G.I.A.N.T. Collections #1
Since a long time ago I have been obsessed with giant-human (later on faerie-human) encounters. They’re not fetishes or anything, I just like to fantasise about them. I guess it’s to blame for my liking for tall guys but just the feeling of having someone big and strong as a beau, or just as someone to protect me, just makes me feel all snugly and safe inside. I used to write about giants and growth stories and I still do actually! I’m sixteen now and, as one might be able to tell, the stories I’ve written have changed as I grew older- a bit more love and romance, you know?
A bit more about the past later on- maybe. My friends call me Ant. I’m a brunette; a nice wavy dark brown (but I swear the colour keeps changing!) and have dark brown eyes. I’m half-Filipino and don’t look it, and only a little taller than five foot-three. I live with my cousin Jay in a five-star hotel- yes, live in one- that my Uncle (Jay’s father) is the General Manager of. My parents died when I was about 10 and since then, my Uncle took me under his wing. I barely see him because he’s so busy but he’s a good guy. My cousin Jay is a few years older than me and very out going. She goes out to parties a lot and it still surprises me that she doesn’t have a boyfriend. I don’t have one either and the reason is that I decided not to have one until I’m eighteen unless he is someone I care and love very much. Why eighteen? Because I have other things to worry about before then…much bigger things…
Term 1 school holidays have just begun and here I am snuggled up within the covers of my bed, keeping warm from the approaching Winter winds. Jay’s out with some friends at a camp and Uncle is tuckered out from working for the whole week. I myself have nothing better to do but laze around watching cable TV before I get a good night’s sleep. Okay, nothing good is on so I pull out one of the many story-journals and flip through the pages until I find a clean page. What to write? What to write? A love story perhaps? A science experiment gone wrong? I tap my pen on the page and shut my eyes, trying to picture my characters. I yawn…the warm air of the heater makes me feel so drowsy…and I fall asleep…
I dream: I’m standing in the quiet darkness. I can feel the ground but can’t see it, or anything else for that matter. A cool breeze blows onto my face and I shiver. The breeze passes and I feel presence. I look around, my heart pounding rapidly in my chest. No one. I’m alone and it’s quiet. I suddenly feel something lift my hand and something touch the back, kissing it. I hear a gentle, low voice, ‘M’lady…’
My eyes flick open. My hand is hovering above the pen on my journal. It feels warm and so do my cheeks- I’m blushing! A dream made me blush! I laugh and rub my cheeks. My alarm clock says that it’s three in the morning. It’s amazing how such little dreams, like the one I just had, can keep you asleep for so long. It’s totally quiet and dark. The full moon shines through the window, onto a spot of the cream-coloured carpeting just at the foot of my bed. Suddenly, I feel the ground tremble. The lamp on my bedside dresser rattles, well, so does everything else in the room, I guess. The ground shakes terribly then settles, then shakes and then settles again. It’s just like in Jurassic Park when the T-Rex is coming but this is bigger and getting even bigger. The tremors are getting stronger as if something is coming this way.
I leap out of bed and open the glass door that leads out to the balcony. It’s three in the morning and I’m in shorts with a jacket over my shirt but I’m not too concerned about that right now. My eyes widen and my mouth hangs open in shock horror. A massive, dark figure slowly approaches the hotel building. I can see dust and rubble at its feet as it steps onto the roads. It’s slow, as if being careful about where to tread. I realise that I am probably the only one awake. I hear no screams from below, or frightened murmurs from the rooms above me. This is freaky! It’s BEYOND freaky! I can’t move, I-I’m too frightened to move! My head tilts upwards more at every step it takes until…it’s here. The creature stops right in front of me and I’m in even more shock. The moonlight reveals the creature to me…I feel like I’m going to faint.
A giant! He’s a giant! He’s HUGE! I’m on the 15th floor of a 20 storey building and I still have to tilt my head right up just to see his face. He sure is handsome though: his golden-brown waves are long and silky, and his eyes are a mysterious pale green. He’s older than me, I can tell, but by probably just a couple or so years. I notice his clothes…they’re probably from the 1500-1600s (I love designing clothes and I use the earlier centuries for inspiration). His coat is a silken blue with silver buttons and chains. The vest is a lighter blue; his shirt and cravat are white and his breeches and boots are black. The lacy frills of his shirt cuffs flare out from his coat sleeves elegantly. I always loved the Renaissance period.
His lips form in a gentle, dreamy smile and he bows at me, extending his hand to me as he does. I smile shyly with a hand on my lips,
‘M’lady,’ he says and my eyes widen again.
