The fresh morning air brought peace into the room. The sun shined down like a soft velvet blanket warming the room and whispering words of comfort. It was breath-taking how peaceful things felt. For a moment, I’d almost forgotten where I was. It felt… different. The past morning had come with new-found feelings. This morning, however, came with so much more. The tingle of my lips still remained, and I found myself reaching up to touch them. What was it about Parker Archer that took my breath away?
Looking at him sleep once again I couldn’t stop the smile that grazed my lips. The past few days felt like a dream. It was hard to believe that soulmates, love, and Parker had all become one. Life had entangled our souls together and woven something new.
“Morning,” I’d been lost in my own thought to notice Parker wake up. I was only glad he had not caught me staring at him.
“Morning,” I whispered back trying to control my racing heart and my blushing cheeks. He sat up then, stretching his arms and yawning before standing up and gathering the bed sheets form the floor to begin folding them. It was hard really. We had our moments where things seemed to fall into place. Then, of course, came the awkwardness.
I was naturally a shy girl, but I had never thought Parker Archer could be shy as well. It was refreshing and rather ironic. Of course, it did make me feel better to know he wasn’t the same guy he was in high school. Mistakes were made on both sides and we both agreed on that. More than anything, we wanted to move forward, and that certainly brought nervous butterflies and mixed happy emotions to my being.
“Ms. Lyric,” Hearing Oliver outside the door cut through the silence and I found myself looking up at the open door where Oliver now stood in comfortable workout wear.
“You have practice with me again this morning,” Oliver spoke his tone calm, collected, more formal than usual.
“Alright. I’ll be downstairs soon then. I’ll get ready but. I’d like to check on my friend first. To see if she’s alright.”
“Okay Princess,” Oliver spoke before heading out simply nodding his head at Parker who did the same.
“I should go get ready,” I told Parker, standing up from the bed quietly and heading toward the door.
“I’ll see you later then,” He spoke offering a smile taking hold of my hand and pulling me close to him until I was pressed against his chest.
“Parker,” I spoke, that flutter in my heart increasing softly and delicately like a butterfly, raising its wings up and down. No words were exchanged then, though he only offered a soft kiss on my cheek, that soft spark that ignited my entire body with tingles still flowed through me. His penetrating hazel eyes still took my breath away.
“I… I should go,” I found myself saying, slowly pulling myself away from his touch. Though my heart wished to stay. Still, I headed out of the room to get ready for my practice with Oliver only to find Andrew and Jane still asleep. I quickly changed and headed out to practice where Oliver was waiting patiently.
I couldn’t breathe again, this time for a different reason. I was looking up at the sky again, my body sprawled on the grass. I could feel my heart running faster than a hummingbird’s own heart, sweat trickling down my neck.
“Water Ms. Lyric,” Oliver spoke up while he held two bottles of water.
“Thank you,” I spoke, sitting up to take the bottled drink and take a sip. The water felt cool down my throat quenching my thirst and cooling me off just a tad.
“You did a good job today Ms. Lyric,” Oliver spoke.
“Hardly,” I told him, laughing lightly turning to face him while he too sat down on the grass taking a sip of his own water.
“I know I’m weak,”
“But you will get better. Ms. Lyric,”
“Lyric,” I corrected him once more.
“Lyric. Just Lyric. Princess, Ms. Lyric. It makes me feel uncomfortable,” I spoke to him honestly.
“But you’re Parker’s soulmate he is a Prince and-”
“I know. But. I don’t feel adequate and even if I did. I don’t expect the people I know, the people I consider my friends to call me Princess,” I explained to him.
“And. I really do want us to be friends Oliver,” I spoke, eliciting a genuine smile form him.
“Alright. Ms. I mean. Lyric.” He corrected, his green eyes lighting up, and I found myself smiling back at him.
“Can I ask you something?” I found myself saying after a few short moments of silence.
“Okay,” He spoke.
