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  1. Chapter Seven

    More is definitely on the way
  2. Chapter Seven

    I'm happy to be back and thank you for the comment! Vampires are gaining power and it's very unfortunate that wolves like Zev are taking much of the heat when they're only servants to the true enemy, but hopefully Zev's police skills will help him solve the mystery behind this secret society while protecting Lucky as well.
  3. Chapter Seven

    Lucky was sitting on the couch and watching another news channel that was talking about golems that were shaped like statues and made of fertile soil, allowing plants to grow on them and produce fresh fruits and vegetables. These golems would help people living in food deserts to have access to fresh produce. Also, genies have become a new form of electricity by plugging themselves into various electronics, hopefully cutting the use of fossil fuels in the future and allowing the magical creatures of Arabic origin to have a place to live as personal assistants to phones and computers. Lucky smiled at this, knowing that at least some good things were happening after magic was revealed to exist in this world. Lucky then heard footsteps and he looked from the television to see Cecil again who was dressed in casual attire with his hair that was whiter than snow combed neatly on his head. “Um, hey, Cecil.” “Hello, Lucky. Good to know you’re still here. Do you know where Zev is?” Cecil asked as he crossed the room and sat down in the same armchair. “Oh, right now he’s driving Violet back to her home. He should be back in a few,” Lucky answered. “Oh, okay.” Cecil stretched his legs and placed his feet on the edge of the coffee table. “So…did you two make up?” “We did,” Lucky said, smiling. “Good.” Leaning back against his seat, Cecil then said, “Just treat my friend right, okay? He has been through a lot and he deserves someone who cares about him. All he has done for most of his life was look out for others. Whether those others were good or bad is debatable, but I know his grandmother and Velvet were good people.” “Oh…can you tell me about them if you don’t mind?” “Sure, but you didn’t hear it from me,” Cecil said with a smirk. “Zev wasn’t always a person who enforced the law, let alone follow it. When he was a teen, he was in a gang like many other wolves, an unfortunate reality that plagued their people for centuries. Anyways, one day he was told by his pack leader to rob an abandoned house. Zev didn’t want to, but he couldn’t disobey his leader. Live for the pack, die for the pack they always say. “So, the next day Zev broke into the house and started looking for anything valuable. And that was when an elderly woman appeared. Zev panicked and he pointed his gun at her, and it only got worse when Velvet, the woman’s grandkid, came to visit only a minute later. Zev then held them hostage in the bedroom where they sat on the bed while he looked for any jewelry or money. Then he grabbed the girl’s purse which didn’t have anything either. Just cookies. And what came next was unexpected to say the least.” Lucky leaned forward with his arms on his lap, anticipating what would come next when he heard someone clear their throat. Lucky turned to see Zev who looked angry. *** “Cecil! What are you doing?” Zev asked with his hands in fists. “Oh, there you are, Zev,” Cecil said cheerfully. “I was just telling Lucky about—” “Yeah, I know what you were telling Lucky. My question is why?” Zev asked, throwing his keys onto the end table and roughly removing his jacket. “Just wanted him to know more about your story. That’s all,” Cecil said innocently. “And you decided to him tell that one?” Zev said before scoffing. “Well, I think it’s a good story, about how you went from robbing an elderly woman’s home to becoming a person who enforces the law. That’s very—” “Cecil, just stop,” Zev insisted as he kicked off his shoes and dropped onto the couch next to Lucky. “It’s been a long day and there’s already a lot of things that still need to be done. Talking about my past will not be one of them.” “Okay, okay. Whatever you say,” Cecil said, lifting his hands up in surrender. Absolutely exhausted, Zev sat on the couch in a slouching position and was covering his eyes with a hand. He did not want his eyes to give away the emotions he was experiencing right now just from the memory of that day that changed him to be who he was today. “You’re a wolf, aren’t you?” Zev looked at the elderly woman who was sitting on the side of the bed with a girl in a red hooded jacket clutching her hands. They were both being held hostage by Zev as he tried to find anything of value that he could steal, like jewelry, so he could bring something back to his pack leader. But everything was going wrong. Zev’s pack leader had ordered him to break into a house and find anything that was worth stealing since the place was supposedly abandoned. He did not want to do it, but no one disobeyed the pack leader and Zev told himself that he should be fortunate to be in the most powerful gang in the city, if not in the entire East Coast. Zev knew that his pack leader was likely tricking him by saying that the house was abandoned and was withholding some information, so that he would be less hesitant to break into it. That was wolf nature, tricking people into getting what they want ever since the time of those infamous fairy tales. But the truth was that he wanted to prove himself to the pack, especially to the pack leader who he was having feelings for, maybe intimate feelings for, and this was a major step forward from the mundane work he usually did for the pack that involved little risk, but also little reward and respect as well. The pack leader was no Prince Charming, but Zev wanted to prove himself regardless to the pack leader and if nothing else, show everyone else in the pack that he was indeed a wolf and not a wimp. And the smile the pack leader had given him when he accepted the challenge was breath-taking. So, Zev walked all the way to the neighborhood where the house was located since he did not want to drive his car, which people could identify. As he walked in the neighborhood’s street, he passed a young girl walking in the same direction. She was carrying a purse that could have contained everything that he needed to please his pack leader. But he decided not to. Even though he was a gang member, he still had lines that he would not cross, and that included not stealing from children. Zev walked faster, leaving the girl behind and he eventually reached the house that looked abandoned as described from the overgrown grass on the front lawn to the chipping white paint on the house’s siding. Zev walked into the house, the front door unlocked, and looked around the living room that had a sparse amount of furniture and a television that looked like it still displayed shows in black and white. He did not see anything of value immediately, but he decided to start opening drawers with the hope that there was some hidden treasure. “Velvet? Is that you?” Pausing after hearing that voice, Zev remained silent as he heard footsteps coming closer to where he was. He slowly pulled out his gun from the waistband of his pants and when he saw someone entering the living room, he pointed his gun at the stranger. He was surprised to see an elderly woman who looked at him with confusion. And things only got worse when the front door opened and the same girl he had just encountered entered with a smile on her face, the most probable reason why the front door was unlocked. However, when she saw Zev with his gun drawn, she screamed and Zev had to shout at her to close her mouth as he ordered the two people to the bedroom, wishing it had not come to this. Now here Zev was, holding a child and elder hostage as he pulled all the drawers out of their hinges to find anything, anything worth any value but failed. He kept telling himself in his head that he was being forced rob from a child to due to the circumstances, but that was failing as well as he panicked. He even took the girl’s purse, hoping to at least find a phone, but the only thing that was inside was cookies which he tossed to the floor in frustration. Then when the woman asked him that question, he was amazed how gently she asked him that without sounding panicked, unlike the girl who was shaking uncontrollably. Taken aback when the woman asked him whether he was a wolf, which meant she saw him for what he really was, Zev dropped the drawer he was looking through onto the floor said, “Why would you assume that?” “I can tell, and you’re not the only wolf who comes into this neighborhood,” the woman stated gently. “Dealing drugs, selling your bodies…robbing homes. I know wolves only do it because they feel that is the only option for them ever since the time of the Big Bad Wolf in those fairy tales tarnished their image forever. But you…you don’t have to be like the others. You can still walk away from this.” “Granny!” the girl objected. “It’s okay, Velvet. He’s just scared.” Looking at Zev, the woman then said, “You don’t really want to hurt us, do you?” Zev’s jaw clenched as he thought about the real reason why he was here right now. He was just following his pack leader’s orders, saying it was for the betterment of the pack, a pack of wolves who were all struggling to just survive. However, after not finding anything of value except for the cookies in the girl’s purse, he could assume that this pair was also struggling to get by, if not more. Then memories of his grandmother appeared in his mind, a person he had tried hard to forget for more than a decade. She took care of him after his parents were both killed in a war between packs. She raised him to the best of her ability despite suffering from lung cancer from decades of smoking even though wolves had powerful lungs that could blow houses away. The day when Zev stood by his grandmother’s hospital bed, clutching her hand as she took her final breath still stabbed at him every time he thought about it. And the worst part was how he promised her that he would not end up in the same situation as his parents, in a pack that would eventually be his death sentence. He remembered her smile before the monitors went flat and he stood there crying his lungs out until nurses escorted him out of the room. She was his only remaining family and Zev remembered the day after when he stood by the shore of the city that he was born in, holding the cremations of his grandmother since he could not give her a proper funeral. The wind was strong, blowing to the endless expanse of the sea and he released her ashes into the air. She was carried by the wind that once again filled her body