Chapter 77:

Valentine’s Special

Draconia Offline

My heart skips a beat when I check the calendar. It takes my brain a few seconds to fully comprehend what the date means. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day! I suddenly feel guilty that I let it slip because I was looking forward to celebrating it with my two wonderful partners, but I’m always so busy that I can hardly keep track of the days, especially when my subjects are doing it for me.

I look at Erik and Gotrid who are discussing our current task with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. I don’t notice any disturbance in their minds so they must have forgotten as well. Or maybe they’re not into celebrating Valentine’s? They’re both extremely romantic, but Erik doesn’t like commercial holidays and I’m not sure about Gotrid’s preferences.

I bite my lip. I wish to prepare something special for them tomorrow and I would even risk Erik thinking I’m being cheesy. But how to go about it? I have barely one day left and I’d like to surprise them. Which is the most difficult thing of all, I’m never alone.

Being the Emperor comes with many perks, but also a ton of disadvantages. I don’t have any privacy, I can’t just order stuff online, and I can’t do anything outside the schedule. I have all this money, influence and numerous servants, yet preparing a surprise seems impossible. But I have to try.

“I’m taking a coffee break,” I say nonchalantly and hope that my partners will ignore me. They don’t. Of course, they don’t. They immediately stop whatever they’re doing.

“Can I have an introverted moment, please?” I ask, praying that I’m not being weird because I’ve never asked for something like that before.

Naturally, I need introverted moments every now and then in order not to go crazy from all that attention I’m constantly getting, but Erik and Gotrid always counted as part of my introverted space. I wouldn’t want them to think that I need a break from them.

“Sure, the sooner we take care of this, the sooner we finish work today,” Erik waves his hand and continues discussing the issue with Minister Laurin. Gotrid feels a bit sad that I don’t want his company, but he doesn’t think too much of it, fortunately.

I make sure my phone is in my robe and go to the relaxing lounge I call the chill area. I sit on the sofa, thank Cien for the latte she brings me automatically and I start browsing the Internet. It would be much quicker and more comfortable in the VR mode, but VR headsets aren’t compatible with Draconian brains.

“What?” I frown and turn the phone’s screen away from my adjutant Luviael who hardly ever leaves my side even when I want to be ‘alone.’ I sigh because I’m pretty sure she caught a glimpse.

“A feed of inspirational Valentine settings?” she’s raising her eyebrows and there’s a grin on her face.

“S-so what,” I blush a little. “I want to prepare something nice for Erik and Gotrid tomorrow.”

“And it didn’t cross your mind to ask us for help?” Luviael shrugs. “I’ll happily become your partner in crime, Your Majesty. Just tell me what you need. I promise not to say anything to your Consorts if you want it to be a secret surprise.”

“Nothing too cheesy,” I say, happy that I will be able to make it work after all. “A level nicer dinner than usual, candles on the dining table, a chocolate cake for a dessert, a bouquet and then a romantic bubble bath? I guess rose petals on our bed would be a nice touch.”

We spend a few minutes browsing various inspirational feeds and Luviael is taking notes. I must be taking longer on my coffee break than normal because Gotrid stops by to pick me up.

“As much as I’d love to let you rest, I’m afraid we need you, love,” he says apologetically. “We’re almost finished, but Minister Laurin won’t leave unless he gets your final approval. What are you doing anyway?” he narrows his eyes because Luviael is leaning too close to me.

“I was just showing her some random funny stuff,” I say and quickly hide the phone in my sleeve.

“Hmm,” Gotrid murmurs, unconvinced, and offers me his hand to help me stand up. He uses it as an excuse to kiss me. “So Luviael counts as your introverted space?”

“Don’t be silly,” I kiss him back. “Don’t you ever want a break from me?”

“Never,” he claims and we keep kissing until Luvi has to remind us that Minister Laurin is still waiting.


“Psst, Kaileen,” I hiss at the young maid, using the fact that Erik is shaving in the bathroom and Gotrid went to discuss our today’s agenda with Luviael.

“Yes, Your Majesty?” Kaileen hurries toward me and is puzzled why I’m whispering.

“Will it be ready in the evening?” I ask urgently.

“R-ready?” she twitches which is a reaction I certainly didn’t expect. “What should be ready?” she averts her gaze timidly. She still thinks that I can read her thoughts even though that’s true only for Liana and my partners. I still need direct touch with anyone else.

“The dinner I’m planning for Erik and Gotrid,” I explain impatiently. “Didn’t Luviael tell you about it?”

“Oh, right, that,” she’s visibly relieved and I have no idea why. “I’m sorry, Your Majesty, but Cien and Ayala are taking care of that, so I don’t know much.”

