I saw the jealously creep through the corner of his eyes. Weighing his options carefully, my eyes met his. They were cold and menacing. Calculating his next move, he stared with disgust, snarling and gritting his teeth. Agitated and ready to dismiss me like an unwelcomed house guest, his face transformed into a wild furious rage. Galen flinched at him ready to strike. Useless and unsure what to do, I contemplated methods to carve out time. We needed a distraction to get away. The odds were against us and we were outnumbered. It would be impossible, but I had to try. Standing helpless did neither one of us any good. Lars threatening eyes navigated across the dark room, assessing Galen’s stance. My body felt like a frozen corpse. I was surprised I was still breathing. He could sense the tremor and fear that held me hostage. The fear began to grip at me forming a more noticeable shaky disposition. Lars looked please. The urgency and satisfaction on his face gave away his desire and lust for sole power and control. He wanted to exterminate me like a pest infesting his home. The sharp edge of his mouth lined with precise formation, outlined his perfectly square and still jaw. I knew he wanted to kill me then. I could feel it flushing through every nerve ending in my body. If it weren’t for their strict laws within their realm, the attempt to launch at me would be complete. Galen growled waiting and anticipating a flinch or movement. His body was different. If not for his unfathomable eyes that captivated my heart I would hardly recognize his completely solid and hard physique. The sound of my teeth chattering was deafening and I swore everyone could hear. But no one responded, relieved it remained partially in my mind. Yet, the tremors did not stop. It ran down my hands, feet, bellowing shreds of vicious pain through my entire body. “Don’t worry,” Lars spoke. Halting his hands up like a stop sign in Galen’s direction. “I’m not going to harm her.” Each flicker of his footsteps treading closer unleashed a large panic. I thought I would lose all consciousness at that moment. Tracking his steps carefully, Galen moved an inch closer in Lars direction. “She’s a pretty thing.” I heard Lars say. Amusingly, he licked his lips. He could have been prepping for dessert the way he focused on me. This made me utterly nervous. At this point, I had no idea how Galen reacted. Too many patches of dark clouds and vision of deep murky water hovered controlling my mind. My subconscious drifted revisiting and remembering our beginning and what brought us to this immeasurable moment. Outside the weather is captivating, unusually windy for the summer season here in my hometown of Gold Coast, Australia. No overcast of clouds, only a few cotton ball clouds scattered across the sensational blue sky. The sun beamed down. Not hot at all, just enough to warm the earth. A blustery cool breeze traveled, shifting the wind gracefully back and forth. Purposefully walking slowly, I enjoyed the warm sun against my skin as I made my way to the parking lot. Adjusting my seat belt in the car, I took a moment to look in the mirror surprised to see a glow illuminating my eyes. A soft glint of chestnut and vibrant golden honey brightened my light incandescent hazelnut complexion. Wow, even I was impressed by how incredible youthful and supple my face looked. Grateful for the extra dose of vitamin D I soaked up earlier listening to my iPod. I sat waiting in parking lot traffic on campus at Bond University. Checking the rear view mirror I backed out slowly. I hardly inched out of the space. With my foot on the brake I flickered through different radio stations, but nothing appealed to me. Deciding to pick a CD, I changed my mind unexpectedly more interested in letting my mind wonder. During work, I day dreamed of his flawless features sitting at my work desk visualizing his seductive translucent eyes. Frustrated with the lack of concentration and focus impassively inputting research data in the computer from Monday, I suddenly realized his enchanting affect, almost as if he’s cast a spell over me. Just thinking about it gave me chills, wastefully dismissing the promise I made yesterday to forget about him. “What do you do in between class?” He asked as we walked through the hallway. Hoping not to embarrass myself, I surprisingly managed to compose myself and answer. “Listen to music on my iPod, review class notes, or catch up on reading assignments. Depends on the day;” proud of myself for answering without any slip ups. “And your next class?” “In about an hour,” I answered. Timidly following his eyes, I