A young Elf clambered along the rocky coastline of the Great Ocean Ridges. The large boulders and loose rocks were mossy and slippery beneath his feet, treacherous on the dark, moonless night. He slipped and almost fell every other step, but kept his pace, his height, strength and elegance of movement his saving grace. He reached his first destination, and saw in the dim starlight the outlines of a small row boat, wedged between the rocks on the shore. The gentle never-ceasing rolling of waves constant in his ears, he heaved at the small boat, and pulled it to the shoreline. Unable to find an oar, he searched in the impossible dark for some driftwood, finally collecting a few useful branches to help steer himself through the water. He positioned the boat at the edge of the water, and with a strong push, launched the little boat onto the sea and jumped into it's mossy interior, praying it was strong enough to last the journey. After one final glance back up at the dramatic cliffs and rocky shoreline from where he came, he pushed his little row boat with his driftwood oar out into the open ocean.
Butterflies danced. Sunlight beamed. Rainbows smiled in fountains. The little golden haired faerie bounded among the gardens, a picture of perfect contentment. She ran into a field of corn. She met a friend, of whom she adored as she had adored no one before. But the face of the friend was blank. It was empty. There was nothing there. In fact, did the friend even exist? No, he was no longer there, replaced by misery and despair, confusion and fear. She didn't know where she was or who she could trust, the world around her turning chaotic in it's destruction. She was terrified, her fear and panic overriding every thought in her mind. But, was there really need to panic? In fact, did she panic at all? Surely not, for there was nothing to panic over. Nothing was wrong. Nothing had happened. There was no friend, no scenes of chaos and destruction. Just butterflies, and sunlight and rainbows in fountains, and fields of corn.
"Morning, my lady,"
Heidi woke with a start, and sat bolt upright.
"Sorry there, dear, didn't mean to startle you. I have laid out your clothes for the day, as well as a brief schedule for the happenings of today. Your father his majesty will be leaving for the big smoke, I expect he will be up here to see you soon. So up and dressed now. I'll be downstairs polishing the dining room for breakfast if you need me." The servant left the room.
Heidi took a moment to catch her breath, before getting up and moving to her dressing room. She looked at the gown the servant had chosen, shook her head with a grimace at the dull greys and browns and instead pulled out a handsome green and golden gown to wear.
Not feeling like breakfast just yet, she sat in front of her mirror, thoughtfully guiding a brush through her golden brown curls.
An image sprung to the forefront of her mind, an image of a young boy, no more than 12 or 13 years of age, yet features she could not recall. Nothing. Just an outline of a boy, and faint ideas of a corn field and a hat and a frog...
"Heidi? Are you there?" a deep voice asked from behind her closed door, drawing her back to reality. Heidi hadn't realised how quickly she was breathing, but managed to gasp:
"Of course father, please enter."
KingChandler entered the room, his slightly protruding stomach covered by many layers of elaborate clothing and cloaks, and on the top of his head perched his fine royal crown, the prized relic of the Thistle family. The famous Trilladyn Crystal featured at the central point of the piece, it's polished perfection and handsome red colouring enough to catch anyone's eye. He only wore it for public occasions.
"How are you, my princess? You took a while to answer, I was afraid you may have fallen ill," he said.
"I assure you father, I am in perfect health. I hear you are venturing into the city today," gently inquired Heidi.
"Yes, I have some unfinished business to attend to. Upon my return tomorrow however, you may look forward to receiving a gift from myself, and your sisters alike."
"I do look forward to it father. I do hope you arrive there and back safely."
"Thank you Heidi. Goodbye," the King said , before he turned and exited the way he came.
Once her father had left, Heidi picked up her brush again and began running it through her hair. She felt no curiosity for where he was headed, for she had lost hope that she would ever be told. His business was his business. Not one minute had passed since her father had left when she heard another knock at her door. A fifteen year old Faerie came bounding into the room, her long brown curls bouncing. She fluttered her delicate wings and hovered for a moment, before landing on Heidi's bed in a giggling heap.
"Is that how a young lady should act, Gabriella? You're going to crumple your wings," a voice scolded her. Olivia, the eldest of Heidi's three sisters was standing in the doorway.