Kaileen is acting seriously weird. She’s refusing to meet my eyes and her emotions are jumbled. And then it hits me. She must be taking an afternoon off to spend it with her girlfriend Yrienne. Figures. Gosh, I’m so slow sometimes. No wonder she isn’t part of the secret preparations.

“Finished, hon,” Erik returns, perfectly groomed.

I use this chance to caress his smooth face and a crazy idea of him growing a fashionable beard crosses my mind. Celestial men don’t grow facial hair so there’s no use in having this fantasy about Gotrid, but maybe Erik could one day?

“You would like that?” Erik is sceptical.

I’m startled that he sensed that. More often than not, I don’t hide my thoughts from my partners, but right now I’m guarding Valentine's surprise. Luckily, it doesn’t seem that he perceived more than this quick funny idea. Phew, saved.

“If you’re ready, we can go,” I say hastily. “We have that business agreement to go through and I’d like to finish it today.”

“Sure, but did you forget what day it is?” Erik raises his eyebrows.

“Day?” I hold my breath. Did he realise it’s Valentine's after all?

“Second Tuesday of the month, your regular medical check-up,” he reminds me.

“Oh, that,” I’m actually relieved which might be the only case of me happily visiting the infirmary.

“Wait, you’re okay with it?” Erik doesn’t believe his eyes.

“I feel confident, I was eating a lot last week,” I lie. Erik rolls his eyes, but he buys it.


My confidence dissolves the moment I step on the scale and it says the same number as last time. Doctor Julia is frowning at me because the special dietary plan she created for me evidently didn’t work and is asking my partners a lot of questions. Then she demands to see the food journal in which my maids note down all the food I eat during the week.

“At least he didn’t lose any weight,” Gotrid is trying to calm her down.

“Cookies aren’t a nutritionally balanced snack,” she opposes and pinpoints several days when I had exactly that instead of a sandwich.

She keeps arguing with my partners while Ayala dresses me up again.

Don’t worry, Your Majesty, everything will be ready at six, she sends me a quick reassurance when she touches me, tying my robe.

I hope nothing goes wrong today. Can’t monsters and politicians get a day off on Valentine's?


After lunch, Erik is snatched away by the Czech Prime Minister the moment we finish the document and I sign it. I don’t even have time to kiss him and he disappears into the meeting room to discuss the details with her. I get a bit nervous. Meetings of this kind rarely last only an hour or two.

I go for my regular flying session with Gotrid and I’m so nervous about the evening that I forget to watch myself and fly too far from the guards when using my Emperor speed at one point. I get scolded severely by Guard Captain Miruel and they don’t let me off their sight even for a second after that.

“Love, I just got a message that something unexpected came up,” Gotrid says all of a sudden. We both hover in the air to talk.

“Is it important?” I worry. “Something wrong with the document?”

“It’s urgent, but nothing that would require your attention,” he assures me. “Would you be okay if I went to take care of it? It’s only twenty minutes into your flight and we all know that you get super grumpy when you can’t stretch your wings properly.”

“If I help you, it will be quicker,” I suggest, but Gotrid shakes his head.

“The Ministers have to learn not to bother you with everything,” he insists. “Liana is right, we have to stay adamant about it or they will never get used to it.”

He sends me an airy kiss and disappears before I can say more.

“Hi, Aefener,” Liana suddenly emerges from under the clouds, surprising me.

She also goes for regular flying sessions as any other Celestial, but we’re usually forced to go separately at different times so that there’s always at least one of us present in the Royal Office.

“Isn’t there an emergency or something?” I’m twice as shocked by her sudden appearance.

“It’s no real emergency, just something urgent that has to be done by the end of the day,” she assures me. “I would take care of it myself, but I got a nasty cramp in my left wing.”

“I keep telling you to fly more often,” I sigh with an ‘I told you so’ attitude. Celestials don’t ever get cramps while flying, but we can get very unpleasant cramps when we aren’t using our wings for too long.

“Can we depart, Your Excellency?” Soren catches up.

“You’re flying somewhere in particular?” I tilt my head, a bit envious.

“Soren said that he discovered a nice, mostly deserted hill in the western part of Prague, so we’re going to check it out,” she explains quite enthusiastically. Even the ever-serious Celestial Viceroy can get playful from time to time.

“A hill?” I frown because it sounds fishy and I’m astonished that Liana doesn’t think so.

I analyse Soren’s feelings and he starts gesturing at me wildly outside Liana’s field of vision not to say anything. Oh, I get it now. It seems I’m not the only one who’s preparing a surprise today.

I resist chuckling. Poor Liana isn’t suspecting a thing. She’s so dense when it comes to Soren’s obvious romantic advances. I wonder if he has prepared a picnic there in advance? Prague tends to be quite chilly in February, but nothing a few heating spells around the area wouldn’t solve.

