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Authors: JT Schultz

Frog Tale (5 page)

BOOK: Frog Tale
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“No,” he wanted to be near her. “I’m quite happy on the pillow next to you. You should sleep though.”


I think I’m too sad.”

He groaned over her comment. “Don’t be dramatic.”

Her nose scrunched slightly and she grinned wickedly. “Afraid I’ll put you out of work?”

A croak of a chuckle escaped him. She was so sassy. “Yes, now close your eyes and I’ll tell you a story. Heaven knows you’ve read to me enough.”

She blinked at him and smiled. Finally, no tears and relief washed over his soul. “Luc, I am so glad you’re my friend. I love you.”

His heart stopped beating. Everything he had experienced, every emotion, all of it new―but in truth, there was no denying… “I love you too
il mio cuore
, now close your eyes.” She was the best friend any guy, or anyone for that matter, could have―frog or otherwise.

He meant the words and did indeed love her, he may be her everything, but she had kept him going all this time. She had changed his outlook on life and on love. Her long lashes shut and he sighed. Chloe was a cutie and truly
his heart
. He wasn’t sure how he would ever be able to leave her but knew one day he would. Luciano fought back the sour taste of bile, rising in his throat from the thought of living life without her.

If only she were older, or me younger, but then again, she isn’t royalty. To me she will always be a princess.

Sadness worked deeper through his soul. He wasn’t going to think of what he wished could be, right now she needed him and he was by her side.

“Are you going to tell me a story?” Her sobs had eased and her voice was soft, though far from sleepy.

Chloe had zero patience at times. A trait they shared. “Of course. Once upon a time in Beverly Hills, California, a young, handsome man was supposed to attend a grand affair with his father, a king and mother, a queen…”

 

Chapter 4

 

“I can hardly wait to show Luc how I look.” Chloe whispered as she neared her bedroom. Instead of her door closed though, the heavy wood stood ajar and her heart raced as she worried about Luc. She shoved open her door and stepped over the threshold in time to see Stella about to reach in the tank castle.

“You touch th
e frog and they will need sealing sandwich bags for your body parts when they pick up the remains with Popsicle sticks.”

Her sister spun around, wearing a scowl on her face then her expression turned to complete shock. “Oh, my God!”

She didn’t want her sister near her amphibian and didn’t care if this time she brought Stella down. If she did get a round in with her sister, Chloe would be sure to leave a bruise on her flawless face. “I don’t even know what you were going to do to my frog, back away or so help me I will hurt you, Stella.”

“Your hair!” She narrowed her gaze. “Where the hell are your glasses? I’m amazed you can tell Georgina and I apart without them.”

“Mom got me contacts and as far as my hair, mom and the hairdresser thought the shorter length and the streaks looked good. So, now that you have stunned yourself without something shiny or some guy’s balls in front of your face, get the hell out of my room.”

Blue eyes glared at her
and it was obvious her sister was mad. “I still think you’re ugly and nothing will change that. You’re still a nerd and―”

“Finish your sentence and I will make sure your eye is a new color of purple.  Ever since Luc came to this house
almost four months ago, you’ve had plans for his demise and I won’t tolerate you hurting him. I will cause you excessive pain if you harm him in anyway.”

“Bitch!” Stella screamed.

“Yes, but I’ve had such great teachers with you and Georgina.” She stepped closer to her sister and smiled. “Remember, I know where you sleep.”

Stella fumed then stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind her. “Mom, Chloe is threatening me!” Her sister’s voice echoed from down the hall.

Still smiling, she shook her head and glanced to Luc. “Are you okay?”

He blinked then blinked again. “You…”

Chloe’s lips thinned and her grin vanished. “You don’t like the way I look either.”

“No, that isn’t the problem. The problem is you're
beautiful. You didn’t let anyone see you like this did you?”

“Luc! What the hell? You tell me I’m
beautiful then ask if I let anyone see me like this? Are you delusional? Did Stella hit you on the head?”

“No, you saved me in time. I won’t even repeat what she said to me it’ll just upset you…” His brows furrowed and he looked away.

“What’s wrong?”

He
again rested his gaze on her and gave her a once over. “You look incredible, the streaks look nice in your hair and it’s even better you’re not hiding your eyes. Actually, the makeup brings them out and your lashes look longer.”

“It’s called mascara.”

