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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mirror of Dreams - Chapter 4

4

The morning of my coronation dawned bright. I watched the sun stream through my window and wondered how long it would be before people came in to wake me and get me ready for my big day. A glance over at Nathan assured me that he was sleeping as soundly as ever.
A smile tugged at my lips as I remembered him unpacking a small trunk of his belongings. He had officially moved in with me, wardrobe, stuffed dog and all. I loved to look at him. Especially when he was sleeping!
Sighing morosely, I wished I could sleep a bit more too. It seemed like the longer I was in this dream world, the less I could sleep. I felt strangely tired and full of energy at the same time. The sizzling in my blood was currently stronger than ever, making me wish I could just slash my wrists and let it all drain out.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't want to die, I simply couldn't stand it any longer! It was slowly driving me crazy! Taking a deep breath in, I forced myself not to fidget and wake Nathan up.
Biting my lip, I thought back over the past few days. Only when I was doing something active and strenuous was the sizzling somewhat calm and bearable. At times like this – when I was quiet and still – the sizzling got so bad that I was tempted to get up and go running again.
The worst part was no one seemed to have any idea what I was talking about. When I asked about the odd feeling in my blood, they all stared at me as if I was crazy. With another sigh, I decided to finally get out of bed.
Looking at Nathan, I wondered if I should do some yoga and then practice my dancing until the maids arrived. Would he wake up? I didn't want to disturb his sleep.
Well, yoga is quiet enough at least, so I decided to start with that. It took my mind off the sizzling for a little while, but not long enough. Not caring in the slightest that I was still naked, I opened the glass door that led to a patio, and then jogged around the palace.
Please don't let there be any mosquitoes here!” I prayed fervently. It would suck to be miserable and itchy during my coronation simply because I jogged naked through a swarm of blood sucking vampires!
I guess I got lucky, because there were no insects of any kind that I could see. My jogging drew astonished attention from the guards, but they remained at their posts. I was mildly impressed!
Eventually, Sir Barrett found me and insisted that I go inside and take a bath so that my maids could fuss over me. I agreed, feeling good, except I was slightly hungry. My maids clucked when they saw the sweat covering my body, but didn't say anything. Instead, they served me breakfast.
An hour later, I had eaten, bathed, and had my hair arranged in an elaborate crown of braids. Some braids formed loops that jewels dangled from, and others had flowers tucked into them. When they were done, I felt a bit like a fairy princess!
And then there was my dress... I stared at it in astonishment! It was made entirely of red lace and really didn't cover anything even as it covered everything. I utterly loved it! The only drawback was that it had an extremely long train, but this was only a drawback because I was afraid that I'd get it dirty.
I stepped into the dress and waited patiently as all the little buttons along my spine were fastened. “I feel like a bride!” I exclaimed joyously.
Well, that's because today, you marry the Kingdom,” one of the maids informed me.
I guess I never thought of it like that,” I murmured, biting my lip in thought. “This dress is gorgeous! I'd love to kiss the seamstress!”
It's actually Lady Leeza,” one of the maids admitted with a proud grin. “But we help her. She doesn't want you to make a fuss about it though since her magic makes it easy for her to create fabulous creations.”
Ah,” I murmured with a pleased smile. “So that's why I thought our wardrobes were so similar.” I had often admired her dresses, which specialized in revealing as much as they hid. “Um... but why red?”
It's Rolandia's Royal color,” Nathan answered, letting me know that he was awake now. “You look amazing! I could look at you all day...”
I chuckled softly. “Funny, I'm always thinking the same thing about you.”
Unfortunately, I couldn't stay and watch him get dressed. I was ushered to an empty room where an enormous empty canvas stood ready. I looked around curiously, wondering if a painter planned to come start a portrait of me. To my surprise, it was one of the maids who took up a brush. She waited patiently for the other three maids to pose me and arrange my dress so that it flowed perfectly.
When everything was perfect, she dipped a brush in a pot of clear viscous liquid. Her face puckered adorably in concentration, and then her hand started to glow. I tried not to look astonished, but completely failed. My mouth hung open in shock.
Your Majesty, please,” she begged prettily. I composed myself and smiled happily for her. With a nod of approval, she swept the brush across the canvas, dipping it in the clear liquid as needed. Once the entire canvas had been coated with paint – or at least I think it's some form of paint – she stepped back and sighed joyously in accomplishment.
To my amazement, my portrait slowly appeared on the canvas. It looked like someone had taken my picture, only it was definitely painted rather than photographed. As it “developed,” I walked closer to watch it.