"Oh, lighten up, Olivia, you ought to be thrilled!" Rosalie slipped into the room past Olivia, pulling her by the waist with her right hand and snatching up her opposite hand with her left, imitating a waltz. She twirled Olivia into the room, and Olivia could not help but laugh. Olivia looked ever so graceful, no matter when or where. Her tall, slim twenty-one year old figure and corn-silk hair were complemented by her stunningly featured face. The girl with whom she danced was much shorter, with thick poo brown ringlets that hung to her waist and large, innocent deep brown eyes framed by thick lashes. Rosalie was twenty and a lively character.
"Oh, Heidi, have you heard?" asked Gabriella as she bounced.
"What has happened?" Heidi inquired.
"Shush, Gabriella, let Olivia tell," Rosalie instructed her little sister.
"It is a matter of little importance, really," Olivia said after spinning to a stop, then sighed. "Peter has invited me to a ball. It is hardly significant."
Rosalie giggled. "Hardly significant! It is awfully significant! He is in love with you, Olivia!" Olivia blushed a delicate pink.
"Well now, I doubt that," Olivia mumbled, smiling slightly.
"Oh Olivia, that's fantastic news!" Heidi bounced over to embrace her sister warmly. "When is the dance?"
"More importantly, what will you wear?" Rosalie almost moaned. "There is so much to arrange, I must get to work soon on your gown."
"Rosalie, I do not even know if I'll go. It's next Saturday evening, it is a charity ball," Olivia added. "I have nothing to wear, nothing! He'll think me hideous if turn up like this. It's just probably best I don't go at all." She sadly turned and mechanically began to straighten out Heidi's bed spread that Gabriella had uprooted.
"Olivia, you shan't talk such nonsense, I will not have it!" Rosalie had both hands suspended on her hips.
"Oh, how I wish I were going!" cried Gabriella.
"You are too young, dear Gabriella," Rosalie sat beside her sister and stroked her hair affectionately, smiling. That was when she noticed Olivia silently backing out of the room, about to quietly close the door. "Olivia! Come back at once!"
Gabriella and Rosalie bounded out of the room after her, giggling.
Heidi smiled. If there was an upcoming charity ball, she felt sure she could rely upon a visit in near future from Victor.
Victor John Gregory White was the object of many girls fascination, and his continuous suggestive gestures towards Heidi were leading her to believe that perhaps Olivia was not the only one of the brink of an engagement. Her parents, of course, were ecstatic with the potential match, and Heidi could not oppose it. She could see the benefits of belonging to such a man - the security and comfort of wealth and high status were enough to entice almost any young faerie into marriage. But most importantly, she could see herself being sufficiently happy as part of the life of Mr White.
Breakfast passed in peace, but sure enough Heidi's predictions came true within a matter of hours. The butler entered the drawing room, where all four princesses were occupied by their readings and lessons, and announced the presence of a visitor for Princess Heidi Thistle. Heidi concealed her excitement as she acknowledged the butler and exited the room. The butler lead her to the guest room, and opened the door. She thanked him once more before he closed the door, leaving her to smile as she looked up to meet the young man's waiting gaze.
He was quite handsome, she had to admit to her herself for the second time this morning. His fine blond hair and blue eyes, his tall stature and well muscled figure all aided his charming nature. He beamed at Heidi, radiating warmth.
"Good morning, dear Heidi," he began.
"Good morning Mr White," she replied.
"How many times must I inform you, Princess? You may please call me Victor." Heidi smiled, breifly meeting his gaze before her eyes returned to the floor. She didn't know what to say. There was silence between them. Heidi could not take her eyes off the floor, while Victor kept his warm smile directed at her.
"Might I say my lady, you look simply stunning this morning," Victor smiled.
"Thank you for your kind words," replied Heidi, still unable to maintain much eye contact with her guest.
"The weather is splendid today. Would you care for a turn about the garden?" he inquired. Heidi curtsied in reply, and led the way out of the room as Victor held the door for her.
Once out in the fresh air, Victor offered Heidi his arm, and she rested her gloved hand on his arm willingly. She glanced up to meet his gaze for a moment, and felt her face flush as her eyes met his fond gaze.
"What was it that you were studying so intensely in the drawing room?" he inquired.
"My sisters and I were studying poetry."
"Are you a fan of poetry?"
"Mildly," Heidi admitted, "however I am much more a fan of music when it comes to the arts."
"Music," he mused. "I'll be sure to keep that in mind."
They circled around the fountain, Victor matching his stride to Heidi's. Heidi was distracted for a moment by the way the sunlight reflected and refracted as it touched the surface of the water. It was so beautiful to her she smiled unconciously. Victor took courage from her smile.
