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    Laura S. Fox
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

This Strange World Needs A Kicking! - 18. The Person Inside You

Chapter Eighteen – The Person Inside You

“What happened to your hair?” Milo asked him the moment he set foot out of the building. 

He was dressed in an oversized t-shirt and shorts, so Sebastian took a moment to admire the young man’s muscular legs. Too bad his arms were partially covered, but it looked like Milo enjoyed wearing comfortable clothes. 

Sebastian ran one hand through his hair and stared, all puzzled, for a moment, at the thing he extracted from it. Apparently, it was a bay leaf. “We tried to cook.”

“You and Tani?” Milo asked and gave him a cursory look. “That explains why you look like you just left a construction site. It must be flour on your clothes.”

Sebastian looked down at his clothes and gasped. When had he become such a slovenly person? He was known for his impeccable manners and attire as the Prince of Ifigia. “I must go change.”

“Not yet.” Milo stopped him with a hand on his shoulder. “Why didn’t you pick up?”

He had to be talking about those calls. Sebastian kept his face away. “I was busy. It was quite a demanding dish, and I couldn’t abandon what I was holding to answer your call.” He winced at the end of that terrible lie.

“Hmm,” Milo said instead of a proper reply. “That’s pretty cringey, dude. I can tell you’re lying.”

Sebastian groaned before realizing that he should have kept that to himself. “How can you tell?” He turned to face Milo. 

The green eyes twinkled. What right did he have to be so handsome and have such expressive eyes? This boy would be his doom, without a doubt.

“You’re avoiding me, and I want to know why.”

“We just haven’t talked for several hours. I am not avoiding you,” Sebastian argued.

“Are you being weird about what we did last night?” Milo moved closer.

Sebastian wanted to take a step forward and meet him halfway. No, he needed to take a step back. 

He just froze in place. “Why would I do that?” he asked, but his voice didn’t sound collected and cool as he desired. 

Milo shrugged. “Dunno. But I’d like to find out.”

“Please, just give me a couple of minutes to get changed, and I’ll be right back with you,” Sebastian said curtly.

He needed to get away from that scrutinizing stare that was making his stomach feel strange. 

“Okay. But don’t make me come after you,” Milo said playfully and offered him another gorgeous smile.

He just nodded and hurried back into the building. A few minutes were everything he got to be able to come back with a proper and credible lie that wouldn’t end up hurting anyone, and especially Milo.

***

He looked far more presentable when he faced Milo again. The young man surprised him by hooking one arm over his shoulders and making him walk side by side. “I thought you wanted us to go job hunting for you this Saturday.”

“Oh, right, right, of course,” he mumbled.

There had to be something particularly strange about the natural rules governing this world because Milo’s arm felt slightly heavy on his shoulders, and yet his feet were light, and he was sprinting over the sidewalk. 

The silence stretched between them. “Milo,” he began. 

“Was my cum weird?” Milo asked him at the same time.

“What?” Sebastian didn’t know what he meant by that until he remembered some rather bawdy titles of videos he had watched. “No, as I told you, it was quite… tasty.”

“You hesitated,” Milo pointed out.

Not for the reasons he imagined. Sebastian was just struggling to find more commonly used words so that he could sound more like Kai. 

“I’m telling the truth,” he countered. “I haven’t tasted others’, but yours was truly good.”

“You’re just saying,” Milo replied and moved his head away. 

Once again, a delicious shade of pink was coloring his handsome cheeks. 

“I certainly am not,” Sebastian protested. “I would like to have it every day, that good it was.”

“For real?” Milo stared at him.

It was hard to meet his gaze, but Sebastian wanted nothing more but to make it clear to this wonderful boy that his seed was the most fantastic thing he had tasted in his life. “Yes, for real,” he said with determination.

“Ugh, you’re driving me nuts,” Milo huffed.

How could he not be happy with that answer? Sebastian began pondering whether some other reply was actually expected of him when he was suddenly pushed into an adjacent narrow alleyway between two high buildings. 

And then, his back met a wall, and warm lips came hard on his, crushing them gently. Milo’s hands were soon in his hair, and they were kissing like they had only moments left to live. Even the way Milo kissed was so different from everything Sebastian remembered. How frustrating it felt to have so much experience bedding men and yet feel inadequate in relation to this young man.

Yet, even this frustration had a sweet tone to it, a gentleness he couldn’t fight, his arms heavy against the stream of dark honey pouring through his veins. 

