The entire castle was in an uproar. Princess Mirage was missing.
"WHERE IS SHE?" King Sarosh screamed as he kicked Mirage's bedroom door open. The windows were open and the room looked undisturbed. Her bed was made and her gowns looked beautiful, draped over the mannequins. The morning of the princes' arrival was a point of high tension. The first prince was to arrive in the afternoon from Azadania and it was already past 12. Prince Armaan. He was arriving via carriages, and his entire family was coming with him. The castle was decked out in the princes' honor. Scrubbed to within an inch of perfection, it gleamed majestically. King Sarosh had gazed proudly at it from the gates to take it all in when a small scrap of paper had arrived, beckoning him.
Queen Nadira had gone up to the princess's room, hoping to give Mirage a pep-talk when she had discovered the princess's disappearance. It would not have been so worrying; she'd always disappear off to God-knows-where whenever she'd feel like it, but had it not been for the mysteriously disappearing 17 ladies-in-waiting, Queen Nadira wouldn't ever have noticed. Now she looked warily around Mirage's room from the door, silently cursing her own fortunes at having given birth to such a challenging child. The Vazir stood on the stairs, his expression passive.
As King Sarosh screamed some more, cursing and lunging at the princess's bedside tables in search of some clue to her disappearance, Queen Nadira glanced at the Vazir, and instantly knew he knew where Mirage was. Her mouth set in a grim line.
This is what you get when you eat sweets during pregnancy, a hyper misbehaving child, she thought sighing as she heard her husband's special curse word.
Shaking her head, she entered the room and stepped over a tipped mannequin, the turquoise dress on it ripped. Probably wanted to rip its head off but it didn't have one, she thought with disdain. By this time, King Sarosh had run out of steam, and was grumpily looking out the window, standing stock-still, his breathing heavy, head bowed with his eyes closed.
Reaching her husband's side, she tentatively put her hand on his shoulder. The guards who had been told to station themselves beside Mirage's room silently took their positions.
"Why does she always challenge me?" King Sarosh whispered.
The Queen stayed silent. Probably because she takes after you and you're no lesser of a pain in the…, the Queen thought sulkily as King Sarosh continued, "I do everything for her, and this is what she gives me in return? Running away like this! Without any message about when she'll be back!"
"She will return." The Queen murmured.
King Sarosh shrugged off her hand irritably. "Of course, she'll be back. But why did she have to go today of all days?" He threw his arms in frustration.
Queen Nadira shrugged.
"Do you know where she is?" He asked, looking helpless suddenly.
Nodding weakly, she pointed to Mirage's dressing table mirror. Turning slowly, King Sarosh stared at the corner which was in shade. His eyes focused and there it was; her informative message, cheeky as ever.
"Didn't feel like looking at the boys. Going for fun, will arrive in three days' time. Don't look for me."
"Three days?" The king whispered; his eyes huge.
The Queen stood silently, looking down.
Suddenly, the king found his steam. "SHE. IS. A. PRINCESS!" He screamed, the veins on the side of his neck and forehead bulging. Marching up to the dressing table, he gripped the mirror and with all his might, snapped it off and threw it out the window. "SHE IS A DISGRACE. SHE IS A SCAR ON THE NAME OF THIS FAMILY AND THIS COUNTRY. SHE HAS NO BRAINS." He screamed, turning to his wife who looked at him attentively, her hands clasped behind her back. She had been his wife for a while now; she was used to his temper. "WHAT IF SHE GETS HERSELF KILLED? OR THOSE GIRLS SHE RUNS AROUND WITH! HOW COULD SHE DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO US! WHY IS SHE LIKE THIS?! HOW WILL SHE EVER BE A RULER OF THIS COUNTRY IF SHE NEVER. GROWS. UP!" and picking up the rest of Mirage's seldom used dresser, he chucked it out the window. Half of it smashed against the stone wall while the other half flew out, its splinters raining on the ground.
The guards outside stood like statues, not daring to move even an inch, not breathing. The Vazir looked down at the spiral staircase and around the corner, princesses Aria and Alana stood, their eyes wide, faces flushed. The Vazir shook his head, and hesitantly, the princesses stumbled back down the stairs.
"Father is going to kill her when she gets back home." Aria whispered to Alana, picking up her skirts as they walked back down.
The king sat down heavily on Mirage's bed, his head in his hands.
