Love & War on Antar (AU,M/L,ADULT) Author's Note: 12/2/18

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Cocogurl
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Re: Love & War on Antar (M/L ADULT) Chapter 9 10/29/08

Postby Cocogurl » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:51 pm

garcia88 - Yep, I couldn’t have Larek’s plan not work. And you’ll be happy to see a much closer Zan and Inara in this one.
Hunter (2X) - Honey, you say the sweetest things to me. You know that I always look forward to your comments and your stories. :D
begonia9508 - You're getting pretty warm. :wink:
Lena7 - Thank you so much for the feedback. I loved writing Larek and he’s not quite done with his matchmaking just yet.
jake17 - I aim to please, Carrie. You know I love your feedback. And don’t worry, you won’t have to wait too much longer for any Zan and Inara action.
Michelle17 (2X) - Thank for your feedback. You won’t have to wait much longer.
dreamer19 - Thank you for the feedback. And the craziness isn’t over.
Lizzie_Parker17 - Yeah, Kivar is pretty creepy and you can see how messed up the rest of his family is.
mizzshinoda88 - Thank you for the feedback. It’s nice having you here.
Janetfl (2X) - Oh, it’s so good to see you here, hon. I’m really happy that you’re enjoying this story.
Alien_Friend - Thank you so much for your feedback. I’m glad that you’re enjoying this because sometimes, when I'm writing it, it doesn’t even make sense in my head. So I’m glad that your enjoying my story and the way I’ve made the characters. :D

To all of you, thank you so much for your patience and support. And I hope you enjoy this next part. :D

Chapter Ten

Two weeks later…

Vilandra sat at the vanity in her dressing room, looking at herself in the mirror while the servants finished doing her hair. Today was her wedding day, supposedly the happiest day of her life, however she was anything but happy. She didn’t want this. She didn’t want to married to Rath. She loved him but not like that, not the way a wife should love a husband and she was more than certain that he felt the exact same way she did. But there was nothing either one of them could do. They were stuck. Vilandra felt a hand on her shoulder and looked over to see Inara looking at her with a frown on her face.

“Are you all right?” She asked.

“Oh, yeah, yes, I’m fine,” Vilandra assured. “I’m just a little nervous. That’s all.”

“Yeah, I remember how I was on my wedding day,” Serena chuckled as she sat across from the girls on a loveseat with her four-year old daughter, Jadzia, in her lap. “I was so nervous, I couldn’t eat all day. But it passes. Don’t worry.”

“We’re done, your majesty,” one of the servants said before bowing her head down.

“Thank you,” Vilandra said, smiling kindly at the servant. She got up from her seat at the vanity table and walked over to bigger mirror by loveseat so she could take a look at herself.

“You look amazing, Lonnie,” Inara said in awe as she looked at Vilandra.

“Thanks.” Vilandra had to admit it, she really did look beautiful. Her strapless dress had been made with some of the finest silk on Antar and flowed down from the waist. Her hair was done up in a loose bun and couple of strands of hair caressing her face, with a tiara on top of her head. She looked like a bride. She just wished that she was marrying a different groom.

Her mind wander over to Kivar, the man that she really loved and the man that she really wanted to be marrying. She wondered if maybe he missed her as much as she missed him. Ending things with him had been the hardest thing that she had ever done, and she would regret it for the rest of her life. For a moment she actually envied Zan. He may be acting immaturely about his future, but she had to admire the way he stood up for himself. When their parents had told her that she would be engaged to Rath, she had fought a little but ultimately backed down, but Zan refused to let their parents tell him who to spend the rest of his life with. She wished that she had that kind of bravery.

Feeling something tugging on her dress, Vilandra looked down and saw Jadzia playing with her dress. Vilandra smiled and picked up the child just as the doors slid open and queen Amara walked into the room wearing proud smile on her face. The servants in the room along with Serena and Inara bowed their heads in her presence.

“Oh, darling, you look absolutely gorgeous,” she said as stared lovingly at her daughter. This is a moment she’d been dreaming about for so long, seeing her little girl get married, and now it was finally happening. If only she could make Zan see reason the way that Vilandra has.

“Thank you, mother,” Vilandra said, forcing yet another fake smile. She couldn’t wait for this day to be over. She looked over at Jadzia in her arms and saw the girl smiling brightly at her.

“Pwetty,” Jadzia said with a smile before kissing Vilandra on the cheek. Vilandra laughed at how cute she was and kissed her back, and then handed her back over to Serena.

“Well, it’s time,” Amara said. “Are you ready, sweetheart?”

Vilandra’s smile started to fade a little, but she quickly fixed it, not wanting to let her mother know that this marriage was the last thing that she wanted. “I’m ready,”

One of the servants walked up to her and handed Vilandra her bouquet. Vilandra reluctantly took the bouquet, feeling a heavy weight settle in the pit of her stomach. Today was supposed to be the best day of her life, but today felt more like a funeral than a wedding. Today everything that she had ever wanted for her life was dying, her hopes and dreams of finding the kind of love her parents had were going to be completely destroyed today, but still she wouldn’t let that sadness control her. This was what her parents wanted, and she loved them too much to let them down.

As the band started playing the wedding music, Vilandra felt her heart beating wildly in her chest, and she immediately shut her eyes and started to slow, calming breaths as thought about her duty to her family. She had to do this. “I’m ready,” she whispered so low that no could hear it except for her.

Finally she opened her eyes and gave her mother a small smile before her mom left the room and Inara and Serena got into position and Jadzia, the flower girl, quickly grabbed her little white basket full of flowers. As the doors opened and Vilandra prepared to walk down that isle, she took a deep breath and chanted the words “I can do this” over and over in her mind, wanting to get this day over with as fast as possible.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The wedding was absolutely beautiful. All the guests cheered when the high priestess bonded Vilandra and Rath together as husband and wife. At the Antarian Palace, the reception was just lovely, everyone gathering around as Rath and Vilandra entered the ballroom wearing big smiles on their faces. Not one person in the room realized that their happy smiles were only a show, a façade to make them all believe that this was the happiest couple in the world right now. If Only they knew.

As the festivities carried on until late in the night, Zan found it hard to have a good time. No matter what he did, his eyes always wandered back to Inara, who over at another table, talking with her father, Coraline and a couple of other friends. She was absolutely beautiful. She was wearing a red dress with spaghetti straps that tied around her neck, and accentuated her beautiful curves. Her hair was tied back back into a simple pony-tail and skin glowed in the most glorious way. Zan just couldn’t take his eyes off of her no matter how hard he tried.

“Go over to her,” Larek said, taking a seat beside Zan and startling him, which made Larek chuckle.

“Go away, Larek,” Zan snapped, not taking his eyes off Inara for one moment.

Larek rolled his eyes, getting tired of this whole charade. “Come on, Zan. How long are you going to keep playing this game? You know that you that have feelings for her.” When Zan didn’t say anything, Larek continued. “Okay, if you can honestly tell me that you have no romantic feelings for Inara at all, I’ll forget about this whole thing.”

Again Zan didn’t answer, but how could he? Larek was completely right. Zan wanted Inara--he wanted Inara badly. And it wasn’t just in a sexual way. He wanted to be with her. He wanted her to belong to him and no one else, and the closer that he and Inara got, the more he was starting to regret his decision to just be friends with her. He knew that Rath wouldn’t approve of it, and Zan was still scared that he would end up hurting her in some way. But how could he keep fighting his feelings for her when every part of his body was screaming at him to work its will. He wanted her. He wanted her more than words could ever describe.

Taking a deep breath, Zan looked at Larek, who was smiling encouragingly, before he got up from his table and started walking towards Inara, feeling butterflies rumbling in his stomach. He didn’t know what he wanted to say to her, but he knew that he didn’t want to fight this any longer. They’d grown so close to each other in the last couple of weeks, especially with all of the missunderstandings out of the way, and he believed that maybe now was the right time to come clean. His heart pounded hard in his chest as he got closer to Inara, nervous about what he was going to say to her. He was almost there when someone suddenly stepped in front of his, stopping him from going any further. He was about to say ‘excuse me’ and push them aside when that person place their hand on his shoulder.

Zan realized that he’d been so lost in his own thoughts that he wasn’t even aware of who was in front of him. When he did, he felt bile rise in his throat and that familiar rage course through him. She hadn’t really changed since the last time he saw her. She was still absolutely gorgeous with her crystal blue eyes and curly blonde hair, and the beautiful curves of her body. But the way he felt when he looked at her was different. She was no longer the sweet angel he believed she was. He now could see her for who she was.

“Hey, Zan,” Ava greeted, smiling at him seductively. A smile that used to make his heart stop, but now only annoyed him.

“Ava,” he greeted back coldly. He started push her aside and continue towards Inara, but Ava still refused to let him go. Her persistence used to be one of the things he loved about Ava, but now it was nothing more than an annoyance.

“Zan,” she said, looking at him innocently, “I was wondering if we could talk. I know that I’ve screwed up, but I was hoping for a chance to at least talk to you. Can I have that much?”

Zan was about to protest, but her pouty face made him reconsider. Nothing she could say would ever make him love or trust her again, but he at least wanted some answers about why she did what she did to him. Answers that might give him some peace and maybe even a reason to believe that he could trust his heart to someone again. Looking past Ava, Zan could see that Inara was completely entranced in the conversation she was having with her friends, and decided not to interrupt her. Zan looked back at Ava and nodded glumly before her led her out of the ballroom and towards the his mother garden so they could talk.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Coraline eyed Rath provocatively, wishing that she could drag him off somewhere and have her way with him. She’d never wanted anyone like this, and it killed her that the one guy she wanted on this planet just happened to be married to a princess. It’s not like she even wanted a relationship with this man, she just wanted one great night of sex. That was all. The thought of seducing Rath, despite what Inara said, was very tempting. And she knew that she could do it too. She knew that he wanted her just as much. It wouldn’t take much to make Rath forget about his precious little princess. But she wouldn’t. Her friendship with Inara was more important than one night with one of the sexiest men in the galaxy.

Damn, this is going to hard, she thought in frustration. Taking a deep breath, she decided to walk over to Rath, constantly reminding herself to behave.

Rath spotted Coraline and immediately smiled. He also couldn’t help letting his eyes wander over her body appreciatively before returning back to her face. The gold dress she was wearing hugged all of her curves snuggly and gave him an ample amount of cleavage to look at. He hated himself for looking at this woman the way that he was, especially now that he was married man, but it was only looking. There’s no harm in that, right?

“Hello, Coraline,” Rath greeted as he grabbed two glasses of champagne from a waiter’s tray as she passed by, and handed on glass over to Coraline.

She gladly took the glass from Rath. “Congratulations on the wedding, Rath,” she said with fake happiness as she took a sip of her champagne. She saw something in Rath’s eyes that told her that he wasn’t very happy about his wedding. But he quickly covered it up and smiled brightly down at her.

“Thank you,” he said, forcing yet another smile on his face. He hated having to pretend that he was actually happy about being married to Vilandra. But at the same time, he knew that this would be a walk in the park compared to…the wedding night.

The idea of making love to Vilandra made him shiver a little inside. It wasn’t that Vilandra wasn’t beautiful. She was absolutely gorgeous, everyone knew that. But he grew up with her. And she became more of a sister to him than a woman he would consider having a sexual relationship with. Now Coraline on the other hand, was a very different story. More than anything, he would love to take her some where and do all of things that he’d been fantasizing about. He wanted to rip that gold dress off of her and drive himself into her.

He suddenly looked away from Coraline, feeling ashamed for the thoughts that were running through his head. He shouldn’t be thinking about Coraline like this. She was his little sister’s best friend--not his wife. His wife was now Vilandra, and he would be loyal to her, whether he loved her or not.

“So are you enoying the party?” He asked, wanting to talk about something else.

Coraline nodded her head. “Yes, it’s absolutely beautiful. And your bride is absolutely beautiful. Although, I personally think that you could do better,” she said without thinking.

Rath shot her a look, letting her know that he wasn’t amused by her comment. She quickly gave him an apologetic smile, wanting to get rid of the glower that was on his face. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that,” she said, trying to be sincere. “It’s not my place to make judgements like that. She seems really lovely, and you’re happy with her. That’s what really matters.”

No, I’m not! Rath’s mind screamed, though he nodded his head and smiled at Coraline. He had to get away from this woman. She was making him yearn for things that he shouldn’t yearn for, giving him the desire to do things that went against everything he was raised to be, everything that was ever taught to him. His father raised him to a good man and loyal husband, and Rath wouldn’t ignore that.

“I am,” he said, disappointed that he wasn’t as convincing as he should’ve been. “Listen, I have some more mingling that I have to do, but I’ll see you later.”

“Oh, Okay. Well--” Rath was gone befor Coraline could finish what she was saying. She hadn’t meant to drive him away at all. But she couldn’t help the feeling of enmity that she felt towards Vilandra. She had the one thing that Coraline wouldn’t ever have--Rath. And that drove her crazy. But not as crazy as the feeling of frustration and confusion she felt about her behavior. Why did she care so much whether or not she got Rath? It wasn’t like she was in love with him and she had met plenty of guys in her life that didn’t want her--despite what Inara thought--and she’d gotten over it pretty quick. But for some reason, the idea of never having Rath made her feel things in her heart that she had never felt before. She felt pain. Incredible and immense pain. And that didn’t sit well with her.

Coraline was not the type of girl to get mushy over guy, but she had a strong feeling that that was what was happening to her. Maybe it was a good idea that she didn’t socialize with Rath at all. She would not give herself the chance to become some emotional little fool, dreaming of a love that would never happen. She was too smart for all of that.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Inara was having an incredibly good time, chatting and reconnecting with people that she hadn’t seen or talked to in awhile. It was everything that she’d hoped. For one night, she actually allowed herself to pretend that was still the same girl that had left five years ago. And that she hadn’t changed into a woman who was more self aware and confident than she had--and that she was also a girl who’d been having dreams about Antar’s unspeakable doom.

That was the one thing that kept her from completely enjoying herself. Her nightmares hadn’t stopped since she returned to Antar. It was just the opposite. They’d been getting stronger and more vivid. And as she looked around at all these people around her, the people that she loved, she couldn’t shake this terrible feeling that something bad was going to happen to all of them. No, stop thinking this way, she scolded herself. The last thing she wanted to think about tonight were these stupid dreams that she’d been having--dreams that probably didn’t even mean anything--but they were still with her. No matter how hard she tried, they were still there, in the back of her mind.

Inara closed her eyes in frustration as her hand immediately clutched her necklace--the necklace that had started all of these dreams in the first place. She didn’t know why she had decided to wear it tonight. She didn’t even know why she hadn’t thrown it out yet. She should’ve since she still didn’t know who had sent it to her, but for some reason she just couldn’t. She felt connected to it, like it was a part of her, though she didn’t know how yet.

She slowly released her grip on the necklace, wishing that she could have at least one moment when her dreams would not linger in her mind somewhere. But it was becoming impossible. She started to get up from her seat when she felt Vilandra’s hand on her arm. Inara had been so lost in thought that she completely forgotten that she wasn’t alone at her table. She’d been sitting with Vilandra, Serena, Jin and her father for a couple of hours, but had been too lost in thought to remember what they had been talking about.

“Where are you going?” Vilandra asked is curiosity.

All eyes were on Inara and she felt a little uncomfortable. She didn’t want to worry them, but she also wasn’t ready to tell them about the dreams she’d been having. She could hardly make sense of them herself. But she knew that they were curious about her eager desire to return home so suddenly, especially Vilandra. She hadn’t stopped with the questions since Inara had returned home, but Inara had skillfully dodged them all. She just wasn’t ready--not yet. Forcing a fake smile on her lips, Inara shrugged and looked at each person at the table.

“I just wanted some air,” she stated simply, hoping that everyone would buy it. Luckily for her, they all did. Vilandra released her arm and returned to the conversation she’d been having with Serena. Inara politely pushed through some of the other guests, making her way out of the ballroom, when someone else placed a hand on her arm, stopping her from going any further.

“Where are you going?” Rath asked, looking down at his baby sister.

“Hey, Rath,” she started, smiling brightly at Rath, “I was just going to step outside for some air.”

“You want some company?” He tried to act casual about it, but Inara could see right through him. They hadn’t really had a chance to talk since she came back home and he could feel the distance between them. She wasn’t the same person she used to be, and that worried Rath a little, wondering what could’ve happened to make her change so much. Though it didn’t seem like she had changed at all to others, Rath could see it. Even now--when she was chatting happily with her friends and family--he could see that it was more of an act on her part. Like she was wearing a mask to keep others from seeing what was happening with her. Rath just didn’t like it.

“Oh, no, I’m fine,” she answered a little too quickly. “I just kind of want to be alone for a minute.”

Rath nodded, not even trying to hide his concern anymore. “You know, Inara, if you want to talk--about anything--I’m here.”

“I know that.” Inara could see how worried he was about her and that made her feel guilty for not telling him about her dreams. But it was just too soon. “But there’s nothing to talk about,” she lied. “I promise. I just kind of feel like being alone right now.”

Rath looked at her for a moment before finally giving up, knowing that couldn’t force her to talk to him. “Okay, well don’t stay outside for too long, okay. It’s a little chilly outside.”
“I’ll be okay,” Inara chuckled, rolling her eyes at her big brother’s protective nature. When Rath finally released her arm, Inara turned around and continued walking out of the ballroom--thankfully without anyone else stopping her.

She sighed in relieve when she stepped out into queen Amara’s garden and felt the cool breeze against her skin. It felt nice to just relax and not have to pretend any longer. Lately that’s all she’d been doing. Pretending. Trying to appear normal to everyone in her life so that they wouldn’t worry about. It was exhausting.

Inara looked up at the night sky, allowing herself to get lost in the beauty of the stars above. It looked so calm and peaceful up there and silently wished that she could be one of those stars, to know what it was like to be apart of that serenity. The sound of voices broke Inara out of her thoughts and she decided to find out who those voices belonged to.

She walked down the lighted path, getting closer to the two voices. She froze when she realized who they belonged to and wondered if she should go any further. She decided to ignore what her heart was telling her and continued on her path towards the voices. The closer she got, the faster her heart started beating in her chest. Her mind conjured up a very unhappy memory, one that still broke her even, despite how much she’d grown up.

And suddenly it felt like she hadn’t grown up at all. As her entire body froze in front of the gazebo, where Zan and Ava were now kissing, it felt like she was thirteen all over again--watching the love of her life kiss another woman. The wound that she thought had healed a long time had suddenly been ripped open and her heart shattered in a million pieces.

And as Zan and Ava kissed, Inara just stood there feeling like the biggest fool on the planet. Her feelings for Zan hadn’t changed at all in the five years that she’d been away. She was still the same thirteen-year old girl who had devoted her heart to Zan. And she always would be.

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Re: Love & War on Antar (M/L ADULT) Chapter 10 A/N 12/28/08

Postby Cocogurl » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:53 pm

pijeenchinadoll - Yeah, Zan certainly has some explaining to do.

begonia9508 (2x) - Yeah, I know. But that’s the way royalty is sometimes.

Natalie36 - Most men can be idiots sometimes though. :lol:

Janetfl - Don’t worry. All will be explained. :wink:

Hunter (3x) - Can I help you kill her? Lol. I always love your feedback.

Alien_Friend - Thanks for your wonderful feedback. Vilandra and Rath are just very good people who want to please their parents.

Lizzie_Parker17 - Wait and see. ;)

POM - Just remember that at one point Zan thought that he really loved Ava. So, he’s bound to be a little confused.

crazedearthgirl - Thank you so much for reading this. And I hope you keep enjoying this.

Roswell10/2/00 - Thanks for the feedback.

Lena7 - Thanks for the bump. ;)

LizNdAlec4eva - Thank you so much for being here. I hope you enjoy this next part.

Don't worry. It's not a dream. I really AM back with another chapter. :D I hope you guys enjoy it.

