The Villainous Lord's Obsession

kickass heroine
magical world
enimies to lovers

Have you ever read a book and utterly fall in love with a character? Very okay to feel that!

Have you ever read a book and felt the urge to hit a character with a chair? Miriam definitely had those feelings and the latest book she was reading was no different.

Her fingers itched to wrap themselves around his neck and squeeze the life out of one of the characters. The villain. Unfortunately for Miriam... she got her wish.

However, fate wasn’t so kind or gentle. Instead of meeting her perfect male character. She ends up meeting Karden, a cruel and arrogant, self centered, conceited man... The villain. Where is the happily ever after promised?

Miriam is an average kind of girl, a resident nurse from Washington DC who spends most of her time nose deep in books or walking her dog. Her life was pretty mundane... or so she thought.

Waking up in a medieval setting was not part of her Monday plan, realising she had been sucked into a book was definitely not part of her plans. Follow Miraim as she tries to navigate the drama that is her life while trying to endure the most annoying person she has ever had the displeasure of coming across.

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I have always wondered why life couldn’t be simpler. Why couldn’t everything just be laid out in front of us on a golden platter, ready to be taken? At least that would have made life a whole lot easier. That was exactly what I was thinking as I stared at the strands of hair which I’d just singed from my scalp with a curling iron. "That’s just great, Miriam," I muttered to myself. "Well done. Someone should give you an award for being the most graceful lady in the country." I stared at the burnt hair for a few more minutes before I grabbed it and tossed it into the trash. I settled instead for a straightener, commanding my brown locks to obey. They yielded after a long fought battle, and all was finally well with the land. Except for the fact that I was running late on a Monday morning right before rush hour. As I dashed around my bathroom trying to somehow accomplish the horrifying  task of brushing my teeth, applying some eyeliner and putting on some deodorant at the same time, I wondered how I’d even gotten here in the first place. The culprit was lying comfortably on my bed, tucked underneath a blanket and waiting for me to finish my morning routine. The worst part was that it wasn’t even a man. And my dog, Bunny never complained when I bury myself in my little world. That dog is a rare gem. Somehow, miraculously, I managed to complete all three tasks in record time. Except for a slight mishap where I smeared my eyeliner across my temples, everything else went well. I fled from the bathroom and headed straight for my closet. My clothes were already laid out, thankfully. One of the perks of being a medical practitioner was that I didn’t have to worry about what I had to wear. My clothing sense was pretty much dictated by the employee handbook of St. Barths hospital, chapter six, paragraph twelve. I had several sets of black pants which went together with my numerous blouses. They were mostly mute colors, as the handbook dictated we should have. All my coats remained at the hospital, where I couldn’t stain them due to my. . . graceful tendencies. Black pants and grey blouse slipped on, I turned towards my bed where the reason for my current predicament lay waiting for me. The dark cover shone ominously as I reached for the book. For the past month of my life, I’d been so engrossed by the story that I hadn’t even bothered about anything else. A large chunk of my day was spent with my nose buried in the pages. Balwynward was my soulmate, the part of my life which I’d never known I needed until I found it. I had read a lot of books in my lifetime, so much so that if I laid out every single book I’d read, they would span the entirety of Washington DC lengthwise. Books were my gateway to paradise; my means of escaping the harshness of the real world every now and then. What I couldn’t achieve in the real world, I could surely find in a book somewhere just waiting for me to discover it. Balwynward was by far the best I’d ever come across. And yet, something which had brought me so much joy was about to bring me so much pain. I tossed the book into my bag without a second thought before hurling myself out of my bedroom. A quick glance at my watch told me that I wouldn’t have time for breakfast. I would just have to stop for takeout at Takoda. I quickly poured Bunny his food, caressed him quickly and smiled. "Be a good lad, Bunny. We'll go for a walk tomorrow morning. I promise," I rose from my squatting, my eyes still on him. "I'll be done with the book today, I promise. And I'll be back to my old self again. Don't worry." At the door, I gave myself one last look before throwing myself into the streets. The cold air made my teeth chatter, but drew my arms closer around myself and hurried down the street. "Good morning, miss Micheals," Mr Benson said as I walked past