Undressed by the King - Book cover

Undressed by the King

J.M. Felic

Chapter 2


The next thing I knew, the king’s hand shot out and grabbed a fistful of my hair, pulling me up onto my knees.

I yelped, pain shooting through my scalp. My hands clawed at his arm, but each time I pulled it down, his hold on my hair tightened. His free hand cupped my jaw, angling my head toward the light.

He was examining me.

I was about to yell out when his face shifted, and I could see the depth of his striking eyes. Pale, violet irises that had splinters of gold in them. They were mesmerizing, unlike any eyes I’d seen before.

“You’re…hurting me!” I gasped as he cupped my face between his massive palms.

His face was almost unreadable, but his eyes were rapidly scanning my face as if he were searching for something.

Then he released me, and I fell back down onto my hands, breathing hard.

He whispered something to himself.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him kneel, joining me on the ground. He reached for my right arm, tenderly this time, but I didn’t give him the chance.

I scrambled onto my feet and bolted to the arched double doors at the end of the hall, running as fast as I could. Like my life depended on it.

The king yelled out a command, his voice echoing throughout the hall.

I heard the sound of metal clanking behind me, and I hoped that no one outside the hall heard the king’s command. Please don’t let there be soldiers out there.

I pushed the doors open and found myself running into an empty foyer, but I stopped when I saw the guards at the main entrance.

They saw me too and began shouting.

I ran to the right toward the glass-paneled doors leading to the outside. I stepped out into a courtyard, and my mind raced, scrambling to think of a way to get home.

But first things first. I needed to get away from this palace.

Clanking metal and shouting men kept my pace high. I glanced back to see there were now a dozen armored soldiers sprinting after me, their swords drawn and glinting.

All I could do was run—the taekwondo I took in college wouldn’t help against those blades. And so I ran.

When I passed the manicured lawn of the courtyard, I spotted the edge of a village not far away, so that became my new target. But when I heard a loud roar coming from behind me, I knew those swords were the least of my worries.

I stole another glance back, and I struggled to comprehend what I was seeing. It was huge and could fly, and it was shimmering. Then it flew closer, and there was only one word that came to mind to describe it.


But it was the kind of monster a child would draw.

It flew on six golden wings, its movements graceful and quiet. Its body was covered with silvery golden scales. It had giant feet with giant claws that flashed in the sky. It had the tail of a scorpion and the head of a lion, and four horns protruded through its golden-brown mane.

It was the most terrifying yet beautiful creature I had ever seen in my life. And it was heading. Straight. For. Me.

I reached the village and zigzagged through the homes and streets in an attempt to lose the soldiers. Realizing I could run no longer, I turned into a dark alleyway to catch my breath.

And then I heard another roar. This time, angrier. And right above me.

I looked up to see the monster swooping down at me, and as it did, its lion head transformed into a dragon’s, black as night with glowing red eyes. It bared its teeth and opened its mouth, and I shut my eyes and awaited the pain of being eaten alive.

But no pain came.

I opened my eyes and saw the monster snapping at me, trying to claw its way toward me, but it was too wide to fit into the alleyway. I backed away just as it tried to sting me with its tail, leaving a tear in my shirt.

Running will do no good now. Time to hide.

The buildings were made of stone, so I figured I’d be safe in one. I banged on every door I could find, turning the knobs at the same time. No luck.

The earth shook as the monster hopped from one roof to the next, following me down the alley and raining tiles on me from above.

As I approached the end of the alleyway, one knob finally turned, and I ran through the door, hoping for the best. But that hope disappeared when I found a thin blade pointed directly at my throat.

It was the king, his jet-black hair gleaming in the candlelight and his face twisted in anger.

It was impossible. How did he know where I was? And how the hell did he get here so fast?

“Who are you?” he asked in his deep, commanding voice.

I was stunned silent to be hearing English, but fear helped me recover. “Please, don’t hurt me.” My breath trembled. “I just want to go home.”

He said nothing, and I realized how quiet it was. The monster was gone. The king must have been able to control it and sent it away. Maybe it was his bloodhound.

My heart then broke as the soldiers approached outside. The clanking of their armor was my grim acceptance that I was never going home.

The king clenched his jaw and stepped forward, bringing the tip of the slender sword closer to my throat.

“Please!” I gasped. “Please!” For the first time since I had been thrown into this weird world, I felt tears escaping my eyes. There was no getting away from this craziness. I felt completely hopeless.

Then, he raised his sword. But instead of cutting my throat, he shoved me behind some stacked barrels nearby, right as the soldiers appeared.

Why is he hiding me from his own men? I thought as I tried to be as small and quiet as possible.

I heard two soldiers shout something. They sounded surprised. I shrank against the barrels, trying to hold my breath. Then the king said something in a calm voice and his frame shifted, probably to cover me more.

A soldier then said something and chuckled. He must have told a joke. But the king didn’t laugh. Instead, he raised his sword, and I heard a gasp.