Chapter Eleven

“What the hell are you doing?!” Zan snapped angrily, shoving her away from him as fast as possible and wiping his mouth in disgust. He couldn’t believe she actually had the nerve to kiss him after the hell that she had put him through. But more than that, he couldn’t believe that he had actually let her kiss him. It was only for a second or two, but it was enough. What the hell was wrong with him? As his angry eyes looked down on her, he could tell that she was confused and surprised by his reaction. Was she really that dense?

“What?” She asked in shock, obviously not expecting the rejection. “What did I do?”

“Look,” he started through clenched teeth, “whatever you have to say to me, just say it and get it over with. But keep your filthy lips off of mine. Understand?”

Ava actually looked insulted, but quickly calmed herself down. “I have to say, Zan, I’m a little confused. I remember you used to like my kisses.” She took a step closer to him and placed her hand on his chest. “You couldn’t get enough of them.”

It took all of Zan’s effort not to shove Ava away again. Instead he slowly removed her hand from his chest and took a step back. “Well, that was before I figured out who you really are.”

“Oh, come on, Zan. We were amazing together,” she told him. “And we still are. Everyone knows that. Our families know that. Now are you really going to let one little mistake stop us from being what we can still be?”

A little mistake?! Zan felt like his head was about to explode. Is that what she called what she did to him? A little mistake? He remembered the night that she had made her “little mistake” and it was anything but little. He felt an ache in his heart as he remembered what happened, how she had broken his heart…

Zan felt excited as he entered the Zantarian Palace. It was his three-year anniversary with Ava, and he wanted to surprise her with a trip to the Valerian gardens for the day. He’d already gotten approval from king Galen, who seemed extremely happy about Ava being with Zan. And Zan knew why. Zan wondered if maybe he was the only prince in the galaxy who was happy about the woman his family wanted him to marry. He probably was, but it didn’t matter. He loved Ava and he didn’t think anything could ever change that.

He ran into Kivar on his way towards Ava’s bedroom and felt a little uneasy about the way that Kivar looked at him. It was like he knew something that Zan didn’t. He made it to Ava’s room and placed his hand on the doorknob, but stopped when he heard strange grunts and moans coming from her room. His body froze completely and felt a sense of dread as he stood outside of her door, not wanting to see what he knew was going on in there. Unable to avoid it, he opened the door and entered the bedroom, feeling his heart shattered as he saw what he had already assumed was happening. Ava grunting in pleasure as she rode some naked man beneath her. He wished that someone would come along and kill him instantly. That way he’d be spared the intense pain that he was feeling right now.

A deep seed of rage settled in his stomach as he watched Ava having sex with this man--the most intense rage he had ever felt. In all of his life he had never felt so betrayed in his life, and he wasn’t about to be silent about it. “AVA!” He shouted in anger, making the guy immediately throw Ava off of him in shock. Zan’s anger intensified when Ava looked at him in annoyance.

“What are you doing here, Zan?” She asked as she got up from her bed with the sheet wrapped around her body.

“I can’t see my girlfriend on our three year anniversary?” Zan said through clenched teeth. Shouldn’t she be showing something more than annoyance and disappointment? She should be looking ashamed and guilty, but he couldn’t see that in her eyes.

“Look, I’m just going to go,” the guy finally said, already out of bed and putting his clothes on. He quickly put on his shoes and started to leave when Zan grabbed him by the collar of his shirt, yanking him close enough to see the deadly glare in Zan’s eyes. “

I don’t ever want to see you again, you hear me?” Zan warned, his tone deadly serious.

The guy gulped loudly before nodding his head slowly. As soon as Zan let go of him, he rushed out of the bedroom without another word. Zan glared at Ava in a way that he’d never glared at her before. But Ava just rolled her eyes and walked over to her vanity. “Oh, don’t look at me like that, like you didn’t know what this whole relationship was about.”

“I didn’t actually.” Zan’s fists repeatedly cleanched as he watched Ava do her hair. His heart was breaking, but she didn’t seem to care that she had just betrayed him in the biggest way possible.

“Zan, you are a really amazing guy,” she said, suddenly taking a softer tone as she stood up and walked towards Zan. “I really care about you, but we both know the truth. The only reason we really got together was because our families wanted it.”

“That’s not why I was with you,” he said, his anger fading a little bit as he felt the betrayel really start to sink in. “I love you.”

Ava could hear the sincerity in his voice, but that only made her pity him more rather than really feel guilty for cheating on him. “I thought I loved you too. But now I realize that all we really had was just some silly infatuation for each other--nothing more than that.” All Zan could do was stare at Ava in shock as she kissed his cheek and turned away from him again. “Oh, don’t worry. We’ll still be getting married if that’s what you’re worried about. I have no intention disappointing our families like that.”


That was the moment that had changed things for Zan, he finally realized who she was and why she really wanted to be with him. But she was going to be sadly disappointed, he said silently to himself. He wasn’t going to let himself get stuck with this horrible woman because his parents cared more about alliances and power more than their own children.

Zan was just about to tell Ava that when he was suddenly aware of another presence. He looked up from Ava and spotted Inara standing there with an unreadable expression on her face, but he had a strong feeling that this didn’t mean anything good. Ava saw the look in Zan’s eyes and turned around to see Inara.

She couldn’t resist smirking when she realized that Inara was there. She remembered Inara’s silly infatuation with Zan and nothing would please Ava more right now then to see Inara’s poor little heart break again. Hell, it wasn’t Ava’s fault that Inara was too stupid to realize that Zan would never love a child like her.

“Hello, Inara,” she said in fake sweetness, internally revelling in the fact that Inara caught them. She watched Inara’s reaction closely, hoping she could see some tiny ounce of pain on the pretty brunette’s face. She remembered how infatuated Inara was with Zan, and Ava would personally enjoy seeing the crumbled look on Inara’s face as she watched the love of her life with another woman. But the look on Inara’s face both confused and disappointed Ava. Inara didn’t look hurt at all. She didn’t look like anything actually. Her face was completely expressionless and unfazed, like it didn’t surprise her at all to see Ava with Zan.

I wasn’t expecting that, Ava thought to herself in disappointment. After a moment, Ava took a step towards Inara, hoping to get a different reaction. “This certainly brings back memories,” she said. “You know, five years ago?”

Inara could see where Ava was going with this, but she refused to give in. It still hurt to see Zan with Ava, but Inara was stronger than she had been five years ago. She wouldn’t let the heartache control her anymore. “Yes, I remember, Ava.” The calm tone in Inara’s voice through Ava off guard. Inara enjoyed that. “It’s really nice to see you again.”

“It’s really good to see you too. You’ve grown up so much.” Ava was becoming very annoyed with this game. “Well, I don’t mean to be rude, but Zan and I were talking.”

Inara nodded her head, her face still devoid of any emotion. “I see,” she said. Finally her eyes landed on Zan, who looked very shocked and confused, like he wanted to say something, but couldn’t find the right words. But Inara didn’t care anymore. She wasn’t going let herself continue being the girl who pined for a man who didn’t feel the same way.

“Well, I didn’t mean to interrupt. I’ll just head back inside.” Inara turned around and headed inside without another word.

Zan was about to say something, but she was already gone. Crap! This is bad, he thought. Even though he had no intention of ever being with Ava again, he knew how that would’ve looked to someone on the outside, especially Ava. He quickly started to walk after her. Zan didn’t want to ruin his chance to be with Inara before he even really got it. He felt Ava’s hand wrap around his arm, trying to stop him from leaving. Instead of shaking her arm off of him in disgust like he really wanted to do, he turned around and glared at her.

“Where are you going?” She asked in confusion. “I thought we were trying to work things out.”

“No, Ava, you were trying to work things out,” he corrected. “But I don’t care, because nothing you say is ever going to make me want you again.”

Ava stood there in stunned silence for a moment, not sure what to say. She knew that Zan would still be angry with her for what she had done, but she certainly hadn’t been expecting this. She could see it in Zan’s eyes--he didn’t love or want her anymore. And her chance at being queen was pretty much gone. She could tell by the hatred in Zan’s eyes that he wouldn’t give in to his parents without on hell of a fight.

“Zan…” was all she managed to get out before he cut her off.

“I don’t love you anymore, Ava,” he said firmly, not bothering to hide the hatred in his voice. “And I never will. There is nothing my parents can do that will actually make me marry a disgusting whore like you.”

Ava was left standing there in shock as Zan rushed out of the garden. No, this couldn’t be happening. This couldn’t be real. For the first time since she and Zan had broken up, she actually felt worried. She knew that she had hurt Zan, but she never believed that it was really over between them. She didn’t think Zan had the strength to actually end it, but there was no mistaking the look in his eyes when he looked at her. He wanted nothing to do with her anymore. And what scared her even more than that was the look on his face when he realized that Inara had caught them. There was guilt and even…desire. Ava couldn’t believe it! Zan wanted Inara. This couldn’t real. Inara was a stupid, little child. How could anyone want her? Ava knew that she was going to have to fix this somehow.

Once she had recovered from the shock, Ava returned to party, but she was feeling less cheerful than she had been earlier.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Zan entered the ballroom and started searching the crowd for Inara, but he couldn’t see her anywhere. What the hell was wrong with him? How could he have let Ava kiss him? And the worst part of it wasn’t even the kiss, it was the look on Inara’s face when she saw them. It was subtle, but he saw the pain in her eyes. And now he probably screwed up any chance he had with her.

he thought to himself. He had to explain himself to her. He wasn’t ready to lose his chance with her. He pushed through the throng of people, trying to catch a glimpse of Inara anywhere. When he spotted her, he suddenly felt his body tense up in jealousy when he saw who she was currently talking to.

Kivar.

What the hell was she doing talking to Kivar? Last time he checked, Inara didn’t like him. She said that he made her uncomfortable. She certainly doesn’t look uncomfortable, he thought bitterly. He couldn’t believe the way he was reacting to the sight of them together. It was all Zan could do to stop himself from storming over there and punching Kivar in the face. Zan’s fists started to clench at his sides when he saw Kivar brush his hand across her arm. He was putting a stop to this.

It took all of Zan’s control to casually walk over to them, resisting the urge to storm over there and yank Inara away from him. When he made over to them they were still enthralled in their conversation.

“That sounds fascinating,” Inara said, her eyes full of excitement.

“What’s fascinating?” Zan interrupted, happy when both Kivar and Inara stopped talking and looked over at him. Zan’s eyes were only on Kivar for a second before he turned them on Inara. He noticed the way her smile faltered for a moment when she saw him but then picked back up. It was so quick that no one would’ve even have noticed that she had stopped smiling, even for a second. The old Zan certainly wouldn’t have. He also wouldn’t have noticed the sudden change in her presence now that he was standing next to her, the way her smile no longer reached her eyes.

But now all Zan did was notice Inara. He noticed the way her nose crinkled when she laughed and the way her hair shined underneath the lights of the ballroom, and the way her skin glowed in the red dress she was wearing and his body’s reaction to it. I love her,he thought to himself. Zan was finally willing to admit that he was in love with her. He had promised himself a long time ago that he would never allow himself to feel this way about someone ever again, but somehow Inara had managed to steal his heart. And that scared him as much as it excited him. He didn’t want to get hurt again.

“Oh, I was just telling her about the things that we’ve discovered from our time on earth,” Kivar answered smoothly.

“Honestly, I wish that humans were ready for contact,” Inara said glumly. “They are a fascinating race.”

“Fascinating?” Kivar said, cocking his head curiously. “I guess they have their interesting moments…for monkey children.”

“Your highness, I'm surprised you'd say something like that,” Inara admonished. “Afterall, there isn’t much difference between our species. It won’t be long before they’re ready for contact.”

Kivar just shrugged. “If you say so,” he said before taking a sip of his champagne. Then he noticed the necklace around Inara’s neck and the strange symbol on it. It looked very familiar somehow. “That’s a very interesting necklace, Inara. Where did you get it?”

“Oh, um, I-I,” Inara stuttered through her words as she clutched the necklace in her hand protectively, “It was a graduation present.”

“Really? From who?” Kivar asked.

Zan looked over at Inara and noticed how uncomfortable she looked standing there, clutching the necklace to her chest. She really did not like that Kivar was curious about her necklace. Before Inara could answer him, Zan grabbed her hand and pulled her closer to him before leaning his head towards her ear slightly. “Um, if you don’t, Kivar, I’d like to ask this beautiful lady to dance.”

Kivar noticed how close Zan was to Inara at the moment, and the way that she unconsciously started to drift closer to his body. Kivar really didn’t want to give up his time with Inara, especially when he saw the jealous look in Zan’s eyes when he had walked up--that had come as a real surprise to Kivar. But still, Kivar played it cool. He didn’t want to seem overly chatty with Inara anyway, not with his family and fiance around here somewhere.

“Of course,” Kivar said coolly and turned to Inara and took her hand and kissed it gently. “It was a pleasure seeing you again, Inara.”

Inare smiled and nodded her head, finally feeling relaxed enough to release the death she had on her necklace. “The pleasure was all mine, your highness.”

“Please. Call me Kivar.” Kivar glanced down at Inara’s necklace before Zan led her out onto the dance floor. As he watched them dance, he could feel his jealousy rise--the same jealousy that he’d seen in Zan’s eyes only moments ago. Kivar couldn’t believe it. That moronic little playboy was actually lusting after Inara. Didn’t the mighty prince of Antar have enough whores to satisfy his needs? Did he really have to go after someone as sweet and pure as her? Kivar could feel his anger starting to take over and knew he had to keep himself under control, so he let himself focuse on Inara’s necklace instead. There was something about that symbol that was so familiar. He’d seen it somewhere before, obviously, he just couldn’t remember where.

But he was certainly going to find out.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“Thank you so much,” Inara said in relief as Zan twirled her around in his arms on the dance floor. She tried hard not to think about how good his arms felt around her. She didn’t need to torture herself like that. But she had to admit that she was very relieved to be away from Kivar. They way he had been examining her necklace had made her very uncomfortable. It made her think of the horrible nightmare she had had the other night.

“It’s not a problem,” Zan said with chuckle, breaking her of her thoughts. “I was surprised to see you over there with prince Kivar in the first place. I remember how you used to purposely try to avoid him at parties.”

“Well, he’s changed a lot since the last time I’ve seen him,” Inara said simply.

“Yeah, I’ll bet,” Zan muttered and continued dancing. He wasn’t going to let a worm like Kivar get to him, not when he was dancing with the most beautiful creature in the universe. He felt Inara tense in his arms and wondered, if somehow, she had known what he had been thinking. But when he looked down at her face, he saw that she wasn’t looking at him at all, she was looking at someone behind him. Zan twirled them around to see what she was looking at and saw Ava standing there watching, giving both of them a murderous glare.

“So, about what you saw out in the garden,” Zan started nervously, “I just wanted you to know that…”

“Zan, just forget about it,” she interjected quickly, not wanting to talk about this. “It’s not a big deal.”
“I just want you to know that what you saw out there wasn’t what it looked like. Ava and I aren‘t together,” he said, desparately hoping that she would believe him. Her face, however, gave him no indication of what she was thinking at the moment.

“Zan, it really doesn’t matter,” she said firmly, trying not to let her feelings get the best of her. “We’re just friends. You really don’t have to explain your relationships to me.”

“Relationships?” Zan looked confused. What was she talking about?

Inara nodded her head. “Yeah. Whether you and Ava are back together or it’s just a fling, it doesn’t matter to me. Vilandra told me about told me everything, so you really don’t have to explain.”

Zan suddenly stopped dancing and looked at Inara intensly. “What exactly did Lonnie tell you about me,” he said, barely containing the sudden anger that he felt. He could tell that Inara was taken aback by the sudden harshness in his tone, but he didn’t really care at the moment. He didn’t like the idea that his own sister would talk about him behind his back, and especially with the girl he was in love with.

“S-she just told me about how you were with women,” Inara answered back uncertainly, unsure of how he was going to react next. She was quick to try and calm him down though. “But it’s not a big deal, Zan. You know, I’m not a little girl anymore. I can handle these things.”

“Inara, I don’t know what Lonnie told you, but I’m not the person you think I am,” he said and she raised her eyebrows in surprise. “Okay, I am that person, but I don’t want to be. Not anymore.”

“Why?” Inara asked. “You seem to have everything that you want. Why would you want to change?”

“Because…” Because all I want is you, was what Zan wanted to say, but he just couldn’t work up the courage to say it.

“Zan, we haven’t seen each other in five years,” she explained. “And we’ve both changed a lot. I know I have, and it’s obvious from what Lonnie’s told me that you have too.”

“Yeah, well, Lonnie doesn’t know anything,” Zan snapped angrily. “And neither do you. You don’t know what I went through.”

“Well, then explain it me,” Inara fired back, suddenly feeling angry herself. “Why don’t you explain to me what turned you into this when it wasn’t that long ago when you believed that the precious Ava was the love of your life.” Inara couldn’t hide the bitterness in her voice as she said Ava’s name. It didn’t really hit her until how sad and angry she was at Zan for wanting Ava instead of her.

“I will if you can explain to me why you’ve been acting so differently since you came home,” he said, which made Inara’s entire body freeze and her face suddenly became paler. “Come on, Inara. Tell me the truth. What really made you come home.”

“I think we’re done talking,” Inara said in a deadly calm tone before breaking free of Zan’s arms around her. It only took a minute for Zan’s anger to be replaced with guilt for the things he’d said. He shouldn’t have pushed Inara like that, but he did. And now he had to find a way to make it right before it was too late.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Inara ran a brush furiously through her hair as she sat her vanity table, looking at herself in the mirror. She couldn’t believe the nerve of Zan. It was none of his business why she had returned. But what angered her more was the way that she had behaved. Everything she had said to Zan was said out jealousy and hurt. She had let herself believe that she was no longer the girl that pined away for the prince, but she was wrong. She was still that girl and always would be. In frustration, Inara slammed her brush down on her vanity and removed her necklace from her neck. She stared the necklac for a moment, tracing the strange symbol with her finger, before placing it in a little drawer.

It also made her angry that almost everyone could sense that something was different about her. She knew that Rath must’ve talked with Zan about her strange behavior before she returned. More than anything, she wanted to tell someone about what was going on with her, but she just wasn’t ready yet. Inara stood up from her vanity and walked over to her closet to change into her night gown. Once changed, Inara climbed into her bed and started to let herself drift off to sleep. Inara’s eyes weren’t closed for long when she could a hear a strange tapping sound on her balcony doors. When she opened her eyes and sat up, she saw Zan standing on her balcony, his fingertips just barely resting on the glass.

Reluctantly Inara got out of her bed and walked over to her balcony door. “How did you get up her, Zan?” She asked once she opened the doors.

Zan shrugged. “I levitated.”

“But you don’t know how to levitate,” she said. “You practiced for years, but you just never got the hang of it.”

“Well, you know what they say, practice makes perfect,” he answered, flashing her his infamous Zan smile, the one that always made Inara turn into a pile of goo.

“I can see that,” she chuckled, feeling herself fall under his spell once again. After a moment of silence, Inara returned to herself and once again her anger for their fight earlier returned, though it had ebbed some. “What are you doing here, Zan?”

Zan’s smiled slowly faded and Inara could swear that he actually looked nervous at the moment. “I wanted to talk,” he said, shifting on his feet slightly, waiting for her response. She was so different from every other woman he’d ever known. He never knew what to say around her or what to do. If it were any other woman, she would already be his, but not Inara. She was special.

“Zan, I thnk tonight has taught us that we really aren’t good at talking to each other,” she said, and started to shut the door. But Zan wasn’t about to give up that easily. He placed his hand on her balcony door, stopping her from closing it completely.

“Look, Inara, I know that we both got a little out of hand tonight, and maybe said some things we shouldn’t off…” Zan paused for a moment, until he saw Inara nod before opening her door a little further. Smiling a little, he continued. “Can I show you something?”

“Show me what?” She asked.

“Something I’ve never shown anyone before.” Zan watched the way Inara’s beautiful lips curved up into a little smile.

