Chapter 19

zolaChapter 19: Wishing Away Nightmares


(I was panting as I ran with Norio, which wasn’t easy. He was a fast runner. It had to have been at least twenty minutes since we’d started running and I was ready to collapse. The soldiers were clammering for us a little ways behind us, but we were out running them by a great deal.)

Malaika- My legs…Are on fire…

(I said in between huffs. Norio laughed, looking over at me.)

Norio- It’s better than being captured, princess.

Ivor- I don’t hear as many soldiers on our tails as before!

(Ivor shouted from behind us.)

Norio- So you noticed that too?

(His tone was mildly sarcastic and Ivor didn’t like it one bit.)

Ivor- Look you little shit, as soon as we get out of here you can go back to your rat hole!

Nyah- Ivor please!

Norio- If it weren’t for me these two would be in King Dorieus’s hands or worse! Where the hell were YOU huh!? It’s been months!

Malaika- Norio! Stop it!

(They went on like this until we finally started to see natural light ahead of us. Rusted, bronze gates were slightly ajar. It didn’t seem like they had been locked for a long time. Norio suddenly let go of my hand and started running even faster to hold the gates open for us. He had a little difficulty pushing the right side of the gate, so he kicked it outward. Once we exited the tunnel, we looked back to see Dorieus’s men not far behind.)

Norio- Stand back!

(Norio snatched his bow & arrow from his back and readied it, pulling the arrow back carefully. The arrow glowed red at the tip when he released it into the tunnel. I watched the arrow explode when it made contact with the wall inside, causing it to collapse. Dorieus’s men were likely dead, or soon to be. Norio secured his bow onto his back once more before walking up to Ivor. The expression on his face worried me.

Nyah stepped back from Ivor and the two men glared at each other for a long moment. Norio looked so small standing in front of Ivor, but he didn’t seem the least bit intimidated.)

Norio- You had something to say to me before? Something about a rat hole?

(Ivor stepped closer to Norio, almost touching.)

Ivor- Yeah, go crawl back ino the one you came from. Now that I’ve located the princesses, I will make sure they return home safely. Whatever contract you had with the young princess, it ends today.

Norio- Why? Because you say it is? I heard you protectedthem from birth…That doesn’t make you their father.

Ivor- What it makes me, is more fit to look after them.

(This had gotten very ugly, very quickly. Nyah had stepped aside making it clear that she wouldn’t get involved. I knew she would be on Ivor’s side, which left me. I wasn’t too sure I should step in either, I’d never seen Ivor behave this way. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it. There had to be more to it than his disdain for Phaloans.)

Malaika- Stop it! Both of you!

(Their angry expressions softened as they gave me their full attention. I didn’t expect them to listen to me honestly, but I had to try. As they stood there staring at me I felt like a scared mouse.)

Malaika- (sigh) It doesn’t matter who protects us as long as we’re safe. Why can’t you two work together instead of fighting?

Nyah- Malaika, I get where you’re coming from but-

Ivor- You can’t trust him.

(He said looking back down at Norio.)

Norio- You don’t even know me. What makes you better than me?

Ivor- I never said I was better than you kid, I said I was better suited for the job. I don’t have to be your friend to know that you’re trouble.

(Aaaand there they go again, as if I never spoke at all. I clenched my fists in frustration.)

Norio- Where is all of this premature judgement coming from? You talk to me as if you know something about me, so out with it! What’s the real issue?


(The three of us looked at him with wide eyes.)

Malaika- What?

Ivor- That’s right, I used to be one of the Phaloa. I was until King Refiloe chose me to protect his heirs.

Nyah-…Why have you never told us?

Ivor- I buried that part of my life. It’s no longer part of who I am. Your father’s men caught me trying to steal sensitive materials from one of his messengers. He could’ve had me executed but he took pity on a stupid boy like me…I owe your family a great deal.

(Norio suddenly shook his head, taking a step back from Ivor. He smiled bitterly up at him.)

Norio- Well, well, well, you’re not so righteous after all. Once the Phaloa take you in, you die as one. That’s the difference between you and me, I’m not in denial about who I am…

(He said before walking off ahead of us. I looked up at Ivor, at a loss for words. There was plenty I wanted to say to Ivor after learning about his past, but I felt that Norio’s words were enough. For now.)

