Love & War on Antar (AU,M/L,ADULT) CH. 20 6/11/18

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Love & War on Antar (AU,M/L,ADULT) CH. 20 6/11/18

Postby Cocogurl » Wed May 28, 2008 5:04 am

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Banner by the very talented hunter. Thanks so much, Hunter! :D

Title: Love & War on Antar
Author: Cocogurl
Rating: Adult
Pairing: M/L
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing. I'm just borrowing the characters for my own pleasure. Please don't sue. :)
Summary: Inara (Liz) is madly in love with Zan (Max), but he thinks of her as a little sister. What happens when Inara comes back to Antar and Zan suddenly finds himself falling in love with her? And what if it's too late? This is my very first fic, so please be gentle. And I don't have a beta for this story yet. If anyone's interested, please let me know.
********

Character Names:
Zan -- Max
Rath -- Michael
Vilandra -- Isabel
Inara -- Liz
Ava -- Tess

The Five Planets:
Antar
Valeria
Zantar
Solaris
Aquaria

Prologue

After hours of screaming and pushing, the healers finally announced that Queen Amara of Antar had finally given birth to a beautiful, baby boy. Lying back in her bed, Amara held held her arms out as one of the healers handed her baby to her. She stared at her son in complete awe before she looked up and saw her husband, King Garok, rushing over to her.

"Isn't he beautiful?" She asked as Garok made it over to her side. She looked up at his face and could see the love in his eyes as he looked down at his son.

"He's perfect," Garok answered gently. "Now Vilandra will have someone to boss around," he joked.

Amara laughed as she thought about Vilandra bossing her baby brother around. But she knew that if he was anything like his father, Vilandra would have her hands full.

"So, what should we name him?" Garok asked.

Amara looked down at the beautiful baby in her arms and thought about it for a moment. Finally, she looked back at her husband with a bright smile on her face. "Zan," she said happily. "After my father."

Garok smiled and gave his wife a sweet kiss on her forhead before he gently took the baby from her. "That's a wonderful name. Zan. The future king of Antar.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Three years later...

Zan - 3 years old
Inara - 1 year old
Rath - 3 years old
Vilandra - 4 years old
Serena - 6 years old


After checking on his daughter, Serena, who was sleeping soundly in her bed, Jarek silently walked into his son, Rath's room and watched him sleep. Jarek loved his children more than anything in the world. Serena was the cutest, little girl with a real passion for life. And Rath was such an adventurous boy. It was hard to keep up with the energetic child. He'll make a perfect General, Jarek thought with a smile before stepping out of his son's room, the doors sliding shut behind him. He walked back into the library and took a seat by the fireplace, returning to the book he had been reading.

"It's been a long time, Jarek," came a familiar female voice. A voice he hadn't heard in almost two years. Lara.

His entire body was tense as he stood up from his seat and turned around to face her. He looked into her deep, brown eyes and could remember every single detail of the night they spent together--it was the one and only time he'd ever been unfaithful to Vienna, his sweet and beautiful wife. Suddenly anger began to surge within him as he looked at Lara. How dare she come back after he'd made it very clear that he never wished to see her again? He began to stalk towards her when he notice the little bundle she was holding in her arms.

"What is that?" He asked.

"I thought you'd like to meet your daughter. Inara," Lara said as she closed the distance between them and showed Jarek the little girl in her arms.

Jarek looked at Lara in horror before looking down at the baby in her arms. "You're lying!" He shouted as he turned his back on Lara and placed his hands on the mantel above the fireplace. This couldn't be true. He couldn't have created a bastard child.

"You know that this is your daughter," Lara said firmly. "You felt it when she was born."

Jarek closed his eyes in shame, knowing that she was right. He had felt it when Inara was born, but he tried to ignore it. He didn't want to believe that he had actually created a child with a woman who was not his wife. He knew he sounded like an evil man, turning his back on what he knew to be true. He felt anger and frustration build up inside of him again. Lara was trying to ruin his life, he just knew it. "Are you sure she's mine?" He asked coldly, wanting to hurt her the way she was hurting him right now.

"I'm not a whore!" Lara spat.

Jarek whirled around to face Lara, his angry eyes piercing into hers. "Aren't you?" He shot back.

"Well, you certainly knew what you were doing when we made love in your bed, Jarek."

He hung his head down in shame, not saying another word about what happened between them. He knew that she was right. He was just as responsible for what happened that night. When he looked back into her eyes, he could see the regret and shame in them. He felt the exact same way. What had they been thinking when they slept together? It wasn't love, they both knew that. The only two things that brought them together that night was lust and solace. And it resulted in the creation of this little girl.

Jarek walked over to Lara and could see tears starting to form in her eyes. He hated that it was like this between them now. They had once been very good friends. Besides king Garok, she had been his best friend. Then one stupid night destroyed what they had. Not wanting to dwell on it any longer, he gently took Inara and held her in his arms. As he looked down at the little girl, he could feel himself falling in love with her.

"You named her Inara?" He smiled as he looked back at Lara.

Lara smiled back at him. "It's a good, strong name. Isn't she beautiful?"

Jarek could see the sparkle in her eyes as she talked about Inara. He could also see something else in her eyes as she looked at him. Sadness. He wanted to ask what was wrong, but decided against it. Instead, he turned away from her and walked closer to the fireplace so he could get a better look at Inara. "You're right, Lara. She's gorgeous."

When he didn't get an answer, he turned around to see that Lara was no longer there. And he knew that she wouldn't be back. Jarek shook his head in shock and anger. He couldn't believe that Lara would just abandon her own daughter. I guess I don't know her as well as I thought I did, he thought bitterly.

But it didn't matter. Not while he held Inara in his arms. He looked down at Inara, sleeping peacefully against his chest, and examined every single feature on his daughter's face. She was absolutely breathtaking. Any other thoughts of Lara were long gone. All he could focuse on was Inara. He silently vowed that he would do everything in his power to be a good father to her. He just prayed that Vienna would be able to forgive him for this. He knew it had taken her a lot to forgive him for his infidelity. When she found out that he had also created Inara in the process, this could possibly destroy her.

But he couldn't abandon Inara. He wouldn't.

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Last edited by Cocogurl on Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:54 pm, edited 53 times in total.

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Re: Love& War on Antar (M/L ADULT) Chapter 1 - June 8, 2008

Postby Cocogurl » Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:43 am

Hello, everyone

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful feedback! You’ve all made me feel much more comfortable about posting this story. I still don’t have a beta yet, so if anyone’s interested, please let me know. I hope you all enjoy the new chapter. :D

Chapter One

Twelve years later

Zan - 15 years old
Inara - 13 years old
Rath - 15 years old
Vilandra - 16 years old
Serena - 18 years old
Ava - 15 years old
Kivar - 17 years old

********

Inara awoke on the morning of her thirteenth birthday, feeling happier than she’d ever been. Today, she was woman! She jumped out of her bed and ran out of her room, heading towards Rath’s bedroom.

The doors slid open and Inara stepped inside. She looked at Rath’s bed in the middle of the room and saw a big lump underneath the covers, and knew it was her brother. With a wicked grin on her face, Inara quietly rushed over to Rath’s bed and pounced on him.

“Wake up! Wake up!” She shouted, but Rath buried his head further into the pillows. Normally, Rath could sleep through just about anything, so she wouldn’t even bother. But today was her day. Inara jumped on Rath harder and started hitting him with pillows.

“Inara, you’re pushing it,” Rath warned, but she refused to quit. Finally, he pushed her off of him, grabbed a pillow, and began hitting her back.

“You can’t hit me! It’s my birthday!” She shouted, feigning anger, but Rath could see the smile on her face as she tried to block his attacks.

Finally, he stopped hitting her and looked down at her with a smug smile on his face. “Have you had enough? Or would you like some more?”

“I’ll never let you win!” Inara said defiantly before she grabbed another and beaned him over the head with it. Before they knew it, they were having a major pillow war, both of them laughing and smiling as they tried to knock each other down. Eventually Rath caved, handing the victory over to his little sister before collapsing back on his bed in exhaustion.

“Ha! I knew I’d win,” Inara said in triumph and kissed Rath on the forehead. Inara loved both of her older siblings dearly, but she always felt a special bond with Rath. She always tried to be more like her big brother, and she knew that he loved her too, despite the fact that he always tried to bully her around. He was like that with Everyone--including Prince Zan.

Zan.

Inara’s heart fluttered in her chest as she thought about prince Zan. She’d been in love with him for as long as she could remember. She always loved to sneak glances at him when no one was looking. His soulful brown eyes, his thick black hair, the way his entire face would light up when he smiled. He was the most handsome man she had ever seen. But she knew that he didn’t feel the same way that she did. In Zan’s eyes, she was like a little sister. But Inara still had hope that one day he could love her the way that she loved him.

I am thirteen today, she thought with a smile. Maybe today things will change between Zan and I.
Inara’s thoughts were interrupted when a pillow came flying at her, hitting right in the face. She fell off Rath’s bed with a loud thump. “Ouch! That hurt, you jerk!”

Rath laughed as he hopped of his bed and helped Inara to her feet. “That’s what you get for waking me up,” he said with a smile as looked at the pitiful expression on her face. He then pulled Inara into a big hug that spoke volumes of just how much he loved his baby sister. “Happy birthday, Inara.”

Rath and Inara broke apart slowly just as the doors to Rath’s room slid open. They both smiled when they saw their father enter the room, wearing a loving grin on his face.

“Where’s my little girl?” Jarek asked, holding his arms out for his daughter. Inara didn’t waste any time rushing in her father’s warm embrace. It shocked Jarek to see how fast his children were growing up. Serena was eighteen and was already married to a wonderful man named Jin, Rath was becoming a fine, young man. He was just one year away from getting into the military academy. And his dear, sweet Inara. She was becoming as beautiful as her mother, if not more, and was as intelligent as ever. She was already starting to give her tutors a run for their money.

Everything had changed for Jarek and his family the night that Lara had put Inara in his arms. After telling Vienna about his daughter, he was surprised when instead of leaving him, she told him that she loved him and wanted to be apart of Inara’s life. It only made Jarek fall more in love with his beautiful wife.

They had also decided not to tell Serena, Rath and Inara about Inara’s real mother. And for thirteen years that secret had remained. No one knew the truth about Inara’s mother except for himself, Vienna, and king Garok. Vienna had protested against telling the king, but Jarek knew that he could trust Garok. They were like brothers. And Jarek knew how much Garok loved Inara. She was like another daughter to him.

As Jarek held his little girl in his arms, he silently prayed that she would never find out about her real mother. He knew it would break her heart. Finally he pulled away and looked down at Inara. “You’re growing up way to fast, little one.”

“Don’t worry, father,” Inara said with a loving smile. “I’ll always be your little girl.”

Jarek gave his daughter a kiss on her forehead. Finally he looked past her and took in Rath’s wild appearance. He shook his head and chuckled. “You two better get dressed, you don’t want to be late for the party.”

Inara jumped up in excitement before running to her bedroom to get dressed. Tonight everything was going to change. She was a woman now. And she hoped that Zan would see that too.
Last edited by Cocogurl on Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:29 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Love& War on Antar (M/L ADULT) Chapter 2 6/23/08

Postby Cocogurl » Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:01 am

jake17: I’m so glad that you’re liking my story. Thank you so much for reading it! :D
begonia9508: I know. My brothers are total pains sometimes. Lol. And you’re right, Liz’s father should tell Liz about her mother, but he thinks that he’s protecting her.
C&N214: I’m glad that you’re enoying my story.
roswell4life: I would tell you what's going to happen, but then that would spoil everything. :wink:
Michelle17: I’m glad you’re enoying this. I hope you enjoy the next chapter.
And to all the lurkers out there, thanks for reading my story.

And before you all read this, I just want assure you that this is a dreamer story all the way. :D

Chapter Two

At the Antarian Royal Palace, the celebration was in full swing. Inara sat at her table and smiled as she watched all of her friends and family together. She was glad that everyone was enjoying her party. Several people had already come up to her to wish her happy birthday, but the man she really wanted to talk to was nowhere to be found. Where was Zan?

Suddenly she felt someone put their hand on her shoulder and turned her head to see Vilandra staring down at her with a bright smile. Inara’s smile faded a little when she saw prince Kivar standing next to Vilandra.

“Inara, why are you just sitting here?” Vilandra asked. “You should be celebrating.”

“I was just resting my feet,” Inara answered.