“Sure,” she said before grabbing her robe and following Zan outside. Just like that, all of her anger had evaporated. Now all she cared about was getting closer to Zan.

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Re: Love & War on Antar (M/L ADULT) Chapter 11 2/04/09

Postby Cocogurl » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:10 am

destinyc - I Think you’ll like what Zan has to show Inara.

POM - Yep, Zan and Inara are definitely heading in the right direction.

garcia88 (2x) - Trust me, you aren’t the only one who hates Ava. Thanks so much for the feedback.

Alien_Friend - Thank you so much for the feedback! I’m glad you enjoyed it. And I really hope you enjoy what I have in store for Zan and Inara next.

begonia9508 - Thanks for the feedback. Ava is definitely dangerous. And as the story progesses you’ll get to see just how evil she is. I also think you might like Zan in the next few chapters.

Hunter - You asked for more and you got more! Thank you for your wonderful feedback, Hunter.

Janetfl (2x) - Thank you so much for your feedback, hon. I think you’re going to like what Zan’s going to show her.

mirae01 - Aww, I hope that changes. I think you might like Zan a little more as things progress.

DaleStateShorty - Thanks so much for the feedback. It’s good to have you here.

Autumnfall3 - I’m really happy that you’re enjoying this. I hope you enjoy this next part.


Chapter Twelve

Zan held Inara’s hand as he led her through the Zenon Woods. Every part of him hoped that she liked what he was about to show her. He really wanted to make her see that he wasn’t the same person he was before, that he really was serious about her. After walking a few more feet, Zan released her hand as he and Inara came to a stop in front of a little old cottage.

“This is what you had to show me?” Inara asked, looking a little confused. Of all of the things she’d imagined Zan would show her, she didn’t think it would be this. There were some definite signs that the cottage was really old. The paint was chipped and cracked in a few places, some of the windows were cracking, but apart from that, the cottage was pretty well kept. “Who lives here?”

“I do,” Zan said. He smiled when Inara gave him a confused look. “Come with me.”

Inara followed Zan into the cottage and was surprised at how beautiful it was inside--even better than it was outside. The hard wood floors looked brand new with two velvety red loveseats that sat facing each other in the middle of the room. There were unlit candles all over the room but with a flick of Zan’s fingers, all of the candles flickered to life, giving the room a very intimate glow.

“Wow,” Inara said in awe.

Zan smiled when he heard the tone in her voice. She had the voice of an angel. “There’s more,” he said, gently taking her hand and leading her back into the bedroom area.

No matter how beautiful the living area was, it didn’t compare to how beautiful the bedroom was. Despite a few cracks in the ceiling, the room was surprisingly warm, which had a lot to do with the fireplace that had lit up the minute they stepped into the room. There was a king size mattress up against the wall across from the fireplace. The blanket was a beautiful midnight blue and was neatly made while two plush pillows of the same color leaned against the wall behind the mattress. Inara walked over to a huge window adjacent the bed and gasped in astonishment. A few feet from where the cottage stood was an enormous lake that glimmered in the moonlight. The stars shined brightly in the sky and Inara could see the hills in the horizon. It was the most beautiful sight she’d ever seen.

“It still needs some work obviously, but I’ll get it done,” Zan said.

Inara could hear the nervousness in his voice as he waited for her response. She turned and smiled at Zan, realizing that there was something there even more spectacular than the view behind her. In her eyes there was nothing more gorgeous then the man standing before her, looking very awkward at the moment. “It’s amazing, Zan,” she said and watched the smile form on his face, obviously pleased with her response. “But what did you mean when you said this place was yours?”

Zan walked towards her. “I found this place a few years ago…” he said, his smile getting brighter as he let himself get lost in the fantasies this place gave him. “When I found it, for some reason, I could just imagine myself living here.”

Inara chuckled. “Zan, you’re the prince of Antar, you live in a palace where servants wait on you hand and foot. I can’t imagine that you’d really want to live in this cottage.”

“Well, I do,” Zan said firmly, avoiding her eyes as he continued. “But in my mind, I’m not a prince. I’m just man living his life.”

“What else do you imagine?” Inara asked.

“In my fantasies I meet this incredible woman, and what makes her so special is that she’s smart and kind, she cares about people around her and doesn’t care for money or power or the things most women want. She doesn’t love me for anything other than myself.” Zan didn’t know why he was telling her all of this, but for some reason he felt he could tell her these things. And he’d never felt he could tell anyone so much--not even Ava. “And the moment I see this woman, I just know that she’s one and we live happily ever after.”

“So that‘s what you think about,” Inara said, trying to resist the urge to kiss him. Her heart was pounding so fast in her chest, but she kept herself in check. She didn’t want him to see how his words effected her. She didn’t want him to know that at the very moment, she was wishing that she could be the girl in his fantasies.

Zan couldn’t believe how good it felt to let someone in again. He hadn’t felt this way in a long time--not since he was with Ava. But still it was different. Even when things were great with Ava, he never felt comfortable enough to let her see this side of him. Looking back on it now, he couldn’t believe how foolish he was to believe that what he had with Ava was true love. The feelings he had for Ava didn’t even come close to comparing to what he felt just by looking at Inara. “You know, I’ve never told anyone this stuff before,” he said in an astonished voice.

Inara could hear the tone in his voice and smiled. “Maybe you were just waiting for the right person to open up to.”

“What about you?” Max asked. “Who do you open up to?”

Inara sighed. “Zan…”

“I’m not trying to push,” Zan said quicky, hoping that he didn’t screw this up. “I’m just saying that we both know that you haven’t been the same since you got home, and you don’t have to tell me anything if you don’t want to…I just want you to know that if you do want to talk about it, I’m here for you.”

Inara was stunned by the seriousness in his eyes. She could see that he truly meant what he was saying. She really wanted to tell him about the necklace, about the dreams…but she just couldn’t. She already like she was insane for making such a big deal about these asinine dreams. She didn’t think she could handle it if Zan looked at her the same way. “About the girl in your fantasy,” she started, trying to change the subject, “who is she?”

Zan could tell that Inara really wasn’t ready to talk about her reasons for coming home, so he dropped it. “It doesn’t matter,” he answered, shrugging.

“Why not?” She asked. So there really was a girl, she realized. She couldn’t help but wondered who else had stolen Zan’s heart. Somehow she and Ava had managed to do the one thing Inara could never do no matter how hard she tried. She’d love to know what their secret was.

Zan looked out on the lake as he answered her. “Because I don’t think I’ll ever get her.” He wondered if Inara had any clue that he was talking about her. Until she came back into his life, the girl in his fantasies never had a face, even when he was with Ava. When he looked back at Inara, he could tell by her frown that she didn’t know that he was talking about her. Zan didn’t know if he was relieved by that or more nervous. “What I’m saying is that I’m not sure if she feels the same way about me.”

“Have you ever thought about asking her?”

“Several times,” he answered in frustration. If only she knew how much he thought about her.

“And you’re scared,” Inara stated in an amused grin. “Wow, you really have changed. The Zan I knew didn’t fear anything.”

Zan smiles at the cocky tone in her voice. “Well, the Zan you knew didn’t have so much to lose.”

Zan was smiling, but Inara could see the worry in his eyes. This woman, whoever she was, really meant something to Zan. Maybe even more than Ava did. As much as it hurt her, she wanted him to be happy. She walked closer to Zan and took his hand in hers. “It seems to me that if you truly care about this girl, then isn’t she worth the risk?”

“Yes, she is,” he said. Inara’s skin felt so good against his, and the feelings he got from her touch were more powerful than anything he’d ever felt. He couldn’t control himself any longer. With his free hand, he gently brushed a few strands of hair away from Inara’s face and started to slowly caress her cheek. She’s so beautiful, he thought to himself.

Inara didn’t know what to make of this. She was very confused. She thought Zan was interested in another woman and now his actions were saying something else entirely. And the way he was looking at her made her heart want to jump out of her chest. He was looking at her the way she had always dreamed he would--like he wanted her the same way she wanted him. She could feel her body start to heat up when Max started to lean in towards her, his eyes focused on her lips now. Her eyes unconsciously started to close as his face got closer to hers and her entire body froze. She was terrified that a single movement could destroy what was about to happen.

Zan’s lips lightly brushed against Inara’s at first before kissing her fully. An intense feeling of completion rushed through his body as he kissed her. It was like she was the woman he was always supposed to be kissing. He didn’t know why it had taken him so long to realize that. The kiss was soft and gentle at first but soon became more passionate as Inara started kissing him back.

Inara felt Zan wrap his arms around her waist and pull her closer to his body, and she instinctively ran her fingers through his hair. She tried bring him as close to her as possible. Only in her dreams had Zan kissed her like this. And it was everything she had imagined it would be and more. At this moment in time, the entire universe could explode and she wouldn’t even notice. Every single part of her could only focuse on how safe she felt being in his arms, and how aroused she was by the way he was kissing her.

Soon their mouths opened and Inara thought she’d explode when Zan’s tongue slipped into her mouth and gently started dueling with hers. It was all too much. Inara broke away from Zan, panting heavily.

“What’s wrong?” Zan asked between breaths, still holding her tightly in his arms.

When the sexual fog Inara was in cleared, she suddenly realized what she and Zan had just been doing. What the hell was she thinking? How could she have kissed him like that? She was supposed to be over him, supposed to be moving forward with her life. And not only was she not moving on, but now Zan knew that she was still very much in love with him. She wasn’t comfortable with that. She removed herself from Zan’s arms and took a few steps away from him. “I’m sorry,” she said, looking truly remorseful for kissing him. “I don’t know why I…I’m so sorry.”

“Inara?” He looked so hurt in confused as Inara turned away from him and ran out of the room. “Inara!” He called out again, but she didn’t stop for a second. He could hear the cottage door closing and knew that she was gone. He stood there alone, wondering what had happened. He wanted to chase after her, but wasn’t sure wasn’t sure if he should. He wasn’t sure about anything now.
Last edited by Cocogurl on Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Love & War on Antar (M/L ADULT) Chapter 12 pg. 15 3/12/09

Postby Cocogurl » Thu May 21, 2009 9:37 pm

Janetfl - Aww, I don’t mean to torture you. But I can’t make it easy for our couple. Don’t worry though. Zan has no intention of giving up.
Hunter - There’s going to be plenty of hot scenes in store for our Zan and Inara. I’m really glad you’re liking this, hon.
begonia9508 - LOL. You really don’t like my Zan. Don’t give up on him completely though. He’s pretty slow, but he’ll get there.
Natalie36 - I know. They’re both a little afraid of this relationship.
Alien_Friend - Thanks for the feedback. Zan will tell her how he feels. Don’t worry.
garcia88 - Thank you so much for the feedback. People get a little dumb when they’re scared sometimes.
destinyc - Lol. Don’t worry. When Zan and Inara get together, it will be worth the wait.
Alien614 - Thanks for the feedback. I’m glad you liked it.
Autumnfall3 - They’re both just very afraid of getting hurt again. They’ll get past it eventually though.
DaleStateShorty - Lol. Thanks for the bump.
beautifydreamer - Thanks so much for the feedback. Zan and Inara have some stuff to work through, but they’ll get it together. And as the story continues we’ll get to see just how evil Kivar and Ava are.
mirae01 - Zan can be a big idiot sometimes. Lol. But things will start to happen in his life that will make him grow up.
POM - Thanks for the feedback. Inara and Zan still have some doubts and fears to overcome. But things will all fall into place very soon.


A/N: Thank you so much for all the bumps and patience, you guys. It really means a lot to me that you haven’t forgotten about my work. :D

Chapter Thirteen

Kivar went through all of the books in the family library until he finally found the book he was looking for. He pulled it off the shelve and started flipping through the pages. Ever since he saw Inara at the wedding, his mind had been completely absorbed with her. She was so beautiful, even more so than she was when she was younger. He even found her fascination with humans--creatures lower than her--amazing to him. He’d also been fixated on the necklace that she’d been wearing that night. That symbol on it was so familiar and he knew he’d seen it somewhere before. Finally he found the page he was looking for. There was a picture of the unique spiral symbol with five stars surrounding it. And above was a picture of a gorgeous dark-haired woman who looked a lot like Inara. At the bottom of the page, there was a brief description. He read the words intently…

The symbol belonged to Illyra, the thirteenth god of the heavens and the goddess of life and love. One day, she fell in love with an Antarian mortal named Zalen and came down from the heavens to be with him. When the other twelve gods found out about the forbidden affair, they struck down her lover with lightening and then banished Illyra to the underworld, stripping her of her abilities. But before doing so, they burned that symbol into her back to remind her of her sin.

Kivar closed the book and sighed in frustration. He needed to know more. That necklace lead him to the picture of a woman who looked so much like Inara and he had to know why. He placed the book back in it’s place when the library doors swung open, and he turned around and saw Ava storming in, wearing a troubled expression on her face.

“Kivar, I need your help,” she said in a desperate tone.

“With what?” He asked as took a seat on the loveseat by the fireplace.

“With Zan.”

Kivar’s lips curved up into an amused smile as he stared at his sister. All his previous frustrations evaporated--well, mostly anyway--knowing that Ava was having trouble with Zan. “You need my help with Zan? Now I’m a little confused. I thought you said you could handle things with him,” he said smugly. I guess Zan isn’t as easy to win back as she thought, he thought to himself. He couldn’t help but respect Zan a little now.

“Well, I wasn’t counting on your slut of a girlfriend complicating things,” Ava spat out, turning from desperate to furious. Who the hell did this bitch think she was? Coming in and trying to take Zan? Well, Ava didn’t care. Zan was hers and she wasn’t going to let Inara get in her way.

Kivar frowned. “What in gods name are talking about?”

“Inara,” Ava said angrily. “That pathetic child you’re infatuated with. I think Zan might have a thing for her.”

Kivar’s blood boiled at the thought of Inara and Zan together, but he wasn’t entirely surprised by this information. He could sense something between them at the wedding. But still, he kept his cool in front of Ava and ignored the desire to strangle Ava for calling his beloved a slut. He would have Inara one day. Kivar smiled and shrugged as he looked at Ava. “Father will be very unhappy when he finds out,” he said. “You were his only hope at bringing the two most powerful families together.”

Ava took two steps towards Kivar. “Father isn’t going to know about it because you’re going to help me.”

Kivar sighed as he stood up from the loveseat. “I’m sorry. As much as I’d love to help you, I can’t.” He started to walk out of the library when Ava grabbed him by the arm.

“Yes, you can, Kivar,” she persisted. She let go of his arm as she turned around to face her.

“I’m sorry, did I say I couldn’t help? What I really meant was that I wouldn’t help,” he corrected.

Ava sighed in annoyance. “Kivar, all you have to do is keep Inara away from Zan. It’s not like it would be a chore for you. Gods! You’re obsessed with the girl.”

“I’m engaged,” he reminded Ava.

“Oh, you know you’re not in love with Saria,” Ava said, rolling her eyes. She was getting tired of Kivar’s little game.

“True. But seeing as how father’s the one who set up this engagement as punishment for the way I messed everything up with Vilandra, it wouldn’t be a good idea for me to do anything to jeopardize this.” Kivar turned away from Ava and started to walk out of the library when he paused at the doorway and turned to smirk at Ava. “Besides, I think it would be very amusing to see you fall in daddy’s eyes.”

“You’re such a cold-hearted bastard, Kivar,” she said coldly, practically shooting daggers out of her eyes as she glared at her brother.

“Ouch! That’s so harsh,” Kivar said as he placed his hand over his heart, feigning hurt. “But I guess that is true. What can I say? It runs in the family.”

Kivar started to walk out, but Ava’s voice made him stop once again. “Fine. But I guess I should tell you, then, that princess Saria is on her way here at this very moment.” Kivar turned to look at Ava in shock. She had keep from laughing out loud. The look on his face was priceless.

“What?” He said, still staring at Ava in shock.

It was Ava’s turn to smile as she walked up to Kivar. “Well, with the wedding only a few weeks away, father thought it would be a good idea to have her move into the palace. Moreover, Saria was so excited at the thought of being closer to her fiancé. What else could she say but yes?”

Kivar glowered at his sister before storming out of the library. His mind was on overload right now and the last thing he needed to deal with right now was princess Saria fawning all over him. She was a sweet girl, but he wasn’t in love her and he knew she wasn’t in love with him. She was just a child in love with idea of having her happily ever after. But more importantly he had find out more about Inara’s necklace and how it was so familiar to him--and what it had to do with Inara and this goddess Illyra.

And there was also the matter of getting Inara away from Zan. He loathed the thought of that man touching his sweet Inara. But before he could do anything he had to get out of this marriage. He couldn’t do anything with Saria attached to him.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Inara layed in the grass on her father’s manor, her eyes closed as she felt herself drifting between the real world and unconsciousness. But finally, she gave in and floated away to the dream world. But her dreams were anything but pleasant…

Inara found herself, once again, standing in the ballroom of the Antarian Palace, the three dead bodies front of her again with their faces turned away from her. Remembering how her dream ended the last time, Inara whipped around to see if there was anyone behind. The entire ballroom was completely empty this time. She looked back at the mutilated bodies in front of her, and was hesitant about finding out who the bodies belonged to. Instead she walked outside to the balcony and looked down at all the people below. She could hear their screams of pain from them as they fought futilely for their lives against an army of men dressed all in black. She could also see the bodies of the people who didn’t make it. Men, women and children scattered everywhere.

It was the most horrible sight she’d ever seen. There was so much pain and destruction all around her, but nothing she could do about it. She was completely helpless as her beloved home fell apart all around. She could hear thunder and looked up at the red sky just as it started raining. But for some reason all the rain drops were red--everything around her was red. The strong copper smell hit her nose hard and fast, and she realized that it was blood showering down from the sky. The smell was so powerful, it made her feel nauseous and dizzy. Inara closed her eyes and held on to the railing for support.

As she started taking slow and deep breaths, she suddenly realized how quiet it had become. The screams and fighting from below had stopped and all she could hear was rain and the sound of her deep breaths. She opened her eyes and saw that everyone had stopped what they were doing and were now looking up at her. A chill raced through her as she stared down at all of them, their faces bloody and their eyes wide with fear. But there was also something else in their eyes as they looked at her--an almost expectant look as if they were waiting for her to do something. But she didn’t know what.

“Inara,” a voice said from behind her, but she couldn’t stop looking at the faces of the people below her. “Inara,” the voice called out again and this time. Inara could soon feel herself drifting away from the sleeping world as the voice got louder and more intrusive…


“Inara.”

Inara slowly opened her eyes and found Zan’s hazel eyes staring down at her. “Zan,” was all she could say as she tried to clear the fog in her mind.

“Are you all right?” He asked gently as he took a seat beside her on the grass.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” she answered quickly--a little too quickly, as she sat up. “Why wouldn’t I be?”

Zan gave Inara a little smile. “You looked like you were having a nightmare.”

Inara felt butterflies in her stomach as Zan smiled at her and quickly looked away so she couldn’t be tempted to kiss him again. “Well, I-I wasn’t.”

“Sure.” Zan’s smile faded as she looked away from him. He knew she was lying, but he wasn’t going to push her. And it wasn’t like she’d tell him anyway. She was so secretive about things now, but then again, so was he. He was the coward who was too afraid to tell the woman that he loves how he feels. But as he saw the way Inara avoided looking at him, he wondered if maybe the kiss they shared had ruined everything between them, that maybe she just didn’t have those feelings for him anymore and wasn’t sure how to tell him.

“Why are you here, Zan?” Inara asked suddenly, then she realized how rude it sounded. She just didn’t know what to say to him anymore. She had made a fool out of herself the other night. She had actually kissed him. What the hell was wrong with her? Zan had probably only kissed her back to spare her feelings.

“I just wanted to talk,” Zan answered simply, remembering the real reason he wanted to talk to her.

“About what?”

He shrugged and this time it was his turn to look away from her. “I don’t know. Anything, I guess.”