Malaika- We’ve wasted enough time bickering here, let’s go…

(I didn’t wait for their responses. Instead, I ran to catch up with Norio. When I reached his side, he looked over at me briefly. He slowed his pace so we could walk together. It was obvious he’d held back his anger a lot back there.)

Norio- …I won’t apologize.

Malaika- You shouldn’t be the one to apologize.

Norio- …I’m glad you didn’t listen to me and left the camp.

(I smiled warmly, looking up at him.)

Malaika- I know better than to always listen to you.

(He suddenly looked down at me, slightly frowning but smiling.)

Norio- What? Are you saying I’m trouble too?

(I continued to smile but did not give him an answer. I began walking a little faster ahead of him.)

Norio- Hey wait! You can’t just walk away now.

(He said speeding up to my side again.)

Norio- Will you really not answer me?

Malaika- Nope…I wonder how close we are to the Blood King’s palace…

Norio- Blood King huh? I think I’ll use that.

(He said laughing. It was good to see him smile and laughing like that. Norio always seemed so distant and gloomy.)

Norio- Well, I know all four regions of this world very well. Please trust me, I’ll make sure we get to Khrysos palace.

(Before I could respons, Ivor interrupted. He and Nyah had been a lot closer behind us than I thought.)

Ivor- How exactly? You can’t be thinking of fighting your way in. Just because Kind Dorieus is outside of the palace, doesn’t mean he didn’t take precaustions to keep Zola locked up tight.

(I saw Norio look up at the sky annoyed for a second and I had to choke down a giggle.)

Norio- I know how to get into maximum security facilities without a trace. I’ve done many missions similar to this one, and I was a lot younger and less skilled than I am now. Nothing and no one will be able to detect me. That might sound arrogant, but I’m telling you the truth.

Ivor- Tch, for your sake I hope you’re as good as you say. If we can’t get Zola back tonight, I don’t know when we’ll have another chance this good.

Norio- There’s no “we”. I’m going in to get her alone.

(We all stopped in mid step. Norio turned around and looked at us with a serious expression. I couldn’t believe he hadn’t even talked to me about this.)

Malaika- Are you out of your mind!? Why!?

Ivor- Zola doesn’t know you, she wouldn’t leave with you even if you managed to find her in that massive place.

Nyah- Not only that, what if you get caught trying to get her out? They could kill you and do unspeakable things to her for trying to escape. You need someone to back you up.

Norio- I have a few people I can call upon for things like this. As I said before, this is what I do. Ivor, bringing these two into a place like that is undeniably stupid. You should be taking them to a safe place to await my return. Who will keep them hidden and safe if we’re both in there?

(Ivor closed his eyes and shook his head. He opened his eyes again, looking at Norio.)

Ivor- I can hide Nyah & Malaika away at a safe location, but I will be coming with you Phaloan. Princess Zola must see a familiar face, or she will not trust you.

(Their concerns were justified. I knew my sisters well and Zola wouldn’t let just anyone come to her rescue. Rightfully so, seeing as how it would be hard to know who to trust in her situation. It was hard for me to know who I could trust and still is. Norio gave Ivor a defeated expression, nodding in agreement.)

Norio- Since everyone is so insistent, I guess that’s what we’ll do. One of the Phaloa I trust will be able to secure a small ship for all of you to return home. Once Zola is safely back with you guys, I know restoring your home will be the first priority.

Malaika- …Norio, Ivor, please work together in harmony for Zola’s sake. It’s all up to the two of you now.

Nyah- That’s settled then. What are our first steps from here?

Ivor- Finding you and Malaika a safe place to rest, and guards.

Norio- Before that, I need to make a stop.

Malaika- Where?

Norio- Assuming those tunnels let us out just outside of the capital, we should be in Brechursht {*pronounced ‘Brake- ersh-t*}. There’s not much to see in this city besides a few specialty shops. I need to stop by a magic goods store here.

Nyah- A magic goods store? That will be exciting to see.

(She said suddenly excited.)

Ivor- We can get supplies as well, let’s move along then…

(He said sighing as if he was already tired. We walked quickly, this time I walked beside Nyah. Norio and Ivor were a few feet away from us walking very far apart from each other.)

Nyah- Malaika, I’ve been thinking about our future since the day father passed. When I’d heard you were missing I thought something worse than death had happened to you. I’m eternally grateful to Norio for keeping you safe all of this time, but soon we must part ways.