Fascinating!” I exclaimed, impressed.
Isn't it?” The maid asked proudly. “It's part of my magic.”
Then why don't you quit working here and become a professional painter?” I wondered since this seemed like the obvious solution to me.
I love being a maid!” She fervently insisted, sounding scandalized by the suggestion. “Besides, not too many people would pay for something so frivolous.”
But,” I protested with a frown. “Why not? Don't most people want to remember the good times?”
The maids all shrugged. “Maybe. We haven't really had a lot of good times...”
Oh...” I murmured, not knowing what else to say.
I thought about this all though my coronation ceremony. It was simple enough, all I had to do was walk down the aisle in the throne room and let a Priestess place a crown on my head. She blessed me, saying prayers for a very long time, and then kissed me briefly on the lips.
And now you are anointed by our most beloved God as his chosen Queen,” she pronounced loudly for all to hear. I knew that this wasn't the same elderly lady that I had met before, so I wondered who she was. I didn't have time to ask, though, because she left almost immediately and I had to sit on my throne as everyone came to profess their fealty.
That dragged on forever! The sizzling in my blood grew almost unbearable! Finally, a feast was held, and after I'd eaten a decent amount, I managed to claim that I needed to use a privy.
Speaking of, it was strange to have a fancy palace, but no modern plumbing. How hard could that really be? At least the privy designated for me was kept clean and didn't smell.
Escaping into my room, I leaned against the door and sighed in relief. The mirror beckoned to me enticingly. I was going home now whether they liked it or not! Just as I stepped in front of the mirror, the door opened.
Your Majesty?” Sir Barrett asked, clearly concerned about me.
Later!” I called out as I tossed him a smirk over my shoulder. The next second, I kissed the mirror and sighed in relief when the reflection changed to that of my real bedroom in the real world.
A knock on my door startled me and I turned around to watch my mother enter my room. “I know it's still early – oh! Kaitlynn, what are you wearing?!”
Her eyes boggled just about as big as I had ever seen them, which made me want to giggle. Instead, I took a deep breath and forced myself to remain calm. As if I was wearing the properest and most modest of dresses, I shrugged.
Do you like it? I was considering wearing it to my engagement party.”
No you will not!!!” She cried out firmly. “Even if you wore a slip under it to preserve your modesty, it's red! You know how I feel about wearing red until after you are married!”
Yes mother,” I agreed with a sigh.
She bit her tongue to stop herself from yelling any further, and then studied my dress a bit more carefully. “I will admit that it is a gorgeous dress, but it is not appropriate for you. Where did you get it?”
A friend from school,” I lied. I couldn't exactly tell her that it was my coronation dress from a dream world!
She smiled at that. “You girls still keep in touch even after you've all graduated?” Which had happened in June, it was now August.
I laughed softly. “They were all just at my party.”
I know,” she stated. “But that was a special occasion.”
Yes, were all still the best of friends,” I assured her.
Good! Having a network you can rely on is important,” she reminded me.
I know,” I said, since it was something she had told me quite often.
Here, let me help you out of that,” my mother offered, probably assuming that it was the quickest way to get me into something more appropriate. “Where did you buy this tiara? It's exquisite!”
I don't remember,” I replied with a shrug. Taking the tiara and setting it on my dresser. Unlike the huge monstrosity I had expected, it was a simple little thing made out of gold that had been delicately worked until it almost looked like lace. Diamonds of at least a carat each were set into the design here and there, making it sparkle when the light caught them.
And these buttons! However did you manage to button this dress up by yourself?” My mother was clearly baffled by this concept.
I reached back and buttoned one of the ones she had already undone. “Easy enough.”
Hmm...” she stated, not believing me. She shrugged and let the matter drop.
I decided to change the subject before she could ask me anything else I'd have to lie about. “Mom... How did my father die? Didn't you say he had a strange disease?”
Yes,” she replied softly, still saddened by his death after all these years. “His best friend said that they had gone to check out a new potential site for a mall – or was it a hotel? In any case, your father noticed something oozing from the ground and touched it with just the very tip of his finger. He said it had no odor, so he wiped it on his pants and forgot all about it.
They left, walking home since it wasn't too far away and they felt like exercising. I'm told that some of the workers at the site also touched the ooze and died more or less instantly, but not your father. He took a few days...” her voice wavered.