His voice. It’s the same one from in my dream! So gentle, so low. It’s wonderful. My eyes return to their normal state. I place a hand on his fingertip and a familiar kiss makes me blush even more. What a gentleman. He straightens himself, towering over me once again,
‘M’lady,’ he says again, ‘I am in need of your assistance…if you do not mind?’
‘Um…o-okay,’ I reply shakily, ‘What would you like?’
‘My name is Correl. Correl Ruwen,’ he bows again, ‘I am not from your world, as you might be able to tell; I am an artist from Han’vanor and…’ he pauses,
‘An artist? Hm,’ I nod, ‘Go on, Correl, "and…?"’
‘Thank you, m’lady,’ Correl smiles, blushing as well, ‘Yes, um…and I-I would like a model for my work. Would you…would you be willing to be my model?’
‘A model? Me? Well…’
I’m completely clueless of what to say. I love art; I draw everyday, but to be a model for someone I don’t even know? For a different being??? It would be somewhat risky. I haven’t really been big on modelling either. I don’t know. I look up at him- he’s waiting for my answer patiently, and anxiously,
‘What kind of model do you want? What art do you want one for?’ I ask worriedly,
‘Oh! Do not fret, m’lady! You will be clothed,’ he tells me, looking flushed, ‘I-I do not deal with…that kind of art,’
I know what he means about "that". I’m a bit more relieved about his request,
‘I had cast a spell so that I am able to find the perfect model for my kind of work. It takes me to wherever my model is and puts everyone to sleep except for them. I hope that you are able to come with me, but…we cannot come back to your world if you do agree, so I will not force you against your will. I merely ask you,’ he extends his hand out to me, ‘Will you…will you come with me?’
I stare at his open hand. I’m flattered about what he had just said, yes, and I would love to go with him, but never coming back? What about my life here? I’m happy, I have friends…and I owe a lot to Uncle and Jay. If I just leave, I’ll have to live with the feeling of being so ungrateful, and regret even going with this handsome young giant. I look up at his face sadly and he stares back with concern,
‘Can you wait here for a bit, please Correl?’ I ask softly,
‘Of course, m’lady,’ he bows and withdraws his hand.
I run back inside and shut the door behind me. What if I tell my Uncle? It might help, but what do I say? "Uncle Jim, there’s a giant outside of my window and he wants me to model for his art. Can I go?" Duh! NO! Still, I knock on my Uncle’s door and open it; he’s asleep. I walk up to him and shake him a little. He moans tiredly,
‘Uncle Jim? I need to tell you something,’ I swallow,
‘Um…’ here goes, ‘You know my dream of being an artist?’
‘I just…’ my voice is trembling so badly- I hate lying, ‘I think I just found my break,’
‘…yeah…?’ he’s starting to wake up, ‘…that’s great, Ant,’
‘A-And…but it means for me to leave the country,’
I see his eyes open and he shoots up. I jump back in shock as he stares at me with his eyes wide open. I gulp and stand my ground. He looks like he’s going to explode; glaring at me with wide, blood-shot eyes until…his gaze softens to a sad smile,
‘Sweet, if it means pursuing your dream, then fine,’ he says, ‘I’d rather see you happy than not. Besides, if you need help; anything at all, you call me. I’ll come get you myself if I have to,’
My eyes water. I love this man! He has always been so kind and I feel so sad to have to leave him and Jay. I hug him tightly and thank him repeatedly through tears and sniffs. He hugs me back and pries himself out of my hold,
‘Thank you so much, Uncle Jim,’ I wipe my eyes, ‘I’ll miss you and Jay,’
‘I’ll send her your love and thanks,’
He smiles. It will be the final time I’ll ever see him smile; the final time I’ll ever see him at all. I quickly slip on my shoes, fix my hair and pack my clothes and other needs…with some wants. Now ready, I open the door to the balcony again. Correl is examining the hotel’s building design from top to bottom until he finds me back on the balcony, holding my suitcase. He smiles, overjoyed by my decision, then frowns,
‘You have been crying, m’lady,’ he notices, ‘I-’
‘No, it’s okay; they’re tears of joy. I want to go with you,’
‘I…thank you, m’lady,’ he says and smiles softly.
He holds out a hand for me and courteously offers me a finger to hold from his other hand. I step on his palm easily enough. It’s so warm and soft! Now I know what being in a hand feels like. Correl picks up my suitcase and pockets it. I crawl over to the base of his fingers and look down- how far up am I? I ask Correl,
‘I stand at six foot-three in Han’vanor measurement,’ he replies, ‘In your measurement, I stand at approximately two hundred feet,’
‘You use feet and inches as well? That’s convenient!’