Inara could see the distant look on Zan’s face and couldn’t help but worry about him. “Zan, what’s wrong?” She asked gently, taking one of his hands and interlaced it with hers.

It felt so right, Zan didn’t know why it how he’d gone so long without this feeling. It was both amazing and terrifying at the same time. Zan wasn’t someone who liked to give anyone any kind of power over him, especially after Ava. And with his father pressuring him these days, he was feeling incredibly powerless. But the thing that scared Zan the most was that with Inara, he wanted to give her power over him. He wanted her to have his heart, body and soul--and that was dangerous.

“Zan,” Inara prodded softly. “Talk to me.”

Zan sighed and looked at her. “I just had another fight with my father,” he finally said and saw her nod in understanding. “He keeps pressuring me to marry. My 21st birthday is in six months. He says that if I haven’t chosen a wife by then, he’s going to announce my engagement to Ava.”

The thought of Ava and Zan engaged made Inara remove her hand from his, which he was quick to notice. Why in gods name did she let Zan kiss her? It only made things even harder than they were. The kiss was everything that she had imagined it would be. Passionate, tender, loving and explosive all at the same time, but it wasn’t meant for her. She knew that, yet she still replayed that kiss over and over in her mind as if it had been. Gods, she had to stop this. “Why don’t you marry Ava?” She blurted out, looking out at the field before her. “It would certainly solve all of your problems.”

Zan felt like he’d been burned. Did she really want him to marry Ava. “I can’t marry her,” he said, shaking his head vehemently.

“Why not?” Inara asked in frustration, looking at him intently. She he would just get it out already.

“Because I don’t love her…” Zan said firmly, taking Inara’s hand in his. “I love you, Inara.”

Inara’s eyes widened and for a moment, she thought she was hearing things. Zan loved her? Was that actually possible. “Zan…” was all she could say as she continued to stare at him in shock. Soon she felt him gently squeeze her hand before moving his body closer to hers. She was sure the entire universe could hear the way her heart thudded in her chest as his face started to move closer to hers. Their lips were milliseconds away from meeting when the voice of Inara’s father quickly broke them up, making them move further apart and forcing Zan to release his hold on Inara’s hand.

“Prince Zan,” he greeted, unaware that he had just interrupted a moment between his daughter and Zan. “This is an unexpected surprise. One of the maids told me you two were out here.”

Zan got up from where he was sitting and shook General Jarek’s hand. “Good evening, General. I was just talking to your daughter.”

“About what?”

“It was nothing, father,” Inara said, getting up from the grass herself.

Jarek could sense that his daughter was lying, but decided not to ask. “Right. Well, supper’s in a few, so you should wash up.”

“Yes, father,” Inara said, briefly looking at Zan before walking back to the manor.

“Oh, Zan, would you like to stay for dinner?” Jarek asked.

Inara froze when she heard her father’s question. Why did he have to be so polite? Inara still didn’t know what to say to Zan’s confession, or whether she should be elated by his confession or afraid--she was a little bit of both at the moment. Slowly, she turned around and looked at Zan, waiting to see what he what his answer would be.

Zan looked at Inara for a moment, but he wasn’t sure if she wanted him to stay for dinner or not. Her face was unreadable. But he couldn’t forget what almost happened between them and he wanted another chance to talk with her about it. So Zan chose the first answer that came to him. “I’d love to stay for dinner,” he said.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Dinner was awkward for Inara and Zan, to say the least. They sat across from each other at the huge dining room table, trying their best not to look at each other. But ever so often, when they didn’t think the other was looking, they couldn’t help but sneak looks at each other. Luckily Jarek didn’t seem to notice anything as he talked his upcoming retirement and how proud he was that Rath would be taking over soon. But soon the subject changed to something neither Zan or Inara wanted to be apart of.

“So, Zan, have you met anyone lately,” Jarek asked, trying to appear casual as he looked to his left, where Zan was sitting.

But Zan could see right through him.

He knew his father must’ve talked to General Jarek about his reluctance to get married and probably even asked Jarek to bring it up with him if he had the chance. Zan didn’t blame General Jarek, though. He was just being a good friend and helping the king. But Zan couldn’t believe the nerve of his father. He was going to keep pushing this on Zan until he finally broke. “No, no one special yet,” he said simply, even though he was lying. That special someone was sitting across from him.

He took a quick look at Inara and could see her giving him a slightly hurt look. He could tell that she believed what he had just said. Gods, he was really going to have to get her alone and set her straight.

“I see,” Jarek said. “Well, it’s always good to keep your eyes open, Zan. You never know when the right woman will come along. I remember the day I met Vienna. It was the happiest day of my life. That is, of course, until my three beautiful children came into my life.”

“Right,” Zan said, worrying that this was going to turn into a discussion about how he should have children as well. “So, where’s Coraline. I talked to her a bit at the wedding. She’s quite a character.”

“Yes, she is,” Inara said with a smile. “She left a few days ago. She took all the money from the trust fund she got on her 18th birthday and decided to some traveling. Her father wasn’t too thrilled about that.”

“What happened?” Zan asked.

“Well, her father had already found a husband for her to marry when she got home, and when she found out, she took her trust fund money and just left. When she called him and told him what she’d done, he disowned her,” Inara said sadly. “She didn’t tell me much of what he said, but before she left Antar, she looked happier than I’d ever seen her. I think this might’ve been a really good thing for her. But it makes me sad that her own father would disown her for following her heart.”

“It’s awful,” Jarek said in a disgusted tone. “I can surely understand a father’s desire to see his child married and having children of their, that’s what I would like for you one day, Inara, but I just can’t defend a man who would just toss out his daughter like she was nothing. Makes me think the arranged marriage was for power.” Jarek felt his anger rise as he thought about Coraline’s father. Never would he think of disowning any of his children. They were the light of his life.

Yes, he and king Garok had always wanted Rath and Vilandra to be together, but it was always because they truly thought Rath and the princess would be happy together. And Garok had never even told Rath how he felt about those two, which is why it had surprised him when Rath had come to him and told him that he marry Vilandra. But he hoped that those two were happy together. It’s what he wanted for all of his children.

“We don’t know that for sure, father,” Inara corrected.

“I stand by my opinion,” Jarek said before taking another bite of his meal. The three of them were silent for the rest of dinner, each of them preoccupied with their own thoughts. Once they were finished with their meals, Jarek stood up from his seat. “Well, I think I’m going to retire for the evening.”

“Are you sure, father?” Inara asked. She wasn’t sure that she trusted herself to be alone with Zan.

“It’s been a long day, sweetie,” he said, bending down to kiss his daughter on the forehead. “Good night.” Jarek then turned to Zan and smiled. “Zan could I talk to you for a moment.”

“Sure,” Zan said.

Inara watched as Zan stood up from his chair and the two men walked out of the dining room towards her father’s study. She wondered what that whole thing could be about, but decided not to worry about it at the moment. She had enough things to worry about.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“I just wanted to talk to you a little bit more about what I was saying earlier,” Jarek said as he and Zan entered his study. He shut the door behind them a moment later. “You know, about finding the right person.”

“You don’t need to,” Zan said, trying to not lose his patience. “I know my father told you about what was going on.”

Jarek smiled sympathetically as he sat down on his desk. “I’ve know you since you were a baby, Zan. And I understand how you’re feeling right now. You’re a young man in the prime of his life. The idea of suddenly having to get married and have children and take on all of this responsibility is probably terrifying. But I assure you it’s for the best.”

Zan couldn’t help but scoff as he listened to Jarek’s little speech. “With all do respect, General, you have no idea how I’m feeling about all of this. If I don’t magically find the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, my wonderful father is going to make get married to princess Ava. How would you know how I’m feeling?”

Jarek was taken back by Zan’s hostility, but wasn’t going to back down because of it. “Well, maybe I don’t know exactly what you’re feeling. But you are the future king of Antar, Zan. You don’t have the luxury of just acting on your wants. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices, you have to do things that don’t always make you happy.”

“Like my father?” Zan spat out. “What sacrifices has he ever had to make.”

Zan had finally pushed one too many buttons. “You may be the prince of Antar, but if don’t start showing your father some respect, I swear to the gods that I’ll kick your ass right through that door behind you.” Jarek could tell that he had gotten his point across when Zan backed down slumped down in the chair in front of him. “Your father has had to make plenty of sacrifices in his life. None of them were easy, but in the end he always did what was right for his people. The gods may have blessed him by giving him a wife that he truly loved and two children that he was crazy about, but don’t ever think that he hasn’t had to make sacrifices.”

Zan sighed and leaned back in his seat. “I’m not ready for all of this.”

When Zan’s façade of the spoiled prince dropped, Jarek could finally see the sweet kid Zan used to be. Jarek always knew he was in there, but he was too afraid to let it out. Jarek could also see a lost and confused kid and his heart went out to Zan. He remembered how he felt when he became General after his father had passed. It had been the most overwhelming feeling in the world and he hadn’t been sure he could ever be as great father, but he knew he had a duty to his king and his people and it was time that Zan learned that lesson as well.

“No one’s ever ready when destiny comes knocking,” Jarek said with a chuckle. “But it’s what you do when it comes that defines the kind of man you’re going to be. And whether you like it or, it’s time for you to decide what kind of man you’re going to be.”

Zan really hated it, but he knew that Jarek was right. He always knew that he had an obligation to his people and that one day he’d have to fulfill that obligation. It had been drilled into his brain since birth. But now that that day was getting closer, he felt a deep sense of fear and doubt. He just wasn’t ready yet. But I guess fate doesn’t care whether or not you’re ready, Zan thought sadly. “I’m not marrying Ava. That’s for damn sure,” Zan said stubbornly.

Jarek chuckled. “Then I guess you better find a wife.”

Zan groaned at the thought of that, but didn’t say anything. He’d had enough lectures for one day. First from his father and now from Jarek. He was on overload. Zan got up from the chair and started walking towards the door. Jarek followed close behind him and patted his back sympathetically. The stepped out of the study just Inara walked out of the dining room, looking at them both closely.

“Is everything all right?” She asked.

“Everything’s fine, sweetie,” Jarek said, smiling down at his daughter. “Well, I’m going to bed. Your Majesty,” Jarek turned to Zan, “it was a pleasure having you here. We must do it again.” Jarek then bowed to Zan, something he only did in public, in an effort to send a message to Zan.

And Zan got that message loud and clear. He was the prince and future king of Antar, whether he liked it or not. “The pleasure was all mind. Good night, General.”

“Good-night, father,” Inara said as well. Jarek kissed her once more on the forehead before turning and walking up the stairs. She then stood alone in foyer with Zan, not knowing what she should say or do. Her entire life, she’d imagined this, Zan declaring his love for her, and those fantasies would always end the same way. They would share a passionate kiss, the first of many, and they would live happily ever after. But reality was so much more complicated then fantasies. And she was too tired to deal with it at the moment. “I guess I’m going to sleep as well,” she said and turned around to walk upstairs, but Zan grabbed her arm to stop her.

“Wait,” he said, still grasping her arm. “Inara can we talk?”

Inara sighed as she turned to look at him. She was about to tell him no, but when she looked into his eyes and saw the desperation in them, she couldn’t deny him. “All right.”

The two of them stepped outside of the manor and sat beside each other on the stone steps. Both of them were silent for a few moments, wondering what to say to each other. Zan’s heart pounded in his chest as he looked over at Inara. She was so beautiful and more than anything, he wanted to kiss her again, but he could sense that the kiss wouldn’t be welcomed by her at the moment. And then he had his father to think about. It was clear he was getting married and there was no way out of, and he wasn’t going to give Ava what she wanted by making her his wife. As he continued to watch Inara, he wondered if it could be Inara, if Inara was the one he would spend the rest life with.

“Why are you staring at me?” Inara asked, feeling uncomfortable underneath his scrutiny. It was like he was trying to see inside her soul.

Zan shook his head nervously. “I wasn’t,” he said in a bashful tone, feeling embarrassed that he had been caught gawking at her like some love sick moron. Sighing, Max finally worked up the courage to broach the subject he’d been thinking about all night. “Inara, about what I said earlier--about my feelings for you---”

“Zan, we can’t do this,” Inara cut him off before he could finish saying what she new in her heart would change everything. “We can’t be together.”

“Why not?” He asked, barely hiding the hurt and confusion he felt. “If we both have these feelings for each other, then why can’t we just try and see where this goes?”

“Because what you’re saying isn’t true,” Inara answered as her heart pounded wildly in her chest. He was saying all of the things she’d always wanted him to say, and she wanted so badly to give into the intense emotions churning within her. To kiss him passionately without worrying about what would happen next., but she couldn’t. Not when she had this nagging feeling that he wasn’t really in love with her. She just couldn’t set herself up for that kind of heartache. “The things you think you’re feeling aren’t real, Zan. If we do this and you realize that you aren’t in love…I’m sorry, Zan. But I can’t risk that. I’m sorry.”

Zan watched as Inara got up and started to head inside. He wished he could be upset with her, but he couldn’t. He understood her fears and worries because he was having those same doubts about himself. Since Ava, he hasn’t had the best track record with women, and he knew that he’d broken a few hearts in the past. He didn’t doubt that he loved Inara, but he wondered if it would be enough. What would happen to them if it didn’t work out? He already knew he was willing to risk his heart for her, but could he ask the same of her? He’d already broken her heart before, and it would kill him if he hurt her again. “You’re right.”

Inara was almost inside when Zan’s words made her stop. She turned around and gave him a cautious look as she waited for him to speak again, wondering where he was going with this.

“Not completely, but you’re right,” he continued. “When I told I loved you, I meant. But I can’t ask you to just trust me. So why don’t we take it slow? Just be friends. And I can earn your trust.”

Inara looked a little wary about the idea. “Zan…”

“Please.” Zan didn’t bother hiding the pleading tone in his voice. “I just want a chance to prove to you that I meant what I said. I’ll take it as slow as you want, I promise. I just want a chance.”

Inara sighed as she looked at him. He looked so sincere, which only made it impossible for her to say no. He had her. There was no point in denying it any longer. But she still didn’t quite trust him enough to let him know that. “All right,” she said. “I’ll give you a chance. But I’m not ready to be anything more than friends with you, Zan. So you’re going to have to be patient. Can you do that?”

Zan nodded his head eagerly. “Yes, I can.”

“Okay. Well, it’s late and I’m tired, so I’m going to bed.” Inara turned back to the front door and placed her hand on the knob. She opened the door and was about to head inside when she stopped. “Goodnight, Zan,” she said without looking at him.

“Goodnight, Inara,” he said with a little smile as he watched her walk inside. Once she closed the door, Zan stood there for a moment, still wearing a goofy smile on his face. He couldn’t believe she was actually going to give him the chance to prove himself to her. He didn’t know what would happen between them in the future, but he swore to the heavens that he would everything in his power not to let her down. He would show her and everybody else that he was a good man.
Last edited by Cocogurl on Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Love & War on Antar (M/L ADULT) A/N: 7/2/09

Postby Cocogurl » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:30 pm

DaleStateShorty (2x) - All I can say is that it’ll change the way everyone sees Kivar when they find out how he gets out of the marriage. Thanks for all of the wonderful feedback.

Alien_Friend (2x) - Thanks for the feedback. I can’t wait to hear what you think of this chapter.

Natalie36 - Thanks. I love writing for Kivar and Ava. It’s fun to get into their devious minds.

LilLoucfer - Don’t worry. Zan and Inara will get some lovin’ action.

destinyc - Zan’s working on it. Thank you so much for sticking with this story

crazedearthgirl - Thanks so much for the feedback.

garcia88 - Well, you don’t have to wait any longer. Here it is.

bella_Svetlana - OMG! Thank you so much for your feedback. That made my day. I hope you enjoy my next part.

begonia9508 - Nope, nope. Ava won’t be happy about it at all.

Hunter (2x) - Oh, don’t worry. They will. All in good time, Hunter. All in good time.

beautify dreamer - Thanks so much for the feedback. Zan and Inara are slowly but surely getting there.

mirae01 - Trust me. There will be a big twist that will change how you view these two men. Thanks for your feedback.

Janetfl (2x)- I love hearing your theories. Let me just say you’re getting warm. I always look forward to your feedback.

Elizabeth Kivana - When Zan and Inara do get together, it will all be worth it. I promise.

Michelle17 - All I can say is that Inara’s necklace has a lot do with Inara’s history.

Destiny Dreamer - Thank you so much for the feedback, I’m glad reading this story gives you as much pleasure as I get from writing it.

A/N: Hey, guys. Hope you all haven't forgotten about me in my absence. I just want to apologize for being away for so long and I really hope you all enjoy this next part. And I want to thank all you for your patience and bumps. :D


Chapter Fourteen

Going slow is harder than I thought, Zan thought to himself. As he sat there, staring out at the lake behind the cottage with the object of his desires laying only a foot away from him, it was all he could do to keep from ravaging Inara like he so desperately wanted to. It had been almost two months since they had decided to take things slow, and they hadn’t even had one kiss. He could still remember the way her lips felt against his. The way she tasted. How she smelled of Antarian flowers. It made him ache thinking about it sometimes--like now.

Wanting to take his mind off of his raging desires, Zan looked over at Inara, who was looking deep in thought as she stared up at the night sky. Zan noticed that lately Inara always had that look on her face, like there was a weight pressing down on her, unable to let be at peace. And normally he wouldn’t pressure her for answers like Rath and her father usually did, but this time his curiosity got the better of him. “What’s going on in that head of yours?”

“What?” Inara looked at him in confusion, not really hearing what he had said. She felt her cheeks soon flush when Zan started laughing at how oblivious she had been. A moment later she was laughing with him though. “I’m sorry. What did you say?”

“I was wondering what you were thinking about,” he said, his laughter subsiding. “You always seem like you’re somewhere else these days.”

Inara was silent, trying to ignore Zan’s probing stare. She no longer had the strength to lie and act like everything was fine when it wasn’t. She looked over at him and could see the intense look in his golden-brown eyes. She wondered if he knew how much power those eyes had over her. She hoped not. Finally she caved and rolled over onto her side to face him, and propped herself up on her elbow. “Have you ever had this feeling, like something bad was going to happen and there was nothing you could do to stop it?”

Zan gave Inara a perplexed look. “Bad? Like what?”

“I don’t know,” she said, shaking her head. “I’ve just been having these dreams. These kind of end of the world dreams. With fire and dead bodies…Zan, I feel like something bad is going to happen. And I don’t know what to do.”

Zan honestly didn’t know what to say Inara’s confession. She seemed to really believe what she was saying and he hated seeing the worried expression on her face. All he wanted to do was comfort her and make her feel safe. Zan scooted a little closer to her and pulled her hand in his. “I’m sure it was just a dream,” he said with a comforting smile. “I promise you that nothing bad is going to happen.”

“Oh really?” An amused smile formed on her lips as Zan nodded his head confidently. She wasn’t surprised that Zan didn’t believe her about her dreams. She was rather comforted by it actually. Somehow it made her dreams feel less real to her. Feeling some of her tension drain away, Inara had a more playful tone to her voice when she asked her question. “And how can you be so sure?”

Zan gave Inara a little smiled and waggled his eyebrows at her. “Because I’m psychic.”

In that moment, all of Inara’s worries were non existent as she laughed with Zan. She felt like she was around the old Zan, the one she knew almost better than anyone, and all those rumors weren’t true. A comfortable silence engulfed them this time as they both laid back down in the grass. There was a more peaceful atmosphere that surrounded them this time. So Zan was completely surprised by Inara’s next question.

“So tell me about Ava?”

“What?” Zan’s whipped over to look at Inara, who was looking at him expectantly. “Why do you want to know about Ava?” He’d been hoping that he’d never have to talk about her, but Inara wasn’t having that.

“Well,” she smiled and sat up, releasing Zan‘s hand, “I just told you something, now it’s your turn. Tell me what happened between you and Ava?”

Sighing, Zan sat up as well. “It’s not important.”

“It is to me,” she insisted. “I just want to know what happened between you two. You seemed so in love with her.”