Milo interrupted the kiss shortly and breathed hard while pressing his forehead against Sebastian’s. “Ever since I confessed, everything’s so different,” he whispered. “Did my words change you into someone else? Did I change?”

Sebastian caressed Milo’s face and then dropped his hands on his strong shoulders. “You’re wonderful,” he said, lacking the right words to blurt out the truth. Milo would just think he was lying.

“Oh gawd, you even know what to say to make me feel…” He stopped and shook his head slowly. “Argh, I don’t know what the hell I’m saying.”

“Try, nonetheless.”

“I never… I never imagined you saying corny stuff like how I’m wonderful and stuff. Or that you could kiss the way you kiss. Did I know you so little before?”

“You couldn’t have foretold how I would be as a lover,” Sebastian struggled to offer an explanation that could make sense. Milo was right, on all accounts. But, on the other hand, Kai, the real Kai, would have reacted completely differently.

Sebastian was doing a poor job at being someone else, and he couldn’t resist, not for a moment, when Milo embraced him and kissed him like that. His entire body, no, his entire soul, wanted nothing but to make him happy. And he was not in the least in any position to do so, for the simple fact that he was who he was.

“Yeah, yeah, you’re right.” Milo laughed. “It’s just that you’re so different now. But I guess we’re both different. Love changes people, right? Oh, damn, I’m saying corny stuff again.”

“Is it bad?” Sebastian asked while caressing Milo’s shoulders. “That I’m different? Would you rather have me, the one from before?”

Would you rather have your friend?

He was just grabbing at straws like a mad drowning man.

Milo shook his head again. “No. If this is you now, heck, how can I complain? I mean, you went down on me --” He pursed his lips and blushed again. 

“Just because of that?” Sebastian asked, dissatisfied about being reduced to that.

“No. Oh, fuck, you’ll think I’m a pervert, now, only thinking about that. But you’re so hot, you know? I mean, I’m so glad no one knows you’re like this on the inside. Anyone looking at you, they wouldn’t suspect, not for a moment. You know, that you can kiss like this, or touch like this, or have that kind of look in your eyes. I think I’m in love with the person inside you, Kai. Does it make any sense?”

Sebastian buried his fingers into Milo’s shoulders and looked down. A new strange feeling was growing inside him, so overwhelming that he could no longer speak or breathe. 

“Kai, are you all right?”

Milo’s worried voice brought him back to his senses. He looked up. “I think I’m in love with you, Milo Bennett.” He couldn’t keep the astonishment he felt as soon as his words left his mouth. 

Milo snickered. “Are you that surprised about it? I mean, come on, just look at his wonderful guy here.” He pointed at himself. “What’s not to love, right?”

Sebastian nodded. It was true. He felt drained, a bit empty, but happy and light in a giddy way that was not himself at all. Was he changing into Kai Martin? Was he losing himself? He tried to stop the bubble of laughter swelling in his chest but to no avail. 

He snorted in the most inappropriate manner as he struggled against it. But then he was laughing. It was so beneath him to express emotion in such an unbridled manner, but it was beyond his power to hold it in anymore.

“Hey, I was expecting another compliment, you know?” Milo scolded him playfully. “Not to be laughed at.”

Sebastian stopped and kissed Milo one time hard on the lips. “I’m not laughing at you. I’m laughing at me.”

Milo grinned. “If you say so, dude.”

They were about to kiss one more time when something cut through the air with a swish, and Sebastian felt something hard hitting his temple. He brought one hand to his head, and when he put it back down, he noticed the blood.

Milo let go of him and broke into a run. At the end of the alley, rushed steps and someone yelling insults could be heard. 

“Are you okay?” Milo returned to him as it seemed like he couldn’t get a hold of the assailant. 

“It’s just a small cut,” Sebastian concluded. 

If that had been an assassination attempt at Prince Kai’s life, the one to carry it had to be a simpleton. He picked the stone that had been thrown and was now on the ground. He examined it and sniffed it—no sign of poison. 

“Are you sure?” Milo asked, prey to a heightened state of agitation. 

Sebastian took out his handkerchief and wiped the blood from his hand. Then he pressed it against his temple. “Yes. Why are you staring at me like this?”

“Correct me if I’m wrong,” Milo started hesitantly, “but as much as you fight monsters and whatnot in video games, you’re pretty squeamish when it comes to your own blood.”

“Squeamish? About a little thing like this? Look, the bleeding already stopped.” He turned his head so that Milo could see. 

“Yeah. Still, we need to take you somewhere to disinfect it.”

“Your place?” Sebastian said promptly.