as he made his final farewell to her. The elderly woman almost looked like Zev’s grandmother who he loved so much and he betrayed her as well by eventually joining a pack since he thought he had no other options. But looking into those woman’s eyes, he thought he was looking into his grandmother’s eyes as well and her words had so much more impact than the eyes of social workers and foster parents, all the people who told him that the life he was leading was a terrible one. “I’m…I’m sorry,” Zev apologized as looked down at the floor where the cookies were scattered. “It’s okay, sweetie,” the woman said. “If you ever want to come back to my home, you’ll be very welcomed. I won’t have anything to steal, but I always have something to eat if you’re hungry. All you have to do is ask.” “Seriously?” Zev asked. The woman gave a warm smile. “Any time.” With his shaking hand still holding the gun, Zev gave one last look at the elderly woman and the girl, mouthing another apology to the red hooded girl. He then slowly backed away before turning around and running out of the bedroom and out of the house. And as he ran out of the neighborhood, he knew he was just a small, scared wimp. Who knew that Zev would eventually take the elderly woman’s offer to visit her house again where she would change his life forever. He would eventually quit the pack despite his pack leader’s objections, become a police officer, specifically in the K9 unit, and use his abilities as a wolf to help society rather than hurt it, proving wolves could be good people as well. Through his transformation, he always had the woman who he would consider his other grandmother and even Velvet who treated him like a big brother despite their bumpy start. The moral of the story: even the Big Bad Wolf can have a happy ending. However, happy endings did not actually exist, life always continued and life for Zev was more complicated than ever. Returning to reality, Zev dropped his hands onto his lap and looked at Lucky who had a look of understanding on his face. “I’m sorry that I’m not in the best mood,” Zev apologized. “It’s okay. I understand,” Lucky said with a reassuring smile. “You have a lot on your plate right now, considering you just rescued both me and Violet from real-life vampires from doing Godmother knows what to us.” “Yeah…and considering that the vampires have never outright attacked humans in public before, they must’ve wanted you very badly.” “I wonder if it’s on the news,” Cecil suddenly said as he grabbed the remote from the armrest of his chair and switched the channel on the television. “Weird? The local news is saying it was a mass shooting that happened at the restaurant,” Lucky said. “It’s not actually weird at all. Vampires are secretly gaining more political power by obtaining important positions in the government, and it won’t be farfetched to believe that they now have the power to influence the major news media outlets to not cover what actually happened back at that restaurant,” Zev inquired. “And no doubt they also have people at the scene covering up all the evidence that vampires were the ones involved.” “So…what does that mean for us?” Lucky asked. “It means that I need to do more investigating into what these vampires want, and if that means going undercover in my wolf form then so be it.” “What can I do?” Lucky asked, scooting closer to Zev. “Right now, you need to stay someplace safe. These vampires are obviously after you and you getting captured by them is the last thing that I want to happen,” Zev insisted as he began scrolling through a list of contacts on his phone. “Well, my home has a lot security there, so I think I’ll be safe there…but I can’t just let you put yourself in danger just for me. Is there any way I can help with your investigation?” “I appreciate the offer, but worrying about you getting hurt again will only hinder my investigation. I’d rather you stay at your home where you’ll be safe.” “So, I should just lie back while you do all of the hard work?” Lucky shook his head. “I’m sorry, but I’m not going to be the damsel in distress who waits until her rescuer arrives to save the day. I want to help, Zev.” Zev huffed and tossed his phone onto the coffee table. “I don’t want you to be the damsel in distress. I just work better alone. I never worked well with members of my former pack back before I was a police officer and even now I prefer to patrol the streets without a partner.” “So, you’re basically a lone wolf is what you’re saying?” Lucky said. “You can say that. It’s nothing against you, and quite honestly it would be nice to have someone with your swordsmanship as added protection just in case something goes wrong. However, that won’t be needed if I work alone and have my full concentration on my safety alone. Do you understand?” Lucky grimaced, but nodded. “Yeah, I understand…but at least let me contact Cindi and Cheri since they’ve helped me before in getting leads and can help with your investigation as well.” “Who are those two again?” Zev asked. “Well…Cindi owns a private investigative agency and was the one who helped me break out of the police station by disguising herself as another police officer,” Lucky said nervously. “She can definitely use her skills of disguise to find something useful for you.” “I see…well, if what you say is true then I can forget about her impersonating a police officer and aiding the escape of a certain someone from police custody. And whose Cheri?” “She’s the person who owns the business you found me in and threatened to shut down.” Zev furrowed his eyebrows. “How are a bunch of hookers going to help my investigation?” “They’re not hookers,” Lucky said, looking offended. “They’re more like courtesans who use their powers of seduction in the bedroom to gather incriminating information from certain clients which Cheri can later use against them if they decide to screw over more innocent people in the future. I’m sure she has something that you can use.” “And what’s the cost of using their services?” “None at all. They’re my sisters-in-law, but they’re more like real sisters to me and they’ll do anything to help you if that means that I’m being protected,” Lucky explained. “I’ll text them now and maybe you can have a meeting with them after they both found something to aid your investigation.” “Perfect. Any leads will help greatly.” Zev watched as Lucky pulled out his phone and began tapping his thumbs rapidly on the screen. He knew Lucky for only a short time and there was so much that he did know about him, but Zev knew that he was wrong to think that he was just some spoiled, selfish prince. Lucky was willing to avenge his brother’s death by going into a flooded stadium to talk to a sea witch and save me from being hit by a speeding vehicle, both very reckless actions that almost got him killed. However, those were very courageous acts regardless and the regret of imprinting himself onto the prince was almost nonexistent, but only time would tell if anything came out of this situation. Turning his head, Zev saw that Cecil was shivering slightly despite wearing a long-sleeved shirt and pants and decided to take the throw blanket from the couch, placing it on his roommate. “There you go, roomie,” Zev said and patted Cecil’s shoulder. “Thanks, Zev. I can’t really warm myself up when the cold is coming from within your body,” Cecil said as he pulled the blanket to his neck. “I can always turn the heater on if you want.” “Nah, I don’t want you sweating just to make me comfortable. I’ll be fine,” Cecil said, trying to smile as his teeth chattered slightly. Zev just patted Cecil on the knee, knowing he could not anything else for his friend who not was blinded by the mirror shards in his eyes, but also cold within. Though he could be annoying sometimes, he still had a warm heart regardless of his ailment and aside from his grandmother and Velvet he was far kinder than most people Zev, so helping his roommate whenever he needed assistance was the least he could do. Hearing his phone buzzing on the coffee table, Zev grabbed it and saw that the person calling was Velvet. “Hey, Velvet. What’s up?” Zev asked with a cheerful voice. “Hey, Zev. Um…I need to ask you a favor,” Velvet said, sounding nervous. “What’s wrong, Velvet? Is everything all right?” Zev asked with concern for his little sister’s safety back at her college. “Yeah, I’m fine. It’s just…I’m at the police station right now and I need someone to get me out.” “What? What are you doing there?” Zev asked with a raised voice. “It’s long a story, Zev. I just need someone to get me out…and since you’re a police officer who works here, you can just get me out without having to pay any bail. It’s how things work here, right?” “Where did you hear that nonsense? Uh, forget it! I’m coming right now. Once I get you out, you better tell me everything that happened that caused you to end up where you are now. You got that?” “Yes, I do. Thank you, Zev. And I’m really sorry,” Velvet said softly before hanging up. Sighing heavily, Zev walked to the front door where he grabbed his jacket and keys before turning to Lucky. “Do you want to come with me? I have to pick up Velvet from the police station and after that I can drop you off at your place.” “Yeah, that’ll work,” Lucky said, standing up from the couch. “Are you going to okay here by yourself?” Zev asked Cecil. “I’ll be fine. Go ahead and attend to your sister,” Cecil said, waving his hand goodbye. Walking into the hallway, Lucky asked, “What happened to your sister? Is she okay?” “She’s fine…but if she did anything that’ll windup in her record, I don’t think she’ll be enjoying her college days for any longer. That better not be the case, for my grandmother’s sake.”
  4. Hi, everyone!  I'm sorry for my absence from Gay Authors which was mostly due to college.  However, I'm done with my final exams and I have the rest of the month off, which means I can continue writing my stories with little interruption.  I already completed the latest chapter of Charming and I will be publishing it this Tuesday before 12 PM Eastern.  Also thanks to my professor of my Creative Fiction Writing class who helped inspire my ideas for Charming, I've already thought of two additional stories that will take place in the same universe as Charming, which involves a modern retelling of Hansel and Gretel and Pinocchio which were created from the short stories I have written for the class.  I will go more in-depth about the plots of these stories as I continue with Charming which already includes two main characters inspired by Prince Charming and the Big Bad Wolf.  I'm looking forward to any feedback once the latest chapter is published and thank you all for your patience!

