Malaykah decided to take a walk outside to clear her head. A light rain shower began during her stroll, which made her glad that she thought to bring an umbrella. The rain soothed her mind but often made her joints ache.
“You always looked divine in the rain,” a familiar voice said behind her.
Malaykah tilted her head back to see Alëxios.
“I hope you’re not expecting an Orisha dance,” she chimed.
“You captivated me with your dance,” he replied with sincerity.
Malaykah laughed and said, “I haven’t danced in years.” Her face sobered, and she stopped walking. “The doctors told me I have a weak heart. Apparently, there’s some kind of unknown enzyme attacking my entire body from inside.”
Alëxios turned her around to face him. He was drenched from the rain, so she lifted her umbrella over his head.
“Their diagnosis is all wrong. You have the strongest heart of anyone I have ever met. Unfortunately, though, it appears your onset of suffering stems from your time within the realm. Think of it as an adverse effect on your humanity.” He affectionately ran his fingers through the coils of her all-white tresses, then said, “I stand before you now, and your eyes are just as vibrant as the night we met in your garden.
Malaykah gushed at his flattering praises, then glanced away to look at a flickering street light.
“I’m not the same as when we met, and certainly not how I was in the realm,” she replied.
Alëxios tilted her face back to him. His eyes glowed, as hers did in response.
“Do not mistake me for any human men who are merely attracted to fleeting appearances. On the contrary, I am a deity who continuously requires your soul next to mine. I cannot rule my kingdom if you are not seated on the throne at my side,” he said.
“I haven’t been to the realm in over nine years. At this point, I don’t believe it’s even possible for me to return,” she answered in distrusted confusion.
Alëxios grinned slyly, then said, “Have no fear. Künsey and I will dwell with you here in the human realm. I consulted with The Moon to have the goddess Isis create him an amulet that would allow him to enter this realm without any harm to come. As you have seen, he is well able to manage our affairs.”
“Well, I suppose you have it all figured out then. You came here with no disadvantages. I love how the two of you arrived as successful businessmen,” Malaykah chuckled.
Alëxios caressed her bottom lip with his index finger, then said, “The only realm that I would be at a disadvantage in is the one where you refuse to be by my side.”
She kissed the tip of his finger and replied, “There is no such place.”
Alëxios proposed that they marry right away, but Malaykah postponed the event in favor of allowing her family to get to know him. J’aime and her children were instantly taken in by his charm. They marveled at how he doted on Malaykah and treated her like a queen. His generosity as a philanthropist made him a sensation everywhere. After six months passed, Alëxios and Malaykah married and retired to a quiet life.
Fourteen years later, Malaykah’s health began to rapidly decline. Alëxios spared no expense and sent Künsey to search for a cure. Their efforts were to no avail. She became unable to speak, though she could communicate through her thoughts. Alëxios feared she would soon perish, so he persuaded her they should return to the realm.
Künsey was fortunate enough to find a soothing oil to help her sleep peacefully. One night, after Alëxios applied the oil with a light massage, they both drifted off to a night of deep sleep. When they awoke, they found themselves neck-deep inside a lake. They smiled knowingly at each other. For they both knew they had finally returned to the borderlands of Phëläniciä.
~Ch. 29, The Realm Beyond the Stars and Sea~