“I was in love with her--or at least I thought I was. But then I met the real Ava.”

Inara shook her head. “I still don’t understand. What did she do?”

Zan looked down at the ground and started picking blades of grass. He tried to keep his voice and face emotionless as he spoke. “It was our anniversary and I wanted to surprise her. When I came to see her, I found her in bed with another man.”

“Zan, I’m so sorry,” Inara said sympathetically.

Zan just shrugged, trying to act as casual as possible about it. “It doesn’t matter.”

Inara could see right through him though. She could sense how much it had affected him. She turned her entire body around so that she was now facing him and placed her hand under his chin, gently forcing Zan to look at her. “Yes, it does, Zan,” she said gently. “She betrayed everything you two had. And it changed you.”

As Zan looked into Inara’s gentle eyes, he could feel all of his old wounds coming to the surface. She was right. Everything about him changed the moment Ava broke his heart. After that, it became clear to Zan that every woman after Ava was just like her. They were selfish, self centered, and only wanted him for the power he could give them if he decided to marry one of them. It only made Zan want to even the score, to use these women like they were using him. He never really thought about the fact that the way he was treating these women was wrong. If anything, it felt like justice. Like he was getting back at them. But since he started falling for Inara, he was quickly regretting his past choices since his past decisions were now the reason it was hard for Inara to trust him.

But Zan wasn’t about to give up. He was going to do everything in his power to make Inara see that he wouldn’t let her down. Suddenly something occurred to him and a small chuckle erupted from his lips. Inara frowned at him.

“What’s so funny?” She asked.

Zan shook his head. “Nothing. I just think it’s funny that I spent so much time being angry with Ava, when the truth is I never really loved her.”

“I’m still not understanding.”

“Well, I thought I was in love with Ava,” Zan explained. “I mean, I really thought she was the one for me. But I look back on it now and I realize that I really had no clue what love was. I was just a stupid child with a deep infatuation for a girl. The truth is, I never really knew what love was until I fell in love with you.”

“And It only took you five years to figure it all out?" Inara joked, trying to keep the conversation light. She still wasn’t used to hearing Zan say those words to her. It felt like dream and at any moment she would wake up, and everything would be like it was before she left.

“Yeah,” Zan laughed, “I never said I was a smart one.”

Zan’s laughter died down and all he could do was sit there mesmerized by how beautiful Inara was when she smiled. He lifted his hand and gently caressed Inara’s cheek. All humor was gone as he started leaning towards her, his eyes focused on her lips now. Inara knew what was about to happen and a voice in the back of her mind wondered if she was ready to finally be more than friends with Zan, but the desire to feel his lips on hers again seemed to overshadow any lingering doubts she still had. Without thinking, she leaned into to Zan as well.

The moment their lips touched, it was like the whole universe disappeared and all that was left was the two of them. And it wasn’t long before the kiss became heated and Zan was pulling Inara as close to him as possible. Zan felt his pants get tighter as their mouths opened and her tongue started dueling with his. This was only the second time they’d kissed, and already he was addicted. Inara’s lips were like a sweet drug he couldn’t get enough of.

The two of them were so wrapped up in the sensations coursing through them, they didn’t even notice when Inara laid back down in the grass and pulled Zan with her. Nor did they notice when Zan managed maneuvered himself in between her legs. Inara felt herself in the power of Zan’s touch, his scent, the feeling of him in between her legs. And when he started grinding his body against hers, Inara let out a passionate moan against his lips. Without, thinking, she started grinding back, wanting this pleasure to last. Everything about this moment was erotic. Thrilling. Passionate. Inara almost didn’t have the power to stop Zan when his hands slid down to her legs and slowly started hiking her skirt up. Suddenly those lingering doubts came back to the forefront of her mind and she had to stop him.

Still, that was easier said than done when Zan’s delicious lips moved down to her neck and he started alternating between nibbling and kissing. “Zan,” she gasped out in intense pleasure. It took all of her strength to start pushing Zan off of her. “Zan,” her voice was stronger this time,” Zan, wait. We have to stop.”

Respecting her wishes, Zan immediately moved off of Inara. “I’m sorry,” he said through deep breaths as he tried to get himself under control. Right now he felt like his entire body was on fire. He turned his head to look at Inara, and could see her panting just as heavily as he was. Something about the look on Inara’s face worried him.

“I should go,” she said suddenly, getting up from her place on the ground.

As she started straightening out her clothes, Zan got up as well. “What’s wrong?” He asked, looking incredibly confused.

“Nothing. It’s just getting late. I need to get home.” Inara tried her best to appear normal, but Zan could tell that something was wrong. As she started to walk away, Zan grabbed her by the arm and gently pulled her closer to him.

“Inara, I know you’re lying. What is it? Did I do something wrong?”

Inara shook her head. “No, Zan. You didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just that…I-I’ve never done that before,” She said, ducking her head shyly.

“Done what?” Zan asked, still not sure what she was talking about. Inara’s cheeks turned several shades of red and Zan could tell that she was really uncomfortable saying what ever she was thinking about. It took Zan a moment, but soon a smile formed on his lips once he realized what she was trying to say. “Inara, are you saying you’ve never had sex?”

Inara continued to look down on the ground as she nodded her head. But once Zan started laughing, she finally looked up at him. “What’s so funny about that?” She asked, feeling very vulnerable and insecure at the moment. Zan continued laughing and Inara suddenly became very annoyed. “Look, just because I believe in saving my virtue for the right person doesn’t mean…” Zan was laughing still, “Stop laughing!”

When Zan didn’t stop, Inara started to pull away from Zan. She was officially humiliated and all she wanted to do was find a rock she could crawl under and die. But Zan wasn’t about to let her go. Wrapping his free arm around Inara’s waist, he pulled her closer to his body until there was only a breath of space between them. Then he released her arm from his grip and gently brushed some hair away from her face. Though the last thing he wanted to do was make her feel bad about being a virgin, he’d be lying if he said the sight of her face, all flushed and angry, wasn’t adorable. It was rather arousing actually.

“I’m sorry,” he said gently. “I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I wasn’t laughing at you.”

“Could’ve fooled me,” Inara huffed, her bottom lip sticking out slightly in a pout. She didn’t like feeling like a fool, especially around the one person who’s opinion mattered the most to her. She had no idea that right now Zan thought she was anything but a fool. That her pouting made Zan want to ravish her right then and there.

“I was just surprised. That’s all,” he admitted as his eyes went from her eyes down to her soft lips that were begging to be kissed again. His eyes then went back to hers, and he concentrated on keeping them there as he spoke again. “You’re a very beautiful woman, Inara. And I’m sure there were men lining up to be with you. Am I wrong?”

Inara shook her head. “No, there were others who expressed their interest in me. But I never had those feelings for any of them.” Inara paused for a moment, and looked like she was contemplating something before she continued. “You know I was always waiting for it to be right. Right time, right place…right person.”

Without thinking, Zan’s face started leaning in towards hers, his lips barely a breath away from hers. “Any idea who that person might be?” He asked.

Inara knew what Zan wanted to her to say, could hear the hope in his voice that he might be the one she was talking about. As his lips started moving closer to hers, she moved her face to the side, not wanting to lose control again. “I don’t know,” she said truthfully.

She took a step back from Zan, and this time he didn’t fight her. She knew that her words had hurt him, and that was the last thing she wanted. But she had to be honest. “I’m sorry, Zan. I really want to say that it’s you. I really do. You have no idea how long I’ve wanted this,” she gestured to both of them, “wanted you to look at me the way you are right now and feel the way I feel about you. And now that it’s happening, I want to believe it so much. But…”

“But?” Zan prodded, all the while knowing that this conversation wasn’t going to go the way he wanted it to.

“But I’m having a hard time convincing my mind that this is real. That I’m not going to get hurt.”

Zan let out a little sigh. “What can I do? How can I show you that I mean what I say?”

Inara shook her head. “I don’t know.” She turned her head and looked out at the lake and the sun going down in the horizon, needing something to focus on other than Zan’s pleading face. “Because it’s not just you I’m worried about. It’s me. I don’t trust myself with you, Zan.” She turned to look back at him. “I don’t trust myself to think clearly with you. I mean, look at us. I promised myself that I wasn’t going to rush into anything, and then before I know it, I’m kissing you like my life depended on it.”

“But we have been taking things slow,” Zan argued. “This is the first time we’ve kissed in almost two months. And I know I let myself get a little carried away. I’m sorry about that. But, Inara, I promise you that I’m not trying to pressure you for anything you’re not ready for. I just want to be with you.”

Now in the past, Zan had said similar things to many girls to get them into his bed, but for the first time, he actually meant what he was saying. From the bottom of his heart, he meant every single word. And he prayed that she would see that. He really wanted her to know that he was serious about her. He needed her to know that. He wondered if she could see the desperation and determination in his eyes, but sadly he couldn’t tell what she was thinking.

Inara didn’t even know what she was thinking. Here, Zan was, saying everything she’d wanted to hear for so long, but still, she felt this strong need to keep her heart a safe distance away from him. There was something definitely wrong with her. But she couldn’t ignore it. “I’m sorry, Zan,” she said, shaking her head. “I think I should go now.”

She tried to leave, but Zan wasn’t ready to let this go. He rushed ahead of Inara and stopped in front of her, stopping her in her tracks. “Inara, I don’t know what else I can do. What can I do?”

“I don’t know, Zan,” she said helplessly. “I just need to some time to think that’s all.”

“No, the problem is you’re thinking about this too much. I love you, Inara. And I want to show you that, but how can I when you shut me out? Do you even think that you’ll ever be able to trust me?” Inara looked away from Zan, unable to say anything. But Zan didn’t need her to. Her silence told him all he needed to know. “Well, while you’re busy thinking, I want you to think about this.” Before Inara could do anything, Zan pulled Inara back to him and crashed his lips down on hers.

She was completely helpless against the passion that emanated from his kiss. It was deep, longing, and full of desire for her. All she could do was give in to it. After a few moments, the need for oxygen became an issue, and Zan broke away from Inara and released her from his grip. Inara didn’t move a muscle though. She was still recovering from the amazing kiss she just shared with Zan. But Zan didn’t wait for her to regain control of herself.

“This is up to you, Inara,” he said, unable to hide the hint of desperation in his voice. “When you decide what you want, you let me know. I’ll be waiting.”

The intensity in Zan’s eyes almost overwhelmed her more than that kiss had. He seemed so sincere. She just didn’t know what to do anymore. A war was being waged between her heart and her head, and she could feel her heart starting to win. Maybe all of her doubts about Zan were wrong. Maybe he really did love her. And just maybe she could spend the rest of her life with the man that she’s loved since she was ten years old. That hope was powerful, almost all consuming--and just too much for her to handle at the moment. Unable to look into his beautiful brown eyes any longer, Inara’s eyes left him and focused on the sun setting in the distance behind him.

“It’s getting late,” she said, trying to keep her voice as controlled as she could, which at this point, was nearly impossible. “We should be heading back”

Zan stood there, watching Inara turn away from him and head back towards the cottage. With a sigh, he started to follow her. The walk back to town was silent and uncomfortable. Zan looked over at Inara’s face several times during the walk back and he didn’t need to read her mind to know that she was still processing what happened between them. He wanted to believe that everything was going to be okay. That she would trust him with her heart. But he couldn’t shake this gnawing fear that was telling him that she would never trust him…would never be with him.

Never in his life did he have to work so hard for anyone--not even Ava. Every woman he’d ever pursued had given themselves to him willingly in the end. But at the same time, he’d never wanted to be with someone like he wanted to be with Inara. He loved her with every fiber of his being. But he was just now understanding that loving someone sometimes means being willing to let them go. So if Inara really didn’t want to be with him, he would let her Go. He would allow her to move on with her life and let her find someone she could trust and love. And I will marry Ava like my family wants, he thought sadly. He didn’t see any other alternative. He knew now that he wasn’t going to find someone he cared for like Inara, and he didn’t see the point in trying. And his parents loved Ava so it would all work out nicely.

As they finally reached town, Zan had already resigned himself to possibly losing Inara.

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Re: Love & War on Antar (M/L ADULT) A/N: 1/28/10

Postby Cocogurl » Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:57 am

Alien_Friend - I completely with your feedback. And I think this chapter will make you very happy about Zan and Inara.

LilLoucfer - Thank you for your feedback. Don’t worry. Inara’s finally made up her mind in this chapter

Janetfl - Lol. I LOVE your feedback, do you know that, hon. I really hope you like this chapter.

Natalie36 - I won’t let Zan marry Ava without a fight. Don’t worry.

Alien614 - You’ll just have to wait and see.

zaneri1 - I think Kivar will freak you out more in this chapter. Thanks for the feedback.

Maxandlizforever - Thanks for the bump!

Earth2Mama (2x) - I’m glad your loving it. Inara will get it together soon. Don’t worry. But getting her to talk about those dreams, only time will tell on that.

Carrie - Thank you so much, Carrie. It means so much having you here. Congrats to you for your awards as well and I hope you like this next chapter.

RiceKrispy - Thanks. I’m glad to have you here.

Michelle17 - Thanks so much for the feedback. You’re going to get some Inara/Zan moments here, so I hope you enjoy. It’ll take some time before Inara’s brave enough to really talk to someone about her dreams.


Chapter Fifteen

Inara let out a blissful moan as Kivar entered her body for the first time. Being inside this gorgeous creature, possessing her so completely, was everything Kivar had always wanted and now he finally had it. Inara’s hands slowly raked down his back as he plunged into her depths over and over again. As the pleasure started to mount, Kivar rolled them over so that Inara was on top, slowly moving herself up and down on top of him. The pace started off slow, but soon increased in speed, with her riding him with wild abandon, Every stroke into her warm body brought Kivar closer to the edge. Her moans increased and became louder, as did his as the pleasure continued to build and build, until finally…

“Oh my gods!” Kivar groaned in pleasure as he came in his hand. Panting heavily, Kivar’s body relaxed back against the mattress, enjoying the after orgasm bliss that followed. But he knew it didn’t compare to how wonderful he knew it would feel when he actually had Inara. One day, he told himself. One day she will be mine.

As his breathing started to slow, Kivar finally stood up from his bed and walked into his bathroom, and cleaned himself. He had just finished redressing when the little alarm on his door when off, letting him know that he had a visitor. “Enter,” he said as he walked back into his bedroom.

The doors slid open with a hiss and in came one of the servants, who bowed before speaking. “Good morning, your highness.”

“What do you want?” Kivar asked, not bothering to greet the man back.

“Your father would like for you to join him and Princess Ava for breakfast immediately.”

“You can tell my father that I’ll be there when I damn well please,” he replied, waving his hand to dismiss the young servant. But the man just stood there, not moving from the spot where he was standing. Kivar cocked his head curiously at the servant. “Is there anything else?”

The servant took a big gulp, feeling a rush of fear run through him. The last thing he wanted to do was get on the wrong side of Prince Kivar’s wrath, but after years of working in this palace, he’d quickly learned that King Galen’s anger was far worse. “Um, King Galen knew that you would behave this way and he wanted you to know that he wasn’t asking for you join them for breakfast, he was telling you. Your Highness says he has a surprise for you.”

The servant could see the anger in Kivar’s eyes and he prepared for the backlash. But it never happened. Instead Kivar walked up to him and patted him on the shoulder. “Well, then,” he said, “I better not keep my father waiting.” Without another word, Kivar waltzed out of his room, the servant trailing a few feet behind him.

Kivar knew that that pathetic, gangly little man had know idea how close he came to being the target of his seething rage, but Kivar had controlled himself because he remembered that ultimately the servant wasn’t the one that he wanted to choke the life out of. No, he wasn’t the one Kivar was after. So he contained his anger, reminding himself that one day his father would no longer be an issue.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The doors slid open and Kivar entered the dinning room. The dining room table was set with all sorts of fruits and breads, and little thin slices of cake that was pretty similar to what the earthlings called pancakes. The silverware and plates were made of fine Zantium Gold--the one good thing Zantar was known for because it only came from this planet. The entire meal and setup was fit for a king. Kivar’s eyes than started scanning the people sitting at the table, and he wished more than ever that he was somewhere else at the moment. At the head of the table was his father, king Galen, and sitting on his right was queen Kess, Kivar and Ava’s stepmother, and Ava sat next to her. But sitting next to Ava was prince Larek, King Sero’s son. And on the other side of the table was king Sero himself, along with his wife Kathana and princess Saria, the woman that Kivar was unhappily engaged to. He hadn’t forgotten that Saria was moving into the palace, but she was a few days earlier than expected. But as he stared at the entire family, he had no doubt that why they were here today. He knew his father had done this just to torture him. But looking at the amused glint in Ava’s eyes, he realized who had helped steer his father toward this decision.
“Ah, you finally grace us with your presence,” Galen said, putting on a fake smile that would have anyone fooled into thinking that he was a kind and loving father. If only they knew.

“Please forgive me, father,” He said, feigning the part of the loyal and obedient son.

“All’s forgiven. Please, have a seat.” He gestured to the empty seat beside princess Saria.

Saria looked at Kivar, her eyes bright with excitement. Kivar had to fight the look of disgust that tried to appear on his face. Princess Saria was 17 years old, practically an old maid by society’s standards. But in his eyes, she was nothing more than an insipid child with nothing more than a foolish infatuation with him. Still, he knew better than to disobey his father. Wearing that faux polite smile that came so naturally to royalty, Kivar sat down beside Saria. The entire breakfast was pretty boring, with his father and the king of Valeria talking about the riots on Zantar, coming up with the best solution, which involved more military power--hence why Kivar was now engaged to the princess of Valeria. It brought more money into their coffer, and though They’re military wasn’t as powerful as that of Antar, but still it was better than giving the planet what they wanted. Food. A little over half of their planet was completely poor, with barely enough to provide for their families. But providing them with what they needed meant that the wealthy, especially his father, had to cut back on their own spending.

How funny it was that while people were out there starving to death, Kivar’s father could lay out an extravagant feast as if they weren’t. But that was his father. Steal from the poor to continue spoiling the rich and entitled. Not that Kivar cared too much. In life you were either the powerful or the powerless, the haves and have not‘s. That’s just how it worked. But he also knew that his father’s greed would only make the hostility among the people grow. One insect could easily be swatted away, but an army of them was dangerous and couldn’t be managed as easily.

As the meal started to draw to a close, the dining room doors slid open and General Nikolai entered the room, taking a bow before the king. “Greetings, your highness.”

“General Nikolai,” Galen greeted, dabbing his mouth lightly with a napkin before putting it down and gesturing to king Sero. “I trust you remember king Sero and his family.”

“Of course,” he said and bowed in king Sero’s direction. “It’s a pleasure to see you again.”

“Likewise,” king Sero replied.

“Well, then,” Galen stood up from his seat and everyone at the table did the same, “now that breakfast is over, how about we all go out to the garden for tea.”

“Oh, that sounds like a lovely idea,” queen Kathana said enthusiastically then looked at queen Kess. “I can’t wait to find out what you’ve done to the garden this time.”

As the two women started talking animatedly about all the different flowers Kess brought into the garden, Galen walked over and slipped his arm around her waist, interrupting them. “Would you take them out there, my dear?” he asked in that fake sweet voice he always used in public. “I have a few matters to discuss with General Nikolai.”

“Of course, darling,” she replied with a dotting smile, earning her a little peck on the forehead before he addressed the rest of his guests.

“Excuse us,” he said politely leaving through a door opposite from where Kivar had entered earlier, Nikolai following close behind.

Kivar’s eyes watched them carefully as they left, and he was about follow them when he felt Saria’s hand slip inside of his. He looked down to see her smiling up at him, a happy twinkle in her eyes. “Maybe you and I can slip away for a few moments. Just you and me,” she suggested, trying to be flirtatious, but failing.

It took all of Kivar’s strength to remain polite and not tell her that being alone with her was the last thing he ever wanted to do. Ignoring his personal disgust for this child, Kivar smiled gently and gave her hand a little squeeze. “Of course. Just let me take care of something first,” he said. “It should only take a few minutes.”

