undone; until she finally made her radiant appearance. She stole my breath as she walked toward me, she had changed her dress into the purest of white; this dress had to be the one that she had brought in the anticipation of our nuptials. It looked like it was made up of the fog of early morning, with inflictions of the Milky Way; her hair was down and flowed to one side—with star dust sprinkled in the soft dark tresses. When she lifted up her dress; I noticed that she walked through the garden barefoot, and her toes were sprinkled with the glow of the moon, and specks of sun dust. And when she finally made her way to me, and took my extended hand; I could feel the ring that I had made her—perfectly positioned on her finger.
“I thought you were not coming.” I spoke with a smile, as I stared into her amber eyes that had licked into flame.
“Preparations had to be made, my lord, and I could not do anything when Baylin was still awake; I thought that she would never sleep,” There were tears in her eyes. “I hope that my appearance was worth the wait.” She caressed her fingertips against my jaw line.
“Yes, it was well worth the wait.” I breathed out, admiring her in all of her entrancing beauty.
The Star Breather looked from me to her, and held His golden scepter to the stars above; just then a clap of thunder roared from the sky, and a bolt of lighting struck the huge star head of his staff; he harnessed the lightning bolt, and drew it into a fiery circle and the circle became smaller and smaller, until it formed a wedding band. And when He had finished, He took the small band into his Mighty hand, and extended it to me.
“Your wedding band, young sire.” He smiled into my eyes, as I tentatively took it from Him and put it on my finger, when the ring was placed on my finger—the blaze of fire in it—only dulled down slightly. “Join hands.” He instructed.
And when we joined hands, the rings touched; and an electro shock went through both of us—it was not painful really, the shock just caused a tingly sensation that was still running through my body, and I am sure Solarias’s as well.
“What was that?” I whispered.
“The joining of two,” The Star Breather chortled softly. “No man, can pull asunder what I have joined. You two are the key to bringing peace between your kingdoms; you see, your people have entered into Mandatory Nuptial Contracts from the very beginning, thus their marriages were not a true joining of hearts; and the marriages were not necessarily birthed out of my will. They followed after their laws, but the love that you two share was created by me, and you chose to ignore all forces outside of my spirit to join yourselves as one,” He looked at us with tears in his eyes. “Solemnly vow to me now, in unison that nothing will break you.”
Solarias and I looked at each other, and she wrapped her arm around mine pulling herself closer to me.
“Nothing will break us.” Our eyes and hearts were locked, when we repeated it.
“Nothing shall separate you.” Tears of joy streamed down his face.
“Nothing shall separate us.” By this time Solarias and I were crying to.
“No forces of the Netherworld shall defeat your love.”
“No forces of the Netherworld shall defeat our love.”
“Together you stand, divided all fall.”
“Together we stand, divided all fall.”
“Now, repeat the words of the Holy Star Covenant that will seal you for all eternity,” The Star Breather put his hands on both of our shoulders, pulling us into Himself. “Elsioli barnicio ayanatat siros.”
“Elsioli barnicio ayanatat siros.” We bowed our heads when we repeated it.
And when we looked back into the Star Breather’s eyes, He translated.
“The greatest of all life, is love.” He hugged us into Himself, and Arogun, whom had been standing quietly, before this—gave a loud and jubilant neigh. However, the joy was not to last, because the Star Breather still had a word of caution to give.
“This will not be easy young ones, the Dark Force; even now, has unleashed all of his powers of hatred to bring you down. You will have to fight him at every turn; bringing peace to your kingdoms will not be easy—until he is bound in unholy flame once again, you shall war.” His countenance had lost some of its joy. “Are you ready for what is to come?”
Solarias and I looked to each other with confidence, then back at the Star Breather.
“We are ready.” We spoke in confident unison.
“I have no doubt,” The light of joy had returned to His countenance. “Come, it is time that I show you wedded lovers; to your quarters for the next few star fallings.”
“But my Lord, will we not be missed?”
“No,” He shook His head with a smile. “All of your people, have been put under deep slumber; you shall not be missed, until I release time from standing still.”
The Star Breather made haste, and Arogun followed Him directly, but Solarias and I lagged behind—having eyes only for one another.
“Are you as happy, as I am right this very moment?” I took her into myself, and she smiled with desire as she wrapped her arms around my shoulders.