She paused to take a deep breath, and then continued on. “First, he was oddly clumsy, and had a hard time remembering basic information – such as where he lived. It wasn't alarming enough to go see a doctor though, or so I thought. He also looked noticeably older – as if he had aged 10 years overnight! Lastly, I noticed that one of his eyes turned black – well... dark brown...
That right there was enough to concern me. I wanted him to see a doctor to find out what was wrong! Only he was so sweet and charming that he talked me out of it. We spent his last two days in bliss...”
I purred in sympathy and hugged her tight. She was finished with the buttons now anyway. “I'm so sorry...”
She savored my embrace for a moment, and then pushed me away. “After you were born, I panicked when I saw that one of your eyes is dark brown too, but the doctors assured me that there was nothing wrong with you. A surprising amount of people in the world have two different colored eyes.”
I had nothing that I could say since I now knew that – at least according to my strange and surprisingly long dream – my father wasn't from this world. I looked to the ceiling as I wondered if this was the reason I was having this crazy dream. Was I simply missing the father I had never met? If that was so, then why had he died in my dream almost right away?
Sighing, I shook the thoughts from my head.
So... what should I wear today?” I asked.
My mother stepped into my closet with a big grin. “I hid a cute little dress in here for you!”
Sure enough, she pulled a dress bag out of my closet and opened it to reveal a short blue dress that resembled the black one Audrey Hepburn wore in Sabrina. Her eyes swept over me for a moment. With a smirk, she informed me: “I love your hair. What made you decide to do something different?”
I'm going shopping for my ring today, duh!” I stated as if this was the only possible explanation. “I want to look pretty for my fiancĂ©!”
You know, when I first saw you this morning, I couldn't help but think that I was looking at a regal Queen. Getting engaged has sure brought out the best in you!”
I hugged my mother again. “Aww, that's sweet of you to say!”
Let's go eat breakfast,” my mother suggested.
No thanks, I pigged out at the feast,” I told her, and then blushed when I realized my mistake. “I mean, I dreamt I ate a huge feast, and now I'm not hungry in the slightest!”
My mother shook her head at my silliness. “At least have some yogurt.”
Fine,” I acquiesced.

Andrew arrived about an hour before noon, and promptly praised me on how good I looked. I accepted his compliment with a pleased blush, and then rewarded him with a soft kiss. As I did so, I realized that that sizzling in my blood I felt in my dream was very faint. It hadn't gone away completely, but it wasn't really bothering me at the moment either.
Thank the Gods for small miracles! I praised silently. Being an atheist, I refused to honor any God in particular, not even in my nonsensical sayings.
Andrew and I left to visit several expensive jewelry shops, but I didn't find anything that appealed to me until we came to a huge shop dedicated to diamond rings. There, I found a diamond cut into an oval shape that was surrounded by delicate gold work. The whole thing was about an inch long from top to bottom, with a slight point at each end, and about half an inch wide.
I fell in love with it immediately!
Andrew selected a band that had three smaller oval diamonds in a row. It was a very manly ring that complimented mine well. I purred happily in his ear as he ordered the clerk to ring us up. We chose to wear our new rings right away, but had them put the papers of authenticity in a box so that I could put them in my safe.
We strolled along hand in hand, not having anywhere in particular to go.
Andrew?” I asked. “I need to ask you something important.”
Ask away,” he permitted, kissing my hand. “I promise to answer as honestly as possible.”
Do you know anything about Polyamory?” I wondered.
Ah...” he murmured knowingly. “I had actually wondered about that. It seemed only natural to me that someone who agreed to marry someone she just met would probably be open to polyamorism.”
Are you open to it?” I inquired curiously.
Actually, yes,” he answered with a nod. “I wanted to get married for a few different reasons, one of which is that I plan to get famous as an actor. I needed a wife who I knew wasn't after my fame or money. I decided to accept the invitation to your party because you come from the same type of family as me, and I know that you were raised to overlook... infidelity...”
I laughed in amusement. “So you do plan to be unfaithful!”
He laughed in return. “No! I plan to be famous, and famous men seem to attract beautiful women. I just assume that so much temptation might eventually bear fruit.”
I'm glad we are having this conversation,” I murmured with a genuine smile.
He nudged me playfully. “What about you? Why are you planning to get married?”
I shrugged. “It's just what I've always wanted to do. My mother and I used to play dress up all the time when I was a girl. To tell you the truth, I've had so many wedding dresses over the years that it might be a bit hard to find one to wear for real! And then... Well, even more than getting married, I want to be a mother.”