Gee, two hundred feet? I worked this out while writing out a story of mine (I experimented a lot while trying to find the right measurements for my giants). I’m only two percent of his height! To him, I’d be just two inches or so. He really is big. I just remember something…Correl mentioned that he had cast a spell. I was going to ask him about magic when he pulled something from his pocket- a red bag. He gently sets me down into his chest pocket and opens the bag. I can hear and feel his great heart beating within his chest, and I notice it’s quite fast. Correl digs his hand into the bag and brings it back out with, what looks like, silver dust,
‘Be prepared, m’lady,’ he says then whispers something; chanting it with his eyes closed.
I watch intently from his chest pocket and jump when his eyes open once more- his eyes have turned silver! With one final word, he throws the dust down to the ground. There’s a great feeling of vertigo in the pit of my stomach as silver smoke rises and sparkles into the air. We’re completely covered and surrounded in it. I can’t see what’s going on and I grip onto Correl’s shirt tightly,
‘No need to worry, m’lady,’ he smiles down at me, ‘We are completely safe. The powder just dispels any magic that I have cast recently,’
I still don’t let go. Colours begin to swirl around us, playing with my vision and making my dizzy; it’s like a giant lava lamp crossed with several tie-dye prints. Correl is unaffected and waits patiently for the colours to fade. I duck down into his pocket and try to get my vision back. I rub my eyes quickly until I can see clearly now.
I scramble back up. It’s not night time; it’s actually probably just six or seven in the evening and…the sight is so amazing that I have to rub my eyes again. It’s just like I had imagined: sixteenth or seventeenth century! Ladies in dresses with elaborate skirts, men in stockings and buckled shoes, and the rich designs on their clothing- it is amazing! Everything is so huge too, made just for the giants like Correl; black and white marble buildings, bronze statues, fountains and gargoyles- all of which are like in the Renaissance. We seem to be in the middle of a square of some kind- the town square perhaps? Wherever we were, no one seemed to notice that Correl had suddenly appeared in the middle of this square with silver dust on his clothes (and a tiny girl in his pocket),
‘Welcome to Han’vanor…Ant,’ he says my nickname for the first time, looking somewhat embarrassed, ‘I…I will gladly show you around the town…if you wish?’
‘That would be great, Correl, thank you,’ I nod.
He takes me out of his pocket and holds me in his hand again. I’m worried- does he want people to see me? I’ve seen and read a lot of things where people get shocked upon seeing a different creature to their race,
‘Do not fret, Ant,’ Correl chuckles, ‘Many in Han’vanor do not surprise easily so the people here are no threat to you,’
I guess I can take his word for it- he has lived here for his whole life. He heads south, taking one of the many pretty cobble stone paths. Several men and women, and some children, bow and greet Correl and me. They welcome me to Han’vanor which makes me feel safer inside. The buildings gradually decrease in numbers as we keep heading south. Beautiful flowering plants and hedges take their place; hanging over our heads, bobbing up and down, swaying from side to side as if wanting to touch us. The cobble stones had been replaced with marble chips a while back. I can only hear the sound of birds and the crunching footsteps of Correl. I can only see beautiful plants to our sides, brushing and swaying, and then I saw them: two great black gates. A continuing path led to the enormous manor behind the gates,
‘I-It’s…it’s beautiful, Correl!’ my mouth is wide open in amazement,
Inside is even more beautiful than the outside. Elaborate chandeliers hang from the high ceilings above, wooden stair cases twist and lead upstairs, rich red carpet cover the marble floors, and large portraits of Correl’s ancestors stare intently at anyone from their place on the walls. I can’t believe I’m actually in a place like this! There’s a street back home where old Victorian style houses stood and every time I passed it I always wondered what it was like inside…now I know,
‘I will show you where you will be staying, Ant,’ Correl says as he ascends up the staircase, ‘I…I hope you do not mind that your bed is situated in my room,’ he adds timidly,
‘Um…no, I guess it’s okay,’ I reply hesitantly.
I’m not too sure. It sure is suspicious, but I guess I’ll see. He opens a door and reveals his room- large and spacious, and it even has its own lounge suite inside! On the dining table a see a normal-sized (to me) Victorian style house that looks as if its front had been ripen away from the rest. I can see that its rooms are divided by sturdy walls and it looks so homey inside. But, I can’t feel a little anxious about this, just by looking at "my house". He wants someone small (in comparison to him) as a model. Is that his line of work? He sets me down carefully, helping me off his hand like a gentleman,
‘Correl?’ I turn around and look up at him,
‘Your art…what is it exactly? I mean…what do you specialise in?’