He felt somewhat vexed about having his big moment with Milo being interrupted like that. He couldn’t understand his own feelings, but he surely desired to have the time to explore them at length.

“Yeah, sure. Let’s go,” Milo said and took his hand. “You sure you’re all right?”

“Stop worrying so much.”

“How could I not? I can’t lose you now that you just confessed to me,” Milo said in a theatrical voice.

Ah, he was making fun of the situation. So that was quite all right. And Sebastian was now eager to be back at Milo’s house where they could kiss, and maybe the beautiful young man would tell him again those incredible words.

***

Where could he go to find some food? He should have taken advantage of Pepin no longer being mad at him and ask about it, but he had missed his chance. Who knew where the servant was now? He most probably had better things to do than just be at His Majesty’s beck and call all the time. Not that Kai minded all that attention. He had only been there for days, and he was getting used to the good life.

He wandered into the castle. He needed to have on his order of business to map the place so that he finally knew where he was going. The last time he had wandered around like that, an assassin had almost ended up killing Conrad.

Kai shivered and grimaced. That wasn’t so nice, weird-looking people trying to kill him. Well, maybe they had their reasons since Sebastian was a pretty ruthless guy, but still, they were on the side of evil, and he on the side of good, so, in a nutshell, they shouldn’t be able to succeed.

Of course, there was still the matter of him being trapped in some kind of game, although he hadn’t noticed any possibility to level up or stuff like that. That was disappointing; he had completed a pretty huge quest, getting the dragon’s tear and all that.

He stopped in front of a large wooden door. He sniffed around. There was no way that was the door to the kitchen. It smelled nothing like food. However, it smelled of something else, but Kai couldn’t quite put his finger on it. There was only one way to find out, and it didn’t look like a forbidden door or anything like that. No ominous runes were written above the door, and no ominous smoke came from underneath.

It was okay, he decided, as he pushed the door open. For a while, his eyes struggled to adjust to the low light in the room. 

“What brings Your Majesty to me?” A female voice came from the darkness. “I thought you were quite displeased the last time you visited.”

“Um,” Kai started, not really sure what to say.

The room was filled with books, he noticed, and in the middle, there was a table that appeared to be covered by some velvety cloth. On it, what was that?

He walked closer. “Is this a real crystal ball?”

The woman laughed and finally emerged to make herself seen. She was tall and broad-shouldered, dressed in a long gown of a dark color that appeared to have no decorations of any sort. She sat at the table and stared at him. 

At least, that was what he assumed, as he still couldn’t see much. “Can you make some light? It’s pretty spooky in here.”

A sudden clap of the hands surprised him, but right away, the room was scalded in a pleasant light. He couldn’t tell its source as much as he turned on his heels and looked around. 

“How can I be of assistance, Your Majesty?”

Finally, Kai could take a good look at the woman. She couldn’t be older than thirty, and her face was impressive, just as her stature. Good thing she was sitting, or he would have felt dwarfed by her presence. Her hair was black and fell in waves on her shoulders, and her eyes were deep, hypnotic green. She gestured for him to take a seat, and only then he noticed that there were other chairs in the room. He grabbed one and sat primly. 

“Sorry to bother you, I actually got here by accident,” he began. “Is that really a crystal ball?” he asked again and pointed at the object on the woman’s table. 

He was dying to ask her who she was, but he didn’t need yet another person wondering if Prince Sebastian had truly gotten a serious hit to the head. Which meant he probably shouldn’t be asking stupid questions about crystal balls, either. Maybe it was better if he made for a hasty retreat. 

“Nothing happens by accident,” the woman said while examining him with keen eyes. “If your steps took you here, today, Your Majesty, it must be for a very important reason.”

He waved. “I doubt that. I was just walking around, looking for some food --” He was talking too much, and he sounded weird.

The woman smiled again. She let her hand hover over a small bowl and whispered something. A small parfait-like mini cake appeared.

“Wow, nice magic,” he said without thinking.

 “I know it cannot compare to the culinary delights Your Majesty is accustomed with, but please accept this humble nourishment.”

Humble, right. In the real world, probably only millionaires indulged in stuff like that. He made a move to take the offered bowl. “Ah, it looks like you don’t have a spoon,” he said and pulled his hand back.

He was in a magical world, and he had been about to eat magical food offered by a magical lady. Now that was pretty reckless on his part. 

The woman whispered again, and a spoon appeared inside the bowl by the parfait.

“Ah, I should cut down on sweets,” he argued. Then he patted his belly. “I’m getting fat.”

