Annika An Afrika Koningin

Prologue:

The first meeting…

The moonlight splashed down its luminous white-silver glow onto the beautiful but peaceful island Sernia Ngogia on the outskirts of Casper Bay, South Africa. And in the distance, the immense bulky Mopane trees were silhouetted against the deep charcoal sky as the stars lit up the sky, as the air was still. The moon’s light sparkled across the calming waters of the ocean. A beacon of light pierced through the skylight of multi-paned glass, bathing the palace’s mahogany floor in a crisscross of cinnamon-chocolate color, brightening the ballroom. The walls were a pearly but beige stone that sparkled in the moonlight’s rays.

The palace air was perfumed by the heavy scent of Zantedeschia rehmannii lilies. Their fuchsia sword-shaped leaves were striking against the backdrop of golden and beige walls, simply beautiful. On closer inspection, she could see that magnificent but elegant flower was shaped like a trumpet.

Reaching out her hand to the delicate, creamy, and soft leaves she gazed at the cheerful connotation of admiration and appreciation of the Zantedeschia rehmannii lilies. Its scent would remind her of this spectacular night. The lilies stood tall and proud in the palace’s great hall. And there they were, the jewels of times past, the voices of the ancestors’ soul and spirits echoed through the hall. She walked between them, taking in the curves and textures of each artifact, letting her mind think as perhaps the makers did.

To her, each artifact was a piece of the past, or perhaps a mirror image into the culture, spirit, and ancestor’s soul and the ways they told a legend of the royal Theron Chevaliér’s family. Antiques and artifacts ringed the great hall, a collection of cultures and fashions through the ages. There was everything from Ancient Egypt to Early modern France.

There was funerary art of Egyptian queen, Nefertiti, Ethiopian Scrolls, South African BAULE Harp, Asante African currency, French horn, Rococo painting, “The Spoiled Child”, and French artillery swords, all of them covered in a glass cabinet. At the far end of the glass cabinet, there was 18th-century tortoiseshell jewelry box with floral motives, it was a rare but delicate antique, covered in 18K gold. As she approached the cabinet glancing in, she couldn’t help but smile as she watches a piece of the past, a lost treasure of history. She glided away from the glass cabinet of antiques and artifacts that stood proudly in the great hall. Her footsteps echoed sharply around the deserted hallway and mahogany floor, sounding overly noisy in her ears, like the booming and rapid heartbeat.

Every step she took she inched closer to the palace’s stairwell leading to the grand ballroom doors. Her palms were wilting and the adrenaline coursing through her small petite body. Her crème mask with golden lace trimmings framed her face perfectly.

The mask showing off her hazel eyes with a melt of autumn tones. As she inched closer to the stairwell leading to the ballroom’s doors a gaggle of goose pimples laminated her smooth but beautiful mocha-caramel skin. With each step, the moonlight pierced through the multi-glass paned windows caressing her skin. Then, abruptly pausing to close her cat-like hazel eyes and take in a deep breath of still air, she felt a tingle of butterflies in her stomach. She steeled herself to only think of her future from here on in and to make a good impression on the royal family.

Then with each step after that, she felt more in charge, less nervous and more in command of her mind, body, and soul. She was a young woman walking into her destiny, a destiny that laid squarely in her own hands. As she reached the end of the stairwell, she felt a vague sense of familiarity with someone watching over her as she walked down the stairs.

The doors to the grand ballroom of the palace are thrown open, and she enters at the top of the stairs. The ballroom was filled with the sounds of the violin, celesta, timpani, theorbo, and cellos. There was something about the way the instruments sing that sets her heart into the deepest of symphonies, deeply harrowing and torrential in the way it encompasses her body. She couldn’t find anything as which holds at much capacity in power as do those instruments especially the violin. It can be her friend, her family, her true love, however, for always, it will be in her accompaniment, helping her to portray her feelings to the crowd.

Its soft angelic slender strings caress the musician’s fingers, its curves are tenderly traced under their palms, and to them, nothing in the world can compare to the sense of empowerment which is achieved with the most marveling mix of notes. Every single suitor in the ballroom had their eye on the Crown Prince of the Theron Chevaliér family. He had sleek curly light brown hair, which was thick and shiny.