‘I specialise in magic, sketching, portraits and sculptures, m’lady,’ he replies, then he frowns, looking worried, ‘I-Is there something bothering you, Ant?’
‘Well…it’s just that…I’m not ungrateful for what you gave me or anything but…do you want someone small as your model? I mean, this house; you prepared it for your model’s…my arrival, didn’t you?’
His face relaxes and he smiles softly. He takes a seat so to be more level with me,
‘I will not lie to you, Ant,’ he says, ‘Yes, I-I do want a model your size. Since I found out about humans, I wanted my works to have a human’s perspective. I-Is that alright with you?’
He is so shy and so sweet; definitely not my first impression of him. He could be just acting like a gentleman, yes, but he almost always blushes whenever I start to talk with him, or just touch his hand. Right now there’s a blush on his face! And he stutters a bit sometimes. I smile and pat his hand,
‘Y-Yeah,’ I nod, ‘I just wanted to be sure that…you know,’
‘…oh…OH! Yes, I mean…no, m’lady!’ he stutters as expected, ‘I-I would never even ponder such a thing!’
I laugh and tell him that it’s okay and that I got what he meant. He sighs with relief, resting his arm on the tabletop and holding the right side of his jaw. As he recovers from his little fright, I make my way into my new "house". I walk into the corridor and make the first left; straight into the library and have a look at the many books in one of the three bookcases. The books are real! I actually take one from the shelf and open it- funnily enough, it’s Gulliver’s Travels. I flick through quickly and catch a glimpse of some words then return it to the shelf. I return to the corridor, wanting to go and check out my room upstairs- it’s the last room on the right if you look at the front. I see Correl following me with his eyes, happy that I’m making myself home.
My room is much like Correl’s only more lady-like (and distinctively smaller). There’s a wardrobe, a cabinet for collectables, a vanity and even some paintings on the walls. The four-poster bed faces the direction of the door; it’s decorated with lace and colourful beads, and the sheets are a pretty floral design. There’s a chest at the foot of the bed that can be opened and closed easily- it’s probably empty, I reckon. The wooden floorboards are polished and gleaming and everything looks so…just like in "my world",
‘How did you get all these things to suit me, Correl?’
‘I researched about human lifestyle so that I may accommodate you. I was relieved to know that much of your ways are similar to ours,’
‘Yeah, your clothes,’ I point out, ‘They’re like in the time-’
‘Of the Renaissance, yes,’ Correl nods, ‘We may look to be in the past, but we are probably more advanced than you are,’
‘Oh?’ I raise a brow, intrigued,
‘Thanks to our use in magic, m’lady,’ he chuckles, ‘It is such a shame that you humans lost faith in it,’
I laugh. I wasn’t surprised when I heard that Correl had cast a spell over the city- being too used to reading fantasy books and stories, and being superstitious- but I had to be sure about magic’s existence when I remembered what he had said about that spell,
‘Will you show me a trick or two?’ I ask- he does specialise in it as well.
His eyes brighten and he sits up straight. I watch, taking a seat near the front edge of the room. As if about to pray, he claps his hands together and they glow a bright silver for a while. He parts his hands and there suddenly appears a beautiful bouquet of flowers,
‘Wow!’ I cry, clapping my hands excitedly, ‘They’re so pretty!’
Correl bows and laughs, making the flowers disappear in a silvery puff of smoke,
‘A mere trick, but I am glad that you enjoyed it, Ant. Oh! By the way…’ he slips his hand into his pocket and pulls out my suitcase, ‘Your belongings,’
‘Oh! Thanks, Correl,’
I stand up quickly as he slides the suitcase into my room carefully. I take it by the handle and walk it over to the great big wardrobe opposite to my bed, next to the vanity. I then head back to my spot facing my big friend,
‘I will show you around Han’vanor tomorrow if you would like,’
‘Yep, sure! Tomorrow is a-o-k with me,’
He chuckles lightly, ‘You humans have such odd ways with your words,’
‘At least you can understand,’
‘Yes, it is not hard to pick up,’
I sit down cross-legged on the floor, holding on to my ankles. Correl blushes upon seeing me doing that and I quickly shift to holding my knees to my chest. I forgot that the ethics here are more strict and formal,
‘Sorry,’ I say sheepishly, ‘Um…so how did you find out about humans?’
‘I found a book about Otherworlders, looking for some inspiration for some new works of mine,’ he tells me, ‘And I found a little piece about a race of tiny beings- humans. I grew interested and…well, you know the rest,’
‘Ohh,’ I nod then think, ‘Gee, a whole book on "Otherworlders"…I don’t think our sceptics will be very happy if they find out about that, or about magic,’
‘You do not believe in much, do you; you humans?’
