I woke up from a slight jolt. After I opened my eyes, I realized that we were landing on the roof of Freddie’s castle. The events that occurred only an hour or so before flashed into my mind. I was instantly awakened and all I could think about is if Freddie was alright. As soon as the mechanical bird hit the substance of the roof, I flung my body out toward the open air. I landed on the roof and saw that the helicopter that contained Freddie was just landing. From where I was, I peered into the closed doors of the copter, straining to see if my prince was alright.
Then suddenly, as if on cue, the door opened and Freddie jumped out of the helicopter. He didn’t waste a second and before I knew it, we were embracing and I was crying joyously into his strong arms.
“Arie, oh my Arianne,” Freddie cooed into my ear. My arms were about his neck and I pulled him ever so much closer, savoring the touch of his welcoming arms. I can’t believe how much I missed him. I can’t believe that he saved me. I can’t believe that we were finally safe; safe from everything and anything that came our way. We were now invincible, together.
Freddie’s arms sucked me closer to his heaving chest. He was still in uniform, and I found it rather difficult to embrace him with all of that equipment on his belt. But equipment or not, I didn’t care. I didn’t really care if a bomb went off right behind me; there was no way that I was letting go. Not for a long time.
My tears began to subside as Freddie’s embrace calmed me down. The thought of his fingers slipping from mine as I let him fall into the air, came rushing back into my thoughts. I sucked in a breath, suddenly feeling dizzy. I clung to Freddie tighter and he just rocked me back and forth, telling me softly that we were okay. I guilty thought about how scary this must have been for Freddie as well.
Putting his life in danger to get me out of that building, fighting a humongous man, jumping out of a helicopter, just to save me; this wasn’t possible. What had I ever done to deserve such a man?
Reluctantly, I removed my head from Freddie’s chest and gazed up into his glassy eyes. He was near the brink of crying, that was certain, so I gave him a smile and smoothed a hand down his soot covered cheek.
“Let’s get you cleaned up,” I whispered affectionately. Freddie grinned and pulled me against him one last time before we descended down the elevator into a free life.
I heard a knock sound on my door, and moaned, wondering who on earth would be bothering me at twelve o’clock in the morning. I looked at the digital alarm clock next to my bed and rolled my eyes. More like noon; how long had I been sleeping?
I pulled the bathrobe which hung at the foot of my four-post bed and slipped my arms into the plush material. I smiled against the fabric, rubbing my cheek against its finery. I made my way to the doors rather slowly, and figured that if anyone needed me that desperately, they could wait thirty seconds. I pulled the door open just a peep, at first, so I could behold who was intruding my slumber.
A smile lit up my face and I yanked the doorknob nearly out of its socket whilst jumping into Freddie’s open arms.
“Hello doll,” he cooed into my ear. I got the shivers up my spine from the warmth of his breath.
“Hi. What brings you here so early?” I said, landing on the carpet softly and gazing into his lovely eyes. He frowned at my words.
“Early? It’s noon.” Suddenly Freddie’s face twisted with worry and he spoke, “Are you okay? Does the back of your head hurt? What about your lungs…” Freddie proceeded to feel around different places on my body, and I grabbed his hands just before they trailed to the small of my back.
“I’m fine. I was just teasing you.”
“Oh,” Freddie said, obviously relieved. “Well, I’ve brought you some food, go ahead in guys,” he called to some people. Apparently, I had failed to notice the hoard of people that accompanied Freddie, because a trail of maids and chefs filed into my disastrous room. Freddie took my hand and led me to the bed, urging me to sit down and relax. I did as he wished, not because I liked this sort of treatment, but because I was much too tired to argue or fight his will. One of the maids pulled open the curtains, and unwanted sunlight streamed through the atmosphere.
I squealed and covered my face with my hands, prompting Freddie to chuckle. Eventually, after dusting, vacuuming and sweeping the room, the flurry of people skidded out of my room, leaving the prince and me alone. I smelled something heavenly and glanced at the tray that was waiting to be attacked. Freddie seemed to read my thoughts, for he brought the tray that was on the desk over to my lap, and set it down softly. I grinned at the prospect of food, and lifted a few of the covers off of the plates.
“Oh, I want some of that,” Freddie said, reaching out and grabbing a piece of sausage from one of the steaming plates. I laughed and rolled my eyes. Freddie went around to the other side of the bed and climbed up, letting me snuggle against his side as he put his arm about my shoulder.
