The True Adventures of Jay B R Wokky, Web Serials

Jay B. R. Wokky Ch. 35.2 — The Sleeping Prince

Ch. 35.2 — After Janine had finished the dishes and read a story to the dragon, she went to the guest room, sat by the boy’s bed, and watched him sleep.
The scar on his face gleamed faintly in the lamplight, but it did not detract from his physical beauty. She loved to watch the play of emotions on his face as he dreamed, the way his eyes moved beneath their lids, the smile that graced his lips. Once he laughed out loud, and Janine was struck by how happy he sounded. Then later, his face stilled, and two tears ran from his closed eyes. His lips trembled in sorrow. Janine’s heart was moved.
Who was he? What had happened to him? Was his family worried about him? Or was he like her, the youngest child in a large family, one who had no obligations and whom no one missed?
“He’s a good person.” Janine began to brush his chestnut hair, which had grown long in the past three months. As she brushed, Janine sang.
Fritter came in, sat down on a chair on the other side of the bed, and sighed.
“What’s the matter?” asked Janine.
“You’re in love with him.”
“I am not!” Janine threw the brush back onto the side table.
Fritter shook his head mournfully. “I’ve seen people fall in love before. You’ve got it bad.”
“I do not. How dare you say such a thing? I care about him. Of course I do. How could I not when I feed and take care of him? But I’ve treated any number of wounded patients that have come through here, and I cared about them too. At least, the ones Jay didn’t eat. That doesn’t mean I love him. That’s impossible — like telling me I’m in love with a doll. You can’t fall in love with a sleeping body.” Janine got up and began to pace the room. “Besides, I don’t know him. He could be anyone.”
Fritter looked away for a moment, as if he felt guilty. Then he turned back to her. “And then there’s the little matter of what would happen if he did open his eyes and see you.”
“Yes.” Janine scowled. “Let’s not forget that painful detail. If he saw me, he would be disgusted, just like all the other men who have come to the cave looking for a beautiful princess. Just like my parents.” Janine sat down on the chair and began to cry.
Fritter came over and patted her on the back. “There, there. No point crying about what can’t be changed. Just face life as it is, that’s my motto. Besides, we have bigger things to worry about.”
“What do you mean?”
“Even in an enchanted sleep, as this surely is, there will be muscle atrophy. We force food and drink through his lips, we exercise his limbs, we keep him clean, and we roll him to prevent bedsores, but eventually we must face the fact that unless he can be awoken, he will waste away and die.”
“But… That’s awful,” Janine whispered.
“I’m sorry.” Fritter spread his hands. “I’ve done all I can. I’ve searched every book in the dragon’s library, and I’ve sent letters to my relatives and friends, asking them to look for answers. I’ve come up with nothing.”

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