A/N: So hey, people! Another entry for a
competition, Jelica's this time :) It's a picture challenge. I
hope the romance thing worked? First shot
I smiled one last time.
closed the door of my quarters.
whole evening full of small talk and fake smiles had exhausted
me, and the only thing I wanted was to drift to sleep, to
ignorant and happy dreams without the existence of pain…
If only life
could be that easy.
let myself - and my ridiculously enormous dress - sink carefully
onto the overdecorated couch that was placed next to the window.
A few months ago, I might have thought that was a beautiful
couch, a piece of art.
But that had
been before Flynn.
walked down the stairs, careful not to rumple my dress. I hoped
the sun wasn't shining to hard outside, because then my freckles
leisurely pondering my daily worries of beauty, I was suddenly
hit by a hard male body. I was thrown onto the dirty floor,
hurting my elbow in the process.
"Ow!" I cried
out. I blinked my eyes rapidly, bewildered.
around me, and I found myself lying sprawled on the filthy
ground, a young man on top of me.
"What are you
doing? Get off me!"
immediately got to his feet and stared down at me. "I'm terribly
sorry, ma'am. I wasn't looking where I was going. It's entirely
my fault." I watched his eyes widen when he took me
"I know it
is. Won't you help me get up?" I asked, highly irritated. My
elbow still hurt.
He had a
sheepish expression on his face. "Of course, ma'am. I apologize."
He stuck his right hand outtowards me. I looked at it for a
moment, considering if I should take it or not. He waited. I
decided to let him help me up, and gracefully put my hand into
of pulling me up with his hand, he bowed down to me. Then he put
his other arm around my waist and drew me to him.
I could smell
his overwhelming scent, a male mix of spices and cinnamon. I
could feel his body press against mine through my opulent dress
and his clean uniform. Without the permission of my sane mind, I
sniffed in his delicious smell, let it wash through my
But then he
set me down on the floor, on my high heel-wrapped feet, and let
go off me.
And all I
could do was stare at his face. When lying confused on the floor,
I hadn't taken him in properly, but now I did. His chestnut-brown
hair that was grown out to the half of his neck, was a little
disarrayed from our fall. His dark blue eyes were gazing at me,
undoubtedly taking me in just like I was doing with him. I had to
admit he was very handsome, with high cheekbones and strong
What was I
doing? I shook my head a few times, to clear it out. Maybe I had
hit my head.
kindly, sir. I'll be on my way now. Good day." Still a little
dazed, I started to walk to the royal garden, as it had been my
chuckle came from behind my back. I stiffened. Who did that man
think he was, to laugh at me? Didn't he know who
I turned on
my heels and saw him standing there with an amused look on his
Am I acting funny? I'm on my way to the garden, and the next
moment I'm lying on the ground because some
knock me over! So I'm sorry if my behavior bothers you!" I had
forgotten my irritation when he had picked me up, but now it was
back. How did he dare to laugh at me? I was the princess, for
God's sake! Too angry to stand still, I started walking
He caught up
with me. "As I said, I'm terribly sorry, ma'am. And I swear I
wasn't laughing at you, I was just remembering something funny.
It had nothing to do with you. I apologize."
fully believe him, but I just kept walking and ignored him. But
instead of going back to his business, as I had meant for him to
do, he continued to follow me.
arrived at the iron gate that was the entrance to the royal
garden, I looked at him. He gazed back silently.
When a part
of my mind wanted to keep staring into his night-blue eyes, I
blinked twice to keep myself from mesmerizing. Not wanting to be
distracted by his appearance again, I focused my gaze on a point
in the middle of his forehead - but even his forehead could be
"I demand of
you to leave me. I came here to get some fresh air," When he
opened his mouth to say something, I added, "Alone."
He frowned a
little, but I could tell he understood. "Of course, ma'am. I
wouldn't want to bother you." As if he hadn't
But then his
frown disappeared and a small smile spread on his full lips. "I
would, however, be glad to accompany you another time. How does
tomorrow sound? I'll see you at the bottom of the stairs this
time tomorrow." I didn't even have time to contradict him before
he turned around and walked back into the direction we had come
said, to no one in particular. And then I watched him
smiled sadly. Thinking about the first time we met - or about him
at all - always made me smile, but also made an invisible knife
stab my heart mercilessly.