“I am sure that happiness is not the word, my Moon King; I am flying and I never want to touch the ground, again. I have longed to be your queen, for so long. If I am dreaming, I want to stay asleep forever and always.” She unwrapped her arms from around my shoulders, and took my hands in hers, and placed them both to her heart. “I give you all of my love; take all of myself as a gift to you, my Moon King, for all eternity.”
At her words, such passion rose up in me; and I knew that I did not have to bridle it anymore, bottle it up, or stifle the flow of it; we belonged to each other. I could indulge and overindulge at my pleasure. I brought her back to me, and could not hold myself back from caressing her lips with mine; the cinnamon essence of her body invaded all of my senses pleasurably. Would this ever get old, this feeling, this passion, this love? My heart pounded to the point of pain, the sweetness of her mouth filled me with airy joy. We were getting lost in each other; I had forgotten that the Star Breather had long gone.
I had forgotten all, but her; until I heard the Star Breather clear his throat behind us—we stopped abruptly, I smiled at the sight of him and Solarias’s cheeks colored that sensual red that I loved.
“Please, young ones; we must make haste, your quarters are ready.” He smiled, as he led us in front of him; so we would not fall behind again—I held her hand gently in mine.

We found ourselves back in the Grand Hall where the dinner had been served earlier; and we were ascending the Star Breather’s throne, but when we reached the platform another set of stairs appeared—just behind where He seated Himself; Arogun, elected not to follow us, and I figured out why, because the stairs seemed to go on forever—until we came to a luxurious door after going up many flights of stairs. The door was swirling with stars, moons, suns and all of the planets; when we went through the door—we stepped into a miles long suite—that was bigger and grander; than the biggest and grandest mansion. My eyes beheld such wondrous things; each and every planet was represented—somehow, some way in the King of the Universe’s quarters. Solarias and I marveled, the Star Breather just grinned at the looks on both our faces.
“Your honeymoon suite, young ones.” He put His arms around our shoulders. “Everything you could possibly need or want, is right here in these rooms.”
“Where are we, exactly, my Lord?” I asked Him inquisitively.
“You are in the space just above the High Star Realms, but just below the Celestial Kingdom.” He lulled softly. “I call it, the River Between.” He looked from me to Solarias. “Well, it is time that I leave you, to do what I have ordained married lovers to do; worship me in the pleasure of each other.” He joined our hands together. “Love each other well.” He winked His age old eye, and then He passed through the door; leaving Solarias and I completely alone.
I made the joining of our hands more intimate; by entwining my fingers with hers, and then I brought her close to my body.
“You are so beautiful.”I lulled into her ear, but her soul thoughts were screaming doubt at me; the lights in the room were brilliant and magnificent and she felt self conscious about the bruise upon her face. I chortled gently, and softly kissed the bruise, that, Leonus had left there with his fist. “Nothing can ever dull your beauty for me, Queen of my Soul, nothing. I see no blemishes in you; you are blameless, flawless, timeless, priceless. Believe me love, the bruise does not exist.”
I lowered my hands to her shapely hips, and let them curve softly around her perfect bottom; could a woman be any more perfect than this one? She gasped in pleasure, and the strong spicy smell of her cinnamon; was a sweet testament to her arousal. She wrapped her arms around my shoulders; and let her body melt against mine, as she enjoyed every tender touch of my hands against her perfect form—I could hold back no longer—from indulging in a slow sensual kiss. I tasted her honeyed lips gently, as I explored the full sweetness of her mouth.
My entire body went up in flames, and the moon crystals exploding inside of me was a reminder of the passions, that were beginning to swell beyond my control—so vast and deep that I could no longer contain them; I was drowning in all of her, and did not want to come up for air—until my love was fully satiated. I released my lips from hers then, and just looked at her; penetrating deep within her soul—I had to connect there first, that was true intimacy—the joining of bodies was just an extension of a deeper more meaningful connection to the heart, soul, and spirit. She took my arms and put them around her again, never breaking her stare from mine. And then she wrapped her arms around my shoulders, and whispered in my ear seductively.
“Are you ready to love all of me, my Moon King? Take what you have won.” She looked at me again, releasing me from my tunic, and then she took my hands and drew them up to the straps of her beautiful gown; I slowly and sensually released her from it. I let my eyes caress every single inch of her perfect form, and then I swept her off of her feet; we loved with our mouths as our bodies remained entwined, until we got to our marriage bed. I lowered her down ever so gently, as she helped free me from the remainder of my clothing. We were two, and then we were one; without shame, the purest form of love, when two married lovers gently collide. We were an eclipse, moon covering sun, sun covering moon. How long would it take for our hunger and thirst for each other, to be completely satiated?
