Grand Rising

Malaykah bit the inside of her cheek, not knowing if she should address her thoughts. She turned away to look out the window in continued silence. When she looked back at him, there was a pleading in his eyes that she could not ignore. She slid down in the bed and spoke softly, “In the human realm I encountered many men who told me they wanted me. I found out the hard way that opening my heart and legs was not in my best interest. Women are often sold the idea that true romance involves a soulmate who would intuitively know our needs. I believe I’ve found that with you. Everything from the way it feels when we touch, to how you defend and protect me is amazing. I still can’t help but to be a little nervous.”

Alëxios empathetically slid next to her, ensuring that their physical contact was minimal. “My dear, I understand wholeheartedly what you mean. You do not need a lover who can read your thoughts to know you. You need me to listen when you speak. In this realm you are my equal. You are a Goddess, with divinity as your birthright. Once you become queen, your word will be upheld as divine law by myself and the entire kingdom. Tell me whatever lays heavily on your heart so that we can find the remedy for it, together.”

She stiffened her body, then blurted out, “What about the 399 women in your harem? I met some of them. Many from different races, all exotic beauties, each believed that you saved them for the sake of love.”

 Alëxios shot back up in the bed and placed his hands over his face in shame. He had intended to mention them to her, with an explanation of events. “I know it appears that I am a lust-driven pervert in this moment. However, that is not the case. I found them all in undesirable situations and wanted to help them.”

Malaykah pulled the bedsheet to her neck, also feeling embarrassed. “How many did you actually love? I know it shouldn’t matter, especially not at this point. I just kind of need to know.”

He looked at her with sincerity in his eyes. “I have only been romantically involved with less than half of them. In truth, I had been searching for you all along. It grieves me that it took ages for us to connect, but I am not sorry for my actions thus far.”

Malaykah sat up to lean her head on his shoulder. “I’m not asking you to apologize. We both have pasts. Our future depends on both of us being truthful to each other at all times. I was not seeing anyone when we met, nor was I able to sustain a successful relationship after. I need to know that I am who you want, like for certain,” she said

Alëxios hopped up to bend near the bed. “Malaykah, I swear on my life and kingdom there is only you. I promise to love and protect you until my last breath in the living realm, and well into the borderlands of the Gods,” he replied.

~Ch. 12, Somewhere Beyond the Stars and Sea~

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