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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! - 42. Are You Proposing?

Chapter Forty-Two – Are You Proposing?

Sebastian waited with bated breath. He could tell something was happening, as some commotion could be heard after Kai’s whispered apology that he was in the middle of math class. But nothing prepared him to listen to a voice he had heard over the phone before just like that.

“Sebastian?” Milo breathed out. “Is this really you?”

“Isn’t this Kai’s phone?” Sebastian asked. He had just wanted to check if the visitor’s device could be used to contact the other world.

“Is this what you want to ask me?” Milo’s voice broke, and its owner seemed to be performing some kind of physical activity.

“Why do you sound so breathlessly?” Sebastian asked another inane question.

“We’re on the run from Mrs. Marwin. She’ll have our heads for this, but it’s not important. Sebastian, where are you?”

“I’m sitting on my throne,” Sebastian replied. Why did he sound like he only had half a brain all of a sudden?

“For real? In Ifigia? And how come you have a phone?” Milo continued.

“One of your people is here,” Sebastian explained. “He somehow found his way here, to the castle.”

“Awesome!” Milo explained. “Put that guy on the phone. I need to ask him something.”

Sebastian offered the visitor his phone back, not without reluctance. The young man took it, and after a few short ah’s and oh’s, he began to explain something rapidly. When he realized what was going on, it was too late. He had only wanted to hear Kai Martin and learn that he and Pepin were safe, and now things were getting out of hand. “Give me the phone back,” he ordered, but the young man ignored him, putting a hand over his free ear and daring to turn his back while he continued his conversation with Milo.

Sebastian took one step and grabbed the phone.

“Hey,” the visitor protested. “I was in the middle of--”

Sebastian put one hand up. “Silence!” he ordered. “Milo, listen--” The line was dead. Sebastian groaned as he stared at the screen shutting down.

“Um, sorry about that. I should have charged the phone before heading here,” the visitor said. “My older sister is actually to blame because she grabbed my charger because she couldn’t find hers--”

Sebastian plopped down on the throne. “I don’t want to hear another word.”

One of the guards took a step forward. “Should we throw the spy in the dungeons, Your Majesty?”

“The dungeons?” the young man squealed. “For not having my phone charged?”

“No,” Sebastian said sharply and dismissed the guards with a wave of the hand. “He’s our guest.” A maid approached him quickly at a sign he made. “Prepare a room.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty,” the young man said in relief. “I’m a bit hungry actually, but really, is there not a single electric outlet in this huge place? Right, there’s no electricity,” he concluded for himself, after a pointed glance at the candle lights lining the walls.

“Your needs will be fulfilled,” Sebastian said. “But, first, you will have to tell me how you traveled here.”

***

“Hello? Hello?” Milo insisted in a more and more impatient voice. “Ah, damn it, there’s no answer.”

Kai couldn’t breathe anymore. Running after Milo like that was two steps from passing out. He took the phone from Milo’s hand, stopped to inhale air into his lungs, and then called the number. The robotic voice announcing to him that the number couldn’t be reached made him growl in frustration. “Did you manage to get enough info from that guy?”

They were behind the school, and if they climbed the fence, they would soon find themselves on the side of freedom.

“I did,” Milo confirmed. “It shouldn’t be far from where we were last night. We need to get there. Why isn’t the guy’s phone working anymore? Do you think something happened to Sebastian?”

Kai shook his head. His lungs were burning. “More like the guy’s battery went dead,” he explained what he thought to be a more likely option. “Let’s go.”

Milo put his hand on his shoulder. “Are you sure you can continue?”

“It’s for my best friend. And isekai,” Kai added. “Sure thing I can. Just give me a minute.”

“There they are!”

They both turned at the sound of the shouting voices. Their math teacher must have summoned the school guard to capture the truants.

Milo took a step toward the wall. “Kai, let’s go.”

Kai stared at the school guard rushing toward him while holding his belly with one hand. That was, most probably, the most excitement the guy had seen in all his career. “Just go, man. I’ll hold them.”