Such a child
I had been! How spoiled and vain! Only remembering it made me
blush of shame. What wouldn't he have thought of me? But it was
too late for such thoughts now.
No matter how
much I wanted to make the flood of painful memories stop, I was
powerless to the desire that had been suppressed for much too
long a time now.
another one was dumped into my mind.
actually expect to see you here, ma'am," a voice behind me said,
seemingly never-ending debate in my head, I had decided to come
to the stairs. After all, I had told myself, I didn't necessarily
have to come for him, did
I? I was just making my way to the garden for my daily
Of course I
was fooling myself, and I knew it too. I only didn't want to
"Then why did
you come?" I answered, partly to annoy him, partly because I was
He walked to
my side and flasheda mind-blowing smile in my direction. "A man
can always dream, can't he?"
He offered me
his arm, his smile not leaving his lips.
"Of course he
can," I agreed while taking his offer, "But dreams do not always
his grin off his face, and he stayed silent for a while, as if
thinking over my words. Then he said quietly, "Some
his tone, I turned my head to meet his eyes. Their lapis
lazuli-blue depths were already staring at my face, intensely and
even a little sad.
he had annoyed me and I had convinced myself I didn't
him, I tried to cheer him up. "Indeed, some do." And I gave him a
When he saw
that, his eyes widened almost unnoticeable, and they filled with
an emotion I couldn't describe. I was used to the awe and lust I
saw when men watched me, but not to this. I knew I was beautiful,
as I had heard it many times before. My mother told me almost
daily, and my father on occasion. Many young men who came to
balls and dinners of my family, the royal family, complimented me
on my beauty. My maid gazed at me longingly when she thought I
But all those
things were nothing - nothing
- compared to
what I was experiencing now.
The way this
young man was looking at me made me feel beautiful like none of
the compliments I was given had done. But not only beautiful - it
was like he admired my inside, too.
I pushed that
thought away. My inside? He barely knew me! Scratch that - he
didn't know me at all! And I didn't even know his
I averted my
eyes from his face. We were now walking on the paths of the
garden, and I examined the colorful flowers that spread a sweet
scent. It was summer, and the heat made the smell heavier and
even sweeter, like an overdose of honey.
I cleared my
throat. "It's a beautiful day, don't you think?" I stated, not
looking at him.
A wonderful day." His voice was full of the emotion I had
detected in his eyes. A mix of tenderness and… something
silent again, and I tried to name the missing ingredient of his
feeling. But no ideas came to my mind.
the rest of our walk in silence, but because of the singing of
the birds and the rustling of the wind, it wasn't as quiet as it
would have been. At first it had been a little awkward and
uncomfortable, but gradually my tense muscles began to relax.
Then I just enjoyed the feel of the evening sun on my pale skin.
A small voice in my head shouted that I should watch out for my
freckles, but I shushed it. After one last remark that my mother
wouldn't be happy with this, it shut up.
When our walk
ended, he brought me back to my room. I opened my mouth to say
goodbye and faced him in the exact same moment he turned to me.
Our chests were almost touching, and I was looking right at his
collar bones. I lifted my head to meet his eyes, and noticed he
was looking down already. I swallowed loudly.
I closed my
mouth, then opened it again, trying to think of something to say.
I probably looked like a fish gasping for water, and that thought
didn't help me to calm down.
He had looked
surprised and a little stunned too, but then he smiled and
saying a word, he took my hand in his and brought it to his lips,
a proper goodbye to a lady of rank. His soft and feathery lips
brushed the back of my hand a little longer than was generally
accepted, but I didn't mind. I wanted to extend that moment to
the rest of eternity.
But then it
was over, and he let go of my hand while straightening his back.
One last breath-taking grin that displayed his amusement, and he
entered my room and closed the door.
That had been
a turning point in our relationship, I realized. Without
speaking, he had entered my heart and my soul that day. He hadn't
exactly changed me, he had just made me real.
My old self,
the one I had been before we met, might have found him simple or
boring. My involuntary changing self thought he was interesting
presence had twisted my personality, and he couldn't have given
me a better gift.
