In the year, 2050, among the humans on the streets, there were these very few others. Others who were made in the biggest technology company, AITA (artificial intelligence and technological advancements), what humans call, the guardians. They were crossbreeds of humans and animals which had the highest Intelligent Quotient (IQ). They were created to protect all citizens with their special abilities. However, they had one enemy. The citizens called them the poachers. They are from another company, The Royal AI. This company was the second most advanced company and they wanted all the glory of AITA. To win them over, The Royal AI had to prove themselves worthy and they resolved to hunting down the guardians to kill them all off by creating their own crossbreeds. Life for the guardians were not that easy. Humans just did not understand one thing. These guardians they so often talk about did not want fame. They wanted something else…
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wanted to show what true love really meant.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My characters have special abilities and are crossbreeds. I characterised each of them with different personalities. The idea of making them crossbreeds cam from images of anime characters.
Cast of characters
Personality: Graceful, beautiful, gentle, thoughtful
Cons: Vain, shy, fall for hot guys easily
Personality: Brave, elegant, beautiful, loyal
Cons: Hot-tempered, fall for cute guys easily
Personality: Sweet, funny
Cons: Sly and slick, desperate for guys
Personality: Charming, loyal, fearless, majestic
Breed: Lion +human
Cons: Too eager, rash
Personality: Outgoing, chatty, friendly and decent looking
Con: Does not know how to speak up for herself
Personality: Quick-minded, charming, funny, loyal
Cons: Silly, likes to fool around
Personality: Strong, confident, charming, loyal
In 2050, among the humans on the streets, there were these very few others. Others who were made in the biggest technology company, AITA (Artificial Intelligence and Technological Advancements), what humans called, the guardians. They were crossbreeds of humans and animals which had the highest Intelligent Quotient (IQ). They were created to protect all citizens with their special abilities. However, they had an enemy. The citizens called them the poachers. They were from another company, The Royal AI. This company was the second most advanced company and they wanted all the glory of AITA. To win them over, The Royal AI had to prove themselves worthy and they resolved to hunt down the guardians to kill them all off. They decided to start off with the head of the guardians, 7 different crossbreeds – Aurelia, Jiwon, Hye Kyo, Lena, Darren, Justin and lastly Richard. Aurelia, the chairwoman, and Jiwon, the vice chairwoman. Hye Kyo and Lena, the advisors and the three males, heads of defence. Humans just did not understand one thing. These guardians they so often talked about did not want fame. They wanted something else…
“Oh my gosh, this work is killing me,” Aurelia groaned.
“Tell me about it,” Jiwon grumbled. Jiwon and Aurelia walked together, hat over Jiwon’s ears which was on top of her head and her long pants hiding her tail. Sunglasses on Aurelia’s eyes, covering the little crown of black on her eyes which looks like Halloween swan mascara and a skirt to hide her little feathery white feathers and a trenchcoat to hide her white wings.
“ I wish I could just be a normal human,” Aurelia sighed.
“ They get a job, a salary, a home and a family of their own,” Aurelia continued in dismay.
“ Well, if you think about it, we have our own family too, and friendly neighbours like Lena though she doesn’t offer much food to us,” Jiwon said positively.
“ And humans don’t have powers that we have,” Jiwon continued.
After what seemed like an eternity, it was break time for them. As they returned to their habitat, Jiwon at her cave which she marked as her territory and Aurelia at the nearby lake with Lena in a nest, sharing the pond with Aurelia for food. Aurelia was a white swan while Lena was a cormorant who stayed in a nest in a tree beside Aurelia’s lake.
When Lena joined in, Aurelia took the first step to offer her food but all that helpfulness of hers was taken for granted. After Lena knew how to find food and do work, she never communicated with Aurelia and what more shared the food she hunted. So Aurelia decided to make friends with a nearby carnivore called Jiwon. She was scared it might eat her but later found out that Jiwon only liked to eat beavers and anything she would find. And when they found out that both of them had at least a little bit of white outer covering, they developed a liking for each other, thus making friends. Slowly, Jiwon also knew about Lena who was selfish.
Resting in her pond, Aurelia looked at her reflection, pleased with how she looked. Well, we must all admit that Aurelia was elegant and beautiful but she could be secretly vain. She placed her beak gently into the water, catching a frog surprisingly. Lena dived in smoothly and flew back to her nest, catching a shrimp in her beak.
Their mundane life continued until one day when a fox, lynx and a lion appeared.
Roaring, the lion strolled near to the pond, staring intently at Aurelia who looked up from her reflection. There was a strange feeling— although she was an omnivore and the lion was a carnivore, she wasn’t scared of him at all, in fact, she thought he looked pretty hot, charming and powerful.
Silence. Awkward silence as the white swan and golden, brown-skinned lion stared intently at each other.
Behind, the fox widened its eyes with excitement, spotting Jiwon who was close to the same breed as him. He strolled towards her, containing his excitement.
The lynx, however, strolled along the lake and stood beside the lion, staring at Aurelia too.
Flattered yet embarrassed, Aurelia stared back at her reflection, swimming a little further elegantly, as she fed on the aquatic plants. The lynx looked around and spotted a tall and lovely giraffe and ran softly towards her.
The giraffe reached its head out, feeding on the fresh leaf while peeping at who was running towards her. Turning around, she blushed. Lowering her head, she introduced herself.
“ I’m Hye Kyo, and you?” She asked.
“Richard,” he stated, beaming.
The fox and wolf circled each other, observing.
“I’m Justin,” He broke the ice.
“I’m Jiwon,” she replied as they soon chatted happily with each other.
Hye Kyo played a hard-to-get on Richard, making their relationship fun.
As for Aurelia, she didn’t know what to do. During work, Aurelia and Jiwon strolled together.
“You know, I think you’ve got a crush on Darren and I admit I may like Justin,” Jiwon said.
“That’s absurd, I never fall for someone that easily,” Aurelia retorted, blushing. “Besides, he’s a lion and I’m a swan. He can’t swim, or fly except for walking on land and he’s just staring at me. It seems like a hopeless case,” Aurelia said, making an excuse which wasn’t true.
“Why not? The reproductive system works the same and I know you are especially shy when you see a hot guy, I know you well, Aury, and I know you like him because he’s pretty hot and I know you like hot guys,” Jiwon teased, making Aurelia blush more.
After a day of hard work, the best friends said farewell. Jiwon found Justin hiding behind a tree and before she knew it, he jumped out of his hiding place shouting “Surprise!” with a dead beaver in his hand.
“ Honey, this is especially for you after your whole day of hard work,” he proclaimed
“Hahaha very funny, Justin. I could smell you from ten miles away and since when was I your honey?” Pleased, Jiwon reaches her hands out, receiving the beaver with her sharp claws.
As Darren came closer to the lake, he placed his paws into the water as Aurelia gilded backwards a little awkwardly.
“I know you love roses and you look as beautiful as them,” he broke the ice, as he dropped from his mouth a bouquet of flowers.
Blushing, Aurelia glided towards him receiving the flowers with her hands, her wings fluttering pleasantly. “Thanks,” she whispered. “ Where did you get those from? And how do you know I like roses?”
