Kylee's Story Ch. 07byMickeyPink©
That was the only way to describe how Kylee felt. She also felt foolish; here was Aden, the love of her life, asking her to come home. Home. But instead of saying yes, she was caught up in her emotions. Afraid to leave the only safe thing she had ever known, angry at Mira for forcing her back together with Aden (even if it was for just a few moments), sad that she hadn't set her pride aside and told Aden how much she loved him... Yes. So of course, the only thing she saw fitting was to run. Run, before all her emotions came bubbling to the surface in the form of more tears. She had shed far too many of those.
The weekend was coming to a fast close, and tonight she would marry Thomas. Once again, she stood in front of the mirror, watching herself. There were a few customs she was still trying to wrap her mind around; greetings she would speak, names to remember, and of course, she had to memorize her speech.
"Ma'am, you must dress soon. The ceremony starts in only two hours, and you have not even been bathed and oiled!"
Kylee turned to the girl, who was obviously very anxious. "You sound more nervous than me.."
"This is only my first time preparing someone for a wedding, and I do not want to make any mistakes." The girl, only about fifteen, stared at the floor. "Do you love him? People say things about you. They say you shouldn't be marrying him. But I think.. Well, it doesn't matter what I think."
Kylee stepped closer and sat on the bench nearby. She had been so used to people treating her harshly, so used to having her guard up. This girl had spoken to her without sounding as though she was prejudiced against her. Perhaps that was what gave Kylee the nerve to ask; "What do you think?"
The girl looked up, and her grey eyes met with Kylee's golden ones. "I think that if you love someone, nothing else matters. I believe...," the girl quieted her voice, "...everyone has the right to that kind of happiness." They sat in quiet for a short while; Kylee, absorbing the wise words of the young girl, the girl fearing the silence. "So? Do you love him?"
"I love many things about him."
"But do you love him?"
"... Well, I suppose I'm not sure." Kylee furrowed her brow, feeling her heart beat a mile a minute. "But let that be a secret between us?"
The girl smiled at her, and nodded. Then she started off towards the bath. "But either way, you must be ready for the ceremony."
~*~*~ The day before..
"I am so sorry for everything I've done.. No. Wait. I... I am so very deeply sorry for the way things have taken turn.. No." Aden had been practicing the way he would tell Analeigh his decision. How do you tell a woman that you cannot marry her because you are in love with someone else? He had considered simply writing her, but he thought that would be rude. No, this he would do correctly, and everything else that followed. He was tired of making mistakes.
An hour later he had arrived at Analeigh's home. He released her servants from the task of kissing his feet and guiding him. He knew where he was going.
As he approached the main dining hall, he stilled himself. He took two deep breaths and entered the room. Analeigh stood in the corner, her back to him. He cleared his throat and watched as she jumped and a movement occurred under her skirt. Her dress today was rather large- it seemed to puff out on the bottom as if she had put on ten skirts instead of just one. He lifted his brow and began to speak, but was cut off by her words.
"Aden, what finds you here? I was not expecting company.. least of all our king. Is something wrong?" Guilt found it's place in her eyes as she turned around, and Aden did not miss it.
"Would you come closer? I would like to talk to you."
She stood still, panic written all over her face. "I can't. My legs.. I fear doubt has set in, and in my fear I cannot move." Her eyes found a place on the floor and stared; her own reflection looking back at her from the black marble tiles. Aden took a step closer, then noticed a her skirt moved, yet again.
He smiled. "Are you hiding something? Under your skirt? I can see that something is wrong, but I cannot place it. Please. Tell me what you are hiding under there."
Ana looked up from her reflection and met his gaze. She started to lift her skirt, then asked that he "Please.. close the door."
Aden turned, and stepped back, closing the large door. When he turned back around, he watched as a girl slipped from beneath Ana's skirt. Ana began to cry, and the girl stood and excused herself to the corner, her back to the room to shield her face. "I.. I don't know what to say. This is rather embarrassing, really."