Now my heart
twisted in pain of desire for his bare presence. How easy my life
lonely salt teardrop escaped my eyes, I remembered the night that
I was lying
under my covers in my canopy bed, and I couldn't sleep. Buzzing
thoughts about Mr. Anonymous kept me awake.
Who was he?
What was his name?
I had seen
the uniform he had been wearing yesterday - a messenger's.
Disappointment flooded my mind, but not in the way that should be
expected of me. He was a messenger? I should be
disappointed over the fact that he was so low in rank and then
let him go, but that was not the case. I felt sad because I could
never be allowed to interact with someone like that.
A few days
ago, I might have thought that such a rule was good and
protecting. Now it only seemed like an obstacle.
Why did he
want to walk with me? Why was he interested in me at
Maybe it was
his kind of an apology… But that couldn't be the only reason.
Maybe I was just being vain - something, I suddenly realized, I
was a lot - or I wishful thinking, but I had seen the look in his
eyes when he stared at my face. That mysterious
What had it
been? Why did he feel that way?
It was a good
emotion, I was sure. Kindness, if not affection. But why? I
hadn't been kind to him! I had only shown him my arrogant and
cold side, except for the smile after I tried to cheer him
behind my ice princess facade - ah, the irony - have seen my true
Had he? Who
was she, or I?
That was the
moment I came to the realization - one of the many of that night
- that I had changed immutably. I searched into my mind and my
heart, and I found that I had not only acted like an ice
princess, but that I had actually been
A hint of
shame lightened between my other emotions, and I promised myself
I wouldn't become one again. I had melted, never to be frozen
That had been
a night of epiphanies. Many things were cleared up and revealed
during the hours I pondered my feelings towards Flynn - only then
I had notevenknown his name yet.
smiled softly - not the kind I used to smile, before, but a dim
shade that never reached my eyes anymore. How unknowing and
oblivious I had been! But deep in my heart I longed for the time
everything was easier and without agony, like only my dreams were
of the next day, I waited at the bottom of the stairs. He came
and smiled at me, not seeming to be surprised at all.
name?" was my greeting. I tried to put just enough curiosity in
my voice - I had to hide most of it.
stayed on his place. "It's Flynn," he answered
messenger, right?" I asked further. I had to know the answers of
the questions that were not too awkward too ask.
fell. "I am," he affirmed sadly, and the gleam in his beautiful
blue eyes expired for a moment.
why. Maybe he had hoped on a better job? But I decided not to
ask. I would show him I had a good side, and that I could respect
through the garden had become a custom. Sometimes we talked,
sometimes we stayed silent. When I thought about it afterward, it
was weird that no one caught us earlier. But maybe it was because
the garden was mostly abandoned.
But then, one
late autumn day, the routine was interrupted by an event that was
- according to me - almost too good to be true. Maybe just
because of the fact I was too happy, my happiness was taken from
me not long after. My eyes stung as they flooded.
In the middle
of one of the garden's paths, he stopped walking, so I did,
wrong?, I asked , surprised by his sudden stop. My eyes flew over
his face, taking in his expression like they had done so many
times before. He looked frustrated and his jaw was clenched
"I-" he broke
off. He closed his mouth. Then opened it again, and I remembered
the times I had done that. Only he didn't look like a
Just when he
was going to speak, his head shifted to the side. Narrowing his
eyes, as if trying to see something, he stepped in the direction
of his attention. He had apparently heard something.
Then his gaze
snapped back to my confused stare, and he grasped my
here. We have to get away."
immediately. He, too, knew that it was inappropriate for a
princess to interact with an ordinary messenger, and he didn't
want to get me into trouble.
He led me to
a path that was edged by high hedges.
see us here," he reassured me. I sighed in relief. What would my
parents have said if they knew I walked with a messenger every
day? But I dismissed the thought. No time for this
was glad I was somewhere alone with Flynn. The garden had been
abandoned most of the time, but between these walls of leaves I
felt safe and secure.
When I looked
into Flynn's lapis lazuli eyes, I knew for certain he felt the
In books you
always read that love is a sudden epiphany. People realize
they're in love with another person in one moment, one vital
second of their lives, like it's the sun that reappears after
being hidden after clouds.
realize. I just understood what I had known all along, like the
sun that rises in the morning, gradually and steady.
experienced the essence of love to the fullest, Flynn took my
other hand too.