was blown away by a tantalizing scent trailing off his body; the aroma expanded a craving for more. “Care if I join you?” “No, not at all,” I responded overly thrilled. We sat and talked, the hours passing like minutes discussing Dr. Griffin’s lectures and joking about the jock flirting in class with the girls with no success. I wanted to stay and talk forever, baffled for once believing it would be difficult to have a conversation with him. “Let’s get you to class. Don’t want you to be late.” “I don’t mind,” I said shyly. “Well…guess I’ll see you next week. Have a good weekend Sky.” Somehow he managed to make my name sound new and exotic. For the next few weeks, we talked and hung out whenever we could. Excitement plagued me, consumed by anxiousness, accompanied with a wild radical urge to be around him constantly. I wanted to learn more about him. Our conversations were unconfined, liberating and honest. I hung onto each word, mesmerized by his gentle harmonic voice, as a wealth of wisdom poured from his mouth. Listening intently, smitten by his charismatic demeanor, intrigue quickly transformed into chemistry. An unexplained instant connection, some form of magnetic force pulling us together. Fiercely independent and self-confident before, I felt like a school girl experiencing her first crush as I buckled in his gaze. “Sky, no one has ever captured me the way you have. You’ve captured me in all ways, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. This is all very new to me and I’ am not sure how to digest it all.” My body quivered under the spell of his thumbs moving across the top of my lips. Every desire, passion, and openness to share myself jolted through my skin shooting like a bolt of lightning, attacking each fiber and cell in my body. An intense burst of flame devoured me, releasing streams of present needs. Reason and logic escaped me. My mind descended unconcerned with understanding, instead exposing a cluster of inner sensations, pushing to let go. As my thoughts faded away, my sensations magnified. The tenderness of his lips perfectly formed and curved cupped the bottom of my lips with the top of his, bringing me to a halt. “You okay?” He asked. “Yes, just happy that’s all.” I got lost in his eyes, illuminated by its shimmer. I could sense his want overlapping with concern, not wanting to lose control. We kissed again. “Sky” he said, “you make me feel things I’ve never felt before, some sort of surreal emotion, leaping out, unable to restrain and compose myself.” “Then don’t,” I say assertively. We kissed again caught in our coven of passion tangled in a web of hunger for each other. Releasing his lips from mines, he stared at me with complete vigor. “I have to be careful around you…” he smiled, his dashing face kicking my hormones into overdrive. “Well, we don’t have to stop,” planting a kiss on the top of his mouth. “See what I mean,” he mumbled through closed lips. “Let’s take a break for awhile before we both loose ourselves.” “I don’t see anything wrong with that.” “You’re good,” he mused, stroking the side of my face and then softly planted a kissed on the side of my cheek. “Alright,” I moped. “How come you’ve never invited me over to your place?” “You don’t like hanging out here?” He asked. “Yes…it’s lovely, but at some point I would like to see inside your home, unless you don’t want me to.” “I don’t have a problem with you coming to my place…if things were different.” Adjusting myself and moving out of his locked hold, rejection crept its way inside leaving me with hundreds of unwanted accusations. “Why…?” Sneering the word out. “Is it because you don’t want me in your space…or some secret girlfriend I’m not supposed to know about?” Snickering at my comment…”You have quite an inventive imagination, but no…no secret girlfriend.” “Okay, then what? I swear if you’re some kind of slob, I won’t judge. I’m used to cleaning up anyways. You’ve never seen the inside of my dad’s experiment room… it’s a disaster, like a pack of raccoons were let loose and rummaged through everything.” “I’ll assure you I have no raccoons running around…,” he laughed. “A lot of my family members like to stop by…unannounced.” “Okay, not understanding the big deal. “A lot of people have family members that do that.” “Yeah but my family are a little unique.” “Isn’t everyone’s…?” “I guess. You might have a point.” “How about tomorrow?” He asked “Yeah…” Shrieking and lunging myself into his arms. “I should’ve invited you sooner if it knew it would make you this happy.” “I’ll stop by after work on Friday.” At work I could hardly concentrate I was too excited