Author: LittleMargarita PM
The Goblin King has fallen in love and chosen a bride. But he got more than he had bargained for. There's more to his bride than it meets the eye. Will it be worth the trouble? Rated T for now. Will turn into M eventually, but it will be borderline M.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 7 - Words: 20,571 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 01-01-12 - Published: 08-26-11 - id: 7323945
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hello! I'm still working on making some changes in the chapters I had already posted. Sorry to disappoint you if you were waiting for a new chapter. Anyway, I hope you continue reading. Thank you all for your reviews!
Disclaimer: You know the drill. I don't own the Hollow Kingdom Trilogy
As usual, Valeria woke up early the next morning. She felt very refreshed as she rubbed the sleep off from her eyes, and rolled off the bed. As she washed her face, she remembered the weird dream she had about the night before. Marak, she thought and her whole body stiffened as the details of her 'encounter' came at once. She hurried out of the bathroom and started to pace around the room frantically looking around, trying to find any proof that he…existed. However, her room remained intact and bore no indication that a mythical creature had been standing in it. Cautiously, she went to the sliding doors and peeked outside through the blinds, as if she was expecting the see the goblin himself standing outside on the porch. She blinked as the bright sunlight hit her eyes and she walked away from the sliding doors, leaving the blinds closed. She sat back on her bed and relived the strange encounter with Marak, remembering every detail of it again. Hugging her arms around herself, she wondered if she had imagined it at all. Shutting her eyes, she told herself it was a dream, a product of her imagination, but something deep inside of her told her otherwise. Shaking her head with finality, she stood up and firmly scolded herself for being so silly as to be scared of a dream. 'It was only a dream. A dream and nothing more…' she told herself, putting the memory of Marak on the back of her mind. She had better things to do than to fret about night time stories and mythical creatures, she concluded.
Slowly, she slid off the bed and headed into the bathroom to get ready for the day. Many thoughts ran through her head as she showered and changed. She wondered if it was healthy to be having dreams like the one she had the night before. It had felt so real. She wondered if she should even tell Miss Braadley about it, but then quickly dismissed the idea. If she said anything, people would surely think she had lost her sanity and she may be forced to see a doctor. Then she remembered the goblin's sharp, inquisitive eyes, and shivered involuntarily. Even imagining being under his scrutiny was unnerving to her. 'If he was real, I would not dare to defy him or lie to him' she thought 'He definitely seems to be someone that cannot be trifled with'. She frowned and wondered if this is how writers found the characters for their books, if they dreamed about them. This imaginary creature even had a name for goodness' sake!
She sighed with annoyance as she finished fixing her hair and looked at herself in the mirror. She could see the anxiety in her eyes and this made her grimace. Miss Bradley would surely see through her easily and would probe her with questions. But she could not tell her. What if she took it the wrong way and decided she needed to seek professional help? Oh no, she could not let that happen. She was not crazy. But then again, doing that would take her away from this place, she thought. 'I think it's time to leave. I didn't want to come here in the first place' she reasoned. 'You're running away again' another voice said in the back of her head 'You're avoiding your problems'. She shook her head to clear her thoughts and huffed, annoyed at herself. 'For goodness' sake girl! It was just a dream and nothing more! You're making a flood out of a puddle!' she thought to herself 'It was only natural that you would have dreams about goblins after listening to Marie's friends' silly stories about goblins and elves…'.
Then she thought of the months she had spent in silent depression and silent suffering. She had pretended to be all right, ignored her suffering, and had focused only on dancing to escape reality. Now that she had started to face her sorrows and overcome them, the success had given her a sense of empowerment and peace of mind. Worrying about a silly dream and thinking it was a sign of insanity due to the distress of those months, was a threat to that sense of empowerment room. Since she was really curious about the subject of goblins, she decided it would not be a bad idea to do some research on them. It would give her something to do, she thought and feeling better about the whole thing, she exited her room.