We both felt
the tension that vibrated through the air, and the decisiveness
of the moment that was going to come.
started again, but this time he wasn't interrupted by a sound,
but by me.
I freed one
of my hands from his and put the tops of my fingers over his
mouth. I felt his warm breath wash over them as he opened his
soft lips. His eyes displayed the slightest hint of insecurity
from his side.
moment was so right, so truthful, that I was convinced he loved
me back, even if he didn't say it. No, I wasn't vain and spoiled
anymore. I was just right.
"I know," I
smiled, showing all my love and adoration in my
one was dazzling. His smile was so broad he was showing his
teeth, and I briefly wondered if his cheeks were hurting. Out of
his wonderful eyes shone that emotion again, and now I was able
to give it a name - a cliché and cheesy name, but a true one -
That was my
most precious memory of Flynn - our silent confessions. It hurt
even more remembering that than it did when thinking about any
other one. But it was all torture.
wasn't a good idea to deepen my thoughts about him - but it was
too late. The flood I had been holdingback was now coming all
over me, and there was no way to stop it.
The agony of
my white hot burning heart was just the price I paid.
couldn't help but remember what happened next…
As we were
smiling like idiots at each other, my heart was beating almost
violently. It felt like it was going to explode of joy, if such a
thing were possible.
expression seemed like his thoughts were on the same line as
mine. Like our hearts were beating in the same rhythm and our
souls were synchronized.
And then he
suddenly pulled me to him, every single part of our bodies
touching. Chests to chests, stomachs to stomachs, legs to legs.
My back was arched like that of a snake, and Flynn had released
my hands. They were now resting on his chest, and his were
pushing me against him. One arm around my waist and one on my
back, his touch burning an invisible mark into my
And then his
lips crushed on mine, and our desires became one, just like our
hearts and souls already had. Only part of my mind thought about
how improper this behavior must be for a young lady, a princess
even! But then I pushed that part to the background and kissed
I had no idea
what I was doing, of course. I only knew the feeling of his lips
against mine, one of his hands traveling from my back to my face,
then softly caressing my cheek with a feather light touch. I
reacted instinctively and replaced my hands to his face, one on
each side, pulling him closer to me.
pushed mine open, and I breathed into his mouth. Then I moved
them against his, just like he had done before. A soft moan
escaped his lips, and I smiled. That was the best compliment I
had ever been given.
And my only
wish in those moments was that I could get closer to him, even
though I was leaning against him as close as possible, secure and
wrapped up in his strong arms.
tears were streaming down my face now. My sad desire to be
wrapped in those arms and kiss those feathery lips once again
tore my heart apart for the millionth time.
To the story
of Flynn and me, there was only one end - a horrible one, not the
end that would be described in any happy romance novel.
Only a few
days later, when we were still fully discovering and experiencing
our beginning love, the most heartbreaking and lifetwisting
moment of my existence was due to happen. I had often tortured
myself with the thought that if I had been smarter and more
careful I could have foreseen or even prevented it.
But it was
too late now.
I yelled, echoes reflecting against the high walls and the
ceiling of the throne hall.
My heart was
frozen in panic, and I frantically tried to convince my father he
was making the greatest mistake of his life, by ruining
"You can't do
that! You can't! I swear, you -" My voice broke down and sobs
rose from the back of my throat. Not Flynn! Not him! That was the
only thought that dominated my mind. Not Flynn!
"I'm sorry my
dear, but I must. I can't allow you to interact with that…
servant." He uttered the last word like it was filthy, his nose
lifted and the corners of his mouth turned down in disgust. "This
is the only way to make sure you never speak to him again." Not a
hint of sorry was inserted in his voice, even though he looked at
me with pity.
"But I won't!
