The Traveler Chronicles 3

ERABELLE’S TALE

PART FOUR:  LOVE

Princess Erabelle felt as if she had adapted to her role as the tragedy princess a little too well. What more did she have to lament about when she had been adopted by her parents’ doppelgangers who had embraced her and her sisters and adored them as much as the only fruit of Anna’s womb, Prince Emre?

Ever since she and her sisters were adopted by King Ember and Queen Anna, their lives had been irrevocably changed for the good. Where she had expected their anger and condemnation, she had found love and acceptance despite the sins that weighed heavily on her conscience. King Ember was prompt in reminding her that she could not possibly hope to surpass the record of wickedness he had set- that though she had murdered thousands, he had been worse as Lord Kyron and that he had been atoning for his sins since then.

Her new mother, Queen Anna, was everything Erabelle hoped she would be and then some… She was ever so kind and loving to her, treating Era like she was her own daughter. Her new brother, Prince Emre, was the sort of big brother every girl grew to love fondly. He often played pranks on her and her sisters; playfully teasing them and fully took on the role of an older brother despite the fact that that he was roughly the same age as Erabelle herself. Her doting grandparents, the Queen Mother, Penny Roth and King Regent Blaize were adoring and spoiled her and her sisters rotten.

Penny like Anna, always had a kind word to give her and Era adored the tea parties she had together with Queen Anna, her Aunt Emilie and all the ladies in the Queen’s court which was held at least once every month at the Roth estate. The Queen Mother had instilled a great love of gardening in Era who spent several hours in the Orchard in the Royal Palace of Medula tending to green foliage there.

And Era could ne’er forget her beloved Aunt Emilie and Uncle Travis. Their home was so beautiful she couldn’t help but get lost in her exploration for several hours on end each time she visited.

Her Aunt Emilie was a great chef and shared many secret family recipes with her passed  through the Roth Generations. She was overjoyed to learn that after so many years, her Aunt Emilie was expecting her first child with her husband and so Emilie’s activities in defeating the Entity were greatly diminished as she focused more on her own family life. Her Aunt had together with her mother,  instilled a deep love and admiration for femininity in Era and she could proudly sow or play some complex tunes on the piano upon request after their skillful instruction.

Perhaps, Era reasoned, her lamentations streamed for holding onto her deepest darkest secret for so long; a secret she had kept from her beloved family and all the new friends she had made. This secret she had hidden even from her closest friend, her beloved Osbertus, her right hand man and personal bodyguard.

Every day that passed, Era was tormented by the weight of carrying her secret and she was terrified that someday, someone would discover it and it would cost her the happiness she had finally gotten in her life of tragedies. Era had wished it away and sometimes wished that it was different; that she was different but it appeared nothing could take the painful secret she held close to her heart no matter what she tried.

Erabelle had watched so many people find their happily ever after and had coveted a piece of that Heaven for her own. She was terribly lonely and not because she lacked people that loved her but because she did not have someone to love and someone to love her as a woman rather than as a daughter or friend or even as a Princess. She enviously observed the love of her parents and wished the same for herself and felt jealous over her Aunt’s glow in the light of her new pregnancy. Even her brother Prince Emre had someone to love although at the time, Avery Alison did not positively respond to his advances.

But at the heart of that deep desire for love lay Era’s shameful secret. So long as she was too anxious to share it, Era knew she could not have the love she sought. It was justified, then, to keep that desire to herself or risk exposure of her ‘abnormality’ and lose her family and friends…

Era helped her mother as much as she could in hosting the desperate souls that came to the Dyson Sphere. It was through these activities that she had met Cindy, a witch rescued by the Protector of the Oracle from the Dark World.

Cindy, like the other witches rescued by Lieutenant Nobu had been enslaved by dryads for their perverted entertainment. After several years serving under different dryad masters in different capacities, she had been deemed ‘rabid’ and therefore had assumed that wicked title and everything accompanying that label.

Rabids had an infamous reputation in the Dark World and were meant for sporting entertainment for the fair-folk populace. Despite the odds, Cindy had survived, having to kill fellow witches in the name of entertainment from her slave masters to live. Nobu had met Cindy while she was on the run and had promptly taken her under his wing.

Tamara, another witch Protector Nobu had rescued, had been the one to convince Cindy that he was not as wicked as his dryad brethren. Eventually, Nobu had rescued four others after both she and Tamara namely; Petra and Cora (Belles), Eliza (a rabid escapee like Cindy) and Blythe (a ‘Porcelain’ Belle). Recently, Nobu had rescued Cora’s half-sister Collette.