I hope you won't be too disappointed waiting a bit for that,” Andrew said, looking apologetic. “I personally want to be married two or three years before I have kids. That way, we will hopefully know if we are suited to each other and can raise children together without fighting.”
I was disappointed, but not too much. “That makes sense, I guess. Better to raise a child with love rather than obligation, right?”
Right!” Andrew agreed, kissing me. I felt my toes curl and clung to him so that I wouldn't fall over. When he ended the kiss, he gave me an interesting look, like he was trying to figure me out.
So...” he began hesitantly. “Rumor has it that you have a deep and loving relationship with your best friend.”
I laughed raucously at that! “No! Ian is my best friend, and yes we do occasionally have sex, but I am not in love with him like that!”
Andrew smirked, seeming amused by my reaction. “I'd like to meet him. Maybe tomorrow?”
Maybe,” I stated, not sure if he would be busy or not.
I need to tell you something,” Andrew said, changing the subject. “I'm actually flying across country in two days, so I hope to spend every possible second with you before then.”
Where are you going?” I asked with a frown.
To an audition,” Andrew informed me. “Actually, it's more like a call back. I've already done a couple of interviews and online auditions. Now I have been asked to fly there in person. If all goes well, I'll be cast in a TV show.”
Cool!” I exclaimed, excited for him.
He grinned in agreement, and then seemed to get sad. “Yeah, but there's a problem. One of the directors I've worked with had me sign a contract a while back agreeing to film a movie with him if he ever got a budget for it, and it looks like it might actually happen soon. If it does, it'll conflict with filming on my new TV show.”
I stroked his cheek in sympathy. “Don't worry, I'm a firm believer that everything will work out the way it's supposed to.”
Me too,” he murmured before kissing me again.
After that, we went to lunch, and then returned to my house. I showed off my ring to the delighted squeals of my mother and grandmother. Andrew delicately explained his obligation to leave soon and obtained permission to stay here with me until he had to go. I was impressed that my mother and grandmother were so progressive when it came to him staying with us, but they simply smiled as if they were pretending to ignore the possibility of hanky panky.
We chatted until dinner, and then watched a movie while snuggling on the couch. By the time he hinted that we go to bed, I was yawning with exhaustion. If one counted the time during my dream, I had been awake an entire day during my coronation, and then another entire day with Andrew. I was ready to drop!
The moment we entered my room, I smacked my forehead and mentally called myself stupid.
Problem?” Andrew asked in amused concern.
Yes, I just realized that I left my diaphragm and condoms, uh, somewhere else,” I explained, blushing in embarrassment when I realized that I almost said that I'd left them in my dream.
No problem, I came prepared,” Andrew assured me. It was true that he'd had a small bag of clothes in his car, so it made sense that he would have stuck a box of condoms in there.
Oh good!” I exclaimed in relief. “That means you normally use protection and so probably don't have any STDs.”
He nodded. “I tested clean... But maybe you should get on birth control,” he suggested. “Since we agreed not to have any babies yet.”
That's what my diaphragm is for,” I informed him with a patient smile. “I refuse to take synthetic hormones.”
Oh,” he stated with a shrug. “Okay, as long as you have something.”
I nodded in agreement, and then led him to my bed. I tried my hardest to stifle a yawn, but he noticed it anyway.
Are you okay?”
Yes,” I replied with a reassuring smile. “I'm sorry, I was just so excited last night that I couldn't sleep at all.”
I understand,” he murmured with a soft chuckle. “I had a hard time sleeping myself.”
My cellphone rang, but rather than answer it, I sent a text to the caller – Ian – informing him that I was getting busy and that I'd talk to him tomorrow. Andrew read this over my shoulder and laughed. He kissed my neck and then bit my ear.
Tell him to come over for lunch tomorrow. That way, I can meet him,” he suggested.
I sent out that text, and then waited until I received a reply. “He says that he'd like to meet you too, so it's a date!”
Perfect!” Andrew stated, and then helped me strip. I returned the favor, and soon we were tumbling into bed.
My fiancé clearly had skill when it came to pleasing the ladies! I moaned and sighed happily as he licked me, and then held him tight as he positioned himself between my legs. He took a moment to put on a condom, and then slid into me with a confident thrust.
Oh!” I gasped in surprise. “You're bigger than I'm used to.”
Why thank you,” he drawled happily. He kissed me and then focused on his thrusts. The bed thumped and banged loudly, making me blush. I half expected either my mother or my grandmother to pound on the door and tell us to keep it down!
