Authors: April Bowles
The White City.
I never thought I’d find myself back here in the land of my enemies but the last few days have played out to make it so. I didn’t want to believe it at first; I didn’t want to admit he was right but it was Fate that led me here and it was Fate that brought me into Zayden’s arms. He was the one.
Long have I dreamed of seeing him again but it only seemed to be in a dream that we could be together. Deciphering what was real had all but became a blur. I was with him now, holding him close to me, feeling his skin under my nails but I couldn’t tell if it was real. I always felt as if I were locked in a dream; a dream I never wanted to wake up from.
The sun was setting over the hills and it was nearing time for us to prove our worth to the Senian King.
I had ended my long awaited alone time with the mighty Great Seni Fighter I’ve been drawn to and we were forced to pull Jaylyn out of her fantasy world with Troy so we could gather Adele but first, we had to find her.
A knock echoed on the room assigned to her but there was no answer.
“Oh, no!” Jaylyn gasped. “We didn’t take her sheets! She’s probably hanging by the chandelier!”
I rolled my eyes. “Breathe would you? Just because she didn’t answer her door, doesn’t mean that she killed herself. She’d never do that.”
“Maybe we should check.”
I rolled my eyes again but turned towards the door to amuse her. “Adele?”
I went inside and the room was empty, left in perfect condition like when she had received it.
“See? She’s not even in here.”
“Oh, good. Maybe she left already.”
I looked around some more and picked up Adele’s sword sitting by a chair; the only thing that didn’t fit. “I doubt without this.”
“Then where could she be?”
“I have a strange feeling telling me where she might be.” Muscles said.
“Why don’t we just show you so you can see for yourself? It might help you believe it.”
I walked out of the room and closed the door behind me. We followed Muscles and Troy down the long hall, passing many doors until they stopped in front of one at the corner.
“What’s in there?” Jaylyn asked with extreme curiosity to its mystery.
“This is Zayden’s room.” Troy said.
I looked at Jaylyn really quickly to the unbelievable thought. I remembered how she acted before and it wouldn’t make any sense that she was suddenly with him now. “You don’t think that’s possible, do you? She seemed sure about it this time.”
“So did he but there’s only one way to find out.” Muscles knocked on the door, giving it a second for the sound to be heard.
I was becoming anxious, almost biting at my nails to see if this were true. It would surely make our stay here more enjoyable if Adele had finally let go of her pride and given herself to Zayden.
My eyes locked on the door, just waiting for when it would open.
I heard a knock.
Zayden was still over me, I was finally ready to have him but he turned his head with a long sigh. “Ah, fuck.”
He backed off me to stand up and I groaned while being pulled to my feet. “I really wish you would have.”
He smiled and walked to his closet. “Get the door. I’ll finish getting dressed.”
I didn’t think anything of it at first but the longer it sunk in, the quicker I was to stop it. “What?! Me! Why don’t you get it and I sneak off the balcony to the next room and come out as if I was just walking down the hall?!”
Zayden laughed while he started gathering more clothes. “We don’t have to hide this, Love.”
“Yeah, we kind of do!” I was panicked and just didn’t want anyone to know about this even if they were my closest friends. They would surely rub it in my face about how they’ve been right all along.
“Why? Ashamed of being with me?”
“No, it’s not—I mean, they’re just—I can’t—”
“Hey, it’s all right, Love.” Zayden came to me and held my head still to calm my panic. It always worked when I saw his eyes. “You don’t need to feel anything about what they have to say about this. You know they’ve been expecting it.”
“Yeah, but if they find out, it’ll be like I went against everything I’ve been saying for the last few days and they’re never going to let it go.”
“Just get the door. It’ll be fine.”
“But what do I tell them?”
“No! I can’t. I’ll never hear the end of it.”
“They’re going to find out sometime.”
“Then think of something. They’re kind of still waiting out there. The longer you take, the more suspicious they’re going to get.”
I took a long slow breath and turned back to the door. I didn’t know what I was going to say but knew Zayden was right. I had to answer to the knock. I opened the door normally and everyone in the hall seemed overly surprised to see me answering.
“Thank goodness you’re not dead!” Jaylyn swung her arms around me with a voice of relief.
“Why would you think I was dead?” I was confused by my own question while trying to unwrap her.
“Never mind her.” Ruby sighed. “What are you doing in Zayden’s room?”
My eyes widened and I looked back in the room, trying to see how long I could make this go. “This is Zayden’s room? What? No it isn’t.”
“We kind of live here.” Darius said. “So we know it is. Where is he?”