Instead of the anger and disgust she expected, joy filled Aden's eyes, and suddenly the room was filled with his laughter. As Ana tried to determine if the laughter was good or bad, Aden began to cough. tears filled eyes before he eventually stood upright to speak. He wiped his face and held his hand over his mouth. "Do you like women?"
Ana's eyes filled with shame, and soon, tear started to well up within them.
"No, no. Don't cry. I am not angry. I'm not angry at all, actually." Ana looked up at him, confused. He came closer, and held her face in his hands. "Do not worry. You can tell me."
Words could not find their place on her tongue, and so she simply nodded. "She has been my lover for three years."
"Your lover..? So you are in love?"
Again, she nodded. This time, looking over to her lover and gesturing her to come near. "Her name is Jiordanne. She is my best friend. And she is the love of my life. But I cannot marry her. And my parents would not condone this relationship. So, we have hidden our love. Aden, I cannot marry you."
Aden smiled, then began to frown. "I came here to say just that."
"You came to break the engagement? Why?"
"Because I, too, am in love with another woman. And I need to ask her hand in marriage. She means to me, everything that Jiordanne means to you. And until just minutes ago, I was worried that I may break you heart. Now, I see that your heart is already invested."
Aden squeezed her hand, and kissed her cheek. He then kissed her lover's hand before turning to leave. "Will you not tell anyone? I can't imagine what I would do if-"
"Not a soul. Love is sacred. I wish you all the best."
With Ana out of the way, he had only now to convince Kylee to come back to him.
Kylee sat in the window, the evening breeze gently caressing her face. She smiled at the smell of wildflowers and honeysuckle. She was no longer feeling the mix of terrifying emotions she had felt the night before. Tonight, she was feeling gladness. At this time tomorrow, she would be a happily married woman. She would have a man that loves her, a life of ease, and beauty, and she would never have to know real fear again.
She would have kept feeling this way had she not had a knock at the door. "Yes?"
The door opened, and a little boy, no more than ten, stood with a letter. "I have a letter from a man. He says for you to read it, and then come outside."
Kylee walked over to the little boy, smiling at his innocence. Thomas was ever the romantic. "Thank you, sir. I will do just that."
She read the note, which asked that she meet him in five minutes on the bridge at the River Quell. 'A popular place to meet, these days,' she thought, and headed for the door.
As she walked up the bridge, she was surprised to see that she had beaten him there. She looked down at the water, and the way the stars shone brightly in it. 'Amazing, how bright even the night can be.'
Before she could lift her head to look for him again, she felt something cover her eyes. She jumped, startled, as the material was tied behind her head. "Thomas, you surprise me. What is this about? I must say it is very romantic, even if it is a bit frightening."
Aden frowned at hearing her speak another man's name. But then, he remembered his course. He turned her to face him, and slowly brought his mouth down to hers. This kiss, unlike so many others was tender. She moaned softly, and felt herself grow dizzy. Thomas had never kissed her with this sort of desire before. He allowed his mouth to hover over hers for just a moment, before pecking first her top, then bottom lip. Then, he pulled her into him, and with his other hand, held her cheek. He wanted to tell her it was him. He wanted her to kiss him back, knowing that it was he who held her in his arms. He leaned in to her, his mouth just beside her ear. "I love you," he whispered.
He felt her stiffen in his arms, and she lifted her hands to remove the blindfold. She knew it was not Thomas. That voice.. It was the voice she had heard saying those very same words in her dreams. It was unmistakeable. As the blindfold went over her head, she set her eyes upon him. There were no words. Usually she would be full of things to say, but this night, things were different. The two stood, drinking each other in. Kylee opened her mouth, then slowly closed it. What could she say?
"I love you, Kylee. I have been a fool, all this time. I was so afraid of what people might think that I lost myself. And I lost you. I'm here because I needed to tell you that. I had to tell you that you are everything I want." Aden looked into her eyes, then, slipped down to take a knee. "This is all so backwards. If I were a wiser man, I'd have said this months ago... Kylee, I am not going to marry Analeigh. I know now that I cannot give what is not mine. From the first night we met, my heart has been yours. Please, let me give my life to you as well."
"Aden, you have no idea how long I've been waiting to hear those words. But I am supposed to marry Thomas tomorrow."