"I'm sure you're aware of the upcoming charity ball," he began.
"Yes, I am," Heidi answered.
"Would you do me the immense honour of accompanying me?" Victor stopped them, and looked into Heidi's eyes as if determined to study every little movement of her features as she thought it over.
"Of course I will, Victor," she responded, smiling.
"Thank you," he replied. "I truly am honoured."
"The honour is all mine," she said half automatically.
Victor beamed in response.
* * *
Heidi sat upright in her bed, deeply engrossed in her favourite novel concerning the story of two star crossed lovers, by her favourite author, Avelesky. She knew if her father were to discover the identity of her favourite author, and that she was in possession of many copies of his works, he would have her mucking out the yards with the servants for a month. The said author was in fact an Elf, a race of which her father looked upon as nothing more than the common ants that scurry beneath his feet. To him they were inferior, and, being the king of ______, his opinion was the common opinion. Or so he thought. But Heidi so loved Avelesky's writing, she kept a small collection under a cracked floor board in her chambers. They were simple bindings that she had illegally picked up from the Elf markets, as Elven work, by law, could not be published. Still, they were amongst her prized possessions.
A rustling sound right outside her bedroom window made her jump, and she slammed her book shut. Quickly, she leaped from her bed and tucked her copy of Avelesky under the floor board, for fear someone might discover her secret. She froze, listening.
Something rustled again outside her window. Her heart crept up to her mouth, her panic seeming to rise as she edged closer and closer to the window, curiousity getting the better of her. Surely it was just a cat. Or a bird. Surely her fears were unecessary. But she felt like she had to know. Slowly, and as carefully and quietly as she could, she stretched her hands out to take both handles of her window shutters. It rustled again, and Heidi panicked, and thrust the window shutters open, in an irrational attempt to frighten the animal away.
They encountered something very, very solid.
Heidi gasped and sprung back in shock, her hands naturally clutching the skin beneath her throat. The thing fell into the shrubs below, and the soft candlelight from Heidi's room illuminated its features. It was a boy. He was groaning and rubbing his forehead.
"Oh, I'm awfully sorry! Are you hurt?" Heidi thoughtlessly rushed to the window, and peered down at the tall boy, not much older than herself, as he rose to his feet and brushed the leaves from his clothes.
"Is that common practice in your society? Just another friendly hello whack in the head with a window shutter?"
Heidi couldn't speak. Her mind was racing as her eyes skimmed over his handsome blue eyes, his long nose, wide mouth and square jaw. But as her eyes came to rest on his finely pointed ears, her mind seemed to freeze. It was too much for her to take in.
"Elf", she whispered.
"Yes now, you see," the boy awkwardly shuffled his feet, "that's kind of where I was going with this whole thing, but you know, I figured it wasn't a problem last time, I'm still the same person, so why would Heidi care that the laws have changed? It doesn't really matter that we're different like that, right? It never did before. Heidi? Heidi, what's wrong?"
Heidi was in shock. Something was wrong. Something was missing. While Heidi was absolutely certain that she had never seen this boy in her entire life, he was somehow familiar. Very, very familiar. But she could not at all recall truly meeting an Elf in her life. She saw them on occasion of course, and she had visited the Elf markets in disguise three or four times simply out of curiosity, but she had never spoken to them. Yet she could feel something being tugged from the deepest trenches of her memory. She could not put her finger on what exactly it was, nor could she recover the memory, but she felt warm feelings tingling in her chest. Feelings that made her want to smile and rejoice and welcome him into her arms. She felt a slight twitch in her lips, but quickly regained control.
"Who are you?" she whispered, her eyes wide with the inner conflict of her thoughts.
"You mean you don't remember me?" the boy replied, with a wicked teasing glint in his eye. But she could see that behind the teasing façade, he was hurt by her question.
How did she know this?
How could she read his eyes and expressions so easily? Like she'd known him all her life? She had never met the boy before. She was sure.
"Shall I give you a hint?" he said in the same teasing tone. He puckered his lips and began to lean his face toward Heidi's. Heidi hadn't realised that she'd leaned so far out the window, but she quickly pulled herself back into her room. The boy's face kept pace and he leaned in the window, his lips still puckered.
Heidi felt a sudden wave of anger that this ragged-looking Elf boy would come to her window in the night and simply assume that she would know everything about him, as if he were the most important person on the planet. She couldn't possibly know anything of him! She didn't have time to stop herself, or even consider how dangerous she could potentially be in a temper.