Saria’s face lit up even more, thinking that her flirting had worked, and for a moment Kivar thought she was going to start squealing like a little girl. She then stood up on her toes and gave Kivar a little peck on his cheek. “Don’t be long.”

With a smile, Kivar nodded and moved past Saria, going through the same door his father and General Nikolai had left through. He hated pretending that he actually liked that little twat, but he had no other choice. Not until he had something on his father that he could use against him, which brought him to the reason he was following his father. Listening in on his father was only way he could get any information on him that could help.

After a few minutes, Kivar turned the corner and found himself standing in front of the doors to the study. Lucky for him, the doors weren’t completely closed and Kivar could easily hear what his father and General Nikolai were saying.

“I don’t understand,” he heard his father say. “You’re telling me that with all of these resources available to us, we can’t find one single woman?”

“She’s an expert at keeping a low profile, your majesty,” Nikolai responded calmly. “But I promise you, we’ll find Lar-el.”

“We have to. She’s the only one who might know more about The Light.”

Kivar heard a noise, like someone clearing their throat, then Nikolai spoke again. “You’re majesty, there’s another possibility that we might have to be prepared for. She might be dead.”

There was a moment of silence before Kivar heard his father’s voice. “Well, for your sake, I should hope not,” he said in a deadly serious tone. Both Kivar and Nikolai knew that Galen was serious.

“I’ll find her,” Nikolai stated firmly, but Kivar could hear a hint of fear in his voice.

As the two of them continued talking, Kivar got no more useful information on this “Light” they were speaking of. And he remembered that Saria was still waiting for him. Giving the doors to the study one last glance, Kivar turned and walked away, leaving the two men to continue talking. But as he made his way towards the garden, an idea suddenly occurred to him and wicked grin spread across his face. He was going to find out what The Light was and he was going to use it to stop his father. And now he knew who could help him reach his goals.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“Something on your mind?”

Inara looked up from the chair she was sitting on the first floor balcony of Serena and Jin’s large estate, and found Serena standing beside her. She was holding a tray with a tea pot and several little tea cups on it. Normally, bringing the tea was strictly the maid’s job, but their parents had raised them better than that. They always raised them to work with the help and told them not to always expect someone to do things for them when they were perfectly capable of doing it themselves. It was something that Rath, Inara and Serena had taken to heart growing up.

As Serena sat the tray down on the table, Inara let out a little sigh. “Lots of things,” she replied glumly.

“Anything you feel like sharing with me?” She asked as she poured tea into two little cups and handed one to Inara, and took the other one for herself.

Inara was silent as she stared into the steaming cup of tea, trying to put all of her thoughts together. Finally she asked, “Was there ever a time when you wondered if Jin really was the right person for you?”

Serena frowned. “I’m not sure I know what you mean.” She took a small sip of her tea and set it down on the table.

“Was there ever a time you felt like you couldn’t trust Jin even though you loved him?”

Serena thought about Inara’s question for a moment before finally nodding her head. “Yes there was,” she said gently. “When I first realized how truly in love with him I was.” As Inara leaned forward in her seat, listening intently, Serena smiled a little bit as she lost herself in a memory. “You know, I almost didn’t marry Jin.”

Inara’s eyes widened. “Really?”

Serena let out a little laugh and nodded her head as she continued. “It was after we’d been engaged for three months, and we were fighting all of the time, about everything, but mostly about women. Gods, I got so jealous when I saw him around other women. And I knew it was irrational to be so jealous, but apart of me was always waiting for him to find someone better than me, I guess. It also didn’t help that I knew he’d been betrothed before. And then one night at a party, I found him standing at the buffet table talking with his former fiancé, and she was standing a bit too closely for my liking.

“What did you do?” Inara asked.

Serena blushed a little. “The second we were alone, I called him a spineless coward and threw the ring in his face.”

“You didn’t!” Inara burst out laughing.

“I did,” she confirmed, laughing as well. “I told him that if he didn’t have the guts to be honest and end it with me like a gentleman would, then I would do it for him.”

“Then what made you change your mind?” Inara asked once she had calmed down.

“Mother.”

Inara felt a sudden bittersweet pain in her heart at the thought of their mother. Five years since her death, and it still ached to be without her. But her heart still filled with joy at the thought of her and all of the memories they all had with her.

“She found me crying later that night,” Serena continued, a sad smile on her lips, “and when I told her what had happened, she told me that loving someone was one the scariest things you’ll ever do in life. Because it means opening yourself up fully to another person and allowing yourself to be vulnerable with them. And taking the chance that you could get hurt.”

Inara felt a small tear slide down her cheek as she listened to her sister speak. If she concentrated hard enough, she could almost see her mother sitting in front of her, hearing her voice say those things to her.

“She also said that love is also one of the most precious and beautiful things in love. And I’d never be able to experience that part if my heart wasn’t strong enough to take the risk. It made me realize that I loved Jin. I mean, really loved Jin. And the idea of not taking the chance on him was more painful than the idea of getting hurt by him.” When Serena was finished, she wiped a couple of tears from her eyes and lifted her cup up and took another sip of tea. The two of them sat there in silence for a few minutes, both of them just staring at the beautiful expanse of lush green land before them.

“Zan and I kissed,” Inara said suddenly.

Serena nearly choked on her tea when she heard what Inara said. “What?!”

“Zan and I kissed,” she repeated, staring down at her tea. “And now he says he wants to be with me, and…I don’t know what I should do now.”

“You still love him?”

“Yes.” It wasn’t even a question for Inara. “I thought that if I left those feelings would go away, that I’d move on. But if anything, I am more in love with him than I was before I left.”

“And does he feel the same way?” Serena asked.

A small smile tugged at the corners of Inara’s lips as she thought about Zan’s behavior around her lately. “I think he does,” she answered. “I mean, the way things have been between us, it seems like he does feel the same way.”

Her sister shrugged. “Then what’s the problem?”

“I’m scared,” Inara said honestly as she placed her tea cup down on the table. “I don’t know if I can trust him.” She looked out at the view of the land as she spoke. “What if this is just a temporary thing for him? I just don’t know what to do.” She looked back at Serena. “What should I do?”

Serena shook her head. “I can’t tell you what to do about this, Inara. That’s for you to figure out,” she replied gently. “But if it is real between you two, can you honestly walk away from that? For good?”

“I love him,” she said simply.

Serena smiled. “Then I guess you have your answer.”

Inara smiled as well as the two of them resumed drinking their tea and started to talking about other things. Inara did know what her answer was. She’d known what her answer was since the moment she realized she was in love with Zan. She was in love with Zan. Deeply, madly and completely in love with him. And she’d rather take chance and have her heart broken then spend the rest of her life wondering.

Soon Jin came out and joined the on the balcony, holding Jadzia in his arms. And the three of them spent the next two hours chatting about lighter topics while Jadzia played with her dolls a few feet away. Watching Serena with her family, seeing the love that she had found for herself, only made Inara certain about her decision. She had to talk to Zan. During the ride home, Inara decided that she couldn’t wait any longer and waved her hand over the little wall in front of her in the carriage, making a little computer appear from it. Placing her fingers on the little keyboard underneath the monitor, Inara typed a message to Zan. Once it was sent, she called out to the driver and told him to take her to the Zenon Woods instead.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Dear Zan,
I think it’s time that we set things straight between us. I’m waiting for you at the cabin. Please meet me there. I really need to talk with you.


Zan didn’t know what to think when he got Inara’s message, but he knew that he had to see her. He hadn’t seen her in two days, not since they kissed, and he was already missing her presence. When he got there and spotted Inara standing at the end of the dock, her back facing him, Zan started to worry. He knew that there was a very good chance that Inara had changed her mind about giving their relationship a chance. Mentally and emotionally bracing himself for what ever Inara had to say, Zan walked down the path towards the dock and stopped just a few feet behind Inara.

“Inara,” he started nervously and she turned around and gave him a smile. “Hey.”

“Hey,” she greeted back. Her heart immediately skipped a beat being so close to him, only this time she didn’t want to hide from those feelings. Now she wanted to embrace the love she felt for him. And she wanted to share it with him. She opened her mouth to try and tell him that when Zan rose both of his hands, stopping her.

“Wait,” he said, needing to get this out before she broke his heart. “Before you say anything, I just need to get this out. I’m sorry.”
Inara cocked her head to side and frowned at him. “Why are you sorry?”

“For pressuring you and ultimately scaring you away with my impatience and selfishness. The truth is, I’ve never had to or wanted to wait for anything in my life. But I’ll wait for you,” he said passionately, watching as a tear slid down Inara’s cheek. He continued. “If you tell me right now that you don’t want to be with me, I’ll understand. And I’ll leave you in peace. But you need to know that in my heart, I’ll always be waiting for you…the way that you waited for me. I love you, Inara.”

By the time Zan was done, Inara was almost sobbing. She almost couldn’t believe that this was real, but it was. And the look in Zan’s eyes told her that. He really was in love with her. Before she knew it, she was laughing in disbelief. That mixed with the tears she had just shed, she was sure that she looked crazy. But she didn’t care. She was too happy to.

“Inara?” Was all he could say as he watched her. This wasn’t the reaction that he’d expected from her.

Inara shook her head. “You don’t have to be sorry for anything, Zan,” she said, her laughter already subsiding. And as she wiped the damp tear stains from her face, she knew that words couldn’t describe all of the things that she wanted to express to him. She needed to show him. Without hesitation, Inara closed the distance between them and took his face in her hands, bringing their lips together. Zan was too surprised to respond to her gentle kisses at first, but the pleasurable feeling of her soft lips made him forget everything else in the world and he soon gave in to the kiss, his arms coming around her waist and bringing her closer.

After a few moments, Inara reluctantly pulled her lips away from his. “I love you too, Zan,” she said gently, “I always have. And I don’t want to be anywhere else than with you.”

Zan didn’t need her to say anything more than that. Immediately, he fused his lips to hers once again. It was a perfect moment in time that belonged only to the two of them. They didn’t care what happened years from now or even in the next five minutes. All that mattered was that they were together and they were in love.

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Re: Love & War on Antar (M/L ADULT) Ch. 15, A/N: 4/22/10

Postby Cocogurl » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:50 am

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A/N: I want to thank everyone for their patience. Finally the next chapter is HERE! I'd like to dedicate this chapter to my mom because she was nice enough to sit with me and help me come up with ideas for this chapter. All right, everyone, enjoy! :D




Chapter Sixteen


General Nikolai groaned in bliss as he came inside queen Kess before collapsing down on the bed beside her. After catching his breath, Nikolai rolled over and got out of bed, going through the task of putting his clothes back on. Behind him, Kess was rolling over onto her side and propping herself up on her elbow.

“Where are you going in such a rush?” She asked seductively. “I wasn’t planning on being done with you just yet.”

“Sorry, love,” he replied as he sat on the edge of the bed, his back still facing her as he put his boots on. “I’ve got places to be.”

“Do you really mean it?” She asked suddenly. “When you call me ‘love’? Do you really love me?”

The question took Nikolai by surprise. He turned his head to look at her and cocked an eyebrow. “Do you mean it when you tell your husband that you love him?” When she didn’t say anything, he turned back and finished tying his boots, taking her silence as an answer. “You don’t love me, Kess. I don’t love you,” he stated casually. “All we have between us is sex. Let’s not pretend there’s anything more.”

Rolling her eyes, Kess plopped back down on her damp sheets. “So romantic,” she quipped, but really, she knew he was right. She didn’t love Nikolai, just like she didn’t love king Galen. They simply provided her the things she desired. With Galen, it was a life of luxury, all the power and money she could ever want. With Nikolai, he satisfied all of her physical needs. My gods, does he, she thought wickedly. He satisfied her in ways that Galen never could, which probably wasn’t saying much considering that Galen cared only of his pleasure during their lovemaking. Still, it wasn’t love. She didn’t love either of these men, but she wanted to. She wanted to know what it was like to really be in love. To be in a relationship that wasn’t about political gain or sexual gratification. It was a dream. A beautiful dream that the better part of her told her to give up on. Hearing Nikolai’s voice as he stood up from the bed, brought her attention back to him.

“Yes, well, we both know it turns you on when I’m tactless.” He smiled, leaning in towards Kess’ face, his eyes wandering from her face, all the way down her naked body.

She smiled back and leaned up to close the distance between their lips. They were barely a breath apart when she said, “It does indeed.” Not waiting any longer, they brought their lips together in a slow passionate kiss.

Pulling away, Nikolai turned from her and made his way out of the bedroom. He stopped and gave Kess a little wink before walking out, hearing the doors slide shut behind him. Nikolai looked down at the state of his clothing and waved his hand over them, using his powers to straighten out the wrinkles. Happy with his appearance, he walked down the hallway with a satisfied smirk on his face. Queen Kess certainly knew how to satisfy a man. And she knew how to do things in bed that made Nikolai’s other sexual partners look downright dull. But now that his carnal needs had been sated, he had other matters to attend to--very unusual matters. At the end of the corridor, Nikolai stopped in front of what appeared to be a dead end. Though he knew everyone in the palace would likely be in bed at this hour, he gave a quick glance behind him to be certain that no one had seen him. Turning back to the stone wall, he pressed his right hand in the center and closed his eyes in concentration. With the same hand, he traced a big triangular symbol on the wall before stepping back. In a matter of seconds, the symbol started to glow a faint yellow color and the walls began to separate in the center of the symbol, revealing a secret passageway. The walls disappeared into either sides of the hallway and inside the passageway was a circular staircase leading down. Nikolai started walking. Brightly lit torches were spaced evenly on both sides of the small space, lighting the way as he made his descent.

Reaching the bottom floor, Nikolai stopped and stood in the entry way leading to the old dungeons. The room was circular and had fewer torches, but that was no problem for Nikolai. He could see everything perfectly. Zantarians had really good eyesight, not perfect, but better than most other races. With his enhanced sight, he could see two figures standing in a shadowy part of the room, right in front of the gate that held all of the prison cells behind it. One of the figures was Kivar, wearing a pleasant smile on his lips, but his eyes held a wicked gleam in them that told Nikolai he was up to something bad. Standing beside him was a maid. A short elderly woman with a shock of white hair tied into a tight bun. Her posture was stiff and her head was facing the ground, making it impossible for him see her features.

Nikolai’s eyes then went back to Kivar as he leaned forward towards the floor, giving the prince a proper bow. “Your majesty.” He came back up and waited expectantly for Kivar to speak.

“Please, call me Kivar, Nikolai,” Kivar insisted, a smile still on his lips. “After all, I’ve known you since I was a child.”

Kivar appeared very humble and kind, but Nikolai could see right through him. He might not flaunt his power quite as much as the rest of his family did. But deep down, he was still every bit the entitled brat that was expected given his status. “May I ask what this is about, your--” he corrected himself. “Kivar.”

“Of course.” Kivar stepped out of the shadows and the two men stood face to face. “I’ll just cut to the chase. I want to know what The Light is. And I want to know why my father is looking for it.”

Shock came over Nikolai’s face, realizing what this meeting was about. Kivar’s smile turned from kind to cocky as he watched everything click together for Nikolai. The general glanced briefly back to the maid, who was still staring down at the floor, doing her best to be seen and not heard.

Kivar followed Nikolai’s gaze. “Don’t worry about Ziva,” he assured, knowing that Nikolai didn’t want this meeting to become fresh gossip for the help. “She won’t say anything Will you, Ziva?”

The maid gave passionate shake of her head. “No, my lord.”

“See,” Kivar looked back at Nikolai, “you’re safe. Now tell me. What is The Light?”

Nikolai tried to play dumb. “Your highness, I’m sorry, but I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“There’s no point in lying to me,” Kivar replied. “I heard you and my father talking about it the other day.”

Feeling slightly embarrassed at being caught in a lie, Nikolai spoke, his voice less confident than before. “With all due respect, your majesty, but that was a private conversation between me and the king. And I don’t think he’d be too happy to know that you’re snooping around behind his back for dirt on him.”

Kivar was full on grinning now. He knew what Nikolai was trying to do. Fear of king Galen’s wrath was a good incentive to make anyone else back off. But Kivar wasn’t anybody. And he already had leverage of his own. “I don’t think you’re going to tell my father anything,” he said arrogantly. “Because if you did, I might be forced to inform him about your little affair with his wife. I mean, it makes no difference to me. She’s not my mother. But I don’t think my father will feel the same way.”

Nikolai’s faced paled and he swallowed hard, suddenly feeling like a cornered animal.

Kivar continued. “But I didn’t come here to blackmail you, General. I came to offer you my friendship and help.”

“I have a hard time believing that.”

“It’s the truth. You and I have something in common.”

Nikolai cocked an eyebrow. “We do?”

“Yes. We’re both slaves to my father’s tyranny.” Kivar’s face turned sympathetic. But just like his humility, it wasn’t real. “I know about your mother.”

Nikolai almost lost it at the mention of his mother, Arianna. “You know nothing about her,” he said through clenched teeth, barely able to contain his anger. If Kivar were any other person, he’d be on the floor looking for his teeth by now.

“I know a lot more than you think I do.”

For the third time, Nikolai’s gaze went to Ziva the maid, figuring she had told Kivar something about his mother. He could see no other reason why she’d be here. “You know only rumors, my lord,” he said, with more edge to his voice than he had intended. “The gossip spread by servants who have nothing better to do.”

Kivar cocked his head to the side, not the least bit offended by Nikolai’s defensive tone. “True. Still, they can provide…useful information. I guess that’s the perk of being invisible to people of class. That’s how I found out about my father and your mom.”

Nikolai was slowing feeling the last of his patience slipping away. What the hell did this woman fill Kivar’s brain with? Arianna was a saint of a woman and even better mother. Growing up, they rarely had money for food and clothing, but she always did her best to make sure he had what he needed, even if it meant stealing, sleeping with men for some coins, or even starving herself when they only had enough food for one. Blind rage almost consumed him at the thought of this nothing spreading lies about her. He managed a surprisingly even tone when he spoke again, though he wasn’t sure how he managed that. “What are you talking about?”

“Ziva.” He didn’t look at her as he said her name. He knew that she understood what he wanted and he stepped aside so she could tell her story.

The old woman took three small steps toward Nikolai and lifted her head, her eyes meeting his. Her lips were thin, making her look stern and mean. Her wrinkles made her look practically ancient, yet there was a spark in her deep purple eyes. “I knew your mother very well,” she said in a deep husky voice. “She was a dear friend of mine and a very beloved maid in the palace…especially in the king’s eyes.”

Nikolai didn’t even need to guess what she was implying and the thought made him physically ill. He couldn’t believe his mother would ever let a disgusting man like Galen touch her. Nikolai silently applauded himself for not storming out of there the minute Ziva started talking about her. Though, that wasn’t saying much considering Kivar had basically strong armed him there. Still, as the maid continued her story, Nikolai went from outraged to curious.

“She and the king had been having an affair for almost three years. She said that she loved him, and she believed that he loved her as well. He certainly behaved as if he did. He was always showering her with gifts, sneaking little touches when no one was looking. Arianna even told me about his plans to divorce his first wife, Anna, to be with her. Soon, though, his lust for her began to waver. He no longer met her in secret, no longer looked at her with devotion. Your mother was heartbroken, but never lost her faith in him. When she found out she was pregnant with you, she was certain he would come back to her and they would live happily ever after.” Ziva had a sad, almost pitiful look in her eyes as she got lost in the memory. “When she told him, he was furious. He called her whore, saying the baby wasn’t really his. He banished her from the palace and told her never to come back.”

Nikolai wasn’t sure how to process all of this. It was no shock to him what king Galen did. The king put up a front of being a big family man. He couldn’t have Arianna and their bastard child around, putting a stain on his reputation. Galen was a careful man. In the ten years that he’s known the king, he never knew him to be any other way. But it was different when it effected someone he loved. He could just imagine his poor mother’s face as the king said those awful and untrue words to her. He could picture her having to watch the man she loved turn her back on her and force her and their baby out of his life.