  5. Hero Wanted: The Carnifex

    Three years ago, a man nicknamed Teddy witnessed the death of his lover by the hands of the Carnifex, an organization that once gave him hope for a better life, but now he was in a living hell as he strived to kill all the people involved with his lover's death. One of those people was the organization's head of security who revealed Teddy's secret relationship to the Carnifex and now was living a comfortable, happy life with a house by the beach and a person that he loved. Teddy was going to destroy his life and be one step closer to finally getting the revenge that he desperately wanted.
  6. Chapter Fifteen

    And thanks for your comment! And as a side note, the Colossus have not invaded the United States in three years, so the country has been overdue for another invasion. I do agree, though that it is very coincidental that a Colossus invasion is happening right when Ryan has to choose between either his father or Chris, but the reason why the Colossus started invading Earth is still a mystery and we'll just have to see if there is a connection with what's happening in the world to the Colossus invasion of Philadelphia.
  7. Chapter Fifteen

    “Project Genie involves plugging nodes into objects like swords that store apparition-like beings called genies who are summoned through verbal prayers from the objects and can be used as personal assistants and battle aids. And the project that is being funded by the Israeli government called Project Golem involves summoning automaton-like beings called golems by planting nodes into vehicles that will transform into golems when prompted. Reinforced by node energy, they can be used as mobile tanks and battle aids as well—” *** “—After videos of Christopher Shepherd’s fight with the former President’s son at a parking lot had gone viral, many bloggers are asking what the fight between the first-ranking cadet and Ryan Johnson was about. Some are speculating that Ryan Johnson is attempting to take the title as the first-ranked cadet of the Champion Academy, the title that was Christopher Shepherd’s claim to fame—" *** “—China has caused major controversy over the years due their method of recruitment that involves cadets combatting one another in brutal matches that results in a casualty rate of at least twenty-five percent. Proponents have stated the importance of only having the most powerful cadets to become Champions and that is also a possible solution for China’s overpopulation crisis. And with Russia’s population still declining, a new law will soon be signed by the Russian President that will incentivize selected citizens who have genetics that make them more compatible with nodes to pass those desirable traits on by having children. The founder of HERO has critically denounced both practices, comparing these practices to the breeding and fighting of dogs and other animals in blood sports and that protecting the world against future Colossus invasions does not have to involve the loss of our humanity—” *** “—After the Colossus invasions that destroyed the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Puerta de Alcala in Madrid, the French and Spanish governments are planning to reconstruct both landmarks with renewed purposes. The structure currently being constructed in France will act as an energy source for all Champions within its vicinity by connecting their nodes to the structure and granting an extra boost of power. And the function of the structure in Spain will allow Champions to travel instantaneously from Champion bases in the country, removing the necessity for other forms of transportation. The few opponents like Nathaniel Johnson have stated that the Colossus could exploit these structures to cause further destruction. However, both countries’ leaders are still planning to construct more of these landmarks in every major city and possibly around the world in the future—" *** “—The dispute between Japan and the Philippines over the rightful owner of the last sacred treasure has reached its tipping point. The recently united Korea has allied themselves with Japan, while Vietnam has confirmed their support for the Philippines, most likely due to the Philippines helping their western neighbor to establish their own Champion division. Surprisingly, China has not sided with either nation, but Nathaniel Johnson believes that there are ulterior motives for why China has not chosen a side yet. Here is an earlier recording of an interview that another news station had the former United States President.” “So, you believe that China’s inability to choose a side is an action all by itself?” “Yes, I do. We all know that China has had territorial disputes with other countries in the past, including Japan and the Philippines. And in my opinion, China doesn’t have to choose a side. What they really should be doing is trying to deescalate the situation between these two countries before war breaks out. However, I believe the Chinese government is not siding with either nations, so that when both countries start a war and weaken each other, China then can take control of both countries, and maybe even Korea and Vietnam as well.” “Mr. Johnson, many have criticized you for this statement, including the other statements that you have made regarding the construction projects of the French and Spanish governments and the recruitment methods of both Russia and China. They believe you are simply crying wolf over nonissues. What do you have to say to that?” “Well, I believe what I’m saying is the exact opposite. What I’m ‘crying’ about are very serious issues that need to be address if humanity has any chance of continuing the war with the Colossus. Unfortunately, what I’m saying right now is falling deaf ears, just like when I said that first Colossus invasion wasn’t an isolated incident a decade ago, instead people did not listen which caused the deaths of more than a hundred thousand people in less than a year.” “That is rather a crass statement to the countries that have been directly affected by the Colossus and are still recovering, Mr. Johnson.” “Sometimes the truth is hard to swallow, and until we start learning from our mistakes, history will repeat itself… Now…you were going to ask about my son—” *** “—And in today’s show, we will be talking about Christopher Shepherd and Ryan Johnson who have been seen together in downtown Washington DC just yesterday. It appears that these two Champion cadets have resolved their issues, however people are looking deeper into this. They are saying that there is a possible—” “We interrupt this program for a nationwide emergency. This is not a test. The United States government has issued a warning to all residents of Philadelphia. At three PM Eastern time, a radar has indicated a stellar flare this is capable of producing a Class-B Colossus in the city of Philadelphia. The government is urging all residents of Philadelphia to evacuate from the city as active-duty Champions begin mobilizing their units.” “We interrupt this program for—" *** Thirty minutes earlier… Ryan entered the command center to have his daily talk with his father, and after that he was going to Chris’s penthouse, so they could play board games and hopefully something more. He was already feeling giddy about spending more time with Chris and though he enjoyed his conversations he had with his father, he just wanted to say that he was okay before going to meet Chris who most likely had a new board game that he wanted to beat Ryan with. A minute later, the image of his father materialized in front of Ryan, but with his back towards Ryan which caused him to think that something was wrong. And he looked very rigid that looked very different from his usual relaxed posture. “Hey, Dad… Is everything okay?” Ryan asked. “Yeah…everything’s okay, champ,” Ryan’s father said. Ryan’s body relaxed and he said, “Oh, good. Well, I just wanted to say that everything is fine with my training and—” “I need to talk to you about something important, son,” Nathaniel said. “And…And what’s that, Dad?” Ryan asked as he squeezed his hands together. Nathaniel turned around, faced Ryan with a serious expression on his face and said, “It’s about Christopher Shepherd.” Ryan felt his heart drop and after a moment said, “Oh…what about him?” Sighing, Nathaniel said, “You know what I’m about to say, Ryan. It’s already the most trending story in several social media sites…but I want to know your side of the story.” Ryan and Chris were just going to a game store in downtown Washington DC to look at some new board games that Chris was interested in. With ballcaps and sunglasses, he hoped that that would be enough to disguise themselves from the public. However, it appeared that they were seen anyways and now Ryan had to explain to his father that it was nothing. Bowing his head, Ryan said, “We…We were just hanging out, Dad.” “You already know how I feel about Christopher Shepherd, son,” Nathaniel stressed. “And now the media is twisting the reason why you two were together as a possible romance.” Ryan kept his head down and did not say anything since he was so conflicted on what to say. A part of him wanted to assure his father that nothing was happening between him and Chris, so there would not be any conflict between him and his father. However, another, bigger part of him hated keeping his relationship with Chris a secret from everybody, especially his father who should know what was going on with his own son’s life. So, he remained silent which was an answer all in its own. “Ryan…” Looking up at his father who was now was standing only a couple of feet from Ryan, he bit his lower lip before saying, “Dad…Chris isn’t a bad person. He’s actually really—” “No, Ryan. I don’t want any explanation. I will not accept this,” Nathaniel said bluntly. “In the few weeks of being a cadet at the Champion Academy, you’ve made so much progress and proved even the top scientists wrong. I see a leader in you, Ryan, and to have that all wasted over one person is… Ryan…I honestly don’t care who you are in terms of your sexual orientation. As my son, I love you regardless… But to involve yourself with a person who can and will ruin everything