“Oh.” Vilandra looped her arm around Kivar’s muscular one. “You remember prince Kivar of Zantar.”

“Of course,” Inara said as she stood up to greet Kivar properly. She forced a smile on his face as she stared into icy blue eyes. “Kivar, it’s very nice to have you here.”

“The pleasure’s all mine,” Kivar said as he gently took her hand in his and kissed it.

Inara resisted the urge to groan in disgust when she felt his lips on her hand. Inara was well aware of his feelings for her. He’d made his desire for her evident when they had met six months ago at a party on Zantar. It was awful. She had spent most of that night trying to avoid him. He was always so touchy when they were together, and though he always seemed like a nice man, there was something about him that made Inara feel very uneasy.

Inara quickly removed her hand from Kivar’s, but continued to smile pleasantly at him. “So, where’s your sister?”

“I’m not sure,” Kivar said, looking around for Ava for a moment before turning back to Inara. “I’m sure Ava’s around here somewhere.”

Inara tried her hardest to ignore lustful look in Kivar‘s eyes as he looked at her. What does Vilandra see in him? She wondered. This man actually had the nerve to look at her like that while he was on the arm of another woman. She also couldn’t believe that Vilandra didn’t notice anything. But she knew how trusting Vilandra could be. It was just who she was. Inara was very relieved when Vilandra finally broke the silence.

“Kivar, could you be a dear and us ladies something to drink?” She asked sweetly.

Kivar turned to smile at Vilandra, but it definitely wasn’t the same way he smiled at Inara. “Of course,” he said gently. He gave one last longing glance at Inara before going to get their drinks.

As Kivar left to fetch the girls something to drink, Inara and Vilandra both sat down at the table. Vilandra sat there, admiring Kivar’s retreating backside for a moment before turning back to Inara, who was searching the crowd for any sign of Zan.

“So, are you enjoying your birthday?” Vilandra asked.

“Yes, very much, Lonnie,” Inara answered. “Um, do you know where Zan is?”

Vilandra got quiet for a moment, unsure of what to tell Inara. She knew how Inara felt about Zan, but she also knew that Zan didn’t feel the same way. And the last thing Vilandra wanted was to see Inara get her heart broken.

“Oh, I have no idea,” Vilandra lied. Her face brightened when she spotted someone who would take Inara’s mind off of her idiotic brother. “Inara, look who’s here.”

Inara turned her head to where Vilandra had gestured and saw her big sister walking over to her. “Serena!” Inara called out as she rushed over to hug her sister.

“Happy birthday, sweetie,” Serena said as she hugged her little sister.

“I can’t believe you’re here!” Inara squealed as she released Serena from her embrace. “Father told me that you haven’t been feeling well lately.”

“Oh, I’m fine,” Serena assured. Inara could see the happy twinkle in Serena‘s eyes as she continued. “I’m better than fine actually.”

“What do you mean?”

Serena smiled brightly and answered her little sister. “I’m pregnant.”

“Oh my gods!” Inara pulled her sister into another big hug. “Serena! Congratulations!” Inara couldn’t believe that she was going to be an aunt. She knew how much Serena loved children and she had no doubt that her sister would make a terrific mother.

“Thank you,” Serena said before they broke apart once again. “But listen, can we keep this just between us for tonight?”

Inara frowned at her sister. “What do you mean? Does Jin know?”

“Yes, he knows,” Serena said, nodding her head. “We just decided that we would wait until tomorrow to tell anyone.”

“Why?”

“Because tonight is your night, honey,” Serena said.

Inara smiled and gave her sister one last hug before Jin came and interrupted them. “I’m assuming she knows,” he said with a smirk. Inara released her sister and gave Jin a hug, congratulating him.

As the two released each other, Inara spotted Zan heading out towards Queen Amara’s garden and knew that this was her chance to finally be alone with him.

“Um, I’ll be right back. I just need to get some air,” she said and was gone before Serena or Jin could even reply. Kivar had been watching Inara the entire time. He wanted to follow her, but knew that he couldn’t. He had to keep up the charade and let Vilandra continue to believe that she had a chance with him.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Inara slipped into a hallway, further away from the celebration, and began walking towards the garden. She could feel her heartbeat racing in anticipation as she thought about what she would say when she saw Zan. How would he react? Would he return her feelings? A part of her was terrified about telling him, but her mother always told her that the people you love are worth the risk. And Inara knew in her heart that Zan was worth the risk.

Inara stepped out onto the garden when she heard voices near by. She didn’t know who the owner of the first voice was, but she could recognize the second voice immediately. It was Zan. Her Zan. As she walked down the lighted pathway that led to a little gazebo, she could hear the voices become louder, and she began to walk a little faster, wondering who was with Zan. But her heart was not prepared for what she saw when arrived at the gazebo.

Zan, the love of her life, was sharing a passionate kiss with princess Ava of Zantar.

Inara could feel her heart shatter into little pieces as she watched the two of them together. Slowly, she started to back away from the two lovers when she suddenly felt a little twig break underneath her shoe.

The sound made Zan and Ava break apart, and they spotted Inara standing in front of them, looking like her entire world had just fallen apart.
Last edited by Cocogurl on Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Love& War on Antar (M/L ADULT) Chapter 2 6/23/08

Postby Cocogurl » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:47 pm

Serena007: I’m happy that you found my story and that you’re enjoying it. :D
Garcia88: I know I feel bad for Inara too. Thank you for your wonderful feedback.
Tinie38: Kivar is a very creepy guy and definitely shouldn’t be around Inara.
Michelle17: Thanks for the feedback and I really hope you enjoy this next chapter.
Jake17: Yep yep, you know I had to get back at you :wink: . Thank you so much for all of your wonderful feedback.
Natalie36: I totally agree with you. It was hard for me to even write it. :cry:
Begonia9508: Thank you for your feedback and don’t worry Zan will open his eyes eventually.

Chapter Three

Zan was very relieved when he saw Inara standing there. He knew that if Rath had caught him with Ava, he’d never hear the end of it. Zan knew that Rath couldn’t stand Ava. He thought that she was a spoiled little brat with a whiny voice.

But Zan knew that there was a side to Ava that no one ever saw, a side of her that she only showed him. A part from being beautiful, Ava was very intelligent. She astounded him sometimes with the things that she knew. And despite what people thought of her, she was actually very kind. But Zan knew that nobody knew her the way that he knew her. He’d been wanting to tell Ava how he felt for a long time, but was always too afraid. But tonight, when he saw her standing there, her blonde curls flowing down to her shoulders, her blue dress that accented her blue eyes perfectly. She was a vision, and Zan knew that he couldn’t wait any longer to tell her.

The first chance he got, he led Ava out to his mother’s private garden and finally told her how he felt. Zan felt like he was dreaming when Ava said that she felt the same way before she leaned in to kiss him. He couldn’t believe it. They had actually had their first kiss when the sound of footsteps interrupted them and they looked up to see Inara.

Though at first he was annoyed by the interruption, guilt soon followed when he remembered that this was Inara’s thirteenth birthday and he hadn’t spent any time with her at all. He knew that tonight was for her. Wanting to remedy the situation, he quickly stood from his seat and walked over to Inara, pulling her into a big hug. “Hey, Inara. Are you having fun tonight.”

“Yes, very much,” Inara lied as she let Zan hug her. Normally, Inara would have hugged Zan with just as much forth. But how could she now? Knowing that he would never see her as anything other than a little sister. How could she get over that kind of pain? Inara’s body tensed when she saw Ava walking towards them and she quickly removed herself from Zan’s arms.

“Hey, Inara,” she greeted, grabbing Zan’s hand possessively as she looked at Inara. “Happy birthday.”

Inara wanted to roll her eyes at the way Ava was smiling at her. It was the same fake smile that Kivar had given Vilandra earlier. Inara could see right through it, but still she remained polite. “Thank you.”

“Well, I’m going to head back in,” Ava said, giving Zan a little wink.

Zan smiled sweetly at her and nodded, but held on to her hand until the last second, something that did not go unnoticed by Inara. How much pain must I endure? She wondered. She could feel more tears begin to well up in her eyes and quickly turned around to head back inside, not wanting Zan to see her cry. But Zan grabbed her arm before she could leave and turned her around to face him.


“Hey, Inara,” he said gently. “No one knows about me and Ava yet, so could this be our little secret?”

Zan waited for an answer, but all he got was silence. She wasn’t even looking at him. Frowning, Zan gently placed his free hand underneath Inara’s chin, urging her to look at him. A surge of protectivness began to overtake him when he saw the tears in her eyes. What happened to make his sweet Inara so sad? Zan and Inara’s families were extremely close. Rath was like a brother to Zan, which made Inara like a baby sister to him. He’d do anything to protect her.

“Inara, what’s wrong?” He asked. “You look sad.”

Inara finally looked into Zan’s eyes and could see the concern and love in them. It comforted her in a strange way. He may not love her the way she wanted him to, but he still loved her. Not wanting to worry him, she quickly wiped her tears away and gave Zan a gentle smile.

“I’m all right, Zan. This has just…this has just been the best night of my life.”

Zan smiled and gave her another hug before he interlocked their fingers together. “The night’s not over yet,” he said, giving her a little wink.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Later that night, Inara went to bed feeling incredibly childish. She was pining for the love of man who would never feel the same way about her. She wasn’t Ava.

After Zan had taken her back inside, she had put on a brave face and tried to enjoy the rest of the party. But her eyes had continually strayed over to where Ava was chatting with her friends. Inara knew that she wasn’t as pretty as Ava. She didn’t have that blonde curly hair that Ava had, or those crystal blue eyes that Zan just adored, or the curvy figure that Ava had. And she certainly wasn’t as well endowed as Ava was in the chest area.

She was just a child.

Zan was never going to look at her the way he looked at Ava. All she would ever have from him was friendship. As Inara lay in her bed, she prayed to the gods that one day she could accept that, that it wouldn’t break her heart to know that Zan would never be hers. But she knew that she was only kidding herself. She would never be able to truly accept it. I love him, she thought before she finally cried herself to sleep.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“Zan, you’re such an idiot!” Vilandra shouted as she burst into Zan’s bed chambers.

Zan sat up in surprise before glaring at his big sister. “Lonnie, what the hell is wrong with you?” He groaned as he laid back down and covered his face with a pillow. He had just fallen asleep when she came storming in. Why couldn't I have been an only child? He thought with another groan.

“Are you really so clueless when it comes to Inara?” She asked angrily and she paced back in forth in front of Zan’s bed.

Zan immediately sat up and glared at Vilandra when he heard Inara’s name. What the hell was she talking about? What did he do to Inara? He’d been nothing but nice to her all night. “I didn’t do anything to Inara.”

Vilandra rolled her eyes in annoyance. “You really are an idiot.”

“I’m not an idiot!” Zan snapped, becoming very frustrated with Vilandra. “Lonnie, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I didn’t do anything to Inara.”

“You kissed Ava,” Vilandra said and Zan eyes widened in shock. How did she know? But before he could come up with a lie, Vilandra continued. “Don’t even bother denying it, I saw the lipstick on your lips when you came back in.”

Zan blushed a little before he said, “Yes, I kissed Ava, but what does that have to do with Inara?”

“Zan, Inara’s in love with you.”

Zan resisted the urge to laugh as he looked at Vilandra. This was absolutely ridicules. “Lonnie, what are you talking about? Inara isn’t in love with me.” How could Vilandra think that Inara wanted him? Me and Inara? Zan shook his head the thought.

“Zan, snap out of it,” Vilandra said with an exasperated sigh. “I saw the look on Inara’s face when you two came back to the party. She looked devasted.”

Zan was about protest but then he remembered the sad look in Inara’s eyes earlier that night. She had acted like it was nothing, and at the time he believed her, but now he wasn’t so sure. Realization suddenly dawned on him. Inara was in love with him! How was that possible? She had never given any indication.

“I had no idea,” was all he could say as he shook his head in disbelief.

“Well, you’re a bit daft when it comes to Inara,” Vilandra joked before she took a seat at the end of Zan’s bed and looked at him seriously. “Do you really like Ava?”

A small smiled formed on his face as he nodded his head.

“Well, no accounting for taste, I guess,” she said.

It was Zan’s turn to roll his eyes. He knew that Vilandra liked Ava about as much as Rath did, but he wasn’t going to keep putting up with them talking about her like that. He was about to say something when Vilandra cut him.

“Look, whatever, okay,” Vilandra said with a shrug. “It doesn’t matter how I feel, but it does matter how Inara feels. You need to talk to her.”

