< Serena >
I always love them. Whenever there was an art show near Manhattan, I make it a point to go, check the artworks and possibly buy one. Or two. Or three of them.
What I look for in a painting are the strokes the painter uses, the use of colors and how they blend in with the picture in general, and of course, the drawing.
I’m a sucker for fantasy-inspired paintings. Fantastical landscapes, still pictures, mythical creatures, men and women wearing weird clothing, oh yes. I collect them all. They always reach out to a part of my soul that I had been guarding since I lost my parents. They always call out to a part of me that I’m not sure what.
Maybe, my parents as painters could be a reason. They influenced my tastes after all. But deep inside me, I knew there was always something special about these type of paintings that I couldn’t quite figure out.
One rainy day, I ran across an antique shop in downtown Manhattan about to be closed by the bank for bankruptcy. The different antique displays were spread all over the street in the hopes that some passers-by would still buy them.
I caught sight of a beautiful painting of a landscape. Breathtaking it was and purely, for lack of a better word, out-of-this-world. The painting showed a mountain range with its slopes covered in autumn trees. In the center of this mountain range, just nestled on top the hill, was a silver castle. The details were extraordinary. Magical even. I couldn’t resist its call, so in the end, I bought it. Plus, I didn’t want it to be wet with the rain. I wanted to give it a home.
The antique shop owner, an old lady probably in her late sixties, was gracious enough to give me a discount considering the painting had smudges on the edges due to its aged state. I was kind enough to refuse it. If she was in bankruptcy, at least my full payment of the painting would help her in some way.
"May the magic be with you always,” she said with a smile as we parted.
I just shrugged, not thinking much about her words. I didn’t know at that time they had meaning.
The first night the painting was with me, I dreamed about magical creatures: behemoths in the sky, beautiful mermaids swimming in the ocean, and fairies hiding in the woods. The dream was lovely. I didn’t want it to end.
The second night, I dreamed about the castle on the hill. It was beckoning me, wanting me to go there. I woke up in the middle of the night panting. Not knowing exactly what got me so worked up.
The third night, my dream brought me inside the castle. It was enormous with arched roofs and glass walls. In a blink of an eye, I was sent to a bed chamber. The sheets were covered with an embroidery of an insignia: a profile of what looked like an animal—a wolf—and around it were curves, lines and symbols I have never come across. It was beautifully colorful.
But what really captured my attention was the one lying on it. It was a man and from the looks of it, the king of the castle as he had a crown on top his head screaming almighty powerful.
Of course, that wasn’t the only thing that made my eyes pop.
It was a certain body part of his that stood like a rod as if saying hi to me. It was located down south. Really, really down south. Lower than his waist and just between his thighs.
His right hand, oh yes, it was on a fist, wrapping securely that body part of his like it was its second skin.
The thing that woke me up from that weird dream was when he decided to start pumping his hand and groaned like it was the best fucking masturbation he had.
I had to take in deep breaths just to calm myself down. One, two, three. One, two, three. But I knew I was fooling myself. I felt wet, hot and bothered by it and I stayed like that for the whole day until the fourth night came.
The dream didn’t start with anything magical or downright erotic really. It was just me inside my bed, lying like a log, unmoving, yet inside my head, I heard an ethereal voice—a woman’s voice—calling out to me to stand up and touch the painting.
And like a puppet, I did. The next thing I knew, I was waking up inside that castle’s majestic bed chamber with the said King on top me.
<Aero>On his deathbed, my father gave the crown to me, but he let me promise that I’d get a queen in the next three days.Three fucking days.Of course, considering he was dying and that I desired the throne all my life, I had to agree, but deep inside me, I knew I was lying.Fast forward ten years later, I still didn’t fulfill his wish and not a ounce of guilt crept inside my mind.I hated women. All of them in general. And that p
<Serena>I woke up surprisingly without a pounding headache despite remembering I lost consciousness in the middle of a balcony—the so-called King’s balcony no less. I should have hit the ground, gained a concussion or maybe broken my spine, but I felt as healthy as I was before all this hullabaloo started. Either the balcony had seriously soft ground or my fall was cut—I couldn’t really remember what happened after I lost consciousness, but either way, it was to my advantage.All memories of over the last few hours—or minutes? or days? I don’t really know—had returned to me like a flo
< Aero >The Kingdom of Phanteon is vast and grand. Naturally, I would place watch towers in every boundary to make sure our land was well-guarded. In addition, I ordered guards to make rounds every hour day and night. The realms have had nothing but peace ever since it was created, but it pays to be vigilant sometimes.My men were doing well with their duties, but being the King that I am, I also preferred to check the lands from time to time, be outside the castle and see if everything was in order.Evenings were my best times to shift into my lycan form. I’d run all over the kingdom, sometimes not stopping for hours until dawn hits the horizon. It was my way of keeping up with my form and stamina. I found running exhilarating and I found it a good way to de-stress from the dramas of my court.Like for example, in this very night where I just found out my crown was under threat.