that you’ve accomplished is not something that I want for you.” “But Dad. Chris isn’t like that. Not at all. He’s actually a very sensitive person behind that serious façade. I mean, he plays board games, Dad! He’s nothing like his father and honestly, comparing the two of them as the same person is not fair,” Ryan argued with his arms crossed. “Ryan…I hope you know that I’m only looking out for you,” Nathaniel stated. “Yes, I know, Dad.” “So, then you must also know that losing Rory was one of the hardest experiences I ever had in my life, and that I will not that happen again with you.” “Dad, you’re acting like being with Chris will get me killed.” “That’s because it’s true!” Nathaniel exclaimed before taking a few steps back and taking deep breath. “It first happened with your mother and most likely happened with Rory as well. Christian wanted Barbara dead, so he could claim her work as his own. And Rory died because he didn’t want anyone to outperform his son.” “Dad…are you saying Chris’s father was the reason why my mom and Rory are dead?” Ryan asked, shocked. “I don’t have solid proof yet, but I have always believed that man was responsible for ruining your mother’s career and the tragedy that not only took Rory’s life, but his whole platoon as well …and I strongly doubt that Christian would want the public to know that his own son is seeing you, another man. It’s not Christopher who I’m scared about…it’s his father, the Devil incarnate.” Ryan swallowed. “You really believe that, don’t you?” “I do, son. And that’s why you can’t be involved with Christopher, let alone be in a relationship with him. I already lost your mother and Rory, and I can’t let that happen for the third and final time with you since you’re the only person I have left in this world.” Walking back to Ryan and placing a hand on his shoulder, Nathaniel finished by saying, “Please, Ryan…for me and for yourself, end whatever you have with Christopher.” Ryan did not say anything, instead he slowly started to back away from his father. The idea that his mother and half-brother were the possible victims of Chris’s father was too overwhelming to think about. And he had to make a decision, a decision that was too difficult to make at that moment. “Ryan...” Shaking his head, Ryan turned around and left the command center with his father still calling out his name. He began walking to the dormitories as he thought about what his father had just said to him. The last thing that he wanted was upset his father who already lost two of the most important people of his life, but to break off the growing relationship that he had with Chris would break him as well. He just had to leave, not wanting to tell his father that he could not choose between Chris or his father. But to his father, it was a choice between life or death. Ryan soon reached the dormitories and entered the elevator that went up to Chris’s penthouse. The only person he wanted to see was Chris with the hope that he would have the answers that he needed with Chris’s arms around him. While in the elevator, he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket, but he ignored it since the person calling was most likely his father and all he wanted was to get Chris’s perspective in this situation. Once Ryan was in Chris’s penthouse, he entered the living room area and saw Chris setting up another board game on the coffee table. Ryan had to smile at the innocence of Chris getting ready to play a game with him, and it tugged at his heart to just think about hurting Chris in any way that would cause that innocence to break. This made making any decision that much harder since he did not want to hurt either Chris or his father. Ryan cleared his throat and Chris turned around to face him with a smile that made Ryan’s heart hurt even more. “Ryan, you’re early,” Chris said as he walked to Ryan and gave him a hug. “Yeah, sorry about that,” Ryan apologized as he relished the embrace. Chris chuckled. “Nothing to apologize about.” Ryan wanted to say something else, but instead he wrapped his arms completely around Chris’s back. And without any words, he expressed what he felt by nuzzling his face on Chris’s firm chest like a puppy and holding Chris like this was the lasr time he was ever going to touch him. “Are you okay, Ryan? What’s wrong?” Chris asked, holding Ryan with the same firmness. “Nothing. It’s just…” Chris placed his hands on Ryan’s shoulders and gently pushed him back. Chris then placed a hand under his chin and lifted his face up to look him right in the eyes. The concerned and caring expression on Chris’s face made him want to fall apart right there. “Are you sure? You don’t look all right,” Chris said, placing a warm hand on Ryan’s cheek. Sighing, Ryan said, “I just had a conversation with my dad and didn’t go too well.” Chris furrowed his eyebrows. “I see… What were you two talking about?” “God, where do I begin?” Ryan said as he stepped away from Chris and walked to the living room couch where he sat down in a slumped position. Chris sat down next to Ryan and with a hand on his back, he said, “I’m all ears.” Looking at Chris who looked very sincere, Ryan began reiterating what he and his father talked about from his father’s knowledge of their relationship to his belief that Chris’s father was responsible for the deaths of Ryan’s mother and Rory. It was hard for the words to come out, but he managed to finish his story and felt some weight lift from his body after telling it. Though, he did not look at Chris’s face as he told what happened, afraid to see what his reaction would be. After a moment of silence, Chris moved his body closer to Ryan’s and placed a hand over his own that was clenched tightly on his lap. “I’m sorry, Chris,” Ryan said with trembling lips. “You don’t need to apologize, Ryan,” Chris said, holding Ryan’s hands more firmly. “And to be honest…I kind of agree with your father. Being in a relationship with me is most likely endangering your life if my father was indeed responsible in any way with what happened to your mother and Rory… And it’s my fault that I didn’t end things between us sooner, thinking more about having you all to myself than your actual safety… Maybe we should—” “Don’t say that. I don’t want to leave you,” Ryan objected. “But you can’t risk your life either…and to be truthful with you, Ryan…I also believe that my father was somehow involved with Travis’s death,” Chris confessed. Ryan’s eyes widened from that statement and he said, “Seriously?” Chris nodded with his face turned away from Ryan. “I guess that’s why I’m agreeing with your father. I understand what it feels lose someone you care about so much...and to think that you were somehow responsible… I can’t let that happen again.” “Why are you suddenly thinking that what we have together shouldn’t continue?” Ryan asked. “It wasn’t a sudden thought, Ryan. These thoughts have been burdening me for weeks now and I’ve been trying to ignore them, thinking that’s just my father talking, but… God damnit,” Chris uttered, bowing his head and covering his face with his hands. Ryan did not know how to respond. But by the defeated look that Chris was displaying, he wanted to comfort him by wrapping his arms around Chris in an embrace and resting his face on Chris’s shoulder. They remained in that position for a while, silently communicating with each other through the closeness of their bodies that spoke more than any number of words could. They remained silent as the television broadcasted a news report. Eventually, Chris dropped his hands, revealing his face that looked wet from tears. “I just want to be with someone who I truly care about and love.” With raised eyebrows, Ryan said, “Love?” Looking down, Chris said, “I understand that we’ve only known each other for a short time, but…I’d like to believe that we’ll reach a point in our relationship that that will be a possibility… I sound like a creep, don’t I?” Ryan quickly shook his head. “No, that’s not creepy at all, Chris. I want to love someone too…so why not start with someone I already really care about?” “But that’s the problem, Ryan… I think I already—” An alert interrupted what Chris was about to say, and Ryan turned to face the television that was now displaying a black screen with “Emergency Alert System” in capital letters. The sound that it made sent chills all over his body and what the automated voice said next frightened him to the core. “We interrupt this program for a nationwide emergency. This is not a test. The United States government has issued a warning to all residents of Philadelphia. At three PM Eastern time, a radar has indicated a stellar flare this is capable of producing a Class-B Colossus within the city’s perimeter. The government is urging all residents of Philadelphia to evacuate from the city immediately as active-duty Champions begin mobilizing their units.” The alert then repeated and Ryan slowly turned his head to face Chris who was still looking at the television screen with a serious expression on his face. Sirens then began blaring outside the penthouse and most likely throughout the entire academy as well. This was really happening. “Chris?” Chris stood up from the couch and said, “We can talk about us later. Right now, we need to start preparing for the next Colossus invasion.” “But we’re not active-duty Champions, Chris,” Ryan said, standing up as well. Chris turned to face Ryan and with a hand placed on Ryan’s cheek he said, “Always prepare for the worst-case scenario, Ryan.” Ryan just nodded, knowing that Chris was right. “Okay.” Chris then leaned forward and with their foreheads pressed together said, “Whatever happens…know that I will indeed beat you at the board game I already have set up.” Ryan chuckled as he held Chris’s hands tightly. “Not a chance.” Chris smiled before placing a light kiss on Ryan’s lips, a kiss that Ryan hoped would not be the last. *** Three hours later… “—It has been confirmed that there are three Colossus beings near the city of Philadelphia right now! This is the first time in history that more than one Colossus has appeared in the same location and… Oh, God! The Champions are getting decimated out there… Maria, helps us all—"
  8. Hero Wanted

