He walked ahead of me. His back is stiff, shoulders taut, and not a word from him since us leaving his grandmother’s home. My arms still covered my midsection as I followed closely behind him. We weren’t going home yet at least that is what I was assuming because we were heading in a completely different direction from yesterday.
Prince Raiden and I passed the village. We walked for maybe ten minutes before a cherry blossom scent hit my nostrils. I lifted my eyes away from his back to look at our surroundings. We were no longer in the vast green fields and trees of the village but standing in the middle of a cherry blossom field.
I inhaled sharply. It was like something out of a dream. This world seems to not fail in rendering me speechless. Its beauty goes beyond any words I can come up with. Cherry blossom flowers growing on the branches with exquisite elegance underneath the light azure sky.
“Wow.” I breathed.
Prince Raiden stopped to turn to face me. His hands once again behind his back. His eyes quietly regarding my reaction. My lips parted slightly and without realizing one palm came up to cover my chest. My heart was beating rapidly for a completely different reason.
A soft salty sea breeze blew past and cherry blossoms petals flew from the branches. Billowing in the breeze like it is finer than silk, smoother than water. The petals touched my skin with an extreme gentleness before it fell to the soft bedded ground.
“This world...it’s beautiful,” I admitted, my eyes founding him again.
He turned then as if he had just noticed that we were surrounded by beautiful, elegant cherry blossom trees. His dark brooding eyes fell back on me.
“We have many places like this.” He told me.
“Not where I am from,” I told him. “These kind of places are rare.”
Suddenly, one hand popped out from his back. Palms up, he caught a flower in his hand that had fallen from the tree. Our eyes fell to the cherry blossom flower he caught in his palm.
“Like the very source that makes my heart beat, it’s scent leaves behind a fragrance that I cannot forget.” He whispered before closing his palms.
He took a step forward. I remained rooted to the ground. He took another step and eliminated the space between us. We were only a foot apart. His masculine scent wrapped around me like a warm haze, numbing me from every rational thought.
Slowly, he lifted his free hand I felt his fingers skimmed my cheek just like how the petals did earlier. A gentleness that left me breathless. His eyes moved from where he was touching me to look at me. I could melt underneath those cryptic hazelnut eyes.
“Her eyes are my passage to nirvana. Her lips are worth more than immortality...” He glanced down and dropped his hand to take hold of mine. Opening my palm he placed the flower in my hand.
“Her scent is imprinted in my soul. She alone cuts and binds my heart.” He whispered softly.
His eyes dropped to my stomach where it now exposes the black blob on my stomach. He didn’t touch me. He made no move yet I felt my body heat up underneath his sharp eyes. My skin tingled with awareness and my cheeks scorched with a new kind of emotion.
I remember those words. He said it before and I told him to never call me that but now hearing him call me his chosen mate in his native tongue, it stops time and nothing else matter but what was happening between us.
Once again, our eyes connected. My father said that action speaks louder than words. Right now, it was screaming. He leaned forward. His eyes found interest in my lips and it parted willingly for him to claim. Time seems to be at a standstill. I waited as he slowly leaned down. Each second that he moved closer, my heart picked up speed.
He blinked and it was as if the spell shattered. He took a step back. His hands dropping back to his side.
He turned and continued to walk ahead of me like he didn’t just spout poetry and take my breath away. I felt troubled and speechless. I didn’t know what to say. This man who I can’t come to understand sets a fire inside of me that leaves me almost begging him to put it out. To relieve me with his cool touch.
I started slowly after him. I couldn’t trust myself standing next to him. I might grab onto him and demand him to kiss me back. To not stop it here. That I wanted to feel his lips on mine.
God, what was wrong with me?
A breeze brushed passed us again and I took another greedy inhale of the cherry blossom scent. I want to pick these flowers, bring them home and use them in my bath. Sidetracked, I moved to pick the flowers. Gathering them in a small handkerchief that is slipped at the top of my satin skirt that has been washed and dried from yesterday event.
A few minutes later, I felt his presence behind me. I glanced his way. He wore a perplexed look.