Malaika- There are many other things to talk about, I know what it means when we are all back together…

(I said looking over at her. She raised a brow at me.)

Nyah- Oh do you? Go on then, tell me why you think I want to discuss this.

Malaika- …You want me to prepare to say goodbye to him. We’re destined for loveless, political marriages to secure our position for the throne. Because even in a world like ours, no one wants to see a woman rule over them.

(Nyah looked over at me, giving me a sympathetic smile.)

Nyah- You’re very wise, you always have been. But to say our marriages are destined to be loveless…

Malaika- Do you love Prince Fa? Does he love you and treat you kindly?

Nyah- Yes, and yes. He always has.

Malaika- Then you are very lucky. Unfortunately, I won’t be.

(I said looking away from her. My eyes found Norio and Ivor, still silently walking ahead of us. What I would give to be as lucky as she was. The people of my homeland would be in a state of unrest if I were to never marry. I am to lose the first man I’ve…Ever loved. Rescuing Zola meant Norio’s job was done, he would no longer have a reason to justify staying by my side. I knew it, Nyah knew it, and it was obvious that Norio did too.)

Nyah- How can you say that? You don’t know that. We both know you can’t marry someone like Norio. Letting him go will hurt, but you have to.

(I looked over at her with a neutral expression.)

Malaika- It’s easy for you to say such things. You happened to fall in love with the man father sent you to. Zola was also fortunate. She may not love Prince Brice, but he loves her. They were childhood friends at least. The man who was to be my husband, is the son of the enemy. I’ll have to accept marraige proposals all over again. My wings will be cut off and my heart torn up. There’s nothing sadder than my future…

Nyah- Malaika, do you really love him that much?

(I nodded.)

Malaika- If you were me, could you let go of Prince Fa? Just forget him?

(She was silent for a long time before she finally answered.)

Nyah- No, I honestly couldn’t. I’m sorry sis, but this situation is very different.

(I sighed heavily, crossing my arms.)

Malaika- Of course, it’s always been this way for me. Being the youngest I never got to have a say. Everything would always be decided before I had a chance to voice an opinion.

Nyah- Malaika…

(Her melancholy tone told me that she felt bad for me. Still, she could do nothing to make this nightmare go away. I had nothing more to say on the matter since she made her stance crystal clear.)

Norio- We’re close to our first stop!

(Norio announced to us looking over his shoulder. I looked around at the grassy fields, small cabins, and houses that were on either side of us. it seemed to be a very peaceful area, not one soldier or bandit in sight.

A small group of children were playing in front of a lavender & blue house. It had been a while since I saw such a peaceful moment. In that moment, I wished I could be like them. Happy and carefree…

Norio lead us about two miles into the city. We made a stop inside of a popular magic shop called “Magician’s Treasures.” The shop was ran by a young man dressed in a wizard costume, complete with a long white beard. There were many curious things in the store; the most interesting thing I saw walking in were the colorful geodes levitating above our heads. They looked to be a special kind of magic candle, whose wax floats up instead of dripping down. As I looked closer at the ceiling, I realized it was covered in swirls of colorful, crystal speckled wax. A spell was being used to float the candle wax up, it was so pretty!)

Norio- Malaika?

Malaika- Yes?

(He snapped me out of my state of awe, a smile formed on his lips.)

Norio- I have to speak to the owner a moment, why don’t you and Nyah pick something out?

(I looked across the shop to my right and I could see Nyah looking at a few magical items with Ivor. I shook my head before looking back at Norio.)

Malaika- There’s nothing I want really, but I think I’ll choose a gift for Zola.

Norio- Then I’m sure her gift will be very special… Stay close to them okay?

(I gave him a nod and he went up to the counter to talk to the owner. After a moment, Norio went to the back of the shop with him. The owner looked to be going into his office. Another young man came out from the office and took over at the counter. I was taken aback by how golden brown his eyes were when he noticed me looking at him. When our eyes met he looked nervous. I smiled back at him and he returned a bashful grin.

Deciding not to make things even more awkward, I went over to see what Nyah and Ivor were up to.)

Ivor- Young princess? Where’s Norio?

Malaika- He’ll be right back, he’s speaking to the owner.

Ivor- I see. Well, I found something fun to do for now. Shall I show you?

(I nodded.)