The queen tilted her head and looked at him. "This time, she's gone too far, hasn't she?" She said in a low voice.
The king looked up. He said nothing for a few seconds than asked, "Do you think I made the right choice in naming her as my successor?"
The queen pursed her lips and suddenly straightened. "You didn't have a choice, did you? She was a born Queen."
Resigned, the king shook his head. "Damn that girl."
7 hours before, Mirage had woken up to sound of silence. It made her uneasy when all she could hear was the sound of her own blood gushing through her veins. Yet snuggling under the covers, she reveled in the sheer relaxation that at that moment, nothing could bother her. Then suddenly the plans for the day ahead skidded in her head and kicked her thoughts of relaxation out. Her eyes flew open as she processed the information. Struggling, she threw the blanket off her as if it was suffocating her and sat up, rubbing her eyes. Holding her face, she dug her nails into her skin, trying to rationalize why suddenly she wanted to haul herself off the roof of the tower, or run away from this place, never to look back. This is the day, she thought, willing her to feel enthusiastic but felt her spirit fail. No, it can't be so soon, this is madness. And panicking, she bounced off the bed, and easing her voluminous nightgown, she ran to the door and wrenching it open, hurried down the stairs. The castle had guards stationed around every corner ever since the festival, and sadly, the construction of this castle hadn't allowed for any secret passageways she could discover. Hopping to a stop at the last flight of stairs, she peeked down at the corner and surely enough, there were two guards around the bend, each looking alert and tired at the same time.
With no idea of how to get past them, Mirage shivered with anxiety. I have to get out of here, she thought. Looking around wildly, she hopped back up on the step and ran back to her room. Her ladies always helped her in dressing up since she had no sense of what a girl actually wore until recently. Grabbing her old clothes from underneath her bed, she shook them open, sneezing at the dust.
"They'll do." She murmured, and pulled the dressing gown off her head. Now she knew why her father had been so keen to give her the tower; she'd have trouble escaping.
Pulling on a white European-style tunic over her head, she bunny-hopped to the dressing table as she pulled up her blue cotton trousers and grabbing a ribbon, tried tying her hair but they were too silky, so running her fingers in, she gathered them up and stuck as many pins as she could. Satisfied that they were enough to hold her wild hair, she ran back to the bed and pulling on her black waistcoat, yanked on her bejeweled empire slippers. Reluctantly, she grabbed the kohl bottle from the end of the table and streaked her eyes. She didn't want to admit it but after 4 hours of a wrestling match with her sisters who had wielded the kohl sticks to put in her eyes, even she had to say that her eyes looked beautiful.
She attached her sword to her belt and nodding at her reflection in the mirror from afar; she stalked up to the door and out, slamming it behind her. Mirage stepped heavily down the stairs, and as she appeared at the landing, she swallowed; and stomping off to the hall, mumbled, "Hunting" to the guards. As if they need any justification, she thought, but realized that she had probably said it so her father wouldn't kill them later.
The guards stared at her as she walked off, and glancing at one another, resumed their position, uncertain as to whether they should seek suspicion in the fact that Mirage was going hunting at 5 in the morning when she always woke up around 3 in the afternoon. She sneaked around the corridors, scared out of her wits that the next shadow might turn out to be her father. The immense relief she felt when she finally saw the main doors of the castle send her into a sprint and the guards quickly opened the doors as she burst out, not acknowledging them. Hurrying to the quarter, Mirage breathed, exhilarated at having made her escape. All the guards stared at her as she ran past, but they had seen weirder stuff than Mirage at 5 in the morning, so that didn't alarm them as much. Nodding at the guards at the entrance of the gate to the quarters, they dragged them open, and she flew in. Knocking on the door with her fist, Mirage wondered why she was even using such courtesies as knocking when she'd usually just burst in.
A flicker of light came on inside the stone house, and the large door opened to reveal Tatiana, her senior-most ladies-in-waiting. Grecian with wavy brown hair and large brown eyes; her mother had sought comfort at the castle, seeking sanctuary from her powerful abusive husband. Queen Nadira, who had not yet given birth to Mirage had taken the women and one-week old Tatiana in and had kept her close. Tatiana's mother, Eve had worked as head cook in the castle since then and when she had died 6 years before in her sleep, Tatiana; who was already close to Mirage became more closer, and had become the sister Mirage always wanted.
Staring at Mirage through bloodshot sleepy eyes, she blinked and adjusted the candle in her hand so the wax wouldn't drip on her hand.