“What? This isn’t some action movie--”

“Milo, my dude, just go!” Kai said. He couldn’t run anymore, so he was like one of those herd animals who were too old or injured to keep up with the rest. “Don’t let my sacrifice be in vain!”

Milo nodded solemnly and rushed toward the fence. The guard got a hold of Kai. “Got you, kid.”

“Totally,” Kai said. “Now I’m ready for some more math. Don’t bother with my friend, though. He needs counseling,” he said the first thing that came to his mind.

“What for?” Mrs. Marwin had managed to be there, somehow, too, and she looked pissed.

“For being traumatized by math,” Kai replied airily. “Yeah, he’s got a serious case of PTSD after the last test.”

***

Sebastian questioned his guest at large about how he came to be there while servants and maids got busy around, placing and removing plates in a flurry of activity.

“Wow, you have such amazing food here,” the visitor commented as he helped himself to another serving.

“Do you really mean that you just walked through the forest and ended up here?” Sebastian asked. He couldn’t swallow a bite, that nervous he felt. If that was true, it only meant that there was a road somewhere between him and Milo. But was that really what he wanted? For Milo to see him perishing away?

It surely didn’t feel like there was still something wrong with him ever since this stranger had walked into the castle. More like being dragged there by dutiful guards, but aspects were not at all critical at this point. Sebastian felt the wound in his chest to verify if it was still there. Nothing had changed, except for the trembling excitement he kept on experiencing at the thought that he would be able to see Milo again.

“I’m telling you, man, ever since we’ve heard about the Blue Castle, we’ve all been up and about. I’m so lucky to be the first to find it,” the visitor said and groaned in pleasure as he took a bite from a tiny drumstick. “What is this called?”

“I don’t really know,” Sebastian said brusquely. “And do you happen to know Kai and Milo?”

“And Tani,” the young man confirmed. “Only from the forums, though. I mean, others have met them while they searched for the Blue Castle last night. And is this an entire world? Are there dragons, for real?”

“Yes, for real.” Sebastian had no idea what to make of the whole thing. Couldn’t it be that the fabric separating the worlds had been ripped apart somehow? Could that have happened because of all that back and forth Kai Martin seemed capable of?

“So, rumor in the streets says,” the visitor gestured with his drumstick, “that you and Kai got body-swapped.”

“Yes,” Sebastian confirmed.

“So cool! That’s how you know how to use a smartphone. But wasn’t it a big shock? How did you survive?”

“Quite easily,” Sebastian replied. “Now, if you’ll excuse me. Someone will see you to your room.”

He needed to see everything with his own eyes. If that had happened, dangers could lurk at every corner. Who knew what would happen with the worlds no longer being separated?

***

He grabbed Thunder’s reins and a sudden pain flared in his chest. Was he that weak that he couldn’t even properly ride a horse? Thunder neighed and pulled away from him. “Today’s not the day, Thunder,” he warned.

He could choose another horse, but none was as fast as Thunder. He managed to pull the young stallion outside, all the while grunting and cursing under his breath. “Why are you so stubborn?”

A flapping of wings behind him made him turn in bewilderment. Was this day going to hell faster than he thought possible? There, in front of him, was a dragon, but there were no cries of distress from the people around the castle, as there should have been.

Sebastian reached for his sword and cursed when he realized he didn’t have it, as he never wore it when dealing with his subjects’ problems in the throne room. He must have been too much in a rush to realize that he was leaving without it.

“Your Majesty, I’m a friend of Kai,” the dragon said. “That makes you a friend, too. If you need me to take you somewhere, please, climb on my back.”

“But I’ve hunted your kind--” Sebastian started.

“Which you won’t do again, will you?” the dragon asked in a playful tone.

“Was that a joke?” Sebastian mumbled.

“Half of it. Just tell me where you need to be, young prince,” the dragon urged him in her pleasant voice.