    I do not have a schedule for when new chapters get published unfortunately. However, I am currently working on the latest chapter of Hero Wanted which I plan on publishing this week if not today or tomorrow. Also expect an update in the wiki with new pages and information if that is what you are interested as well. Sorry for the inconvenience, but hopefully you will enjoy the latest chapter of the story once it is published!
  9. Chapter Six

    Thanks for providing your thoughts on my latest chapter! And to add to what you just said, it is quite sad that wolves have become the enemy to the public, while vampires have gained power, both in private companies and as political candidates, while wolves have to live on scraps. Also, who is Velvet and what kind of relationship does that person have with Zev? Just think about what color velvet is usually associated with and hopefully you can make the connection.
  10. Chapter Six

    Zev drove the car for ten minutes through the city, a city where people the size of trolls lived under bridges, begging for food and sewers where thumb-sized people lived with mice as their steeds. This was what happened after people fed wild creatures despite the signs telling them not to and people abandoning their thumb-sized children after they became adults, no longer cute pets who could be kept in their cages. What a depressing world to live in. Eventually, Zev turned to a parking lot where he parked at the front of an apartment building. “Where are we?” Lucky asked. “My place. We can stay here until the coast is clear,” Zev said as he turned the engine of his car off. Lucky looked at Violet who just shrugged before getting out of the car with her arms piled with her hair. Sighing, Lucky did the same and followed Zev inside the apartment and into an elevator where it took them to the third floor. Lucky sneezed a few times and during their unusually long, shaky trip in the elevator which finally made it to the third floor after a minute. “Sorry if you’re allergic to fairy dust. The entire apartment complex is infested with them and I already sent a few complaints to the landlord about it, but to no avail,” Zev explained. “And don’t eat any of the mushrooms growing on the walls. They’re from the fairies as well that’ll cause you to become addicted to its properties.” “Noted,” Lucky sniffled. They eventually walked to the front door of Zev’s place with him swatting away a couple fairies from his face who both giggled playfully as they flew away. Unlocking the door, he opened it and entered inside with Lucky and Violet following right behind him. “Welcome to my den,” Zev said, taking his keys and wallet from his pockets and throwing them onto a nearby end table. “Make yourselves comfortable. I’m…going to tell my roommate that I have guests. Cecil!” Zev disappeared into a hallway, which left Lucky and Violet by themselves in the small living room of Zev’s apartment. Looking around, Lucky noticed the apartment, at least the living room area, was spotless, unlike the hallway outside where the air was filled with fairy dust. All though the furniture was mismatched and old-looking, the place looked comfy as he sat down on the couch and appreciated how the cushions molded around his body. Violet, however, continued to stand there, looking understandably confused and Lucky was about to tell her who Zev was heard when he two pairs of footsteps coming from the hallway. Lucky looked to see Zev reappear with another person right behind him, a man who was wearing black-tinted glasses and holding a cane that he was tapping on the wooden floor to help guide him. He looked like he just gotten out of bed, judging by his pajama pants and ruffled hair. The man then stopped with his hands clasped together on the handle of his cane and said, “Well, Zev? Are you going to introduce to me to your friends?” “Oh, right,” Zev said, rubbing the back of his neck. “Well, this is Lucky, and this is…” “Violet,” she said lightly with her head bowed. “Right. And this Cecil, my roommate,” Zev introduced. “Sorry, that I brought company here without asking you first.” “No, it’s fine, Zev. It’s nice to have people over for a change, Godmother knows that I don’t get out enough,” Cecil said before walking to an arm chair adjacent to the couch and sitting down. “Anyways, do you two want anything to eat?” “Oh, no. We’re fine,” Lucky said. “We just came from a restaurant and—” “Actually, can I have something to eat?” Violet asked. “Of course. What would you like? Zev recently filled the refrigerator and pantry with food, so we have some of every. How about a pulled pork burger that Zev gets from the local restaurant?” “Is it good?” Violet asked. “Well, I can’t say for sure, but Zev loves them,” Cecil said with amusement that earned a stern look from Zev in return. “How about it?” “Sure, why not?” Violet said, finally sitting down on the couch next to Lucky. “Thank you.” “No problem. Just let me put it in the microwave and—” “No, Cecil. Let me,” Zev insisted and began walking to the kitchen. “So…how long have you two been friends with my roommate, Zev?” Cecil asked as he crossed his legs and clasped his hands just below his chin. “Oh, um…just for a while,” Lucky said, not wanting to lie to the man. “And what about you?” Cecil asked Violet. “Oh, I’m…just here because of Lucky,” Violet answered. “So, are you two a couple?” Cecil asked with a smile. “No,” Lucky and Violet both said in unison. Chuckling, Cecil said, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to assume. I’m just curious because Zev rarely brings people over to our apartment. The only other person he brings here is Velvet. However, she hasn’t visited in a while because of college. So, it’s nice to know Zev is at least making acquaintances.” An alarm from a microwave was heard and was followed by Zev who came back with a burger on a plate and a glass of water in his other hand. Placing the glass on top of a coaster, he handed Violet the burger which she looked with hungry eyes. She took a small bite of her food, and with a hum of satisfaction started eating it like she had not eaten in days. “Would you like a burger?” Zev asked Lucky. Shaking his head, Lucky said, “No, I’m fine. Thanks though.” Zev nodded and walked to the other side of the couch and sat next to Lucky. With his head leaned back against the couch, he covered his face with his hands and sighed heavily, sounding exhausted. Lucky was exhausted too, especially after what happened back at the restaurant and all the questions that were still swimming in his head. “Hey, Zev, do you mind turning the news on?” Cecil asked. “Uh…sure.” Zev took the remote control from the coffee table and turned on the small television that was already on a news channel and what was displayed scared Lucky deeply. Breaking news was on the headlines and live footage of body bags being taken out of the same building of the restaurant where he and Violet were just at sent shivers all over his body. “Oh, my. Who could have done this?” Cecil said. Lucky turned his head to face Zev who was leaning forward and looking at the news through his fingers. “What happened, Zev?” Zev grunted and dropped his hands onto his lap before facing Lucky. “Like I said before… Vampires.” Everyone was silent when that one word was uttered again with a reporter in the television stating that there was more than a dozen confirmed dead and many more injured at the restaurant. Then a commercial break happened with an advertisement about planning your own fairy tale wedding filling the quiet space. “What…What do you mean by vampires?” Lucky finally asked. “A body as cold as snow. A soul as dark as ebony. And lips as red as blood.” Lucky turned to Cecil who facing him with a creased forehead and a frown on his face. “That sounds familiar.” “It should. It’s the original saying from the most famous tale… Snow White.” “Wait a minute. Are you saying she was a vampire?” Violet asked, surprised. “That’s exactly what I’m saying. Why do you think she was fairest of all the land?” Cecil said. “Zev should have more information though.” “Cecil…” Zev said with a warning tone. “Come on, Zev. You should know. Your people have been exploited by vampires for centuries, especially in the tale of the huntsman who was persuaded by the Snow White to not take her heart and instead take one from a pig which he gave to the witch instead.” “Yeah, and that’s why there is very little mention of vampires in fairy tales since they used my people as servants to get what they want,” Zev said with distaste. “Now we’re viewed as menaces to society while vampires live in luxury and secrecy.” “Why doesn’t the public know about their existence?” Lucky asked. Cecil chuckled. “Witches are already hated by most of the public, and the revelation that they also created vampires on top of other atrocities they committed in the past will not do their reputation any favors. For example, look at me. I’ve been cursed by having mirror shards imbedded into my eyes by a witch as well many others in my town and now I only see the ugliness of everything from objects to people, hence why I rather live as blind instead of seeing the ugly truth of the world that I live in.” “I’m…I’m sorry about that,” Lucky