She ate breakfast quickly and then headed outside, remembering she had left the dirt bike against one of the trees at the front of the house. She found it where she had left it. Looking at it with some suspicion, she approached it and then proceeded to mount it. She mounted it cautiously, and then turned the ignition keys, and geared the gas handle. To her surprise it started right away, and when she kicked off to go forward, it did it with ease. She rode it for a bit, and it accelerated every time she hit the gas. 'It was only a dream. See? What more proof do you want? The bike is fine' she thought as she pulled over by the shed to put it away. Marak's sly expression crossed her mind for a fleeting moment, and decided that for an imaginary creature, he could be very infuriating.
Frowning with curiosity, she wondered if goblins could work magic. That would be something she would look up for sure when she started researching them. Sighing, she decided she would clear her head by going up to the studio to play some piano. The piano always seemed to soothe her thoughts when they were in turmoil.
Aristar had been observing her from the moment she had stepped out of the house. His eyes tingled with amusement at seeing the expressions of confusion, realization and denial in her face as she fooled around with the dirt bike. He had to give some credit to her. 'Other women would probably shut themselves in their room, quavering in anxiety', he thought. However, he wished his King would marry her already. He was starting to get bored of watching her all the time. He sighed as he watched her go back inside, and then flew off to report to the King.
Morgen, in his mouse form, listened to her play from a book shelf. Judging by the music she was playing, he could tell she was in a brooding mood. It amazed him that he was getting to know her so well. And he was even more amazed at how she handled her first encounter with the King. He had expected her to either faint or starting shrieking with fear. But she had not done either and in fact, had accepted their existence in a rather calm manner. Or at least, that's what it seemed like to him. However, he knew it would not be the same reaction when she found out that he and Aristar had been watching her from the moment she stepped into the property. Oh she was going to find that out one day, and he knew her anger was going to be colossal. And then he remembered his King telling her that what she had seen was a dream, and this caused him to grumble. He wondered why the King had decided to do such a thing when the girl had handled the encounter so well. Putting that thought on the back of his mind for the moment, he sighed contentedly, enjoying the lovely music. Closing his little eyes, he curled up comfortably to enjoy the private concert.
That afternoon, Valeria did some research on the subject of goblins with her laptop. And she found that no one really had a straight answer about what they were supposed to be like or how to even get rid of them. She did this in the solace of the room, as to not arise any suspicions. She didn't want her manager to start asking questions. Sitting comfortably on her bed, surrounded by pillows, Valeria navigated through different websites, looking for information on goblins. She snorted with amusement as she read an article about goblins making milk go sour with their laughter. 'I wonder what Marak would say about that…' she wondered, and then felt foolish about even considering the goblin's opinion. 'For someone who only existed in your dream, you think of him a lot…' she heard her inner voice said in a snarky tone. She rolled her eyes and continued reading. Several minutes later, she had found many articles that indicated that goblins were mischievous creatures and some indicated that they may have magical abilities, while other articles depicted them as blood thirsty, evil, spiteful creatures. She sighed, feeling a bit tired. Then, from the corner of her eye, she noticed the little brown mouse perched on one of the pillows, staring into her laptop's screen.
'You definitely aren't a shy one…' she said softly as she placed her open palm close to him, hoping he would jump into it.
He did and then she placed him on her shoulder, speaking to it, as if the mouse would understand her, "Do you know anything about goblins? I can't find anything that makes sense about them. Most of the things I've read feel wrong somehow…"
She sighed and closed the laptop, then said out loud, rubbing her temples gently, "I am not making any sense am I? Do think I have finally cracked and this is what I get for not dealing with my depression properly?" She turned her face towards the little mouse and scratched its little head gently, his little whiskers trembling slightly when she did so. She frowned and said "Do you think a vacation in a tropical country would do me any good?". Her face broke into a smile as the little mouse simply stared up at her. "And here I am talking to a mouse…ha ha. I think I am becoming insane…" she added.