Zan nodded his head. “I will.”

Okay, then. Goodnight.” Vilandra got up and started to walk out of his room. She stopped at the doorway and turned to look back at Zan. “And, Zan, be gentle.”

Zan nodded once again, watching his sister leave his bedroom. He didn’t need to be told just how delicate this situation was. The last thing he ever wanted to do was hurt Inara. He loved her. But he couldn’t let things continue the way they were. He had to make her understand that nothing was ever going to happen between them. Soon, he promised as he laid back down on his bed. I'll talk to her soon.
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Re: Love& War on Antar (M/L ADULT) Chapter 4 7/15/08

Postby Cocogurl » Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:23 pm

garcia88: I know. I feel bad for Inara too. Thanks for your wonderful feedback. :D
Natalie: Don’t worry things will get better eventually.
Tinie38: It makes me sad just writing it. :cry:
jake17: OMG! Thank you so much. I don’t know if I deserve such compliments, but thank you :oops: . And thank for reading my story. I’m really happy you’re enjoying it.
Roswell3053: Thank you for the feedback. I’m glad you’re enjoying this.
Twilight: All I can say is that you’re right to wonder about Ava.
natalie36: I really wish I could tell you. :wink:
Serena007: Thank you for all of your wonderful feedback. I really look forward to your comments and I hope you enjoy this next part.
Kyliemou: Hey, thanks for the feedback. I’m so happy that you’re enjoying this story.

Chapter Four

Zan sat on a rock, looking down at Inara splashing around in the violet water with Vilandra and Rath. It had been almost two weeks since Vilandra had told him about Inara’s feelings for him, and he’d been avoiding her ever since. He really hadn’t meant to put this conversation on hold for so long, but he just didn’t know what to say to her. He still couldn’t believe that Inara was in love with.

As he continued to watch Inara in the water, he wondered how he could’ve been so blind to Inara’s feelings. He searched his mind for any possible sign that she was attracted to him, any kind of indication that she thought of him as more than a friend, but he couldn’t think of anything. Vilandra's right, he thought to himself. I am stupid

Not wanting to put this conversation off any longer, Zan climbed down from the rock he’d been relaxing on and walked towards Inara, who was now climbing out the water with Vilandra and Rath right behind her. Inara spotted Zan the minute she got out of the water and noticed the strange look on his face and grew concerned.

“Zan, are you all right?” She asked with a frown.

“Yeah, I’m fine. I just have a lot on my mind,” he answered, looking past Inara to Rath, who looked just as confused as Inara. But when Zan’s eyes went to Vilandra, he could see the cautious look in her eyes. She knew exactly what was on his mind. His eyes went back to Inara and he smiled gently at her. “Can we go for a walk?”

Inara smiled at the offer and nodded. “I would love to,” she said. “But are you sure that nothing’s wrong?”

“Yes,” he nodded. “I just needed to stretch my legs out, and I wanted a beautiful, young lady to accompany me.”

Inara blushed at the compliment, even though she knew he didn’t mean it the way she wanted him to. She looped her arm around his and the two of them started walking down the beach together. Rath and Vilandra watched them leave.

“What was that about?” Rath asked, still not sure what was going on.

Vilandra rolled her eyes at how slow Rath could be sometimes. He was probably the only person who hadn’t figured out about Inara’s feelings for Zan. “Nothing,” she answered. “Absolutely nothing.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Zan and Inara walked down the beach towards a more wooded area, close enough for anyone to see them, but still far enough away for some privacy, which was what Zan needed at the moment. Neither of them knew what to say to each other as they both stopped walking and took a seat on a big rock. Zan was the one who finally broke the silence.

“So, how have your classes been?” He asked, wanting to start off with something light.

“Really good,” she answered, her face lighting up with excitement as she talked about her schoolwork. “I’m enjoying every minute of it. Father thinks I’m definitely going to get into the Jeto Academy.”

“On Aquaria? Wow, that’s a really good school.”

“I know. I only hope he’s right,” she said, feeling her self doubt slowly rise to the surface.

“I know you’ll get in,” Zan said with a confident smile. “You’re the smartest person I know. If anyone deserves to get in, it’s you.”

Inara smiled back at him and felt the desire to tell Zan how she felt. Though she knew it wouldn’t change the way he saw her, the need to tell him suddenly outweighed the pain she would feel when he spurned her feelings. She needed him to know that she loved him and that she always would.

Zan was struggling through his own internal battle. It killed him to break Inara’s heart, but it would only hurt her in the long run if he let her continue with this fantasy. He had to tell her.

“Zan, I have something to tell you,” Inara said.

“Inara, I need to tell you something,” he said at the exact same time.

Both of them laughed in embarrassment. Liz felt her heart beat wildly in her chest as she listened to him laugh. Gods, he had the most beautiful laugh.

“Why don’t you go first,” Inara said politely.

Okay, just tell her how you really feel, he thought to himself. And be gentle. Zan took one last deep breath and was about speak when the sound of an annoying male voice interrupted him.

“Inara! Zan!”

They both turned around to see Rath and Vilandra walking towards them with grim looks on their faces. Inara and Zan both became alarmed and stood up just as Rath and Vilandra reached them.

“Rath, Lonnie, what’s wrong?” Zan asked, looking from Rath to Vilandra, waiting for an answer.

“What’s wrong?” Inara asked impatiently.

“We have to get home,” Rath said sadly. “It’s mother.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Rath and Inara were silent the entire carriage ride home, unable to do anything except worry about their mother. Zan and Vilandra sat across from them, trying to offer what ever moral support they could.

The carriage stopped just outside of their mansion and the four kids jumped out of the carriage and rushed into the house. They made it to the north wing of the mansion just in time to see their family healer step out Jarek and Vienna’s bedchamber. Jarek stepped out of the bedroom a moment later and Inara rushed into his arms without a second thought.

“What‘s wrong with mother?” Inara asked worriedly, holding her father as tightly as possible.

“Yeah, is she all right?” Rath asked a moment later.

Jarek opened his other arm for his son and held both of his children in a tight embrace. He knew exactly what they were feeling right now because he was feeling the same thing. Vienna rarely got sick, and for her to become ill so quickly worried him. But he didn’t want to worry Rath and Inara anymore than they already were, so he put on a brave face and pulled away to look at his children. “Your mother just has a touch of the flu. She’ll be fine.”

Rath and Inara both let out sighs of relieve.

“Can I see her?” Inara asked hopefully

“Not for very long, little one,” Jarek said gently. “Your other needs her rest.”

Inara nodded and turned to look at Zan and Vilandra, who were both wearing relieved smiles on their faces. “Thank you, both, for being here.”

Vilandra smiled sweetly and nodded. “Of course, sweetie. We love her.”

“Let her know that we’re thinking about her,” Zan said.

Inara nodded before turning around and rushing into the bedroom to see her mother.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Inara quietly walked into the bedroom, shutting the door behind her, and saw her mother sitting up in her bed reading a book. “Mommy,” she said so softly that she was sure her mother hadn’t heard her.

But her mother had heard her perfectly. Vienna had looked from her book and and smiled brightly.

“Little one, come here.” She put her book down and watched her little girl run and jump on the bed, making the mattress bounce lightly.

“Mother, I was so worried,” Inara said as she climbed into her mothers lap and started crying.

“I know, darling, but I’m fine,” Vienna soothed as she continued to stroke the little girl’s hair, her little girl’s hair. When Jarek had told her about Lar-el showing up with his daughter, it had broken Vienna’s heart. It had almost destroyed her when she found out about her husband’s betrayal, but to find out that he had created a child in the process, it had nearly been her undoing. But the minute she layed her eyes on Inara’s beautiful face, she knew that could never fault this child for her parent’s mistakes. She was completely innocent. And the need to protect Inara, to love her as her own, overrode and feelings of animosity she felt towards Lar-el or even her husband.

Inara was her daughter. Even if she didn’t give birth to her.

“Promise?” Inara asked.

“I promise, sweetie.” Vienna assured, stroking Inara’s hair softly. “Everything’s going to be fine.”

The tears slowly stopped as Inara snuggled into her mother’s warm embrace. This was the one place where she always felt safe and loved, but she knew that it wouldn’t last. Inara desparately wanted to believe her mother’s words, but she couldn’t ignore this feeling of dread that had now settled in her heart. This dread that was telling her that things weren’t going to be all right.
Last edited by Cocogurl on Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Love& War on Antar (M/L ADULT) Chapter 4 7/15/08

Postby Cocogurl » Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:31 am

Hey, everyone. Sorry I took so long to update. This chapter was really driving me crazy. But I finally got it done. And I’m amazed at all the people who have commented on my story. Thank you all so much for your wonderful feedback. :D

kyliemou
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Michelle17
begonia9508
Natalie36
Ms. Anonymous
tinie38
jake17
Serena007
Michelle in Yonkers
ShatteredDreamer
dreamer19
Lena7


Chapter Five

Tears clouded Inara’s eyes as she watched her mother’s casket being lowered into the ground. In a way, Inara actually felt relieved for her mother. She’d been sick for several weeks before she finally passed away. Every night, Inara would lie in her bed and listen to her mother’s cries of pain. At least now she could finally have some peace.

At the wake, Inara sat by herself on a big plush couch, watching all of her mother’s family and friends together. It made her want to scream every time someone came up to her to give their condolences. It was all meaningless. It wasn’t like they really knew what she was going through or how she was feeling. Vienna was her mother, not theirs.

When she spotted Zan over by the buffet table talking to Rath, it all became too much. She knew that eventually he was going to come talk to her and the last thing she wanted was his pity. Inara got up from the couch and snuck outside the first chance she got. Once she felt the cool air against her skin, she felt much better. She walked down the field to a little pond on her father’s property. She wasn’t at all surprised when she got there and found Serena sitting on a bench by the pond. They both knew how much their mother loved this little pond.

“Hey,” Inara said softly, taking a seat beside her big sister.

“Hey,” Serena greeted back, giving Inara a sad smile. “I just couldn’t take it in there.”

Inara nodded in understanding. “Yeah, me too.”

The two girls sat there in silence for awhile, just taking comfort in each other’s presence as they looked out at the pond. Suddenly Inara heard Serena chuckle lightly. “What’s so funny?” Inara asked, frowning at her.

“Oh, nothing,” she said, shaking her head. “I was just remembering all the picnics we’d have here…with mom.”

“Yeah,” Inara said quietly as she looked back at the pond. “Mom really did love this spot.”

The two of them got quiet again as they remembered all the things their mother used to do with them and Rath. Things that they would never get to do with her again. The sound of someone clearing their throat broke the silence and both girls turned their heads and saw Rath standing there, hands in his pockets, with an unreadable expression on his face.

“Couldn’t handle it in there either, huh?” Inara asked.

Rath didn’t say anything. He just shrugged and walked over to take a seat next to his sisters. Silence fell over them once again as the three of them took in the beautiful scenery before them. After a moment, Rath bent down to pick up a couple of pebble stones and got up from the bench. The two girls watched as Rath threw the stones into the water before Inara finally broke the silence.

“Do you think she’s in a better place?” She asked. “Everyone keeps saying that to me. Do you think it’s true?”

“Don’t know. Don’t care,” Rath said in a harsh voice as he threw another stone into the pond, using more force than before.

“Rath, don’t say that,” Serena admonished in stern voice before she scooted closer to Inara and wrapped her arm over her little sister’s shoulder. “I’m sure she’s somewhere special, sweetie.”

Inara wasn’t listening to Serena, however, she was too focused on Rath as he continued to throw stones. Inara knew that he didn’t mean what he was saying, that he was trying to put up a brave front, but she wasn’t going to let him act like what happened to their mother meant nothing.

“How can you not care?” She asked in disbelief, but got no response. He didn’t even turn around to look at her. Inara got up from the bench and took a few steps towards her brother. “Rath, she was our mother. Don’t you want to believe that she’s in a better place?”

“But I don‘t know!” Rath shouted, whirling around to face his sisters. “All I know is that our mother is dead! Dead Inara! And no amount of this touchy feely crap is going to change that! She’s GONE!”

Finally Inara saw the first batch of tears fall from Rath’s eyes and she immediately pulled him into her arms for a hug, and was glad when Rath didn’t fight her.

“I miss her so much,” he sobbed against Inara’s shoulder, holding her tight.

“I miss her too,” Inara said as more tears slid down her cheeks.