his front door. "Fine day today, is it not? I heard there won’t be any rain today. Perhaps even tomorrow if we’re lucky." "Morning, Gary," I replied, waving. "Let’s keep our hopes up." "Late?" he called, noticing how I was already several meters away from him. "What’s new about that, am I right?" I said with a slight chuckle as I crossed the street. "Say hi to Mrs Benson for me." I never got his reply as I dived out of the way just as a scooter rolled past heading towards South Dakota avenue. I mentally cursed the driver before hurrying across the street onto Michigan avenue. There was no way I could make it to the bus station in time, knowing it was a forty nine minute trip from my front door to the hospital. My saviour arrived in a Hyundai soon afterwards however, and I threw a silent prayer upwards as the red Hyundai rolled up in front of me. "Morning, Miss Micheals," Donald said as he rolled down the window. "Running late, are we?" "You know it," I said, smiling sheepishly at him. "Can you please stop with the formalities? We've know each other for like what? Ages?" "Well hop in," he said smiled. "I’m headed to the Beauregard myself. I’ll drop you off along the way. Oh, and it slipped my mind. It's Miriam for me." "Thank you Donnie," I said as I hopped into the passenger seat. "You’re a life saver." "Don’t mention it," he replied, rolling up the windows once I shut the door. "Anything to help a damsel in distress." I was sweating all over by the time we reached Brookland Middle School. It was hard not to notice the school considering the fact that I pass it every morning on my way to work. The sweating made me conscious, although I had worn deodorant before leaving the house. Even though Donnie didn’t look at me too often, I could sense that his attention was on me. He was wearing a red flannel with the sleeves rolled up to just under his elbows. His forearms rippled as he held the steering, large veins snaking up towards the inside of the shirt. I swallowed as I looked away. "So how’s work?" he asked, trying to start a conversation. Left to me, we would just drive in silence until I get off at my destination. "You don’t swing by the restaurant anymore. Are they really keeping you tied down that much?" "I wish I could lie about it, but that’s exactly what they’re doing," I sighed. "I honestly haven’t had time to myself, which is why you don’t see much of me anymore. But I’ll be sure to swing by later this week. How’s your dad doing?" "Oh, you know how dad can be," he chuckled. "Still thinks we’re wasting too much ketchup on the fries. And if it’s not that, then the pancakes aren’t as fluffy as he would like them." "He’ll never change, will he?" I laughed. "If he changed, then he wouldn’t be dad," Donnie said. "I think you’re the only one he has a soft spot for." "I like to think otherwise," I whispered. "When he used to come to the orphanage, I was hardly the first person he would talk to." "But you two got close soon afterwards," Donnie said as he glanced at me sideways. "Dad always saw potential in you. And he was right. Just look at you now; a successful nurse,  just like you always said you would become." "I would hardly use the word successful to describe my state of living now," I said. "But I’m comfortable, and that’s all that matters." "True," he said, flexing his biceps momentarily. It was a small movement, but enough to draw my attention. I could have sworn he did it on purpose. Donnie was six years younger than me, but sometimes he acted like he was much, much younger. Stacy Dunlop once told me that he used to have a crush on me. I didn’t believe her at first, but then I started to see the signs. I’d spoken to him about it then, and thankfully we’d moved on from it with both our feelings intact. But that was years ago. Now, Donnie had grown up to become a handsome young man in his early twenties. He’d grown a beard when he was nineteen, and ever since then the ladies had grown crazy for him. I still heard stories of his conquests in school. But I wasn’t a part of that life anymore. While Donnie flourished into a handsome and likable man, I became Miriam Micheals, the shy, quiet lady who never left her apartment. While the world outside moved along, I resigned myself to my books, where at least I could find solace anytime I sought it. That reminded me of the book which was nestled in my bag. I pulled it out quickly, hoping to get a few pages in before we reached the hospital. "Ah," Donnie said, chuckling a bit "I see you’re still carrying books around wherever you go." "Books are the treasures of mankind," I said, flipping the pages open. "And this one is not like the others. Trust me." "What’s it about?" he asked, stealing a quick glance at the cover. "It’s a medieval fantasy story about the conflict between a warrior and a powerful man who tried to conquer an entire kingdom," I explained. "It’s a dark fantasy, and I’ve been unable to put it down ever since I started reading it." "So it’s like Harry Potter?" Donnie asked. "It’s nothing like Harry Potter," I retorted quickly. "In my opinion, this is much more