She has been having the same dreams for years, but it was becoming more and more intense these recent nights. The dreams varied from times and place. Some times she was in the forest, running as fast as she could, in a dress instead of jeans, and she was trying to get away from him, as fast as she could. Who he was, she was never quite sure, but she wanted no part of him. Her every instinct seemed to scream at her to get away. Other times in her dreams, she was lost in a grand, but dark palace. She was left to wonder the magnificent halls by herself. Her wondering was occasionally disturbed by the blurry face of a guard or servant. However, she was so scared in that palace and she didn't know why. In her heart, she knew it had something to do with him. That man who seemed to be in the background watching her, stalking her, desiring her. It sent shivers down her spine.
Then the scenery changed, she was no longer in the forest or that dark palace, but in total blackness and in jeans. However, she wasn't alone. She saw the tall, dark figure and at an instance knew it was him. She wanted to run, but could not. The darkness lessened and she was finally able to see the man who had haunted her dreams since she was a little girl. His green eyes were the first thing she noticed, sharp and piercing, they were. Dark hair, that ended at his shoulders, and a smooth and pale face. He was handsome. She would not deny that, but that didn't lesson the fear. No, actually seeing him made it worse. He stared at her a few moments, in shock. Then he raised a hand to her.
"Arianell..." He whispered. That name, she knew it wasn't her's, but it felt familiar. "You have come back to me...after all these years." He took a step toward her and in that instance she finally found the ability to move. She stumbled back.
"Stay back!" She called, finding her voice. "I don't know who you are, but I know I want nothing to do with you." The man furrowed his brows.
"Your memories of might be locked away inside of you, but your feelings are not. I would never hurt you, my beautiful bride."
"What..." She managed to get out.
"I still want you and have never stopped; no matter how many centuries have passed. I have never stopped desiring you." She was not sure why, but his declarations of his passion for her, only made her skin crawl. She walked back further..
"Stop! Leave me alone, I don't know who you are, but you scare me." He started walking towards her. She wanted to turn and run, but her body wouldn't obey her commands.
"Arianell..." He said, again, "My beautiful bride..." He reached out to touch her face, but before his fingers could reach her, the sounds of an alarm wrung throughout.
She woke up with her heart beating a mile a minute. Kyra slowly sat up, and looked around, almost looking to see if he was there. Then she gently slapped her forehead.
"Stupid," She called herself, "It was just a dream, a dumb, silly dream." Yet, deep inside, she wasn't convinced. She got out of bed and turned off the alarm, before hastily making her way to her small bathroom. She was severely tempted to skip her morning shower. Kyra didn't feel comfortable with being naked, now. Then she shook her head. What a stupid thought. However, she made sure the bathroom door was locked twice before stripping. Even in the shower, she felt the urge to look over her shoulder, and went through her routine much faster than normal.
When out of the shower she dried her dark auburn hair and started to dress. She wore a simple pink t-shirt with a heart on it and knee-length jean skirt. Simple, and modest enough. Going through her morning routine still did not make her feel at ease, maybe being around her family would. She went downstairs to find her parents in the kitchen. Her dad was wearing his favorite apron, with a bikini clad woman's body on it, while making pancakes and sausage. Her mother was at the table, dressed in business casual, and checking her messages on the phone. At least something was normal. She greeted both her parents, before getting a glass of almond milk.
Sitting at the table across from her busy mother, she asked her dad.
"You're using that vegan recipe I gave you for the pancakes, right?" She heard her father give a sigh,
"Yes, Kyra..so you are still on this 'vegan' kick?" She knew her parents, while normally liberal, were not big on her being vegan. Still the didn't force her to eat animal products and her parents did buy the groceries she asked for.
"Yes, dad and it is not a kick. It's a lifestyle." She replied. Kyra heard her father sigh again,
"I can understand being a vegetarian, but no milk and eggs. Don't you think that's taking it a little too far." He asked. Kyra held back a sigh, and calmly explained again.
"Dad, I told you about how chickens and cows are treated in the industry. I don't want to be apart of that."
"I know, sweetie. But still it makes me worried about your health."
"I have done research, dad." She reminded him.
"Okay, honey...but promise me if you start feeling weak, or sick. You'll go back to a normal diet." Kyra did not like use of his word 'normal', but she nodded.
"Yes, dad, I promise I will." Even if her conversation with her dad had turned into another discussion of her diet, she was still glad for the normalcy. However, the dream still bothered her. She looked back to her mother who was still checking her messages. This might be the only chance to talk to her, since her mom was the main breadwinner of the family, it was hard to find room in her schedule to talk to her.
"Mom?" She called, her mother did not look up from her phone, as she replied,
"Do you remember those nightmares I had when I was younger? The ones were I am in the dark palace or forest, and I am running from some man, but I can't see him?" She was slightly worried to ask.
"I do. Why are you talking about them?"