said. “Don’t be. As long as I have my guide dog here, I’ll be okay,” Cecil said as he smiled at Zev. Zev groaned. “Anyways, back to the point. Vampires usually live in secrecy, relying mostly on blood donations to satisfy their hunger… However, what happened today was vampires attacking people in broad daylight, which could only mean that they are desperately after someone…and that someone is you, Lucky.” With wide eyes, Lucky said, “Why…Why me?” “You don’t know,” Zev said with furrowed eyebrows. “Why else were you trying to recreate the Magic Mirror by going into that flooded stadium, which is illegal by the way?” “I was just trying to find someone through the Magic Mirror and… Wait. How did you know?” “It doesn’t matter, Lucky. What matters is that you unknowingly placed yourself in grave danger by trying to recreate that magical object. And it doesn’t matter what your intentions were, vampires aren’t too keen about having the Magic Mirror recreated since it almost caused their original leader and creator to be killed by a witch that tried to end the curse by giving her a poisoned apple as the last resort.” “Which, by the way, was just a rotten apple that caused the princess to lose her eternal beauty, forcing her to look for other ways to reobtain it, hence why she started drinking blood,” Cecil added. “And with vampires secretly gaining more power as corporatists and politicians, not even your father’s status as a king will stop them from trying to hunt you down,” Zev emphasized. “How did you even know about me being in danger in the first place? And don’t give me some vague answer again,” Lucky said. Zev sighed. “I’m a police officer, Lucky… And when I’m off-duty, I use my skills to go undercover as a vampire’s mercenary and today I managed to overhear a plan by them to enter a restaurant and kidnap you, Lucky.” “And then what?” Lucky asked, squeezing his hands tightly. “Things you cannot possibly imagine, Lucky. I’ve witnessed what vampires do to people who they believe are a threat to their existence while I was undercover. And the famous Prince Charming is no exception,” Zev explained. “And I believe it was led by a woman named Lilith.” Lucky snapped his head up and turned to Zev. “Did you say Lilith?” Zev nodded. “Do you know what she looks like?” Lucky asked. “I haven’t seen her personally since she most does things in the shadows, but I heard she was very pale with very dark, almost black hair and always wore red on her lips. You know her, I’m assuming.” Feeling sick, Lucky stood up from the couch and walked to the kitchen where he leaned his hands on the edge of the kitchen island. “I do…She was my sister-in-law after all.” “Sister-in-law? So, she’s married into your family?” Cecil asked. “Was married into my family… She killed my brother for unknown reasons and then disappeared... However, I have a feeling there’s more to my brother’s death now that I’ve heard what you and Zev just said,” Lucky inferred. “So… you have more of a connection to the vampire community than I have thought previously,” Zev said, walking to Lucky and turning him around gently by the shoulder to face him. “Lucky, you need to stop whatever you’re planning on doing with recreating the Magic Mirror. You’re going to get yourself killed.” “And do what? Lilith destroyed everything when she killed my oldest brother and I’m just supposed to let that go?” Lucky argued. “Look. I don’t know much about your family history and I’m sorry you lost your brother, but going to places like flooded stadiums and almost getting yourself killed by an octopus witch is not going to bring your brother back,” Zev explained, his hands on Lucky’s shoulders. “Why do you care anyways?” Lucky huffed. Zev did not answer, just continued to look at Lucky with worried eyes. “Are you going to tell him, or should I?” Cecil said from across the room. “Cecil…” Zev warned. “Tell me what?” Lucky asked. “Does it have to do with how I survived getting hit by that car?” Bowing his head, Zev said, “Something like that.” “Well? Are you going to tell me or not?” Lucky asked impatiently. Zev’s eyes looked up and were locked with Lucky’s before he said, “Just know that I did it to save your life… I may have imprinted myself onto you during the ambulance ride to the hospital.” “Imprint? What does that mean?” Lucky asked, taking a step back. “I…I left an imprint on you, Lucky—I did it to save your life and the only way I could do it was leaving my mark on you.” “What mark? What the hell did you do to me?” Lucky said, walking past Zev and feeling his body for said mark. Then Lucky’s fingers felt something on the side of his neck, a mark or indention that caused panic to rise inside him. He then looked back at Zev who had a guilty expression on his face. “I’m sorry.” “What did you do to me, Zev?” Lucky asked again. “I…I left an imprint on you…basically showing that you’re my lover,” Zev admitted. “Your lover? I barely know you!” Lucky exclaimed, rubbing his fingers on the imprint on his neck and hoping it would somehow go away. “It was either that or let you die, and…I couldn’t let that happen.” “Shit. I would’ve rather died than be stuck forever with a wolf,” Lucky spat. A growl suddenly came from Zev who grabbed Lucky by the front of his shirt and with their faces only inches apart said, “So, what if I’m a wolf? I just told you that I saved your life and all you can think about is yourself… I can only imprint once in my life and I chose to use it on a spoiled prince instead of my true love.” Pushing Lucky back, Zev continued by saying, “But don’t worry, Prince Charming. The imprint won’t affect you in any way, so you can go ahead and fall romantically in love with a princess and live your happily ever after.” The realization of what Zev just did for him and his heartless response towards it made him feel sick with guilt. The man just said that he gave up his chance to have true love just so that Lucky could live another day. With his chest becoming tight, Lucky said, “I’m sorry, Zev. I didn’t know that—” “Don’t, Lucky. I don’t want to hear it,” Zev said with his back towards Lucky. Lucky just bowed his head, feeling very remorseful for what he just said. He should have told Zev how grateful he was for having his life saved, but of course he had to screw it all up. “Oh, come on. You two can’t end it like that,” Cecil said. “Zev, you already saved Lucky twice with a kiss, once after you rescued him from drowning and the second time after you discovered that he was going into a coma after he got hit by that car. That has to mean something.” “And don’t forget that you rescued Lucky from being taken by those vampires,” Violet added. “First off, I was just doing CPR by giving Lucky mouth-to-mouth, and secondly imprinting requires that I also kiss him in order for it to work,” Zev explained. “Whatever. A kiss is a kiss, and I feel like another one is needed, especially since you just rescued Lucky a third time from those vampires as Violet had just mentioned,” Cecil noted. “Come on, you two. Kiss and make up.” Zev turned back around and Lucky looked up to see a sad, hurt expression on his face, an expression that Lucky had caused by his selfish words. “Um, I think I need to use the bathroom,” Violet said as she stood up and placed her empty plate of the coffee table. “Yeah, I’ll show you where it is. Also, I’ll be returning to my bed, so I can resume my beauty sleep,” Cecil said walking to the hallway with Violet right behind him. The living room was now empty except for Lucky and Zev who both remained silent as they continued to look at each other. Then Lucky cleared his throat and said, “Thank you for rescuing from those vampires. I should’ve said that to you before.” “It’s fine…and you’re welcome.” Giving a small smile, Lucky said, “It’s funny. Me being Prince Charming, I should be the one doing the rescuing, not the one being rescued.” “And I don’t think it helps that your rescuer is the Big Bad Wolf,” Zev added. “Well, maybe I don’t mind having someone who’s big and bad come to my rescue,” Lucky said as he took a step forward. Zev smirked and said, “And what about the wolf part?” Stopping in front of Zev with only a few inches of space between them, Lucky said, “Well, I was never looking for the traditional relationship, hence why I didn’t want to marry Violet or any other woman my father introduced to me. And you being a wolf... I don’t know why, but it excites me for some reason.” Placing his hand on Zev’s hard chest, he finished by saying, “Also, when I think about it, I like the idea of someone leaving a mark on me.” Tilting Lucky’s head up by the chin, Zev said, “Well, if that’s true, there will be more marks after I’m done with you.” Lucky bit his bottom lip as their faces got closer together. Never was he this physically close to another person that he found so attractive before, and even though they supposedly kissed twice already, this was going to be the first time that he was going to fully experience the kiss of another man, a man who was his own Prince Charming. And when their lips met, Lucky, for the first time, hoped he was not sleeping since the dream of his first kiss was finally coming true and one could only say that third time’s the charm.
  11. Chapter Five

