“Aika,” I said while brushing my hair.
Aika was putting more clothes in my drawers. She turned to face me when I called out for her. Placing the pearl hairbrush down, I turned to face her.
“Yes, milady?” She asked.
“I want to do something today.” I told her.
She gave me a horrified look and I quickly soothed her worries.
“I want to step out of the bedroom today. I want to roam the wing. I was thinking about heading back to Prince Raiden’s private garden.” I told her, standing up the gold stain floor length skirt fell to the floor.
Aika walked up to me and helped slip on the dragon bracelet to my arms. Now that I have taken a closer look at the jewelry, the dragon was crimson red like the dragon that was on Prince Raiden’s chest. She then pushed me back down onto the gold stool in front of the vanity and proceeded to pin my hair up with little small pearl pins.
“Prince Raiden told me if you wanted to go back, you can.” Aika replied, her attention was on a piece of my hair that refuses to be pinned up.
Once she got the hair up to her satisfaction, I glanced in the mirror to see her elegantly pinning my hair, exposing my neck. A second later, she placed a gold necklace over my exposed neck. I touched it before looking up at her.
“Prince Raiden told me you have to wear it at all times.” Aika answered my unspoken question. My fingers gingerly touched the dragon before dropping my hands to my lap. It was beautiful. The gold was molded and delicately designed.
“Where is he?” I asked, before standing up but Aika didn’t have time to answer when she heard me gasped in surprise.
I clutched at my underbelly.
“Leave.” I ordered.
Aika looked at me confused before stepping out.
I walked to the wash room and took out a wash cloth where I scrubbed at the black line pigmentation that marred my underbelly. It wasn’t too big, but it wasn’t too small either. It looked jagged.
After scrubbing away at my skin and causing it to pink up in protest to my scrubbing, I gave up. Whatever it was, it wasn’t coming off. It might be nothing just a small discoloration.
Tossing the hand towel aside, I walked back into the bedroom. I slipped my feet into soft satin slippers before stepping out of the bedroom. I carried a blank sketchbook, pencil, and coloring materials with me. I wanted to capture as much as I can of those flowers that I have seen the other day.
I followed the same path I went down earlier until the fresh smell of flowers wafted into my nostrils. A smile appeared on my face as I quickly entered and followed the cemented walkway to the middle where the fountain was.
There I sat and flipped open the sketch book. I sketched the flower I touched the other day. I made sure to draw one with it closed and one with it opened. The blending of hues as I touched it. I captured everything.
The flower kind of reminds me of the color of forget me nots but just so much prettier. A blend of roses. My attention was completely on mastering how the flower looked that I didn’t hear him until I saw him out from the corner of my eyes. I lifted my gaze from the sketchbook to look at him.
His eyes moved from me to the sketchbook and a blush crept on my face as I pulled the sketchbook up to my chest to hide it.
“You know how to draw?” He asked, moving to sit down next to me.
My heartbeat quickened, and I nodded. His arms brushed up against mine and I clenched my thighs. He was all muscle and the heat of his body so close to mine was incredibly distracting.
“How did you learn?” He asked further.
“I went to school to learn architecture.” I told him.
“Why architecture?” He questioned, leaning forward slightly.
I bit my bottom lip and looked up at him from underneath my eyelashes. His presence is intimidating, and I don’t know what it is but today I couldn’t seem to fight the tugging in my stomach.
“The village that I live in is small. I thought that if I majored in that field, I could help build homes, schools, and hospitals that could possibly help everyone.” I told him and melancholy sets in.
I can’t do that any longer. I am now stuck here, and the familiar pain seeped into my heart. My eyes were stinging with tears and so I stood up and walked to a rose bush. My back was to him, but he didn’t remain sitting. He stood up with me.
Walking up to me, he placed his hands on my shoulder, turning me to face him. I turned my face away, but he was resilient. He placed two fingers underneath my chin and turned me to face him.
“I know this is hard and I can’t apologize enough, Anna.” He said softly.
“Then why can’t you let me go?” I asked.
He was quiet for a few minutes and we continued to stare at each other. I took this time to look him in the eye and boy did he take my breath away. Those irises are unique and powerful.
“I need you to give me a chance, Anna.” He finally said. It was a breath of a whisper. Barely audible that only he and I can hear. A hint of a plea lingered in his voice.
“I know I might not be what you were looking for, but I promised I will do everything I can to make you happy here.” It almost seemed like he wanted to say ‘happy here with me’ from the soft glow in his eyes but it was left unsaid.
It was true. He wasn’t what I was looking for. He’s completely different. He was a God while I am a mere mortal. He could end me at any second and I wouldn’t stand a chance. He had the power to do anything with me but here he was pleading for me to give him a chance.
“I can’t.” I looked away.
He didn’t say anything, and I felt like I had broken something I shouldn’t have like I should have said yes instead of no. He released me.
I watched him go.
He didn’t look back.