“I’ve never known you to refuse my creations,” she said slyly. “After all, it has always been a reason for you, Your Majesty, to wander off into Luna Celeste’s humble quarters.”

Ah, so her name was Luna Celeste. The name fit her as her pleasant face was round and white, just like the moon.

“Maybe just a small bite?” Luna challenged him.

He fidgeted in his chair. That parfait was making his mouth water. “All right,” he gave up, “maybe just a small bite.”

If it were some nefarious magic, Sebastian’s strong body would fight it, without a doubt, he convinced himself. Plus, why would the prince keep a dangerous witch inside his castle? It wasn’t like her door was locked or anything, either. With all those arguments in mind, he began gobbling down the mini cake. He expressed his delight through small noises of pleasure and smacked his lips once he was done. 

If it was magic, it had to be the good kind because he felt pretty invigorated and like he could take the world head-on.

Luna seemed quite pleased with his reaction. “So, have you thought about our last conversation?”

“Hmm, nope, I can’t say that I have,” Kai said, feeling apologetic on account of Sebastian. That conversation couldn’t have been a pleasant one, as Luna appeared quite anxious to learn of his opinion.

Luna leaned back in her chair and examined him some more. 

“What? Do I have something on my face?” Kai asked and wiped his mouth with the cuff of his costly coat. After the deed, he stared at it a bit uneased. Pepin would kill him if he got any stains on that.

“It’s happening,” Luna said and clapped her hands gleefully. “That means that the moment is near. Your dear mother will be so happy when she hears.”

“What? What is happening?” Kai asked. 

“You are falling in love, Your Majesty. Ah, I could feel it,” Luna exclaimed and threw her arms to the ceiling as if finally, her longtime prayers were answered. 

“Am not, geez, I just kissed him and traded lollipops --” Kai swallowed his words. First of all, that was way too much info, and second of all, was he admitting to having done pervy stuff to an attractive woman like that? And an older one, on top of that? At a stretch, she could be his mom!

Luna seemed not to have heard his protests. She caressed the crystal ball as her eyes wandered as if she was trying to figure out something. Kai threw a stricken look at the crystal ball. Could it be –

“Did you watch me and Pepin doing that thing?”

Luna stared at him, perplexed. “How would I do that, Your Majesty? I don’t understand what thing you are talking about.”

“In your crystal ball,” Kai insisted and pointed at the object.

Luna looked just as flabbergasted at the item. “It’s made of glass, and I bought it at a fair down in Afrar years ago.”

Oh, phew, Kai thought. “What kind of witch are you?” He bristled. “You don’t even have a crystal ball.”

“Witch? I’m not a witch,” Luna Celeste contradicted him and stiffened in her chair. “I’m a charming lady.”

“You are,” Kai agreed.

“I deal with charms.”

Ah, that was what she meant by charming. Well, she was both, then. “Wait, did you put some charms in the parfait?” He pointed at the empty bowl. Now he was starting to have certain regrets about gobbling down all that. What if Luna’s charms were not all of the good kind?

“Just my good wishes for Your Majesty. Are you falling in love with Pepin, after all?”

“I’m not,” Kai protested. “And what do you mean, after all?”

Luna Celeste examined him again and began tapping a finger against her lips. “It is your mother’s wish.”

“Well, she cannot wish a thing like that. I’ll fall in love with whoever I want,” Kai said. “Not that I’m falling in love or anything right now. And Conrad is just the concubine. I don’t use him!”

Gosh, the things that kept leaving his mouth. But it looked like he couldn't stop. What the hell had Luna put in that delicious cake?

“The change is happening,” Luna said, although it looked like she was mostly talking to herself. “Without a doubt.”

“What do you mean by that?” Kai asked, feeling all the more suspicious of the charming lady with charms in front of him.

“Love changes people,” Luna said matter-of-factly. “But if it’s not Pepin…” She began rubbing the glass ball with her palm. 

Kai leaned forward, straining his neck. 

“I see something,” she said while thinning her eyes.

“Hey, you said it wasn’t a crystal ball!”

“No, it’s made of glass, I told you,” Luna said and waved like he needed to keep quiet.

What would Sebastian do if he were there, in his rightful place? Probably he wouldn’t take kindly to being dismissed like that even by a charming lady. But Kai had no idea how to act royal and arrogant without risking insulting Luna and come across as rude.

“Who is Milo?” Luna suddenly raised her head and looked Kai in the eye. 

“Milo? Milo’s my best friend!” Kai clamped his mouth shut, but it was too late. How could Luna know about Milo? So she was a witch, after all. 