“What are you doing?” He asked.
“I want to use these flowers for my scented bath,” I replied.
“I can have several servants go out and-” He stopped himself. I eyed him curiously. He sighed and pinched the bridge between his eyes. He scratched his head before lifting his eyes meet me again.
“I can help you.” He said.
Together, we picked the flowers. I tried to concentrate on the picking but I couldn’t help but ogle the Godly man before me. Who knew that the Dragon Prince who is fierce and mysterious can lower his resolve and pick the flowers. A small smirk played on my lips.
“Prince Raiden...” I started.
He glanced my way, “Call me Raiden, Anna. No need for formality. You will be my mate soon.”
My stomach did flips upon hearing him saying that last sentence. I blushed and tried to remember what I was going to ask him.
“How did we travel from one place to another?”
“It is how most Royals travel from realm to realm. Ancient powers passed down and in place for easier travel.” He replied.
I placed a few more cherry blossom flowers into my handkerchief.
“What kind of powers do you have?” I asked curiously.
He closed his handkerchief and turned to face me before his eyes scanned the cherry blossom fields. Suddenly, the air picked up. My skirt swished around me and the wind slipped underneath my hair, picking it up gently. I eyed widely the cherry blossom flying in circles around me, going higher and higher into the sky. A second later, a fat raindrop hit me on my cheek. I blinked rapidly in surprise before another hit me.
My eyes found him and he smirked.
It was then, my world stopped.
This man had the smile that can stop heartbeats. It steals my breath away.
He doesn’t say much. Doesn’t speak unless he has to. I don’t see him unless he wants me to. Even with all this, I couldn’t stop the sudden urge to await his visit--to see him again. This doesn’t feel right. I should deny him, push him away. Fight whatever was going on between us but it is easier said than done.
For a week now, I have been under this man’s roof. I have been treated with nothing less than respect aside from him taking me from my home.
Was it true?
Was I starting to really have feelings for this man?
Or have I simply gone insane?
Raindrops started falling rapidly and I let out a squeak as I moved underneath a tree to hide away from the rain. He stopped me by wrapping his hands around my wrist, pulling me back. I fell back onto his body. He wrapped an arm around me. Rain fell harder and we were drenched underneath the rain in seconds.
“You can make it rain?” I whispered through the rain.
“What’s the matter, Anna May, afraid of a little rain?” He whispered back what I said from yesterday to him but instead of dirty, it was rain.
My hair clung to my body. My body was wet from the head down. Underneath the rain, we stood. Gazing into each other’s eyes once again. A shiver ran down my body. One arm wrapped around my waist. The other wrapped around my torso. He placed a hand at the back of my head and hid my face in the crook of his neck. Shielding me from the rain before I felt my world spinning again. It was like flying through a tunnel. The air swish underneath me. I closed my eyes tightly. He wrapped his arms tighter around me, pulling me close.
A minute later, the sensation stopped and I slowly opened my eyes to see we were back at the Palace. Our legs still submerged under the water. He slowly released me. I wasn’t as dizzy as I was before.
I swallowed before he released me. He stepped out of the rectangular pool of water and disappeared behind a gold door. A minute later, he appeared with two towels. He wrapped around my shoulders and used the other to wipe him down.
I eyed the towel hand movements like a hawk until he cleared his throat. My eyes found his before I cleared my own throat and stepped out of the pool.
“T-thank you for this small trip. It was amazing.” I said.
He nodded and I turned quickly away before I do anything else that would make me look like a fool. I found my way back to my--his bedroom that I was staying in. I sat the handkerchief that had my cherry blossom flowers on the vanity table before stepping into the bathroom to clean up and change into some new and dry clothes.
An hour later, there was a knock at my door. I thought it was Prince Raiden but it wasn’t. Aika’s head peeked in and she had a grin on her face.
“Hello, milady.” She said cheerfully.
I smiled back. I’m glad she was back. It will be a nice distraction from Prince Raiden but even as this thought appeared in my mind. I knew that tonight I will be dreaming about him. He seemed to be the object of debate in my mind lately.