Their baby. Suddenly, like a ton of brick, he remembered what Ziva had said. When she found out that she was pregnant with you. Nikolai suddenly felt like his head was spinning. This couldn’t be possible. It just couldn’t. His mind continued to chant that over and over, even as his mouth began to speak the words he hoped wasn’t true. “Does this mean that Galen is my father?”

Ziva looked back at Kivar uncertainly, like she wasn’t sure if it was okay to answer. Kivar gave quick nod of approval and she looked back at Nikolai. “Yes, General.”

It can’t be true, his mind told him yet again. “That man is not my father.”

Ziva spoke again, her voice awkward and hesitant, remembering that she was only a servant. She had to be careful about speaking out of turn. “General, your mother was never with anyone else when she was with the king. She was completely faithful to him.”

Nikolai looked at Kivar, who’d remained silent since Ziva started talking. His face was expressionless, like none of this effected him. “You honestly believe this garbage?” He asked.

“Yes, I do,” Kivar answered, stepping forward, stopping beside Ziva. “And I can see it in your eyes. Deep down, you believe it too. You just don’t want to.”

Nikolai shook his head. “No, I don’t believe this. Because if it was true, and the king was so worried about keeping his reputation safe, than why did he seek me out? Why did he bring me in as his general, of all the men he could’ve chosen from.”

Nikolai remembered that day clearly.

He had come home on leave from the Zantarian military, and discovered the horrible news. It was news that he knew was coming a long time ago, but it still killed him when he heard from his uncle Jerome that his mother had been sent to a psychiatric facility.

When he went to visit her, he was confused when he noticed the guards posted at her door. But these guards weren’t dressed in their usual attire; plain black dress shirt, pants and long coat. No, these guard’s had red stripes at the edges of their jacket sleeves. And a big, red Z shaped symbol rested at the center of their shirts. These men worked for the Zantarian palace. Nikolai remembered being both curious and concerned, wondering why these men were guarding his mother’s room. His surprise increased when the guards let him in and he found king Galen standing by his mother’s bedside, gently brushing a few wisps of light brown hair away from her face.

“Your majesty, sir Ivan is here,” one of the guards said, using Nikolai’s last name.

Both the guards and Nikolai bowed before Galen as he turned around and focused his attention on Nikolai. “Leave us,” he said and both guards promptly walked out of the room. Nikolai remembered the awkward silence that lingered in the room as they both stared at each other. When he had finally decided to ask what was going on, Galen told him that he used to know Arianna, but he wouldn’t elaborate any further. It didn’t occur to Nikolai that his mother might have had an affair with the king. Most of the conversation had been a blur, Nikolai too confused and stunned at the time to really process everything Galen was saying. One thing that wasn’t a blur, though, was how interested Galen seemed to be in him. Asking him all of these questions about his life. Nikolai never thought he’d see the day when the mighty king gave a damn about the little people.

And when Galen had decided to pick him as his General, it had never made sense to him. There were men out there, stronger and more experienced than a twenty-six year old man. That’s when it clicked in his brain. “Guilt. He found me, and chose me out of guilt.”

Kivar shrugged. “Or some twisted sense of obligation. I don’t know what goes on in that man’s brain. But what I do know is that you were deprived of the life you deserve because of him. We could’ve been standing side by side today, as brothers, as true equals if it weren’t for him.” Kivar stepped forward. “Help me. Help me punish him for what he’s taken from us.”

“You really expect me to believe that you don’t have something in it for you,” he snapped, no longer caring that Kivar was the prince. “Ulterior motives is the one thing you and your father have in common.”

“True. We do,” Kivar agreed and his cool façade cracked for a moment, showing the irritation he felt at admitting he had anything in common with his father. Then, just like that, it was gone. And he went back to looking cool and unaffected by everything. “I do want something for myself. But that doesn’t mean I’m not telling the truth about everything else.”

Nikolai turned his back on Kivar, taking a moment to process everything he’d just been told. He didn’t want to admit it, but Kivar was right. Galen took everything from his mother, everything from him. They had to be hidden away in shame because of his mistakes. He should be living Kivar’s life. He deserved that life. His mother deserved justice for the way she was betrayed.

“All right.” Nikolai turned around. “I’ll help you.”

The three of them returned to the upper levels in the palace before Kivar dismissed Ziva. As she walked away and returned to her other duties, Nikolai and Kivar made their way towards king Galen’s study.

“Other than your father, I’m the only living soul who knows about this,” Nikolai said as they entered the study. He pressed a button on the far left side of the bookcase by the fireplace and Kivar watched in surprise as the bookcase separated, revealing a steal safe.

“I never knew he had this.”

It was Nikolai’s turn to give Kivar a smug look. “I told you.” Punching in a code number, he grabbed the handle and opened the safe door. Two lights came on, illuminating the room in a green glow. Nikolai stepped aside and allowed Kivar to enter the room first.

Kivar was stunned with what he saw. Shelves were lined all along the walls of the safe. Some of the rarest books and artifacts were placed neatly on top of the shelves. Some of these artifacts were one of a kind. At the center of a face, right against the wall was a small pedestal with a big, brown leather bound book resting on it. “What’s that?” He couldn’t stop himself from walking towards the book. It was like he was drawn to it.

“This book gives us some idea to where and what the Light actually is,” Nikolai answered.

“You mean, you don’t know?”

Nikolai shook his head and went on to tell Kivar about the prophet, Rinaldi, who had written the book before he died centuries ago. Unfortunately for both of them, the book was written in a dead, Zantarian language that Galen’s people were just starting to translate. The Light was a product of the death of the thirteenth god, Illyra. When she was executed by the other gods, her body was encompassed in a bright light and thus the Light was created. Nobody was even certain yet what exactly the Light was or even where it was.

“Sounds like you’ve gotten a lot done,” Kivar smirked as he opened the book and slowly looked through the ancient pages.

“Well, not everything can just be handed to you. Some things take time. There’s also the fact that we haven’t found the other book.”

Kivar looked up from the book and turned to Nikolai. “What other book?”

Nikolai took a few steps towards Kivar and stopped beside him, looking down at the book. “Apparently, before Rinaldi died, he broke his book into two parts. That’s why we’re looking for Lar-el. We believe she may have the other book or at least know where it is. She’s notorious for being obsessed with the prophet Rinaldi.”

Kivar listened as he continued to look through the pages, wishing that he could make sense of the language somehow. He reached the last page and was about to close the book when something caught his attention. On the left hand corner, Kivar spotted the same V shaped symbol that was on Inara’s necklace, and was placed on Illyra’s back as punishment for falling in love with a mortal.

“Gods,” Kivar whispered without thinking. Now he was certain that Inara was involved in this somehow.

“What?” Nikolai looked at Kivar curiously.

“I know someone who can help us.”

Nikolai became more puzzled. “Who?”

Kivar shut the book and looked back at Nikolai, a devious and determined look all over his face. “Inara.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Inara was in heaven. She had to be. There was no way that any earthly pleasure could compare to what she was experiencing right at this moment. But obviously that wasn’t true, because there she was, wrapped in Zan’s arms as they lay in her bed, his lips making a trail along her neck. It was like her entire body was on fire and the only relief for it would be allowing Zan to have his wicked way with her.

It’s not like she hadn’t thought about it.

Gods, lately it was all she’d been thinking about. They’d been together now for a few weeks, but it felt like a lifetime. Of all the ways she imagined what being with Zan would be like, it didn’t compare to the reality of it. They was such a strong connection between them. Inara had never felt anything like it before.

Slowly, Zan’s hands moved down Inara’s body, making their way to her thighs. He pulled them up higher on his body and gasped against her neck when she started grinding her lower body against him. “Gods, you feel so good.”

Inara let out a light giggle that only served to arouse Zan more. “You feel good too,” she said as she continued to move her body against his. “I want you so much.”

Zan froze, wondering if he had just imagined that. He moved his lips off of her and gave her an intense stare. “Are you sure?” He asked seriously, his voice husky and deep.

Inara understood the meaning of his question and the answer was yes. She’d never been so sure of anything before in her life. It was surprising, considering how worried she’d been about moving forward with him not too long ago. But she didn’t want to hold herself back any longer, not from something that felt so right. Without hesitating, she gave a jerky nod of her head.

Her answer was nearly his undoing. All he wanted to do was rip her clothes off and make passionate love to her. Almost instantly, he moved in for a deep, sensual kiss, which Inara eagerly gave into. When her hands went to undo his clothing, it took all of Zan’s strength to move off of her.

She looked stunned and a little hurt when he did. “Zan, what’s wrong? Do you not want to?”

Zan shook his head. “No, I want to. You have no idea how much I want to. But not like this.” Inara looked baffled, so he continued. “I want this to be special…for you.”

Inara wanted to grab him and kiss him when he said that. She smiled and shook her head. “Zan,” she moved towards him, sitting up on her knees as she wrapped her arms around his neck, “I don’t need it to be special. Just sharing this with you makes it special.”

After a moment, she moved in for another kiss and Zan didn’t stop, but he didn’t let it go any further either. When they broke part, he rested his forehead against hers and sighed. “Inara, you deserve special. If we do this now, then it’ll be like I haven’t changed. I’ll still be the same man who cares only about his own desires and doesn’t think about the consequences of his actions. I don’t want to be that man, Inara. Not with you.”

Inara’s smile brightened in understanding. “And why is that?” She asked, giving him a knowing look.

That look told him that he didn’t really need to answer. She already knew why, but he wanted to say it anyway. “Because I love you.”

Their lips joined together in a kiss so tender, Inara was certain it would make the gods weep. Reluctantly they broke apart from each other, but Zan refused to remove his hands from her body, which Inara wasn’t complaining about. The two of them just sat their together, arms entwined, and lost in their own perfect world.

“I have to go,” Zan finally said, destroying the peaceful silence they were having.

Inara groaned. “No, stay here.”

As tempting as that offer was, Zan knew he couldn’t. If he did, than he knew that he wouldn‘t have the self control to say no to her again. And things would happen between them that he wasn’t sure they were ready for. Mustering up as much will power as he could, he pulled away from Inara and stood up from the bed. “I wish I didn’t have to,” he said as he straightened out his clothes. “But there’s a conference that my father wants me to attend. Might make him happy if I actually did this time.”

“Probably,” Inara laughed as she nodded her head. Moving to the edge of the bed, she placed her feet on the floor and stood up, her thin blue dress flowing as she walked over to him. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer to her and his arms came around her waist. “When can I see you again?”

The eager tone in her voice made his heart swell with joy. “Tonight. At the cabin. Will you meet me there?”

“Of course.”

Zan smiled lovingly down at Inara before giving her one last kiss. He turned to leave her bed chamber when a thought occurred to him. He turned and looked at her. “Inara, what we have between us, it’s the most important thing to me. You know that right?”

She nodded her head.

“Well, I thought maybe we should come out to everyone.” Zan took a small and slow step forward. “I just want to let the entire universe know about you and me.”

Inara could hear the passion in him as he spoke, could see it clearly all over his face. It excited her greatly to know that he felt that way about her. It also scared her too. There was nothing she’d like more than to let all of Antar know of their love for each other, but a voice in her mind spoke to her, warning her against it. Their time together was a precious gift, something that belonged to them and them only. If they became public it wouldn’t be that way anymore. It would soon be about marriage and having an heir, two things she knew Zan wasn’t ready for. Their relationship was still too new for Inara to risk it with outside pressures.

But Inara didn’t want to upset him with all of this. She gave him mischievous smile and closed the distance between them. “I don’t know, Zan. I mean, it is kind of fun keeping this a secret. It makes it, I don’t know sexy somehow.”

Zan returned her smirk with one of his own, but was about to speak again when Inara placed her lips on his, silencing any argument he had.

Inara broke away from him after a few minutes, and they traded heated stares. “I just think we should wait a little while before we tell anyone,” she said, hoping she could convince him not to fight her on this. “We’ll tell everyone eventually, but right now, I like keeping this between us. It’s…romantic that way.”

Inara was certain on this. Zan could tell and he didn’t want to push her. So he nodded his head in agreement. “Yeah, I guess it is.” Giving her a soft peck on the forehead, he stepped back. “I better get going. I’ll see you tonight?”

She nodded. “I can’t wait.”

Zan gave her little wink before leaving her bedroom. The moment the doors shut, Inara turned towards her bed and collapsed down on it, still feeling Zan’s fingertips on her skin. It made her feel wonderful and sad all at once. She hated it when he left her side, even if it was only for a few hours. Closing her eyes, Inara allowed herself to fantasize about what just took place in her room only a minute ago. The weight of his body on top of hers, how his lips softly caressed her neck. Although her body had calmed down somewhat since Zan’s departure, she could still feel that ache deep inside of her. It was beyond a physical need. She wanted to be apart of him in every single way. Soul, mind and body. It was all she could think about--

Suddenly, without warning, Inara bolted upward in her bed. An intense flood of emotions poured into her soul and she could feel her mind being pulled somewhere she’d been before; in her dreams. She didn’t want to go there, but she was helpless to stop what was happening to her. Before she knew it, she was dragged back to that dark, twisted place…

* Flash *

Inara stood by herself at the top of Dimaras Rock. The wind blew heavily all around her and she could hear explosions in the distance, but she couldn’t tear her eyes away from sight in front of her. The once colorful and vibrant Antarian waters were now red with the blood of the innocent. Bodies floated at the top of the water and laid all along the beach. It was the most horrifying thing Inara had ever seen. She shut her eyes and turned away, trying to shield herself from the terrible images before her.

When she opened her eyes again, she was no longer standing at Dimaras Rock. She was now standing in the middle of the ballroom of the Antarian Palace. Debris was scattered all over the floor along with swords and phaser guns. Blood was splattered on various places on the walls. Gods, it looked even worse than it did in her dreams. But just like in her dreams, three dead bodies laid in the middle of the ballroom floor, puddles of blood surrounding them. Unfortunately, she still couldn’t figure out who the bodies belonged to. For some reason, their faces had no features, no eyes, no lips, no noses. All they were was faceless heads to Inara.

Footsteps broke her focus away from the bodies and she started to turn when she remembered another part of her dream. She froze in fear, remembering the dagger as it came straight towards her heart. She could hear the footsteps take four more steps towards her before stopping. Her heart pounded loudly in her chest as she felt the warm breath of her attacker caress her skin, and a sick feeling crept deep into her very being. She didn’t know who her attacker was, but she could sense the evil within his heart. It poured out of him in waves. Inara didn’t know it was possible for someone to have some much darkness inside of them. Finally, she found the courage to face the person behind her and get a better look at him. Just like the lifeless corpses on the floor, the attacker’s face was completely blank, with no features that she could see. Before she even had a moment to react, the man raised the dagger before swiftly plunging it down into her chest. She could feel the pain as the dagger cut through her flesh, piercing her heart. Blood started oozing out of her and dripped down her body.

As her life drained out of her and she started to lose consciousness, the faceless man spoke in a deep voice that sounded almost amused by watching Inara bleed to death. “It doesn’t matter how hard you try,” his left hand reached up to caress Inara’s cheek. “You can’t change this.”

That was all she got before everything went black.

* Flash *


Inara gasped as she came out of her vision and instinctively clutched her chest where the fatal injury had been. Feeling that there was no blood or wound there, Inara looked around and realized that she was no longer in her vision. She was back in her bedroom. Her entire body hummed with energy from her vision and she didn’t like it. The dreams were terrifying enough, but now she was seeing things when she was awake. Fear filled her entire being as she replayed the vision over and over in her mind. She knew now that these weren’t just dreams. Something was happening to her. But she didn’t know what to do about it, or how to stop it.

The power continued to vibrate inside of her. She felt like she could explode at any moment from it. Unconsciously, she stood up and started pacing back and forth in an effort to release some of that energy somehow. She passed by her vanity and paused, noticing something. Taking a step back, she turned and walked over to her vanity and gasped. She’d never seen anything like it before in her life. There, on her vanity table, the symbol on her necklace glowed several different colors right before her eyes.

As the glow slowly started to die down, Inara’s fear turned to near panic. Gods, what am I going to do?

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Re: Love & War on Antar (M/L ADULT) Ch.16/ A/N: 8/30/10

Postby Cocogurl » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:49 am

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A/N: Hey, everyone! I want to thank you all for your wonderful feedback and patience. I hope you enjoy this chapter. It was my favorite one to write. You'll see why. :wink: Enjoy, everybody.
:D
-

Chapter Seventeen


Zan stared out the window of his carriage on the way back to the Antarian palace. Storm clouds billowed overhead and the rain landed loudly on the roof of the carriage, but he barely noticed. In his mind, he was back in Inara’s bedroom, touching and kissing her. However, in his fantasies, they didn’t stop at touching and kissing. They went much further than that. Gods, he wanted those fantasies to come true so badly. He wanted to feel her warm body beneath him while he made love to her. He wanted to hear her breathy moans in his ears as he drove her to the heights of ecstasy. Looking down at the straining erection in his pants, Zan groaned in frustration. He wanted her so badly and turning her down back in her room had been so hard. You did the right thing, he told himself, reminding himself why he didn’t take her when she offered. Zan wanted to make her first time special. Candles, flowers, the whole deal. She deserved to feel like the most special, most beautiful creature on the planet. So, he would wait. He would wait and make sure their first time together was everything she could want.

He was only fifteen minutes away from the palace when a message appeared on the intercom in front of him. Leaning forward, Zan touched a small square symbol on the top right corner of the screen. In an instant, the message center came up and he saw Inara’s name. Placing his finger over her name, he read the message as soon as it came up.

Zan, please meet me at the cottage. I need to see you urgently.

Love, Inara.


Zan didn’t hesitate. He immediately moved this finger to the intercom and told the driver to head towards the Zenon Woods, not even thinking about the conference his father wanted him to attend. Now all he could think of was getting to Inara. Without any delay, the driver turned the carriage around and headed straight for the forest.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~


The ride through the Zenon Forest was a long one. Zan could feel his legs beginning to cramp up and desperately ached to stretch them. Fifteen minutes away from the cottage, he ordered the driver to stop the carriage. It came to a complete stop and a moment later, the carriage door opened. Zan nodded in acknowledgement as he stepped down into the wet dirt. The man leaned forward in a graceful bow before standing back up.

The light drizzle from earlier had now turned into a shower, but as the rain pelted Zan’s head and clothes, he felt refreshed. He turned to look at the driver, who was staring straight ahead. “Take the carriage back to the palace,” commanded Zan.

The man looked at Zan uncertainly for a moment. “Are you sure about that, your highness?” He asked, flicking his gaze towards the stormy sky that was slowly darkening. “This storm is dreadful.”

“I’m sure. I’ll send for you if I need you.”

With another bow, the driver strolled back to the front of the carriage and climbed onto it. The carriage rode off down the path. Zan turned and started heading in the direction towards the cottage, watching his step as he trudged through the wet leaves and dirt. He made it to the tiny little house just as a huge gust of wind hit, almost making him lose his balance. He really hoped Inara was safe and warm inside and not still making her way to the cottage. Eager to get inside himself, he turned the doorknob and the door needed little help opening with the wind blowing the way it was. But once he was inside, he had to push the door a little to get it to close.

He walked through the main area of the cottage to the bedroom. Nightfall hadn’t completely come yet, but the bedroom was still dark when he entered. It was no problem for Zan though. Snapping his fingers, the candles lit up, lighting the room with an orange glow. The fireplace came alive as well. Even with glow from the fire, Zan still saw no sign of Inara. A slight chill went through him, both from the cold and his concern for Inara. Walking around the room, Zan suddenly paused when he caught a figure out of the corner of his eye. He turned to the gaping hole on the side of the room and he found Inara. She standing at the end of the dock by the lake, looking like a statue as the rain continued to fall.

