I gave Arianne one last kiss before I told her that I would see her later. We were at her room now, and my mind was swirling; still catching up from the emotion that I had surfaced from the depths of my heart. I couldn’t believe I told her about all of that, or much less started to cry. When did I ever cry? Oh well, I guess it was for a good reason. I discarded the lump that wanted to form in my throat, and instead looked at Arianne’s bouncing curls as she walked into her room, and then shut the door. God, I was lucky, wasn’t I?
I smiled at the door, as if I could see her through it, and subconsciously saw the cluster of body guards standing around the wooden separation. I decided that I needed to talk to Paul about this; four bodyguards were really a bit too much. For the first time in a year, I actually felt happy in my palace. I hadn’t felt this kind of joy for a long time. It felt good to be happy; to release worries to someone that you loved.
I walked into the security office with a blundering grin, “Hello Paul,” I said as I greeted the back of his body. He was leaning against a desk and suddenly he whirled around, catching me off guard. I frowned at his behavior and casually asked what was wrong in French.
“Prince Frederick, I was just about to send for you,” he said quickly responding in the same language. Paul’s mannerisms were making me worry all the more. He was a very collected man and he hardly ever showed his emotions. Something was definitely wrong. Great; way to ruin my happy day! My heart rate increased as he blurted a string of words, “We have just received another threat, but this time in the form of a letter. At first it was just another threat, but at the end is where we have finally found our answer.”
“An answer?” I nearly screamed, “what is it?”
“Read the last paragraph,” Paul told me. I grabbed the wrinkled white paper and scanned the words, ‘Say goodbye to your little princess. Your bodyguard Jameson has done a great job so far; make sure you give him a raise, he has been a very big help to us. Are you worried about your country, my friends? I would be more worried about your sweet Arianne. Goodbye.”
Jameson? It couldn’t be! He had been my bodyguard for years now! It just couldn’t be possible. I felt the sting of betrayal burn my soul. It simply seemed like a mean joke, for it didn't sink in the right way; at first. I wanted to believe that there was something wrong; it just couldn't be the truth.
“Are you sure that Jameson is really the answer? What if they’re trying to delude us? Take down our own players so that we stop trusting each other…” I reasoned, my eyes wild with the truth. They wouldn’t lie about something like that. Then it suddenly became clear to me. Jameson was working for them the whole time. He was assigned to become close to me; know my weaknesses and fears, and after four long years, he had finally found one. Arianne. Yes, he had been there when I had first seen her in all of her glory, and he saw the infatuation immediately.He knew our feelings for each other, and he knew what I would do to get her out of danger, hadn’t I instructed him to stay behind to watch out for her?
I put my hand to my forehead as Paul spoke, “This is the reason that you were not attacked in America. The enemy has found what you want most, and Jameson is the one who led them to it. They figured that if they killed you there, it would be harder than kidnapping your girlfriend and using her as a ransom, and the price? Your country…”
“No,” I moaned suddenly feeling weak. How could this be happening? And on my happy day, too?
“I have sent countless amounts of men to search for Jameson; he mysteriously disappeared after the shooting. Now it’s clear that he rendezvoused with his group, no doubt planning the next move. I wouldn’t be too worried about Arianne. I have assigned a number of men to watch her every movement, and report every time she leaves her room.
I nodded, understanding completely. “I’m sure she will be safe. I was just coming to talk to you about how many men were guarding her, but now I think that four bodyguards are quite sufficient.” I smeared my fingers over my temples, desperately trying to take away the pain that pulsed in my rattling head.
“Did you say four bodyguards, your highness?” Paul suddenly said, with an edge to his voice.
“Yes, why?” I asked with suspicion, looking up at him blankly.
“I never assigned four bodyguards, Prince Frederick,” Paul said, confused. “Only three…”
I looked at him bewildered and then suddenly my heart exploded. “Jameson,” I whispered. Paul’s eyes grew large and I suddenly sprang up from my chair and sprinted out of the office, my nerves slowly disintegrating with worry. I could hear Paul right behind me, and he was breathlessly ordering men about through his watch, which was also a system of communication.
“Lock down the palace, I repeat, lock down the palace. Do not let anyone out, I repeat, Lock down the entire palace.”
I only sub-consciously heard his orders for my mind was filled with only one word, Arianne. I don’t know if I’ve ever run faster in my entire life, as I did that afternoon. We rounded the corner to the hall where Arianne’s room was, and I suddenly stopped breathing as I saw what lay in front of her door. Three bodyguards were lying helplessly unconscious on the floor, the back of their heads oozing bright red blood onto the white carpet.
“ARIANNE!” I screamed as I ran through the already opened doors. “Arianne, where are you? Arie?” My lungs were starting to hurt and my eyes burned when they connected with my brain that her room was empty. No, no, no! I frantically rushed around the room, looking under the bed, behind the curtains, in the closet and in the bathroom, and there was no sight of my sweet Arianne. I felt my lungs giving way, and I struggled to breathe, the hyperventilation taking over my airway. I refused to give up, not until I found something that would lead me to her; a clue.
Anger descended onto my face, making my teeth squeeze together and my breathing become a growl. Then suddenly my eyes caught something white as I looked to the large desk that was in a corner of her room. I jumped for it, and as soon as my hands touched the paper, I felt as if it would burn to ashes from the heat of my touch. “NO!” I suddenly screamed after I read the note. “Arianne!” My voice was lined with despair, and I started to feel physically weak. But then, suddenly, I felt hatred seeping out of my every pore. My eyes flared honest fury and they bore a hole through the carpet that I was simply staring at. I suddenly went into a daze, and everything around me, all sounds, all senses were completely blocked out from my mind. The only thing I could think of was my precious doll; what would they do to her? I slumped into the chair at the desk and pressed my elbows on the lifeless wood. I buried my head into my hands, and all I could do was sit there; my body was suddenly unresponsive to any movements. Paul rushed over to me when he saw my disturbing state and then his eyes widened as he read the note out loud, voicing the two words that I never had planned on hearing, “You lose.”