Aden looked up at her, disappointment written all over his face. "I know. But I know that he does not kiss you the way that I do. He does not need you the way that I do." He came to his feet and wrapped his arms around her. Surprisingly, Kylee melted into his embrace, her arms finding their way around his waist. "While I do not doubt that he loves you, I know that his love is not mine. Please, just think about it. I know it would be hard for you to leave him, but I cannot see myself with anyone else. It may be selfish of me, but I believe you know it to be true; we belong together." He kissed her forehead and took a step back.
"Aden, what am I supposed to do?" Her eyes begged him for an answer, her arms folded across her chest. "I have never known more hardships than I have seen with you. How can I know that you won't change your mind? How do I give up something certain to be with someone who scares me the way you do?"
"I suppose you will have to trust me.." Aden leaned in and kissed her again. "If you decide to marry Thomas, I guess I will have to understand. But I hope you do not. I pray for it."
Aden turned and walked away, down the bridge to the horse that was tied to a tree. She watched as he mounted and rode off, and suddenly she realized that she had less than a day to chose between two perfect men.
Her dress fit perfectly. Her eyes shone brightly through her bangs, which she had decided to cut at the last minute. "I feel silly. I think I look like a child.. What do you think?"
"What do I know? ...I think you look beautiful. I also think you're not really worried about your hair. Is it what we discussed earlier?"
"I think I could love Thomas, but what if I can't?" Kylee fought back the tears and looked at the girl.
"...You love someone else. You love.. The king."
Kylee nodded, "I do."
"Well, the ceremony begins in a few minutes. What are you doing here?" The girl smiled brightly, and hugged Kylee. I knew it. I knew that you loved him. After all, I saw the two of you last night.."
"You saw?! Was anyone else there? No, this is terrible. Please, tell me you did not mention it to anyone else." Kylee was standing now, pacing back and forth, her hand closed over her mouth.
"Relax, I was the only person who saw. And I did not tell anyone."
The girl hugged Kylee, and whispered, "If you do not marry the man you love.. Will you be happy?"
Kylee rushed out of the room, down the stairs, and out of the manner. She darted across the field until she could see where everyone was gathered. She saw Thomas, only moments away from taking his place.
It was not her loud breathing, or the sound of her feet thrashing through the grass... it was the fact that everyone sitting in their seats had turned; that was what caught Thomas' attention. His bride was running to him. He grew nervous, and in his haste to privatize the news he felt coming, he ran to meet her part-way.
"Darling, what are you doing? You are causing everyone to stir. Is everything ok?" He took the pause in conversation to catch his breath, resting his hands on his knees. The whole time, his eyes never left hers. "What is it?"
Kylee looked at him, then down at her feet. She looked at the extravagant gown she was wearing, the gown he had bought her only days ago. She winced at the thought of the price- she would have to repay him somehow. "I can't. I am so sorry, Thomas. But I can't."
Thomas looked behind him at the crowd of people, all staring, waiting, watching for some sign. "Listen, I know you're nervous, but it will be fine. They'll get to know you. Really, I know you're scared, but.."
"No, that's just it, Thomas. I know they will forgive my past. But I don't care. I can't marry you because... Because I fell in love a year ago with a stranger in a library." Thomas raised his brow in confusion. "The man that I fell in love with, well, he's got this hold on my heart. And I won't make a liar of myself by saying that I don't like it. You are such an amazing man, Thomas. But I can't marry you when I'm already invested in someone else."
"Kylee, this is embarrassing." His face grew bright red as he allowed his eyes to graze over his guests once again. "You're kidding. You are kidding. Right? This is a jest of some horrible sort? I will not go and tell my guests that my bride is running off with another man!" His voice began to rise, and for the first time, Kylee saw darkness in his eyes.
She began to step back from him, and Thomas reached out to grab her arm. "Let me go, Thomas. You do not mean to do this."
"Everyone called you a whore, and a money seeking servant.. I tried to make something of you, Kylee. My efforts will not go in vain."
Kylee pulled harder at her arm, but to no avail. "You do not mean the things you say. You are angry. I understand that. But you MUST let me go now."