“You’re always so formal around Parker and-”
“It’s my job,” Oliver spoke chuckling softly.
“I grew up with him and Spencer yes, but… My job is to protect them and now you,” He explained.
“Courtesy comes with the job I do. But I give my respect to the King and his sons because they’ve earned it,” Oliver spoke, and it really did make me think about duties.
“Parker. How is he? With the people?” I found myself asking.
“Fair. The way a real king should be.”
“There is peace. The people of this kingdom are happy. They believe in the King and his sons. Now they shall believe in their queens as well.”
Though I agreed when it came to King Thomas being fair. There was a line that I knew had been crossed from the time I had been linked to both Prince’s of opposing kingdoms. I wasn’t the only problem. Long before this, the kingdoms had been at odds for centuries, but I had been the last drop to tip over the glass.
“I should go back now. I need to check on my friend and get ready for breakfast.” I found myself saying to Oliver who stood up himself nodding.
“I will see you later Princess,” He spoke up.
“Lyric,” I corrected him once more before leaving.
“Lyric,” He corrected himself causing me to turn back and offer him a smile.
I could hear whispers coming from my room and smiled to myself hoping that Jane was feeling a lot better than the previous night. Balancing the tray of food in one hand I managed to open the door and walk in.
“Morning,” I spoke to both Jane and Andrew.
“Morning,” Andrew spoke up, offering a kind smile, while Jane remained silent.
“I brought you breakfast. How are you feeling Jane?” I questioned, placing the tray on the nightstand.
“I’m good for now Lyric. I’m going to my guest bedroom and get ready. I’ll let you two talk,” Andrew spoke. There was a deep concern in Andrew’s eyes that told me Jane was not okay. When the door closed, the room grew quiet. Not a sound was heard, and it was strange to see my friend in this state.
“Jane. At least. Eat something. You don’t have to talk about it.”
“I’m not very hungry,” She spoke softly her voice far away, broken; reminding me of my own voice so many years ago.
“Jane. What’s going on?... With you… and Brad?” I questioned. Though she wouldn’t look at me, I could see tears in her eyes which she quickly wiped away.
“Nothing. I don’t want to talk about it,” Jane spoke shaking her head.
“And frankly. It’s not your business,” She said; her voice shaky while she sniffled.
“I know it’s not. But. You’re my friend… and… I’m concerned about you,” I spoke to her gently. I wanted her to open up the way she and Andrew had done for me.
“Really?” Jane scoffed.
“Because. I remember Andrew being here the whole night with me. Where were you?” She asked, tears pooling in her eyes though she refused to let them fall.
“Please. Don’t pretend like you care about me Lyric. You’re such a hypocrite!” She snapped.
“Don’t pretend like you understand because you don’t,” Jane cried angrily; finally letting tears fall from her eyes.
“Ever since we arrived here all you’ve cared about is Parker. What happened to hating him? What happened to all the pain that he’s caused you?” Jane snapped angrily.
“Things are different okay. Parker is-”
“What about Andrew?” She spoke up.
“Don’t you care about how he feels? He loves you too. Everyone! All they care about is you. Even Cray.”
“War is going to break over you like if you were some kind of deity! What’s so special about you?” Jane snapped.
“Money? We both know where you come from,” She scoffed, her words piercing my back.
“Because you’re beautiful?” Jane cried.
“What’s wrong with me? Why is everyone so-” She continued to cry unable to finish her own words.
Although I realized she didn’t mean what she was saying, it did not mean her words hurt any less. Still, I tried to keep my own emotions in check and comfort her.
“Jane. It really isn’t like that. Brad cares about you. He has to.” I spoke to her, going to sit next to her and taking her hand.
“You mean like your father cared about you” She snapped her words hit me like an ice cold bucket. It was hard then not to let my own tears sting my eyes, but I maintained my composure knowing she had not meant it.
“Jane. It’s not going to be like that. You and Brad-”
“Just get out. I don’t want to hear your delusions. Because that’s what this is. Whatever you have with Parker is a lie. And when it blows up in your face, I hope you realize you won’t have Andrew and I this time.”