He finished with a soft grunt, and then lay on me so that he could kiss me some more. I tangled my fingers in his hair, feeling lethargic and sleepy. All in all, this was the perfect end to a long and exhausting day.
Good night,” I whispered in his ear.
Sweet dreams,” he replied, making me inhale a gasp.
Don't say that! I want actual sleep tonight!”
He laughed and snuggled me closer as we both drifted off to sleep.

***

Ian and Andrew got along great. I was surprised, thinking that there might be some jealousy between them, but no. Ian thought Andrew was a decent man, and Andrew thought that Ian was fascinating in that he had such a wide variety of interests.
You should be an actor,” Andrew suggested. “If you find the right part, you can turn all that into a career.”
Maybe,” Ian admitted with a shrug. “But probably not. Besides, my parents will eventually leave me an enormous amount of money, so why bother?”
Andrew frowned almost petulantly. “My parents are going to leave me a lot of money too, but I still want to do something with my life.”
Ian nearly glared at him. “I am doing something with my life, just not working.”
I felt like I needed to come to the rescue. “Ian likes to teach poor kids the fun things he knows.”
Oh,” Andrew remarked, sounding embarrassed. “Sorry man, I shouldn't have assumed...”
No problem,” Ian stated gruffly. He didn't like to talk about his philanthropy. People always called him a suck up or a wanna be when he talked about it. I ruffled his hair to lighten the mood.
Hey, can you show me something?” Andrew asked curiously. “Like that wheel thingy you were talking about?”
Ian and I exchanged a quick look, and then we both shrugged.
Why not?” I asked. It took me about two minutes to retrieve my cyr wheel from the closet, but then another five to assemble it since it had been broken down for storage.
Ian and I rolled the wheel back and forth between us for a few moments, mostly to remember how much it weighed and how it moved. A cyr wheel was like a large hula hoop, only it was taller than either of us and was heavy enough that it would be nearly impossible to twirl it around my waist.
I stepped into the wheel first and spun around a couple of times before rolling it back over to Ian. He stepped in and spun once or twice just to gauge how different this one was from his. His was actually slightly heavier, but he could use mine just fine.
Once upon a time ago, we had watched a pair of professionals do a whole routine at a circus, videoed it, and then spent the entire summer trying to copy it exactly. Now, we could do it more or less flawlessly. But before we started, we both stepped in the hoop and spun around before rolling in circles to make sure that we still knew what we were doing.
We barely got halfway through our routine before Andrew jumped up and clapped loudly. “That's amazing! I want to try!”
Chuckling just slightly evilly, we stopped the wheel and gestured for him to come over. Even after we explained how it worked – demonstrating it a couple of times – Andrew still had a very hard time not falling. He kept trying though, definitely one of those that was determined to do his best in everything.
Watch your hands!” I shouted just in time. He had nearly rolled in a circle without opening his hands – which would have crushed his fingers.
Eventually, he admitted defeat. “This is just a bit too hard for me.”
I gave him a thorough kiss as a reward for trying. “You get an A for effort though!”
Ian got a phone call and excused himself. When he returned a few minutes later, he kissed me on the cheek. “I've gotta go. My mom is in town for a few hours and she insists that we have dinner.”
Bye,” I said, kissing him on the cheek. “Tell her I said hi.”
Will do,” he promised, and then waved to Andrew before he left. “Nice meeting you!”
You too,” Andrew called after him. When we were alone, he pulled me close for another kiss. “I like him and I approve of him as a friend with benefits.”
I laughed impishly. “For me or for you?”
He rolled his eyes, and then affected a lisp as he flapped his hand at me. “For both of us, don't you know!”
Really?” I wondered curiously.
Nah,” he stated honestly. “I'll play a gay character and even kiss and whatever I'm asked to do for a scene, but I am not gay in real life. Although, judging by how your eye wandered while we were shopping, I'm pretty sure that you like the ladies too.”
Guilty as charged,” I admitted with a laugh.
I don't mind. It brings intriguing possibilities to mind!” Andrew said, wiggling his eyebrows at me.
I laughed and snuggled into him. “I'm beginning to think that our marriage is going to be so much fun!”
I agree,” he stated and then led me to my bedroom. “Let's have a bit of fun before I go. Since my flight is at 4 AM, I shouldn't spend the night.”
I nodded in agreement, and then ran hand in hand with him. We threw our clothes all around my room and then hit the bed with a loud thunk. I am so glad that my mother and grandmother aren't home right now!

Go To Chapter 5 

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