He croaked in displeasure. “I know what it’s called. That’s not the point!”

“What’s the problem?” Confused over Luc’s behavior, she started to wonder if maybe life was safer hiding behind her glasses.

“Boys are going to notice you.”

“There are worse fates, actually,
one already has. I ran into Scott Phillips at the mall after I got my hair done and mom surprised me with the contacts.”

His froggy eyes widened then he scowled. “And who is he?”

“Quarterback for the football team. His dad is a concert promoter and he asked if I wanted to take in a concert tomorrow.”

Luc’s
nose twitched in disgust. Oh yeah big time, froggy displeasure, what had gotten into him? “Tomorrow is Saturday.”

“Right, and I told him I thought it would be fun.” Her heart tightened a bit. “If there was a way I could bring you I would.” She wondered for the first time what life would be like if Luc wasn’t a frog. Never had she questioned what he would be like as human, only currently he was acting more like a jealous boyfriend instead of an amphibian.

His eyes were intent on her and he scowled again. “What is running through your pretty head now?”

“Did you go to concerts?” Her hand lifted him out of his castle then she walked them over to the bed where he hopped down and
like usual made his way to her pillow. She stretched out next to him.

They just stared at each other for a few minutes and he nodded. “I used to do so many things. I miss my old life sometimes.”

“So you say, Prince Charming.” She lifted a brow and gently teased him knowing it would get on his nerves.

A heavy sigh escaped him to the point his
whole body moved from the weight. “You really don’t believe me do you, that I’m a prince?” He sounded sad and frustrated and she wasn’t sure as to why. Her mind again shifted to her thoughts moments earlier.

Chloe sighed and
, though excited over going out with the very cute football player, felt the exhaustion of her busy day work over her muscles. “It doesn’t matter what I believe Luc. The point of the matter is you’re here with me now, no matter how that came to be.”

Her eyes closed and she sighed, part of her wished she knew what Luc had looked like as a huma
n―providing, what he said was true. Something deep inside her wanted to believe. The question was why? She chalked the answer up to the many childhood stories and fantasies of princes and kingdoms far away.

Her lashes grew heavy and her mind cleared. Only
then she realized she better take her contacts out. She sat up on the bed and glanced at Luc. “I’m glad you came into my life.”

His body shivered and an unreadable expression crossed his froggy features. “I’m glad I did too and want you to know just how much I cherish you.” Something she couldn’t identify hid itself in his tone. He wasn’t sad or upset…the emotion was something else.

“Are you okay?” Concern for the friend whom she adored and loved etched over her as the image of Stella so near to hurting him flashed through her mind. The picture of what Chloe had walked in on would stay with her forever.

Luc’s gaze studied her and he took in every
detail. “You look beautiful, don’t let anyone―especially, your sisters ever tell you anything different.”

Her ey
es stared into his and a strange sensation, one she didn’t recognize or could name, ran over her body and she trembled. “I sometimes wish you had your old life again.”

And
be a handsome prince like you proclaim.

“Part of me wishes to be that way again as well. Only it’s not that easy Chloe.” This time, his words carried sadness. “Everything will change.”

“Right.” She debated her next words. “If you were a human would you ask me out?”

His eyes slammed shut and grief washed over his face. He opened his eyes and she regretted asking the question. She didn’t want to be rejected.

“Never mind, don’t answer that.” She slid off the bed. “I have to take the contacts out and change for bed.” She turned away wondering if the dye from the salon had affected her brain because tonight everything seemed different. Her feelings about Luc and about how she perceived herself flitted around her mind. Both sets of feelings were for the better, but where Luc was concerned it was yet another step further from lucid.


Chloe―”


It really doesn’t matter.” She turned and silently blamed the sudden sting of her eyes on the contacts. Hurrying into the bathroom, she convinced herself there was no way Luc could be a prince. There was no such thing as frog princes outside of fairy tales and fables.

Then again, talking frogs don’t come along everyday either.

 

I’m jealous. Completely jealous and I have no right to be. Yet I am.

Luciano sighed from where he sat on the pillow in the dark of Chloe’s bedroom. The moonlight peered in through the decorative sheers and cast a light pink glow on the young woman sleeping soundly beside him. She sighed lightly; her dark hair with the blond streaks tossed and turned on the pillow. His heart tightened and understood it was a crazy notion to be jealous over men, well boys, noticing her. Men and boys noticed beautiful women and somehow overnight Chloe had slipped into those ranks before his eyes.