“ I… I asked Jiwon and I spent the whole morning and evening travelling to another land to find roses. I hope you like them,” he replied, putting his other paw in the water. Aurelia blushed once again, unable to contain her embarrassment. Flattered, she looked down at her reflection in the water as she placed the roses at the side of the lake which she marked as her territory.
“ Can we have dinner together? I hunted many fish, frogs, and worms for you,” he said carrying a basket of them.
“ Great, as long as you don’t eat me,” Aurelia heaved a sigh of relief.
“ My Darling, why would I prey on you?” He asked, smiling a little.
Receiving the basket, Aurelia picked the fish up one by one, enjoying her meal.
“ Thank you,” she replied, still flattered that he called her a darling. He was so charming, eyes so golden-brown they shone like polished jewels, eyebrows so defined, arms so muscular and overall so hot.
“My Romeo, will you be my boyfriend from today?” Aurelia blurted out. And after a few moments, she blushed again, wondering why she even said that.
Darren looked like he did not understand Aurelia. Silence, awkward silence. Aurelia decided that she should continue with what she had started. She glided towards him, waiting for an answer, with her heart pounding against her chest.
“My Juliet, yes,” he replied, beaming in surprise.
“Come with me, I wanna have a dance with you in the lake,” Aurelia added, gliding away, blushing. The reflection of the moon was shining on the pond as Darren made his way into the shallow part of the lake.
“Come on,” Aurelia said in excitement. Brave, Darren strolled towards his Juliet with the water level at his mane.
He looked at her with charm in his eyes as he held her waist with her wings spreading out so gracefully as she glided and lept. They ended the night as soon as they got tired.
“I’m 18, you?” Darren asked, leaving the lake.
“16,” Aurelia said, blushing as she waved at him with her wings gracefully and him staring at her with charm in his eyes.
“Sorry, are we interrupting something?” Jiwon appeared silently out of the fields of lovegrass. She had turned into her animal form, a beautiful grey and white wolf, with her brownish-orange eyes gleaming with mischief. Beside her appeared a fox with shining orange and white fur, eyes the same colour and his expression the same as Jiwon. The fox had a lean, muscular body, that must be Justin. The swan smirked as she thought of how ironic this situation was.
Blushing, she replied, “ Nope, you’re not interrupting at all, we were… were just… just chatting in the lake.”
“Aurelia is my girlfriend,” Darren announced and flashed his usual charming smile at her. Aurelia blushed, gliding away.
“Ooh La La…” Jiwon laughed lightly in a teasing manner.
“Wow, Darren, my brother… You found a partner fast.” Justin chuckled, his eyes reducing to slits as he smiled widely. Aurelia was not surprised that Jiwon would fall for that guy. She was rather soft to cute people.
“ You found one faster,” Darren retorted as he shook off the water from his body.
“Who said so?!” Justin exclaimed in shock.
“Oh, I’ve known you long enough already. Once you want something, you get it. I must say, luck was on your side to find such a girl!” Darren laughed, enjoying to see Justin blush profusely.
“What do you mean by such a girl…” Jiwon’s eyes flashed dangerously as she growled.
Just then, luckily for Darren, beside them appeared a tall giraffe with a lynx beside it. They were in their human form and they suited each other well.
“My dear Hye Hye, will you accept this bouquet I painstakingly planted for you?” Richard asked in confidence.
“ I really have feelings for you and I hope you are willing to accept my love for you,” he continued with the rest looking at them in shock at how Richard was so bold. Richard was known for his confidence but still.
The giraffe was blushing much more than Aurelia did before as she reached for the stalks with her beautifully patterned hands, looking pleased with the flowers.
“ I accept your love!” She exclaimed.
Though Hye Kyo couldn’t beat Jiwon and Aurelia in looks, Richard adored her for who she was. They kissed passionately with affection flooding from their hearts.
“ That was quick,” Darren mumbled with Jiwon, Aurelia, and Justin looking in shock.
As the sun rose from the east, Lena turned back into a bird wearing lots of makeup and mascara, taking a rest from work. She flew towards Richard and Hye Kyo, chirping happily.
Back at her home was Lena green with envy under the tree.
“ I will get him one day, he will be mine,” Lena muttered as she stared at Richard and Hye Kyo in jealousy. Looking at the reflection of herself from the mirror she placed in a hole of her tree, she thought, “ I’m so elegant, the most elegant one, and the fastest and best at catching prey. They’ll love me most. I’m just petite and small which is why you don’t see me,” Lena muttered, green with envy. Lena knew that Hye Kyo was decent looking, not as pretty as Jiwon and Aurelia, thinking that Richard was the easiest to make hers.
“ Hi Rich!” she chirped, landing in his ear.
“Ummm, hi. Who are you? Are you new here? Do you need me to introduce you to this place?” Richard asked warily.
“ Nope, I’m totally familiar with this place, Richard! I’m Lena, the elegant cormorant, I live just next to Aurelia at the tree there.”
“ Oh hi,” Richard replied, looking at Hye Kyo who looked bewildered, suspicious and jealous.
“ Let’s have lunch together, shall we?” Lena offered.
“ Sorry, another day, I’ll be having lunch with my beloved Hye Hye. Do you know her?” Richard asked.
“Yes. I know her.” Lena sighed. “All right then but why is she your beloved? Don’t you know she actually had sex with many others before? You might get AIDS if you mate with her, ya know? You better beware of Hye Kyo,” Lena said, smirking at Hye Kyo as she flew off to her tree.
‘ Good start, I’m separating Hye Kyo from Richard and Richard is gonna fall for me, he’ll be mine.’ Lena thought, watching Hye Kyo and Richard from afar.
“ Is that true, Hye Kyo? You didn’t inform me about that, why didn’t you?” Richard asked, backing away from her. Hye Kyo was shocked. Sadness bubbled in her as tears welled up in her eyes. Richard didn’t trust her, he trusted Lena instead. He didn’t call her ‘ Hye Hye’ anymore.
“ Rich! I haven’t had any sex, Lena was lying!” Hye Kyo sobbed, a little angry with Lena.
“ Don’t lie, Hye Kyo,” Lena flew towards them as she spoke. “ Rich, she lies a lot, you must see her true colours,” she said, landing on Richard’s body. The lynx’s eyes looked at Hye Kyo in dismay and disappointment.
“You’ve betrayed me, Hye Kyo,” he said, leaving her alone with Lena still on his body.
“Rich!!” She sobbed but he didn’t look at her, not even turn around. She looked at the leaves through blurry eyes. Using a leaf to wipe her tears, she looked down at the ground. She did not have sex with anybody at all! Tears brimmed in her eyes again. Which part of Lena’s lies did Richard fall for? She looked at Aurelia with Darren, Jiwon with Justin and most importantly Lena and Richard, making her sob even more. She remembered her first kiss with Richard, how passionate he was and how much affection, deification was flooding from her heart. She remembered how affectionate he was for her, how he called her Hye Hye and told her she was his desire and how she called him Rich. But now it was Lena who called him Rich, not her anymore.
“Hye Kyo, are you okay?” Jiwon asked beside her.
Hye Kyo sobbed like she never did before.
“You can talk to me if you need to,” Jiwon continued, concerned.
“Where’s Richard, I can call him to comfort you,” Justin suggested.
“He wouldn’t care less,” Hye Kyo said, sniffing.