He hesitated only for a moment. Thunder had taken advantage of his lack of attention and was happily grazing at a reasonable distance from him. Trying to get him to heel would be a pain and a waste of time, and that wasn’t something he had at his disposal.

***

He scouted the crowns of the trees with keen eyes. A clearing appeared below his feet, and then he saw something moving or, better said, someone. The black clothes stood out, even from that height. “There, can you put me down there?” Sebastian asked the dragon.

“Of course, Your Majesty.”

The running person stopped and looked above. Sebastian held one hand over his heart as he descended. He was barely down when Milo rushed to him and toppled him in the blink of an eye. The air moved by the dragon soaring into the air and leaving them there ruffled Milo’s hair, making it play wildly around his head, and Sebastian just kept staring. “Are you really here?” he asked the dumbest thing he could ask.

Milo laughed and kissed him shortly. “I am. As soon as I heard you, I knew I had to ditch math class and rush here.”

“Mrs. Marwin might not be too happy with you right now,” Sebastian pointed out.

“And I’m willing to live with it,” Milo promised solemnly. “Now, Kai tells me you’re still ill, and that your aunt, a fire goddess – are you kidding me, man? – says that I’m the cure or something. So, here I am. How should we start?”

Sebastian stilled. In all that excitement, he had forgotten the most important thing, that he was not supposed to pull Milo from his world only to have him deal with something that was beyond his power.

“My aunt tends to be overly dramatic,” he said. “I will get well in due time. There’s no need for you here,” he added.

Milo stared at him for one moment like he couldn’t believe his ears. “Right,” he said slowly. “Because magical wounds disappear through magic.”

“Yes, just like that,” Sebastian replied. “I’m telling you, you should see about your math classes and graduation, not rush here to--”

Milo stopped him with another kiss. “You know,” he said as he pulled away, leaving Sebastian breathless but not because of pain like before, but of an overwhelming feeling growing inside his chest, “I kept on wondering who I was in love with, after all that body-swap mess-up. And I know the answer now.”

“You do?” Sebastian whispered.

“Yeah. Kai is just stubborn in different ways. When you get like this, I know I need to put my all behind it if I’m to make you mine.”

“Make me… yours?” Sebastian mumbled. “But if it’s only for the wound, I’m telling you that I’m fine--”

Milo nodded like he was just paying half attention and pushed Sebastian’s shirt high. “Ugh, man, that doesn’t look fine at all.”

“Milo, what are you doing?” Sebastian tried to cover his chest.

“I’m assessing the situation because you’re too big a liar; that’s what I’m doing,” Milo replied, completely unfazed. It looked like Sebastian couldn’t quickly push Milo away in the present situation, and the young man was holding him between his thighs and pressing him down.

“Milo,” Sebastian said in a pained voice, “I don’t want you to see me like this.”

“Why?” Milo stopped. “Do you think I’d be grossed out by magical wounds and all that?”

“I hope not,” Sebastian replied, alarmed. He shook his head when he realized that Milo was just pulling his leg. “It’s just that you belong to your world, with math teachers, and video games, and basketball.”

Milo scrunched up his nose. “I like math, but I’m not crazy about it, I don’t really play a lot of video games, and basketball can wait while I’m dealing with you.”

“But you have graduation knocking on your door,” Sebastian argued. “It’s the most important quest for people your age.”

“You sound just like my parents. I mean, the first part, not the one with the quest. Right now, the most important quest for me is to make you well, and I’ll do it.”

He should have known better than to argue with such a determined young man. Milo pushed himself to his feet and then offered Sebastian his hand.

“Milo,” Sebastian insisted, but his arguments were losing ground under the other’s loving gaze. “All right, I’ll take you to the castle, but if things don’t change or change for the worst--”

“Just shut up already,” Milo said with a theatrical groan. “Now, can you walk, or should I carry you on my back?”

“I don’t think you can carry me,” Sebastian pointed out.

“Try me.”