to see his place and spend time together. He is so gorgeous, his smooth silky skin dominate in my mind. Thinking of him I stuttered with a taste of desire wanting to feel his embrace and chest against mines. Reviewing the directions he text me, I found the place fairly easily. Pulling up to newly built condominiums, I used the spare card he gave me to enter in the residents parking garage. I parked and got out the car and walked over to an exit door. It was open. Inside was a long hallway. I searched around for the elevator access and pressed P liked he instructed. At the time I had no idea what the P stood for. I knocked hesitating to use the key he gave me. After a few unanswered knocks, I opened the door with the key. The place was immaculate and beautiful. There was a long hallway with several large contemporary art hung along muted subtle pale like white gray walls. In awe of the living space and the bright natural light shining through the large glass windows, I was amazed by the stunning view of the city. There were some other condo buildings in sight, but it didn’t obstruct the view. Noticing a metal framed stairwell that curved around in circles to another floor, I assumed his bedroom would be up there. I began to question if I beat him here, but soon I heard the voice of someone talking. I took a few steps up the stairwell and could hear parts of a conversation. It sounded abrasive, and unkind. Listening further I felt guilty for ease dropping. Jumping to the sound of footsteps I darted back to the living room, sitting on the sleek modern couch, as my heart sprinted out of my chest. “You’re here,” he gloated. “Why didn’t you say something?” “I didn’t want to disturb you,” I answered dubiously. “Well, I’m glad you’re here,” joining me on the couch and kissing my forehead. But I couldn’t concentrate. Instead my mind was swirling with dozens of questions. “Something wrong?” “No,” I mustered. “Your place is unbelievable, and clean, so much for the raccoon theory.” “So I pass,” he joked… “I’m not a slob?” “Far from it,” I managed to answer but distracted by other things on my mind. “Come, I want to show you the rest,” taking my hands and leading me off the couch.Then without reservation, I blurted out. “You’re not some kind of spy are you? I asked suspiciously. He chuckled, bursting into full on laughter. “This is amusing to you, because it’s not to me.” “Kind of,” he joked. “So you think I am a spy, eh?” “Well…?” Looking up at him and nervously waiting for an answer. His expression doubtfully addressed mines. “Would you answer the question already? Are you a spy or not?” I shouted out. “What would give you such an idea?” He asked his eyes steadily and securely locked with mines. Afraid of the confirmation, my eyes zeroed in on my feet, searching for a distraction-- not wanting to face him. Crap, things were better off when I knew less… or before I came here. Except I should know I told myself unconvincingly. “Such little faith you have in me Sky,” his voice low with a hint of disappointment trailing. “Little faith, are you serious? Well, it’s not like you aren’t mysterious at times and answer questions using some kind of cryptic speech I don’t understand.” My frustration barreled over. “I never know what you’re thinking or how you feel. And I mean unreserved and unsolicited. It’s hard to understand you at times.” Looking down then up and proceeding forward, I watched him take small steps toward me. “And you still haven’t answered my question.” Determined not to let his face distract me, we stood face to face, our nose almost touching, but I resisted. Then he circled his thumb around the tip of my chin. “No Sky, I am not a spy.” His eyes locked permanently with mines. Both relief and irritation escaped me. “Now my turn,” he said. “For what?” I asked conscious of the confusion written on my face. “You haven’t answered my question.” “And what question is that?” “Why did you think I was a spy?” Slightly embarrassed and biting my bottom lip, I shuffled my feet nervously across the floor. My anxiety increased as he focused staring directly at me. “I ah…I…” How am I going to tell him I was listening in on his conversation? Great going Sky I thought miserable. Now he’s going to think I am a stalker. This is not going to go over well. “I…” swallowing deeply…and pausing for awhile. “I overheard some of your conversation. Guess curiosity got the best of me. It’s wrong I know I quickly said,” hoping he’ll forgive me and erase this misunderstanding from memory. “You could have asked me,” he replied caressing the side of my face. Raising an eyebrow at him, he