I suddenly jumped at the harshness of Freddie’s voice and turned to see him looking at my cheek intently. I frowned, but raised my fingers to touch the sensitive skin that was temporarily part of my face. “It’s just a few bruises,” I said casually, trying to forget the horror of that session.
Freddie turned my chin toward him and peered at the other side of my face as well. “Those monsters,” he muttered with emotion. “What did they do to you?”
My breath became ragged and my throat irked with the pain from rising tears. “I guess their favorite technique was smashing my face with their hands,” I said quietly, feeling the need to sob. I squeezed my eyes shut and desperately tried to forget the pain; forget it all.
“I’m so sorry, Arianne. I should have gotten there sooner, I should have…”
“Freddie, stop,” I said with unbelief. “Stop talking like that. I won’t let you. You did so much to save me, and there is absolutely no way that I’m going to allow you to say such things. You saved me from worse, much, much worse, and I couldn’t be more thankful to you for getting me out of that awful place. So I have a few bruises. They’ll heal. They didn’t even hurt until I started to think about them just now,” I said with a small giggle. I needed him to know that I was okay. I couldn’t permit him to say things like that; it would just make me nervous.
Freddie’s hands gently cupped my face and he willingly smoothed my skin with care. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, loving the feeling of his warm hands on my sore skin, and the feeling of being held by him. This is all that I longed for when I was in that room. The only thing that I could think of was getting out of there and being with this spectacular being. Suddenly, I realized that those memories didn’t seem as bad. All the horrifying things that took place seemed like a dizzy dream whenever I was around Freddie. I gently shrugged the tray of food off of my lap and turned completely to face Freddie. I buried my head into his chest and started to cry softly. They were tears of joy; mind you, not a sob of fright. I couldn’t be happier right now; there was absolutely nothing that could depress me.
“Freddie,” I murmured into his neck, “How long have I been asleep?”
“A while,” he responded while thinking. “We got here at three o’clock yesterday afternoon, and you’ve just opened your sweet eyes. But I was sleeping until a few hours ago, so don’t get all self conscious.” He laughed along with me, until I asked another question, “How long was I there for?”
Freddie mused for a few moments and then answered with spite, “About a day and a half. Believe me, it was the longest thirty-six hours that I’ve ever been through.”
I nodded in agreement. “If felt like days, for me.”
“Were you really scared, Arianne? Did you think you were going to die?”
I was surprised at the bluntness of his question, but I knew that he had to ask. I could tell that if he didn’t he would always be wondering. So, I nodded and squeaked, “I was scared. More scared than I have ever been in my entire life. But you know what kept me going? It was the thought of never seeing you again. That’s all that I wanted, I didn’t care about food, or a bed; I didn’t even care if those men beat me to a pulp. All that I could hope for was to be in your embrace before I died. Then, I would have died a happy woman.”
Freddie didn’t say a word, but I could feel his heart beating rapidly behind his chest. I snuggled closer to his warm, protective body and closed my eyes. Freddie and I just sat there embracing for perhaps ten straight minutes. I loved how we were both perfectly content with snuggling like this. Then I realized that I hadn’t kissed my boyfriend in a while. I looked up to Freddie with a glint in my eye, and he smiled, knowing that there was something up.
Before he could ask, I pressed my lips to his and immediately entered a realm similar to heaven. He responded by immediately placing his hands around my waist, and slowly, very slowly, our lips molded together in a kiss that was designed to savor. I smiled against his mouth, and I couldn’t believe how long it had been since I kissed him. Too long; oh, too long.
Eventually, we pulled away from each other, and I breathlessly stared into his love-stricken face. Somehow, we ended up moving into a position in which he was hovering above me, and my head was smashed into a soft pillow. He smoothed a hair out of my eyes and placed a gentle, loving kiss on my forehead. I smiled and placed my arms around his neck.
“Hey, I need to go, Arie,” he suddenly said reluctantly.
“Why?” The disappointment was clear in my voice. I knew that he probably had things to do, but I wanted to be selfish and keep him all to myself.
“Well, I need to take care of a few things. But let’s go out and have a picnic tonight for dinner, okay? How about at four? It looks like a warm day, out there,” he remarked, nodding toward the open window.
I nodded but pouted. “I’m going to miss you.”
“It would be impossible to miss me more than I’m going to miss you,” Freddie teased and gently kissed my pouting lips one last time before leaving my room.