Immediately, he raced outside to get her, not even thinking about the cold and the rain. “Inara!” He called out as he made it to the dock, his footsteps pounding loudly on the wooden planks. Inara showed no sign of hearing him though. She continued to stand there with her back to him. “Inara,” he said again. Still he got no response. His worry spiked a few more degrees. What was wrong with her? Cautiously, he reached out and touched her shoulder and the reaction he got from her made him step back.

Inara spun around, eyes wide as she turned to see who had joined her--she’d completely forgotten that she’d asked Zan to meet her--and lost her footing. As she fell backwards, arms flying up in the air, she’d fully expected to land in the freezing water--not that she would’ve really felt it. Her body was still so numb from the rain, wind, and lingering power from her vision, she couldn’t feel much of anything. Before she could fall, though, strong arms came around her waist, pulling her back up and away from the edge of the dock. Her feet were now firmly planted on the dock, but those arms refused to release her. Her eyes traveled up the man’s body starting with his chest. When they finally landed on Zan’s face, she felt the fog that she’d been in since her horrific vision begin to clear. “Zan,” she gasped.

Zan removed his arms from around her waist and started rubbing her arms up and down. “Gods, you’re freezing,” he said when he saw how pale she looked.

For the first time, Inara realized just how cold she actually was. Violent shivers wracked her body. She could hear her teeth chattering loudly in her mouth.

Zan’s protective instincts kicked in seeing her the way she was. He pulled Inara close to his body, wrapping his arm around her shoulder, trying to transfer as much of his body heat to her. Then, slowly, he led Inara off the dock and back towards the cottage. Zan paused when they made it back to the hole in the wall, making Inara stop as well. All along the outside walls of the house and around the hole, overgrown vines grew, some reaching right in the bedroom. And on the ground, rock and bits of rubble were scattered in every direction. It wouldn’t bother him, but looking down, he saw that Inara wasn’t wearing any shoes--he thought about asking her about it, but decided now wasn‘t the time. He needed to get her inside and he didn’t want to risk her tripping or cutting herself. With his free arm, he reached down to the backs of Inara’s knees and swooped her up into his arms, carrying her the rest of the way.

Once inside, he set her down onto the mattress and reached behind her for the blanket. Another shiver shot through Inara and Zan immediately reached over and grabbed the blanket, wrapping it tightly around her body. “I can’t believe how cold you are,” he said as he got to his feet.

A gust of wind came crashing through just then, blowing out all of the candles. Zan quickly went over to the fireplace. Above was a small, circular object attached to the wall. With the press of a couple of buttons a shield
suddenly came up around the hole, blocking out the storm outside. He shrugged when he caught the confused look on Inara’s face. “I had the shield put in a while back. Until I can get this side of the house fixed.” She gave him a little nod and went back to staring off at different things in the room. Zan came and sat down beside her. “Inara, how long were you out there?”

It was Inara’s turn to shrug. “I’m not sure.”

“Well, why were you out there to begin with?”

Inara started shaking her head and wrapped the blanket tighter around her body. “I couldn’t stay in here. It felt like the walls were closing in on me. I couldn’t breathe.”

“And the shoes?” He asked looking down at her damp feet. His tone was slightly amused, hoping to make her smile. He didn’t like seeing Inara like this.

She didn’t laugh. But she did snap out of her daze and look down at her feet, noticing that she wasn’t wearing. “I must have forgotten to put them on before I left,” she mumbled, now unable to take her eyes off her cold wet feet.

Zan was scared. He’d never seen Inara look so lost and confused before. “Inara, what’s going on?”

Inara didn’t respond. Zan didn’t even think she heard him. He scooted closer to her and turned her face to him, trying desperately to get her attention. “Inara, please,” he begged. “You’re scaring me.”

That got Inara’s attention. In all of her life, she’d never heard him sound so worried before and knowing that it was for her was too much. Tears started to come and before she knew it, she was sobbing uncontrollably against his chest. She removed her arms from the blanket so she could grab on to Zan as tightly as she could, afraid that he would disappear if she let go. She wanted to tell him about her vision so badly it hurt, but she couldn’t make her mouth form the words. So she just cried against him.

Zan didn’t say anything. He just held her and tried to comfort in any way he could. Soon, her cries turned into soft whimpers against Zan’s damp shirt before they stopped all together. And all Zan could hear was Inara’s shallow breaths. He realized then that she was starting to fall asleep. As much as he wanted to know what was going on with Inara, he could see how drained she was. She needed to rest.

Zan took Inara in his arms as he stood up and moved around to the right side of the bed, laying her down on the mattress. He then covered her up with the blanket and climbed in next to her. Instinctively, her body snuggled closer to his, and he didn’t hesitate to pull her into his arms. As he lay there next to Inara, it wasn’t long before his eyes started to become heavy, and he could feel slumber calling out to him. He tried to fight it at first. He wanted be awake just in case Inara needed him. Soon, he couldn’t stay awake any longer and sleep claimed him.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~


Darkness filled Inara’s vision as her eyes slowly opened. All the candles that had been lit were all out. The fire had died down and was now nothing more than a few orange embers. The only source of light came from the moonlight shining into the bedroom. The storm had died down and now the only sounds that she could hear were the sound of night creatures and Zan’s steady breathing beneath her. The feel of his body made her feel so safe and comfortable, but unfortunately didn’t provide much protection against the chilly room.

Reluctantly, she removed her from Zan’s arms and got out of bed. Her arms immediately came around her body, trying to keep warm as she walked to the fireplace. Quickly, Inara grabbed a couple of logs from the corner of the room and placed them in the fireplace. Once they were in, she raised her hand and used her powers to start another fire. The warmth from the fire felt so good and she moved closer to it, soaking in its warmth.

“You’re awake,” Zan said groggily.

Inara smiled at the sound of his voice and stood up, turning to look at his sleepy form. In that moment, she was certain that nothing in the universe could look sweeter than he did. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you,” she told him, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. She came over and sat down at the end of the bed.

“It’s all right.” He scooted his body closer to hers and looked out at the night sky. “It’s dark outside,” he observed.

“Yeah, it is.” Her smile faltered as she remembered the conference at the palace that Zan was supposed to go to. And now he had missed it because of her. Because of her stupid visions. “I’m sorry. For making you miss your conference.”

Seeing the remorseful look on her face made him smile. He couldn’t believe that she was actually worrying about that now. The whole thing just made him love her more. He then grabbed Inara’s hand and gave it a gentle kiss. “Inara, you don’t have to be sorry for anything. I’ll always be here for you.”

Zan’s touch and sweet words made her feel a little less guilty. But it also ignited a fire inside of her that made her want him. It was intoxicating and almost made her forget that they were having a conversation. “I know you will,” she said, her voice suddenly breathy.

Zan took that moment to really look at her. She definitely looked better than she had earlier. She was no longer shaking and her color had returned. Hesitantly, he decided to broach the subject of why she had called him. “Um…Inara, about earlier--” all he had to do was say “earlier” and suddenly he could her expression change and her body tense up. “I’m sorry,” he immediately said, wanting to calm her down. “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.”

She knew he was telling the truth. He wouldn’t make her talk about it if she didn’t want to, but she tried anyway. “I-I.” Unfortunately that was all she managed to get out before her doubts came to the surface, screaming at her. What if he didn’t believe her? What if he thought she was crazy? What if she was crazy? She didn’t want to risk losing him. But as she sat there, those piercing brown eyes of his continued to bore into her, silently pleading with her to let him in. She had to get away from those eyes before she said too much.

Just when Zan thought she was going to tell him everything, she abruptly rose from the bed and turned away from him, walking over to stand in front of the fireplace. Zan felt so helpless and frustrated as he watched her, he was almost tempted to shake the truth out of her. But he refrained. He couldn’t force the truth out of her, but it was damn frustrating trying to help her when she wouldn’t tell him what was wrong.

Neither of them said anything for a while and Zan assumed that that was the end of the discussion for the night, which made him unprepared for when Inara did finally speak.

“You’ll think I’m insane,” she said quietly.

But he heard her. And he heard how certain she sounded. He wasn’t going to let her give up that easily though. “I could never think that.”

I wish that were true, she thought sadly. How could he believe something that she herself couldn’t even fully believe? Still, even with all of her doubts and fears, she didn’t want to keep carrying this secret alone. It was eating her up inside. With a nervous sigh, Inara turned to him and told him about the vision she had after he left and everything that happened to her after she left Antar. It all came out of her. It was as if a damn had burst inside of her, and all of things that she’d been too afraid to tell anyone, now came out of her. At this point, she no longer cared whether he’d believe her. It just felt good to finally get it all out.

“You think I’m crazy,” she told him once she was finished and saw the blank expression on his face. She wasn’t mad at him for it. It was the only logical reaction to what she’d just revealed to him. And she wasn’t entirely sure she wasn’t crazy. He surprised her though when instead calling her a lunatic and storming out, he got up from the bed and pulled her to him.

“I don’t think you’re crazy, Inara,” said Zan, keeping her close to him for a second longer before pulling away to look at her His voice became a bit more doubtful as he spoke. “I swear I don’t. It’s just that no one on any of the five planets has the power to see the future. We can see the images of the past and even the present…but only the gods can see the future. At least that’s what the stories say.” Zan had never been one to believe in fate or the gods like his parents and most of Antar did. He firmly believed in free will and refused to let a bunch of mythological creatures dictate how he should live his life.

“I know. It sounds impossible and completely ludicrous,” she said. “But what I saw couldn’t have been my imagination.”

There was a desperation in her voice that told Zan that there was no point in trying to argue with her. She really believed in this. And he believed in her. With his hands on her waist, Zan led Inara back to the bed and sat them both down. “I promise that everything’s going to be okay,” he promised her, sliding his fingers up into her hair. He wasn’t sure if he believed in these visions she was having, but whatever was happening, he wouldn’t let her go through it alone.

As comforting as Zan was trying to be, Inara knew that he didn’t believe that her visions were real. But she knew that he would be there for her anyway. It also made her realize that there were other things she’d rather be doing. She was still worried, but Zan’s close proximity to her and the touch of his fingers in her hair was just as overwhelming. It wasn’t hard for her to decide which feeling she wanted to focus on at the moment. Her hands then slid up his chest, stopping at over his heart, and her lips touched his. The kiss was gentle at first, both of them enjoying the feel of each other. It started to get hotter when Zan tried to break away. But she pulled him right back, deepening the kiss

Without thinking, Zan let himself fall deeper into the kiss, forgetting all of his fantasies about making their first time special. Now he was running on what he was feelings. The softness of her lips, the smell of her hair, his raging arousal. All of it. It was consuming him. But when he felt her hands slip underneath his shirt in an effort to remove it and his eyes popped open. His hands moved to her shoulders and gently pushed her away.

“Inara, we can’t do this,” He said, trying to regain control of his raging libido. “Not like this.”

Inara frowned, but moved closer to him. “Why not?” She asked, feeling some her old insecurities rise to the surface. “Don’t you want me?”

The next moment, Inara let out a small yelp as Zan pushed her down on the mattress and moved on top of her, pressing his achingly hard erection against her. “You have no idea how much I want you.”

She gasped at the feel of his hardness and moisture started to build between her legs. No man had ever been able to make her feel the intense desire she was feeling for Zan. She had to have him inside of her. “Then why can’t we?”

“Because it shouldn’t be like this.” Zan’s voice was strained and his self-control was being stretched to its limits. He had to stop this soon or he wouldn’t be able to stop at all. “You’re vulnerable right now and your emotions are running high. If we do this now, you might regret it later.”

A defiant look appeared on her face. “Zan, stop treating me like some fragile thing that could break at any moment.” Inara’s voice was strong and unwavering as she spoke. “My emotions are not running high. And this isn’t something I’m going to regret. I want this, Zan. I want you.”

“Inara, please,” he begged, hoping Inara would have mercy on him. His control was quickly slipping away from him, and it was a miracle he’d even lasted this long. When Inara didn’t argue any further or try to kiss him again, he started to move off her.

Taking him by surprise, Inara wrapped her hands around his neck and pulled his lips back down on her. She smiled a little against his lips when he didn’t fight it and instead, began kissing her with even more passion. There was no longer any doubt in her mind that he wanted her as badly she wanted him. Feeling bold, she reached her hand down in between their bodies and started stroking his erection through his pants.

Zan ripped his lips away from Inara and gasped. “Gods, Inara!” He moaned out as she continued to touch him. “The things you do to me.” As if he wasn’t already far again, Inara’s whispered command made any thoughts of resisting fly out the window.

“Make love to me, Zan.”

It was all over now. He had to have her. They immediately started kissing again, neither one of them holding back. His hands were all over Inara. Her arms, her waist, her legs. He couldn’t get enough of her.

Inara loved the feel of Zan’s hands and lips on her body, but at the same time, she felt like she’d die if she couldn’t have more of him. The hand that wrapped around Zan’s neck moved up into his dark hair, gripping the locks tightly as she tried to bring his face closer to hers.

Zan’s hands moved to her thighs and gently spread them apart before wrapping them around his waist. Without breaking the kiss, he scooped Inara’s body up into his arms and moved her up to the head of the bed, and laid her back down.

Inara went back to message his hard manhood, only this time she undid the buttons on his pants and slid her hand inside, needed to feel skin on skin. She started a slow rhythm at first, enjoying the sounds he made against her lips. Soon she started to pick up speed and when she started squeezing him, he immediately pulled away and grabbed her hand, pinning it above her head.

“If you don’t stop that, this is going to be over before it even starts,” he said with a slightly sheepish smile. He was embarrassed to admit this to himself, but he wasn’t lying. Normally, he was the master of control with women. But not with her. She made him feel like he was anything but in control.

His plea made Inara giggle a little; loving the effect she had on him. She used to only dream about him wanting her this way. But reality was so much better. Lying there on the bed with her hands above her head, she watched as Zan moved onto his knees in front of her. Slowly, he started undoing his shirt. Inara was mesmerized as his beautiful skin was being revealed to her. Once the final button was undone, he peeled the shirt off and tossed it on the floor.

Inara took that moment to sit up and really admire Zan’s beautiful chest. He was like a work of art given to her by the gods themselves. Unable to stop herself, she moved onto her knees as well and started placing tiny kisses all over his stomach and chest, making sure she kissed every piece of skin in front of her.

Zan’s eyes closed in pleasure at the feel of her soft lips. Every single kiss was like fire on his skin, scorching him from the inside out and he couldn’t control himself any longer. Pulling her up by her upper arms, Zan immediately went to work removing her dress, desperate to see and feel every inch of her. Once the dress was gone, he laid her back down and grabbed the sides of her panties, sliding them down her legs and smiling when she arched her hips up to help him. As she lay there, completely naked to him, all Zan could do was stare. “Gods, you are so beautiful,” he said in an almost reverent tone. She was a goddess and he was happy to be her slave.

She smiled up at him. She always thought that when she was finally naked in front of man for the first time, she’d be more nervous or self-conscious. But she didn’t feel either. Being in front Zan like this made her feel powerful, sexy, and beautiful. But it was impossible to not feel wonderful when she had a man like Zan watching her like she was the most gorgeous creature he’d ever laid eyes on. “Take me, Zan,” she pleaded in an urgent tone. She needed him.

Zan didn’t hesitate. He climbed off the bed and quickly removed the rest of his clothing. The anticipation that filled her eyes as he return to the bed thrilled him. Feelings stirred within him that he hadn’t felt in a long time. The walls that he had put up after Ava broke his heart came down with Inara, and the amazing thing was, he wanted them to. He didn’t want any boundaries with her, and as he settled himself in between her thighs, he knew that after tonight, there wouldn’t be any.

Positioned at her entrance, he groaned when he felt how wet she was. It was a miracle he didn’t just take her right then and there. He softly caressed her cheek with his hand. “Are you sure?”

The uncertainty in his voice touched Inara. She didn’t even need a moment to consider his question. “Yes,” she said, nodding her head. “I want you to make love to me.”

That was all the encouragement he needed. Slowly, he eased inside of her, stopping at her hymen. Again, a feeling of uncertainty came over him and he gave her a questioning look, wanting to be absolutely sure that she was ready for this. She bobbed her head again and he thrust into her deeply, stripping her of her virginity.

Inara’s entire body tensed at the pain and Zan started peppering kisses all over her, holding himself still as he waited for to adjust to him inside of her. Once he was certain that she was ready, he slowly pulled out before driving back into her warm depths. A slow, steady rhythm started between them, Inara’s hips rising to meet Zan’s downward thrusts. Soon, all Inara could feel was pleasure as Zan made love to her body. The air crackled with energy all around them and every touch felt like electricity on their skin. Without any barriers between them, a connection formed, cementing their souls together.
He could feel everything Inara was feeling. He could feel her pain begin to recede and her pleasure increase with each thrust into her. Leaning down, he took one of her nipples into his mouth and gently sucked on it while his left hand reached up and started massaging her other breast. Inara gasped in delight. She was so receptive to his touch and it excited Zan more than he thought possible. With every stroke into her warm, wet depths, images assailed his mind. Images of him. They flashed by so fast, he didn’t have a chance to sort them all out, but her feelings for him came through loud and clear. Her love for him was stronger than anything he’d ever felt before. All consuming, her love filled the void he’d had inside of him for so long. Their bond was so powerful, so beautiful, he almost wanted to cry in joy at finding something he’d given up on having a long time ago.

Inara cried out in bliss as Zan’s strokes into her became harder, more urgent, seeking the same release that she was. The attention he was giving to her breasts brought her closer to ecstasy, and she started clawing at his back, desperate to feel her climax while at the same time, in no rush for their love making to end. Flashes assailed her mind of Zan’s life. Zan with his family, with Rath, with her…with Ava. She could feel the love he once had for her and the pain she had caused in his soul when she cheated on him. But she could also sense the those horrible feelings didn’t have power over him anymore. What Ava did him was nothing but a memory now and her heart swelled knowing that she was the reason why. She saw how mesmerized he’d been by her when they saw each other again on Dimaras Rock. She watched his feelings for her blossom into something deeper than anything he’d ever felt with another person--even Ava. What they had between them was amazing, special, and real. After waiting and hoping for so long, Inara was finally with the only person she’d ever love. The only man she would ever love.

Inara wrapped her legs tighter around his body, bringing him closer to her. Through their connection, Zan could feel how close she was to the edge and started to pick up the speed of his thrusts. He moved his hand away from her breast down between their bodies. Finding her clit, he used his thumb and started rubbing it in slow circles. That was all it took. Barely a second later, he heard her screaming his name.

“Zan!” She cried out as her orgasm ripped through her body. Wave after wave of intense pleasure went through and she held on tightly to Zan as she rode them out. She never wanted it to end.

Zan plunged deeper and harder into her. Her breathy moans were sweeter than anything he’d ever heard. The feel of her inner walls pulsating wildly around his manhood brought him to his climax. “Gods, Inara!” He groaned, burying his in her neck as he spilled his seed into her body. He’d never had such an intense orgasm before in his life. His body jerked against her body, trying to make this moment last as long as possible. Soon, though, his movements became slower and with one final thrust, Zan shuddered and collapsed against Inara, trying to catch his breath.

They held each other for a long time afterwards, both of them glowing in the aftermath of their lovemaking. With a regretful sigh, Zan pulled out of Inara and rolled over to his side of the bed. He pulled her into his arms and kissed her tenderly on her head. “I love you, Inara.”

She smiled as she snuggled closer to Zan’s body, savoring everything about this moment. As they held each other closely, Inara silently prayed that to the gods that they would always be this happy. “I love you too,” she mumbled quietly, fatigue setting in. “I always have.”

They soon drifted off into a peaceful slumber.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
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jbangelo
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Re: Love & War on Antar (AU,M/L,ADULT) [WIP]

Postby jbangelo » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:01 pm

Author is ready to update.
“You know you’re right for someone when they force you to be the best version of yourself.”

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keepsmiling7
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Re: Love & War on Antar (AU,M/L,ADULT) [WIP]

Postby keepsmiling7 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:36 pm

Can't wait to see how this turns out!
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