What they had endured in the Dark World was something that highly distressed Cindy and the other rescued witches and once she began trusting that Era, despite the latter being fair-folk, was good, she confided in her all that she and the others had endured. Era found herself spending time with each of the rescued witches and then eventually ended up spending far more time with Cindy than the others.

Often, she and Cindy spent several hours of each day alone, exploring the Dyson Sphere together while talking about their lives. Suddenly, Era’s tragic life didn’t seem so grim. Eventually, she and Cindy grew closer and closer, so much so that they became best friends. Not a day passed by when the two women were not spotted together, discussing this thing or that or engaging in some activity or another.

However, Era began to feel guilty when she realized that for her, spending time with Cindy was evolving into something more than just friendship. She was terrified as she did not wish to lose Cindy as her best friend nor ostracize herself from her family entirely because of her secret.

And so Era made the heart-wrenching decision to start avoiding Cindy altogether and it made her miserable. She began to skip meals and generally became anti-social. Worried about their daughter’s change in personality especially given the fact that Prince Emre had changed personality because of merging with his doppelganger from another timeline, they feared that something similar was happening to her. She tried her best to assuage their fears without revealing her secret.

It came as a huge surprise when Avery approached her and asked if she was okay. Era automatically responded that she was fine. Avery then reminded her that she had intimate knowledge of several of the various possible futures involving Era before probing her deeper by asking Era whether her sudden anti-social behavior had something to do with Cindy.

“Of course it doesn’t. Why would you ever think that it has something to do with her?”

Avery gave her a knowing look. “Era, it’s okay. I know the truth. I know that you’re in love with Cindy and that she is in love with you too,”

“What? Who- who told you such a thing and what do you mean by it? That’s insane! Two women, from completely different backgrounds… Different timelines even… How can such a thing be? You haven’t the foggiest idea what- what you’re saying,” Era retorted.

Avery shook her head and then hugged Erabelle and while they hugged each other, she whispered in Era’s ear, “It’s okay if you are not ready to come out to the world yet. If it’s any consolation, the version of you I met in my timeline, Era Epsilon 1- (or Era E1), came out to her adoptive parents- Anna D1 and Ember D1 and they wholeheartedly accepted her. Anna B3 and Ember B3 are very similar to their doppelgangers in my timeline and I know they’ll love you all the same even if you come out to them, okay?”

Era was stunned to silence. Avery surprised her by lingering into their hug for a few precious moments before stealing a kiss from her and then stating, “Oh and another thing, if I may, I’m also not exclusively attracted to men and have at times been known to favor a pretty lady or two… I came out to my scary adoptive mom ages ago before I fell in love with Emre. I thought she’d shun me but she was accepting of it and trust me, that was the last person I expected would understand. With that being said, I hope Cindy forgives me for stealing your first true kiss.”

“How- how do you know that Cindy loves me?”

Avery sighed and gazed up at the artificial sky above them claiming, “I’ve seen it happen before for your doppelganger and I know it will happen to you too if you allow it… In time,”

Era nodded. “Avery- will you help me?” she asked Avery frightened.

Avery smiled and nodded. “Of course I will, Era. It’ll be my pleasure,”

Era sighed, relieved that Avery had so easily accepted her deepest darkest secret. Era hugged Avery and wept. If Avery was so accepting, she then could entertain the hope that her family would accept her just the way she was.

TO BE CONTINUED…

DISCLAIMER

What a heart-wrenching moment… This story is dedicated to all you loyal fans out there struggling with secrets of your own particularly if it pertains to your sexual orientation. Being an Ally, I fully support and accept you as you are. May you find the strength and courage to make that difficult step to come out to your parents or guardians or even close friends and most importantly, may you find love and happiness always… (when you are ready, of course)

For all fans who find this story offensive, I sincerely apologize for your finding it so but please note that I am not sorry for posting this story. People within the LGBT require our love, support and representation in media. As such, I could not create this beautiful universe without including our brothers and sisters within the LGBT Community. Please note that as many writers will attest, characters come to us fully formed in our minds and as such, we try and stay as true to the characters as we can, in most cases. Love is love. That is my belief. It is fine to disagree with me and you are entitled to feeling offended and if you feel so strongly about it, you may unfollow me and I would totally understand. For those of you still with me, let us voyage on!

 

 

 

 

 

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