< Aero >My muscles tensed when I straightened up, standing proud and mighty with all my glory and nakedness. I looked at her. She was still not facing me, acting as if the pool’s bleach-white tiles were interesting.I scoffed at her inattention.All two hundred and twenty pounds of my weight submerged under water when I entered the pool. I choose to sit on the lowest platform. My favorite spot. It had enough height for me to rest my head against the tiles and an enough depth to soak the lower half of my body.“Tell me, woman, what is my brother up to?” I asked, breaking the terse silence enveloping us.She cautiously glanced towards my way and when she noticed my decent-enough look, she fully turned her face to me and answered, “He is hiring me to straighten you up. Desensitize you from your fear of women.”“I don’t fear women. I hate them. Those two words ar
< Serena >Lesson number one duly noted. Don’t assume or miscalculate anything when it came to this realm’s creatures of the night.Right when the prince hightailed out of the room, I remained dumbstruck, thinking of how fast the events were happening. He made a deal. I accepted. And now I couldn’t leave this manor despite the looming arrival of the King.Truth be told I didn’t want to meet him again, but my desire to return to the ‘human realm’—as what they called it—outweighed my dislike of this guy. I only needed to talk to him in a civil manner, keep my presence constant until he learns to respect women.Or...until Elijah brings me back to my realm.Never mind the King respecting women. With that ogre-like attitude, I highly doubt he’d change. Ever.Blinking fast, I gathered back my composure and looked around. Out of all the things that
< Serena >The cheers of the people around me were deafening. I wanted to cover my ears but I knew I couldn't. Standing tall on a raised platform near the King's throne, I realized I had to comport myself well in front of them as I was now their queen.Me a queen...Their queen...A queen.The word rang in my head over and over again.How did it come to this again? I asked myself.With a muddled head, I recollected everything that went down when I woke up that specific morning two days ago...***"Sleep well?" the King asked, his sharp voice cutting through the beautiful chirping of the birds outside my window.My drowsy state vanished in an instant He was wearing a loose white shirt and partnered it with black trousers and black boots. His dark hair was messy in a sexy w
< Aero >I knew she would accept my offer. It was too good an opportunity to pass. I was so pleased with how well everything was going that a small smile broke from the corner of my lips when I left her chamber.Oddly enough, my beast side was howling with delight. I didn’t understand why it was behaving that way but I assumed it was happy to be in control with my throne once again.The council will have a hell of a time when they find out I’ll marry in two days. They’ll bombard me surely with talks of pups and heirs. I’ll indulge them for now, until the day I’ll kick that woman out of my castle door.I didn’t have the intention to spend the next two days with her. It was unnecessary even if she would become my wife and queen. I stayed inside the castle and did what I usually do as king.Elijah was helping me on the preparations, or to speak frankly, he did all the preparations. I care not a d
< Aero >My jaw tensed at the temper simmering inside me. I had no desire to hold a woman’s hand, but I didn’t have a choice. I had to keep up appearances.The bride, however, lifted her hands up without a second thought and waited for me to hold it.When the high priest cleared his throat, that was when I realized I hadn’t actually moved yet.With a deep breath to settle my developing temper, I accepted her hands, enveloping them with my large palm.“Your Majesty, you may now say your vows,” the old man stated. I gave him an arched brow. What did he say again?“Start with your bride’s name, Your Majesty, and say your vows loudly for all to hear,” he reminded.I had to take another deep breath to control the growing turmoil inside me. Fuck! Why must there be