better. Allow me to say this, but this is the best book ever!" "I’m guessing the protagonist is your favorite character," he turned to look at me briefly before turning away. "Of course he is," I said. "He’s a hunk who battles large armies and vanquishes evil. Of course he’s my favorite." I felt my face flush just by talking about the protagonist from Balwynward. "And the antagonist?" A prickle of irritation shot through me at the mention of him. I despised the man with every fiber of my being. He was the most vicious man I’d ever had the displeasure of reading about. I hated him, almost as much as I loved the protagonist. Over the last three hundred or so pages, I’d come to associate every evil in the world with his name. If I had a means of doing so, I would reach right into the pages and stab him between the eyes. "I don’t want to talk about him," I groaned, leaning back onto my seat. "That bad, huh?" Donnie said, laughing. "Don’t girls usually like the villain in a story?" "Sometimes," I nodded. "But this man is just so many levels of cruel. And the worst part is none of his actions are justified. I would have understood him and sympathized with him better if he had a valid reason for being the way he is. But he’s just cruel for cruelty’s sake." "What’s one bad thing he did?" Donnie asked. "He shot down a mother and her child with an arrow as they were fleeing from the home which he’d personally set fire to," I explained, recalling the horrific scene with a shudder. "Yikes," Donnie said. "He sounds pretty bad." "He is," I said contemptuously. "Well, I think I’ll come around so you can tell me more about this interesting book," he said as we finally turned onto 5th street. "Thanks for the ride, Donnie," I smiled. "I appreciate it." "Anytime, Miriam," he said. "And I was wondering..." "Yes?" "Um, well, I just wondered if you weren’t busy tomorrow evening, maybe I could take you someplace fancy," he said. "To make up for all the long hours you’ve been spending in the damned hospital." I’d suspected he would bring up this topic sooner or later. Donnie was sweet, but I’d known him nearly my entire life. I couldn’t picture myself sitting across from him at a fancy restaurant and telling him about my day. He was a dear friend; nothing more, nothing less. "That’s really sweet, Donnie," I murmured, trying to be gentle. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings after all. "I don’t think I will have time this evening. I’m working a late shift today and tomorrow, and I probably won’t be leaving until 6pm." "I can pick you up at 7:30," he insisted. "Come on. You should treat yourself every once in a while." I wanted to turn him down, just so he wouldn’t get any ideas. But he was being so sweet, and the look in his eyes was so pitiful that I couldn’t reject him. "I’ll think about it, Donnie,” I smiled slowly. "Thanks for the ride once again." "Of course," he reassured, beaming as I turned around and walked away. I shook my head, wondering what I’d gotten myself into. As I walked towards the entrance, I couldn’t help but stare at my reflection on the glass. Why would Donnie want to go on a date with me? For the past twenty three years of my life, no man had shown any interest in me. And I was content with that. In fact, I didn’t let it bother me. Men were a distraction, and I would rather fantasize about the ones in stories than have to deal with the real ones. It wasn’t that I was hideous to look at or anything. I was decent looking, as many had attested to. Perhaps it was the nose ring that put many of them off. But I’d seen many man who weren’t bothered by it. I was sure my lack of male attention was because I also didn’t pay attention to them at all. It didn’t only extend to men. I didn’t have any friends, just people I talked to on an infrequent basis. None of my coworkers particularly went out of their way to spend time with me, but I was fine with that as well. Life wasn’t all beds and roses. I didn’t want anything more than what I already had. The day went by roughly, just like I’d predicted it would. I was buried in so much work that I couldn’t even leave during my lunch break to get any food. And so my day went by miserably, and my stomach churned every other minute, commanding to be fed. By the time I was ready to leave, it was 8:30 pm. Exhausted, my hailed myself out of the nurse's office and headed outside. "Have a good night, miss Micheals," Charlie, the night guard said. "You too," I called back, barely paying any attention to him. I hailed the nearest cab, and fell back into the seat as my eyes began to droop. We arrived at my front door about twenty minutes later. I hurried up the short flight of stairs and jammed my keys into the door. Thirty minutes later, I was collapsed on my bed with my book over my face. I’d ordered some pizza already, and the open box now rested on my bedside drawer with six slices already gone. I wanted to sleep. But I also wanted to read the ending. I had only one page left. The thought of how the story would end left me with a tingly feeling all over. I knew there would be a second