“Prince Frederick? Prince Frederick?” I heard my name being called and lifted my head from my arms where it was softly buried. Paul’s words echoed in my ears and the ringing effect made my never ending headache increase. I shook myself awake and tried to focus on Paul’s blurry figure. I blinked a few times, and then saw him looking down at me with worried eyes. I saw his face overcome with fatigue and realized that I had fallen asleep at a table in the security office. It had been about 10 hours since Arianne had disappeared. I felt myself growing weaker when I thought about every minute that she had to endure; wherever she was. At the thought of Arianne, my mind suddenly jolted awake.
“Anything, anything at all?” I pressed at Paul. He solemnly shook his head and all I could do was sulk. The more I thought about it, the more my head throbbed. The more I thought about it, the more the pain in my heart scratched deeper and deeper. I let out a mournful groan. How long would it be until I saw her face again? Would I ever see her eyes shining with happiness? Would I ever see the soft hair that crowned her head, falling onto my shoulder as we embraced? The sudden thought of losing Arianne pumped me up. I looked to the table where I had scribbled down a million and four different ideas on a notepad. After the first five hours, my brain stopped working, so I was forced to use this notepad so that I could actually remember my train of thought. I looked to the clock. It read 2 o’clock a.m.
I shook my head, turning away the sudden bout of fatigue that washed over my brain. I knew I was tired, but there was no way that I would stop working; stop fighting this. Whoever was holding Arianne hostage right now would be toast by the time I was through with them. I let out a sigh and then realized that Paul was dozing off while he was standing next to me. I couldn’t help but smile and I sincerely appreciated the way he had been working. He had been doing more than me, and I had already fallen asleep. I’m sure that he would be grateful for even a few hours of rest.
“Paul,” I said softly, still grinning like a maniac. “Go get some rest. I’ll handle everything for a while.” He shook his head in disagreement after wobbling his head around a few times. I frowned at his stubbornness, but inside I applauded at his diligence of duty for this country. “There’s no option, Paul. As your superior I command you; go get some rest.”
Paul looked at me funnily after my little spiel, but firmly nodded and said, “Oui, altesse.”
My smile grew wider. I watched him stumble off as he tried to conceal a yawn. What a great person. He was sacrificing himself for something that I loved. He hadn’t even met Arianne. I looked about the room and saw all of the night security doing random things around the office. Sentimentality welled into my aching heart, calming in down somewhat. Each one of these men was doing something for me and my country. It really made a guy appreciate life more.
Three hours passed, and no matter how much I thought about my Arianne, nothing seemed to take away the sting of sleep that begged for attention. I stood up, trying to wake myself up, but it was absolutely impossible at this point. It had been a long day; a very long day, and my mind resisted the war against slumber, but my body eventually won the battle. A few of the head security officers helped me to my room and I collapsed onto the bed. The instant my head hit the pillow, my eyes clamped shut, and I fell into the painless universe of dreamland.
I had the strangest, most startling dream. I was back at Harvard and it was the first day that I had met Arianne. I dreamt that instead of wearing running shorts and a t-shirt, that she was wearing a habit. I gasped in disappointment when I saw her forbidden face, and in my dream I noticed even then how very breath-taking she was; even when she was donning a nun’s outfit. I felt myself wake up slightly, and but it was so minor that I could only feel myself turn to the other side of my body.
The next time I dreamt, it was definitely worse and more tragic than the last one. I dreamed that we were holding hands while walking to class, and suddenly a gunshot rang in the once peaceful air. In my harmless hallucination, Arianne fell to the ground with utter pain written on her face. I saw blood pouring from the back of her neck, and I screamed in horror. Suddenly, before I even had time to wake up from that one, the scenes randomly switched and we were at ‘Le Bon Appetite.’ I had just given her the necklace and she was smiling like she had just won the lottery. I was so glad that I had given it to her in the first place because…
Suddenly, I bolted straight up in my bed. Since when had I been such an idiot? I can’t believe I had forgotten about the necklace. Pulling the covers off of my body was like taking the wrapper off caramels; quick and painless. As fast as I could in my half delirious state, I ran to Paul’s room and pressed through the doors as if they were air.
“Paul, Paul, Paul,” I chanted. I felt as if I was insane talking like that, but I couldn’t think of anything else at the moment. “Paul, Paul, Paul,” I kept saying loudly until he was awake.
“What’s wrong?” he demanded as soon as he had drifted out of dreamland. Paul rushed over to where I was standing. I had my hands on my knees and I suddenly looked up at him from my position. “Le Collier, Arianne as le collier de moi,” Necklace, Arianne has my necklace, I stammered, trying to catch my breath.
“This is about a necklace, Prince Frederick?” he said rapidly in French. “Come on, you need to get some rest.” Paul grabbed my arm firmly and started to lead me to the door. By this time I had caught my breath to a considerable amount, and I jerked away roughly while I grabbed Paul by the shoulders and slightly shook him.
“Je ne suis pas idiot, Paul!” I’m not crazy, Paul! I exclaimed. “Arianne has the necklace that I gave her, the one with the tracking device in it. It’s our ticket to find her, Paul, we must hurry!”
One hour later, we had a target on where Arianne was. It was in one of the larger villages in my country, the second largest, in fact. As soon as we received the location from my trusty stalker’s tracking device, I was ready to go in the helicopter that dozens of SWAT members were flying around in. Paul was ordering people about, and when he suddenly saw me in the black uniform and boots, he grabbed my arm to stop me. I spun around with a crazed look in my eye. He was keeping me from saving Arianne, and each gasp that I breathed freely could be another step closer to her last.
“What are you doing?” I snapped, “We’re wasting precious time here, Paul!” I struggled to free myself from his mighty grasp.
“There is no way that I’m letting you go out there Prince Frederick!” he said shortly with determination. He didn’t even have to say anything else; that alone was enough to make me realize that it was going to be really hard to persuade him otherwise.
I shook my head and stared at him with longing in my eyes. “I have to go, Paul. I can’t just sit around and wait. I need to do this, get back at those people for what they’ve done to me. The only way to do that is by getting back Arianne by myself; not with help from anyone else. Please,” I begged, “I need to do this! It’s the only way that I’ll say sane. You know I’m going crazy without-”
“Alright,” Paul suddenly cut me off, gruffly. “I understand. But you must promise to follow my orders and only what I say. Your life is too much at risk already. Please, Prince Frederick. Promise me that.”
Wow. It had been easier to win than I had thought. I suddenly let out a short breath of relief. “Thank you, Paul. I’ll never forget this. And I promise. You have my word as a Prince.” I shook his hand firmly and a sudden rush of strength seemed to flow through him into my heart. Knowing that I had people like this behind me, made fighting for this country all the more worth it.
I suddenly whirled around and sprinted to the helicopter which was waiting for its ascent. I jumped into the mechanism and told the flier to lift off. It was time to get Arianne back.