1026 A Kiss That Changes Everything
Harlow felt tricked again. How was this man so good with words? He asked her if his looks was the reason Harlow rejected him, and to show that she was not a shallow person, Harlow denied it, which was not a lie anyway. But now, he asked her to prove it by kissing him.
Ughhhh...! Now Harlow realized that's how Emmelyn could be tricked by Raphael into giving her most precious belonging, her daughter - Harlow, to the god of healing a.k.a the demon king.
Raphael was too good!
She was no match to him when it came to underhanded tricks and wordplay. She thought she was sassy and witty, but compared to him, she was nothing.
"Fine," Harlow rolled her eyes. "Just one kiss. To show you that I am grateful for your help in Cretea and that I don't look down on you because of your appearance. I am not superficial."
Raphael smiled - no, he smirked when he heard her. It's like a conman who just succeeded in deceiving his victim.
However, the profound sadness in his eyes was still there. Harlow didn't know why it bothered her so much. She didn't want to see him sad.
Why was he sad? He should be annoying and shameless as usual.
Raphael pulled her closer, until their bodies touched. He was happy that she finally admitted that his appearance didn't bother her, and that she was willing to kiss him. However, he was sad because it was too late.
He needed her to sleep with him of her own accord, to prove to heaven that his wife loved him for who he was as a person, and not his looks or his title. He was only given thirty days and today was the last day. However, no matter what he did, Harlow was just not interested in him in this lifetime.
She kept rejecting him and even though she might change her mind in the future, seeing how she had slowly treated him better, there was no way he could break the curse today. So, he would just receive the kiss and take his defeat.
Harlow didn't know why her heart suddenly thumped when her body touched his. It was such an intimate position but she didn't feel uncomfortable at all. She was mesmerized by how good his scent was when they were this close. It's a combination of musk and something sweet - she didn't know what it was.
Hmm... actually now she remembered. It was the faint scent of the purple flowers Raphael grew outside his castle. It felt strangely familiar.
Harlow reached Raphael's neck and hugged it to gain support as she tip-toed to plant a kiss on his lips. She remembered when the man stole her first kiss when she got him 'drunk'. She knew he kissed her but she didn't remember what it felt like because he turned back time to redo the scene and cancel the kiss.
This time, it was Harlow's initiative to kiss him. So, there was no need for Raphael to cancel it. This would be their first real kiss, and she could truly show him that she was not superficial just like what she said back then.
Raphael closed his eyes when Harlow's soft red lips touched his. He wrapped his arms around Harlow's waist and held her gently. He was trying so hard to hold back. He was scared he would hurt her by squeezing too hard because he missed her so, so deeply.
Harlow was surprised to find the Demon King's lips were so soft and sweet. Despite his wicked-looking face, and his scary horns, he was extremely gentle with her. Raphael opened his lips and his tongue started roaming Harlow's slightly open mouth.
He sucked on her lips and twisted her tongue, and he did it so skillfully that it didn't feel invasive. Harlow didn't know how she was so okay with him doing whatever he wanted with her lips and tongue and mouth and... now he was moving downward too?
Harlow didn't know when his lips reached her collarbone. They gave her gentle pecks as they went down from her lips to her chin, her neck, and now her collarbone which felt so sensitive and ticklish.
Along the way, his tongue licked her skin softly, giving her tingles. Everything became blurry because she was engulfed in a strange but familiar sensation. His scent was so attractive and she couldn't get enough of his kiss. "Raph... Raphael..." Harlow grabbed Raphael's shirt and pulled him. "What are you doing to me?"
Raphael could barely respond. He was drunk in euphoria that made him want to laugh and cry at the same time. He was holding her in his arms again, and they were kissing.
He missed her so much and was so tempted to make love to her right then and there.
Maybe she would remember him if they had sex even if the time to break the curse had passed? But, he didn't want to force her to have sex with him just to make her remember. What if she didn't and she would end up hating him?
He wanted to leave her and calmed down his heart after making that decision to let her go. He would see his father in Cretea and ask forgiveness for Harlow's trespassing and tomorrow he trusted that he would be of sound enough mind to take her back to Draec and say goodbye properly.
"Raphael..." Harlow said softly. "Can you please look at me?"
Raphael's heart fluttered when he heard how sweet her voice was when she called his name. He wanted to turn around and look at her as she wanted, but he was scared that his resolve would crumble.
Harlow used her other hand to touch his waist and repeated her request. "Please look at me."
Finally, Raphael turned around slowly. He knew he would regret this but he couldn't say no to her, his dear wife. Whatever that was she wanted to say to him, he would listen.
As soon as the man faced her, Harlow jumped onto him and wrapped her arms around his neck to kiss him.
Her action confused Raphael so greatly that he was frozen in place. His eyes were wide open like the deer in the headlights.
Just in a brief moment, their relationship dynamic changes. We'll see soon why Harlow decided to kiss Raphael again.
Apologies to all of you who read "The Cursed Prince" and were left wondering why I didn't continue writing for over a year. I am actually tired of explaining over and over throughout the past year, especially when I didn't really know what was wrong with me. I just felt so burnout that I could barely do anything for more than a year.
However, I will copy what I wrote on my social media to give a bit of clarity (btw this note is added after I publish the chapter so you don't pay coins for it):
I had a severe burnout for over a year and I couldn't do any creative work at all. I was merely surviving throughout 2023, trying not to die mentally.
I started suspecting I had ADHD by mid 2023 (been having it my whole life apparently) and only got officially diagnosed by my doctor in November 2023, and that took a lot of tears and pleading from my side to get me tested for months. She was sure I didn't have it coz I looked fine and I was articulate. She even gave me medication for bipolar disorder which obviously didn't work.
Finally, she sent me to a psychologist who gave me more tests and confirmed my suspicion. I started getting the medication I desperately needed in December 2023. It's been one month and I'm improving, but it's slow progress. I've been living with severe ADHD and masking for decades, using up everything in me to survive and I think I've truly emptied my cup last year that I struggle so hard to give anything out. So, I'm grateful to you who still wait for me to come back with the stories I want to share with you. I have a lot in my head but no energy to put them out right now. Once I recover and refill my cup, I'll share more of those with you. Rowena and Raphael, Rune and Rose, Sophie - Leland - Nicholas, Elena and Xavier, Noah and River, Ash and Sara, Ines and Aleric, etc. They are in my head, I know how their stories will unfold, I just need time to write them once I am mentally healthy again. I'm getting there. I've also taken A LOT of help (I signed up with programs to help me organize my time and thoughts, behavioral therapy, etc.) the past year to manage my condition, but none worked. I think it's because doing those without the paired medication, in my case, is simply impossible.
Now that I've been getting medical treatment, I hope the cognitive behavioral therapy will finally work. I am so happy that today I can finally sit down and write something.
I had often found myself sitting before my laptop for hours and my mind went blank and fuzzy. Today it was clear and I could see stars again. So, I hope to continue on this journey with you and we can resume the chapters soon.
- Vina (Missrealitybites)