"Your majesty?" She asked, as if she was looking at a ghost. Behind her, the others appeared, pulling on their dressing robes and bowing at the sight of her.
Mirage's teeth chattered even though it wasn't cold out. "I need to hide. You're all coming with me; I'm not leaving anyone behind. I need you all."
Tatiana's eyes widened for a second, and a moment later, she straightened up and nodded. Issuing rapid-fire instructions to the girls behind her, Tatiana ushered Mirage into the house.
"Don't make noise. We will sneak out." Mirage said to them all as they quickly changed their clothes, pulling on their numerous skirts and shirts and looking at each other a bit anxiously. Tatiana merely nodded.
Ready in a few moments, Mirage and the others hopped over the wall behind the house, as they had done so many times. Tip-toeing to the stables, Tatiana put her finger to her lips and signaled the others to follow Mirage who led them all through the narrow ways of the castle, desperately trying to dodge the guards, which was rather hard considering she had a party of 17 girls in tow.
Finally reaching the stables, they again hopped over the wall and reached the horses, waking some up gently. Tatiana stood beside Mirage who was staring at the doors, thinking of a way to get out.
"What now?" Tatiana asked.
Mirage nodded a few times as if she was talking to herself and just agreed on something. "Mound all the horses and gear up." She said to Tatiana who nodded, and went to her horse.
Mirage took a deep breath and strutting up to the door, opened them. The guards on either side of the door jumped and had their swords out in a second, pointing to her. Holding her hands up, she stuck her chin out. "Down", she said and quickly both guards lowered their swords, not meeting her eye.
Lowering her hands, she said in a low voice, commanding, "I'm going hunting. You will not tell anyone."
Both guards nodded eagerly, and holding the doors, opened them wide as Mirage disappeared inside the stables. Seconds later, Mirage reappeared, mounted on her favorite Arabian horse, black in color. Tatiana was beside her on her own horse.
Clicking her heels, Mirage's horse reared and started running, the guards staring agog as a long procession of the ladies followed. All the guards looked at her in shock as she went passed, and she couldn't stop smirking. Suddenly she got an idea, and as she neared her tower, she stopped her horse.
"I'll be right back." She called to Tatiana, and jumping off, she ran back up. Now she knew that she could make her escape and didn't stop as her footsteps made loud echoes throughout the castle. Lungs screaming, she ran straight up the stairs to her room, and marching up to the mirror, she grabbed the bottle of kohl and wrote a message on the mirror. Satisfied, she smiled smugly, and ran back down, slamming the door behind her.
She was free, at least for a few days. This thought was her support and as she turned the corner, she slammed into someone and staggered back. Sheepishly adjusting herself, she looked up and her smile disappeared. Abid, the Vazir stood staring at her with a disapproving glare. He didn't ask or even say anything but she knew he was waiting for an explanation.
Biting her lip, she stood, not knowing what to say. Abid stared at her and finally spoke, 'You run fast." He said quietly.
Breathing in, Mirage wounded her hands into fists, and said, "I'll be back in a few days."
Nodding as if he knew what was going inside her brain, he said, "So you keep saying… Where?" he asked.
That, I have not thought of, Mirage thought and suddenly felt the urge to cry.
Finally shaking his head, Abid leaned forward and whispered, "Saulta." He said to her in a resigned tone.
Looking up, Mirage smiled, and fighting the urge to hug him, nodded, and shuffling past him, ran out the doors. From the large windows beside the door, he saw her get on her horse, and disappear followed by her ladies.
She's in care, he thought, as if comforting himself.
Stroking his beard, he said in a clear voice, "Nothing was seen, nothing was heard." And walked off, back to his quarters as all the guards stood straight, still in shock at what they had just seen the princess do and as the gatehouse was signaled to lift up the iron barrier, Mirage smiled and looked at the heavens. Music, friends and freedom, here I come, she thought.
The atmosphere was dark. She could hear the women playing the guitars in a distance, the tune soothing and dream-like. The air was thick with smoke from the Sheesha, and the fragrance of tea hung heavy. Mirage lay back on her pillow and smiled, sucking on the pipe. She was surrounded by her ladies and with small groups of women on almost every setting of pillows, she felt she was safe. No one knew where she was and she knew that by now, her father must be going crazy trying to figure out his next move. Saulta was an underground club in the middle of Farajtah and was well-known to be an all-ladies club where Sheesha, alcohol and other luxuries were the easily available and the music was ever-changing. Discretion was the key and for her, it was of utmost importance. Saulta would protect her secret, probably because she was the one who had financially aided in building it. Basically, Mirage was the owner of Saulta. Raising her pipe to Abid, Mirage relaxed into the pillows. This was the perfect hideout. Since it was too close to home, King Sarosh would never think her to be there.
