Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Soon after Jennifer had fallen asleep, Kenjara lay next to her and watched as she slept. Her face was serene and her breathing mellow. She was indeed the most beautiful creature that he had ever seen. Everything about her seemed to be different from him. They were night and day, and he loved her more because of that fact. He leaned over down and kissed her gently on her forehead.
“You will definitely be a welcomed addition to this family and to my life.”
There was a soft knock at the door and he sighed before pulling away and sitting upright on the bed. “You may enter.”
Tasaneth entered. “Princess Jania of Ethoria has arrived and wishes to speak with you.”
Kenjara released an irritated growl at the mention of Princess Jania. She had been a thorn in his side, since they were children. She constantly begged for his attention and would throw a tantrum when he did not oblige her. The word troublesome was too good of a word to describe the Princess in his eyes. She was an invidious pest that held much animosity within her black heart. The only reason why he tolerated her presence for so long was because of the alliance between Asadia and Ethoria that had been established long before he was born.
“Could you kindly tell her that I am currently busy with important affairs?”
“She insists, Your Highness. She said that the matter that she wishes to discuss with you is of the upmost importance and it involves both Kingdoms. She is in the east garden.”
“Very well.” Kenjara reluctantly left his place next to Jennifer and went to leave the room. He paused for a moment when he was about to pass Tasaneth and said, “Have Clainne take my place at the Princess’ side. She shall wake soon and I do not want her without her familiar, especially if I am absent.”
He left the room and quickly made his way to the east garden also known as the mermaid garden because of the large mermaid fountain in the center of thousands of green and blue flowers. It was a sight to see and well known within the Asadian kingdom.
He exited the castle and saw the Princess sitting on a marble bench adjacent to the majestic structure. She turned her head to him when he stood beside her. She was a very beautiful lady. Her chestnut brown hair shone tints of gold in the sun light. She was small in frame and stature, very delicate. Her eyes were an intense blue and her lips and cheeks were rosy pinks. Princess Jania was a very beautiful woman upon first glance. It was her cunning ways that kept many men at bay.
Kenjara did not offer her any pleasantries as was the custom in many cultures. Instead he stared at her, waiting for her to speak. He could tell that she was upset by his actions but he didn’t care. He needed to return to his mate as soon as possible and explain things to her clearly. When she wakes up her state of mind will be much clearer, she won’t be nearly as frantic as she was earlier.
Jania stood from the bench and stared at Kenjara with a serious expression. “Rumors have surfaced in Ethoria that you are unmated, is it true?”
“…”He remained silent.
“I will take your silence as a confirmation that those tale bearings are indeed factual.”
“I did not confirm nor did I deny your accusations. You are reading too much into my actions.”
“Well, is it true or not?” Jania asked with annoyance.
“Why is it any of your concern?” Although Kenjara’s tone was nonchalant he was interested in the answer. Princess Jania always had ulterior motives. What she was inquiring about was enough to cause suspicion.
The corner of her lip upturned as she said, “I have a proposition that I would like to offer you.”
“Any proposition that is tied to whether or not I am mated does not interest me.”
“But this proposition will solidify our kingdoms standing as allies. Even this does not interest you?”
Kenjara sighed impatiently, “This dance with words is unnecessary. Share with me your intentions now or I will have to regrettably call this meeting to an end. As you well know, I am very busy.”
She looked him over, silently studying him with her eyes. The prince’s brusque stance alluded to his growing impatience. “Yes, it does appear to be that way. I guess I’ll have to get straight to the point. I want you to marry me and allow me to be your queen.”
“Not again,” Jennifer mumbled to herself when she came to consciousness.
She was once again trapped within the Prince’s quarters but this time she wasn’t frightened, but angry and confused. She didn’t remember anything that occurred past the moment she tried to escape and on top of that she had a very painful headache. It was as if she just woke up from a bad hangover after blacking out from drinking too much.
“He is so dead when I see him,” She mumbled to herself as she stumbled out of bed. Her legs were very weak for a reason unknown to her but she surmised that it had something to do with the crazy prince that she had encountered earlier that day. At least she assumed it was the same day. There was no way of telling how much time had gone by since she was last conscious.
She couldn’t comprehend the idea that she was stuck in some mystical world, that her father was at home alone with no one to take care of him. He had been ill ever since the accident. It was almost as if he was slowly dying of heartbreak. Jennifer didn’t know what he would do if she never came home. He probably wouldn’t survive the loss.
She slowly made her way to the double oak doors. Hesitating for moment, she placed her hand on the knob that sat inside of the lion’s opened mouth. Unlike before the door knob didn’t emit any strange sounds or try to bite her hand off. She turned it and pushed the door open. The hallway just outside the room was empty and devoid of noise, there was no one in sight.
“Hello?” She called out hesitantly. “Is anyone there?”
There was no response, only more dead silence.