His eyes were simply hypnotizing the color of rich chocolate. He had a delicate and yet masculine face that stopped any woman or man in their tracks. She guesses he must get used to that, the sudden glares he gets for having perfect facial features. When anyone looked his way they received a natural expression followed by overcompensating with a nonchalant gaze and a pearly-white smile. The blush in his rosy cheeks that followed was a dead give-away. It didn’t help that he was so modest but bordering on arrogance and pretentious with it; it made the women fall for him all the more.

Despite all the opportunity that came his way he was a charming seducer who prized one-night stands, lipstick, and high-heels above genuineness and thoughtful conversation. He was handsome all right, but inside he was hiding who he truly was… a gentleman at heart with an angelic soul. Every woman at the ball tried to get the Prince’s attention.

However, the prince didn’t seem interested in any woman in the room that grabbed his attention until she walked into the ballroom…….

“The breeze blew warm announcing the coming of the spring’s coolest nights. The aroma of the tall Kikuyu grasses was fragrant, almost sickly, the smell of flowers cut through the soft scent of the night’s moist grass. The moon was under siege by stars that seemed to lighten the night bringing forth stars that shone and hung in the blackness painting more sublime than any artist could create. The clarity above became reflected in his mind and before midnight the prince set a plan in motion.

Upon seeing her, she captivated his mind, body, and soul. She appeared in the room with the Vintage Swwetheart Gold Lace Ball Gown. Everyone in the room couldn’t take their eyes off her beauty, even thou she hid it under a creme mask with golden lace trimmings. Gold Lace gown never looked so beautiful it was like a work of art on the woman. With hair that was a soft brown, like the color of fresh fallen Autumn browned leaves, not dark but simple gentle in any light, and her head held high, she waltzed on with an effortless saunter.

The clicking of her heels added tempo to the soft chamber music that played ahead without any interruption. Her eyes scanned the room with determination in search of someone until her eyes met his. So beautiful it was like the stars themselves, rested behind the soft cushion of her lips.

She gazed into his soul; her eyes of milk chocolate fused with a hint of deep forest green scrutinizing things inside of which he could only dream of seeing in himself. She was a mystery. A dangerously beautiful mystery, and he was ensnared in the trap of her presence in which she’d set. The moon poured down on them, showering them with beams of light. They caught in her hair, making each dark curl appear it was alighting with passion.

Her skin was glistened by the stars; she was alluring, she would blink her eyes from time to time, allowing her eyelashes to flutter like the wings of a butterfly. My god, her eyes were simply spellbinding. He devoured her face with his eyes, wishing with all his being that he could reach out and brush her hand against her perfectly shaped cheekbones, or under the feathers of her thick, dark lashes.

But he refrained from doing so and continued to succumb to the endless torture of watching her without being able to touch. She was like an African ornament, and even the gentlest caress would break her delicate form. Her breath toppled out of her soft lips like a soft breeze softly blowing through the sky. She was an angel; a princess of light; a Nubian African queen. She was a mystery.

An exotic beautiful mystery wrapped within a riddle. He knew the truth. That it was beating away inside her, like a nonstop conga drum.

Longingly, at that moment he had fallen in love with her. The girl with no name.He wanted everything about her…

Her attention, her love, her innocence until nothing else in this world mattered to him, but her… He had to know who she was. There was an air of charisma about her he hasn’t had with other women he’d been with. As the prince heard the crescendo coming out of the violin, it reminded him of the extraordinary sunrise and magnificent view from his chamber suite. When he hears pizzicato, the magical shoulder instrument brings relaxation as the sound of vibration touches him inside something that has never touched his before.

The prince walked over to introduce himself to the mystery woman who has entered the palace. He held out his hand it bore the strength of a thousand men; strong and protective for her to take. She complied, but instead of shaking hands like everyone else, he brought her hand to his lips and placed a gentle kiss upon it.

He felt her face flush warm and the hairs on her neck stand. At that moment she knew that if she spoke, her words would enchant him and he wouldn’t be able to break her mesmerizing beauty and poise. Right there and then, he was at a loss for everything; no words, no breath, no thoughts… She was not like any other woman he had seen the prince always had beautiful exotic women falling to his every need but she had an elegant poise about her. Her high cheekbones and mocha-caramel skin were flawless.The only thing that came out of her mouth at that moment was ”Hallo en goeie aand Prins Sebastián. Dit is ‘n plesier om u bekwaamheid te maak.’ And even then, it came out with such poise. He was completely taken away – by the eyes of a complete stranger…

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