Behind her, Tatiana sat, her back straight, her expression tense. Mirage closed her eyes and held the pipe over her head towards Tatiana, who shook her head and moved it away. Instead, she leaned in and said in Mirage's ear, trying to be overheard above the din of the music, "Aren't you afraid?"
Looking up, Mirage regarded her lazily, "Not at all. Are you?"
Tatiana moved back and smiled slightly, "I have no reason to, but you do."
Mirage loved Tatiana's frank attitude and trusted her to be the only person whose opinion she mattered. If Tatiana said no slippers with the pink coronation gown, than no slippers it was.
Sitting up, which was slightly difficult due to the sheer amount of pillows surrounding her and her alcohol intake, Mirage shouted to her horde, "Bring me some Caviar." Snickering as one of the girls scurried off in search, frightened out of her wits; Mirage looked at Tatiana and dropped her smile.
"Tati, you tell me. All this is just crazy. Two weeks is not enough time to get it in my head." She said warily.
Tatiana pursed her lips. "So let me understand this Princess. You are hesitant?"
Mirage stayed silent for a few seconds and nodded.
"I do not understand you." She said. Noting Mirage's raised eyebrows, she continued. "Everything is going according to plan. You wanted to be Queen. You wanted to rule. Everything that has happened in the past years is your doing." She eyed Mirage sternly who was about to say something but snapped her mouth shut, "You know you are responsible. Why, even this marriage. You were happy. I remember you saying that you wanted to be married. So why is it that when everything is going to be what you want it to be, you aren't happy?"
Mirage looked out at a distance, lost in thought. Her caviar on bread arrived and absent-mindedly, she tossed one in her mouth. She knew why she wasn't happy. All of it had been her idea, but she hadn't wanted such bloodshed. The prince of Azadania would be in that castle right now and she couldn't face them. How could she? She had destroyed their livelihood, taken over their lands like she deserved to take them and killed the people like their lives and blood didn't matter. How could her father expect the Princes of those countries to consider her as their wife when she could not even stand to look them in the eye? They hated her. The guilt had been eating at her ever since she had first seen the names of those soldiers who had died in the name of Rehbartaj.
As she chewed on the black eggs, she looked around and wondered. Were any of these girls widows? How about her own ladies-in-waiting? How many of their husbands, fathers and brothers had died defending their country from a threat that was not even there to begin with.
She had made a mistake. Caught up in her father's greed, she had met the commanders, made the plans, negotiated indirectly, and become the linchpin in it all. So how could it be that now, she could stand up in front of all those who; once to-be kings; were now just choices in a line of meat. Pick one and throw the rest away, Mirage thought and knocking back the small cup of caviar, she shouted out to one of her ladies to bring her a bottle of wine and lying back into the pillows, closed her eyes. This is too much. I should relax… and enjoy, she thought as she was handed a glass of purple liquid.
"When are we leaving, father?" Salar asked leaning against a pillar with his arms crossed as his father threw birdseed at the pigeons.
Straightening up, King Darius looked out at the small patch of garden in front of his office. "In two days time, around twelve in the morning."
News kept coming to them. Today, 8 princes were arriving at Rehbartaj, and frankly, Salar was sick of it.
"Will I be wearing my purple tunic, father?" Salar asked, his tone dripping with sarcasm.
Throwing the birdseed from his fist, King Darius stared at Salar angrily, "Don't start with me." He said, his voice taking a deadly dip.
"I didn't say anything. I was only asking." Salar said innocently.
Running his hands through his hair, King Darius looked frustrated. The dowry had been set. The ship was ready to sail. Going up the river would take two days to reach the borders of Farajtah, and he didn't want to be the first of the eager ones looking for a place in the visitor's castle. He was going to take Salar with him, who would be going for the first time to Rehbartaj, whereas Salud had rejected the idea of his going along outright and had taken off for his dear Europe first thing in the morning after coming back for only 4 days.