Small laughter from not so far interrupted their arguing. It looked like the female dragon hadn’t flown too far. “If you two are ready to go back, I’m right here,” she offered.

“Ah, that’s so cool,” Milo said slyly. “Don’t think I’m completely selfless in all this.” He nudged Sebastian in the ribs, making him wince. “How many guys in my world can brag that they have a boyfriend who rides a dragon?”

Sebastian shook his head but laughed, too. The pain in his chest flared again, warning him. Milo hurried by his side and wrapped one arm around his waist. “I’m here, and I’m not letting you die, okay?”

“Okay,” Sebastian agreed, the tiredness from before returning in full force.

***

When he opened his eyes, he was in his bed, and the first thing he saw was the ceiling. Sebastian tried to move and realized that someone was embracing him fiercely. The warmth was spreading from the body beside his, seeping into his bones, soothing all the pain away.

“Hey, Seb, you awake?” Milo asked sleepily.

“Yes, but I need a glass of water.”

“Just stay here. I’m going to get it for you.”

Sebastian didn’t protest. Not in his wildest dreams, he could have imagined having Milo right there, with him, playing a servant’s role like it was nothing. Milo was back with the glass of water and handed it to him carefully. He even helped Sebastian straighten up and fluffed the pillow so that he could sit upright and drink without fear of choking.

“Is it evening already?” he asked.

“Night, even.”

“How come they let you here, with me?” he asked.

“They? Only your mom was against it, but for like one second. Luna and Fiana were all over her, and she fell silent. Luna pushed me in here with you and told me to keep you warm. How do you feel?”

“Quite good. I don’t think I’ve felt so good in ages.”

Milo kissed his forehead and took the glass away from him. “Um, Seb, I don’t really know how this healing stuff is supposed to work, but your aunt said some things that made my ears so red they started to hurt.”

“What things?” Sebastian asked.

Milo groaned and bought some time by crossing the room to place the empty glass back on the table. “Do you really want me to repeat them? They were a bit too descriptive to be said by a grownup woman to a guy my age.”

“My aunt can be a handful, I know. And she has a bit of a loose tongue, which is exactly where Galien got it from, too. Look, if Fiana was too forward, I apologize for her. My family--”

“—is pretty awesome,” Milo said. “I mean, I have an ice goddess as a mother-in-law. Just how awesome is that?”

“Mother-in-law?” Sebastian said slowly.

“Ah, sorry, sorry, it’s just a way of saying,” Milo hurried to interrupt him. He climbed on the bed and took Sebastian in his arms again. “Just so you know,” he whispered in Sebastian’s ear, “if you feel something poking you in the side, it’s nothing. And I’m not really thinking of following your aunt’s advice. Unless, you know, you want me to.”

Sebastian turned toward Milo and pressed his lips against the soft ones, opening right away to let him in. “I think you should do everything you want.”

“For real?” Milo whispered against his lips. “I might want to do things that are not exactly advisable when one of the two people involved is injured. At least, in my world, this kind of thing would be a no-no.”

“We’re not in your world, are we?” Sebastian asked softly.

“Guess not,” Milo said with what seemed like relief in his voice. “Do you mean it’s all right if we… you know?”

“Yes, it’s all right,” Sebastian confirmed. Just having Milo so close by his side was enough to ignite the familiar fire in his veins, and if that wasn’t a sign that he was still alive, he didn’t know what that could be.

Milo maneuvered him slowly on his back, and his kisses increased in intensity. “You know, I still cannot wrap my head around how I’m with an older dude.”

“I’m only a few years older than you. Is it too much in your world?” Sebastian asked, his heart in his throat.

“No, not at all. Age difference is not that big a deal, unless it’s a generation or more. For some people, it’s even a kink. Ah, what am I saying?”

“Is it a kink for you?” Sebastian asked. “Or do you find my body disgusting?”

Milo snorted and laughed. “You mean,” he said playfully, “do I find these washboard abs disgusting?”