Ever again! Just please-" I swallowed loudly, trying to control
my emotions. But I knew that was impossible. Then I continued my
begging in a softer voice. "Just please, please don't- Do that to
him. I will do anything, I beg you." I couldn't manage to utter
the right words. I couldn't force them over my lips. My face was
wet with salt tears as my words grew desperate.
surrounded me when I started hyperventilating. Too little oxygen,
my lungs screamed. Not Flynn, not him, my heart and my mind
control my breath, my father's words reached me through the thick
fog I was disappearing into. "It's the only way, my dear. Not
only to keep him from you, but to be sure such a thing will never
happen again." How cruel he was! This was not my father speaking,
I realized. This was the king. He had set his fatherly feelings
aside and handled the situation like he was supposed to, without
his emotions interfering.
when the sightless situation pierced the confused and desperately
powerless alarm bells in my brain, my heart was ripped into
was loudly sobbing now, struggling to breathe. Reliving that
crushing memory made me feel an overwhelming ache in my chest and
abanging pain pressing on my temples.
afternoon so many months ago, the joining of Flynn's soul with
mine, there had been another person in the garden - but not a
coincidental passenger. I still didn't know who it had been - as
that would be healthier for that person - but he had eardropped
on our conversation. Undoubtedly to be promoted, he had informed
the king of our relation.
So much pain
and suffering - and for what? A better job? More money? My broken
heart - and not only broken, but ripped , pierced and stepped on
- was due to money or rank?
Even when I
tried to, I couldn't feel the rage. Oh, I had - too much and too
long, leaving a bitter taste on the back of my tongue - but now I
just felt exhausted. What had been the meaning of our love if it
hadn't led to any good? For what mysterious reason did we
discover the true essence of the word, only to let it lead to
Death, death, death. He was dead. He was never coming back - I
tried to fully let that get through my brain, but it hurt too
much. I flinched away from the effort.
Death. I had
seen it, with my own eyes - death. His.
I ran through
the corridors, on my way out. "No, no, no!
I whispered, to no one in particular. "No,
Sprinting down the stairs, the place we first met, my heart was
racing as fast as I was. I jumped down the last few steps and
then stopped dead in my tracks.
men. I went cold as ice as I saw what they were carrying. There
were four of them, their shoulders squared and their expressions
serious. A stretcher carried between them. With a cloth laid upon
I had a
fearful presentiment - and it was proven right as suddenly one
arm, the left one, fell from under the cloth.
arm was unbelievably pale, with a hint of blue. Not yet stiff but
still obviously not alive anymore. And I immediately recognized
I knew every
single facet of Flynn's handsome face, his broad shoulders, his
strong arms and his loving hands. I had experienced the way they
felt when he held me, the way it felt when he stroked the hair
out of my face. I knew the feel of my cheeks caught between his
hands, the way those same hands closed around my much smaller
ones when he held them, and above all I knew the soft loving
touch of his full lips against mine.
And now I
knew how his arm looked when the life had left him.
Then, as if I
wasn't crushed already, I collapsed onto the floor, a small heap
of great misery.
My life had
ended that day, together with Flynn's. I had never recovered, nor
would I ever. The rest of my useless life I would be crying every
night, as I did now, and desperately call out his name.
croaked, my throat hoarse from my waterfall of tears. "Flynn!" I
sent my longing cry through the open window, to the dark evening
sky. It had the color of his eyes, I realized, and yet another
wave of miserable sadness washed over me.
But then the
air changed - I didn't know if it was just a summer breeze, or my
imagination, but suddenly the cold night's blow changed into a
warm one. Sitting there in front of the open window, it was like
someone breathed on me - through me. I sniffed when I found a
change in scent, and a familiar mix of spices and cinnamon
overwhelmed my mind.
asked uncertainly, hope involuntary flaming.
there was no reply, an aura of affirmation spread over me. He was
here! Joy burst through my veins and came to an explosion in
their center - my heart.
leaned closer to the evening outside. The wind softly caressed my
face, my cheeks, my lips. Flynn's name drifted through them as I
sighed admiringly, cherishing every touch that was so similar to
closed my eyes. Without my sight, all my other senses were full
of him. I smelled his delicious scent, and when I opened my mouth
slightly, I could taste its spices and sweetness on my tongue. My
skin was absorbing the feel of his adoring strokes once again,
And while the
night was silent and peaceful, I heard a soft whisper, like the
rustling of the breeze on the green leaves of the apple tree that
stood just beside my window.
not always come true…"
And then my
Flynn was gone.