My imagination told me the king’s blade was pressed into the soldier’s throat just as it had been mine mere seconds ago.

The king said something that sounded like a command, and the soldiers all shouted in unison in return. Then, I heard the familiar clanking of metal, but this time, it was moving away.

I took a deep breath and relaxed a bit. “Um…th-thank you,” I said as I pushed myself up and away from the barrels, peeking out the door to make sure the soldiers weren’t still there.

“Who are you, woman?” he said, returning his sword to its scabbard.

“I should be asking that of you. And how do you know my language?”

He took a step forward. “You have five seconds to explain your presence in this land or I will—”

I didn’t stick around to hear the rest. I bolted outside and ran in the direction opposite the way I’d come.

The end of the alley was also the edge of the village, and I saw the silver gleam of a barely moving river in front of me. Knowing I couldn’t stop, I ran to it and leaped.

Instead of falling into ice-cold water, I fell right onto carpet. Familiar carpet.

I grabbed the garbage bin where I knew it’d be and vomited into it. My head was throbbing, and I rolled onto my back, sprawling in front of the mirror, trying to catch my breath.

“What the hell was that?” I cried out to my empty apartment.

I held my head, trying to make sense of what had just happened, but any attempts to be logical just made my head throb more.


After magically traveling to another dimension, I unsurprisingly didn’t want to stay home and cook, so I came to my favorite diner.

My order of mango juice and beef with broccoli and mashed potatoes sat steaming in front of me.

Though I was starving, my mind could only focus on what had happened with the mirror. There was no way it had been a dream. No dream could be so vivid and clear. It was all too real.

The silvery color of the water, the vibrant sky, the monster chasing me, and the king with the violet eyes. There was no other explanation—it was a real place.

I opened my laptop and searched for anything relating to that place. I used keywords like silver water and ~magic mirrors~ to filter my search. I knew it was a long shot, but I had to start somewhere.

After that turned up nothing, I searched for the monster. The closest thing was a chimera, a monster from Greek mythology with a lion’s head, golden wings, and a scorpion’s tail. Pretty close, but not quite there.

Ultimately, I was left with more questions and no answers.

“Can I get you anything else, Ms. Holland?” the waitress asked, taking my attention away from my laptop screen.

“No, everything’s good, thanks.” I gave her a weak smile. My headache was coming back.

She looked at the table, in front of my laptop. “Enjoy your food.” She walked away.

My food! My eyes snapped to the now cold plate as I closed my laptop and pushed it aside, bringing the plate closer.

I started devouring my order, and after a few minutes, my cell phone rang. I saw the caller ID and smiled.

“Yes, Bernard?”

“Ms. Holland, just reminding you that the paper for Archeology Weekly on the Malta church excavation is due tonight.”

Bernard was my secretary. He was good at his job, and very dedicated to it.

“Yeah, I’ll be reviewing the report when I get home. I’ll send you a copy with my signature at the bottom when I’m finished. Bye, Bernard.”

I hung up before he could barrage me with the million other things that needed doing.

There’s nothing like real-life responsibilities to take one’s mind away from bizarre adventures in dream worlds. I collected my things and walked to the exit, leaving my unfinished plate and twenty dollars on the table.

Before I could tend to those responsibilities, however, I had to figure out what to do with the mirror.


Staring at my reflection, I resolved that I needed to get this cursed object out of my apartment—before something from the other side came through.

I decided I would put it back where I found it. That must have been the reason why it was buried to begin with.

I dialed my colleague Professor Mallorie. He’d be able to stow it away in the archives of his university until I could return it.

I lifted the phone to my ear and glanced back at the mirror, screaming at what I saw and dropping my phone to the floor.

It was him. The alluring king. Standing right behind me in my reflection as if he were right behind me in the room. But he couldn’t be, right?

My eyes locked with his violet ones through the silver surface, and I was paralyzed by his gaze, powerless as his hands wrapped around my body.

He must have been in the room—I could feel his touch over my clothes.

He slowly unbuttoned my shirt until my chest and then my stomach were exposed. In one swift motion, he pulled off the shirt and unclasped my bra, letting both garments fall to my feet.

His hands clasped my waist from behind, pulling me closer. Then they moved up my body and cupped my breasts, doing a better job at containing them than my bra ever could.

I moaned and closed my eyes, relishing in the electrical surge of his touch. I wanted nothing more than for him to continue his exploration of my body. To move farther down.

I opened my eyes to see more, and he was gone.

What the—?

I looked around, completely frazzled, and found that I was alone, still clothed, in my apartment. The only evidence of the king’s appearance was the undeniable dampness in my underwear.

“Nicolette?” I could hear the faint voice of Professor Mallorie calling my name through the phone, which was face down on the floor.

I reached for it, trying to catch my breath. “Hello?”

“Ah, there you are. I must have bad service. I thought I lost you.”

I thought I lost me too. I let out a frustrated sigh and shook away the image of those violet eyes.

“I need your help with something. I need you to come by my place today. And bring the van.”

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