That didn’t last long, did it? I knew I couldn’t make it go on passed that no matter how much I wished that I could. “He’s ah—just—getting ready.” They stood there with all eyes on me without a word. “Why are you staring at me?” It annoyed me and I turned into the room but left the door open.
“So, why are you here?” Jaylyn asked.
“We talked, okay? Is that such a big deal?”
“Talked? Really?” Ruby smiled, sharing another annoying look with Jaylyn.
“Yeah, talked like we’re doing right now. You know, conversed by means of using a common language and I don’t like your tone.”
I walked into Zayden’s large closet where he was sitting on a bench to put his boots on. “Not going so well with just telling them?”
“You know they already know. They just want me to say it.”
“Say what exactly?”
“You know. That we’ve completely lost our minds or more so me by what they would say finally joining them when we should really all see the pointlessness in this.”
“It’s not pointless but other than that, I think you explained it quite well.”
Of course this would be happening to me. “They’re standing right behind me, aren’t they?”
Zayden still had his smile and got to his feet. “Should have seen that coming.”
“Okay, great.” I turned to see them in the doorway just like I was thinking.
“Well, we have been waiting for you to join us.” Troy smiled.
I looked back at Zayden with a sigh. “I told you they were going to do that.”
“Can you not?” Zayden asked them as we started to walk out. “It’s really not that big of a deal.”
“It isn’t?” Jaylyn wondered, looking right at me.
“Ah, no, not really. You’re doing it so why can’t I?”
“I give it five minutes.” Ruby said.
“What a perfectly good waste of time that would be.”
“Well, I still don’t believe it. You still sound like your normal self. You don’t seem the least bit happy at all.”
“Well, I can easily say that anger isn’t towards me this time.” Zayden smiled.
I stood with narrowing eyes towards them with just the slightest thought of what they did. “You ruin everything.”
Jaylyn glanced over at Ruby and started to smile wider. “Oh, I see! You were going to—and then we—right. Sorry.”
“I still don’t believe it.” Ruby said. “Prove it.”
“Prove that you’re together.”
“How can I prove it when you don’t even believe it after hearing it?”
“You say a lot of things. How would we know what’s supposed to be true? I need a visual.”
I looked back at Zayden for a moment and he just smiled, making me sigh. “What kind of visual?”
“Maybe they should kiss like we’re not here.” Jaylyn suggested.
“Or just have sex like we’re not here. That might do it.”
That was such a Ruby answer. I should have said no before she even started. “We don’t have time for that now and you kind of got me out of the moment.”
“Fine. Then kiss him but it has to be like we’re not here and it has to be believable just so we know you’re not lying.”
“It can’t happen with rules. I know you’re here. It’s something that you’d have to walk in on.”
“Which you easily could have done when you got here and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.” Zayden said.
“Exactly. You kind of missed your chance. Now, don’t we have somewhere to be? You know, duel? Testing our worthiness? Any of this ringing a bell?”
“Fine. Here.” Ruby sighed, holding out my sword. “I think you’re going to need this.”
I took it and Zayden grabbed my other hand, pulling me away. “Come on. Being late is not permitted.”
I smiled at the others as I left the room with my hand still in his and we started walking down the hall together. I was happy to get away and it really made me smile more that it was with him.
I escorted her to the private arena and kept the closeness between us. I felt happy. I enjoyed just being near her and didn’t care if anyone saw while we went around the back of the arena and down to the underground chamber.
“Well, this is it.” I tapped on a door while Adele strapped her sword around her waist. “It’ll lead you out there and ah, try not to do any of that weird stuff. You don’t want to draw the wrong kind of attention to yourself.”
“You going to stay?”
I smiled and stroked her precious face. “I think the circumstances have changed. I’ll be here.”
“Okay and I won’t do anything I shouldn’t. I’ll keep it normal. I promise.”
“Good and be careful. I’ll need that ass intact for later.”
Adele playfully groaned and she leaned into me with both hands on my chest, only making me feel what she was feeling. “I wish it didn’t have to be later.”
“I know but it looks like you’ll have to get through this first and then we’ll see.”
“Okay. Can I request one thing first?”
I smiled to her innocent tone. I’ll admit I became attracted to her dominant behavior but I was just as easily warming up to her sweeter, softer side. “What?”
“A kiss for luck?”
I laughed to the request and brought one hand up towards her face and gently leaned down to her lips. Our tongues touched before the initial kiss and Adele’s hold got tight around me.
“You need to leave or we’re going to take the time to do it right now.”
I just smiled and kissed her again.
“Oh, please. By all means, go for it.”