I tossed and turned in my bed. I opened my eyes, wondering why I felt so restless all of a sudden. I looked at the window, seeing that it was still pitch black outside. Then I felt a presence. There was someone else in the room with me and that’s why I woke up. I looked into the darkness, my pupils turning to slits, to let me see in the dark better. I couldn’t pick out the details, but I could see a figure standing in the dark not far from the bed.
“Don’t worry it’s just me.”
“Leon?” I said.
I heard his footsteps and him stopping right next to the bed. “Hey princess.”
“What are you doing here? How did you get in here?” I asked.
“Well I got in here through the window. The reason I’m here is so you can have some fun.”
“Fun? What do you mean? It’s pitch black outside.”
I heard him chuckle in the dark. He threw the covers off of me. “Get out of bed.” He said.
I got out of the bed and followed him to the window. He quietly opened it up and offered me his hand. I took his hand and he pulled me into his arms. For a moment he was hugging me, like he wouldn’t let go. Then he picked me up into his arms and jumped out of the window. As soon as he landed, he jumped again. He jumped over the castle wall without being seen. He jumped onto the roof of a house and ran until he got to the edge and jumped to the next roof. He continued to do this until we reached the jungle.
When he reached the jungle, and out of everyone’s sight, he set me down. He took hold of my hand and started walking. His hand was warm in my and I couldn’t help, but blush a bit. I squeezed his hand a little, not wanting to let go. The grip was tight enough that his quickened pulse could be felt. As we walked, I realized that we were walking deeper and deeper into the jungle.
“Where are we going?” I asked him.
He stopped and turned his head, a huge smile that reached his eyes. “It’s a secret.” Then he continued walking.
We walked for a good while, before we stopped in front of a giant tree that was at least fifty feet tall. I looked at Leon, confused about why we stopped here. I looked around, trying to see or sense the reason for stopping all of a sudden.
“What I wanted to show you is up this try, so get on my back and I’ll take you up there.” Leon said.
I rolled my eyes at him. Obviously he thought that I couldn’t do anything by myself. I crouched down and position myself. Then I launched myself upward and using my claws I clung to the tree. I looked down at Leon, who looked astonished.
“Well what are you waiting for?” I said.
I began to climb up the tree. I heard Leon jump and start climbing too. He was quick, so it didn’t take him long to catch up to me. In fact, he was ahead of me in only a few minutes.
“So, what’s up this tree?” I asked, as we climbed.
“You’ll see.” Leon said.
Leon reached the top before I did. When I finally climbed up to the top, I noticed that it was unusually bright. The brightness took me by surprised and I lost my grip a bit. Leon grabbed my hand and pulled me onto one of the tree’s giant branches. The tree’s branch was wider than I was tall. I looked around to see where the bright light was coming from and was amazed to find that it was coming from flowers. They were flowers that were as silver as the full moon and was just as bright.
“What are these?” I asked.
“They’re called, Storoa Wosa. It means ‘flower of the moon’ in our old language.” Leon said.
“They’re so beautiful.” I said, entranced by the beauty of the flowers. “But why didn’t we see them from the ground?”
“The flowers grow away from the sun, not towards it. They are flowers of the night, therefore they only open up during the night and live off of the moonlight. Because of how deep into the tree they are, from the ground you wouldn’t see them.” Leon said.
I walked a couple steps and touched one of the beautiful flowers. The petals felt like velvet. Leon came up from behind me and gave me a hug. We slowly began to sway as we looked at the flowers. I leaned my head back a bit and rested it on his chest. Leon began to hum a strange, but beautiful tune. I closed my eyes and listened to his humming as we both continued to sway.
“What is that tune you’re humming?” I asked.
“It’s not a tune Ara. It’s the jungle. Close your eyes and listen?” he whispered.
I closed my eyes and listened. My ears twitched as I listened to the sounds of the jungle. As I listened I recognized the tune that Leon was humming. My feet began to move on their own. I twirled on the branch, dancing to the jungle’s tune. Leon took my hand and put his arm around my waist. I put my arm on his shoulder and we began to dance to the sounds of the night.
It was like being in a dream. It was like one of those beautiful and wonderful dreams that I never wanted to wake up from. A dream that I wished would last for all eternity. But unfortunately, like all dreams, it will eventually come to an end. No matter how wonderful it is, all dreams end when the night ends. When the beauty of the night that brought this wonderful dream disappears with the rising of the sun.
We stopped dancing, but we didn’t let go of each other. We stared into each other’s eyes. Leon had such beautiful green eyes. He let go of my hand and gently touched my face. He leaned in closer and kissed me gently. I didn’t want a gentle kiss though. I put my other hand on Leon’s shoulder and made the kiss more fierce. Leon didn’t push me away, instead he went along with it and gave into the kiss. Taking his hand from my face and placing it on my hip. He brought me closer to him. Our bodies now touching each other.
When the kiss broke, we were both breathing hard. Leon stepped away from me. His head bowed. He got down on one knee.
“I’m sorry princess. I beg for your forgiveness.” Leon said.
“What do you mean? There’s nothing to be sorry about and nothing to forgive.” I said.
“I kissed you princess.” Leon said.
I walked towards Leon and put both of my hands on his face. I tilted his head up, so he was looking at me.
“Leon, it doesn’t matter if you kissed me. I kissed you right back. So, there is nothing you should be sorry about.”
“Princess, it’s alright for you to kiss me, but it’s not okay for me to kiss you. If Lord Tamesis ever found out, then I could be sent into exile or put to death.” Leon said.
I hugged Leon. He wrapped his arms around my waist, his head on my stomach. We stayed like that for a few moments. Probably both of us wishing that time would freeze for this moment and last for eternity. Leon let go and stood up. He turned his back to me.
“I have to get you back to the castle. Everyone will be in a panic if they find you gone.” Leon said.
He picked a flower from the tree and faced me. His eyes and face were blank. He put the flower in my hair. His hand holding onto one lock of my hair. He raised the lock to his lips and kissed it. Then he let it go. My face turned red and that earned me a small, sad smile from Leon.
He jumped from the tree and I followed him. I was proud that I was able to land on the ground safely. I guess the saying, “cats always land on their feet” was true. We walked back the way we came. This time we didn’t hold hands. We walked back with an awkward silence between us. When we got to the edge of the jungle, Leon picked me up in his arms again.
He jumped from house to house and to the castle wall. He jumped over it just like last time. He jumped up to my open window and went inside. He set me down and without saying a word, he left. I watched him leave, my heart feeling heavy. I went to the window and closed it. The sun was starting to rise.
I looked down at my nightgown. It was dirty and torn. I went to the wardrobe and found another nightgown. I took off my other one and quickly slipped the new one on. I picked the dirty one off the floor. I was wondering what I should do with it. I didn’t have a clue where I should put it, so I went to my bed and stuffed it under the mattress.
I laid down on the bed, looking at the Storoa Wosa that Leon had picked for me. While I stared at the flower, I replayed in my head what had happened only a few hours ago. Did I like Leon? Yes. But I think the real question would be is, did I love him? Maybe. I could love him, but I was not really sure. If teenage cat demons are like teenage humans, then this feeling we have for each other could just be our hormones. Or it could just be our natural animal instincts just trying to help us find a mate and has nothing to do with love, but more with lust. So, the question remains about whether or not I actually love Leon. If I do, then could I go through with marrying Tamesis? Or will Leon and I end up like the couples of forbidden love in the stories?