Like a tantrum-throwing child, she gripped the window frame and slammed it down on top of his head.
The boy yelped and staggered back in surprise and pain. And again Heidi's emotions swung full circle. She yanked the window back open again and leaned out into the night, yearning to comfort the strange boy. He clutched at his head, bent over, massaging it as he cringed. He looked up at her with a mix of revulsion and pain in his tear-filled eyes, before quickly turning and loping back across the field toward the forest.
All other emotion forgotten, Heidi's arm reached out of the window, as if attempting to grab him and reel him back. She felt a striking blow of loss and grief as if her world had revolved around him, and he had suddenly perished, leaving her universe in chaos. And then, just as suddenly, nothing. She couldn't feel, she couldn't think. All she felt was nothingness.
She stumbled back to her bed with jellied legs.
Heidi skipped along the path down to the castle gardens. The sunlight illuminated the gold of her hair, and shone through the fountain's spray creating colours in the mist. Heidi laughed as a butterfly fluttered around her, and she chased it down into the corn fields. She danced and laughed and ran, blissfully oblivious to everything else around her. But when the butterfly decided to attend to its business elsewhere, Heidi was left alone amongst the corn. An inkling of fear trickled from her heart, leaking to her fingertips and toes as she ran forward and backwards, and every direction possible, but still found herself surrounded by the con formant plants. She hopelessly fell to her knees and wept.
Something rustled behind her in the corn. She gasped, her eyes searching the crops for whatever had made the sound. She heard it again, and froze. She cuddled herself into her knees in fear.
Finally the creature revealed itself. It was an Elf, a young boy, to whom Heidi cringed away from, terrified.
"Who are you?" she whispered. The Elf just smiled. His bright blue eyes sparkled with character. "Who are you?" Heidi repeated.
The boy just continued to smile. But was he really smiling? Or was that a grimace of fear? Indeed it was no smile. The boy was terrified of something. But of what? It suddenly became apparent to Heidi as screaming filled their ears, and four castle guards appeared out of the corn. The guards took one look at the Elf before grasping his arms and twisting them behind his back, and yelling something in his ear. His knees bent under the force of the three guards tying him down, and he let out a quiet yelp.
"No!" cried Heidi, and ran to the boy in desperation. She was no longer the little girl he had first met, lost in the fields of corn. She was ten years old now and had a much wider knowledge of the magical arts. She thrust her arm forward, sending two of the guards flying into the corn behind them. The boy desperately struggled against the final guard's grasp.
Heidi lifted her arm once more, but before she was able to perform any magic at all, the fourth guard grabbed both her arms, and twisted them behind her back too.
"I'm not going to hurt you, young princess, I'm taking you back to the castle. You will no longer associate with such filth," he snarled in her ear. He began to drag her away from her friend, as her friend began to be dragged away from her.
"No! Release her!" demanded the Elf. The guard yanked Heidi fiercer in response as she struggled against his grip. The panic began to rise and rise in Heidi's chest, filling her with adrenaline. Fires flared beyond the castle crops, sounds of screaming and rioting filled her ears, but amidst all the chaos and destruction, the one thing that truly filled her heart with fear was the sight of the boy struggling as he was dragged away. With a final call of her name, the boy was pulled out of sight and into the corn. Heidi felt her breathing increase, and a fear and pain beyond anything she had ever experienced took over every feeling and thought in her mind. The light began to fade, and the very last thing she remembered hearing was her own terrified scream as she entered a new world of darkness and oblivion…
"Thank you, that will be all," Heidi said to her maid. The maid left the room, leaving Heidi alone to admire her new dress in the mirror. It was late afternoon, and her fathers order for four handmade gowns of the latest fashion had just arrived. Heidi's dress was stunning, although much too formal for common usage. It was a rich gold, tight-fitted to the waist with a long, wide skirt base, framed by intricate lacing at the hem. Sections of the outer-most layer of the skirt were pinned up, to create a patterned looping effect, with little, deep gold bows at the turn of each loop. Above the waist, the silk clung to her figure, with a V-shaped section of elaborate lacing and decoration in the centre. The sleeves were slightly puffed, with delicate lace tastefully forming the rim of each. There were two gaps in the back through which her wings could protrude. Their thin membrane and delicate veins were complemented by a showering of golden glitter. The gloves were a creamy off-white, and just covered her elbows. It came with a beautifully sparkling gold shawl, with tasseled ends.