“What do you mean?” Justin demanded.
“Something must have happened between them,” Jiwon told him.
“You two broke up?” Jiwon asked Hye Kyo.
“He broke up with me for Lena,” she sniffed, clearing her throat, swallowing a lump in it.“Lena told Richard that I had sex with many people and he will get aids if he comes close to me and mates with me and Richard believed her! He believed her! He loves Lena more than me and now he doesn’t even like me, saying I betrayed him when what Lena said was false. Yeah, but now it’s true. It’s true that I’m ugly, the ugliest in this place, with nobody who loves me and a future of no hope or love. He no longer calls me Hye Hye anymore and I can no longer call him Rich. Lena’s his and I’m no one’s. I’m no longer the desire he said I was before,” Hye Kyo blurted out, still sniffing. A look of shock was written all over Jiwon’s face.
“What the heck is my brother doing?” Justin muttered in disappointment.
“L.e.n.a, Lena, I'll get her, “ Jiwon growled, bolting towards Aurelia who was chatting with Darren.
“No, don’t!” Hye Kyo shouted but nobody, not even Justin or Aurelia who was her best friend could stop her.
“Aurelia,” Jiwon began as she told the outrageous news to Aurelia and Darren.
“Omg, my brother, what’s he doing? Why in the world fall for Lena when Hye Kyo is such a great girl?” Darren questioned.
“Okay, so what do we do?” Aurelia asked nervously.
“Stop Lena, convince Richard that Lena’s the liar, if I get my hands on that bastard bird, y’all will have cormorant pie for dinner,” Jiwon growled.
“Let’s do it now,” Justin and Darren chorused as they stepped in front of the girls respectively to protect them from any danger which could happen. Strolling towards the tree, Darren roared, attracting the attention of Lena who was acting cute in front of Richard who looked entertained.
“ What’s happening?” Lena asked of them as they approached.
“ What’s. happening. Wow, Lena, you’re a good actress, aren’t you?” Aurelia said.
“ Huh?” She replied, bewildered.
“ L.E.N.A, Lena, what a great name,” Darren said in sarcasm.
“ Lena is such a betrayer that we should punish her, shouldn’t we?” Jiwon growled.
“ Do not.do.anything.to.my.beloved.Lena,” Richard warned, stepping in front of Lena protectively.
Hye Kyo was at the very far rear watching in shock and nervousness.
“We’re not here to do anything but to tell the truth,” Justin stated. “Richard, believe us! Hye Kyo never had sex before.”
“Come on, Richard,” Lena retorted. “Let’s not waste our time on nonsense. Hye Kyo must have told them everything which happened and because they are friends of hers, they help her, but that isn’t the truth.”
“My dear Lena, I trust you, I’ll let them see who’s the liar,” Richard whispered as he signalled to Lena to go back up to her tree before he questioned the others. “ How does she deserve punishment?”
“She lies! She betrayed Hye Kyo and your relationship, and most importantly, betrayed you. You got tricked by her sweetness. You didn’t see her true colours,” Aurelia spoke up.
“ Come on!” Richard sighed, rolling his eyes.
“ You stupidly betrayed Hye Kyo,” Darren added.
“ She.did.not.have.any.sex.with.anyone.before!” Jiwon said, unable to keep her temper low.
“ And what is your proof?” Richard asked.
“ We’ll see,” Jiwon replied as she strolled off with the rest following behind her.
“ We can get the scientists to help us prove it to Richard that Hye Kyo is innocent,” Aurelia suggested with Darren, nodding.
“ Good thinking,” Jiwon stated.
“ But will they ask us why?” Justin asked.
“ We can say that Hye Kyo has a really bad menses cramp and needs some medical help,” Jiwon said as they walked to the office which was about 2 Km away. But they were determined to get there.
“ Guys, let Richard be, it’s ok,” a voice emanated from behind. Turning around, it was Hye Kyo.
“ It’s not ok,” Jiwon retorted.
“ When the medical team comes, act like you are having your period cramp,” Aurelia instructed as they continued their walk, leaving Hye Kyo bewildered. But she returned to her habitat and looked like she was suffering from a cramp anyway.
As everyone gathered around Hye Kyo to see the results, Jiwon turned into her wolf self and prowled away, noticed only by Justin. She saw Lena in her bird form perching on a stone looking a little anxious. In a second, Jiwon’s sharp claws of her paws at the bird's chest…
“Rich, help!”She screamed.
“He’s not your ‘ Rich’ you claim he is. He’s Hye Kyo’s. now shut it!” Jiwon warned.
Lena gulped in terror but smiled sweetly at Richard who was heading towards them. To Lena’s horror, she also found Richard’s claws at her neck.
“I am never, ever going to believe you ever in my life, even after I die. Don’t you dare try any of your petty, sly, selfish tricks again!” Richard now in his animal form snarled and gleamed his row of sharp teeth and snapped at Lena.
“I’m so sorry Hye Kyo… It was my fault to do such an evil thing on you,” Lena sobbed, hoping to attract and soften Richard’s heart. “But I really had feelings for Richard,” Lena continued.
“If you did, you would have willingly let him be with his beloved Hye Kyo and not betray his relationship with her,” Aurelia said.
“ Spare me, Jiwon,” she cried.
“ I promised them that if I get my hands on you bastard, I’ll make you a cormorant pie so we can enjoy eating you together.
“ That’s gonna taste nice,” The swan said, laughing.
“ I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Justin said.
“ If we eat that bastard, we will all become like her, won’t we?” Justin suggested, laughing a little.
Jiwon glared at Lena. “ Hye Kyo, you will decide if Lena lives or dies,” Jiwon instructed. Lena shivered in fear, misery, and remorse written on her face.
“ Lena, I forgive you, as long as you don’t make the same mistake again,” Hye Kyo said softly.
Jiwon took her claws off Lena sharply as they all walked away, leaving Lena speechless.
As Aurelia returned to her lake, Darren said, “ My Juliet, stay away from Lena, you should build your own territory.”
Lena flew back to her big nest and stayed in there crying. It was not tears of remorse, it was tears of anger and self-pity. “There are only two declared couples now. Hye Kyo has gone back with Richard, I was so close to getting that guy. There are Darren and Aurelia. Jiwon and Justin are not together yet. However, I cannot risk it. Jiwon will kill me and kick me out of the council. I’m going for Darren next.” Lena flashed an evil grin as she turned into a bird again and flew towards the pond.
“ Don’t worry, my Romeo, Jiwon is nearby, she will protect me, won’t she?” Aurelia asked shyly.
“Definitely, my Juliet! I’ll not let Lena lay a hand on you. If she does, I’ll eat her up for you,” Darren said charmingly.
“ My Juliet,” Darren said.
“ My Romeo,” she replied.
“ My Juliet,” he laughed lightly, pleased with her nickname.
“ My Romeo,” she giggled.
“ My Juliet,” he replied as they started a ball in the lake with Lena watching in desperation and envy.
‘ I’ll get Jiwon first, Jiwon, I’ll let you see me with Justin, Justin’s mine, not yours .’ Lena thought as she perched on her tree, looking at the other animals slyly.