immediately smiled. “I wouldn’t have to;” I mumbled, “If you would just explain everything to me.” “Is there more?” He asked not breaking his smile or position in front of me. “Yes. I overheard you speaking with someone about returning back home and it being dangerous and something about putting yourself and others in jeopardy. Who were you speaking to?” He remained expressionless making it difficult to rationalize what he was thinking. “It’s complicated.” He answered and his smile disappeared. Aware of my aggravation, I decided on a subtle approach. “You can tell me,” I said reassuringly, hoping the tenderness in my voice would soothe him. “I can’t Sky, not now.” Unable to contain myself, I barked back. “Why not?” “Because, you’ve already heard too much.” “But I don’t understand. Some clarity would help. You’ve told me you’re not a spy and I believe you, but I am still left in the dark.” Moving in closer our lips made close contact. “Galen, what is it? I’m sure whatever it is it can’t be that bad. Tell me.” Jumping at the tone of his voice, “Leave it alone Sky. Let’s not discuss it further.” “That’s it, just like that we’re supposed to end the conversation because you say so,” I yelled back. “It’s not like that.” “Yes it is. I answer all your questions and all I get in return is a portion of whatever you decide to tell me.” “Sky please, don’t,” attempting to calm me down. “No, you don’t. I see this is going nowhere,” I yelled and then I stormed off out the door. “Wait,” he shouted catching up to me quickly. “Don’t go.” “If you’re not going to talk then I see no reason to stay.” Pacing back and forth, running his fingers through his hair repeatedly he appeared frazzled, disoriented even, shockingly unlike him. “I don’t want you to leave, at least not upset.” “Are you going to tell me what the conversation was about and who you were talking to?” “Believe me Sky, if I could I would,” he pleaded with me. “Why so reluctant then?” “I told you, it’s complicated.” Throwing my hands up in defeat as I walked off again, I yelled. “Forget it.” “You’re going?” “Yes.” I shouted back. I was so angry. I fumed out of the condo and made my way to the elevator. I didn’t care, not right now. “Gosh he frustrates me,” yet I knew it’s because I did care. “Sky,” he shouted, running after me. “Don’t leave,” chasing after me and looking panicked. Catching up to me he gripped my shoulders and begged me to stay. Absorbing my mouth with his lips, “can I show you rest of the place now?” “Lead the way.” “This is your room,” I asked warily. “Yes.” The room was large and beautiful. Opening the sliding glass door, we stepped outside onto a considerable large patio, pleasantly enjoying the sight and observing the other newly constructed condos. “Goosh…I bet the view at night is amazing here. The city lights, stars… it would be wonderful to see out here.” “Well, we can come out here tonight and see if you want.” Gasping back a large gulp…”Here?” “Yes, if you want…” “I haven’t thought about spending the night. It didn’t even cross my mind. I’d love to.” “The other room is yours as well …you know to sleep there if you prefer.” “No,” I objected… “I would rather sleep next to you.” “Okay, guess that’s settled,” he smiled. “By the way, I meant to ask you, what did the P in the elevator stand for?” “Penthouse.” “Wait here,” he said opening the closed sliding glass door and stepping into the bedroom. Coming back with the largest grin on his face I’ve ever seen, he extended his hand out with his palm facing up. “Dance with me,” the words fresh and sweet spilled out of his mouth. And before I could grasp the full extent of what was going on, the music started up. There had to be speakers somewhere because the music sounded clear and just loud enough for us to be coddled in the moment without disturbing anyone. Putting my hands into his I flushed and thrived with delight. He held me close, our bodies pressed against one another. A male voice began to sing words to go along with the sweet melody. He felt so warm and protective. I couldn’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else in the world than where I was, snuggled and wrapped in his arms. “This song begins to describe how I feel, the words perfect and right…always.” My emotions were unkempt as we danced and swayed to the song…his song to me. “Who is it by?” I whispered, holding onto him embracing and caught in the moment with my head pressed against his chest. “Blake Shelton, God gave me you.” “It’s beautiful,” cuddling close together as we kissed underneath the night sky. Stepping out of the tent, we decided to go camping that day, I