She started to think about the 'dream' again. She tried to remember how she felt with the goblin so close to her. And concluded that she had felt Marak had no ill intentions towards her. She could not really say that her dream had been a nightmare because she had not woken up scared. She just woke up feeling…weird. That's the best way she could put it. 'What if I dream about it again?' she thought and let herself fall back on her pillows, and sighed. Closing her eyes, she decided she would then interview the goblin King and ask him all sorts of questions about his race. This thought made her laugh. Her thoughts were disrupted when she heard a tap on her sliding door. Sitting up with surprise, she took the mouse off her shoulder and placed him on the bed's head board gently, then jumped off the bed and went to see what was making that noise on her door.
To her surprise, it was Matthew. She unlocked the door and opened it to let him in. It was still mid afternoon and the sun was shining brightly.
"Hey there…How have you been?" Matthew asked as he leaned against the door frame. He was wearing work overalls and rubber boots covered in dirt. It was obvious he had been working on the gardens that afternoon.
"Doing all right. Just relaxing a bit…" She replied, feeling a bit awkward at being alone with him
"I was wondering if you'd like to go for a walk after I'm done with everything here. You haven't been up to the lake, have you?" he asked.
She shook her head in response and added "No, I haven't had the chance to see it yet…"
"So, what do you say? Would you like to go for a walk and see it?" he asked with a twinge of eagerness in his tone and a hopeful look.
She smiled a bit timidly and said "Yes, it sounds like it could be fun. And it's very nice out. I do need some fresh air…"
"Great! I'll come back in an hour or so, I'm almost done with everything that needs to be done…." His eyes were lit up with excitement. He had been expecting her to decline the invitation. He then turned around and said smiling, "I got to go back to work now, so I'll see you later…"
Once he was gone, she started to pace her room and started to bite her lower lip nervously. Marie had teased her once, hinting that Matthew fancied her. She started to have doubts about going on a walk with him alone. If Marie was right, she did not want to encourage it. But then again, she thought, as she tapped her chin gently, maybe he could tell her a bit more of the local stories about goblins. She changed into some more comfortable clothes to go hiking, and then went to look for Miss Bradley to let her know she was going out. Miss Bradley had gone to the Lodge for tea with Mrs. Wilkins, so Valeria opted for leaving her a note.
She went outside to the shed. She would go for a short joy ride on the dirt bike around the property before going on the walk with Matthew.
Morgen had witnessed the invitation of the walk and did not like it one bit. He could tell the boy was rather smitten with Valeria and she, in turn, seemed a bit reluctant to go. However, Valeria's safety was not a concern, for he did know that the boy would not harm her. His problem was the fact that Valeria was the King's chosen bride and it did not bid well that she was sought after by another male. He wondered why in the name of the First Fathers, King Marak had not taken her to the Underground already. Almost immediately, he remembered that the King was aware of Valeria's plight with grief and betrayal, and figured that the King did not want to aggravate her emotional state. She was still recovering after all. Annoyed with his King and his charge, Morgen ran out of the house and into the grass, and scurried into the forest, to report to Marak what was happening.
An hour later, Matthew and Valeria made their way through the forest trail, heading towards the lake. Trying her best to not seem so nervous or weird, Valeria asked Matthew if he knew any of the local stories about goblins.
"Why would you want to know about that?" He asked with some confusion.
"Because it's interesting to know what the folk tales are like in a town…you have no idea how many folk stories I've heard from all of the places I've visited…" she explained trying to sound as if it was a normal thing to ask.
Matthew rubbed the back of his neck, as he tried to remember the silly tales his mother would tell him to get him and Marie to behave. However, he only had vague memories of them. Then, he remembered Mrs. Wilkins telling Marie a story of elves and goblins once.
"Well, Mrs. Wilkins told Marie a tale…of how the elves and goblins steal girls to marry them. And that's why the older folk around here don't approve of unmarried women to roam around alone close to the woods. She said that a long, long time ago, a young girl named Kate Winslow and his little sister disappeared mysteriously. It was said that she was barely eighteen years old when she disappeared. She and her little sister came to live in Hallow Hill with some relatives. After a few weeks, Kate started to tell her guardians that goblins were trying to take her away. And then one day, just like that, she and her little sister vanished without a trace. Many people blame the guardian for their disappearance. Mr. Roberts, I think he was called, had wanted to get rid of them because Hallow Hill belonged to the girls and he wanted to take the property for himself. But anyway, in the past, every time there was a disappearance of a girl, it was blamed on goblins…or elves…the magical folk…whatever…" He said casually.
