He lay there, wrapped in eternal darkness, the utter stillness surrounding him like a warm blanket on a cold winter night. He saw nothing, felt nothing, knew only that he existed, outside of time and space, outside of the world as it was and is.
“Rise, my darling knight.”
A frown pulled at his lips, the first movement in centuries registering as a strange tingling sensation on his otherwise frozen face. The area in front of his closed eyelids brightened, fading from a deep, impenetrable black to a reddish brown. He tried opening them, but they refused to cooperate.
“Time to wake.”
The sweet voice filtered through unaccustomed ears, piercing the oppressive silence. It echoed in his head, the soft tones vibrating like a church bell at midday. He focused on the words and knitted his brow as he struggled to understand them.
“Is there something wrong?”
A different voice this time, huskier, deeper, concerned. Behind it he could hear the happy twitter of birds in the spring. The long bout of noiselessness had heightened his hearing and he listened as they hopped from tree limb to tree limb, frolicking in the leaves. He could hear bigger movements aside from the birds, scratching noises and grunts that seemed both near and distant.
“I don’t know. He should have awakened by now.”
The beautiful lilting voice was back, tinged with worry. His heart yearned to sooth the fear and began beating furiously. He tried to open his eyes again, but they would not yield. His lungs contracted, forcing his tightly pressed lips apart, and he gasped for the sweet air that had been denied him for so long. His back arched as he took several deep breaths, driving the life force through his body. His hands went unbidden to the sides of his enclosure and pressed against the smooth surface. It felt cool to the touch and he shivered briefly as his fingers scratched frantically at the walls surrounding him. Finally they reached open space and he gripped the edge weakly.
“Ah, there we go.”
He pulled, his muscles bulging, slowly, painfully raising himself to a seated position, and collapsed halfway over the wall. A light wind brushed over his bare shoulders, sending a prickling sensation down his spine. With much effort, he willed his eyes to open. A sea of green exploded into view, its bright color dampened by his blurry vision. He blinked repeatedly, trying to clear away the fog that seemed to be embedded in his brain. He pressed his eyes closed and took a deep breath.
When he opened them again, he could see more clearly. The green sea was really a field. He raised his gaze as far as he could without moving, as he had no strength to do so. The bright blue of the sky hurt his eyes and he lowered them quickly. Glancing to the sides, he saw two other men climbing from glass enclosures wearing nothing but a pair of cloth leggings and a matching shirt. They were familiar, though he could not place them immediately.
A rustling beside him caught his attention and his ears pricked toward the noise a mere fraction of a second before he felt a slight pressure on his shoulder. A woman knelt in front of him, her soft yellow dress draped in layers over her slim body. Her skin was kissed by the sun and smooth as silk. He followed the line of her shoulder to an exquisite, perfectly shaped bosom that peeked tantalizingly above the dress. His eyes continued upward, tracing her clavicle and the elegant curve of her neck. Her soft chin led to bright red lips. The smile there was warm and inviting, yet cruel and dangerous at the same time. A perfectly formed nose flared slightly as the smile grew in eyes that were bluer than the sky above her golden hair. A perfectly manicured nail reached out and stroked his cheek, leaving a trail of excitement dancing across his skin.
“Welcome back to the world of the living, my handsome king.”
Genre – Paranormal Romance
Rating – PG