“That won’t happen.”
“Parker,” I spoke, not realizing he’d come inside the bedroom. His eyes were calm though his posture was tense.
“Sure it won’t. Just like you weren’t part of the reason Lyric tried to hurt herself.”
“Maybe that’s true. And I made mistakes that I know I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life. But I love Lyric. And you speaking for me and trying to hurt her to cover your own pain is unfair,” Parker spoke, his voice calm.
“Lyric cares about you. If she didn’t care she wouldn’t be here right now trying to comfort you even when you’re being cruel to her.” Parker said.
“Just get out. I don’t want to hear it anymore,” Jane cried.
“Parker. We should go,” I whispered to him though my heart ached for my friend, I realize there was nothing I could do now.
“I’m sorry. I really am,” I whispered to her only making her sob harder. Taking hold of my hand Parker led me out of the room. All I could do was look back at my friend sadly knowing she was in excruciating pain and wanted no one to help her.
For a few minutes, we walked in silence out into the hallway before reaching the stairs that led downstairs to the main hall.
“I’m sorry,” Parker spoke up.
“I know I shouldn’t have been listening or interrupting. I was going to call you out to have breakfast with everyone and I heard her. Don’t listen to her. She’s hurt and. What she said about me and your father.”
“I know,” I whispered cutting him off.
“You mean everything to me. I would take all of it back Lyric. If I-”
“I know that Parker,” I whispered moving close to him pressing my body against his own and resting my head against his chest, his arms wrapping around my waist tightly.
“I love you.” He whispered softly making my heart clench in a way that only made me pull myself closer to him. The butterflies in my stomach returning by a thousand.
“I know. I can feel it. That you care about me.” I whispered to him.
“I care about you too,” I whispered. His hold on me tightening before our eyes met once more, and he pulled me into a kiss. My arms wrapped around his neck and I found myself giving in once again to the warm cocoon that built around our world. There was nothing more that I wanted than to tell him I loved him back.
I cared about him and my heart was beginning to let love in. Still, speaking those words somehow took my breath away and part of me still feared that this may have well just been a lie. I couldn’t really fathom falling in love in such a short time. Then again, I had been falling in love with Parker Archer for the past five years. Maybe our love was not perfect but the feelings I had now at this moment were. His kisses took my breath away. His touch erased the wounds that he himself had left in my heart. Everything in that moment seemed to vanish. Like a wave hitting the sand, erasing any mark of imperfection and leaving nothing but peace.
Everyone was gathered in the dining room having breakfast. Crystal and Spencer both smiled amongst each other while holding hands lovingly. It was a sight that brought infectious smiles to my father, Lyric and I. Their love somehow represented something close to perfection and true love like no one had ever seen before. It was a love different from Lyric and I and something that every Nova wanted to achieve.
“We’ll be taking the boat out today,” Spencer spoke up, his hand still laced with Crystals offering her a loving smile before turning to look at our father.
“Lyric. You guys can come. I want you to see the ocean with us. It’ll be fun,” Crystal speaks with excitement, her blue eyes shining with content.
It was clear to everyone that times had recently been hard, and with danger lurking, peaceful and happy times like these were rare. Lyric was sitting next to me; as always she was quiet unless spoken to. I realized things between us had gradually gotten better and she was beginning to relax around everyone, including me. This was something that truly eased my mind and gave my heart hope for her and I. Taking hold of her hand from underneath the table she turned to look at me and offered a kind smile. It was a small gesture that made my own heart thump in its usual dance.
“Parker what do you think?” Crystal chimed in shifting her attention towards me.
“Sure. If. Lyrics’ fine with it,” I said to her looking at Lyric, who was quiet for a few moments pondering the question.
“Okay,” Lyric whispered quietly.
“Oliver will accompany you,” My father spoke knowingly.