Nyah- You’re going to like this!

(She said excitedly. I watched Ivor pick up a silver pen from one of the stationary shelves next to us. He started to write something in the air in front of me and letters began glowing. My eyes were wide with surprise as I watched my name appear in the form of a silver charm. I held out my left hand and the charm dropped into my hand.)

Malaika- Wow! What kind of pen is that?

Ivor- It’s called the, “Alchemy Pen.”

Nyah- There’s so many unique little things here.

(We continued to play with various magical items until Norio came back to join us. I felt someone tapping on my shoulder and I turned around to see Norio.)

Malaika- Oh!? Are you ready?

(He nodded; that sad smile had returned. I wanted so badly to ask him what was wrong, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t be something we could discuss openly.)

Ivor- Let’s find a nice Inn tonight. I must send for a few friends of mine to protect the princesses while we’re away.

(Norio looked at Ivor curiously.)

Norio- Are you sure we can trust these friends?

Ivor- They would give their lives for the princesses. They have always been loyal to King Refiloe.

(Norio nodded.)

Norio- We’ll go and get settled then…

(I enjoyed our fun at the magic shop, but my legs were so tired. It was time for a rest.

We walked about three blocks down from the shop before we finally chose a small but charming inn. “Wilke’s” the sign read in bold, golden letters on the rooftop. Nyah & I chose to share a room as usual, but our guardians refused to share space with each other. They must’ve argued at the front desk for a whole fifteen minutes. Luckily we weren’t asked to leave.

Later that night, soft knocking on the room door roused me from my slumber. I sat up in bed and looked up at the analog clock in the room to see that it was a quarter after midnight. My vision was slightly blurry for a moment but my eyes quickly adapted to the darkness of the room. Soft moonlight poured into the room through the sheer, sky blue drapes. I got out of bed, grabbing my black lace shawl to wrap around myself. I was only wearing a gold, spaghetti strap night gown so I couldn’t dare answer the door that way.

The light from the hallway shined yellow underneath the door, guiding past Nyah’s bed. She hadn’t stirred once as I unlocked the door and opened it slightly.

Norio stood there in front of me, fully dressed, in his hooded cloak and all. The expression on his face was a look of concern mixed with curiosity. I quickly stepped out of the room, closing the door behind me. Ivor was nowhere in sight, he was alone.)

Norio- Good morning.

Malaika- Morning…

Norio- I’m sorry if I woke you.

Malaika- It’s alright, is something wrong?

Norio- Wrong? No, nothing like that. I actually came to ask if you’d like to take a walk with me? There are some things I need to say to you and I don’t want to regret not saying them.

Malaika- Oh…

(There was never a moment to speak freely with him. Now may be the only chance I’d get to say what I never could before. Seeing as he looked wide awake, it was obvious he’d never gone to bed.)

Malaika- I have some things on my mind as well. Let’s hurry before we get caught.

(I smiled, slightly biting my lower lip. He suddenly grinned.)

Norio- As you wish, your highness.

(He held out his hand to me and I linked arms with him. I looked down at my feet remembering that I was barefoot. Norio looked down as well, then back at me.)

Norio- Well this won’t do.

(I let go of his arm and he picked me up bridal style. I insitnctively wrapped my arms around his neck and he smiled down at me. It was almost too much, I bashfully looked away from him which made him laugh. We snuck out of Wilke’s kitchen back door.

A shallow river ran straight through the city, it’s surface gleamed in the moonlight. We followed it to a small iron bridge that gave us access to a small clearing near the river’s edge. A large plum tree stood alone a few feet away, but it was so much bigger than any I’d ever seen.  If I had to guess it looked to be at least thirty feet tall!

Norio carefully set me down, and I stood in the lush grass at the river’s edge with him. The grass was very soft beneath me, thriving. I looked down into the shimmering waters to see tiny, luminescent, tadpoles wiggling through the currents. Their little bodies seem to glow in the moonlight. No houses were nearby, just a couple of restaurants on the other side of the river.)

Malaika- Brechursht is a charming, peaceful place.

Norio- It’s very touristy, but calm enough for families it seems. Can I ask you something before I say my piece?

(I turned towards him, giving him my full attention.)

Malaika- Of course, please go ahead.

Norio- Would you be willing to marry a man like me?