He thought of her earlier question and had so desperately wanted to answer her. Yes, he would have noticed her but would have kept his distance since she was not only underage but there were several laws that would look down on his feelings for her. However, in his current state, laws meant nothing, he was a frog and….

He was five years older and her still a teenager. Life was cruel and completely unfair. He detested Ramona for the circumstance she’d tossed him into without regard for how this would affect his parents―or the country of Cammarata.

If Albert hadn’t rescued him, he would have died that rain
y night a week shy of four months ago. Most of all he wouldn’t have Chloe. Only the saying was true.

For everything lost, something is gained.

He cherished the young lady sleeping next to him. He’d lost his freedom, his life and his family. But thanks to Chloe, became introduced to entirely new world of acceptance and even friendship. Her long lashes fluttered and a soft moan escaped her. She tossed and another soft groan filled the air, only this time it resembled a whimper.

She’s dreaming. If only those dreams were of me but
, why would she dream of a frog when there were football players to dream about?

A loud whimper filled the room. Not good. The sounds leaving her made him believe she experienced a far from a happy dream. “Chl
oe?” He whispered, hoping she would settle into a more peaceful slumber.

“No! Luc!” Her voice held panic and fear. His heart slammed to a stop as her head tossed against the pillow. “I’ll kill you! Hurt him and die!” Her tone carried so much grief and terror.


Chloe!” He didn’t like this. “Chloe,
il mio cuore!
Wake up!”

Her head tossed
again and her pretty features twisted in agony. “Not a dragon.”

Dragon what the hell?


Il mio cuore!”
He hopped next to her head the pillow next to where he had been perched.

Chloe sat up and gasped. “The red burning eyes.” Her breath fell in short rasps. She glanced around and noticed him. “You’re alive!” She scooped him up and held him close to her chest. Her heart raced out of control as her lungs started to inhale and exhale in a steady rhythm. “I was so scared. She
wanted to killed you in front of me, I was so sad I thought I was going to die. Every nerve in my body stopped feeling and I couldn’t breathe. If she’d killed you I would have followed you by mere moments to the grave.”

What the hell is she talking about?

“Shh...” He soothed as his mind raced. Her words, her dream didn’t make any sense. “I’m safe and you’re holding me, everything is okay. You had a bad dream, nothing but a nightmare.”

She lifted her knees up and sat him on
the top of one. “The woman in my dream…nightmare or whatever I had. Her eyes glowed red and she detested me. I don’t know why but she did and wanted me to suffer, she wanted me to watch you die.” Her voice cracked and he knew she was again going to cry.

Terror nudged at his soul. This was all wrong. Her nightmare, her words
, everything was completely wrong. He swallowed back his jagged nerves and fears “Red eyes?” He only knew one person whose eyes glowered red, the same venomous bitch who had cursed him.

Chloe sniffled and nodded. She wiped her eyes and cheeks where fat tears had started to fall. “The blue dragon.”

He frowned. “There are no such things as dragons.”


There is no such thing as talking frogs either, yet we hold conversations often and my father knows you talk. Both of you tell me how much you enjoy your discussions, not that I can imagine what the pair of you possibly have to discuss.”

How my family is, how
the sugar trades are going, how much you mean to me…damn it! Why couldn’t she make this easy?


Il mio cuore
, I’m different. However, even where I come from there is no such thing as blue dragons. Especially, ones that eat frogs.”

Another loud sniffle filled the room. “I never said that she wanted to eat you. The dragon wanted to kill you
, Luc. She hated you and wanted you dead.” Her voice came out in a strong whisper but the undercurrent of trauma wasn’t hard to miss. Her nightmare had upset her beyond words and currently had raised his worries. Several questions were brought to his mind all of them relating to his curse and the wicked witch Ramona.

Even though logic dictated what Chloe experienced was a simple nightmare, somet
hing deep inside his heart held doubt.  Maybe he shouldn’t have told her the story the other night, only he’d left the scary parts out and not once did a dragon come into the scenario.  “Who hated me?”

“The dragon
, the blue dragon with the red eyes. She didn’t like me much either, but she hated you. I was scared. I mean terrified, but you told me not to worry and you’d protect me. When she knew I would die to keep you safe, she blew fire and became very wicked.”

BOOK: Frog Tale
11.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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