The following day, everyone got to work. Justin patrolled the airport, Jiwon and Aurelia making sure everyone got to work. Aurelia assigned Lena to work with Justin instead of Richard and Hye Kyo with Richard. Strolling, Jiwon commented, “ Autumns arriving soon and it feels great.”
“ Yep, less hot,” Aurelia agreed.
“ I must say that what you said previously was true, I’m in love with my Romeo,” Aurelia blushed.
“ Of course, though… must you call him Romeo?” Jiwon laughed.
“ Yes, he’s just so like Romeo. He’s so charming, kind, sweet and loving, and most importantly just as hot as Romeo, and most importantly, he calls me Juliet,” Aurelia replied.
As the two started bustling around, Lena now in her human form looked at Justin. Seeing no one around, she went up and went up close to him. “What are you trying to do Lena?” Justin’s eyes flashed in irritation. “Come on… Don’t be angry at me… Aren’t you the cutest?” Lena said in her sickly sweet voice, tracing a finger down Justin’s jawline to his chin.
“My dear Lena, you are starting to get on my nerves. I suggest you stop it now. My patience with you is over.” Lena turned in shock to see Jiwon standing there, licking her lips and her sharp canines, a small smile creeping up on her face.
“ Good work, Justin, you’re patrolling the area well,” Jiwon shouted as Justin flashed his charming smile at Jiwon.
“ Justin, can I call you Jussy? You’re so cute and that nickname suits you,” Lena squealed.
“ Yes, that’s such a good nickname!” Justin exclaimed. Lena seemed happy.
“ You think it is, but it isn’t. You better stop right now,” Justin stated, trailing off. Darren was in charge of transporting the objects from the factory to another so he was rarely seen except when he enters and leaves the factory.
“ I can tell Justin’s pissed with Lena,” Aurelia chuckled.
“ I’m sure he is,” Jiwon laughed. Jiwon and Aurelia watched Richard and Hye Kyo making up pleasantly as they continued with their jobs.
After what seemed like an eternity, it was time for a break.
Justin bolted towards Jiwon and complained about Lena while Darren returned to the lake where Aurelia was hunting.
“My Juliet, will you come with me to a place?” He asked. Excited, Aurelia nodded as she turned back into a human form, making it easier to travel instead of having her two webbed feet.
“ What’s it, my Romeo?” She asked following behind.
“ You’ll wait and see,” Darren mumbled as he grinned at her.
After a few metres of walking, Aurelia looked around with contentment. She found herself admiring a land of roses around a lake with appetising food hunted for her to eat.
“ This is where I hope you will stay,” he added, smiling.
“ It’s just a few metres away from Jiwon’s habitat and a few centimeters away from mine. Look, my den is just beside it,” he continued as he looked at Aurelia with charm in his eyes.
“ Will you move here?” He asked anxiously as out came from his mouth another bouquet of roses. Filled with embarrassment, she nodded as she settled in her new habitat with Jiwon who just received the news. Jiwon strolled towards the land of roses.
“ Ooh, my best friend, what a relationship going on here, huh?” Jiwon appeared and teased Aurelia, making her blush further.
“ Should we have dinner with Darren and Justin and Richard?” Jiwon suggested.
“ Sure, we should prepare for that now and inform them. We’ll have it in your habitat, will that do?” Aurelia suggested as Jiwon nodded. The best of friends strolled out of Aurelia’s place as they arrived at Jiwon’s place where Lena was chirping a love song with Justin looking uninterested.
“ Don’t you think I’m as cute as you?” She chirped.
“ Rubbish,” Jiwon stated as they strolled in.
“ Jiwon, you’re finally back, she was such a nag,” Justin commented, leaving Lena upset and alone. As everyone sat at a wooden table, they ate and chatted happily but behind their backs, it was Lena, planning the biggest revenge on Aurelia and her pesky little friend.
‘ It didn’t work, I’m going to get Darren then,’ she muttered with a combination of sadness, envy, determination, and anger. The following day was a break for all of them and as usual, Darren met Aurelia at her new lake.
“ Oooh, what do we have here?” Lena picked up a rifle on the illegal goods platform. “ This will come in handy… Only have one bullet left? Well, I’m going to try and get Justin now. It is my last chance. If it does not work I’ll go for Darren.” The cormorant smirked and sashayed off, the rifle in her hand.
Lena walked around looking to see if there was anyone and pressed her back against the wall as she peeked into Jiwon’s office. Justin was sitting at the edge of the table talking to Jiwon, a dead animal on her desk. A dead cormorant. Lena’s blood boiled in anger at the sight of her own kind being preyed on. She instantly raised her rifle and shot the bullet. The glass shattered as the bullet shot through. Both Justin and Jiwon looked stunned as they saw the window shatter. Justin watched in horror as all of a sudden Jiwon clutched her stomach area which was now bleeding profusely. He howled in fury as his eyes turned an alarming shade of reddish-orange. He changed instantly to a fox and burst through the door. Aurelia walking along the corridor in her human form saw a growling fox streaking through the corridor at an impossible speed, muscles rippling. She stared in shock and she dropped the papers she was holding, her big white wings lifted her off the ground and she shot through the corridor like a bullet herself. She stopped at Jiwon’s office and saw her friend bleeding. Surprisingly, she recollected herself quite fast and picked up her phone to call everyone, using a ‘group call’.
“Darren, block the main entrance. Richard, block the back entrance. Hye Kyo, run and check the security office and tell us where Lena is now. She may look armed but the rifle she is handling has no more bullets. She has shot Jiwon. Justin is chasing Lena now. I’m going to bring her to the hospital.” She immediately hung up and lifted Jiwon up and flew off as they soared in the sky. Darren on the other side of the phone admired how professional his lovely girlfriend sounded like and then got back to reality, as he dashed swiftly to the main entrance.
Meanwhile, Lena was streaking throughout the corridors, terrified. She tried to head out by the main entrance but was stopped at the sight of Darren who had great powerful muscles showing. She bolted to the back entrance and landed, struggling to open the door. Then she gasped in shock as a lynx appeared from the shadows. She backed away in fright but turned around to come face to face with a huge lion. She managed to open the exit door but stumbled backwards as a fiery fox faced her snarling.
“ So it was you, huh?” Darren asked, strolling towards her.
Without warning, Justin placed his sharp claws on Lena’s neck. She gasped in horror.
“ Jussy! Don’t hurt me!” She pleaded like he was hers.
“ What. did. you. call. me?” He asked, flashing dangerously. Shedding crocodile’s tears, she looked Justin in the eye but it was no use. Nobody could stop him.
“ You hurt my Jiwon,” Justin continued, his claws starting to dig into her chest.
“ You made her bleed and you shall receive the same treatment too,” Justin proclaimed as he abruptly dug deeper into the cormorant’s neck. Blood was oozing out of Lena as Justin signalled to Darren to follow him somewhere else, leaving Lena sobbing on the floor helplessly. Right beside her was Hye Kyo.
“ Do you need me to help you? Bring you to the hospital?” Hye Kyo asked, concerned.
Turning around, Lena saw that the tall figure was Hye Kyo.
“ DON’T PRETEND TO BE KIND!” She hollered but fainted right after. Hye Kyo being Hye Kyo sent Lena to the hospital where Jiwon was too. Waking up, Lena found Justin at Jiwon’s bedside and Lena standing at a corner. Lena was hurt— Justin wasn’t hers, not anymore, he was Jiwon’s. Justin wasn’t even sorry about everything which happened to her.
