This is a story I wrote a few years ago. The original is actually still up on the net but this one is the modified version. I guess I have learned some grammar over the years. Thankfully!
My inspiration then was the song Memories by Within Temptation. It is a beautiful song. When I rewrote it though, I played an instrumental piece. Still I do like this story and wanted to share the revamped version. Let me know if the ending is confusing – I would learn to write better – and be happy to clarify.
Past (One Year Ago):
I walked through the back alleys, my hands shaking, afraid that someone would recognize me. The cloak covered me from head to toe, but I was still afraid, anxious, without rhyme or reason. I heard footsteps and I quickly moved to the side, my heart hammering so loud, I thought it could be heard by anyone. The footsteps came near, even as I crouched close to the ground, hidden behind a barrel.
“That is an awful place to hide.” He whispered to me, his hand clamping on my mouth before I could let out a startled squeak. I held still, terrified, as the footsteps came closer and closer and then they receded, going ahead. I calmed to a degree, now he my only opponent, his hand still upon my mouth but the hard grip had changed to a caress. As if reading my thoughts, he removed his hand.
He stood up and I realized just how tall he really was. He extended his hand to me, palm up. Hesitantly I took it and he pulled me to my feet.
“Come with me.” he said and started walking. My hand in his, it would seem I had no choice but to follow, yet I knew this was my decision. He would not have stopped me if I had left. But he had known that I would follow him to the end of the world and over.
I stared at all the people around me. Women in their glittering gowns and sparkling jewelry, men strutting like peacocks, and I wanted to run. I lifted my gown and whirled, heading for the door only to come face to face with him. I had been craving to see him since we last parted. I reached out to touch him, but he was gone. Like a mirage of water to a man dying of thirst in the desert. A cruel dream. A tear slipped from my eye, but thankfully my mask absorbed it. A princess could not be seen crying at her own ball.
He led me down alleys, around tight corners, through houses, until I had no idea where we were. He picked me up and jumped effortlessly over walls, over fences and even over ditches. No one could have followed us. No one would know where I was. No one would know who I was. A fierce joy took hold of me until I wanted to laugh from the joy of freedom. He seemed to sense it and he smiled at me, still leading me by my hand while I waited for him to surprise me.
I turned on my heel, wanting to leave this cursed ball, but my brother blocked my way. His face said it all. I was to be the good hostess, not the runaway fool. I turned back, swallowed my pain and moved through the crowd. I smiled, I talked and all the while, I unconsciously looked for laughing dark eyes, for an amused smirk.
Someone touched my shoulder, I whirled around, sure that it was him, but was met with empty air.
My name was whispered and I started to look but could not see him. No one here with that height, with that strong frame, with that stubborn chin. With those caressing eyes.
I was suddenly in the middle of what had to be a celebration.
There were people everywhere, talking, eating, laughing, drinking, being themselves without fear of what anyone would think. They were happy.
He led me to the center, his shrill whistle getting everyone’s attention. The hair on my neck prickled as all eyes turned to us, but he did not seem to mind. He undid my cloak and tossed it aside and then I was in his arms for a dance.
The music started, a cheer went up. I blushed even as I matched him move for move. We were not alone on the floor for long, for soon there were couples dancing all around us. I laughed as he picked me up and whirled me around in the air.
I felt nothing as the dance progressed, the circular movement of the dancers making me switch from one partner to another. I felt the brush of warm fingers on my back. I tried to stop and look, but my partner twirled me around quickly into the arms of the next dancer.
I felt nothing even as I rotated on the spot holding his hand. I thought I heard a chuckle, and I looked, but he was not there.
The dance was over and I wanted to rush away, but my path was blocked. I looked up to see my uncle, gazing at me with something that looked like both pity and sorrow. I turned away, moving back to the dance floor. I motioned for the music to switch to my favorite piece.
I started dancing. It was the ‘fandango’ and I was supposed to have a partner, but he was not here. So be it. I danced for both of us. When he was to hold me as I arched back, I leaned back on my own, imagining his arms around me. I could almost see him as I danced. Almost feel his breath on my face, almost feel his beating heart under my palm.
The music changed and our innocent waltz became the sensual ‘fandango’. His arms were around me and I knew that we would dance with me loving every moment of it. We moved together, in a rhythm that was our own, as if we had always danced together. As if we were parts of one whole that had finally come together.
We moved while everyone watched, yet I could hardly care, all I could see was the man in my arms. All I could feel was his breath and his heartbeat.
I knew he would hold me. I knew when he spun me, I was safe and yet I was flush with the excitement of it all.
I laughed out loud when it ended, my leg cupped in his large hand, my head thrown back, back arched and my hair brushing the floor. Applause rang around us, but I could only see the rare grin that graced his lips.
I whispered his name and his smile widened. He took me away, with the same speed with which he had brought me, grabbing my cloak on the way. We ran through the streets again, but it was so different now. We were not being chased, we were racing the wind.
I finished the dance, applause rang out, but I could not hear it. I was looking for him. His shadow had been with me, I had felt it, then why could he not be here as well? Warm arms wrapped around me from behind, I turned with a happy cry, for it had to be him.