    It had been a week since those events that caused Lucky to be sent to a hospital and now he was sitting at a table located on top floor of a towering building with his princess-to-be sitting right across from him. She was a beautiful woman he could not deny that, with delicate facial features and golden hair that was so long that it covered the floor like an endless line squiggled on a piece of paper. However, judging by the expression her face, she would rather be anywhere instead of eating lunch with a man she was arranged to marry. She was not alone since Lucky wanted desperately to continue his search for recreating the Magic Mirror. Instead he was forced to eat with a woman who did not love him and who he did not love either. Lucky sat there in his chair as he watched Violet play with her half-eaten salad with her fork, looking so bored, suggested by her head propped on the side with her other hand. There was nothing else that got his attention since the entire floor was empty, reserved for just him and Violet, so they had a chance to know each other without disturbance. Except for the waiter who came by now and again to refill their glasses and to tell them that their meals were almost ready, they were all alone with only the repetitive scrape of Violet’s fork on her plate providing any sort of distraction. Pulling on the collar of his suit that was embellished with a cape that flowed to the floor from his back and a cowl that was gathered loosely at on his chest, Lucky was feeling constricted by the choice of attire that his father wanted him to wear for this “special occasion” as he called it. However, it was pointless on what Lucky wore since Violet acted as if he did not exist at the other side of the table. She was not like the women who were screaming and tearing their hair out at the front entrance of the building when they saw him, the newest heir to the Prince Charming title, step out of his car and did his fake, trademark smile that, no joke, caused a couple or more women to faint. Lucky was at least fortunate that Violet was not like that, however a little recognition would not have hurt either. After ten minutes of boredom, the waiter finally came with their meals in his hands that provided a much-needed distraction. However, after he placed their meals in front of them on the table, the waiter swiftly left as if he too was aware of the awkwardness surrounding Lucky and Violet and did not want any part of it. Lucky had the braised lamb, while Violet had what looked a fancier version of the salad that she had as an appetizer. She must have either not liked the other options on the restaurant’s menu, or she must have been on a strict eating regiment, not uncommon for soon-to-be princesses. As Lucky began cutting his lamb with his knife, he noticed that Violet had finally taken her eyes off her plate that mostly contained décor than actual food and at his own plate with hunger in her eyes. And judging by the subtle sound of a stomach growling, he knew that she must not have had a decent, filling meal in a while. Placing his knife and fork down, Lucky said, “Do…Do you want some of my lamb?” Violet closed her eyes and sighed. “I loved to, but…” Lucky simply nodded. “I understand.” “Do you really?” Violet asked with skepticism. “Well…I hope so.” Looking at Violet who looked completely unconvinced, Lucky sighed and said, “Look, Violet. I know you don’t want to be here right now. Neither do I…but we should at least look like we’re enjoying each other’s company, so we have something to tell our fathers after this date ends. Then maybe they could get off our backs.” “But then they’ll think that we’re somewhat compatible and try to push us together even harder,” Violet argued. “I know, I know.” Lucky rubbed his forehead with a hand in frustration. “Either way we’re screwed.” “Yeah…” Violet mumbled, her eyes looking down once again. “Lucian…?” “Just call me Lucky, Violet. I know we don’t each other that well, but…I want to at least to get to know as a friend since we’re both suffering under both our fathers’ rules,” Lucky explained. “Yeah. The one thing that we have in common,” Violet said with a slight chuckle. Looking up again, she then said, “Lucky…if you and I weren’t forced into this arranged marriage…who would you want to be your princess instead?” Lucky scratched the back of his neck, not knowing where that question came from or whether he should tell her the truth about himself. “Uh…I don’t…” “You don’t have to tell me,” Violet clarified as she swirled her finger in her glass of ice water. “I only asked because you seem to show no interest in me. The other princes my father had set me up with previously could not wait to declare their love for me with music and poetry with the hope that they could simply bed me. You though… Is someone else in your life that you’re hoping to live a happily ever after with…or are you just not that interested in women in general?” Lucky’s eyes widened from that question, particularly the end part where she basically asked if he was gay. “What-What are you—?” “So, you aren’t interested in women?” Violet asked with a raised eyebrow. Grumbling, Lucky leaned back against his chair and said, “So, what?” Violet scoffed. “What do you mean ‘So, what?’ If I’m going to marry someone, I want them to at least feel sexually attracted to me. And this is not fair for you either since I’m not a man who, if you haven’t noticed yet, cannot grow hair anywhere else other than on top of her head!” Lucky, despite the seriousness of Violet’s voice, could not stop himself from chuckling from that statement. Violet rolled her eyes and said, “I glad you find this amusing.” Chuckling again, Lucky said, “I’m sorry, it’s just that…how did you know I like my men hairy?” “I didn’t,” Violet said, pushing her chair back a little. “I was just stating an example of why it’s not right for us to marry. Not once did I think you were into bears.” “Well, not bears in particular,” Lucky said, thinking back to his encounters with Zev the police officer who he was confident was a wolf hybrid like those men who attacked him just a week ago at that parking lot. “Care to explain?” Violet asked, propping her elbows on the table and resting her chin on her hands. “You’re not attracted to wolves, are you?” “Well…” It was Violet’s turn to chuckle at Lucky who narrowed his eyes at her, thinking she was mocking him for his preference in wolfish men that he did not know he had until recently. “I’m sorry, but…I just find it amusing that the newest Prince Charming is not only gay, but is thirsting for the Big Bad Wolf.” “Interesting way to phrase it, but you’re wrong about him being the Big Bad Wolf,” Lucky corrected. “Oh, so it’s not just wolves in general. It’s a particular wolf who managed to take your breath away,” Violet said, chuckling again. “You’re real annoying, you know that.” Violet just shrugged and Lucky continued by saying, “He’s actually a police officer, presumably part of the police’s newest K-9 unit. He was the one who saved me from drowning and healed me after I got hit by a car driving at full speed.” “Godmother! Where was I when all this excitement was taking place?” Violet asked with renewed interest. “I’m assuming stuck in a tower while waiting for her Prince Charming to rescue her,” Lucky joked that earned him a cold look from Violet. “Sorry, I had to.” “Well, what happened that caused you to almost drown and get hit by a car? Come on, tell me!” Violet begged, tapping her hand on the table in response. “All right, all right. Patience is a virtue, you know?” Before Violet had a chance to make a quip, Lucky started recounting his adventure to obtain an ingredient to recreating the Magic Mirror. He explained with extra detail about how he explored the flooded stadium at the downtown area of the city where he met a witch who almost killed him before he was saved by Zev to when he got hit by a car after defeating the men attacking Zev with his key that transformed into his sword. As he talked, he could tell that Violet was very entertained by the story that happened only a week ago and when he finished, she started clapping like she just watched the world’s best play. “Now that’s a prince who I’m willing to have my hair tangled with, but alas, he is already taken by the Big. Bad. Wolf. The end,” Violet said dramatically with a hand raised above her head. Lucky snickered. “Why do I have a feeling there was a double meaning behind that statement?” “So…you haven’t been taken yet is what you’re saying…in both meanings of the word?” Violet asked with a cock of her head. Lucky bowed his head in attempt to hide his blush before saying, “I just haven’t met…Mr. Right yet is all.” Violet sighed before leaning back against her chair and placing her heeled feet on the edge of the table. “So, you’re a hopeless romantic, waiting for the day that your own Prince Charming lifts you off your feet and takes your hand in marriage.” Lucky just shrugged, feeling embarrassed. “I guess… I don’t you have the same dream.” Dropping her feet to the ground, Violet leaned forward on the table said, “I would. But when you spent your whole life stuck in a penthouse tower and only eating Rapunzel salad with my only hope being a prince who will never truly love me, you tend to become pessimistic of the world.” Lucky frowned. “I’m sorry, Violet.” “Don’t be, Lucky. My fate is already sealed and I shall live the rest of my life waiting for my own Prince Charming who will never come,” Violet proclaimed, raising her glass of water into the air before taking a sip. Lucky still felt sorry for Violet, a woman who truly did not need rescuing, but needed to fulfill her own destiny and live her own happily ever after. He felt that she could become great friends with Cindi and Cheri, two women who fulfilled their own destinies despite the evilness of the witches who cursed them both. Cheri managed to use an oil extracted from roses that helped preserved her youth which she used on herself before she fell asleep for a hundred years. And Cindi managed to rise from the ashes of her deceased mother, both figuratively and literally, and transformed herself into a princess even before the intervention of her fairy godmother. If only Lucky could fulfill his own destiny, which involved avenging his oldest brother’s death and maybe even falling in love with his own prince after all of it was over. However, he always screwed things up, like with the witch back at the flooded stadium, getting arrested by the Big Bad Wolf and getting hit by a car among other things. He felt very unlucky, despite his nickname and sometimes he thought he was cursed. That was the only explanation that he could think of that did not involve him just being a screw-up as his father had referred to him as on more than one occasion. Yet, Lucky still wanted to make his father proud of him since he still remembered who his father was before the death of his beloved wife and Lucky’s loving mother. And if he could not screw up again, or at least not as much, maybe he could regain the father that he lost, return him to the once warm, loving man he once saw all his hopes and dreams on as a child. “Are you okay, Lucky?” Returning to reality, Lucky looked at Violet who had a concerned look her face. “Oh, sorry. I was just thinking is all.” “Thinking about your wolf friend?” Violet said with a smirk. Lucky rolled his eyes at that statement. To be honest, he did not know what to think of Zev. The man arrested him, arrested him again and threatened him with his sword. But then he was there for Lucky as he cried after his father left, allowed Lucky to release everything onto his chest and he comforted Lucky through that. Then he disappeared again after Lucky woke up from a dream where he was with Zev, holding hands and enjoying the Sun as it set on the horizon. As Lucky sighed to himself and was about to take a sip of his water when the doors flew open and a familiar figure came running inside. Lucky stood up from his seat when he recognized the figure was Zev, not wearing his police uniform, but a pair of faded, denim jeans and a beige, wool sweater, its sleeves rolled to his elbows. He was breathing heavily as he looked around the room, and when his eyes locked with Lucky’s, Zev came running towards him with a panicked expression on his face. “Lucky! Fuck! There you are!” Zev said, stopping in front of him and resting his warm hands on either side of his face. “Zev! What the hell are you doing here?” “You’re in trouble, Lucky! I need to get you out here now!” Zev warned. Lucky did not know what was happening, and Violet looked just as confused as she began gathering her hair into her arms. Then screams were heard not too far away, which prompted Zev to run back to the doors, close them and move a table against it to block whatever was coming towards them. “Shit! What’s happening, Zev?” Lucky asked. “No time! We need to get out of here now!” Zev announced, running to the windows and opening them. “Over here!” Lucky walked quickly to the Zev’s location with Violet right behind him. “This is the only way!” Zev said, looking at Lucky with wide eyes. “You’re crazy! That’s more than fifty stories below!” Lucky tried to explain. “Well, we can’t go back with them out there!” “Who’s them?” “Oh, for fuck’s sake! Let me!” Violet said, pushing both men away before tumbling her hair through the window. “Climb down!” “What about you?” Lucky said to Violet. “Don’t worry about me! I can take care of myself. Now go!” Violet ordered. “You heard the lady!” Zev said, stepping onto the window sill and grabbing a hold of Violet’s hair. “Come on!” Lucky looked at Violet one more time before stepping onto the window sill and climbing down her hair with Zev right below him. As he climbed down, he heard banging noises from above and Violet’s voice shouting at them to hurry down. Zev gave him a nod before sliding down her hair. Lucky followed and they soon were at street level with many pedestrians looking at them with confusion creased on their faces. Zev then motioned his hand to Lucky to follow him to his car parked only a few feet on the side of the street. Zev grabbed a parking ticket on his windshield that he crunched in his hand and tossed away as walked to the driver’s side of his car. Lucky walked to the passenger’s side and was about to enter the car when he heard screams from the pedestrians who were all looking above in horror. Lucky followed their gazes to see a woman, Violet, falling towards the street at full speed. He watched helpless as she continued to fall to her inevitable demise. But a miracle happened, her hair got hooked by an arm of a statue that jutted from the building’s façade and like a makeshift pulley, lowered her to the street unharmed. Running to her aid, Lucky pulled Violet back onto her feet as the rest of her hair came tumbling down next to her. “Are you okay, Violet?” Lucky asked. “No! Of course, I’m not!” Violet exclaimed, her hands propped onto her knees as she breathed heavily. “Come on, you two! Get in the car before they come!” Zev shouted. Lucky and Violet looked at each other and with a nod from Lucky, they both started gathering as much of her hair into their arms as possible before they got into the backside of Zev’s car. Closing the door, the car’s engine immediately howled to life and Zev slammed his foot onto the gas pedal. The car began speeding through the street as Zev masterfully dodged other cars with Lucky and Violet sliding from side to side on the backseat. Zev made a hard turn to an adjacent street and his car soon followed the appropriate speed limit with the remainder of Violet’s hair trailing behind. Zev adjusted the rearview mirror and then turned his head to face Lucky and Violet who both looked frazzled from what just happened. “Are you both okay?” Zev asked as he made a more gentle turn to another street. “No! We’re not!” Lucky exclaimed. “What the hell was that?” Gripping tightly on his steering wheel, Zev said, “Vampires.” Taken aback from that one word, Zev leaned against the seat and looked at Violet who looked just as shocked as he was. Vampires? Just my lucky day.
  12. Chapter Four