Luna threw him a confused look and stared into her crystal, no, glass ball some more. Kai didn’t see anything in there. “What country is he from? His attire is quite unusual.”

Kai jumped to his feet. “That’s it, I’m going. The parfait was great, but I need to go now.”

“Wait!” Luna called after him.

He was in big, big trouble. Nonetheless, he stopped. “What?”

“Remember,” Luna said, “the Shimmering Cavern is where you must go to complete the ritual.”

“What ritual?” Well, he was curious.

“To make your soul whole. Take your friend Milo,” Kai could bet Luna was laughing a little as she said that, “there, and complete the ritual together.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Luna shook her head like she couldn’t believe he was this uninformed. “Your soul, Sebastian, must combine with his, there.”

“And what will happen after I do that?” Kai asked, his ears all perked up.

“You will return home and live happily ever after.”

Just like in fairytales, Kai thought. Then, right away, something crossed his mind. “You mean, if I do the ritual, I’ll return home?”

Another puzzled look from Luna was the reply. 

“Ah, so this is it. But what happens if I go with Pepin?”

Sebastian’s mother’s wish was for him to unite with Pepin to become a single soul or whatever. The Shimmering Cavern had to be a portal of sorts, and if he went there, Sebastian’s soul would finally travel back to his body and Kai’s soul to his. That was the answer he had been looking for! What Milo had to do with all that, he had no idea. It was probably because Milo had confessed right that moment –

Whatever, he got it now. But, unfortunately, he was so lost in his internal scheming that he missed what Luna was asking him.

“Why would you go with Pepin?” The lady repeated the question.

“Isn’t he the one mom wants for me?” Kai said airily.

“What about this new friend, Milo?” Luna asked, the same quizzical look in her eyes.

Kai waved. “He really is just a friend. Pepin, on the other hand, has the sweetest lips ever. Gotta go, bye.” He hurried out the door before Luna had a chance to question him some more.

That was it. Sebastian needed to combine his soul with Pepin, obviously, and that meant that the moment Kai would be at the Shimmering Cavern, the switchback would occur. Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy.

“Your Majesty,” he heard himself called. Pepin was rushing to him. He stopped and bowed a bit excessively. “I forgot to get breakfast for you! Please, forgive me.”

Kai felt pretty good about solving the quest regarding how he would return home. He grabbed Pepin, straightened him up, and kissed him on both cheeks. “Don’t worry. Luna gave me a parfait. It was quite delicious.”

“Luna Celeste?” Pepin asked, his voice a bit high-pitched. “She was here?”

“What do you mean, ‘she was here’? She was in her quarters. I just happened to wander about and stumbled upon her.”

“She appears only --” Pepin choked on his own words for a moment. “Your Majesty, did she remind you of the Shimmering Cavern?”

Kai puffed out his chest. “Of course.”

Pepin was the one squeezing his arms now while looking at him wide-eyed. “Who are taking there?”

“Who? Really, Pepin, how can you be so silly?” For once, Kai knew something the servant didn’t. That was one great reason to feel good about himself. “You, of course.”

He yelped when Pepin threw his arms around him and kissed him hard on the lips. Kai had a mind to protest, but Pepin’s lips on his were way too pleasant to do that. 

“Well, I had no idea you wanted to go that much,” he said once he was allowed to breathe.

Pepin began laughing. He didn’t let go of his neck and kept staring Kai in the eyes. “There’s nothing else I’ve ever wanted more.”

Once they went there, he and Sebastian would switch back, and Pepin would be happy, on top of it all. It was totally a win-win situation. Only that, Kai thought, maybe they wouldn’t go right now. First, he wanted to have a little more fun with dragons and whatnot.

“Well, we’ll arrange something, but maybe not this month, okay?”

“All right,” Pepin agreed, a bit hesitantly. “Is there a reason why you want to postpone it?” His eyes were turning sad.

Right, he was selfish for only thinking of how he wanted to play the prince a little longer. “Don’t worry, we’ll go. And I just want to get to know you a little better, first. We’ll be united and stuff, right?”

Pepin nodded, and a small, secretive smile caressed his lips. “As you wish, Your Majesty.”

TBC

 

My note will be short this time, as I barely got around to crawl to the computer because of a damn stomach bug that's messing me up. I hope you guys enjoyed the chapter, and that you're definitely feeling a lot better than me right now.

Until next time,

Hugs,

Laura.

Copyright © 2021 Laura S. Fox; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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