(I blinked a couple of times with my mouth slightly open. The fact that he had marriage on his mind at all, made my heart beat against my chest fiercely. I had started to give up on the idea of us, but he hadn’t.)

Malaika- If it were possible? Yes, I would. I’m sorry I’ve never expressed my true feelings, I felt like it was pointless…

(He suddenly faced me, placing his hands on my shoulders. I reluctantly met his gaze.)

Norio- It isn’t pointless Malaika. Knowing this changes everything. If you’re sure, I will devote myself only to you. You will be my one and only wife.

(I felt my eyes sting with the beginnings of tears as I heard him speak so affectionately. his left hand came up to my cheek, caressing me.)

Malaika- Then, I am yours. I will have no other. No matter what happens nothing will make my heart sway.

Norio- That puts my heart at ease…There’s something I want to give you.

(He let go of me before reaching into the inner pocket of his cloak. Whatever he’d taken out, he kept it hidden in his fist. He held out his other hand as he knelt down in front of me.)

Norio- This unworthy man asks for your hand, will you accept me?

(At that moment, he opened his fist revealing a beautiful ring. A small, glass orb was set atop a titanium band surrounded by black onyx. Inside of the orb a flame burned brightly, almost magenta in color. There were small onyx stones surrounding the orb. The color of the small flame reflected on their surfaces. I almost forgot to breath momentarily, starting to cry. I placed my left hand in his.)

Malaika- Yes, yes!

(Norio slid the ring onto my finger, sealing our fate. He stood up again before pulling me into a snug embrace.)

Norio- I’ve remembered what it’s like to feel happy again because of you. Thank you…

(I moved back a little to look up at him. My eyes were still holding onto happy tears. My skin tingled with delight being this close to him. We could speak freely, I could rest in his arms. I was happy again and I didn’t want to let go of him. A little voice in the back of my head whispered, “let yourself love…You’ve lost so much…” I wanted to be selfish for once. Just once.)

Malaika- …I’m happy for the first time in a long time. I love you, Norio.

(He smiled and I could see that his eyes were a little teary.)

Norio- I love you too. Why don’t we head back? I don’t know much time we’ll have before one of them notices we’re gone.

(I couldn’t let him go off to battle tonight and this be our last moment together. The thought of it was unbearable. I had a better idea.)

Malaika- Actually, I was hoping to spend a little more time with you. That is…If you’re not opposed to letting me enter your room?

(I watched his playful grin appear again.)

Norio- I thought about inviting you up but, I didn’t want you to think-

(I raised up onmy tip toes and pressed my lips against his, stopping his chatter. Instead of pulling back to make a sarcastic remark like I thought he would, he held me tighter in his arms. The tip of his tongue peeked out from his mouth, pressing slightly against my bottom lip. I’d never kissed anyone until now, let alone with their tongue in my mouth. The sensation felt strange. However, I parted my lips for him.

His tongue pushed it’s way into my eager, unexplored mouth and clamed me. Norio’s tongue slid in and out so slowly over my tongue. I felt my entire body tingling with warmth from head to toe. My mind was in fantasy mode. I imagined everything from Norio’s hands touching every inch of me, from his tongue gliding down my spine. I wanted to be greedy and take my destiny into my own hands. I broke the kiss, but I found it difficult to meet his eyes. Until I met Norio I never thought I could think of such lustful things.)

Norio- Come on, we shouldn’t be out here too much longer.

(I nodded, at a loss for words. He’d stolen my breath for a moment and I hadn’t minded at all.

Norio picked me up again and started walking back with me to the hotel. As I held onto him I couldn’t stop myself from smiling. Whatever happened from this moment on, I could never accept another man as my husband.

Norio’s room had a single, Queen sized bed, a small powder blue sofa near the window, a massive painting on the wall to the right of the bed across the room, and a master bath to the far left of the room which was adjacent to the kitchenette area. It was very similar to me and Nyah’s room minus the extra bed and art. I sat down on the right side of the bed, facing the bathroom. Norio had gotten comfortable. Really comfortable. He’d taken off everything except his black pants.

I watched him sit down on the bed next to me; it was strange seeing him not dressed as an assassin. I was reminded of the time I accidentally walked in on him bathing, and I’m still embarrassed by it. As we sat in the silence of the night, I began to worry even more about Nyah and Ivor coming to his room in a panic. If they saw us here like this…)

Malaika- …What if they come looking for me?