"Well..." She bit her lip, "I have been having them again." That was a lie, she never stopped having them. "However, last night I saw the man."
"Hhhmm...was he scary looking?" Asked her mother,
"No, he was actually rather handsome." Kyra admitted,
"Oh, that's interesting." Her mother smirked. Kyra blushed,
"No, it wasn't like that. He still scared me and everything." She tried to explain. Her mother then looked up from her phone
"Perhaps, having dreams about being scared around a handsome man is related to a certain handsome boy you made cookies for?" Her mother was now smirking. Kyra, looked at the counter were her vegan chocolate chip cookies lay and blushed. She turned back to her mother, but before she could speak, her father set down a large plate of pancakes and sausage.
"What boy?" He said, in a tone with a bit of an edge. Kyra blushed, as her mother giggled.
"Oh, just that boy our daughter thinks she's in love with." Cheerfully, replied her mother. Kyra turned red faced at her mother.
"Mom, I thought you said you wouldn't mention him to dad!"
"I lied, sweetie."
"What boy!" Interrupted her father in a more angry tone. Kyra cringed.
"There is a boy in school that she thinks she's in love with and made cookies for." Her mother told her father. Kyra was mortified.
"Mom! I thought you understood!" She cried,
"Honey, you are sixteen. You are too young to know what love is. You just have a crush, that is all." Her mother replied bluntly.
"Your mother is right, young lady." Her father said, as he spooned her out a plate of pancakes and laid it in front of her, "You should be focusing on your studies, not boys." Her father was trying to look serious, but it was hard to take a man wearing a bikini apron seriously.
"Dad, my grades are fine. You're seen my report card! Besides it's possible to study and have a social life."
"But, can't you do that without boys." Her father asked,
"Of course, dad. Men are evil and I must avoid them at all cost." Kyra replied sarcastically. Her father sighed and finished making everyone's plates. Kyra enjoyed her vegan pancakes and almond milk with ironic hipster glee. Even if her parents could get annoying, but what parents weren't, they still cared about her and get her mind off that dream. She finished breakfast, graved her backpack, and waved good-bye to her parents, before heading off to school. She also tucked her cookies away in her backpack.
On the way to school, she spotted her. Her best friend in the world; Amanda Tae. She greeted her American-Korean best friend with a hug.
"Do you have the cookies for Jonathon?" Amanda asked, eagerly.
"Yes," Kyra replied, blushingly.
"He probably won't reject them...but if he does...could I have them?" Kyra lightly smacked her on the back of the head for that, which caused her to burst out in giggles. Kyra couldn't help, but join in the laughter. She knew that Amanda hadn't done it out of meanness, or anything. If anything Kyra was the closet person to Amanda and one of the few people to know her secret.
Amanda was born as Thomas. She was a transwoman and when she finally came out it did not sit well with her traditionally minded family. Now Amanda was living with her Aunt, one of the few people to except her. Despite living in a rather liberal district, Amanda didn't like to be known as transgender and most of the school staff respected it. Few noticed she never used the schools bathrooms.
"Come on, let's get going before we are late." She told Amanda, who nodded.
"I hear we got a new teacher today, foreigner; Europe." Amanda said, conversationally, as they walked to school.
"Cool, any idea what subject their teaching?"
"Nada." They walked in silence for a few minutes, until Kyra decided to speak.
"Have you ever had a dream..no a nightmare, that shook you so badly, to the point of it bothering you when you're awake."
"No, I never remember my dreams." replied Amanda, "I take it you have?" Kyra gave a weak nod. "Want to talk about it?" She asked
"No...at least not right now." Kyra didn't want to revisit her dreams of the dark man. Amanda thankfully let it drop and they made small chit-chat on their way to school. When they entered school they parted ways and soon classes started. It was a normal day so far. Her favorite class was easily history, and her least favorite was geometry; hands down. The only thing that made geometry good was that is was the only class she shared with Jonathon. A blush crept up on her face at the thought of him. He wasn't the quarterback, or any other position that marked on the social ladder, but he was still popular. Far above her on the social ladder, at least.
Despite being popular, he had never shown unkindness to her or any of the lower levels of the social ladder. He was always willing to speak to her, make a joke, or share a smile. He had a good portion of the school's straight female and gay male population wanting him. However, Kyra had one difference from them. She had started developing feelings for him in middle school.
She remembered it clearly, it along with her nightmares, were the clearest memories she had. She had been the new kid in school. She was plain, awkward, and hide behind her long hair. The only thing that set her apart from the other girls was that she was 'developing' early. She supposed it was only natural, her mother had been a busty woman and she supposed it was natural for her to inherit that.
She got unwanted attention from the boys for it, but little did she know the restatement that the popular girls were building toward her. One day, Susan, the head cheerleader, invited her to go shopping, after school, with her girlfriends. Kyra could hardly believe it! She was going shopping with the popular girls. Without a second thought she said, yes. Worse mistake ever.