"Who do you think you a to tell me the things I must do? Did I not give you anything you wanted? What did you need that I could not give? Or was it just the way that he bed you..." Kylee's eyes began to water, and she pulled harder and harder trying to break free. "Yes, that must have been it. He bed you like the dirty little harlot you are. Is that the mistake that I made?"
That was it. Before she had even thought it through, her foot connected with Thomas' groin, and he let out a yelp that had the men cringing in their seats. "No. The mistake was mine- in ever thinking you were a good man." Kylee removed the ring he had given her, and threw it at him.
She turned and headed for the stables. She knew that if she rode hard enough, she could make it to the palace before too late.
Thomas stood and brushed himself off, then looked to the crowd. "Well? Why are you still here? Go home! All of you!"
Right now, she would be drinking champagne, dancing, and greeting her guests. Aden sighed and threw another pebble into the water. He had never appreciated the garden until she came. Never really appreciated anything. Now, here he was, completely alone with only the sound of splashing water and crickets to accompany him. The sunset had been beautiful, and all that was left were the traces of light that the sun had left in the sky, the pinkish purplish hues blending with the oncoming darkness.
He had hoped that the things he said last night would have gotten to her; that her love for him would win over her mind. But he was wrong to think this. After all, he had not always exactly treated with the most kind of actions. It was entirely too difficult, their relationship. But he thought that opening his heart to her was the solution to all their problems.
He sat on the ground and pulled his legs up to fold against his chest. Life would go on. She would be happy, and he would find a way to be happy for her. She deserved that much. As he hugged his legs, he rested his head on his knee. For the first time since childhood, he began to cry- really cry. His eleventh hour attempt was fruitless. What would he do now?
He was so engrossed in his own feelings, he did not hear the horse approaching. It felt like his imagination, when he heard her speak.
"Well. Here I am, on a white horse, coming to save my prince, and I find you here, like this."
"Yea, well-" Aden's eyes shot open and his heart rate sped up. "Its not easy waiting for my knight in shining, you know?"
Kylee smiled when he spun around to face her. "No," tears that she didn't even know she was holding back rushed down her face, "it's not. I should know."
Aden ran over to her, lifting her from the horse, and setting her on the ground. "You waited a long time for me to rescue you."
"I did. But you always found a way. Aden, I am so, so, sorry..i can't believe how-" Aden lowered his mouth to hers and captured from her a kiss filled with sweetness.
"This was all my fault. Had I been a braver man, I would have told you how I felt long ago." He pulled her tightly against him, her arms around his neck, and his around her waist. He smelled her hair, and the mixture of lavender and chamomile that seemed to always rest there. "I am a braver man now, and wiser too. And I have you to thank for that."
"I have another deal for you." Aden leaned back, to look into her eyes. Her eyes had become puffy, and he figured his must have had a similar look. "I will come back to the palace, but you must promise me some things first."
"Anything," he said, no hesitation in his response.
"You must promise to tell me every day that you love me."
"And you must always be the man you are today- humble, gentle, and honest."
"You have my word as king. But I need something from you, too." He slipped down to his knees, and dug into his pocket. "You have to promise you will never run away from me in anger again," his hand came from his pocket displaying a bright ring. Even in the dark of the night, it shone brightly, as if it stole the light from each of the stars. "and you have to promise, that for the rest of our lives, we will wake up next to each other. No matter what."
Kylee nodded, as Aden slipped the ring on her finger. "I love you so much, my king."
Aden smiled and hugged her legs. Suddenly, he pulled her down to the ground with him, laughing and giggling the while way down. As she collapsed on top of him, he stroked her cheek. "And I love you, Kylee."
His hand snaked up her leg under her dress, grabbing hold of her supple bottom. He groaned, remembering the pleasures they had already shared, and thinking about all the ones to come. She leaned in to kiss him, the kiss becoming a frantic mesh of tongues and teeth.
He flipped her over and held her hands over her head in one of his large hands. Kylee bit her lip, and he looked down at her, devouring her with his eyes. "And please...," a sinister smile covered his face. "Call me Aden."