Right after, everyone gathered at the meeting room with the scientists interrogating them about what all happened. Jiwon was too tired to speak, Justin and Aurelia were too concerned for Jiwon, Lena too upset to speak, Hye Kyo too shy, shocked and bewildered to speak, leaving Darren to answer. Because Darren got briefed by Justin beforehand, he was quite confident.
“ So, this was what happened,” Darren began.
“I’m going to tell everything from the start, the parts you like or you do not. So Lena kept harassing Justin and flirted with him. However, Justin was not very kind as he was irritated. He only had eyes on one girl, Jiwon. Justin had gone on a hunt for food to pass Jiwon as she was very busy. He saw a bird amongst the long grass, not knowing it was a cormorant. He killed it and brought it to Jiwon. Jiwon told him off for killing a cormorant but forgave and thanked him when she knew it was an accident. She knew how hard it was to spot the prey if it was amongst the tall thick grass. Lena, who came to Jiwon’s office after getting the rifle from the restricted section, only saw Jiwon thanking Justin for the dead cormorant, the same breed as her. With her evil intentions already plus the aggravation, she shot the bullet at Jiwon. She fled and Justin chased after her. Aurelia was on the way and saw the incident. She realised that they were coming from Jiwon’s office that direction and the look on Justin’s face, she knew something was wrong. She went there and found Jiwon and helped her. The rest of us cornered Lena and Justin, in his red zone, clawed shallowly at Lena at her neck. Lena freaked out when she saw the blood and when Hye Kyo offered help, she screamed the house down and fainted,” Darren finished, glaring at Lena. Although Jiwon was indeed hard and sarcastic, she was nice and cute at times, most importantly Jiwon was his friend and Aurelia, his love’s best friend. He detested Lena for that despicable act.
The shock was written all over the officer’s face.
“ Don’t all of you remember what we taught you when you were created? You live to help and support others and not live to be despicable,” the officer sighed.
“ According to the book, Lena will have to be caged up in her tree for a month. You shall not exit, whether to hunt or do any business. Your meals shall be based on their mercy of sparing you food.” he continued.
“ And as for Lena, I hope you can take time to reflect upon your despicable actions,” he instructed as he dismissed them. Returning to their habitats, Lena struggled into the cage.
“ GET. ME.OUT, BASTARDS!” She yelled but too bad anyway.
“ I’ll get you, Aurelia and Jiwon!” She hollered as she was being placed forcefully into the hole of the tree.
“ I want to see you try.” Jiwon bared her teeth, reached in and plucked a handful of her brown feathers. “ The moment you lay a hand on anyone ever again, I will not spare you again. your feathers shall be my skirt, your meat shall be my meal, and your bones shall be framed up on the walls of my house.”
“ I’m totally glad that this issue is settled,” Darren commented, still thinking of how Aurelia’s professional and elegant voice sounded like.
“ I think Jiwon should rest,” Justin suggested, bringing her to her habitat with Hye Kyo and Richard leaving too. Hye Kyo and Justin winked at each other as they left, leaving Aurelia and Darren together.
“ Let’s get back first,” he suggested as both in their human form, strolled back, hand in hand.
‘ I’ll get Darren,’ Lena muttered. “Jiwon and Justin are not worth it anyway. I shall make use of this month to come up with a plan.”
Back at the lake, the circle of friends gathered to discuss Lena’s meals and what they will be offering.
“I’m offering dead, rotten cormorants on Monday,” Jiwon said lazily.
“I’m offering semi-dead nonpoisonous snakes on Tuesday,” Justin mumbled.
“I’m offering wilted leaves on Wednesday,” Hye Kyo said, a determined expression on her face.
“I’m offering a bag of live cockroaches on Thursday,” Richard spat.
“I’m offering dead sewer rats on Friday,” Darren snarled.
“I’m offering 10 maggots on Saturday,” Aurelia said angrily.
“We shall offer her water only on Sunday.” They chorused together.
Lena in the tree could hear them say everything. She knew they had purposely done that and it did not make her feel better at all…
At night, Darren visited Aurelia at her lake, still in his human form like Aurelia.
“ I can’t sleep,” Aurelia complained.
“ Neither can I,” he replied, flashing his charming smile at her. Due to Aurelia’s carelessness, she stepped on a puddle of water near her lake, thus slipping.
“ Aure!” He shouted as he caught her in his muscular arms. Silence. Awkward silence. As Aurelia helped herself up from his arms, she blushed and smiled a little.
“ Thanks,” she mumbled.
“ My Juliet, can we have a ball,” he proposed abruptly. Silence.
Pleased, Aurelia nodded.
“ A ball when we are in a human form, why not, my stud muffin!” She exclaimed, stepping out of the puddle of water. Aurelia was in her elegant rose gold chiffon flowing dress as she held onto Darren’s shoulder.
“ You’re the man, my Romeo, take the first step,” She said, blushing. As he took a step backwards, she took one forward. He looked at her with charm and affection as she looked at him with love flooding from her heart. As they completed the waltz, they stared at each other in infatuation. It had to be now, it had to. They pressed against each other. He smelled the scent of hers as he caressed her smooth hair in adoration. She enjoyed being in his arms as she too and she smelled his scent. Leaning forward, his mouth reached for her lips as both kissed passionately with love flooding from their hearts.
Finishing their first kiss, they finally realised that four other people were there. Darren and Aurelia stared in surprise as they saw Jiwon and Justin hand in hand. “Yes yes, wipe that shock off your face. Justin is officially now my boyfriend. He proposed after the incident, scared to lose me again. Hahaha, such a cutie.” Jiwon continued to laugh at the couple’s shocked expression.
“I do not believe it… am I hallucinating?” Hye Kyo and Richard said in unison.
Jiwon rolled her eyes and flashed a mischievous smile. She whipped around to face Justin and kissed him. Justin widened his eyes, startled. However, soon he relaxed and with a smirk returned the kiss. Now the couples, Hye Kyo and Richard stared in utter shock. Their mouths hung wide open as Jiwon pulled away from the kiss. “Now, do you believe me?” she asked, stifling a laugh. They all nodded. Aurelia didn’t seem surprised at all, perhaps she was used to it.
“ Why do Aurelia and Darren look like they find this totally normal?” Richard asked.
“ Come on, you’ll understand it when you have your first kiss,” Darren replied with Aurelia blushing.
Behind them was Lena watching in anger and envy.
‘ I’ll make Darren mine when I get out of this darn cage,’ Lena thought as she glared at Aurelia.
As the sun set, Jiwon held a basket of dead cormorants, flies already swarming around the rotten meat. She ordered Justin to help her pass it to Lena. Smiling sweetly, Lena thanked him.
“ Jussy, you are cute,” she stated, holding the basket.
“Jiwon darling!!!!!!” he shouted, smirking at the frightened expression on Lena’s face.
“Yes honey? Lena bothering you again? Sighh pity she’s caged up. She’d make a delicious cormorant pie!” Jiwon shouted from below the tree.
Rolling her eyes, Lena greedily gobbled the cormorants down, chewing angrily and hardly, tearing at the fact that she was being tortured and eating her own kind. However, she soon realised how bad it tasted and smelt and spat it out.