I do not know just how long, our souls caressed and spoke. I do not know just how long, we stayed woven together; gently sharing all of our dreams. I do not know just how long, the sweet symphony of our love lasted. I do know that, I never wanted it to end. Joining myself in body with her, was everything that I had ever dreamed. And with each caress, with each kiss, with each gentle melting of my body into hers, I knew that would love my wife; far beyond forever—she was mine and I was hers, we were so perfectly one.

I awoke to my wife’s beautiful form—trying to struggle out of my grasp, without disturbing me—I smiled with my eyes still closed. I decided to have some fun with her, as I gently enveloped her even tighter to my body, so that she could not make her escape. We had been tangled in each other for quite some time. Did she think that I would not feel her separation? She giggled deliciously; knowing that she had been caught, she turned to face me and I opened my eyes; they were swallowed up by her seductive caramel orbs.
“Where do you think that you are going, love?” I planted soft kisses along her beautiful collar bone; tremors of passion vibrated through her body. Could she be that taken away by me that, even my touch aroused her? I knew it did not take her much effort to arouse me, just the graceful way in which she walked; did it for me.
“Breakfast,” Was the only word that she could bring from her delectable lips, before I let my mouth gingerly rest on hers. “Are you not hungry, my king?” I could tell that she was trying to focus, but was losing the battle.
“Not for food.” I lulled in her ear, before placing gentle kisses there.
“Are you not, yet satisfied, my Moon King?” Her smile was radiant, as I let my eyes rest on her striking face.
“How can I be? I can experience the grandest pleasure with you,” I tenderly squeezed her shapely thigh as I brought it to rest on my hip, and she breathed out passionately. “And yet, it only makes me ravenous for more and more pleasure.” I chortled softly, as she cupped my face in her hands. “How can I rule a kingdom like this, when I crave you,” I tasted her sweet mouth again, and was drunk on the pleasures that I found there. “Desire you.” I wrapped her in my arms, pulling her close to me; as I let my body gently collide with hers—she groaned with bliss. “Need you.” I rested my head between her perfect breasts, as I tried to catch my own breath. “All the time.” I breathed out. “I am completely mad with love for you, Queen of my Soul, and that love will never fade.” I rolled on my back, to look up at the stars that danced on the ceiling; she rolled over on her side, and wrapped her shapely leg around mine, and looked down at me. I brushed my thumb against her almond tinged cheek, she smiled again. “I want to know you.” I let the words spill smoothly from my lips; she looked at me in bewilderment.
“We have known each other, since we were younglings; my lord.”
“No,” I gently let my body eclipse hers. “We have not.” My smile answered hers. “We have been acquainted with each other from our youth, and we have knowledge of some things about each other’s characters; but we do not really know each other.” I looked into her eyes, as my words begin to settle into her understanding. “If we were restricted to our ancient tongues, we would not even be able to communicate with one another; I want to know how to speak to you through those boundaries.” I grinned at her, as her eyes filled with tears. “All those dreams that, I saw when our souls connected; I want to know more of them. I want to know exactly what makes your heart beat a little faster, I want to know more of how to steal your breath when you are in my arms, I want to know all of the inner workings of you.” I entwined my fingers with hers, and when our rings connected; they gave the same gentle electro shock to both of us, that they had when the Star Breather joined us together in marriage. “I want to know more than the different color of our skin, I want to dig deeper than the sweetness of your mouth, I want to go further than the colliding of our bodies, I want to hold the treasure of your deepest depths in my hand. I want to know you fully and completely. Is that alright?”
“Yes,” She spoke through her tears. “And I want to know you as well.” She let her eyes pierce mine, intensely, and I returned her gaze.
“And you shall?” I gave her one last gaze, and then I pecked her lips softly. “Now, you may go and prepare us breakfast; my appetite for you; will have to take a minute recess to my physical hunger.”
She smiled when I released her, but when I saw her get up out of bed; to slip into her robe—I was immediately regretful—by the Star Breather’s Holy name; she was perfect, and my aching desire for her returned. She looked back at me, and gave me a wink of her eye, and then she disappeared into another room that, I could only assume was the kitchen. This place was so huge, how could she possibly know where the kitchen was? No matter, if it was not; she would have to return and then I would grab her into my embrace again—and my physical hunger would just have to wait.