Sebastian sucked in a breath as Milo let one hand wander over his abdomen. It could be that, because he hadn’t indulged in such pleasures for a while now, he was overly sensitive everywhere.

“Or these perky things?” Milo continued to taunt him as he played with Sebastian’s nipples, drawing a soft, shameless moan out of him. Then, he snuck a hand underneath and grabbed Sebastian’s ass. “Or this butt of which they sing songs in this world?”

Only then, Sebastian realized that he was completely naked. And that Milo was just as naked, too.

***

“Kai, is really not a single day that you’re not doing something to take years off my life?” his mom exploded.

Milo’s parents were there, too, and they wanted to know why, at ten o’clock in the evening, their son was yet not home, and that after disappearing previously for four whole days without saying a word or phoning them so that they didn’t worry. The thing was, Milo had left in such a hurry that he had left everything behind, his textbooks, his backpack, and even his phone. Kai had taken them after classes, and they were now stashed in his room.

“I can explain everything,” Kai said and put his hands up to keep the adults from making his ears bleed from all that shouting.

Pepin moved around quietly, placing hot chocolate and cookies on the table.

“Pepin, please, that’s enough,” Kai’s mom said in a tired voice. “I will not send you away from here if that’s what you’re afraid of.”

“Why would Pepin be afraid…” Kai’s words trailed off.

Pepin looked away guiltily. “I must earn my keep. I cannot stay here and do nothing, while your mother--”

“What did you tell him?” Kai asked his mother.

“Nothing of the kind, I assure you. This child has done more in a day for this household than you and Tani combined in ten years,” she replied. She turned toward Milo’s parents. “Can you believe that I found all the laundry done, ironed, and put in all the correct places when I got back from work today? Not to mention a full-course meal, and even,” she pointed at the table, “dessert.”

Milo’s mom took a sip of hot chocolate. “I believe it because you say it. Also, this is simply delicious, Pepin.”

Kai examined everyone as they also grabbed some cookies and munched on them while praising Pepin’s cooking. Clearly, the former servant had nothing to worry about; he made himself liked and appreciated regardless of world and time. 

“Still, it is you I have a beef with,” his mom turned toward him. “Where is Milo? Can’t you see his parents are worried?”

“I’m sure Milo is perfectly fine,” he said. “He must be spending the night in Ifigia--”

Oops, what the hell was he saying?

“Ifigia?” Milo’s mom asked. “Is that some new club? Are they doing drugs in there?”

Ah, damn, how the hell was he going to dig himself out? Kai rubbed his head, forcing the melon to think for a change.

“Ifigia is a kingdom over which Prince Sebastian rules,” Pepin began speaking. Kai stared at him, gaped like a fish, and stretched one arm toward him in slow motion like in movies when the characters know that they cannot stop something, even though it’s like a life-or-death kind of thing.

“A kingdom? But Milo left his passport at home,” Milo’s dad pointed out. “How did he get there? And I suppose the plane ticket is expensive.”

Pepin opened his mouth, but Kai promptly silenced him by simply blocking any words that might come out of there with one hand.

The door to the kitchen flew open, and Tani burst in. Kai looked in horror at the tiny troublemaker. His sister had his eyes all shiny and a little puffy. What the hell had she been doing? And why wasn’t she sleeping already? “Ifigia is a fantastic world, and Prince Sebastian is an ice prince!” she shouted. “And Milo’s in love with him!”

“Tani!” Kai yelled at the same time as their mom.

“You cannot silence me anymore,” Tani declared. “Did Pepin make cookies? And you weren’t going to give me any?”

Pepin took Kai’s hand away from his mouth. “I put some away for you,” he said.

Tani rushed to him and embraced him, pushing Kai away as showily as she could. Then she looked up at Pepin with loving eyes. “You’re the best brother-in-law that a girl like me could have.”

“Brother-in-law?” Milo’s mom asked. “Is Kai getting married?”