rested in our hammock and pointed at the stars. It all seemed so far away, yet close. As the day departed and nightfall approached, his eyes mystified, sparkling brightly underneath the glowing moonlight. “What are you thinking about?” He said turning his face towards me. “The stars and how magical they are. Even from here, looking up at the stars, as far away as it is, it still seems close, almost like you can touch it.” Then his hands touched my face. “There is something special about you Sky, I am very drawn to you,” he said searching for a response in my eyes. His touch felt warm, safe, and gentle. Just like the stars, the moment became magical. “Sky,” he said with sorrowful eyes, “it pains me not to tell you certain things. It’s so hard. I risk putting you and everyone I know in danger.” “What’s wrong? What are you not telling me?” His face regretful, he said too much. “Huh….” He sighed. He began to speak slowly…”where I am from or the way I am taught it is uncommon to have such intense feelings at our age.” “What do you mean, what are you talking about?” “Just a misunderstanding Sky, forget about it.” His bleak expression gave nothing away, only a nipping arctic response. But I knew better, I heard what he said. “No, tell me,” I demanded in a high pitch tone. “It’s nothing for you to worry about...no worries,” he said brushing his fingers through my hair, then on to my face. His touch nice, but I didn’t want to be distracted. “You can’t say something like that and expect me to forget.” “Sky,” he said, “please don’t make more out of it than it is. I don’t want to argue with you,” leaning over to kiss my forehead. “What!!!” I exclaimed unsure of what he meant. “I don’t understand what you mean. There’s an age when you are expected to love. How can you be told when to love?” His forehead frowned tightly; lips crinkled, and slowly and quietly assessed what he should say. After a few more silent seconds, he responded. “Not quite like that but close. The value of love is cherished and is very important, so much that individuals are expected to experience those emotions at a suitable age when they are mature and their minds are developed to rationalize and make wise decisions.” “And what age is that?” “Age twenty five for men and women. It’s considered an ideal age at which men and woman are young enough to be healthy, but old enough to be mentally developed. It’s a great time to have children and raise a family, at least that’s how we are taught.” “So you’re told to start a family at twenty five,” trying not to sound too bewildered and confused, even though I was. “Not quite. At twenty five you can begin to choose your partner and have a family if you decide. But twenty five is just the age where you start this journey. Any age after that is acceptable.” “So anytime before the age of twenty five is not recommended? “Yes. It’s not impossible I assume to fall in love and start a family before then, but we see it as reckless and presumptuous to love so young.” “We, you said we. Do you believe that as well?” “My upbringing has taught me so, but since I have met you it changed. For example, I would be expected to wait four more years to feel the way I do about you… since I am only twenty one. It’s not so bad Sky, they just want everyone to achieve their best and maintain a rich healthy life.” “You were right earlier, this is bizarre and I disagree, its control.” That night, I couldn’t sleep. What he said replayed in my mind. Somehow I have to figure out what all this meant because I didn’t know how to quite comprehend what he told me. It’s all so strange to me. He wasn’t in class on Tuesday or Thursday again and we had only one more class on Tuesday until classes were over. We were at a crossroad and the impending conversation which I knew we had to have was not making things any easier. I dread having the conversation, but I also wanted to know why he’s been different and distant. “Where have you been? You haven’t been in class and you haven’t returned any of my phone calls,” I glared angrily at him. “I am so angry with you.” “Sky, leave it alone.” Anger radiated from his face as he stared deliberately into my eyes. “That’s all you have to say,” hurt by his careless attitude. “Galen whatever it is we can work through it, but you need to talk to me,” pleading desperately, my eyes searched his for a resolution. “No we can’t,” he snapped back. Standing firm, the uncompassionate expression on his face and delivery too painful to endure, his coldness was unfamiliar to me. “Why are you doing this?” “I have no choice,” he mustered chokingly. Speaking cold and flat, his