‘No,’ I give a little laugh, ‘Not a lot, no. So…you guys know about us- a little bit- but we don’t know about you. How…odd,’
I yawn suddenly, unable to keep it in. I pardon myself and apologise to Correl. He understands: he had picked me up very early in the morning so of course I would be tired. He leaves for me to get comfortable and so that he can prepare himself for bed. I slip off my shoes and slip under the puffy doona. It’s sooo warm! It may have been a different time of the day here, but it sure was the same season. I yawn again, turn to my side as a habit and fall asleep.
I didn’t dream that night. Instead, I caught up on some sleep and woke up as fresh as a daisy. Okay, maybe not as fresh but I had a great night sleep in this bed. It’s nothing like that hotel bed I slept on, no, it’s much softer and warmer too. I hadn’t moved from my position last night and am still facing the missing side of the house. I open my eyes slowly, blinking a few times to regain my vision. I give a little shout of surprise and shoot up- I see Correl looking right at me. He jumped at my surprise and apologised over and over again. I recover, laughing a little and covering my eyes with my hand,
‘It’s okay, Correl,’ I tell him, ‘God, you scared me!’
‘I apologise, m’lady,’ he says again, ‘I did not mean to startle you but I had seen you still sleeping and was inspired to draw you,’
I take my hand away from my eyes and face him, ‘Really?’
‘Yes. I hope you do not mind me doing so, m’lady,’
‘No, no!’ I’m blushing, ‘That’s okay. I know how you feel about inspiration,’
‘Yeah. I love drawing!’ I hop out of bed, heaving the doona off me, ‘Can I see what you’ve done?’
He nods and I walk over to the edge of the floor. I see a sketchbook in one hand and a pencil in the other. He sets the pencil on his lap and turns the picture to me to see. It’s of a girl, sleeping under a silken fabric. She looks so peaceful…she looks just like me. It’s an amazing drawing with all its shading and shadows. It must have taken him a while- it did. He wakes up very early in the morning for his routinely exercises,
‘Correl, her face…it’s…you’re really good!’ I tell him, ‘How could you get to see my face when I’m so small to you?’
‘My eyes have sharpened upon meeting you, m’lady. Odd, is it not?’ he smiles.
I start to unpack my things, beginning with my clothes. All my clothes went into the wardrobe and all its drawers. I talked to Correl as I did so until finally the only things left are…toiletries. Correl tells me that down the end of the corridor is a door to the left- the bathroom. It’s to the back of the house so it’s censored from anyone- how thoughtful! There’s a shower, bath, toilet, sink, everything in here! He tells me to turn on the tap. I do so and out pours water! This house is amazing!!! It’s standing on Correl’s dining table and it has running water! I find a towel, shampoo and soap in a cabinet and put in everything of my own inside. Before I head down to have a bath, I ask him about the water,
‘Oh, I enchanted the house for your convenience, m’lady. There’s running water and even a washing machine and dryer for your use,’
‘Wow! Thanks Correl!’
Ah!’ I sigh upon finishing my bath.
I dry myself off before slipping into my jeans and a jumper. Heading back to my room, I see that Correl has gone off somewhere. I quickly neaten up my room and take the opportunity to checking out the rest of my house. I start with the top floor while I’m still up here: I discover a free bedroom or two which are a little smaller than mine. There’s a little studio and a study with a computer! Downstairs has the lounge and library, the kitchen, another bathroom, and the laundry. I step out and see Correl there again, standing and ready to take me around the town. He holds out a hand and I hop on. As he lifts me up he says,
‘Your clothes still surprise me, Ant. Women wear breeches and pants…it is odd I must say,’
‘You’ll get used to it with me around,’ I grin.
He laughs and strokes my cheek with a finger. I blush and take it away, reminding him of the tour he offered to give me. He nods and apologises sheepishly again. He is so cute!
Han’vanor is quite a large town, looking at it in a giant’s point of view. It’s divided into four districts: North, East, South and West.
*~*The North is the Government District: almost all the buildings are government concerned and are the largest in the whole town.
*~*The East is the Shopping and Market District: the name says it all. It’s a nice place with a gold mine of foreign treasures from different races (of other kinds of beings) and is a nice little trade centre. Inns and taverns are here too.
*~*The South is the Residence District: Many of those in Han’vanor live here in the South, while the rest are situated around the place.