I sighed and walked back to the fountain where I dropped back down. I felt a cloud sit over my chest. The desire to draw completely gone. I groaned and covered my face in my palms. I don’t know what to do. I miss my family but there was this ache in my chest. The ache I felt when he didn’t come into my dreams for several days. I missed him then and now I was feeling the same thing. It was a strange feeling and unexplainable.
After sitting there for a while longer, I decided to give up on drawing. Feeling lower than dirt, I walked back to my bedroom. Aika brought me dinner and we chatted for a while before she left.
I took a long bubble bath before I turned my head and glanced out the window. The usually calm sea in front of me was now dark and gloomy. No sea creature in sight. It was strange.
After soaking in the bath until my skin was wrinkling, I got out and dried myself down. Changing into a light blue chest wrap and a soft sheer skirt, I crawled into bed and turned to my side. My eyes looked out the window and again I noticed how dark it has gotten. Absolutely no sea creature in sight like before.
After blinking several times, I fell asleep.
I was sitting by the fire place again. I looked around me and saw my grandma sowing a traditional cloth. She looked up when she felt my eyes on her.
“Grandma?” I whispered.
She smiled, “Anna, you’re here child.”
I quickly got out of my seat but tripped and so I ended up crawling like a maniac to her side. I hugged her and cried into her side. She smelled so good, just how I remembered.
“Grandma, I missed you.”
“I missed you too, Anna.”
“I don’t want to be there, Grandma. I want to come home. How do I get back home?” I asked, while sobbing.
She looked sad as she caressed my hair, “Child, your destiny has always been there. You have to accept it.”
“What?” I looked up at her disbelieving. “I can’t believe you are telling me to stay there.”
She cradled my cheeks, “If I can give up anything to have you with me, I would. Anything, child, but I can’t. I know you don’t realize this yet but that man, he was made for you.”
“I don’t want him.” I cried like a baby and shook my head.
She chuckled, “You mouth says that but what does your heart truly say?”
I sniffled and listened.
“Answer me this, Anna May. If you truly came back, will you be happy?” She asked.
“I think so.” I mumbled.
Grandma raised an eyebrow and I thought about Prince Raiden. My heart thumped in my chest crying out that I was lying.
“No.” I said truthfully. “But I should be. I have you guys. I love you.”
Grandma’s facial expression relaxed a little and she continued stroking my hair, I placed my head on lap like how I always do.
“We know you love us and we love you with all our heart, but you know your heart better than anyone else. You are starting to fall for him even if it just a little. You know, you will miss him if you came back and it would only kill you.” She told me.
“What do you mean?” Tears were still spilling because I felt torn.
“We do not belong in his world, but you do. You must accept it, child. Coming back will kill you and he especially doesn’t want any of that.” Grandma insisted.
“You don’t know that. I might not.” I cried.
Suddenly, she faded away and I cried out her name—grasping the air to take hold of her somehow but she was gone.
I looked around me and found another version of me. Sitting outside my parent’s cottage. I looked sad, heartbroken.
My mother came out and her lips were moving but I couldn’t hear a single thing. I followed my line of sight and I found myself staring back out to the water I have swam in ever since I was little. I had this look in my eyes—longing.
The vision disappeared, and another appeared. I was in a wedding ceremony with the village leader’s son. The look on my face...I didn’t look alive.
“No...” I whispered. “I should be happy.”
Then an image of Prince Raiden’s handsome face flashed before me and a stab in my chest tore through me. I cried out and crumbled to my feet. His beautiful entrancing eyes appeared behind my eyelids and my heartache like a million boulders were crushing down on it. I couldn’t breathe. Death would have been more merciful.
The god-awful truth was...I missed him, and it felt like years since I have seen him.
Tears ran down my cheeks and I cried louder as the pain became even more unbearable.
“Anna...” His soothing voice purred through my ear. His arms wrapped around me. His breath fanned my cheek. I was cradled safely in his arms.
"Raisneua o’myen, wake up.” He whispered again. “It is only a dream.”
I was already awake, but I scooted closer to him. Somehow needing the comfort of his warmth, needing to know that he was real. His arms tightened around me the minute he felt me move closer to him.
“It is only a dream, Raisneua o’myen. You are okay. I am here.” He continued.
Finally, I pulled back and looked at him. He looked down at me, his hand moving to cradle my cheek as his thumb wiped the tears from my cheek. A dark shadow fell on his beautifully sculpted face but I can still see those gold specks and gold band around his irises.
“Are you okay?” He asked with concern.
I nodded before turning around to get out of bed, but he wrapped an arm around my waist and pull me flush against him. My back nestled to his front. I looked out the window and saw that the sea was brighter now with sea creatures roaming again.
“The sea creatures are back.” I whispered, distracted momentarily.
He sighed, “When I get moody, they tend to leave me alone.”
So, he was the reason why it was so dark and gloomy?
“What did you dream about?” He asked.
I thought back to my dream and again the pain in my chest came. My grandma’s words vibrated through my mind and that pain—that pain it was real because although it wasn’t as terrible as it was in the dream. It was bubbling still in my chest.