It was one of the most beautiful dresses Heidi had ever seen. All of her three sisters were off in their rooms, each admiring their new possessions. She could hear Rosalie and Gabriella giggling. Rosalie had received a gorgeous deep red dress, of similar design. Gabriella's was a feminine green, and Olivia's was a sky blue.
Just as Heidi was thinking of Olivia's new dress, there was a quiet knock at her door.
"Come in," Heidi responded. The door creaked open, and Olivia entered quietly. She was wearing her silk blue dress, and it complimented her figure stunningly. She tiptoed into the room, and sat herself down on Heidi's bed.
"That gold looks amazing on you, Heidi," Olivia said with a small smile. Heidi laughed gently.
"Olivia, I've told you a thousand times how beautiful you are, but I'll tell you again: you look simply stunning."
Olivia looked down, blushing. Heidi spoke again. "They are splendid dresses, aren't they? I've always dreamed of owning such a beautiful gown but I never imagined it would come true."
"Likewise. I am rather fond of those little gold bows near the bottom of yours. The shawl is gorgeous too - the bead work is so intricate."
"Yes, it is. I wonder why father would suddenly act so generously. Of course I truly do appreciate it, but, really, we don't even have anything to wear them to yet," Heidi pondered. Olivia was silent for a moment.
"I know why he bought them," she then whispered. Heidi lifted her head. "Heidi, a few nights ago I happened to be passing through the hall on the fourth floor, on my way back from the library, when I noticed a strange light coming from another hallway to my right. My natural curiosity got the better of me, and I followed the light into the hallway. I saw where the light was coming from. It was coming from-"
"The crown room," Heidi finished her sentence with, watching her sister wide-eyed.
Olivia, her clear blue eyes equally wide, nodded gravely. "It's time," she said. It was a fact well known throughout the kingdom that when a new king or queen is ready to be chosen, the magical Trilladyn Crystal in the centre of the crown's elaborate decorations glows. After 48 hours, the glowing ceases, until it is placed upon the head of the future leader. The crown will then glow again, a brilliant white light, symbolising the purity of heart of the future leader. The brighter and purer the light, the brighter of mind and purer of heart the leader will be.
"So soon?" Heidi pondered. "Mother and father are still such capable rulers, they're not too old to be ruling, or incompetent in any way. I wonder why the crown has decided this is the time."
"It's not as if our father is a poorly King, or our mother likewise. It is very curious indeed," added Olivia. Heidi breathed deeply.
"One of us is soon to be Queen." Heidi stated simply, trying and failing to come to terms with it.
"One of us is soon to be married," Olivia whispered. "You cannot rule unmarried." They looked into each other's eyes gravely for an infinite moment.
Heidi and Olivia both jumped as the door sprung open and Gabriella entered.
"When will you learn to knock, Gabriella?" complained Heidi. Gabriella only answered with a smile.
"Your dresses are amazing, both of you!" she said, dancing across the room to them before settling down elegantly on the floor in front of her sisters. Olivia thanked her and returned the compliment, as did Heidi good naturedly, although with a little sarcasm. Rosalie soon joined them and the four princesses sat together admiring their new acquisitions.
Heidi heard a rustle of leaves just below her open window, and looked across with a gasp.
"What is it Heidi?" asked Rosalie.
She muttered her reply: "Nothing."
There was a sharp tap at the door. "Tea time, princesses!" called the maid's voice from behind the door.
"Let's go," said Gabriella, standing and straightening her frock.
The meal time passed slowly, and Heidi didn't listen to the conversation as much as she normally would have. All day she hadn't been able to shake the images of her vividly realistic dream from her mind. The emotions, the pain and fear, had been so real it was almost as if she had been transported to another world for a few hours overnight. She remembered every detail so clearly.
She was used to the one vivid dream she had, that reoccured, over and over. The dream she'd had since she was little. She was young, five or six, and danced around the fountain and chased a butterfly until she got lost in a field of corn. Then someone found her…
But it had never had this ending before. Not once in the years and years of the dream's reoccurence.
What were the odds that her one solidly never-changing dream shifted on the very same day she was visited by the highly mysterious Elf boy? There was something off about him, but she couldn't put her finger on it…
Rosalie cleared her throat noisily. Heidi looked around suddenly at the members of her family, and felt a creeping warmpth spreading up her neck as she realised they were all staring at her.