Serena, who’d been watching the scene before her, quickly got up and rushed over to her little brother and sister, pulling them both into her arms. The three of them stood together, hugging and crying, mourning the loss of their mother.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Inara layed out in the fields of her father’s estate, closing her eyes and enjoying the feel of the cool air against her skin. It’d been awhile since she felt this relaxed. It had been almost two months since her mother’s funeral and for awhile, Inara had had to force herself to even get out of bed in the morning. And when she did get out of bed, all she could focus on was her studies. She wouldn’t allow herself to think about anything else. But now, as she lay there in the grass, she finally felt like she was coming to terms with her mothers death. And she was finally feeling more like herself again. She could hear the sound of footsteps coming her way, but didn’t bother opening her eyes.

“Hey,” came a masculine voice.

Inara didn’t need to open her eyes to know who it was. “What are you doing here, Zan?” She asked, her eyes still closed.

“Looking for you,” he answered.

Inara opened her eyes and looked up at him. “Why?”

“No reason,” he shrugged before sitting down in the grass beside her. “We just haven’t really talked in awhile. I just wanted to see how you were doing.”

“I’m fine,” she answered, sitting up next to Zan and smiling at him. “I’m doing a lot better actually.” She could see in his eyes that he didn’t entirely believe her. She laughed and punched him lightly on his arm. “Stop worrying about me so much.”

“Sorry. Can’t help it sometimes,” he said, smiling back at her.

Inara stared at Zan, trying to ignore the desire inside of her to kiss those beautiful lips of his. But gods, how she wanted to kiss him! His lips looked so soft and inviting. She could picture him in her mind, cupping her face in his hands before he leaned in and…Gods, stop it, Inara! She admonished, angry that she let herself get carried away once again. These fantasies were childish and immature, and they had to stop. And there was only one way to make them stop.

“Did you hear the good news?” Inara said suddenly, wanting to get this over with as quickly as possible.

“What good news?”

“I’m leaving.” She looked away from Zan as she continued. “I got into to the Jeto academy on Aquaria. I actually got in.”

“Oh, my gods, Inara!” he exclaimed in excitement, pulling her into a big hug. “I’m so happy for you.”

Inara hugged Zan back, wishing that she could share in his excitement, but she couldn’t ignore the bittersweet pang in her heart. It wasn’t that she wasn’t happy about getting into the Jeto Academy. Quite the contrary, she’d been working to get into this school for two years. Going there meant she could get the best education available, but it also meant that she would be leaving all of her friends and family for five years. It also meant leaving the man that she loved more than anything. And the thought of that broke her heart. It's for the best, she reminded herself as she pulled away from Zan’s embrace. She got up from her place on the grass and walked a few feet past him, staring at her home in the distance, Zan’s eyes following her the entire time.

“What’s wrong?” He asked before getting up and walking towards Inara, placing his hand on Inara’s shoulder and making her turn around to look at him. “I thought that this was what you wanted.”

Inara shook her head and smiled sadly. “No, it is, it’s exactly what I wanted. it’s just…,” she trailed off, quickly wiping a tear from her eye before she continued. “It’s just that I’m leaving in five days.”

“Five days,” Zan said as he stared at her in shock, not sure if he had heard her right. “But classes don’t even start for at least another two months.”

“I know.” Inara looked away from him again as she continued. “I decided to leave early.”

Zan frowned in confusion. “Why?”

“Because I think it would be better if I left now rather than later.” Inara took a deep breath, finally ready to tell him the truth about how she felt. This was the moment she had dreamed about for years, but sadly she knew it wouldn’t turn out the way she’d always dreamed it would.

“I’m in love with you, Zan,” she said firmly. “I’ve been in love with you for so long.”

Zan just stared at her, not knowing what to say. Well, that wasn’t true. He knew what to say. He knew that he had to tell her the truth, but he wasn’t sure how to say it. The last thing he’d ever wanted to do was hurt Inara and it pained him to know that whether he wanted to or not, he had hurt her the moment she had found him kissing Ava.

“Inara, I--,” he started but was quickly shushed when Inara placed her finger to his lips.

“It’s okay,” she said gently, taking her finger from his lips. “I know that you don’t feel the same way about me. I know where your heart truly lies.” Her eyes dropped away from his as she continued. “It hurts but I understand, and I hope that Ava makes you happy…all I want is for you to be happy.”

Before she lost her courage, Inara placed both of her hands on his face and pulled him in for a kiss. She felt relieved when he didn’t pull away, instead he started to kiss her back. Even though she knew that she’d never have him, at least she could have her first kiss be with him.

After a moment, she pulled away and gave him a small smile. “Goodbye, Zan.”

Before Zan could say anything else, Inara quickly turned away and ran back to her house, not wanting to see him to see her tears. She needed a fresh start, and this was the only way she knew how. She only hoped that eventually these feelings would fade away. Who am I kidding? She thought to herself. Deep down, she knew that these feelings would never fade away. Even if she moved on and found someone else, a piece of her would always belong to Zan.

Zan stood there in shock as he watched Inara run away. He wanted to chase after her but decided it would be better if he didn’t. He still couldn’t believe that she had kissed, or more importantly, that he had kissed her back. Why did he kiss her back? He knew it was wrong, but when he felt her lips touch his, something inside of him made him want to kiss her back.

Zan shook his head and decided to ignore it. It didn’t matter really. If being away from him was what Inara needed to move on with her life, then that’s what he would give her. And hopefully she’ll find true love like he had found with Ava.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Five years later...

Zan -- 20 years old
Inara -- 18 years old
Rath -- 20 years old
Vilandra -- 21 years old
Serena -- 23 years old
Ava -- 20 years old
Kivar -- 22 years old


“Oh yes! Zan, harder!”

Obeying her request, Zan pounded harder into the faceless woman beneath him, getting closer to the release that he so desparately seeked. Hooking her legs underneath his arms, Zan thrusted a couple more times before crying out in sexual bliss as his climax washed over him. He collapsed down on the bed beside her, panting heavily.

“That was amazing, Zan,” the woman said between pants while running her fingers up and down his muscular chest.

But Zan wasn’t even listening as sleep slowly began to claim him. It no longer mattered to him what she had to say. The only thing he wanted from her was sex and he wasn’t naïve enough to think that this woman wanted anything more than the chance at the throne. The dream of becoming the future queen of Antar brought a lot of women to his bed, but Zan always made it clear to all them that they only thing they would from him was a night of carnal pleasures. He could feel himself drifting closer to sleep when his bedroom doors slid open and he could her the sound of his sister’s annoying voice.

“Oh, that’s so gross,” Vilandra groaned when she walked in and caught sight of Zan in bed with yet another one of his conquests. She was just glad that a blanket was covering them this time. “Don’t you have somewhere else to do this?”

“If I’m not mistaken, this is my room, Lonnie,” Zan groaned as he opened his eyes and sat up in his bed.

“Well, it’s gross no matter where you do it,” she said in disgust before turning her eyes to the attractive red-head in bed with her brother. “Leave now,” she commanded, giving the girl an icy stare.

The girl quickly climbed out of bed and put her dress on. She blew a kiss to Zan before she left, which went completely unnoticed by Zan as he layed back on his bed, staring up at the ceiling.

“Another potential bride?” Vilandra asked sarcastically once she heard his bedroom doors slid shut.

“Lonnie, don’t start,” Zan warned before sitting back up and gesturing for Vilandra to turn around. Once she turned her back to him, he quickly reached down and grabbed his boxers and robe from the floor, putting them both on before climbing out of bed.

“I’m not starting anything that father didn’t start already,” Vilandra said just as Zan walked past her to open his curtains. “Zan, you need to choose a wife soon, or mother and father are going to do it for you. And you know who they’re going to choose.”

Zan jaw clenched in irritation as he stared out the window. He knew exactly who his parents were going to choose to be his wife. Ava. But he wasn’t going to let that happen. He didn’t care what his parents did, he was not spending the rest of his life with a whore like Ava.

“You should be grateful,” Vilandra continued, walking over to sit down on a chair by the fireplace. “At least you get a choice. Mother’s already set the date for my wedding to Rath.”

Zan rolled his eyes and turned around to look at his sister. “ And? I didn’t exactly hear you a object when our parents betrothed you to Rath. You just sat back and let it happen.”

Vilandra glared at her brother and stood up from her seat. “Look, I didn’t come here to argue with you,” she said in an angry tone.

“Then what do you want?” Zan crossed his arms over his chest and stared at Vilandra.

“Father wants to see you,” she said. “I don’t know what it’s about, but he seems pretty angry.”

“Oh, so you’re father’s messenger?” He said with a smirk. He couldn’t believe what a kiss-ass his sister was when it came to their parents. But that wouldn’t be him. “I’ll speak with him later.” He turned away from his sister and headed towards his bathroom to take a shower, ignoring Vilandra’s angry stare.

“He wants so speak with you now,” Vilandra insisted, watching Zan walk away from her.

Finally he stopped just as the bathroom doors slid open and turned towards his sister once more. “Since you’re such a messenger, you can go back to father and tell him that I will talk to him when I want to talk to him.”

With that, Zan entered his bathroom, the doors sliding shut behind him. Vilandra just stared at the door in frustration. She hated what her brother had turned into and knew that it was Ava’s fault for this change in him. Though Vilandra wasn’t entirely sure what happened between Zan and Ava, she knew for sure that it was Ava’s fault. She had broken his heart and after that, he just changed. He started becoming distant and even mean with his family, sleeping with various women, and partying all the time.

But none of that mattered. Their parents were convinced that Zan was just going through a phase. In their eyes Ava was an angel and would make a perfect wife for him. With a sigh, Vilandra left Zan’s bedchambers, praying that Zan would find a wife before their parents stepped in and made the choice for him. That definitely wouldn’t end well.
Last edited by Cocogurl on Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Love& War on Antar (M/L ADULT) Chapter 5 8/3/08

Postby Cocogurl » Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:11 am

begonia9508: Yeah, Zan is a little spoiled right now. But he’ll get straightened out.
Lena7: Thank you so much! I’m so happy that you’re enoying this.
jake17: Thanks. I really hope you enjoy this part too.
garcia88: Thanks for the feedback!
kyliemou: I know. Some people are a little slow when it comes to love.
Natalie36: Me too! All the way!
trulov: It was really hard for me to write Zan and Ava as a couple. And I was happy to get that part over with as fast as possible. But no, she’s definitely not gone for good.
Michelle17: Don’t worry. All of your questions will be answered soon.
Bennie: Thanks. I’m glad you’re enjoying it. Inara’s definitely going to have some opinions about Zan’s behavior.
tinie38: Thanks.
Get Over It: Don’t worry. The tables have turned. I think you’ll be really proud of Inara.

Chapter Six

“Oh, my gods, this view is incredible,” Coraline said in awe as she stood on the balcony of Inara’s childhood bedroom. This was Coraline’s first time on Antar and as she looked out at the Zenon Woods just beyond the manor, she could see why Inara talked so fondly about her home. It was absolutely beautiful. “Thank you so much for letting me stay here with you.”

“Oh, not at all,” Inara said with a smile as she finished unpacking the rest of her belongings. The servants had offered to do it, but Inara had insisted that she was fully capable of unpacking her own things. “Besides, with Rath and Serena not living here anymore, You’re actually doing me a favor.”

Coraline chuckled as she continued to look at the beautiful scenery before her. “Gods, growing up here must’ve been amazing.”

“Yeah, it was,” Inara said as she looked around her old bedroom. It looked exactly the way it was when she left five years ago, and that left her with a feeling of comfort and security. Gods, I’m so happy to be home, she thought to herself. After the graduation, Inara had felt lost, not knowing what she wanted to do with the rest of her life, and felt very hesitant about returning home, but Coraline had convinced her to go, telling her that it would be a great chance for her to clear her head and figure out what she wanted to do with her life now. And now as she stood in the middle of her bedroom, looking around at everything, she was very glad that she came home.

A ringing sound made Inara look towards her bedroom door. “Come in.” Her face brightened when the doors slid open and Rath entered, wearing a smile on his face.

“Hey,” he greeted as Inara walked up to him and hugged him.

“I missed you so much, Rath,” Inara said as she hugged her brother tighter.

“I missed you too,” he said, hugging her just as tight.

Inara pulled away and stared at her brother in confusion. “Hey, where’s Vilandra? Aren’t you two supposed to be busy planning your wedding?”