“You can invite your friends if you’d like,” Crystal spoke to Lyric who nodded but said nothing. There was a look of pain that kept flickering in her eyes that caused my own heart to tighten.
I knew Lyric, her essence and the way she carried herself. She was such a fragile andcaring person. When I heard her friend speaking for me, trying to hurt Lyric to avoid her own pain I was angry. Part of me did understand why she did not like me, but I could not comprehend why I detected anger and jealousy in her friend Jane’s words.
“I’ll give you something to wear before we leave. You’re going to love the sea Lyric. I promise,” Crystal spoke happily chatting away about the sea to Lyric, who did not seem to pay much attention to her. There was a strained smile on her lips as Lyric would occasionally nod her head silently to Crystal.
“Morning everyone,” Green spoke up coming into the dining room and offering a cheerful smile. Even when I knew he wasn’t a threat of danger towards Lyric he was still a threat to her heart. I realized he could never be her mate, but that didn’t mean their bond didn’t make me feel insecure.
“How’s Jane?” Lyric asked Green, her eyes showing deep concern for her friend.
“She’s okay. Still a bit shaken from last night but she’ll be fine.” Green spoke calmly.
“Don’t worry about her too much Lyric. She’ll talk about it when she’s ready,” Green said to her, before taking hold of her right hand. My own hand tightened on her left causing her to squeeze back and pull away from Andrew.
“I know,” She whispered back quietly to him. I realized however his words did nothing to ease the worry in her eyes.
“Lyric. We should go get ready. Come on.” Crystal spoke up standing up from the table and kissing Spencer on the cheek before turning toward Lyric.
“Come on Lyric.” She spoke smiling to Lyric who let go of my hand and followed Crystal back upstairs.
“Is it really safe to go out?” Green questioned.
“Guards will be with us and you yourself said you’d be protecting her as well. I won’t be letting her out of my sight either.” I said to him, causing him to smirk.
“Relax. I’ve got it covered. And you might want to invite that idiot bear friend of yours. He needs to fix this with Jane otherwise I might just kill him myself.” Green spoke. Though his words were meant to be light, the edge in his tone told me he meant every single word he’d spoken.
“Father,” Spencer spoke making me realize my father and Spencer were still in the room.
“Will you be joining us?” Spencer asked my father who nodded offhandedly. The look in my father’s eyes was pensive something he only did when he was far too stressed and wanting to solve several kingdom issues at once.
“Yes. Now if you’ll excuse me, I will go and prepare a few things,” Father spoke before standing up and leaving. Spencer followed behind him, leaving Green and I alone, but not before sending a cold gaze toward Green who simply shook his head and laughed lightly.
“Your brother doesn’t seem to like me. But I suppose it’s due to loyalty to you. I mean I’m not interested in his mate,” Green spoke. His words only angering me and I found myself glaring at him causing him to laugh.
“Lyric is my mate.”
“I realize that. But we both know you are not deserving of her. Something you and your bear friend have in common. You’re both undeserving of your mates.”
“You like Jane too?” I questioned.
“It’s not about liking them so much as protecting them. But I’ll make myself clear to you.” Green spoke up his voice calm.
“Until I feel that you two idiots deserve them. I won’t back off,”Green spoke evading the question. Standing up from the table he simply headed out without another word. For a moment I pondered his words wondering what that meant. While it was clear to me that Green had taken the role of protector when it came to both Jane and Lyric, I wondered what his intentions at the end of the day were.
With Lyric, I understood that he loved her, but I realized part of him had given up, and yet, the other part still held on for some hope. Something that as much as I hated to admit to myself, he and I had in common. Holding on ’til the last minute, hoping for something with the most caring and beautiful girl in the universe. I realized that even if Lyric had picked Cray, part of me would have still tried to fight. Green, Cray and I, the three of us had one thing in common, Lyric. I understood why letting go of her in any given situation was hard but now that she had chosen to be with me losing her was not an option and I wasn’t going to let anything or anyone take that away from me.