*~*Finally is the West, the Culture District: art, religion and festivals are held in the beautiful gardens of this part of Han’vanor; Correl is actually famous here and I meet a lot of his friends- they’re very nice and much less timid than poor Correl.
We spend the whole day out in town. I take note of how people act; what they wear and take note of some of the strange, futuristic devices the people use. I am getting so much inspiration of what to draw just by sitting on Correl’s lap, watching the late afternoon sun. I notice that the people here are either middle or upper class. These people are more advanced than us! I think about how advanced they are and to be sure of my assumptions, I ask Correl about famine and poverty,
‘We do not have those anymore, m’lady,’ he replies, ‘Such things no longer exist with us,’
They really, truly are more advanced; famine and poverty aren’t even issues with these people. I seriously can’t believe that this place is real. I sit back on Correl’s stomach and find it relatively firm- he definitely works out. We talk for a bit more until it begins to get dark.
Back home, Correl magically starts the fireplace in the lounge. I step off his hand and onto the tea table as he sits down on the leather couch. I find it interesting that the people act as if they are living over 600 years before their time and then they have such advanced devices. These people are so interesting but I want to know more about Correl. He loosens his cravat and I say,
‘Correl, tell me about yourself,’ I sit down holding my knees to my chest like last night,
He lifts his head to me, ‘I…what would you like to know, m’lady?’
‘Mmm,’ I think, ‘How about…your art. What inspired you to become an artist?’
‘Well, my mother used to take me to the Culture District many a time when I was still small,’ he begins, ‘And I saw how empty it looked. Drama and religion were there but it was missing art-art- sculptures, colour, designs. So I did my best to raise interest in art and design in Han’vanor. I guess I had a natural love for art, now that I look back on it,’ he’s lost in thought for a while then looks to me, ‘What about you, Ant? You are interested greatly in your art, are you not?’
I tell him that my Mum used to teach me how to use watercolours and how to draw when I was little. She was an artist herself so her artwork pushed me to continue with my own pieces,
‘I would love to see your works sometime, Ant,’ Correl says, ‘We may trade ideas with each other, do you think?’
‘Sure!’ I nod, ‘But I think you’ll need a powerful magnifying glass to see my pics,’
I wake up early this morning- seven o’clock. I have a shower then have some breakfast in the kitchen; simple and easy toast. I then head up to the studio. I had put in all my sketch and art books, along with all my pencils and such. The studio is the other room on the other side of the corridor, directly opposite to my bedroom. I sit down and start drawing into a new page of my A4 sketchbook. I taught myself manga using observation and some tutorials from the internet and my art books. It’s quiet until I hear Correl’s bedroom door open. I turn my head and see him holding a shirt in one hand, bare-chested and sweating. I’m surprised at his well-built, muscular body and he’s surprised at me sitting on my artist’s desk, looking at him with eye wide open. He fumbles trying to cover his torso with his shirt, blushing a bright pink with embarrassment,
‘M-M’lady! I-I did not expect you t-to be up,’ he stutters, ‘I-I had just returned from my exercises and-’
‘It’s okay, Correl,’ I coo, teasing him as well, ‘I’ve seen a guy’s body before,’
He shies away and I follow him until he turns his back to me. I snigger and return to my piece.
Correl comes out of the bathroom wearing his black breeches and boots, and a dark emerald green vest over a white shirt. He walks over finding me still at my desk and bends down to meet with my eyes. I lift my head and look back at him with smile that asks him "yes?"
‘M’lady, might we begin on a painting I have planned?’
‘Oh! Okay,’ I close my book and brush the eraser shavings off my lap,
‘You have been drawing?’ he asks curiously,
‘Yeah, just a piece I was thinking about last night; nothing big. Let’s go!’
He shrugs and nods. For the first time he picks me up without offering me his hand; he’s very gentle but it did take me by surprise. I sit perfectly in his palm and he brings me to his studio downstairs. Both incomplete and complete paintings line the walls, stacked atop each other or filed from front to back. Drawers were overflowing with paper and rough sketches. The only things neat is a little table with papers encircling around its legs and nothing on top. Correl sets me down on the tabletop and swishes open the purple curtains covering the great windows at the very end of the room. He returns and bends down to meet with my eyes again, holding something in his hand,
‘I have something for you to put on,’
He opens his hand in front of me and gives me a beautiful white lace dress with matching white gloves. I carefully take it from his big hand and lift it so I can see it all. The skirt is as long as a wedding dress, flowing back like a snowy river. I look up at Correl and accidentally look straight into his eyes. We both laugh and he gives me time to put the dress on. I look at myself back to front in the beautiful gown then hear Correl come in,
‘You look beautiful,’ he says softly, almost dream-like,
‘Oh, thank you,’ I grin broadly, feeling a blush on my cheeks.