Rath resisted the urge to cringe when Inara mentioned the wedding. He knew that his engagement to Vilandra was what their families wanted, and he would fulfill his duty to his family no matter what. The idea of marrying Vilandra still made him feel a little uneasy though. The night that his father had announced his betrothel to the princess had been the most shocking night of his life, and he knew it had been no different for Vilandra when she found out. They were like family, at least that’s how they felt towards each other, and the idea of becoming husband and wife made them both uncomfortable. But still, they would give their families what they wanted, and Rath would put on a smile for his sister and not let her know that he really didn’t want to get married.

“Oh, Queen Amara’s helping her with the wedding plans,” he said. “Spending the day thinking about flowers and table settings just didn’t really appeal to me.”

Inara continued talking with her brother, unaware that behind her, Coraline’s eyes were glued to Rath. He was the most attractive man she’d ever seen. And she had seen them all. At that moment, Coraline knew that she wanted him and would have him, no matter what it took.

“Oh, I completely forgot,” Inara started dragging her brother onto the balcony where Coraline was. “Rath, meet my friend from school. Coraline. Coraline, this is my brother Rath.”

“It’s really nice to meet you,” Coraline said in a friendly tone, but the way she was eyeing him sent Rath the message that she was interested in way more than friendship. Fortunately for her, Rath was giving her the same look. This is going to be easier than I thought, she thought with a smile.

“The pleasure is all mine,” he said, as stared into her eyes. Coraline was absolutely gorgeous. If he wasn’t engaged, he would definitely be after her. But he made a commitment to Vilandra and his family, and he would not break it.

Inara, noticing the way they were staring at each other, quickly spoke and broke the moment. “Coraline and I were just getting ready to leave. I wanted to show her Dimaras Rock.”

Rath finally looked back at his when she spoke and could see the knowing look in her eye, which he chose to ignore. “That sounds like fun. Don’t get too busy though. I would like to spend some time with my baby sister”

“Why don‘t we spend time now,” Inara asked cheerfully. “Come with us to Dimaras Rock.”

“Of course I‘ll come.” Rath kissed his little sister on the forehead and pulled her in for another hug. He was so glad to have her home. “Let me grab my stuff.”

Without another word, Rath left the room, leaving the girls alone once again. After he left, Inara turned around and gave Coraline a pointed look.

“Off limits, Coraline,” Inara warned, referring to her brother. “He’s engaged.”

Coraline feigned ignorance and disbelief when she anwered her friend. “Are you kidding me? Rath? He’s not my type.” Rolling her eyes, she turned away from Inara and grabbed her jacket off the bed.

“Yeah, sure,” Inara said as she looked at Coraline suspiciously. Coraline was one of her closest friends, and it wasn’t that she thought Coraline was a slut exactly, she just knew that Coraline was a little overly friendly with guys, especially guys that she was really attracted to. And she didn’t really have personal rules about seducing commited men. Inara just hoped that Coraline had rules about dating her best friend’s engaged brother.

“Look, I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said with a sigh as she finished putting her jacket on. “Are you ready to go?”

Deciding to drop the subject for now, Inara nodded and grabbed her jacket. The two girls walked out of the bedroom together, ready to enjoy their day at Dimaras Rock.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Zan and his good friend Larek, who was visiting for a few days, decided to spend the day swimming laps at Dimaras Rock. As Zan swam through the beautiful purple ocean, he tried to forget about the argument he had had with his father a few days earlier, but his mind wouldn’t let. He didn’t know why he let this argument get to him. It was the exact same crap they’d been fighting about for months. Zan, I’m tired of having this argument with you…you need to find a wife or you know who we’ll choose…why won’t you just work things out with Ava? She’s such a lovely girl…

Over and over, his father’s words continued to play in his mind. Ava’s a lovely girl? If only you knew, father, Zan thought bitterly. But it didn’t matter what his father thought. He wasn’t choosing a wife yet--if ever-- and he sure as hell wasn’t going to marry Ava. He didn’t care what his parents did. He was young and he was going to live his life to fullest, and he wasn’t going to let his parents or any potential wife take that away from him.

Zan came out of the water a moment before Larek did, catching the eyes of two beautiful women who passed by. Zan shamelessly checked them out before looking over at the body guards that were standing less than fifteen-feet away from him and Larek. Though Zan could spend time with his friends like any normal 20-year old, he knew that he was anything but normal. He was the future king of Antar, and that meant that no matter where he went or what he did, there would always be someone around looking over his shoulder, trying to keep him safe. And with Prince Larek visiting from Valeria, there would be extra caution.

Zan didn’t mind it though. After a while he’d learned to ignore it actually. He just accepted that that came with title of being prince. And it’s not like being prince doesn’t come with perks, he thought mischievously as he went back staring at the backsides of the two women who had passed him by. He considered going over to them when he heard Larek chuckle beside him.

“What?” He asked innocently.

Larek shook his. “Can’t you think about anything other than sex?”

“Sure I can,” he said indignantly. “I think about the woman I want to have sex with…” Zan trailed off when his eyes landed on a the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen. “Like her.”

Larek’s eyes went to where Zan was looking, and he spotted a pretty brunette sitting on a rock. “she’s cute.”

“Are you kidding? She’s gorgeous,” Zan said in awe as he watched her. She was absolutely stunning. She had beautiful, long brown hair and in her little red bathing suit, he could see every curve of her tanned body, and though she wasn’t as busty as many of the other women he’d been with in the past, she was still the sexiest creature he had ever laid eyes on. But as he looked at her, he also got the strongest feeling that he’d seen her somewhere before, but he couldn’t figure out where. Suddenly her eyes connected with his and she gave him the most stunning smile, making his heart beat faster in his chest. I’ve got to have her, he thought in resignation

“I’ll be right back,” Zan said to Larek without looking at him.

Larek just smiled in amusement as he watched Zan walk towards the girl. Typical.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

As Zan walked towards her, he could feel butterflies rumbling in his chest and sweat forming on his palms. He was actually nervous. Zan never got nervous around girls. He was a handsome man and he knew how to use that to get what he wanted from women. He never had to worry about what to say or how to act. Usually all it took was a few sweet words and one of his sexy smiles and he would have a new bed partner for the night. But for some reason, just the idea of talking to this woman made his whole body quake with nervousness. He didn’t know how he was going to act around her or what he was going to say, he just knew that he wanted to know this girl.

“You want some company?” He asked as he stood in front of her, staring down at her with a smile.

She looked up at him and smiled before saying, “I’m already here with someone.”

Zan couldn’t help but smile back at her. This girl was definitely something special. “Not with a boyfriend, I hope,” he said as he sat down beside her.

The girl gave him a challenging stare. “And what if I was?”

“I’d have to find this guy, whoever he is, and tell him that he’s a fool for leaving such a beautiful woman by herself,” he said as he scooted a little closer, forgetting about the nervous butterflies in his stomach. He wanted her and he wasn’t going to let anyone stop him from getting her.

She let out a laugh and Zan took a moment to admire every feature of her face. Her beautiful brown eyes, the way her nose crinkled as she laughed. He’d never been attracted to someone so much before. But he still couldn’t shake the feeling that he’d seen her somewhere before.

“Do I know you?” He blurted out.

He was certain that they had met each other before when he saw the knowing look in her eyes as she said, “I don’t know, do you?”

Before Zan could say anything, he heard Rath’s voice behind him. He turned around to see Rath walking towards them with a cute blonde beside him. “Hey, Rath. What’s up?”

“Where have you guys been?” The brunette asked and smirked when Zan looked at her curiously.

“How do you know Rath?” He asked.

She rolled her eyes and laughed. “Well, he is my brother after all.”

“Y-your…brother?” Zan’s eyes widened in shock. How could he have not figured it out? He hadn’t seen or heard from her in five years, but how could he have not realized who she was. She had obviously…grownup a lot in the past five years, but she was still the same girl. As he continued to stare at her in shock, he couldn’t believe that this was really…

“Hey, Zan,” Rath, smiling as he pat his dear friend on the shoulder. “I see you found Inara.

…Inara. This breathtaking girl sitting beside him was Inara.
*******************************************************

Sidenote: So people don't get confused, Coraline is Courtney and later we'll meet Nickolai who is Nicholas.
Last edited by Cocogurl on Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Love& War on Antar (M/L ADULT) Chapter 6 - A/N 9/7/08

Postby Cocogurl » Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:24 am

Natalie36
jake17
Garcia88

Hunter - Thank you so much, Hunter. And thanks again for making my banner. You're an angel! :D
Pijeechinadoll
twilight
dreamer19

Michelle17 - Unfortunately Maria won't be in here. But don't worry, that doesn't mean I won't hint around about her. :wink:
Lizzie_Parker17

Thank you all so much for being so patient and encouraging. It means so much to me that you're all enjoying this. I hope you all enjoy this next part! :D


Chapter Seven

Inara sat by herself on a big rock, looking out at the water. It had been at least fifteen minute since Rath and Coraline had decided to talk a walk down the beach and Inara was starting to get a little worried. Though she trusted Rath completely and knew he wouldn’t do anything to hurt Vilandra intentionally, she also knew that Coraline was a girl who was used to getting what she wanted and could be really pushy if she wanted something badly enough. Just as she was about to get up and look for them, her eyes landed on a man she had not laid eyes on in five years.

Zan.

She couldn’t believe it. It was Zan. She couldn’t stop the smile that formed on her lips as she watched him staring her. He hadn’t changed much from the fifteen-year old boy he used to be. He was taller, more muscular, and she could tell that he’d lost the baby fat that he used to have, but he was still the same Zan that she’d known all of her life.

As he started walking towards her, Inara could feel heart beat harder in her chest. She knew that was just as much in love with as she had been five years ago, only this time things were different. She was older and wiser. She wasn’t going to let her feelings for him control her any longer. He would never love her back, and she finally accepted it now.

“You want some company?” Zan asked, as he stood in front of her.

Inara sat there for a moment, looking up at him, waiting for him to give her some sign that he remembered her. But there was something in his eyes that made her realize he didn’t recognize her at all. He was looking down at her like he was actually…attracted to her. Deciding to have a little fun, Inara gave him a flirty smile and answered him. “I’m already here with someone.”

Zan returned her flirtatious smile and sat down beside her. “Not with a boyfriend, I hope.”

“And what if I was?”

“Well, I’d have to find this guy, whoever he is, and tell him that he’s fool for leaving such a beautiful woman by herself,” he answered, scooting a little closer to her.

Inara could feel her heart racing in her chest at how close he was to her. Stay strong, Inara, she reminded herself. Don’t let your feelings rule you. She knew that resisting him was going to be hard, but she refused to let this moment be anything more than it was. She knew that once he realized who she was, everything would go back to the way it had always been between them. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t enjoy this while it happening.

“Do I know you?” He asked suddenly.

Inara had to resist the urge to laugh at his question. She couldn’t believe that he really didn’t recognize her. He probably didn’t think about me too much after I left, she thought to herself, feeling a little hurt by the thought. But she quickly pushed that aside as she spoke. “I don’t know, do you?”

She knew that he was about to figure it out when they suddenly heard Rath’s voice. Inara looked over Zan’s shoulder and saw Rath heading towards them with Coraline close beside him. A little too close actually. I’m gonna have to have another talk with her.

“Hey, Rath. What’s up?” Zan asked.

“Where have you guys been?” She asked, eyeing both Rath and Coraline suspiciously before looking back at Zan and seeing the shock and confusion all over his face.

“How do you know Rath?” He asked.

Inara rolled her eyes and laughed. “Well, he is my brother after all.”

“Y-your…brother?”

“Hey, Zan,” Rath greeted back, smiling as he pat Zan on the shoulder. “I see you found Inara.”

“Hey, Zan,” Inara said, giving Zan a little smirk.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Zan eyes continued to watch Inara as she splashed in the water with Coraline, Rath and Larek. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her no matter how hard he tried. She had changed so much from the girl that had left for school five years ago. She was no longer the child that had followed him and Rath around constantly. She was a woman now, and he was very attracted to the woman she had become.

What the hell is wrong with me? He thought to himself. He couldn’t be attracted to Inara? She was like a sister to him, but he wasn’t looking at her like she was sister. He was looking at her like he wanted nothing more than to take her over and over again. He could just imagine her eyes closing, her breathy moans of pleasure as he slid into her, the way her body…

“Zan, are you okay?” Rath asked suddenly.

Zan’s face turned red in embarrassment as he realized that he’d been so focused on Inara that he hadn’t even realized when Rath came out of the water and walked towards him.