"There's been others?" Valeria asked, interested in his tale.
"Ummm…yes…" he said frowning as he realized something, then said "It's really strange, now that I think about it…There was some girl named Adele Roberts who lived in Hallow Hill as well, who disappeared much before Kate and Emily did…"
Valeria bit her lip at this bit of information and stiffened slightly as a cold shiver ran down her spine. Girls disappearing from the property she was staying at, goblin stories and her dream with the Goblin King, was it all really a coincidence?, she wondered. Luckily, Matthew had been too distracted to notice the slight tension in her eyes and gait, so she forced herself to relax and then said with a casual tone "Interesting. And where do you suppose the goblins live? I mean, they have to live somewhere…what do the stories say?"
"Well, I'm not sure. It is said they live in underground caverns, where it's cold, damp, and dark…the elves supposedly live in the forest and there are tales of sightings…" he said shrugging.
The wind started to pick up a little and the air had a hazy quality to it. The breeze that was rustling the trees smelled of rain. Matthew looked up at the sky, and frowned with disgust, then said "Huh…That's strange…I can usually tell when it's going to rain or not, and I could've sworn we would not have rain today. Of course, this part of the country is famous for its crazy stormy weather…but those clouds up there have an unusual feel to it…"
"Oh but maybe it won't rain right away…" Valeria suggested as they continued walking "Besides, we're almost there, right?"
"Yeah, a few more minutes and we'll reach the lake…" he said as he eyed the sky with suspicion. A gray haze started to form, too diffuse to be called clouds, but still too thick to be called anything else. The sun was still shining through it, though it was getting close to sunset. 'Hopefully it clears up so we can see the sunset together…' he thought eagerly. They both started to walk faster to reach their destination. And as they walked, Valeria noticed a small river which Matthew explained it was connected to the lake.
Once they reached the lake, they came to a clearing in front of it, and she could not help but to run to its shore. The sandy shore looked inviting and the water of the lake was almost still. The reflection of the sun on the lake's water made the whole place look brighter. 'It smells so fresh in here…' she thought as she walked along the shore and looked around. She knelt down and dipped her fingers in the water, and marveled at how peaceful this place made her feel. It was a very strange feeling, for never had she felt so much peace and calm in a place before. She glanced farther ahead and noted that the beach ended at a knotted looking tree, and its roots were submerged into the water. Around the roots, there were water lilies floating, which made her want to go there and pluck one out of the water. She stood up smiling and said to Matthew "It's lovely out here…thank you for showing it to me…"
Matthew smiled timidly and replied "Hardly anyone comes out here. It's a bit too far from the town. But sometimes we come here with the guys to swim and hang out…"
He came closer to her and tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, the same one that Marak had tucked behind her ear the night before, and said softly "I'm glad you liked it…"
They were both standing in front of each other, and Valeria's heart started to beat frantically. She could hear it pumping at a mad rate in her ears. She looked up at Matthew nervously and he looked down at her with fascinated eyes. He leaned down over to her, with the intention of kissing her. Valeria froze in the spot and thoughts of her ex-fiancée started to run through her mind. She admitted to herself that Matthew was good looking and seemed to be sweet, but she did not know him and it was too soon for her to open her heart to anyone. However, even though her mind was working at an accelerated rate, her body was not and had become still. Matthew had closed his eyes in anticipation so he missed the look of horror in her eyes.
And just when she thought she was doomed, a loud thunder made both of them jump with surprise and before any of them were able to say something, the rain started pouring down as if there was no tomorrow. Within a few of minutes, both of them were drenched and cold to the bone. Valeria huffed with annoyance and her teeth chattering, she said out loud "We better go home now!"