‘What the hell am I doing? This crap is right out of a horror movie,’ Jennifer thought to herself. She felt like someone was going to attack her at any moment. She was half right. The fairy that she saw wondering the hall early appeared in front of her suddenly from a circle of white light.
The fairy was very small, the size of Jennifer’s thumb to be precise. Her skin was tanned and her hair was the color of pink cotton candy. Her big almond shaped eyes were cerulean blue. She wore what looked like a green leaf as a dress and her sparkling white wings flapped frantically.
“Your Grace,” She greeted in a high pitch voice as she gave a clumsy bow. “I am Clainne, your familiar.”
“My familiar, what’s that?” Jennifer had heard the word before but she couldn’t remember its meaning.
“I will be your companion until you are able to generate one of your own or until the Prince produces one for you. I will help you with any task and educate you on our customs. You may think of me as your personal servant, Your Grace,” Clainne said as if she was reciting she something that spent time committing to memory.
“So you’ll help me do whatever I want?” Jennifer questioned.
“Yes, within reason of course.”
“Within reason,” She repeated. “I guess that doesn’t include helping me escape from this place, does it?”
Clainne shook her head apologetically. “Please accept my apologies, Your Grace. I have been put under strict orders by the Prince not to assist you with such matters.”
Jennifer frowned. “I thought that would be the case. Man, that guy is becoming a real pain. Well can you at least take me to him? He seems to be the only way that I can get out of this place.”
“Please forgive me, but his highness is currently in a meeting and asked not to be disturbed. He said that he would return to you the moment the conference has ended. He asked that you please remain in your room. The castle is a dangerous place. You shouldn’t wonder these halls alone.”
“You’re here with me aren’t you?”
The fairy could tell what Jennifer was thinking and she didn’t like it at all. Defying the Prince could be punishable by death. Then again, so could disobeying the Princess. She sighed and reluctantly said, “Yes, Your Grace but I advise against it. The Prince shall return at any moment and you shall have your audience with him then. If you leave now it will only cause more problems for you later.”
“Please wait for the Prince’s return,” Clainne begged.
Jennifer sighed before turning around and heading back into the room. Normally, she would have just pushed the fairy aside and wondered the castle halls, trying to escape but the fairy’s innocent face and delicate voice prevented her from doing so. Waiting for the Prince seemed to be the best option. She didn’t know her way around the castle or what other dangers were about the place. For all she knew there could be a bottomless pit just down the hall.
“Fine, I’ll stay.”
“Many thanks, Your Grace.”
It took a moment for Kenjara’s shock to leave him. He truly didn’t expect her to ask for marriage. He was confused as to why she was the one propositioning him and not her father, the King. Her actions contradicted the Luminare way of being. The women were never the ones to make such bold requests but then again Princess Jania was not known to follow rules—she made her own. He could admire that in a woman but not in Jania. At times she could be ruthless towards even her own people.
“My father wishes me to marry another but it is you that I want, Prince Kenjara. I feel a connection with you that I haven’t felt with any other. Also, with the brains of my people and the bronze of yours, there will be nothing that we can’t have. You can bring peace to many just by agreeing to wed me.”
He stared at her questioningly; he did not feel this connection of which she spoke and he knew that she was more than familiar with his people’s mating rituals. “You are aware that unlike Luminare Elves, Demons have no choice when it comes to their life mate? I can no sooner choose the very people who birthed me.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes.” He said confidently.
“What if I were to tell you that the scientists of Ethoria have been conducting tests? We have discovered a way to free Demons like you. You will have the ability to choose a life mate, not be appointed one.”
He glared. “Then I would have to ask you where did you obtain your subjects?”
“Do not fret,” Jania slowly moved away from Kenjara. She could feel his anger emitting from his body. “The Luminare Elves did not cross into Asadian land. All of the test subjects were voluntary, of course.”
“Of course,” He repeated. “Even if that were the case I would not be able to accept your offer.”
Even though mating with Princess Jania would benefit him politically (The Luminare Elves innovations in science and weaponry were unprecedented) he would not be able to separate himself from his true mate. He would never be able to live with himself knowing the actions he took to win a war that he still believed could be won with diplomacy.
“Why?” Jania cried out as she launched herself onto the prince and held onto his armor tightly. She looked deep within his eyes and tried to convey the strong emotions that she felt for him. “I can see as the day is clear that you are unmated. You know how I feel about you. Why won’t you accept me?”
Kenjara grabbed Jania’s hands and removed them from his person. “My heart already belongs to another, whether I have met her or not. If I were to undergo the process of removing the connection I have with my mate, I still wouldn’t be able to reciprocate your feelings.”
“Prince Kenjara I—”
“Please do not approach me in this way again.” He bowed respectfully before returning to the castle, leaving Princess Jania behind to fume silently—promising to herself that she would make Kenjara regret this day.