"Father was inquiring as to your preferences in regards to his recent gift, Heidi," Rosalie said nervously, eyeing Heidi meaningfully.
"Oh, of course." Heidi spoke quickly. "I think it is the most beautiful dress I've ever had the pleasure of wearing. I cannot thank you enough for it, father."
"Well now, princesses deserve to be spoiled every now and then, don't they?" the king huffed from the head of the table, his beady eyes squinting as he smiled. The smiled abruptly vanished as he declared "I asked for more wine half an hour ago!" to the nearest servant.
Heidi made more of an effort to keep her thoughts present throughout the rest of the evening. She would have time to ponder tonight.
Finally, Gabriella had finished reading the last chapter of her favourite book aloud to her mother and the three sisters, and Heidi bid them all goodnight and left to bathe and dress herself in her white, lacey nightgown. She settled into her bed to think.
Hardly a moment had past before she heard a soft but distinct tap at her window.
"Heidi," he whispered, "Heidi, it's me. Open the window."
Heidi's heart leapt into her mouth, and again she felt the confusing mixture of relief and joy as she realised who was behind the window.
But he was a stranger.
Heidi hesitated for a moment, before brushing the thought aside and sliding the window up, the shutters still open from the morning. There he was, the same young Elf man as the night before, with the same bright blue eyes and messy hair and ragged clothes. He was observing Heidi's face cautiously, as if waiting for her to produce something else to hit him over the head with.
"Can we talk?" he asked. Heidi was unsure for a moment of how to react, but eventually stiffly nodded her head. She was every bit as cautious as the boy, waiting for the onslaught of fierce and erratically shifting emotions.
"Look," he continued, "we got off to a bit of a bad start last night, and I know that was completely my fault. It was stupid of me to joke around like that, I'm sorry. But I've come a long way to see you, Heidi, I'm not going to leave without at least a decent conversation."
Heidi was frozen, determined to keep her emotions in check. The boy seemed to be waiting for her to say something, but she hardly comprehended his words.
"Heidi, you have no idea how I've missed you these last seven years. I'm dying to hear your voice. Please, say something!"
What last seven years?
"I don't know what to say. I'm so confused," she whispered.
"Why are you confused? Did you not believe I would come to find you again?" The boys' eyes were burningly intense, and Heidi found herself unable to look away.
"Who are you? And how do you know me?" Heidi whispered. The boy's face went blank with shock. Then sorrow began to creep into his eyes.
"What do you mean?" he asked flatly.
"I don't know you. Who are you?"
"I'm the same as ever! Don't tell me you've let them get to you! You were once so strong in your beliefs that Elves and Faeries are equal! What has happened to you?!" he was growing more and more furious as each thought seemed to cross his mind.
"I always have and always will believe that Elves and Faeries are equal!" Heidi retorted with not much less anger. That pulled him up short, the passionate anger in his face dropped.
"Then what are you going on about? You don't know me," he mocked.
"I mean I have never met you before in my life!"
That pulled him up short again.
"You don't remember me? At all?" Jasper asked softly, and Heidi felt a sharp twinge of pain with the knowledge that he suffered from this fact.
"I swear I've never met you in my life. I'm sorry, I'm so confused," she repeated hopelessly.
Jasper's face fell in grief, his eyes so sorrowful that Heidi felt tears prickling behind her eyes and she reached out the window toward him, yearning to comfort him.
"Jasper, I -" Heidi began, but cut off immediately. The boy's head snapped up.
Heidi had never seen anyone so outraged in her life.
"Never met me? Don't remember me?" he snarled through his teeth. "So this is what they told you to say to me, isn't it? I should have seen it straight away. Never met me?! Then how do you know my name?" He made a sound of pure disgust in his throat, before turning on his heel and storming across the field, breaking into a sprint after a few strides. He was out of sight in seconds.
Without the force of her stiff self-control to keep her raging emotions in check, Heidi had to grip the window sill to keep herself upright while she gasped for breath.
She knew his name. She knew him. Somewhere, deep in her mind, she recognised every detail of his beautiful face, understood every emotion that flitted through his eyes.
Heidi couldn't think. She tried to conjured back the mental image of his snarling face, or his eyes filling with sorrow, but the more she tried, the harder it was to remember. It soon became difficult to even remember if he had been happy or unhappy. What was the name she had called him?
Heidi gave a resigned sigh with the conclusion that she must have been daydreaming, and tucked herself under the covers to await the pull into unconciousness.