I knew my face fell when I saw my friend and I saw understanding in his blue eyes. I hated that understanding. I pushed at him and walked away.
I only wanted his arms around me and if he was not here, then I would be alone.
I could almost see him roll his eyes at the proclamation.
I heard the whisper of my name, I tried to run to him, but I was stopped again by my family. I cried out in anger. I wanted to go to him. He was waiting for me, I could feel it.
I splashed water over him from the river and he started a war, which ended only when both of us were drenched. We trudged back to a nearby cottage and the old woman clucked her tongue at us, even as she allowed us in. We were the first ones to visit her in years, she told us, even as she fussed.
I huddled in the blanket, as my clothes dried. He did the same. The old woman gave us both hot soup to drink while she scolded us for playing in the cold river. We exchanged glances like guilty children, and were off as soon our clothes dried.
It was dusk, and we ran back the way I had come. Back home, even though we knew we would be in trouble. As he was leaving that night, he promised me that he would be back. I smiled. I knew he always kept his promises.
I pushed my brother away. If I could not have him, then I did not want to be near anyone else. He needed to be here, or I needed to be where he was.
My brother stopped me again. Infuriated, I stalked out to the garden. I heard him murmur my name again and I ran towards his voice, but all I could see was empty air. Why would he not stay with me? I felt his fingers brush my hand, I whirled around, but it was just petals dancing on the wind. His breath caressed my hair as he pulled the pins lose, making my hair cascade down my back and yet I could not see him.
I heard his laugh as he placed flowers in my hair. I heard the music that was him as he pulled the ribbon from my throat.
I turned and I turned but I could not see him. Oh why was he taunting me so?
“Damian!” I called, my voice cracking and he brushed a kiss on the back of my neck.
“Shh…” he murmured, but when I turned he had left me again.
“Kaya,” someone called and I turned to see them standing together. My brother, my uncle, and my friend. Why could he not be standing there with them? Why were they only three instead of the four men I was used to – my uncle Jace, my brother Ash, my friend Luc and my fiancé Damian.
“He’s gone. He died in the war.” Uncle said kindly and I laughed. He must have gone senile in his old age. What war?
“You know he is gone. He led the army to victory, but he is gone. We held his funeral a year ago.” Ash’s voice was soft, cajoling.
“No! There was no funeral. How could there be one without me and I never saw it. A year ago he showed me the party out where I was not allowed. He danced with me and we played in the river. He brought me home and he would not even let any of you scold me.” I snapped enraged before turning away to leave.
“Kaya!” Luc called but I did not listen to them. Damian was here. I was sure of it.
Then I saw her. The old woman from the riverside. She was looking at me sadly but then she smiled and gave me a small crystal bottle.
“Drink this and then you can sleep until he comes to wake you.” she said kindly.
I took the bottle from her and drank it in one gulp.
“Thank you.” I whispered and he echoed me. I turned and in my dimming eyesight, I could finally see him. I smiled as the world went black.
Twenty Years Later:
“That tower is off limits.” The noble cautioned the young Prince who had come to the castle to discuss state matters. Part of a political delegation, he should have been thinking of how to greet the royals he would be meeting in moments yet all he could do was stare at the tower.
Now he turned to the man and smirked.
“Nothing is off limits,” he jumped down from his horse and started towards it. His speed increasing with every step
“Stop!” a shout came from behind and he was startled into stumbling by the familiar voice that he had never heard before.
He turned and the blonde, blue eyed man gasped. “Damian…” he whispered. Luc, yes that was his name. He was chief adviser of King Ash.
The Prince scowled and turned back to the tower. He had to go to it. He had to see it. He had to be there. She needed him there.
He did not even truly understand that thought, or where it had come from, as he ran for the tower. The guards at the bottom tried to block his way, but he pushed them aside. He never noticed the command that stopped them, as he ran all the way up the twisting stairs.
He ran and ran, knowing that she was at the end of this staircase and yet he did not know who ‘she’ was.
He kicked in the door at the end of the stairs and skidded to a stop in room filled with sunlight. He could see nothing but the woman sleeping on the bed. Her face was pale, her brown hair spread around her like a silken halo. He saw a shadow of her laughter as they danced together, caught her fragrance as she brushed against him, felt the softness of her finger tips as she stroked his cheek. There she was, sleeping in front of him, he knew he had never seen her before and yet he knew he had known her all his life.
He went to her, kneeling next to the bed, touched her face with trembling fingers. Water drops fell on her cheeks, he realized he was crying. He moved closer, kissed her forehead and she blinked up at him, awoken by his intrusion.
“Damian?” she murmured, eyes wide and he smiled.
“The one and only,” his reply was lost as she threw herself into his arms, laughing and crying at the same time. He hugged her tightly and then whirled her around in joy.
She leaned back in his arms and smiled, “I knew you were just hiding to annoy me. You were always close to me.”
“I promise never to do that, ever again.” he vowed softly and her smile widened. He never broke his promises after all.