A few days later, Lena realised that Darren and Aurelia’s relationship was getting stronger.
“ This seems impossible,” she mumbled as tears welled up in her eyes.
“ I have to get out of this cage as fast as possible,” she sobbed. Near her was Hye Kyo who seemed concerned for her. Staring at Lena, Lena stared back too.
“ Stop.looking.at.me.and.pretend.you.care!” Lena shouted.
“FINE YOU UNGRATEFUL BRAT!” Hye Kyo spat a wad of gum at Lena’s feet, pissed. “Now no one cares about you at all. Are you happy now?” Hye Kyo stalked off.
Upset, Lena back-faced Hye Kyo. Richard walked towards her as he said, “ Hye Hye, let’s go somewhere else.” Hye Kyo seemed pleased as she strolled off with him.
Lena broke down in tears again, she should not have been so unkind to Hye Kyo. Hye Kyo was so kind to her yet she took her kindness for granted. However, another voice inside her told her that it was still possible to make Darren hers.
‘ I’m beautiful, I know that,” she muttered, sniffing for the last time. She stared at Darren as she practised her singing. She planned to sing in front of Darren. Lena’s singing was like a siren’s song. She was pretty and sweet but would Darren fall for her?
The sun rose as Justin got to work, hunting for the snakes for Lena reluctantly. “ She’s such a little twit,” he muttered as he caught a snake placing it on his back. As Jiwon and Aurelia strolled along the factories, making sure Hye Kyo and Richard were doing their work there, Jiwon suggested, “ I’ve got a feeling Lena’s going to go for Darren next once she’s out of her cage, Aurelia, you better stick as close to Darren as possible although we all know that Darren has confessed to you and he most likely wouldn’t want Lena as his. He would probably eat her up,”
“ Yes, I've got a feeling she’s planning to do that,”Aurelia agreed. “ First, she sabotaged Hye Kyo, and then tried it on you so now it is my turn,” Aurelia continued, sighing.
“ You’d better watch out. Yours might be the worst. If I got shot by a bullet, what's going to happen to you? You have to watch your back, Aurelia. Be safe,” Jiwon warned.
“Jiwon! Can you come for a moment? I can’t remember if this is a coral or milk snake,” Justin whined as he called out to Jiwon.
“That’s the Coral snake silly! Kill it this instant! This one is poisonous!” Jiwon rushed towards Justin who was holding the snake up. She grabbed the snake but before she could sink her teeth in, she stopped.
“ Wait!” He shouted, winking.
“ Let’s give it to Lena,” Justin and Jiwon chorused. They beamed at each other laughing.
As they put the snakes hunted in a basket, Aurelia looked around nervously.
“ Are… are you sure?” she stammered.
“ Trust us, it will only make her vomit, that’s all so that we can stop her from her ‘show-off singing session’,” Justin laughed.
“ You do not have to worry Aurelia. The whole basket is full of milk snakes. We throw in just one coral snake. We will recite the rhyme to her before leaving so at least if she was smart enough, she would know which one is the coral snake. As soon as they reached Lena’s cage, Lena poked her beak through the holes.
“Yellow Touches Red, Soon You'll Be Dead. Red Touches Black, Friend of Jack.” Jiwon recited slowly, making sure Lena heard everything.
“There you are, Lena. Your snakes as your meal for today. They are still alive so be careful, be careful to not die. If you heard my rhyme, you should be fine. You are a bird of prey after all. ” Jiwon said, a mischievous twinkle in her eyes present.
“Excuse you! Why the heck are you cursing me?” She yelled angrily.
“ Take or we’ll go,” Aurelia stated, irritated by the fact that Lena was becoming like a spoilt brat.
“ Whatever, leave it here,” she retorted.
“ Stop trying to show off those kiddish nursery rhymes, Jiwon,” Lena continued, rolling her eyes as she grabbed a snake. She was lucky it was a milk snake.
“Oh well, you can die for all I care… bitch,” Jiwon snarled and stalked off, trembling in rage. The twos followed behind, angry that Lena had not learned her lesson even when being caged up. As they watched from afar, Aurelia commented, “ She’s really lucky. All the snakes she is choosing are milk ones and she doesn’t seem to pay any attention to your rhyme.”
“Not for long. I slipped in ten coral snakes.” Jiwon winked, laughing. “It’s time for her to learn her lesson.”
“ Wow,” Aurelia stated, stunned.
“ We’ll see the stunning effects the next day! Anyway, how on earth did you catch ten coral snakes without getting bitten or anything?” Justin exclaimed.
“I’m not called the best hunter around for no reason,” Jiwon did a hair flip and laughed. She was good-natured when she wanted to.
“ Is this a good idea?” Aurelia asked, still worried.
“ This is called karma,” a voice emanated from behind. Turning around, it was Richard and Hye Kyo.
“ Aurelia, there’s no need to worry about Lena. Hye Kyo has also learned her lesson that it isn’t worth her time to care for such a person like that,” Richard proclaimed, reassuring Aurelia.
“ I’ve also found out what you guys are up to and this serves her right,” another voice emanated from behind. It was Darren flaming his charming smile.
“ You know what? We should all have a wedding as soon as possible before Lena can do anything. No matter what, I, Darren, would say yes,” he suggested, beaming at Aurelia with dimples shining at her.
“ Great idea, my brother,” Justin said, grinning at Jiwon.
“Oooh! We can have many doves to demonstrate our love and we shall invite Lena to be a VVVIP.” Everyone looked at Jiwon with shock.
“ Yes! Hahaha, I love that idea!” Hye Kyo exclaimed. Silence.
“ Wait a minute… you two are ready?” Darren asked.
“ Yes,” she replied, pleased as she stared at Richard who was staring at her with affection flooding from his heart.
“ We had our first kiss just today and I’ve confessed to her,” Richard stated, blushing,
“ One moment… Lena is our VVVIP only because I want her to clear the nasty bird poop and to rub it in that we are together.” Jiwon explained.
“ Yes, we all know that, honey,” Justin replied in charm, laughing lightly.
“ Jiwon, you’re very funny,” Aurelia commented, giggling.
“ Like this, it will also be a very memorable wedding, priceless!” Darren exclaimed.
“ But again, she’s still caged up. Are we allowed to ask for permission from the officers? Maybe we release her out of the cage just for three days—Jiwon and Justin on the first day, Aurelia and Darren on the second and Richard and I the third,” Hye Kyo suggested.
“Or how about, we all do it in one day?” Jiwon suggested.
“ Alright, let’s go with that plan,” Aurelia agreed as they planned to set out the next morning.
As the sun rose, Aurelia and Jiwon led everyone to the office. After what seemed like an eternity, they reached the entrance. Knocking on the door, a voice emanated from inside, telling them to enter.
“ What’s the matter?” He asked, looking up from a document.
“ Good morning Mr. Lopez, we are here to seek your permission to set Ms. Lena out of the cage for a day,” Aurelia said.
“ What for?” He questioned.
Jiwon replied, “ We all want to get married. We are hoping to show Lena that we are already together and she can stop trying her evil ways.”
“ According to the book, releasing Ms. Lena isn’t possible. I suggest you let her sit in her cage while she observes your wedding,” Mr. Lopez said firmly.