    Thanks again for your comments! Also, with the evil stepmother comparison, one has to wonder what Lucky's brothers are like... Just some food for thought.
  13. Chapter Four

    Thanks for the compliment and the comment! Yes, there's more to the Charming family than just rescuing the princess since Lucky's father obviously does not like Cindi and Cheri being married to two of his sons, maybe because of the death of his eldest son. And just as a side note, think about the Big Bad Wolf and his ability of disguise in fairy tales when you consider how he was able to save Lucky's life. Thanks again!
  14. Chapter Four

    Lucky opened his eyes and saw a white-paneled ceiling and wondered where he was. He knew he was lying on a bed, an uncomfortable one and a sheet pulled up to his chest with his bare foot sticking out from the end. He looked around judging by the flashing and beeping equipment at his right side, he was in a hospital. And turning his head to the left, he saw Cindi sleeping on a chair next to him. Lucky attempted to sit up, but he was somewhat restrained by the tubes and wiring that was attached from the monitoring equipment to his body. And his body also protested him from sitting up, making him like he was just hit by a car. Then the memory of what happened came crashing back into Lucky’s head. He hesitantly pulled the sheet away from his body, scared that he was going to find mangled limbs. But miraculously he looked completely fine, his legs still intact along with the rest of his body that was clothed with only a thin hospital gown. Though his body still hurt, Lucky was grateful that nothing externally was wrong with him, surprising since most people did not get struck by a car at full speed with just a sore body. He remembered the massive force he felt from the front of the car striking his hip and his shoulder smashing the windshield before everything turned black. He also remembered Zev who he hoped was okay, pushed far enough that the car did not touch him. Lucky thought it was funny that he was concerned about that police officer since he did arrest Lucky after almost drowning to death. At least give him some time to recover before throwing him into a holding cell. And then Lucky went out of his way to save the man from being overwhelmed by those wolf-men creatures, only to have his own sword pressed against his neck by the same man. Talk about ungrateful. So why did Lucky push Zev away from the oncoming car’s direction instead of being concerned for his wellbeing first? Now here he was on a hospital bed, connected to hospital equipment and for what? The man was probably waiting outside of his room, making sure he does not escape from the hospital. Lucky covered his face with his hands and sighed heavily, and this awakened Cindi from her sleep. Raising her head up from the back of the wall, she looked at Lucky and smiled. “Lucky. You’re awake,” Cindi said, placing a gentle on his arm. “Yeah, and you too,” Lucky responded, trying again to sit up on his bed despite the pain. “Are you feeling okay? I mean, I know you got struck by a car, but the doctors said you didn’t suffer any serious injuries, Thank God, and that you’ll be able to leave by the end of today,” Cindi said. “Yeah, I’m okay. Nothing looks broken on the outside, and I assume my charming looks are still intact, right?” Cindi chuckled. “Don’t worry. You still look as charming as ever… Cheri’s is at the cafeteria right now, so I can text her to get you some food too.” “No, I’m fine… What happened to Zev?” Lucky asked, very curious. “You mean that police officer. Oh, God, where do I begin?” Cindi said, bowing her head and allowing her light blond head to fall on her face. “Start from right after I got struck by that car,” Lucky suggested. “Well, after you were hit, that car started to back away, maybe to run you over again, but Zev stopped the car by ripping the driver’s door off from its hinges. He then grabbed the driver who was one of the men who ran away, threw him out of the car and…well, to put it bluntly, beaten the fucking shit out of him. He looked like he got struck by a car himself after Zev was done with him, and that was when the other police officers arrived… Zev was the one carried you to the ambulance and he rode with you to the hospital.” “Really?” Lucky said, surprised by the action. “Yeah, he even stopped Cheri and I from being the one to ride in the ambulance with you, saying it was vital or something for him to ride with you instead. And when we arrived at the hospital, we were told you were okay and that Zev had left. I don’t know where he went, but apparently he did something that was able to save your live… You should’ve seen yourself after that car hit you, Lucky. You were all bloodied and your legs were both bent in an unnatural position. Cheri and I feared the worst, but here you are now, looking unscathed.” Lucky pondered on what Cindi had just said to him and that was when Cheri came back with a tray of food that she immediately gave to Cindi, so she could give him a very tight hug. She told him how relieved she was that he was okay right before scolding him for putting himself in such danger. He did not argue since he knew that Cheri was disciplining him because she cared deeply about him, along with Cindi who both felt more like real sisters to him, treating him like a little brother who they must protect. They were a definite support when things went south with his father and after losing his oldest brother to that one princess he was still seeking to this day. Losing his brother was why Lucky risked his life at that flooded stadium, trying to obtain an item that was the main ingredient to recreating the object fairy tale legend: The Magic Mirror. Yes, the very mirror used to seek the fairest of women in all the land. Recreating that mirror would help him avenge his brother’s death and finally kill that woman who poisoned almost everything in Lucky’s life like that apple she once ate. However, Lucky needed to continue resting and then after he could ask Cheri to find information, so he could recreate the mirror with Cindi’s help as well since she could build a plan, using her skills as an undercover agent to get him what he needed. Only then would Lucky finally rest in peace. *** Lucky groaned as he shifted in his bed, feeling warm that contrasted with the cooler temperature that hospitals usually had. The day turned to night and he was told that he had to stay until the next morning until the doctors were sure that he was completely stable before releasing him. Cindi and Cheri had already left, and he decided to sleep, so that when he woke up, he would be ready to leave. Though that would be hard due the temperature change. Still feeling uncomfortable, Lucky opened his eyes and was about to get up when he saw a figure standing over him. He jumped in his bed, fearing the worst. But when a warm finger was placed on his lips, he felt his body relax suddenly and the fear that shot through his body quickly subsided. He then watched as the figure walked to the door, closed it and turned on the lights on the ceiling. His eyes widened when he saw Zev in the room and he started to panic again. “What the—?” “Be quiet,” Zev shushed Lucky as he walked to a chair next to his bed and sat down. “Don’t worry. I’m not here to arrest you again.” Lucky relaxed again, but then said, “Then…why are you here?” Zev sighed. “I just wanted to make sure you were okay…after what happened last night.” Then with his fisted clenched on his lap and he said, “What the hell were thinking?” Taken aback, Lucky said, “What are you saying?” Standing up and placing his hands on the bedrail, Zev said, “Why did you push me out of the way instead of looking out for yourself? I can have survived being hit by a car. You can’t!” “I’m sorry!” Lucky said, shrinking into his bed. “I just did what I thought was right.” “Well, that bravery almost got you killed,” Zev scolded, turning his back to Lucky. “Why do you even care?” “I don’t,” Zev asserted. “Then…Then why did you save my life?” Lucky asked, curious. Turning around quickly, Zev said, “What are you talking about?” Sighing, Lucky sat up on his bed and said, “Cindi said you were the one who rode with me in the ambulance, saying that it was ‘vital’ or something like that. I guess it worked since I was a mangled mess after that car hit me and now here I am without a scratch on me. Care to explain?” Scrubbing his forehead with his hand, Zev said, “It’s…It’s a long story.” “Well, I won’t be released from the hospital until morning, so I have time,” Lucky said, clasping his hands on his lap and waited for Zev to tell his story. Zev shook his head and said, “Why don’t you explain things to me, Prince Charming? What were you doing at that flooded stadium with that witch?” “It’s…personal,” Lucky admitted. “Well, it had to be serious for someone like you to go against the rulebook and deal with a witch rather than slaying them like in plenty of those fairy tales,” Zev noted as he sat back down. “Start from the beginning.” Scratching the back of his neck, Lucky wondered if he should tell Zev his motivation for risking his life when he heard the door opening and saw tall figure entering the room. His heart dropped when he saw his father, the king who had a stoic expression on his face as he looked at Lucky with dead eyes. “Lucian…” Zev turned his around in his chair to see Lucky’s father and turned back with a raised a eyebrow, most likely connecting the dots, that Lucky was not just any Prince Charming, but the son of King Charming. Walking to Lucky’s bed with his hands behind his back, his father then turned his face to Zev and said, “Who’s this?” “Uh…” “I’m Officer Zev, Sir,” he said, standing up and extending his hand out to Lucky’s father. But when he did not move to shake it, Zev dropped his hand to his side and said, “I’m just here to get your son’s statement is all.” “Well, Zev, do you mind if I can talk to my son alone, so I can get a statement of my own,” Lucky’s father said, his eyes boring into Lucky like a pair of drills. Looking back and forth from Lucky and his father, Zev then said, “Of course… Take your time.” Lucky watched as Zev walked out of the room, glancing back with a look of concern before closing the door from behind him. Lucky silently wished that Zev would stay since he did not want to be left alone with a man who caused the temperature to decrease by just his mere presence. Lucky’s father was wearing what appeared to be a mix of a business suit and the clothing that royalty wore. They were of various shades of gray, the colors cold like the aura that his father admitted as stood by Lucky’s bed like a statue. Lucky, looking anywhere but his father’s eyes, said, “Hi, Father. How are you—?” “Don’t try to deflect what I’m about to say, Lucian,” his father said coldly as he walked to the window and looked through the darkness that was the night sky. “Care to explain why you are here in this hospital, my son?” Lucky swallowed and with hands clenched said, “I was just…at Cheri’s place and—” “You mean that whore your brother married?” Lucky’s father hissed. “She’s not a whore, Father,” Lucky argued. “And let me guess. You were also with that Cindi woman as well, weren’t you?” Lucky’s father asked, more of a statement than a question. “Yes…Yes, I was,” Lucky mumbled. Scoffing, Lucky’s father said, “No wonder you’re in the hospital. What did those two ladies get you involved with this time?” Lucky furrowed his eyebrows and said, “Nothing, Father.” The man then turned around and walked to Lucky’s bed where he stood above him, authoritatively and said, “Don’t lie to me, Lucian. What happened that made you have to be sent into the hospital?” Looking down, Lucky said, “I was just…” “Answer me!” Lucky was startled by the boom of his father’s voice that must have been heard throughout the entire hospital. However, he did not say anything else, afraid of what would come out of his father’s mouth next if he knew the truth. Lucky’s father then sighed heavily before walking to the other side of the room. “I hope you understand where I’m coming from, Lucian. Discovering I have several missed phone calls from you and later being told that you were in the hospital in an unknown condition would make any father fear the worst. And now you won’t even tell me what happened, making me believe you’ll end up just your twin brothers…as a disappointment… I expect you home as soon as you’re released from the hospital. I already pushed back the meeting you have with your princess-to-be. So, any more delays will not sit well with me, Lucian. Do you understand?” Lucky slowly nodded and with a growing tightness in his throat said, “Yes, Father.” “Good. Now I have to continue my work that my visit to this hospital has delayed significantly.” Stopping by the door and not looking back, Lucky’s father said, “Remember your eldest brother, Lucian and know that I can’t lose you either.” The door closed and with the room empty once again, Lucky allowed himself to finally release the emotions that he kept bottled inside him as soon as he father appeared. There was no way he was going to let his father witness the tears that were cascading down his face and the embarrassing noises that tumbled out his mouth as he continued to retch his feelings out. How could the man who was once so warm and loving when Lucky was a child turn into a cold, hateful man who was just in the room a moment ago. And how dare he use his dead brother, one of the few people he cared about, just to make a point. The door opened again and Lucky turned his back to the door as he lied back down, not wanting anybody, especially his father to see what mess he had had become. However, when he felt a warm hand on his shoulder, he turned to see Zev standing by him with a sad expression on his face. Sitting up, Lucky said, “What are you—?” “I’m sorry, Lucky,” Zev said, lowering the bedrail and sitting on the bed without removing his touch. “I…I just wanted to say that I understand where you’re coming from.” Lucky raised his eyebrows to what Zev just said, but by the look of sympathy on that rough, yet handsome face, he started to fall apart again as he pressed his face onto Zev’s chest. And as he felt Zev pat his head gently, he cried for the brother that he loved and lost, as well as his father. This soothed him until he eventually calmed down and allowed himself to be enraptured in a sleep that he wished that he would never wake up from.
  15. Chapter Three

    Lucky is very unlucky indeed. Hopefully Zev will stop huffing and puffing after realizing Lucky is more than just another spoiled prince. Thanks for providing your thoughts!

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