“I’m fine,” Zan answered, avoiding direct eye-contact with Rath. “I just have a lot on my mind right now.”

“Ava,” Rath guessed as he sat beside Zan in the sand. “I told you that being with her was going to bite you in the ass one day.”

As Rath laughed at what he said, Zan ignored the annoyance he felt at just the mention of Ava’s name. “No, Rath. It’s not about Ava.”

Rath shrugged. “Then what’s it about?”

Zan looked at Rath for a moment, not sure what to say. He couldn’t tell Rath that he was incredibly attracted to his little sister. Rath would be furious and forbid Zan from ever doing anything with Inara. And though, as the future king, Zan didn’t really have to do what Rath said, as his friend, Zan had to respect what Rath wanted. He couldn’t do anything that he knew would upset one of his best friends. Besides that, Zan didn’t even understand what he was feeling at the moment. He wouldn’t give in to this attraction if that’s all that it was. He remembered how much he had hurt her five years ago, and he refused to put her through that once again. He just had to ignore this feeling, and hope that it would go away soon.

“It’s nothing,” Zan replied simply. “So you must be happy to have Inara home?”

“Yeah,” Rath answered with a smile as he watched his sister splash around in the water. “You know I didn’t realize how much I missed her until I walked in her room and saw her standing there.”

Zan nodded, knowing how much Rath loved his sister. The two of them were silent for a moment before Zan finally asked the question that had been nagging him since he saw Inara. “Why didn’t anyone tell me that she was back?”

Though Zan was trying not to make a big deal about it, he wouldn’t lie, it stung a little. After she had left for school, Zan had barely heard from her. She had sent him some letters for the first couple of months, but after that he heard nothing. If it wasn’t for Rath, Vilandra and Serena, he wouldn’t have gotten any information at all. But he didn’t fault her for it. He knew that he had hurt her by not returning her feelings, but he wondered if they could ever truly move past that. Would they ever be able to be friends again? Since friendship was all they could ever have, he desparately wanted to get that back.

“She didn’t want a lot of people to know,” Rath answered. “Vilandra doesn’t even know yet. I just don’t think Inara was sure how long she’d be staying.”

The unsure tone in Rath’s voice made Zan look over at him. “What’s wrong?”

Rath shook his head and shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean, she seems like she’s fine, happy even, but it feels like there’s something she’s not saying.”

“What do you mean?”

Rath looked at Zan for a moment before he continued. “I didn’t even know that Inara was coming home either until a couple of weeks before her graduation. I flew to Aquaria to visit her and…she just seemed different, a little worried. She assured me that she was fine, but there was something in her eyes that told me she wasn’t entirely fine.”

Zan looked out at Inara, who was coming out of the water with the others, wondering what Rath was talking about. He hadn’t noticed anything wrong, but then he again, he wasn’t as close to Inara as Rath was. He hadn’t been close to Inara in a long time, and wondered if he ever would be again.

“Maybe nothing is wrong,” Zan said, looking at Rath again. “Maybe she meant it when she told you she was fine.”

“No, she’s not,” he said, shaking his head. “I can still see it in her eyes. Something’s bothering her…and she won’t tell me.”

Inara walked up to Zan and Rath, Coraline and Larek beside her, and took a seat in between Zan and Rath. “Hey,” she said with a smile. “What are you two talking about?”

Zan looked over at Rath . He could tell that Rath didn’t want to talk about it in front of Inara, and Zan certainly wasn’t going to ignore that. “Nothing,” Zan said with a shrug as he looked into Inara’s beautiful eyes. “We’re talking about nothing really. So’d you guys have fun out there?”

“Yeah, but I think we better call it a day,” Coraline said. “I’m exhausted .”

“Yeah, it is getting kinda late,” Rath agreed.

As Rath and Zan started to get up to leave with the others, Inara spoke. “Well, I’ll catch up in a little bit. I’m not quite ready to leave yet.”

Hearing that, Zan sat down beside Inara. “I think I’ll stay also,” he said, trying to act as casual as possible. “Why don’t you guys go ahead.”

Coraline tried to hide excitement about being alone with Rath, as she looped her arm around his. “That’s fine, Inara,” she said with a smile before looking up at Rath. “Rath, be a gentleman and walk a lady home.”

Rath nodded his head and said goodbye to the others before walking off with Coraline.

“Behave, you guys,” Inara called out in a joking tone, though she wasn’t entirely joking. She was starting to wonder if letting those two walk home without her, but once she looked back at Zan, she suddenly didn’t care. Gods, I’m hopeless, she thought to herself.

“Well, I better be off as well,” Larek said, breaking the moment. “There’s a meeting in the morning and my father insists that I be there.”

“Well, it was really nice seeing you again,” Inara said as she stood up and gave Larek a hug. She had seen him at several different parties and functions when she was younger, and she’d talked with him a little bit, but they had never just hung out and had fun like had today.

“Yeah, we’ll have to have lunch before I leave,” Larek told Inara as he released her from his embrace. He then looked at Zan and gave him an amused grin as he said, “We’ll talk later, okay?”

Zan resisted the urge to roll his eyes as he answered him. “Yeah, we’ll talk.”

As Zan watched Larek leave, he knew that he was going to get hell later from Larek when he saw him. He saw the look on Larek’s face when he realized that the girl he was now attracted to was Inara. Larek had to fight to keep from laughing his ass off. Zan sighed in annoyance, knowing that it would probably be awhile before Larek stopped making fun of him from this.

Aw well, Zan thought. I’ll get over it. As Zan looked at Inara, who had just sat back down beside him, all thoughts of Larek or anything else instantly faded away. Now all he was thinking about was getting to know this beautiful woman Inara had become, and how happy he was to finally be alone with her.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Four hours later, Zan and Inara finally called it a night and decided to take a carriage ride back to her father’s manor. The two of them talked the entire carriage ride to the manor, both of them feeling a pit of sorrow when the carriage finally stopped. Zan walked with Inara the rest of the way back to her home, wishing that their night wouldn’t end. He couldn’t believe how much he enjoyed talking with Inara. She’d grown up so much in the last five years and he could see that. She was still the same smart, witty girl that he’d always known, but there was an air of grace and maturity about her that he hadn’t seen before, or at least he hadn’t noticed before.

“Well, this is my door,” Inara said as she reached the front door of her home.

Zan stood there for a moment, unsure of what to say. He didn’t want this night to end. He’d had more fun with her tonight than he had with anyone else in his life.

Inara was feeling the exact same way. She had missed him so much during the five years she’d been away, and now that she was back, it was almost like she’d never left--almost. Now matter how much she still loved him, she would no longer allow herself to turn back into the girl who followed Zan around like a love-sick puppy. She had worked so hard to get some semblance of herself back and wasn’t about to go through it again.

Inara noticed Zan staring at her and she smiled at him. “What?”

“Oh, its nothing,” Zan chuckled an embarrassment. He hadn’t realized that he’d been staring. “I just can’t believe how grown up you are.”

“Do I really look that different?” She asked with a laugh.

Zan didn’t answer though. He couldn’t stop watching every single feature of her face. She was just so beautiful. He’d never been so attracted to someone in his life, and as he stared at her, he knew that fighting his feelings for her was going to be harder than he thought.

Inara couldn’t quite describe the way Zan was looking at her. If she didn’t know any better, she would think that he was feeling the same attraction she was, but she knew that couldn’t be true. Zan would never see her the way that she saw him.

“Well, uh, I better get inside,” she said quickly, wanting to get away from the overwhelming feelings that were coursing through her body. “Goodnight, Zan.”

She turned around and started to head inside when Zan stopped her.

“Wait, Inara, I wanted to tell you something.” Zan stepped towards her, waiting for her to turn around. He wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to say, but he wasn’t ready to say goodbye. When she turned around, he continued. “I guess I just wanted to apologize for the way I behaved today. You know, when I…”

“When you flirted with me,” she interrupted, smiling at him.

“Yeah,” Zan chuckled. “If I had realized that it was you, I wouldn’t have done that.”

Inara’s smile faltered as she listened to Zan. “Oh, so if you’d known who I was, you wouldn’t have flirted with me?” She asked in annoyance. Zan frowned in confusion so Inara continued. “Because I’m not the type of girl who gets flirted with?”

Zan’s eyes widened in shock, realizing that he had offended her. “No, no, that’s not what I--”

“You know men are attracted to me despite what you think,” she snapped angrily. “I am an attractive woman and just because you could never see that doesn’t mean that others can’t.”

Without another word, Inara turned away from Zan and stormed into her house, slamming the door in his face. And Zan was left standing there, staring at her door in shock.

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Re: Love& War on Antar (M/L ADULT) Chapter 7 9/15/08

Postby Cocogurl » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:44 pm

Hunter(2x): Have no fear. I'm back with a new update! :D
begonia9508: No, Zan's not used to it at all, but he'll have to get used to it. Because Inara's going to try and resist him for awhile. :wink:
Natalie36: I couldn't have said it better myself. :lol:
Lena7: I'm glad she is too. I wanted Zan's character to grow up a little bit before she gives in.
garcia88(2x): I completely agree with you there.
Kitten88: I'm so happy that you're liking this and I hope this next chapter doesn't disappoint.
ShatteredDreamer: I love writing for Inara now that she's all grown up.
Dreamer19: Yep, yep. Zan's got some apologizing to do. :lol:
jake17: Thank you so much, hon. I hope you enjoy this next part.

Now without further ado...

Chapter Eight

Inara walked into her home and slammed the door in Zan’s face. As she leaned against the door, she felt very frustrated and a little stupid. She honestly hadn’t meant to snap at him the way that she had, but it angered her the way Zan acted like she wasn’t the kind of woman that men would find attractive. But what if she was just overreacting? Zan probably didn’t mean it the way that it had sounded. Rolling her eyes, Inara sighed in annoyance. She couldn’t believe that she was letting something so silly get to her.

Not wanting to think about it any longer, Inara walked up the stairs, heading towards her bedroom. The only thing she wanted was to lay her head on her pillow and forget this whole thing.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Inara made it to her bedroom and got ready for bed. She sat at her vanity, staring at herself in the mirror while she brushed her hair. The sound of a beeping noise from her door made Inara turn away from her mirror. “Come in.”

A second later, her doors slid open and Coraline walked in with a sneaky smile on her face. “So, where’ve you been all night?” She asked as she plopped down at the end of Inara’s bed, excited to hear what she had to say.

Inara rolled her eyes and smiled as she resumed brushing through her hair. “Nothing happened, Coraline.”

“Why not?!” Coraline asked in disppointment. “Honey, you’re crazy about him. You always have been. And I saw the way he was looking at you.”

“How was he looking at me?”

“Like he would take you in a heartbeat if he could,” Coraline said with a smile.

Inara could feel herself blushing, but tried to ignore it as she answered her friend. “You’re crazy,” she chuckled. Placing her brush down, Inara stood up from her vanity table and walked over to her bed, ignoring Coraline’s penetrating stare as she got into her bed.

Coraline didn’t know what to say as she watched Inara get into bed. She couldn’t believe that Inara was ignoring what was right in front of her. She knew how Inara felt about Zan. He was all she talked about for the first couple of months on Aquaria. And now that man of her dreams was finally sitting up and taking notice and she was trying to act like nothing had changed, like she was still the same little girl who believed she would never get Zan’s affections. Coraline just didn’t understand it and never would. That was why Coraline would never allow herself to fall in love. She’d seen it turn to many people into helpless slaves to it’s power. She wasn’t going to let that happen to her.

Inara finally looked at Coraline and gave her an exasperated sigh. “Look, I really don’t want to talk about this right now…or ever. I’m over it.”

“Fine,” Coraline said with a sigh as she got up from Inara’s bed. “Live in denial if you like.”

“I’d rather talk about what happened when Rath walked you home tonight,” Inara said bluntly, making Coraline stop in her tracks.

“Are you still on that?” Coraline chuckled as she walked back towards Inara’s bed. “I already told you I’m not interested in Rath. He’s not my type.”

“Yes, but I know that you’re lying because every guy is your type,” Inara joked, but both girls knew that she wasn’t entirely kidding.”

“You know, I’d be really offended by that if it weren’t true,” she fired back, making both herself and Inara laugh for a moment before Coraline got serious. “Look, I know that you’re worried, but I promise you that I’m not going to try to get Rath. My friendship with you is so much more important than that.”

Inara smiled, feeling a lot more at ease. “Thank you.”