In the center of town, Belonoth waited inside the royal carriage for his beloved, Princess Maeyla who was returning home after a long day at the orphanage. He watched silently as she approached the carriage. She looked like a fallen angel in her white and gold gown. Her onyx colored eyes, while dark in color seemed to shine brighter each time he saw her. Maeyla’s long raven hair swayed in the wind walked. She was so graceful that many people believed that she walked on air.
She smiled in surprise when the footmen opened the carriage door and helped her inside. She immediately placed a kiss on Belonoth’s cheek and took hold of his hand while laying her head on his shoulder.
“I thought you would be too busy to escort me home, today.”
“Everything went smoother than I expected. Kenjara’s mate has been brought to the castle,” He whispered. He didn’t want his words to be overheard. The traitor had yet to be discovered and he did not want such information circulating in public. “He is expected to commence the mating ritual very soon, if not today.”
“I doubt that he would ever get her to agree so quickly. You did say that the girl was a human, and from a different dimension as well. It will be a while before she accepts the fact that she won’t be able to return home for some time. She has a whole family that she’s had to leave behind.”
“Why? It did not take you long to decide to bound with me.”
Maeyla lifted her head from Belonoth’s shoulder and looked up at him. “I am an Asadian. I knew that I would one day I would become your mate. I was just waiting for you to find me.”
She smiled before nudging Belonoth shoulder who just continued to stare at her with the same cold expression that he showed everyone. Maeyla was used to it. Her mate wasn’t comfortable with showing affection. Even a small smile was too much for him at times. She could count on her hand the amount of times that she seen him smile. The day that they first met, the day that completed the mating process and the day he was inducted into the Asadian Army.
“This girl that was brought home knows nothing of our ways or even that we existed. She will need time to adapt.”
“Yes, I believe you are right. But I also know that my brother has ways of getting what he wants.”
Maeyla folded her arms about her person. “We shall see.”
Belonoth nodded “Yes we shall.”
Kenjara walked briskly to his sleeping quarters. His meeting with the princess had taken much longer than he had expected. He had hoped to return to her before she had awoken.
“I’m sorry that I kept you waiting, my love.” Kenjara said as he pushed opened the door.
Jennifer immediately got off the bed while being careful not to wake Clainne, who had fallen asleep on her shoulder. She gently cupped the fairy within her hands and placed her on the bed before straightening her clothes nervously and facing Kenjara.
“I don’t mind the wait as long as you let me go.”
“You know that I cannot do that. You are my mate and therefore—”
“You kidnapped me from my home, my life, my family and now want me to play house? I don’t think so. Take me home, now.” Jennifer demanded. She decided while she was waiting that she was not going to coddle the Prince. He may have been used to getting everything that he wanted but he wasn’t going to get her, especially since he went through such vulgar means. He literally clubbed her over the head and dragged her to his cave, just because his “cave” was a palace didn’t make it any less Neanderthal. She was not amused.
Kenjara frowned. “I cannot.”
“Why am I so important to you, now?”
“I do not understand your question.”
“You say that you have been aware that I was your mate for years. Why have you waited until this moment to get me? What has changed?”
“The Asadian nation is at war. Our enemies know that I am unmated and may use that against us. We brought you here for your own protection.”
Jennifer placed her hands on her hips. “I was doing just fine at home. Nothing life threatening has ever happened to me until I met you. In case you didn’t notice I have a life back home! I have a family, I have friends, I have a job that I happen to like! Did you once think about how this change would affect me?”
“Of course I thought about how you would be affected by my sudden appearance but your life is more important than any uneasiness that you may feel from this transition. I love you deeply.”
“Don’t say things like that. You don’t know me.”
“I’ve known you since the day I was born. I know everything there is to know about you and you will know everything about me once we complete the bonding process, when you become my consort.”
Jennifer’s eyes widened and her arms fell limp by her sides. “I—I never—Consort? I never agreed to be your anything.”
“It is obvious that you do not remember our agreement but I can assure you that such an agreement has been made and you won’t be able to leave Asadia until you fulfill it.”
Her eyes narrowed. “You tricked me! You got me to go along with that consort crap when you did that Jedi mind thing on me. I can’t believe you did that! You want me to trust you but you took advantage of me,” she accused.
“All I did was calm you. You were upset the last time we spoke and were not thinking clearly.”
“I was thinking clearly alright! I was thinking that I wanted to get the hell out of here, like I do right now.”
Kenjara sighed. “Fighting this is of little use. You made a promise and cannot leave until we are mated. Resisting will only prolong your stay.”
Jennifer didn’t say anything. Instead she looked down at the fairy that was beginning to snore loudly, which was strange since the alarming sound came from such a small body.
She didn’t want to accept what he was saying as the truth but she had no reason not to believe him. He wouldn’t let her go freely. She would just have to go along with him. At least, until, she found a way out of here on her own.
“Alright, what do I have to do?”