Norio- Don’t worry, let them blame me. What can they do besides scold you?

(He didn’t seem afraid of anything. I was worried about what Ivor might do to him. My sister would be angry but she would forgive me eventually. Ivor however…)

Malaika- What about you? I’ll be fine, but Ivor-

(He frowned, shaking his head.)

Norio- Stop worrying about them. I promise that no matter what happens, I’ll never leave your side. Even if I die Malaika, I’ll return to you.

(I looked him square in the eyes for a moment; hearing him speak so nonchalantly about dying made me worry even more. He was ready to be reckless on my account and I didn’t feel right about it. My fears of getting caught were just a mask for how nervous I was sitting here with him like this…Being alone with Norio, I was anxious, happy, and scared all at the same time. His hand suddenly cupped my cheek and he looked at me genuinely concerned.)

Malaika- I’m sorry. I’m just so nervous…

Norio- That’s okay. Hey listen, we don’t have to do anything you’re not comfortable with. We can just lay together if you want.

(I slowly shook my head no.)

Malaika- This moment with you…This moment is one I’ve longed for. Please, just be careful?

(He smiled at me, and I could see so much adoration in that one smile.)

Norio- I swear, I’ll take my time and be especially gentle with you. If you want me to stop at any time tell me. You can trust me to take care of you…

(His words brought me comfort and helped me calm down enough to lie down with him. He turned onto his side to face me, his hands slowly slid under my nightgown. My breathing became shaky under his touch. Norio’s eyes still held that bit of seduction & mystery; it was so mesmerizing. I felt his finger tips gently tracing the elastic band of my panties and my body trembled with delight. His lips curved into a satisfied smile above me. Norio leaned in and claimed my lips again, this time I happily parted my lips and let his tongue inside. I closed my eyes and gave into the kiss.

That strong, yet gentle hand of his slid lower and lower over the front of my panties. I writhed under him when two of his fingers slid underneath the thin fabric that hid me from him. My fingers clung to the sheets when he began rubbing the sensitive rose bud of flesh in between my moistened lips. I was getting wetter, so vulnerable and wet. Suddenly I felt his middle finger tease my dripping entrance. Using only the tip of his finger, he entered me carefully. My eyes sprung open and I broke the kiss with a surprised gasp.)

Norio- Sorry, sorry. Is it too much?

Malaika- …N-No I, just wasn’t expecting that is all.

(He laughed a little.)

Norio- You’re using formal speech with me again.

(He said taking his hand away from my lower lips.)

Malaika- What’s is it?

Norio- Can I try something else? I know it will help you relax.

(I wasn’t sure what he’d do, but so far he had been so gentle with me. I gave him a slow nod and he started to reposition himself between my legs. I was too shy to look down at him so I looked up at the ceiling nervously. I felt my panties being pulled down to my ankles and then, off they went.

Norio’s warm breath tickled me, he opened his mouth and covered my virgin lips and clit. I gasped, surprised as he started sucking me into his mouth. Every time he wiggled his tonge over that little bud of flesh, I unwillingly cried out to him. I attempted to close my legs, but his hands were suddenly there pushing them apart. There was no escape; only surrending. I started to feel a wave of warmth and tingling in my loins, growing in intensity. It felt like bliss itself would burst out of me.

When I started to move against his mouth, he stopped suckling at me and sat up.)

Norio- Not yet beautiful…

(He said before getting out of bed. I raised my head up a little to see what he was doing. I saw him taking his pants off, revealing that he hadn’t been been wearing much else…I caught a glimpes of how erect his was before lying back down. I started to worry if I’d bleed like I’d heard.

I looked away from him as he got back into bed, nestling himself between my legs again. I heard him making “tsk, tsk” sounds under his breath as he brought his fingers up to my chin. Turning my face back towards his, he grinned at me. He knew he had me now, he knew I was his.)

Norio- You won’t even look me in the eyes after I’ve kissed you there…If I knew tasting you would tame you I’d have done it long ago.

Malaika- Norio…You dare to tease me at a time like this?

Norio- Because you needed a distraction.

Malaika- A distraction from w-Ah!