“These kids are taking me to an early grave, I swear,” their mom said with a sigh. “Apparently, my firstborn got himself a boyfriend from France.” She pointed at Pepin, and Milo’s parents let out a slight sound of surprised admiration. “Online, as everything happens these days, according to the same son of mine. Of course, they’re very young and very foolish, so they should postpone any rash decisions until they’re older, but I wouldn’t mind a responsible son-in-law like Pepin.”

“Do you really mean it, Mrs. Martin?” Pepin said and pressed his hands over his chest, looking at her with eyes full of hope.

“If Kai doesn’t do something stupid,” she said while throwing Kai a pointed look, “soon you’ll have to start calling me ‘mom’.”

Kai let his jaw drop and put it back promptly. “For real, mom? You’re letting me marry Pepin?”

“Let’s not hurry,” his mom warned. “And Tani, what is all this craziness about… an ice prince?”

Pepin sighed. “Kai, I apologize, but I cannot keep lying to your mother. I’m not from France.” All eyes in the room were on him. “I’m from Ifigia, and Prince Sebastian used to be my master until only a little while ago.”

TBC

And... Pepin drops the bomb, because why not? Next time, the parents will hear the most astonishing things they've ever heard in their lives! Pinky promise!

Until next time,

All the best,

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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Chapter Comments

Wonderful next steps--mmm

Sebastian has Milo with him in his kingdom and he seems to get better. They are naked in bed. I think Sebastian's aunt told Milo that had to make love to cure Sebastian. It is going to happen.

So there is a passageway between worlds. One guy found it first and now Milo found it. Magic is not needed

The parents now know about the kingdom and the truth about Pepin and Sebastian. What a shock !

Will they believe what Pepin says? Will the parents and others go to the kingdom or will Milo and Sebastian come to earth to meet them ?

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Pepin could not help himself, so he dropped the bomb. All lies must come to an end. Will the parents finally believe them? 

Will the passageway close once Sebastian is healed? Will it stay open to allow Milo, Kai, Pepin, Tani, and their parents to visit freely between the worlds?

 

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4 hours ago, Wesley8890 said:

We should all be so lucky to have such a good son in law as pepin

My laundry needs attention and I wouldn't mind a full course meal and even.... desert

  • Haha 3
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On 2/6/2022 at 10:24 PM, Wesley8890 said:

We should all be so lucky to have such a good son in law as pepin

Yeah, who wouldn't want someone as dutiful as that around the house... plus good-looking!

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On 2/6/2022 at 10:37 PM, scrubber6620 said:

Wonderful next steps--mmm

Sebastian has Milo with him in his kingdom and he seems to get better. They are naked in bed. I think Sebastian's aunt told Milo that had to make love to cure Sebastian. It is going to happen.

So there is a passageway between worlds. One guy found it first and now Milo found it. Magic is not needed

The parents now know about the kingdom and the truth about Pepin and Sebastian. What a shock !

Will they believe what Pepin says? Will the parents and others go to the kingdom or will Milo and Sebastian come to earth to meet them ?

So many questions... indeed...

Well, Milo got auntie's advice down pat, and he'll act on it soon :) And yes, that's pretty much the gist of it, with the two world getting close without any magic!

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On 2/6/2022 at 11:31 PM, J.El said:

Pepin could not help himself, so he dropped the bomb. All lies must come to an end. Will the parents finally believe them? 

Will the passageway close once Sebastian is healed? Will it stay open to allow Milo, Kai, Pepin, Tani, and their parents to visit freely between the worlds?

 

I'm surely glad when readers have even more exciting ideas than me! I'm afraid I'll fall a little short... But yes, Pepin, in his wisdom, realized that just lying wouldn't get them too far, and he's right. Now with so little of the story left, I guess we will just have to wait a little and see...

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On 2/7/2022 at 3:03 AM, johnnyboy2285 said:

My laundry needs attention and I wouldn't mind a full course meal and even.... desert

And Pepin is an overachiever... so we all know how that will go!

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