She should have known better, when they lead her off to a secluded aria, but she was thinking maybe they knew the way to elite stores, or something. Then the jumped her. It was all at once and her skinny little self, couldn't fight back against six girls. Then she heard scissors. The held her down and started to cut off her hair. She screamed, kicked, and cried and all she got in response was laughter. Then she heard a voice.
"What the hell are you doing?"
She knew who it was; Jonathon! The girls immediately got off her and tossed away the scissors. They started to make-up lies about what was happening, but Jonathon ignored them and walked right up to her. He looked at her tear stained face and helped her up. They left without saying a word. To this day, Kyra had no idea how Jonathon knew were she lived, but he lead her right to her house. He asked if she wanted to come in with her. She politely told him no thank you and he left.
When her parents saw her hair, they were angry and demanded to know what had happened. Kyra just lied, and said she did it herself. She was grounded and pulled out of school the next day to get a haircut. It took Kyra forever to trust other girls again. However, the seeds of her love for Jonathon were planted that day and she watched him grow into the popular, and handsome boy he became.
Kyra was not sure if he remembered saving her, but she wouldn't forget. She planned to give him the cookies after school, when she caught him alone. Her heart beat nervously at the thought of it. It was a rather old fashion gesture, she admitted. However, it could work, maybe, just maybe. School proceeded by it's normal, slow, and steady pace. She couldn't help, but still glances at Jonathon during geometry, then blushingly look away. Lunch was normal, with Amanda. It was just a normal day so far. It looks like her dream wasn't as big as a deal as she had thought. However, her skin still crawled when she remembered the man in the dream.
It was finally time for her favorite class history. She had heard that Ms. Potters had retired and a new one was taking over. She guessed it was the European that Amanda had mentioned. When Kyra walked into the new school room she noticed a new flag. It was green and white, with a red dragon on it. She knew she had seen it somewhere. She took her usual set and prepared for class. Other students soon began to pile in.
A teacher entered, an older woman with blonde hair. She smiled at the class and said,
She heard mutters in the back of the class in confusion, but to her she spoke clearly. Kyra couldn't explain it, but she had somehow an idea of what she said. The teacher laughed,
"Anyone have any idea of what I said?" She heard mutters in the class, but Kyra timidly raised her hand.
"Yes, you." the teacher pointed to her.
"Umm...did you say 'Good afternoon'?" The teacher looked surprised.
"Why yes...how did you know that?" Kyra needed an excuse quick, she couldn't just say she understood it. She didn't even know what language the woman was speaking in!
"Well...it is...afternoon...so I thought it made sense." She muttered out. The teacher looked a bit disappointed.
"Well, yes. What I just spoke was a Welsh phrase. Even though only a small percent of Welsh people speak Welsh" She explained to the class. Then she went to the chalkboard. She wrote Elisa Baines.
"I come from Wales." She explained, "And I am here to teach you." She said, cheerfully. The class continued, and Ms. Baines turned out to be a good teacher and Kyra found herself liking the new teacher. Soon the final bell of the day rang out. Kyra meet Amanda out on the front steps of the school.
"Do you have the cookies?" Her friend asked. Kyra pulled out the star shaped bag.
"Great, I saw Jonathon behind the school. He is by himself. Go get him, girl!" She gave her two thumbs out. Kyra gave a nervous smile and made her way behind the school, where she saw Jonathon sitting on the empty bleachers. She took all the courage she had and walked up the stands.
"Hey!" She called out. Jonathon looked startled for a moment, before he smiled and waved at her. Kyra felt herself more confident and she walked up to him and sat beside him, her heart beating fast.
"I have something...for you." She managed to get out. Jonathon's brown eyes looked curiously at her and she handed him the bag. He opened it, and smiled.
"Oh, really! Thanks, Kyra, you're the best." He offered her one. "Let's eat them together."
"But I made them for you." She insisted
"It's more fun to share." He replied back, putting the cookie bag in the middle of them.
"Well, if you insist." She took a cookie and soon they were eating them together. It was rather nice and peaceful. They chatted, mostly about school and a few friends. Jonathon got up,
"Well, I have to be heading home. Thanks for the cookies." Kyra stood up too, "So do I." She skipped ahead of him, but around the school bend someone stepped out. Kyra was about to excuse herself and step to the side, when she saw the man's face and gasp. She stepped back.
"No...you can't be here...you can't."
"But I am, my bride." Was his smooth reply. He was dressed in dark, but contemporary clothing. She stepped back a few paces.
"Go away!" She demanded.
"Never!" He reached out to her. She started to try to turn and run, but every muscle in her body froze. He took his hand to her face and stroked it.
"I have been waiting centuries to do this..." He mummered.
"Who...are...you.." She got out.
"You once knew me as Prince Tiernan, but now I am King Tiernan and you are to be my queen.
Kyra was now in tears.