“ Alright, Mr. Lopez,” Justin sighed as they left the office.
“ Well, then we will let her observe our wedding, show her that it is going to be impossible to break any of us up,” Jiwon proclaimed with a new sense of determination bubbling in her. As Hye Kyo set off finding leaves ( most were withered as winter was arriving) for Lena, Richard accompanied her.
“ When do you think it is a good day for our wedding? Like what we have discussed, we’ll have the wedding at Aurelia’s lake but we have not decided on the theme yet,” Richard said.
“ Well, the best thing for me would be that the wedding is held tomorrow!” Hye Kyo exclaimed. Grinning, Richard stared intently at Hye Kyo with Hye Kyo a little bewildered.
“ My Hye Hye, let’s propose to the rest that we have the weddings tomorrow,” Richard suggested.
“I’m quite eager,” they chorused, smiling at each other. Right after passing the food to Lena, Richard asked, “ Jiwon and Aurelia, can we have the weddings tomorrow?”
The animals spent the whole night discussing and after what seemed like an eternity, they figured out the theme, their dresses.
The following day, excitement bubbled in everyone as Aurelia wore a mermaid-shaped wedding dress, Jiwon in the chiffon wedding dress and Hye Kyo in a short white wedding dress. The men looked especially charming and cute that day. As everyone gathered near the lake, there were roses all around. Justin volunteered to bring Lena’s cage there.
“ Lena, you are going to attend weddings today,” Justin stated, dragging the cage with him as he placed it near the lake too. Bewildered, Lena observed what was happening. Why were the three girls she hated the most in such beautiful gowns? Why were those three gentlemen she longed to be within a suit? As the classical music played, Jiwon in her elegant chiffon dress strolled down the aisle with Justin looking pleased with her in front. Realisation dawned upon Lena—they were getting married. Justin was getting married to Jiwon.
“ It’s ok, I’ve Darren, he’s the bridesmaid today while Aurelia is just a stupid flower girl standing there,” Lena muttered, making an excuse.
“ But why would a flower girl wear so nicely? Urgh, the usual vain Aurelia,” She mumbled angrily. Reaching his hands out for hers, Jiwon and Justin smiled at each other with affection. Pressing against each other, they kissed with adoration flooding from their hearts.
“ Whooo!” They exclaimed as Justin slotted the ring into the fourth finger of Jiwon.
“ Next up, we have Aurelia, our chairwoman, and Darren,” Hye Kyo announced, herself nervous. Filled with excitement, Aurelia took the first step in the red aisle as she admired the roses. She remembered how Darren found this place for her to stay in and how he called her his Juliet. Blushing unknowingly, Aurelia reaches for his hands as he beamed at her with charm.
“ Will you marry me?” He asked, kneeling down.
Terrified, Lena rubbed her eyes with her feathers.
‘ I must be hallucinating,’ she comforted herself but whatever was happening was all true. Pleased, Aurelia nodded with tears of joy welling in her eyes. The ring was on her fourth finger as he stood up, reaching his hands out as he wiped away her tears. Silence. They leaned forward as his mouth reached for her lips as they kissed passionately with infatuation flooding from their hearts.
“ Oooh!!!!” They cheered as Aurelia took over the microphone.
“ And now, last but not least, we have Hye Kyo and Richard!!!” Aurelia announces, grinning at Hye Kyo, happy for her friend.
Shyly, Hye Kyo took her first step in the aisle.
As she reached him, he beamed and gave her a knowing look. However, before the ring could be slotted into her finger, a voice emanated from behind.
Turning around, it was a cormorant that looked pretty majestic.
Warily, everyone turned to face her.
“ Mother!” Lena exclaimed.
Bewildered, Aurelia kept quiet.
“ I.demand.you.to tell. us.who.you.are,” Jiwon said, trying to control her temper. She was angry firstly because of the rude interruption of the perfect wedding and second, the breed of the kind which was a cormorant.
“ I am Lena’s mother and you shall call me the queen!” She hollered.
“ Hell, no,” Jiwon muttered.
“ I am Aurelia, the chairwoman and Jiwon the vice-chair,” Aurelia stated calmly.
“ Whatever, I don’t need the details. I just want to teach you guys a lesson!” She hollered and out came her mouth a huge green mist.
“ EVERYONE, ESCAPE!” Aurelia ordered, signalling to everyone to run to another direction. She was the chairwoman so she had to make sure everyone was safe before she fled too.
“ JIWON!! Hurry! Don’t try it!” Aurelia shouted, at the verge of breaking down. Jiwon being Jiwon turned herself into a wolf with her sharp claws and teeth and pounced towards Lena’s mother. The beautiful night was ruined by her and Jiwon was not taking this lightly. Lena’s mother brandished her sharp talons in fury. Jiwon dived into the deep grass and blending into the shadows, now in her wolf form.
“ JIWON!!” Aurelia screamed as she flew towards Jiwon to lift her up. As she flapped her wings, pain shot through one.
“ Ouch!” She yelled as she landed hard onto the floor with Jiwon. “Aurelia! Oh no… YOU’LL PAY FOR THIS!!!” Jiwon stared at Aurelia’s lifeless body, horrified as she saw an arrow pierced through Aurelia’s wing. Darren rushed towards Aurelia, picking her up in his muscular arms.
“ My Juliet, you can’t die,” he said, swallowing the lump in his throat.
“Try it! No one can beat me!” She hollered, bursting into evil laughter as she flapped her wings proudly with Lena who was smirking on her shoulder.
Jiwon howled in fury and, in one leap, her long claws pierced through Lena’s Mother. Everyone watched in horror as Jiwon clawed her, blood spilling everywhere. Jiwon picked up two arrows from the floor and pierced Lena’s mother’s wings down.
“You dare harm my friend, you will taste double the pain,” Jiwon growled.
“You can never beat me or my daughter, never. I am the invincible Queen Bella and my daughter will get my genes.” Bella snapped.
“Eat dirt, you delusional woman!” Jiwon spat as she scooped a bunch of soil and shoved it into Bella’s mouth.
Surprisingly, Justin had the mood to laugh.
“Mother… WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!” Lena screeched.
“WE HAVE BEEN THE ONE NICE TO YOU SINCE YOU WERE BORN YOU LITTLE UNGRATEFUL BRAT!! YOUR MOTHER WAS THE ONE WHO ABANDONED YOU! AURELIA WAS NICE TO YOU BUT. ALL YOU DO IS TAKE WHAT WE HAVE, STOMP ON IT, AND POOP ON IT.” Jiwon screamed, unable to control herself anymore.
“ How dare you say that about my beloved daughter!?! SERVANTS AND GUARDS! GRAB ALL THEM ALL AND PUT THEM IN THE CAGES, PUT Darren BESIDE LENA!” She demanded.
“Oh shut up old woman! I was the one who witnessed everything. You abandoned Lena amongst the weeds near the dumpster. Why else did you think I was so nice to her all this time? Because I pitied her. She was not loved from the beginning.” Hye Kyo said, to the amazement of everyone.
“ And that is why my Lena needs to get her love from her true love—Darren!” She retorted.
“LENA.IS.NOT.MY.TRUE.LOVE!” Darren roared, banging the cage furiously, and surprisingly opening his own cage.