I’m a bit sad that I can’t go exploring Prague with them because I’m not permitted to land anywhere outside the skyscraper. The guards are much calmer with me above the clouds, as far away from humans as possible. But then I realise that I don’t mind it that much. I prefer it here; I enjoy the tranquillity. And I have no desire to walk if I can fly instead.


The Royal Office is empty when I return. Of course, there are still guards and assistants, but Erik and Gotrid aren’t here. Is that urgent issue more important than they were telling me? I sigh. They should have called me. While I have absolute trust in their judgment and abilities, things go much smoother when I’m present. Ministers never argue with me. They give me their advice and make strong recommendations, but they would never oppose me.

“Why don’t you go to oversee the preparations, Your Majesty?” Luviael suggests. “It’s half past five already.”

“But my partners are still working,” I shake my head.

“Exactly, you will have time to check everything,” Luviael insists.

I find myself standing in the hall, not quite sure what just happened. Did Luviael just push me out of my own office? I appreciate that she wants me to have more free time today, but I won’t be able to enjoy it without my beloved partners.

However, as I’m getting closer to our apartment, I’m starting to slowly realise that I don’t feel Erik and Gotrid on the governmental floors. Are they both actually at home?! But that would totally spoil my surprise!

I’m tense when the guards open to door for me and I don’t understand why it’s so dark inside. I blink a few times, but it’s not completely dark—a line of candles is illumining the entrance. That certainly wasn’t part of my Valentine’s plan. There’s no doubt anymore, Erik and Gotrid are straight ahead. And they’re feeling excited.

“Erik, Gotrid… what?!” I’m taken aback because the whole living room is beautifully decorated.

There are candles and petals everywhere, silent relaxing music is playing, Erik is wearing his best leisure suit and Gotrid is also dressed up. They must have been preparing it weeks in advance, unlike stupid me who forgot completely.

“Did you seriously think we would forget about Valentine’s?” Erik bursts out laughing.

“Our Emperor can be so silly sometimes,” Gotrid is also laughing.

“How come I didn’t suspect a thing?” I don’t understand. “Some telepath I am.”

“You never pry deep if we don’t want you to,” Erik comforts me, petting my wings. “We pretty much counted on that.”

“Still, it was a feat to hide it from you, I was sure you must uncover our plot sooner or later,” Gotrid grins. “Instead, you were plotting a nice little surprise yourself. We were sure you forgot.”

“I almost did, or rather I didn’t realise what day it is,” I admit. “By the way, I think Liana is having a romantic date of her own.”

“Gosh, I hope Soren will finally get through her defences,” Gotrid chuckles. “How can she be so sharp about everything, yet so dense when it comes to romance?”

“I think she got used to being on her guard all the time because of her wealth,” I ponder. “I bet many gold diggers were trying to get to her so she’s distrustful by default when it comes to dating.”

“Best of luck to Soren then, now back to us,” Erik puts his hands around my hips and pulls me closer. “We have at least five hours to spend all lovey-dovey and I’m not against cheesy gestures today.”

“Delicious food, cuddling, a bubble bath, sweet nonsense and lots of sex,” Gotrid teases me.

We’re having Italian and I wouldn’t expect anything else from a romantic dinner. There’s pasta with yummy vegetable sauce, a nice selection of cheese, a huge bowl of salad and sweet wine. As for the dessert, it’s that chocolate cake I ordered. For once, Erik doesn’t complain that it will ruin his figure and takes a big piece as well.

Pleasantly full, we chill for a few minutes on the sofa and cuddle. Erik and Gotrid still don’t want to do anything with each other, but at least they don’t mind touching anymore. Erik doesn’t freak out each time Gotrid brushes him accidentally with his wings and that’s something. Maybe one day they will be willing to…? I gulp and get goosebumps.

“Hey, what are you imagining?” Erik pokes me, narrowing his eyes.

“Yep, our naughty Emperor just imagined two of us kissing,” Gotrid is amused. “Moreover, it seems that idea aroused him.”

“Not happening anytime soon,” Erik has to disappoint me.

“Not soon, but there’s a possibility…?” I get hopeful.

“No promises whatsoever,” Erik catches my chin and kisses me.

We cuddle until the maids come to tell us that the bath is ready. I demand to make my own bubbles and use the whole bottle of a foaming product—our bathtub is almost a small pool after all. When the water starts to cool down, Gotrid reheats it with a spell so we can spend more time inside cuddling.

“I love you, I love you, I love you,” I keep whispering because I like how it sounds.

I know that they can feel it from me, but I still want to say those magical words aloud. Erik and Gotrid are my treasures. On this day and any other. Because they make every day special, not just Valentine’s.