words were foreign to me. Then worry began to plague me like dooms day. “Yes you do,” I yelled hoping this was a test and he wanted to see how I would react if he threatened to leave. But the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach gave me no satisfaction or confirmation as to that. Yet I still hoped. “No,” he said gripping his hand and balling them into a fist, as he clenched his teeth. “No, I don’t. It’s better this way for you, for me, for us.” His words sent a frosty chill that stung into my skin. The words penetrated like a dagger cutting deeply. Wounded by his sharp tongue, the pain was numbing. “Don’t decide for me.” Disappointed he could say such things with ease. “I am doing this for your protection.” “What protection?” I questioned still baffled by the assertiveness in his tone. “What are you protecting me from? I don’t need protection. I need you to tell me what’s going on,” lowering my voice a little, noticing a few people gawking in our direction. “There is nothing for you to know, other than I cannot stay. Sky, we come from two different worlds. If I tell you more I risk putting you in danger.” “Galen.” My heart sank and shattered into a million pieces. Unsuccessfully grasping for air I was drowning and afraid I wouldn’t be able to stand much longer. “Will you come back?” The sound of my voice went hoarse and broke. Evading the question, he sealed my forehead with a kiss, eluding my thoughts. “No,” he whispered. “Galen, please no.” Then a vision of glass breaking occupied my mind, as my world slowly fell apart. “Forget about me, live your life.” “But…” my voice cracked… “You’re my life.” “It won’t work between us,” holding my face in his hands. Silently he engaged me in his focus, mapping an outline of my features, absorbing some kind of mental picture. How could he do this? Why is he doing this? I stood still, silent and in disbelief. A cold chill I never felt before ran through me pricking my skin like frozen metal pins. Unable to process all that just happened; I fell to my knees and sobbed uncontrollable. “Forget about me Sky, I’m serious.” Faintly hearing his last words. At home on the table in the kitchen sat a small digital device. I stripped the note off with my name on it. I opened and pressed play. An unfamiliar voice and a face I did not recognize appeared. A man good looking with malicious eyes spoke. “Hello Sky, I’m Lars, one of the head civil leaders, the realm where Galen’s from. He’s in danger and is being held hostage at the main head chamber. Directions to the chamber will be given at the end of this video. I’ve known about your relationship. He misses you. We need your help.” I didn’t know how I could help but not going wasn’t an option. I grabbed my belongings and headed to where my destiny and faith awaited. Things were going well; unexpectedly I got in without any major problems, the adrenaline fueling the extra push I needed. “You’ve put on a quite a show and caused some problems,” snarled Lars. “She’s caused more than that,” interjected a civil leader. I didn’t know what to expect and then I saw his eyes and sensed the radical change. With his mouth open, Galen plunged through the cage, jumping through the electric shocks set in place. There was some sort of metallic dripping of tiny silver droplets that melted off his body like silver paint. In a torrent of rage, unleashing unfathomable strength, and executing fatal blows to the guards approaching, his moves were elusive and tactful. Attacking aggressively, his chest and shoulders broadened. His body became solid, turning a shade of silver, metallic now, just like the guy who brought me here. “GET HIM,” Lars yelled. Realizing I had no time, I ran, heading straight towards Galen unaware of the danger behind me, my only focus on getting to Galen. “Get the girl….I heard Lars shout wickedly.” “Sky look out….” Galen yelled. Surging into the air, landing perfectly on his feet, his hand twisted around one of the guards neck. With a quick twist, he snapped the guard’s neck and his body fell lifelessly to the ground. More guards surged through the entrance, noticing the metallic guy fighting off several guards one at a time. “Get her out of here,” the guy who helped us shouted. “I‘ll hold them off as long as I can.” “Sky go, I’ll catch up with you,” Galen signaled to me to leave, “I m going to help him.” “No I am not leaving you.” “You guys go, get out of here,” the guy yelled. Let’s go,” his voice rang softly in my ear. Ready to proceed and although afraid, I felt excited waiting to explore and discover whatever destination was to come with Galen by my side.