Everyone admired Jiwon and Hye Kyo’s courage but it was too late anyway, there were big and huge eagles grabbing them and putting them into cages.
“ AURE!!” Darren roared, sitting reluctantly beside Lena.
Sobbing, Aurelia mumbled, “ My Romeo, I think it's time to say goodbye. My wing is bleeding badly and I’m going to—“ She collapsed and laid in the cage, lifeless.
“THAT’S IT, YOU BASTARDS!!” Justin boomed, breaking the ears of everyone including Jiwon. All of a sudden he turned into a fox, but not the normal-sized one, it was like a times 10 version of his fiery, muscles and anger. HE HAD 9 TAILS! He leapt up approximately 2 feet high, banging open some of the cages. His fur turned from his normal orange to red and his claws sharper than pincers and needles, teeth even sharper than Jiwon’s. Even Bella the ‘invincible’, was frightened by Justin and even the strong eagles flew away
Darren also changed into a different lion. He grew 10 times bigger, muscles rippling. His smooth blond coat changed into a brilliant gold which shone like the sun. His beautiful mane, shining orange. His claws grew sharp and he let out a loud and majestic roar. His normal gentle blue eyes turned to an icy blue. His roar was so powerful that it opened the rest of the cages.
As the chaos happened, Jiwon carried Aurelia, bolted to the office, leaving Richard and Hye Kyo a choice to follow her or stay and watch the chaos. Since Hye Kyo sustained minor injuries, Richard accompanied her to the office too.
Shock was written all over Lena and ‘Invincible’ Queen Bella’ faces as they stood rooted to the ground with fear tying a knot everywhere around their body. At this rate, there was no chance of survival for them.
Justin and Darren gobbled down the delicious meal. Composing themselves, they gradually returned to their normal size. The brothers stared at each other, trying to recall what had happened.
“ AURELIA AND JIWON!!!!!” They hollered abruptly as they followed their instincts and decided to run to the office. Without knocking the door, the brothers burst into it with the officer looking at them in shock.
“ WHERE’S AURELIA AND JIWON?!?” They chorused.
“ They are resting in the hospital. I have gotten their reports and Hye Kyo has told me everything I need to know. But before I hand the report to you, do you guys know where Lena or Bella is?” He asked.
The brothers looked at each other and remembered that Lena was part of their meal. They smiled sheepishly at each other.
“ We… we ate Bella,” Justin sputtered. Stunned silence.
“ Oh…oh..k,” the officer stammered, handing them the report with shaky hands.
“ To sum it up, Aurelia is in a coma, Jiwon has sustained major injuries and Hye Kyo and Richard minor injuries,” Justin mumbled worriedly. Dropping the report on the floor, they bolted right into the hospital.
“ You can’t leave me, my Juliet,” Darren prayed as Justin prayed silently that his Jiwon would be in a good state. Entering the ward, each sat at the bedsides respectively. Jiwon was wrapped with bandages on her legs and her forehead, Aurelia had thick bandages on her right wing and she was lying on the bed, unconscious, Hye Kyo with many plasters over her like Richard.
“ My Jiwon, you were so brave,” Justin whispered, hurt that his honey was in such a bad state. Jiwon forced a smile and was too exhausted that she fell asleep.
Beside her ward was Darren sitting beside Aurelia. Since he knew that talking to a person in a coma would increase their chance of survival, Darren cleared his throat as he began.
“ Aurelia, you better wake up and not leave us all alone. You were brave too and I need you to press on and wake up,” Darren said.
“ Remember how we call each other Romeo and Juliet? Well now I’m calling you my Juliet and I wish you can reply to me as soon as possible that I am your Romeo,” he continued, swallowing the lump in his throat.
“ You shall not leave me alone like this,” he stated.
“ I have also helped you take revenge. Those bastards are eaten and they can never hurt you again so don’t ever be afraid anymore, my Juliet,” he stressed.
“ Do you actually know that when you first called me a stud muffin I was bubbling in joy and when you first initiated that we should be girl and boyfriends I was filled with honour and surprise. I never knew you were the someone who was waiting for me to be my true love,” he laughed at his own stupidity.
“ But our marriage was successful. Both of us said yes, didn’t we? We promised each other that we won’t leave each other, and I proclaimed that right beside you is where I belong, remember?” he asked.
“ And you said that you would love me with every beat of your heart,” he continued.
“ And if you love me, please wake up,” he concluded, holding back tears which were brimming in his eyes.
Behind him was Jiwon in a wheelchair, Hye Kyo, Richard, and Justin, patting Darren on his shoulder.
“ She will wake up, I know that she’s strong,” Jiwon added, confident about the strength of her best friend.
“ Yes she will,” Hye Kyo agreed hopefully.
Three days passed, Jiwon and Hye Kyo recovered, leading their mundane life again but at least they had Justin and Richard. As for Darren, he remained hopeful that Aurelia would wake up, he made it a daily routine to speak to Aurelia for more than two hours at least. He would become more hopeful and excited when Aurelia moved her wing a little or when she teared. And the day came when Aurelia’s eyes fluttered open, coming face to face with Darren was bubbling with joy and relief. Unknowingly, Aurelia smiled.
“ Aurelia has woken up!” He exclaimed as the doctors came and examined her. Afterwards, they concluded that her wing also had recovered although there were some bloodstains. Darren contained his happiness as he strolled with Aurelia, bringing back to her home.
“ My Romeo, are you happy now, I replied to you,” Aurelia laughed lightly.
“ You heard me? You heard me when you were in your coma??” Darren asked, surprised.
Aurelia nodded and joked, “ Yeah, it was such a nag that I decided to wake up!”
Hye Kyo, Richard, Jiwon, and Justin watched in amazement when Darren returned with a swan( everyone was in their animal form).
“ Aurelia!” They chorused.
“ Welcome back!” Jiwon laughed lightly as she contained her happiness.
To celebrate, they decide to all have a ball at night.
As the sun set, they paired up and danced to the romantic waltz music. He looked into her eyes with charm as both kissed passionately with affection flooding from their hearts.
The couples settled in happily amongst the sunset, soaking at the moment. No one said anything as they sat with their partner in contented silence. They hoped that trouble would not find them in a long time, they enjoyed the peace and happiness brought out by the power of love, not bitterness, not hatred, not jealousy. How wrong they were when they thought that it was going to be a happy ending for everyone. Lena soared through the skies, tears streaking down her cheeks. She had lost her mother, her dignity and most importantly the friends she never knew she had. But she was not going to let them rest for long. Her wings, her eyes, her lips, her hair, turned all her light brown features to black at the vengeful thoughts. She had one motto, ‘When life gives you lemons, Squeeze it into other’s eyes’. She was going to come back, stronger than ever…
Neveah Hor, born and raised in Singapore, is the author of Love Machine. She published her first book at the age of thirteen. She likes to write, read and enjoys Ballet. She writes mainly under the genres of Young Adult, Romance and Fantasy. She won several writing contests at the age of nine. She is currently receiving her education in Singapore and lives with her parents and an elder sister. She is just an ordinary teenager who holds a pen and paper as she enters the world of stories. She hopes she could be someone’s favourite author one day. Her passion for writing never fades.
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