Anika paced around the forest in search of a place to rest. She had spent three and a half days running after the Prince of Angels, and he was still playing when she left. She needed to sleep, but she knew that there were creatures and unknown beings lurking in the woods, and had no idea where would be a safe place for a nap, so she kept searching. She came to a clearing at around noon, and the sun was hot. On the other side of the clearing was a familiar man. She remembered him from the encounter with the bear, but today he wore a simple t-shirt and blue jeans, with sneakers, untied. He was leaning against a tree trunk, eyes closed, but he greeted her as soon as she was within a distance that she could hear him at.

“Hello Anika, nice to see you again.”

She stopped, confused. When had she ever mentioned her name. He continued.

“My name is Otirik. I own a house on the edge of these woods, and I occasionally fight in a supernatural war. So, what brings you here to the Forest?”

Anika cleared her throat. “To find an heir to my throne.” She left it at that, she didn’t want to get into all of the details just yet. She sat across from Otirik, pointing to a nasty scar on his left arm. “How did you get that?”

He looked down at his arm, flexing gently for a moment. “I lost a battle. It was the only battle I ever lost, and it nearly cost me my life. How about you? Do you have any scars?” Anika shook her head slowly. Otirik mocked her, “Pretty princess to afraid to get her hands dirty?”

In an instant, she had him pinned back against the tree, eyes glowing gold and face twisted in anger and triumph. “That’s QUEEN. And I don’t have scars because I am a healer. But trust me, I AM a very skilled warrior.” She let him up and stalked back off in the other direction.

“What!” Otirik cried. But she wasn’t listening. And he was madly in love.


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