Matthew simply nodded, hiding his disappointment at the ruined moment, and both of them started to running back home, nearly slipping in the mud and splashing through puddles. By the time they reached the end of the trail, and they could see the Hall, the rain had suddenly stopped. Valeria took a minute to look at herself and noticed her shoes were completely covered with thick mud as well as her socks. She grimaced at the leaves and mud that were stuck on her ankles and did not like the heavy feeling of wet clothes. Her hair was plastered to her face and she could feel cold water running down her back. She shivered and then took a minute to look at Matthew. He looked no better and he actually had leaves on his hair. She chuckled softly and then said "You weren't kidding when you said the weather here can be crazy…"
They both headed to the Hall. Luckily, Matthew still had his work clothes that he could wear to go back to town. They were dirty but dry. Matthew told her he would go to the Lodge to change and maybe get some tea from Mrs. Wilkins before he headed back home. They said their goodbyes and Valeria went back into the house to change and get warm.
Aristar and Marak were both standing in front of the water mirror. Morgen was standing behind them in his goblin form. Several minutes earlier, Morgen had burst into Marak's study as he and Aristar were discussing some kingdom matters. Morgen had reported that Valeria had a possible suitor and this caused Marak to go to the water mirror immediately. The wall was a sheet of calm black water; it looked just like the surface of any pond except that it was vertical. Amid the gentle ripples, an image started to form as Marak stood in front of it. And then he witnessed the Valeria and Matthew chatting as they made their way to the lake.
"Where are they going?" Marak asked Morgen, almost growling. His eyes were trained on the young man. He did not like the way Matthew smiled at Valeria.
"They're heading out to the lake…" Morgen replied, feeling a menacing aura coming from the King.
Marak muttered something too softly for the others to understand; then he cupped his hands and looked into them with concentration. A gray fluffy smoke lapped over his fingers and began drifting towards the floor. Then he held his hands out toward the mirror and blew on the smoke gently. The smoke went into the surface of the mirror. In the image, the smoke rose up to the sky and then the wind started to pick up, and Matthew's face frowned with confusion at the sudden change of weather. Marak smirked with satisfaction, and then turned to his two guards.
"That should take care of it…they will go back home now…" Marak said smugly.
"Not yet…" Morgen noted as he pointed at the water mirror "It seems like the young lady really wants to see the lake…they're still walking towards it…"
Marak observed the mirror sullenly and watched them reach the lake. He watched the whole scene unfolding as Matthew approached his bride and tried to kiss her. In a flash, he snapped his fingers and rain started to pour hard on them. He watched as the two started to run back to the Hall.
"It's not going to do her any good to catch pneumonia…" Morgen said to his King.
Marak snapped his fingers again and the rain stopped. Thankfully, Valeria and Matthew were within Hallow Hill's land. He watched her saying goodbyes and going back into the house to change.
"Your Majesty, you should just bring her here soon…" Aristar said out loud "She attracts attention without even trying, don't you think?"
Marak sighed and rubbing his temples, he said looking at both of them with weary looks "I understand what your concerns are…but I cannot bring her here yet…Not until her heart is mended. The human mind is frail and so is the heart. Remember what happened to Belinda, the wife of the Elf King named New Moon? She died of heart ache…she ended her own life but she did it out of heart ache…Both of you know Valeria is woman with a broken heart. I cannot risk bringing her here and making it worse. I am going to wait…"
Aristar and Morgen refrained from saying more and simply nodded at him. Marak dismissed them and they went to see their families for a bit before they returned to their posts. Marak watched the Hall from the mirror and sighed again. What he had gotten himself into? , he thought as he watched Matthew getting into his car and driving off back to the town. More importantly, what was this feeling of protectiveness he felt towards Valeria?, he wondered. He didn't even know her and he was already feeling protective over her. He remained in front of the mirror, mulling over his visit to Valeria tonight. He had promised her to visit her every night and he was not going to disappoint her. Even though he had practically convinced her that he was only a dream. When he noticed that the sun was setting, Marak turned away from the mirror and headed to his quarters. He needed to get ready for tonight's visit.