I see him holding a mauve flower in his hand. It’s one I’ve never seen before; it looks like a mix between a hydrangea and a rose. He sets it down next to me,
‘Ant, could you kneel down in front of the condella, just a bit to the left?’
I do so. I follow the rest of his instructions: lean forward and face him with my head titled, and curve my front arm under the flower, following the circular shape,
‘Perfect,’ he smiles and moves everything he needs in front of me.
Paintings are one of the things done traditionally in Han’vanor. I see his quick and sharp strokes of the pencil strike the canvas and watch in wonder while I keep a soft stare on my face. It takes a long time, I can tell without even looking at a clock, but finally he looks to me and smiles with a nod. At that I stand up, take my clothes and change behind one of Correl’s sketch books. I come out, carefully holding the dress and hop on to his open hand. He lifts me so I can see the unpainted picture myself. I’m speechless. The lines are so elegant and smooth; it is so good. I look at my picture’s face- it’s probably the most accurate and refined part of the picture. God, he is so sweet. My heart pounds inside my chest and I smile. I tip my head back on Correl’s chest- his heart is just as fast as mine when I touch him,
‘Do you…do you like it?’
‘I love it,’ I sigh.
He looks down at me and smiles thankfully. We both stare at the pencil picture, trying to find anything that may need changing. Nothing. I don’t want to change anything and neither does Correl,
‘You going to paint it?’ I ask,
I sit on his lap as he paints the canvas. From fat, reckless strokes to tiny, delicate pecks, he remembers perfectly which colours go where. This takes longer than when he was drawing but I’m not bored. God, far from it! I notice that he takes the most care on my face, even more so than with the folds of the dress. I smile, flattered. I look up at the window and see the night sky- a dark blanket dotted with glitter. Correl sees the night and sighs. He puts his paintbrushes and palette down and looks at his painting. It just needs a bit of a touch up but he would do it tomorrow,
‘Lounge?’ I suggest and he nods.
Correl lies down on the couch and sets me down on his chest, right next to his hand. I lean forward resting my head on my arms, looking at my giant. He looks at me with a tired smile and strokes my cheek with a finger,
‘Ant?’ he says suddenly,
‘Does my size frighten you?’
I look at him curiously, ‘I-It did before, when I first saw you, but not anymore. Why?’
He merely shakes his head and smiles. I raise a brow and give a cheeky, almost evil, grin. The fire burns brightly and makes me feel drowsy. I see Correl yawn and find myself yawning as well. I shut my eyes. I feel him take away his hand from under my arms and place it on top of me, stroking my hair back as he does. I snuggle deeper into his chest and fall asleep.
In the next few months, I get to know Han’vanor and Correl a lot better. Correl’s mother had died when he was only five and his father had died before he as even born. Ever since, he had had to look after himself. Through the years he had taught himself different styles of art and pushed himself to perfect his dealings with magic. In a matter of years, he had become a renowned artist in Han’vanor as well as a great magician. He actually thought that his parents dying was a blessing in disguise; he wouldn’t have turned out the way he is now if they were still with him. I agree with him and I understand why he’s so sweetly shy.
Within the same few months, he finishes the final piece of his new exhibition, which he had planned simultaneously with his "human’s perspective" idea. It’s a marble sculpture of me- of course- holding a giant's necklace in my hands.
Up in his room, I try to look for something nice to wear. To my distress…I CAN’T FIND ANYTHING! I suddenly hear Correl knocking lightly on the roof of my house,
‘M’lady? Is everything alright?’ he asks,
I run out to him, frantic. Very rarely do I stress about finding something to wear and this is one of those rare occasions,
He tries to calm me down, ‘M’lady, check within the chest by the foot of your bed,’
I compose myself again and I walk over to the chest. There’s no lock so I open the lid easily. Oh…my…God! This guy never ceases to surprise me! I pull out a beautiful green gown and put it to my front, as if wearing it already,
‘Correl!’ I cry out to him in disbelief,
‘For you, m’lady,’ he laughs and leaves me to change.
The exhibition is an immediate success, beginning at five in the evening and ending at eleven, but we aren’t completely finished- three or four of Correl’s friends, all guys, come over for an after party. I see a look of unsureness on Correl’s face but he lets them. In the lounge, he leaves me with his friends to talk while he goes and gets them something to drink. They’re suspiciously friendly and ask a bit about Correl, and a lot about myself. I answer them, sometimes hesitant or just keeping quiet about an answer. I look at them, being cautious as they stare at me in silence. I give a shout of surprise as Barden suddenly grabs me from the coffee table. My face flushes a deep red as I shout at him angrily,
‘What the heck’re you doing?! Put me down!’
