“If you have to… I won’t resist.” She said.
Slowly, he opened his eyes and turned to her. Grabbed her wrist, he drew her gently into his arms. Heaven’s heart beat erratically inside her chest. Butterflies filler her stomach and her breath came out in shallow pants. Was she excited or afraid she didn’t know?
“You are afraid.” He said.
“I am… nervous.” She admitted.
Heaven knew that mating was something serious. She shouldn’t take it as lightly as she was now.
“I told you, I would rather kill you than mark you.” He reminded.
“You don’t look like a killer.” She said.
He chuckled darkly. “I have killed many of your people. I can’t even count how many. I just burned down villages.”
Heaven was confused. Why did he decide to burn them? “But witches can protect themselves from fire. At least for a while. I am sure they managed to escape.”
“Maybe. But they lost their homes, like I lost mine.”
He didn’t want to kill them. He wanted to punish them.
Sometimes killing someone could be the lightest punishment they could receive. For witches, communities meant a lot. It was their way of protecting themselves. If their communities dispersed, then they could easily become targets for demons. He wanted them to live in fear.
Zamiel grabbed a few strands of her hair and inhaled her scent. Heaven looked at him, disturbed. This was not going to help him fight the urge to bite her if he didn’t plan to do it. It was like… he was punishing himself.
“Why won’t you resist?” He asked.
“I have nothing to lose, but… you are hurting.”
The cold look in his eyes changed, his gaze softened. Ever so lightly, his hand cupped her cheek. “You have a pure heart, Heaven. Mine is full of darkness and hatred. You will gain nothing by being bound to me.”
“Do you still hate witches?” She asked.
He seemed to think for a while before he spoke. “I know it’s not your fault and I know it’s not every witch’s fault, but I can’t help it. It’s like poison spreading in my body.”
“Then you should stop it before it kills you.” She said.
Zamiel chuckled. This time it wasn’t the usual dark, cynical laugh. It had another sound to it that made her stomach tickle in a strange way.
When he dropped his hand and took a step back Heaven panicked. He was leaving.
“Will you come back?” She hurried to ask. “I… I could use more advice.”
He looked at her for a long moment. “I can’t promise you that.”
Heaven’s heart skipped with joy. He didn’t say he wouldn’t. She could see him slowly accepting her and letting go of the hate. She knew it would take time, so she didn’t pressure him. Instead, she just nodded, and he left.
That night Heaven went to sleep feeling better.
The first thing she saw in the morning when she opened her eyes was her father’s face.
“Father.” She rubbed her eyes, surprised to find him this early in her room. The first thing she thought was that something bad had happened, but when he smiled at her, her fears disappeared.
“Good morning.” He greeted sitting at the edge of her bed.
“Good morning.” She said pushing herself up. “Did something happen?”
“No. I just wanted to see how you were doing after what happened yesterday.” He explained.
Yesterday, she had embarrassed her father and herself. She should have listened to him when he told her she wasn’t ready yet. But watching him and learning from him for three weeks, she thought she would be ready.
“I am sorry I didn’t listen.” She apologized.
“Heaven, you told me not to be your father while training you. As your tutor, I advice you to turn your sadness into anger and determination. As your father, I advice you to ask your heart what it truly desires. You know your happiness matters to me the most.”
“I know.” Heaven whispered.
“I won’t go easy on you. I’ll be the one to criticize you the most and tell you the truth others won’t dare to tell you. But as soon as you feel you can’t handle it anymore, tell me to be your father again.”
Heaven nodded. “I will.”
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He leaned in and placed a kiss on her forehead. “I love you.”
“I love you more.” She smiled.
“I hope you can say the same in a few days.”
Heaven chuckled. “It won’t be appropriate, Your Majesty.” She said causing him to laugh.
“Father, shall I comb your hair?” She asked excitedly.
It was a long time ago when she last combed her father’s hair. When she was little, she would watch her mother brush her father’s hair and she would want to do the same. But most of the time she would just end up playing with it instead.
“Sure.” He smiled.
Her father’s hair felt exactly the way she remembered. Soft and silky. People said she resembled her father a lot and she could see the resemblances. The hair, the face, the nose, the lips, even the shape of her eyes was like her fathers. People would say she was the female version of him.
The maids were not so excited about her. She remembered while being little they would hope her mother would get pregnant with a boy. “wait until a prince is born. He is going to be so handsome.” They would say.
But Heaven knew the chance of her getting a brother was very little. Demons didn’t reproduce like human. The majority of them could only conceive once, if lucky twice. Roshan and Klara were one of the few lucky ones.
Speaking of Roshan and Klara, Heaven needed to visit Zarin. They had to talk. She could not let their friendship go to ruin.
Once her father left, she dressed quickly and teleported to Gina’s room. She wanted to surprise her and show her what she had learned. Gina was looking at herself in the mirror and adjusting her dress when Heaven arrived unannounced. Startled, her friend turned around and stared at her, surprised, before her lips slowly curved into a smile.
“You succeeded.” She said.
Heaven nodded. “Yes, finally.”
Gina clapped like a little girl and it caused Heaven to laugh.
“What more did you learn?” She asked.
“It’s not that easy.” Heaven said feeling a little sad.
Her grandma had tried to teach her magic when she was younger, but it never worked and she used to feel sad. “Forget about it. You don’t need powers.” Her grandmother would say. “I think you will do better without it.”
Her parents, on the other hand, never tried to teach her anything about her powers. They were careful because she was different and they didn’t want her to deal with powers she might not be able to control. Her father had explained to her once that being part witch and demon could make controlling her powers very difficult, and it could cause more harm than good sometimes.
“Where is Zarin?” She asked.
“Probably in his room.” Gina shrugged.
“I’ll come back.” Heaven said and made her way to his room.
She was about to knock on his door when she heard a woman’s voice coming from inside. Heaven sighed, feeling sad for her friend. She didn’t like all those empty encounters he had with women and was about to leave him alone when she suddenly decided not to.
Grabbing the door handle, she barged inside without knocking.
“Good morning.” She greeted, smiling brightly just to annoy him.
The woman in his bed jumped, startled, and tried to cover herself quickly. But when she realized it was only a young woman like her, she glared at her questioningly before turning to Zarin.
“Who is she?” She asked accusingly.
Zarin opened his mouth to say something, but Heaven didn’t let him.
“I am his wife.” Heaven replied.
Now it was Zarin’s turn to glare at her while the woman’s eyes widened.
“You are married?”
“Yes. I am his second wife. He had been looking for a third one, actually.” Heaven lied, then turned to Zarin.” Husband, is she the one? Shall we prepare for a wedding?”
Zarin shook his head. “Don’t listen to her. She is not my wife.” He told the woman, but she wasn’t listening. She already started to get dressed and then pushed passed Heaven with the straps of her dress still open and carrying her shoes in her hand.
“What are you doing?” Zarin asked, annoyed as he got out of bed.
Heaven turned away from him as he began to dress. The man was shameless.
“Having fun.” She replied. “You know there are other ways to have fun than fooling around with women.”
“Oh, you don’t know.” He said.
“Then maybe I should try it too. I am sure many men would be willing to spend some time with me.”
“It’s not the same.” He muttered.
Heaven turned to him. He was fully dressed and had his arms crossed his over his chest.
“Oh. Is that because I am a woman? I can’t enjoy men nor can I become a ruler.”
“I don’t want to fight with you anymore.” He sighed, running his hand through his hair.
“You know, I thought you were like your father. I was wrong. You could learn a few things from him.” She said and this time she did not allow him to leave her. Instead, she turned around and left him standing there.
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