“Besides,” Coraline started as she walked towards the bedroom door, “I’m sure there are plenty Antarian men who would be more than happy to help me take my mind off of Rath.”

Inara laughed as she watched Coraline wave goodnight to her before leaving her bedroom. Using her telekinesis, Inara shut off all the lights in bedroom before snuggling underneath her comforter and falling asleep for the night.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Inara couldn’t have been asleep for more than two minutes when she opened her eyes and saw that she wasn’t in her bedroom anymore. She was standing in Zoran city just outside of the Antarian Royal Palace. She could feel terror course through her body as she walked through the streets of Zoran city. There were dead bodies littered everywhere, people were running and screaming through the streets. It was complete chaos. Inara’s once happy home had become a nightmare.

Suddenly the ground began to shake beneath her and she lost her balance and fell. But instead of landing on the ground like she had expected, she landed on the body of a young man--probably in his early twenties--and the sight made her physically ill. Most of his skin had been burnt beyond recognition, and what ever skin was left was barely hanging on his body. The smell of his burnt body made Inara physically nauseous and she had to close her eyes to keep from throwing up.

When she opened her eyes again, the dead body was gone and she was no longer in Zoran city. As she got to her feet she realized that she was now in the Antarian Palace, standing in the middle of the ballroom. Though it was less chaotic in there than it was outside, she could still feel the overwhelming sense of fear and pain all around her. It was so intense that it was almost crippling, but Inara used all of her strength to push those feelings aside as she walked around the ballroom. The room was completely empty, except for three lifeless bodies that lay lifeless in the middle of the ballroom. She could see the pool of blood surrounding their mutilated corpses and knew that they were people she knew. She didn’t know how, but she knew that they were people she cared deeply about. She took a deep breath and forced herself to walk over to them. She had know who they were.

She started to walk towards the three corpses when she suddenly felt like she was being watched. She looked around but couldn’t find anyone. She was all alone. She turned back to the three bodies only to find that were gone . The entire ballroom was clean once again, not a drop of blood anywhere.

“I loved you so much,” a malicious voice said from behind her. “But it has to end this way.”

She turned around just in time to see a shadowy figure plunge a silver dagger into her heart…


Inara bolted up in her bed drenched in sweat, her entire body shaking uncontrollably. Her fear was so strong that it took her a moment to realize that she was back in her bedroom. Her breathing had finally returned to normal before tears started sliding down her cheeks. She wished that these dreams would just stop. She’d been having them for months and she had hoped that once she would return home they would go away, but they haven’t and she was starting to fear that they never would.

Once the shaking had stopped and her breathing had finally returned to normal, Inara got out of her bed and walked over to her dresser by the window. Kneeling down, opened her bottom drawer and pulled out a strange necklace that she had gotten for her eighteenth birthday. She didn’t know who had sent it or why, but she knew that the dreams had started after receiving the necklace. Apart of her wanted to throw it way, hoping that the dreams would stop once she did, but something inside of her kept telling her to hold on to it. She didn’t know why, but she believed that this was happening to her for a reason and the necklace she was holding was the key. She just wasn’t sure if she was ready to find out.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“Father, back from Valeria I see,” Kivar said as he entered his father’s study and saw his father sitting at the desk, looking over some papers. “How was the trip?” He asked, taking a seat across from his father.

King Galen didn’t acknowledge him though, choosing instead to finish what he was reading. Kivar had to resist the urge to walk over to his father and slit his throat. His father’s complete lack of respect for his own son never ceased to amaze Kivar. Galen was the kind of man who believed in ruling Zantar with an iron fist. He also applied that same believe to how he raised his children, but know one had known tough love the way that Kivar had growing up. He could be cold and harsh with Ava sometimes, but it wasn’t the same. Since both Galen and the king and queen of Antar were certain that the witless Zan would come to his senses and marry Ava, she was pretty much the golden child of the family. But Kivar was the child that he tolerated. Kivar had spent most of his life trying to please his father, trying to become the man that his father would’ve wanted him to be, but it was never enough. Nothing Kivar did would every be good enough. The moment Kivar had realized that, his desire to please his father eventually turned into hatred and resentment. Now destroying his father was what he wanted, and he would have that chance one day. There wasn’t a person on Zantar that he hated more than his father.

Galen finally put down the papers that he was reading and looked up at his son. “Oh, it was wonderful,” he answered as he got up from his seat and walked over to the bar just a few feet away from the desk and poured himself a glass of Zantarian brandy.

“And how are the king and queen?” Kivar asked.

“Sero and Kathana are doing very well,” Galen answered before turning back to look at his son. “Their daughter was asking about you?”

Kivar didn’t like the look on his father’s face as he mention princess Saria. “I wonder why that is,” he said suspiciously. “We aren’t exactly close. The last time I talked to Saria was three years ago.”

Glass in hand, Galen walked towards his son and sat down at the end of his desk, looking at his son intently. “Look, son, you’re 22 years old now, and I’m not going to live forever,” he said.

“I don’t understand,” Kivar chuckled in confusion as he looked up at his father. “What exactly are you saying?”

Galen took a sip of his brandy before he spoke. “I’ve spoken with king Sero and we both agree that it’s time that both you and princess Saria settle down.”

“Father, no,” Kivar started, shaking his head, but Galen cut him off.

“We’ll be announcing your engagement next week.”

“So you thought I would just lie back and go along with all of this?” Kivar seethed, glaring at his father.

“That’s exactly what you’re going to do, son,” Galen answered, giving Kivar a stern look. Taking another sip of his drink, Galen walked back over to the bar and poured himself some more brandy. “You got yourself into this mess, Kivar.”

Kivar suddenly looked at his father as if he had two heads. Was this man completely crazy. “How do you figure that?” He asked, barely containing his anger.

“If had kept your focuse on Vilandra like you should’ve, it would’ve been you betrothed to her right now instead of that simpleton Rath,” he said as he poured more brandy into his glass. “And we would have the power of Antar with us.”

“I had no control over that,” Kivar argued as he stood up from his seat. He was so tired of having this argument with his father. His father had been blaming him about Rath and Vilandra’s engagement and he was getting sick of it. He refused to accept the blame for something he had no control over.

“It’s not important,” Galen stated simply. “What’s important is that you have a chance to repair some of the damage you’ve caused by not marrying Vilandra.” Putting his glass down, Galen turned around and walked towards his son, giving him a deadly serious look. “You are going to marry princess Saria…because if you don’t I will destroy you and anyone who takes your side. Are we clear?”

Kivar was practically seeing red at this point. More than anything he wanted to wrap his hand around his father’s neck and squeeze the life out of him until he lay dead on the floor. But he couldn’t. As much as he hated to admit it, his father was in control. Galen was a powerful man and if he wanted to hurt Kivar, he could and gladly would.

Knowing that fighting was pointless at the moment, Kivar nodded his head. “Yes, dad,” he said in an icy tone. “We’re very clear.”

Without another word, Kivar stormed out of his father’s study, unable to look at him any longer. As walked through the halls of the Zantarian Palace, Kivar could feel a deep rage coursing through his body, ready to burst out of him at any moment. It only fueled his desire to take his father down. He wanted to destroy his father, ruin him in ways that he couldn’t even imagine.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“Zan, are you all right?” Larek asked, startling Zan who was sitting by the fountain in Queen Amara’s garden. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”

“It’s all right, I just didn’t know anyone else was here,” Zan said as he went back to staring at nothing.

Larek could see the look on his friend’s face and took a seat beside him. It was obvious that Zan had something on his mind, and Larek had a pretty good idea what--or more precisely, who--it was. “You look like you’ve got something on your mind,” he said, resisting the urge to laugh.

Zan shook his head. “It’s nothing.”

“Hmm, this nothing wouldn’t happen to be a very cute brunette who happens to be Rath’s younger sister?” Larek asked, giving Zan a knowing smile.

“You know,” Zan stated with a chuckle.

“I know,” Larek nodded.

Getting serious again, Zan turned slightly towards Larek. “Inara’s not talking to me,” he confessed. “It’s been two days and she still won’t talk to me. And the thing that really bothers me is why do I care so much? Why does the idea of her being angry with me make me this upset?”

Larek laughed a little before saying, “Maybe you have feelings for her.” Zan didn’t answer, and that told Larek everything he needed to know. “Zan, if you have feelings for her then tell her.”

“I can’t,” Zan said sadly. “Rath wouldn’t like the idea of me with his little sister. And even if he was okay with it, I highly doubt that she still feels that way about me.”

Larek studied his friend for a moment, amazed at how much Inara had effected Zan. He remembered how much Zan used to talk about Inara, but he could tell that it was nothing more than a friendly adoration for her. Larek could tell from Zan’s eyes that obviously his feelings for her now were more than just friendly, and that made Larek happy. He’d watched Zan flirt and sleep with many girls in the past three years, only thinking about what made him happy in the moment. But Zan had a chance to experience real happiness, the kind that lasted forever, and Larek wanted his dear friend to have that.

“Zan,” Larek started, looking at Zan seriously, “I’ve never you seen you this worked up over someone before. I think you really care about her. And if you care about her, isn’t she worth putting your heart on the line for? Afterall, she did the same for you five years ago.”

Suddenly Zan’s mind went back to the night that Inara caught him and Ava kissing, the pain that she must’ve gone through. He didn’t get it before, but he did now. If he had seen Inara kissing some guy, he probably would’ve felt the same way she did five years ago. What the hell am I going to do? Zan wondered in confusion. More than anything he wanted to tell Inara how he felt, but there were too many things at stake. It wasn’t just Rath’s feelings to consider, it was his parents. They were dead set on him marrying Ava. Still, that wasn’t what concerned him the most about this situation. What if she doesn’t feel the same way? That question plagued his mind over and over again. He didn’t know how he’d react if she wasn’t feeling what he was feeling, he also didn’t know how he’d react if she did still feel the same way about him. He had already put her through so much before, the last thing he wanted was to see her go through all of the pain again if he ended up realizing that what he was feeling for was nothing more than a little crush.

Feeling too overwhelmed with confusion, Zan just shook his head. “I don’t really want to talk about it,” he said, hoping Larek would let it go for now.

“Okay,” Larek said, nodding his head. The two of them sat together in silence for a moment, both of them lost in their own thoughts. Suddenly an idea came to Larek’s mind and he stood up and smiled down at Zan. “Hey, I’m leaving Antar later today. Why don’t we have a lunch before I leave though?”

“I’m done with all of my duties today,” Zan said. “I’m completely free now.”

Larek smiled brightly. “Great, so I’ll see you for lunch later.”

Zan started to say something, but Larek had already turned around and walked out of the garden, leaving Zan all by himself once again. Larek walked through the halls of the palace, all the way to his bedroom. Once he was there, Larek shut the door and walked over to his desk. He turned on his holo-phone and contacted Inara. A moment later, Inara’s smiling face appeared in front of his eyes.

“Larek, it’s so good to hear from you,” Inara said cheerfully. “I was hoping to hear from you before you left Antar.”

Larek smiled. “It’s nice to talk with you too,” he said sincerely. “I’m actually leaving later today, that’s why I called. I was hoping that we could have lunch today before I leave.”

Inara’s smile brightened even more as she answered. “Oh my gods, I would love that!”

“Great,” Larek said. “So, I’ll see you later today? At 12:00?”

Inara nodded her head. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” Inara could hear her father calling her from downstairs. “I have to go, but I’ll see you later today, okay?”

Okay, then,” Larek said. “I’ll see you."

They both said their goodbyes and ended their holo-phones. Larek smiled in amusement as he leaned back in the chair. Inara and Zan were both going to fight their feelings for each other, Larek knew that. But he wasn’t going to make it easy for them. Larek wanted to see his friends happy, and he was going to do everything in his power to make sure that that happened.

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Re: Love & War on Antar (M/L ADULT) Chapter 8 10/7/08

Postby Cocogurl » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:03 am

garcia88(2x) - Thank you so much for your feedback. All I can tell you is that time will tell if Kivar will be on Zan’s side
Hunter - OMG, Hunter. Thank you so much! That is the sweetest thing, honey.
Lena7(2x) - Thanks you so much for your wonderful feedback. It’s really good seeing you here.
Michelle17 - Thank you so much. I’m glad that you enjoy.
begonia9508 - Zan should, but he won’t because he doesn’t really think his parents will believe him.
jake17 - Thanks, sweetie. I always look forward to your feedback.
dreamer19 - You are so right, dreamer19
Lizzie_Parker17 - They’re incredibly stubborn, but we all know they won’t be able to deny this much longer.
Egyptian_Kiss - Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback. I really hope that you enjoy this next part as well.