book, but I was eager to find out how it finished. The book ended with the protagonist stabbing the antagonist in a dark forest just behind the dark cave the author had been talking about, and leaving him for dead. As I read the final word, I felt a squeal of delight escape my lips. Finally, the horrible man would get what he deserved. I didn’t feel a single ounce of pity for him, and I hoped we’d seen the last of him. But finishing the book left me with a hollow feeling inside. I’d treasured the story for a month now, thoroughly enjoying the journeys of my favorite characters. Now that I was done, it left me feeling hollow inside; like I had no purpose again. I laid there on the bed, staring at the ceiling while I fingered my pendant. It was the oldest thing I could remember owning, and the only thing which comforted me when I wasn’t reading. How I had gotten it, I had no idea. I just knew I had it with me ever since I was growing up. I thought about the rolling hills, the smell of fresh grass on a warm summer morning and the sound of waves crashing against the shore. I dreamt of Balwynwardin all its splendor, and in my mind I saw a dozen knights riding to battle atop their white stallions. I smelled the bakers bread which the author described as the best in the land, and I saw the king’s court, decorated with gallant statues of old kings. One thing I particularly love about this book, was that the author named it after the empire where the Villain comes from. As I drifted off to sleep, I wished I could experience this wondrous beauty for myself one day. I had no idea what I dreamt of that night, until the shrill ringing of my phone woke me up in the early hours of the morning. I moaned as I grabbed it awkwardly, pressing it to my ear. "Miriam Micheals," I mumbled. "Miriam, it’s Doctor Franklin." I bolted upright immediately, all traces of sleep vanished from my eyes. "Doctor Franklin," I said breathlessly, ""it’s quite unexpected to get a call from you at this hour." "I suppose as a nurse in a big hospital like this, it should be a normal routine to expect calls at odd hours." He said, his voice sounding cold. "There is an emergency at the hospital, and we need you right away. Can you make it here in an hour or so?" "What’s the matter, sir?" I asked. "Do I need to explain every single detail? Fine, we need an extra hand in the ER," he grumbled. "Nurse Rebecca has taken ill, and there aren't much of the nurses here yet. We need you right now." "Of course sir," I sighed. "I’ll be right there." I sprang out of bed as soon as I hung up, my mind consumed with horrifying thoughts of why they would possibly need me at this hour. I get it is a normal routine for medical practitioners, however, I've never been called at this odd hour ever since I joined the hospital two years ago. Perhaps some patient had been brought into the hospital in critical condition, and they couldn’t operate on him alone. I had to help. In my haste, I didn’t pay attention to what I was doing. I slipped at the bathroom door, and fell face first towards the bathtub where I hit my head against it. A blinding pain shot through my entire system before I blacked out, even as the pain spread all over me. I wasn’t aware of how long I was out. But when I finally came around, I was lying on the cold wet floor. My entire face felt like it had been punched several times mercilessly. I groaned as I sat up, and my hands sunk into the cold water. Cold water? That wasn’t right. Slowly, my eyes opened and and I was immediately stunned by my surrounding. I was no longer in my bathroom. That much I could tell. I appeared to be in a dark cave, with a small entrance a few meters away. The smell of sea water, along with a smell somewhat musty and earthy. The air was damp, with atleast lots of humidity. There are faint sounds of  running and dripping water, and the movement of the rocks themselves. For a moment, I thought I heard a growl, so, I knelt down with both my hands covering my head and kept absolutely still. My gaze flickerd across the unyielding darkness of the cave. I hesitated, my heart thumping, at the boundary between light from the door of the cave, and the darkness inside. From the overhead clumps of moss, cold drops plopped into my hair, a water clock ticking away the precious seconds. The musty smell, was it from bats? Or was there something more sinister in this cave? How the hell did I get here? I searched around frantically, wondering how in God’s name I’d ended up here. It didn’t make any sense, and I was sure that it must be a dream. That was the only explanation. I was dreaming, and I would soon wake up. A faint glow of light started from somewhere and slowly filled a better part of the cave. But then something stirred beside me before I could fully comprehend what was happening, and suddenly, a scream escaped my lips as my eyes landed on the man lying unconsciously beside me. The source of light was from a pendant he was clutching in his right hand. What in the ever loving freak was happening here?!

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