The Scent of Neroli

The Scent of Neroli

By:  Shalom Aranas  Ongoing
Language: English
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A story of reincarnation. The Queen of the Arab world asks the help of an alchemist to create a potion for her King to fall in love with her. They, however, fall in love with each other and their forbidden love is threatened by the King's power. A gush of wind sends them to another time during their flight from the citadel. They come alive again in modern times, New York where they rekindle their love and protect it from the forces of the King, who has come down to end them as well.

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8 chapters
Chapter 1- Serena, The Queen
The Scent of Neroli Chapter One- Serena, The Queen Her name was Serena because she came from the island from the sea near Greece. It was, unfortunately, an arranged marriage with the Caliphate of the Arab kingdom. She arrived and tried to please her King, who seemed indifferent to her after their marriage night and more when she did not bear a child for him which he understood could happen only in one night with his poor wife not knowing what to do. She was inept when it came to love. She knew she was in love with the Caliphate but for him to love her, among his other bevy of women in a harem she seemed sorely lacking in the wiles of love. And so, she was banished to the chambers to live in seclusion until she learned how it is to please a King. Frantically she searched the libraries for books on making love. The Kama Sutra was first opened to her and her eyes were disgusted by the display of erotic animations of love which she could not understand.Read more
Chapter 2- Philtre, The Alchemist
Chapter 2- Philtre, The Alchemist The woman whipped up a flame of torch and led her through the dank inner passages of the palace which seemed to have been forgotten by time but soon revealed the chamber of a man working on beetles at the corner of the room. The room was almost dark but for the light of a slight lamp whose weak light revealed a man with a beard busy, busy, busy in his room full of flasks and single open flames, not unlike a laboratory of sorts. There was also a panel of books by a wall."I brought you the Queen Serena, sir Alchemist Philtre." The woman said.Philtre looked up from his work and was immediately entranced by the sorrow in the woman’s mien. He had never seen a woman so beautiful and yet so sad. He wanted to vanish the creases of worry on her face which was not possible because he was only a man, an alchemist, at the mercy of the Caliphate who had taken him to live here so he could control the man from spreading h
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Chapter 3- The Flight
  Chapter 3- The Flight   The Queen smelt the whiff of Neroli and promised to remember for love is most recalled from the scent of shared secret more than anything else. He gave her a bottle of neroli which she brought with her back to her room. Each night she would place a dash of it on her delicate white wrists and visit Philtre in his chambers where they would make love and make plans to escape. He would bribe another soldier to take them out of the palace and from there they were to travel on foot towards the nearest town where they were to buy camels for their journey far, far away from the King. Philtre kissed his beloved on the forehead and told her to meet him tonight again for the flight from the palace. The Queen dressed simply and brought nothing but the bottle of neroli in her pocket. She was about to leave when the odalisque came to ask her where she was going. In haste, she made the mistake of telling her consort that she was t
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Chapter 4- In Another Lifetime
Chapter 4- In Another Lifetime   Lucien scraped his palm over the rough wall of the University dark corridor lit by sconces of electric light. He was walking through a dark passage and at the end was light. And a rowdy classroom of high school students who quieted as soon as he stood before them with a pile of books he dropped on the table before them. He adjusted the glasses on top of his nose and gazed at the students suddenly not knowing what to do. He was about to write some equations on the whiteboard when his gaze wandered towards the window where an orange tree stood with its white flowers and stark orange fruits were in full bloom. The scent of the orange tree wafted inwards to the classroom and he felt weak all of a sudden. He wrote the equation on the whiteboard and told his students to research and solve the problem. They were welcome to stay in the classroom with their laptops or go home and do it there. He sat down and played with his pen wh
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Chapter 5- Meeting Each Other Again
Chapter 5- Meeting Each Other Again             Lucien decided to attend after all. The atelier was situated in downtown and looked like a rundown church with old beams running up the ceiling made of old planks of wood. The whole atelier smelled of ageing wood and fresh paint. There were good pieces of modern art upon the walls. It was a bit dim and yet the lights were placed to bring good angles of view for the art. In the middle of it all was the perfume basked in warm, limpid light and he could see that it was expensively encased in shapely flasks like those used by alchemists. He was attracted to the design of the bottle because it reminded him of something he could not put a finger to. He knew of the alchemists. They were the original chemists of old. They had been thrown out in Roman times and were salvaged by Arabs for they must have still given something important to the Arab kingdoms. There was a time he
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Chapter 6- The Perfumery House of Magdalo
Magdalo was given to rages. He would accuse Stella of looking at other men and being jealous. But he himself was a womanizer who wounded Stella by having courting other women despite promising her a wedding band wound about her finger, soon. It was always soon and she believed him.They met when she was applying to have her perfume branded by their company. He did not like the perfume so much, and not as much as he liked Stella so badly he hired her immediately. Stella, out of sheer gratitude and a skewered notion that he was kind, became attracted to him, blindly like a fool. She wanted to please him all the time. It wasn’t because Magdalo owned the company or that he was rich and owned other fashion merchandise and businesses. It was, just gratitude that he took a notice to her perfume and ofcourse, to her.Magdalo belonged to an old Spanish family who were bootleggers when they arrived in America. They were a fiery, tempestuous family who stuck together and fo
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Chapter 7- A Promise of Tomorrow
Magdalo began to sleep with eyes closed though he was awake within.He pushed the arm of a new model about his waist. She willingly went with him to his penthouse above the building beside the Hudson River.Finally, he decided he couldn’t sleep and stood up naked to watch the stars among the dark skies over the river and placed his hand on the glass as though he were entrapped by it.He was told by someone from the perfumery that someone had been visiting Stella in the warehouse where she worked. Ofcourse she was free to date again. But she never did, until now which made this man, special, he decided.He wondered who he was and stepped back to drink the remaining rum in his glass, filling it some more, dunking it with a gulp that filled his throat with a sullen heat.“Hey babe, come back to bed.” The girl’s voice resounded from the bed.He ignored her and took a drive down the city streets at full speed. 
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Magdalo's Inner Jealousy and Rage
Stella wakes up beside Lucien. He is still asleep and so she goes to his kitchen and scrounges for some breakfast. She finds a box of ready-to-cook pancakes and some maple syrup in the fridge. She flips the pancakes, pours the maple syrup on top of it, and adds a few leaves of basil. She adds some instant coffee to go with it and serves it to him on a tray she found near the sink.Lucien was awake when she came over with her lovely dish of pancake. Lucien put on a shirt suddenly feeling shy before her. She herself is wearing the previous day’s blouse open on top and the bottom. She becomes self-conscious herself after realizing that he was shy. As it is, she was younger than he was. But it didn’t seem to matter yesterday, now she was irritated that he was.Lucien sensing this, wore his glasses and watches her. Stella laid the tray on the bed, hastily buttoned her blouse and put on her jeans, and grappled her handbag.Lucien rushed to her and she turn
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