‘Come now…Ant, is it?’ he smiles, ‘We just want a closer look at you,’
‘You can look at me just fine from when I’m on the table!’ I bark, but I’m getting scared,
‘No…’ Juvius says, ‘We mean…closer,’
I gasp as the guys crowd around me and Barden. I try to squirm out from his grip as Barden strokes my arm with a finger,
‘Ooh…soft,’ he chuckles,
‘Get away from me!’ I can feel my tears coming, ‘CORREL!!!’
‘He is not able to hear you, Ant,’ Welhalm grins,
I don’t care and I scream out for his help until my voice is hoarse and my cheeks are wet with tears. Feron manages to rip a fair amount of my skirt and strokes my legs gently. Oh God! Correl! Please help me! I pray, being able to nothing else but cry and attempt to squirm out of the giant’s hold,
‘You have nice l-’
‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING???!!!’ a voice thunders, making the three giants jump.
Correl storms into the room looking furious, no, beyond furious now. My tears of fear become tears of joy as Correl swipes me out of Feron’s hand. Feron and the other two back away in terror as Correl approaches them, just about ready to kill them. I have never seen him angry before and now he frightens me. Still, I hold his shirt and weep onto his breast,
‘Get out of my house! NOW!’ he yells, making me as well as his so-called ‘friends’ flinch.
The three cowards run away with their tails between their legs and I hear the front door slam close behind them. Correl lifts me up closer to his face, looking so sorry and so guilty,
‘Are you alright, Ant?’ he asks desperately.
I nod but weep onto his cheek. He pats my back lightly; comfortingly and I feel him kiss my wet cheek,
‘I am so sorry. I should have never left you with those three. I am so, so sorry. It will be alright now,’ he says softly, ‘I-I will not let anything bad happen to you,’
I swallow and look up into his sad eyes. I smile tearfully and stroke his cheek. He kisses me again tenderly.
He takes me up to his room and we both change. I rip off the remains of my dress and throw them away, wanting to forget what had happened. I slip into my Bonds pants and a jumper, shivering with both cold and after-shock. I sit cross-legged on the floor, resting my elbows on my lap and holding my head in my hands. "I will not let anything bad happen to you," echoes through my head continuously. My heart begins to beat faster until I’m broken from my trance: Correl gently taps on the roof again and sits down takes a seat once knowing that it’s okay,
‘I-I just wanted to be sure that you are-,’ he says, looking stressed.
I smile and nod, ‘Yeah, I’m okay now. Thanks, Correl,’ and pick myself up,
‘I am glad, but I wish I had not left you wi-’
‘Correl,’ I stop him, ‘It’s okay, seriously. I’m just glad that you came in before…anything else happened,’
‘And I too. I-I would not be able to forgive myself if anything had happened to you, m’lady…I…I love you so much,’
His words pierce through my chest like an arrow. I cover my mouth with my hand and my eyes water again. Correl looks at me with fear, ready to take me up apologise profusely,
‘M’-M’lady, I-I am…I did-’
I shake my head and stop him again. I take away my hand and bite my bottom lip,
‘I love you too, Correl,’ I squeak.
I see that he’s taken back but I do! I do love him! Since we met I’ve felt something…something pulling on my heart; I look at him and my heart flutters; he touches my hand and I can’t help but smile. I walk over closer to the edge and he smiles. But best of all, he makes me happy. I hold out my hands to him, palms down,
‘I-I…I am so happy that you feel the same way as I do, m’lady,’ he lifts a finger for my hands to hold, ‘I thought that…I thought that you would be frightened about the way I feel about you…or hate me,’
‘I could never hate you, Correl!’ I cry, ‘You’re the guy I’ve always dreamed of and more! I could never hate you,’
He lifts me up and we kiss; he touches my lips and mine touch his in a tender moment. We release and I stroke his cheek with a smile,
‘And I you, m’lady,’ he whispers.
So! I actually break my (temporary) vow of celibacy to be with Correl. I’m a stubborn and committed person to what I say but I guess being with him cuts that string. I live a happy life in Han’vanor for the rest of my life in my house in Correl’s room. I still pursue my career as an artist, with Correl’s help, but I also publish a book about the life of a human. It’s a big hit with the Han’vanorians, so big that portals to the human world have been restricted…for now. Maybe (hopefully) I’ll return to my family and friends one day…maybe take Correl with me...?