Ignoring his son, he stalked past him and went up the marble staircase. Salar followed, smiling slightly over his childish victory of annoying his father.
Salar gazed at the portraits on the walls as he went past. They were majestic; beautifully painted and proof of his country's rich past. Sarosh will probably burn them, Salar thought darkly.
As his father entered his office, Salar caught sight of several large scrolls rolled up on his desk and asked curiously, "What are those?"
Looking at them from where he had stopped by the bookcase, King Darius waved his hand dismissively at them, "For you. They're portraits of the Rehbartaj family. I wanted you to be acquainted with them so you don't mess up their identities. I don't want you chatting up any of the sisters or the mother instead of Mirage."
Frowning at his father, Salar reached for the scrolls and one by one furled them open. There were 13 in all. 8 were of the children. His eyes rose slightly as he looked at the sisters Aria and Alana's portraits.
"They're beautiful." He murmured.
King Darius looked up furtively from his book and nodded, reading the words on the book's cover.
Smiling a bit at the portraits of the smallest children, he couldn't help feeling a slight twinge of guilt at his murderous thoughts for the royal family. He didn't know the children were this small. He didn't even know there were eight of them. Looking at the gap-toothed grin of the smallest child, Obediah, age 5, he wondered if the child knew his future. Obediah had the face of his father, and jet-black eyes and black hair, much like his famed sister. The second youngest, Shahzad looked a bit sullen but what could be mistaken for seriousness was actually silent mischief. The boy had his mother's hair, and his father's eyes, a deadly combination with tanned skin, but somehow, with his features, the boy pulled it off, looking quite dashing for a child of 8. The third youngest, a girl named Roxie was just like her oldest sisters, and had dark blue eyes with brown hair and a vivacious smile.
Salar flipped through the twin boy's portraits, smiling at the obvious mischief dripping through their wide eyes. Throwing King Sarosh's picture away, he stared at Queen Nadira.
"You were right, she's beyond ordinary…" He trailed off. How did they even get the paint for those eyes?! He thought.
"Are those eyes…?" He asked his father and silenced as Darius nodded.
Suddenly, moving energetically to the portraits, Darius flipped through them, and finally pulling one out, he took Queen Nadira's portrait and handed Salar the other. "Look at this one." He said, and waited expectantly as Salar frowned and straightened the picture and drew a sharp breath.
Moving behind Salar, King Darius whispered, "This was made a few days before the union feast. It was sent to all the states. King Sarosh wanted everyone to see his lovely heir."
Salar stayed silent. He hadn't expected this. His eyes roamed the dark gleaming hair, the whitish blue eyes. Icy, Salar thought staring at the piercing eyes framed by black kohl. Her lips were pink and inviting, and the smile on them dangerously seductive and yet the artist had done a masterpiece by shading the eyes to give them an uncertain look, as if she was nervous yet determined. So you're it, Salar thought, I must say I'm impressed. His eyes followed the swell of her curves; the turn in her locks looking so real as if she was standing in front of him and all he had to do was reach in and touch her. The urge to do so was making his light-headed.
He felt his heart softening yet beating fast. So this was the little troublemaker who had caused this entire ruckus. He suddenly felt the urge to take her in his arms and wring her neck at the same time.
He didn't notice his father clap him on the back and return to his chair behind the table. Darius slammed his book down and suddenly the spell caused by Mirage's portrait broke. Blinking, Salar looked up at his father and hesitantly shoved Mirage's portrait away.
Smiling slightly, King Darius said, "I must say Salar, this is the first time I've seen my boy blush. I didn't even know you were capable of that."
"Rubbish." Salar said, holding up the family portrait of the royal family, his eyes trained to Mirage. "I was just looking at her details. She's not that pretty."
"True. But if she wasn't, you would have said the opposite. I know you son." Darius said, wagging his finger.
Throwing away the portrait, he shoved the portraits of the couples out of the way and looked at his father, his hands on the table. "I know her now. And I'm going to make sure she becomes crazy for me. She'll be dancing on my fingers."
Shoving the thought of doing more than just making her dance by his fingers, Salar straightened up and casting one last glance at Mirage's face, he stretched, "I'm going for training. You make sure everything is ready for the day of the voyage."
"Of course, you go train. You'll need it. This isn't just some girl who will fall for you by your words, she'll need more." Darius called after him.