(Norio pushed himself inside of me in a quick, fluid motion. He stifled my shout with his hand over my mouth loosely. He’d distracted me from the pain of breaking through my hymen. I reached up to grab his shoulder but he grabbed me, bringing my hand up to his mouth. His pouty lips pressed against the back of my hand. Jet black strands of his hair were out of place and slightly covered his eyes. He then took his hand from my lips.)

Norio- Forgive me, the worst part is over I promise…Are you ok?

(I nodded and he planted a tender kiss on my forehead. He raised up a little to look into my eyes. I was completely, utterly, helplessly captivated. He slid his hands under my back, all the way up to my shoulders. Once he was holding me, I put my hands onto his back. He hadn’t pushed any further since he pushed past my barrier but I could feel that he was much more of him left to take.

Norio started slow stroking, in and out as he pushed more of himself inside of me each time. I was wrapped so tightly around him I felt his body shudder with each thrust. Subtle moans escaped my lips…I couldn’t help but close my eyes in ecstasy as I felt every part of him massaging my freshly opened peach.

He planted a delicate kiss on the left side of my neck, making me open my eyes again. His dark eyes seemed to take hold of my mind.)

Norio- That’s it, I want to see your eyes…

(He whispered. I couldn’t deny that I felt a little sore; but as that warm, tingling wave of pleasure rised up through my body again, the pain became a distant memory.

I lifted my head up to kiss him and he met my lips. It was perfect. As I started to reach the peak of this heavenly feeling, Norio sped up pushing me over the edge. I started to moan louder and he pressed his mouth over mine even more, smothering my love sounds. I could feel pulsating from his shaft and I knew he was close behind me. His narrow, strong hips dipped down one last time and he pushed himself deeper into me. He buried his face into the pillow next to my head and his grip on my shoulders tightened as he filled me to the brim with his seed. Hearing his deep, throaty moans so close to my ears excited me even more.

After we layed there panting for a moment, Norio raised his head up to look at me. We were both slightly sweaty.)

Norio- Are you alright?

Malaika- I’m a little sore but I’m okay.

Norio- I’m sorry…Hold still for a moment…

(He started to pull out and I felt every thick inch of him. He took the plush throw blanket from the foot of the bed and covered us both. I moved a little closer to him and he pulled me into his warm embrace.)

Malaika- I wish tomorrow could wait a little longer.

Norio- Me too…I hope you know that I see you as my wife, I won’t share you with anyone.

(I smiled up at him.)

Malaika- The same goes for you my husband. Will you tell me your last name?

Norio- Cadfael. Norio Cadfael.

Malaika- Your name, it means “Battle Prince”?

(He nodded, smiling back. I wondered which of his parents decided on that name, it was very fitting for him.)

Norio- I should tell you why your ring holds a flame…I wanted a ring that represented not only what we mean to each other, but also represents the man I will be for you.

(I smiled as I waited for him to go on. He caressed my back as he spoke.)

Norio- Black Onyx is said to be a powerful protection stone. It absorbs negative energy, turning it to positive, like you Malaika. The glass orb contains my essence. It was just an empty family heirloom until now. My mother left it to me before she was locked away. The flame is eternal and will burn as long as I live.

(“As long as he lives?” I thought to myself.)

Malaika- Then, what happens to the flame if you die?

Norio- It will burn blue. The power of the Phoenix is in my blood, even if I die my spirit will collect itself again. That’s what I was told anyway…But you don’t have to worry about that happening any time soon.

(I was not comforted by his words, I looked away from him then. I couldn’t bear the thought of  him not being here. Norio and Ivor were going to enter King Dorieus’s palace tonight. I was deeply riddled with worry.)

Malaika- …I should go back to my own bed soon, I fear I won’t be able to pull myself away from you if I stay much longer…

Norio- Hey, look at me. What’s wrong?

(He said nudging my forehead with his nose. I reluctantly met his eyes again.)

Malaika- Nothing I just, want you to be careful tonight…

Norio- Stop worrying, I promise to come back to you, with Zola. It’s you I’m worried about.

(His expression turned serious.)

Malaika- Me?

Norio- I don’t like leaving you for too long, especially if someone I don’t know is with you.

Malaika- Then hurry back.

(He finally smiled when he heard that. I didn’t doubt his skill, I knew he could handle himself. I was afraid of what surprises he and Ivor might encounter. Still, laying in his arms like this, I felt that there was nothing that could harm us. Until he returned with my dear sister, I will wait anxiously…Wishing away nightmares.)