Thank you all so much for your encouraging feedback. And to all you lurkers out ther, I hope you're enjoying this story just as much. :D

Chapter Nine

Inara and Larek had lunch at a little resturaunt in Zoran city. The two were having a good time together, but every now and then, Inara would look around at all the people around her. As she looked at them, she couldn’t help thinking about the dream she had the other night. This citry was so full of life right now, but she couldn’t help picturing the way it was in her dreams. Frightening and filled with death and sadness. Inara pushed all of those thoughts out of her head as she looked back at Larek. She didn’t know why she was having those dreams, but they were just that. Dreams. She couldn’t let herself forget that.

Suddenly she noticed the way Larek kept looking at his watch and realized that she was not the only one with things on her mind. “What’s wrong?” She asked, making Larek look up at her. “Why do you keep looking at your watch?”

Larek chuckled and shook his head. “Oh, it’s nothing. Nothing at all.” Just then he looked over Inara’s shoulder and saw Zan walking over to their table. Perfect, he thought with a smile.

Inara noticed the smile on Larek’s face and looked behind her to see what he was looking at. Her eyes widened in shock when she spotted Zan heading their way. Inara looked back at Larek, her eyes wide with shock. “What’s Zan doing here?” She asked. But all Larek could do was shrug before Zan made it over to their table.

“Hey, sorry I’m…” Zan started, but was surprised when he saw Inara sitting at the table across from Larek. At a distance he couldn’t tell who it was, but now that he knew who it was, he wished very much that he could be somewhere else right now. She still wasn’t really talking to him, and he didn’t know how to make it right. He looked at Larek and glared at him, knowing what his friend was up to. I’m going to kill him, Zan thought when Larek smiled at him in amusement.

Finally, Zan looked back at Inara. “Hey, Inara,” he said, smiling shyly

“Hey,” she greeted back, avoiding Zan and Larek’s gazes. She had figured out what Larek was up to and wasn’t amused, but at the same time, she was slightly grateful for what Larek did. After the way she yelled at Zan two nights ago, she had been too embarrassed to come up and talk to Zan, so she was happy to have someone one invite him over instead. Inara looked at Zan and had to resist the urge to smile when she noticed the nervous look on his face. She could tell that he was feeling just as uncomfortable as she was, and that made her feel a liitle better.

Everything was silent for a moment before Larek spoke up. “Zan, why don’t you join us,” he said, pulling out a seat for Zan to sit in.

“Well, I don’t want to intrude,” Zan said, giving Larek a nasty look before looking over at Inara, wanting to know if she was okay with him being there.

Inara gave Zan an awkward smile and nodded. “Don’t be silly, you’re not intruding,” she said. “Afterall, we are all friends.”

Zan noticed the way she emphasized the word friends. And he wouldn’t lie, it stung a little. As he looked down at her beautiful face, he wanted to be so much more than friends. But he couldn’t. He couldn’t ever be more than friends with her. Not saying a word, Zan sat down in between Inara and Larek and the three of them had an awkward lunch together.

Zan and Inara both ate their meals in silence while Larek told them thing about the things he was doing on Aquaria, and the things he planned on doing. After about half an hour of talking, Larek realized that they were no where near making up. Dabbing his face down with a napkin, Larek stood up from his seat. “Excuse me,” he said. “I have to use the restroom.”

Zan and Inara both nodded their heads. As soon as Larek left, they became even more uncomfortable than they had been before. Neither one of them knew what to say to each other. Both of them felt incredibly stupid for the things they said a couple of nights before, but neither of them knew what to say to make it right again. Even if they did get past this stupid, little fight, they both could feel the intense attraction that they had for each other. And they both knew that it wouldn’t end well.

Finaly, Zan couldn’t take the silence any longer. “I’m sorry,” he said suddenly. “I’m sorry for what I said the night before. I didn’t mean for it to come out the way that it did. "And I’m sorry that I hurt you.”

“It’s okay,” Inara said, shaking her head. “I actually wanted to apologize also. I shouldn’t have blown up at you the way that I did. I guess I just overreacted.”

“I don’t blame you,” Zan said as he scooted his chair a little closer to hers. “I shouldn’t have said it the way that I did. I guess I’m still just trying to get used to the new you. You’ve, um…you’ve changed so much.”

Inara blushed at the way that Zan was staring at her. It was the same look he had given her the other day at the beach, like he desired her more than anything else. Deciding to test the waters a little bit, Inara smiled softly and leaned into him a little. “Is that good thing?” She asked gently.

“I’m not sure,” Zan said honestly. This wasn’t right. He knew that. There were so many reasons why he knew he couldn’t go down that road with Inara, but he could feel his resolve wavering a little. She was so beautiful and she was close enough that he could smell the scent of Antarian Orchids. How could he stay away from her? How could he resist this when everything in his heart and soul was telling him that she was special? Little did he know that at the moment, Inara had the same thoughts running through her head also.

Inara had thought that she had finally put those feelings behind her, that she was finally ready to move on with her life. But coming back home hadn’t proved anything, instead it had proved that she was still very much in love with Zan, even more so than she had been five years ago. It didn’t matter that he had broken her heart five years ago and it didn’t matter that she’d heard all the rumors about his playboy reputation. It just didn’t matter. Gods, she was in so much trouble.

“Am I interrupting something?” Larek’s intruding voice asked as he came back to the table, wearing a mischievous smile on his face. It looked like things were finally going the way he’d hoped.

Zan and Inara both broke out of their intense staring and moved away from each other, both of them wanting to pretend that the intense attraction they were feeling wasn’t there. Larek sat down in his seat and the three of them finished their lunch, but unlike before, all the akwardness was gone. Zan and Inara both felt more at ease with each other as three of them talked and laughed together. But Larek wasn’t a blind man. He could see the way were around each other, and was happy to see that things were going along as he had planned. He just hoped that they could see what he could before it was too late.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Kivar sat at a console in his father’s office, trying access any information that might be able to help him against his father, but he was getting nowhere. His father’s security system was just too sophisticated to crack. Kivar slammed his fist down in anger and leaned back in his seat, feeling completely powerless against his father. Just like Galen had said a week ago, he announced Kivar’s engagement to princess Saria. And Kivar had played the role of the happy fiance like his father had told him to, but inside, Kivar was fuming. He was already imagining the different ways he would kill his father, but it was useless unless he had something that he could use against his father.

“Aww, is someone having a temper tantrum?” Ava’s annoying voice said as she stood behind Kivar, looking down at him with an amused smile.

Ava wasn’t a blind woman. She knew exactly why Kivar was in their father’s office at this hour of the night. She was well aware of the war going on between their father and Kivar, if one could call it a war. Their father had all the power in this family and Ava knew that as long as she did as she was told, he would provide for her, and she was more than okay with that. But her brother was a different story. Kivar was always going to try and defeat his father no matter how futile it was. Even though Ava knew that Kivar would never win against Galen, it didn’t mean that she didn’t enjoy watching him try.

“Go away, Ava,” Kivar said angrily. He was in no mood to deal with her at the moment.

Ava shook her head in bewilderment. “Why won’t you just give up, Kivar?” She asked. “You are never going to beat daddy. He’s…he’s just too strong. Why won’t you just accept that?”

Kivar stood up from his seat and whirled around to look at her, pure fury in his eyes. “Because unlike you,” he started in a deadly serious tone. “I’m not content with just being a mindless drone for him to control.”

“Mindless drone?” Ava scoffed. “Is that what you think I am?” When Kivar didn’t answer, Ava turned around and walked over to one of the lounges by the fireplace, sitting down slowly and looking back at Kivar and gave him a cocky smile. “Hmm, I guess that’s why I’m the one living the good life and you’re the one who’s forced to marry that fool Saria. All because you couldn’t do even one thing father asked.”

“Yeah, and what do you think daddy will do when he realizes that Zan will never marry you?” Kivar challenged, giving her the same cocky smile.

“That’s not going to happen,” Ava said, shaking her head.

“Really?” he asked as he folded his arms across his chest. “And what makes you so sure?”

“Zan is a smart man,” Ava said with a sigh, leaning back in the lounge chair. “Except for when it comes to love. He’s an absolute fool when it comes to love, and the one that he loves is me, even if he doesn't want to admit it to himself."

“So you think you can play on his feelings for you?”

“It’s every man’s weakness, even if they don’t realize it,” Ava answered and then chuckled a little bit. “You should know. I remember that silly infatuation you had with General Jarek’s daughter. I bet you’ll go back to your sicko stalker ways once you see her at the wedding.”

“What are you talking about?” Kivar asked in shock. Inara was going to be at the wedding? After she had went to school, it was like she had completely disappeared. And now she was suddenly back. Why didn’t anyone tell him this?

“You didn’t know,” Ava said, wearing a smirk on her face. “I’m surprised. I have to say I figured you would be the first to find out about Inara’s return home.”

“Shut up,” Kivar snapped as he turned around and walked over to his father’s bar and poured himself a drink.

“Ooh, I see that I struck a nerve.” Ava smiled wickedly as she watched her brother. It was so easy to get a rise out of Kivar, and she enjoyed every single second of it. “You know, I always thought you two would be perfect together. I mean, you two both had something really special in common.”

When Kivar looked back at her, she continued. “Well, you were both too pathetic to realize that the people that you wanted could never want you back,” she finished, knowing that Kivar would remember the way Inara felt about Zan.

Suddenly the lights started to dim all around them and then a second later, Kivar shattered the glass in his hand, feeling his rage start to bubble to the surface. But he quickly got himself back under control, not wanting to give Ava any more satisfaction than she was already getting by screwing with his head. He didn’t despise his sister as much as he did their father, but he still wouldn’t mind seeing her suffer a little bit too.

“You should be careful,” Ava said in a smug voice. “That temper of yours could get you in real trouble one day.”

Kivar looked at her angrily, clenching his fists at his sides. He then winced when he felt some of the tiny shards of glass start to dig into his right hand. “I’m going to bed,” he said through clenched teeth. He started to walk out of the study when Ava’s spoke again.

“You’re never going to stop him,” Ava said, turning more serious. “and if you try, he will hurt you in ways you can’t even imagine.”

Not if I can hurt him first, Kivar thought to himself. He would stop his father if it was the last thing he did, and it very well may be. Kivar turned around and could see the deadly serious look on her face. “Are you worried about me?” He asked. It was his turn to smirk when his little sister didn’t answer. “Well, this is knew. Princess Ava of Zantar actually worried about another person.”

“Don’t act so shocked, Kivar,” she snapped, her worried face turning hard once more. “I’m not completely cold hearted.” Nonchalantly, she brushed a few strands of her behind her. “And my worry isn’t just for you. I also have my own reasons for not wanting daddy to rip you into pieces.”

Ava wasn’t stupid. Even if Kivar couldn’t beat their father, she knew that he was very intelligent and strong, and the only one in the galaxy who could even come close to doing so. But he was also a slave to his emotions. Both of those reasons alone were enough to make him a powerful asset to her one day. And if things went the way that she wanted, she would have complete control of both Antar and Zantar.

Kivar cocked his head in curiosity. “And what exactly would those reasons be?”

Ava just smiled at him. “Goodnight, big brother,” she said, brushing past him and leaving the study.

Kivar stood their for moment, unsure of what to make of his littile sister’s attitude. He was definitely going to have to keep an eye on her. Kivar decided to call it a night and left his father’s study, resealing the door behind him before leaving. As he walked through halls of the Zantarian castle to his bedroom, his mind wander over to Inara. He thought about her a lot in the last five years and even thought about trying to see her, but his father had been keeping pretty tight leash on him for awhile, which made it impossible for him doing anything except what his father wanted him to do. He wondered what she looked like now. She was probably even more beautiful than she had been five years ago.

Kivar stopped for a moment and chuckled at himself. He had thought that his love for her would’ve faded over the years, but it never did. Not once. If anything, his love for her grew as thought about when he would get to see her again. He imagined what that moment would be like when he would finally win her heart. It was the only thing that got him through most days and it was part of what inspired him to break free of his father. Kivar wanted Inara more than anything, but he would never be able to as long as his father kept insisting on this asinine wedding to princess Saria.

He had to take care of his father first, and then he would make Inara fall in love with him. And once he got her, he vowed that he would never let her go.


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