Slamming the door, Salar inhaled. His father had done this on purpose. Her portrait had unnerved him. He hadn't expected her to be… such a girl. He had expected some pug-faced girl who had the brains of a genius but he doubted that someone like her would have the brains of a fox, and yet; it was her. She was the full package. Images of her full lips and her eyes gazing into his filled his brain and he shook his head.
He widened his eyes and shaking his head once more, ambled off into the general direction of out. Walking past Suhrab who bowed as he went, Salar suddenly stopped in his tracks and turned; catching Suhrab by the shoulder. "We'll be leaving in two days, are you sure?"
Surprised, Suhrab nodded, "Yes sire. I'm sure."
Nodding, Salar looked distant. Thank suddenly snapping out of it, Salar mumbled to himself, "Get a grip, she's only a girl, you've seen hundreds." And letting go of Suhrab, went forward and hopped off the stairs.
Hearing the thud of Salar's feet hit firmly on the ground, Suhrab frowned slightly and made his way to King Darius's office.
Reaching for the door, he knocked and waited for permission. Hearing it, he stepped in and bowed. "The sailors are back, your highness, they want to have a word with you. And you have a three-thirty five appointment with the chamber of commerce. They'll be waiting for your speech on the civil crisis in the city of Wijah."
Noting King Darius's smile, he looked at the strewn portraits and put two and two together. Gathering them all, he rolled them all up and placed them in the drawers of the desk.
Looking back at King Darius standing idly by the bookcase, a book in his hand, Suhrab reminded him, "The sailors, sire."
Darius gazed back at Suhrab and held the book aloft, "How a prince must act to win honor, page 119." He said, and placing The Prince by Machiavelli back between the books, he clapped his hands as if dusting them off and walked out grandly, Suhrab followed behind him slightly shaking his head.
Behroz fell to the ground as Salar whooped, holding his sword above his head. Salar had thrown the sword at Behroz and had started sparing immediately, a man on a mission. 15 minutes into it, Behroz had been thrown to the ground 3 times, his own sword nowhere in sight. They'd both started fighting inside the armory and were now on the hills looking over the lake beside the castle.
Getting up, Behroz held up his hands in defeat.
Salar dropped his shoulders and looked at Behroz helplessly, "It's only been five minutes. C'mon, be a man." He said, throwing his sword at Behroz who caught it.
"I dare you, try and slash me with it." Salar held his arms wide.
Behroz tilted his head to the side and frowned. "What's wrong?"
"COME ON!" Salar shouted and launched himself at Behroz, hitting him in the stomach with his head, knocking him off his feet.
They both thrashed around as Salar rained fists on Behroz's face. Quick as a flash, Behroz was out of Salar reach and twisting, arched the sword underneath Salar's chin. Salar stopped.
Reaching behind him, Salar grabbed the sword from the handle and threw its blade away from his throat, and swinging it, rolled away from Behroz, pointing the sword at him.
"So why the sudden rush for a fight?" Behroz asked as he and Salar circled each other like lions.
Throwing the sword away, Salar beckoned Behroz to attack him. Smirking, Behroz reached out and taking his hand pulled him and threw Salar over his head to the ground beside him.
"You're distracted. What's wrong?" Behroz asked again as Salar coughed and sat up.
Breathing, Salar sat up right and balanced his arms on his knees. Looking up at Behroz, he sighed. "I saw her, B."
Behroz tilted his head. "And?" He asked, expectantly.
Squeezing his eyes shut, Salar breathed out, "Gorgeous."
Laughing, Behroz came and sat beside Salar, looking out at the sky. "So all the energy you'd like to take out on her, you're taking out on me?"
"Not as satisfying." Salar said, shoving Behroz gently with his shoulder.
"Of course. But will you really be planning on killing her in the way you were killing me just now?" Behroz said, nodding at the sword.
Salar shook his head, thinking. Suddenly, he didn't know why, but a musical voice ran through his head saying, "You're mine." Smiling, he thought with satisfaction. She was going to be his. He'll make sure of it. She'd look beautiful writhing in pleasure underneath him, and maybe above him. The shameless thought put a huge smile on his face. Suddenly, his world flipped upside down as he found himself in a headlock with Behroz.
Behroz released him instantly and Salar's arms flailed, "You're really out for it. She's cast a spell on you." He said, laughing.
Straightening up, Salar's arm sailed through the air, hitting Behroz in the jaw, who fell back yowling.
"Yeah she has." Salar said, feeling satisfied at last; but only slightly.