His palm sliding down Simone's lengthy back gently stirs her awake. The warmth of his breath woos her into closing her eyes yet again, and indulging in much needed rest. Work at the office would be hectic today with media crawling through like rats. She'd worked around and through them before but it was never fun or easy. They just lingered around like vultures, waiting for a unique take on the story or some new and more exciting story altogether. "Work", she thinks to herself. "I don't have to be in until late" She remembers Rivera's edict not to show up early today. There is a slim chance of that happening. If he wants things to go off flawlessly, as usual, she'd need to be in the office early, as usual.
Simone grimaces at the thought of pulling away from the warm arms enveloping her in the bed. Her eyes shoot open straight-way. "Who in God's name is in my bed?" She'd gone to bed alone, and fully expected to wake that way. The man, literally of her dreams, shouldn't be lingering around until morning. Fear takes her breath away as she pulls away from the man, fully expecting to fall out of her full-sized bed and expecting him to disappear like the dream that he is.
Much to her surprise, she doesn't fall. She's just further away from him, and in a bed twice the size of any King she's ever seen. He doesn't disappear either. The exotically handsome man stirs awake, to Simone's dismay. "What ails you my queen?" He says, as if he'd waken to her face many times before. "Who the hell are you?" she says screaming. "And where am I?" She crawls out and away from the massive bed, taking in the room. Her feet sink into plush sand colored carpeting. The room is bigger than her entire apartment. The bed alone likely cost more than all the possessions in her modest one bedroom suite. The toned, brawny man, with a copper complexion in front of her only looks up in bewilderment, seeming as confused as she is. It is him, the man from the bar: the man from her dreams.
"I'm dreaming that's all this is. I'm dreaming" Simone recites as she slowly backs away from the bed until she finally hits a wall. "But you aren't asleep my queen" the man says, still in the bed, propped up on his massive arms watching her. She doesn't feel asleep, she can feel her heart racing, and her nerves are completely shot. "I can't be loosing my mind, I have a press conference today" Simone mutters, knowing the absurdity of the comment. She's having a mental break down and her first concern is a press conference?
That's pathetic, she decides, even for her. The man Simone had previously only acknowledged as a dream companion stands from the bed and reveals his full majesty. He is 6'6 with a copper skin smooth enough to be a child's. His sinewy body ripples as he moves forward, every muscle beneath his taught skin struggling for its share of her attention. His long dark brown locks sway back and forth across his wide shoulders as he approaches. In her dreams he'd never stood bare chest in front of her, she now wishes he would have. Washboard abs don't even begin to describe what he has. His crème toned, loose, cloth pants hang low on his hips, daring gravity to pull them away and reveal more of his perfectly sculpted form. In complete fear, confusion, and frustration Simone still can't pull her eyes away.
"You look frightened, what has frightened you so?" He approaches but stops at a safe distance, sensing her trepidation. "Who are you?" She asks slowly, one word released at a time. The question sounds bizarre in her ears. He is a hallucination, or some lost memory. He looks at her as if the question is equally bizarre to him, but answers her anyway, "I am Jared, your husband my queen." He bows just slightly in a way that Simone had only seen on movies and ballroom dancing competitions. She wants to laugh at the thought, husband? She'd never even considered being married in her life.
"I think that maybe you're confused Jared. I'm not married, and least of all to you: some complete and total half naked stranger." Her tone is sharp, one which she uses at the office often with those being a little to pressing to get onto the mayors schedule or get off of it. The man's eyes are sad, like they always were when she'd seen him in her sleep. "Of course Your Majesty, What is your bidding?" Your majesty, he'd called her your majesty and my queen more than once. "Where am I, can you at least tell me that?" She is desperate, not knowing who this man really is or what he is capable of.
"You are home my queen, in our bed chambers." The word home resonates in her mind like an echo through the Grand Canyon. He'd always asked her to come home in her dreams. Simone is content in believing she is awake. Her body lets her know that this is not some dream by the speed of her heart and the sweat building on her neck and palms. Had she been kidnapped by some psychopath?
"This is not my home. I live in an apartment in Los Angeles. Please, I don't know who you are or what's going on but please let me leave." He can hear the desperation in her voice and the fear shaking her body is palpable. "You are always free to leave at your leisure, but you haven't been outside the palace walls in quite some time. Are you certain that is what you want?" Jared, as he'd called himself, wears a look of concern that Simone finds both comforting and disconcerting all at once. "Yes, it is what I want! Please, I just want to go home."
Tremors actively course through her body, Simone had never in her life considered what it would be like to be kidnapped by some lunatic. Would he hurt her? Was he really going to let her leave? Jared approaches Simone carefully as if he is on his guard against her. Simone finds his behavior absurd at best. What could she do to him? He is six and a half feet of stone compared to her five and a half feet of quivering Jell-O. Simone shrinks away against the wall as if trying to disappear through it when he reaches for her. She shuts her eyes tightly, afraid of what will happen next. Jared brushes away the moisture from her eyelashes with the thick pad of his thumb and pulls his hand back to examine the tear as if he'd not seen one before.
Simone hadn't noticed her tears until this very moment. He wipes the moisture away into his fingers and examines Simone curled up against the wall, terrified. "Something is wrong. What plagues you my lady?" Simone can hardly catch her breath. She'd fallen asleep and woken up to a strange man in a strange bed, in a place she'd never seen before. Worry furrows Jared's brows together as he continues to assess the woman before him cautiously. A piercing scream escapes Simone's lips as Jared literally sweeps her off the ground and into his arms.
"Put me down! What are you doing?" She struggles against him to no avail. Jared carries her forward like she is a small child, ignoring her thrashing about and lays her gently at the edge of the bed. "I will call for help" he says, still searching her eyes for some type of understanding. By this time Simone is sobbing, her fears had gotten the best of her when he'd picked her up and carried her over. "Please, do not distress my queen. I will find help."
With a quick flip of his palms Jared is fully dressed. Simone blinks through her tears, unsure of what she had just seen. He was wearing very little just moments before, but is now fitted in a long navy blue robe that appears to be made of very fine silk. Again he waves his palm and a chair appears at the foot of the bed. I must be losing my mind. Simone had settled on that idea. That's the only way any of this is possible. Her tears had subsided with the appearance of the chair. "I thought you were going for help" "I have" he says, still watching over her.
She'd hoped he would leave and give her a chance to escape the room, but upon further inspection she finds no door to escape from. The room has only walls. "But you haven't left the room or picked up a phone" she says with sarcasm brimming in her tone. "A phone? I'm not sure what it is you mean." His handsome face twists in honest confusion, like he'd never heard of a telephone. Of course my psychosis would be void of communication to the outside world. Simone muses in her mind. She wonders if her body is still wrapped up in bed, if she could snap out of this hallucination long enough to call the paramedics and get some help. A low rumble draws her attention away from Jared who is either a gorgeous hallucination or a gorgeous psychotic killer by her reasoning. She wipes her eyes, trying to be sure that she is seeing what she thinks she is. The walls part, opening a vast doorway that had not been there before and a woman walks through as if a wall opening up on itself were a common occurrence. That is it, more than Simone's mind is able to bare. She feels her consciousness slipping away as darkness fills her mind. The last thing she hears is Jared's voice before consciousness evades her. "The queen, she's fainted!"