Ok, here's the second chapter for all of you, just got back from Arizona... 113 degrees people... sad that I'm not used to it, considering I grew up there... but now I have a complex and want to live somewhere cold. Go figure. Read and review! :)


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Starcrossed - Chapter 2

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Alex and Chris made their way slowly into town, not wanting to raise any suspicions by racing out of the castle. Once there, they stopped in a few shops and looked for suitable supplies on their journey to nowhere.


They stopped in an armory, for although Alex had excellent knives tucked in his boots and a marvelous handcrafted sword at his hip, Chris had only a small dagger to guard himself and the prince with.


Once well equipped with a handsome sword he called Lightning, for it was very swift, he and the prince rode out of town. They rode slowly still, until they were about half a mile out of sight, and then they spurred their horses and took off.


The prince was attempting to mark down their coordinates every once in a while, so that they'd know where they were, but it was hard to do since he'd never really gone anywhere.


"Alex, where exactly are we headed?" Chris asked as they stopped to for supper. Alex shrugged, not really knowing the answer to the question. "Why did you leave anyway?"


Alex glanced up from his bread and cheese, then bowed his head to hide his flushing face.


"My father... well... he was trying to get me married and-"


"Well what the hell's wrong with that?!" he almost yelled. Alex made a face.


"It was stupid. They were going to put on a ball and have me pick a girl there." Chris rubbed his chin, eyeing his friend carefully.


"Do you not want to get married?" he asked. Alex rolled his eyes.


"Well, yeah, I guess, but not at a damned party where I only get a few hours to know her. What if I marry a witch or something? I'd never know till it was too late and I'd be a toad anyway." He crossed his arms with a huff and Chris began to laugh.


"Aw, who cares? Just grab yourself a broad and be happy!"


Alex said nothing, and Chris just shook his head with a chuckle and began to eat his own meal.


He definitely couldn't tell him he meant to marry for love. Alex sighed and began to eat.



^ _ ^



"Come on girl, just a little farther." Kate nudged her horse to the grove of trees, where she could still see the lights and houses from the nearby village. They'd rest here for a while, then they'd go into town and get some help. The people there knew her, and disliked her parents, so they wouldn't rat her out to them.


Kate jumped off her horse, wondering what her parents would be thinking, if they'd found her missing yet. They would just sigh and shake their heads, effortlessly sending out men to find her.


At this though, she straightened up, thinking, then hurriedly stuffed the rest of her food into her mouth. She'd go with a light supper for now, and then ride to the next town.


Her stomach rumbled anyway, and she bit her lip. A quick stop for more supplies, and then they would ride hard and fast.


"And we'll see where the road takes us right girl?" Kate pet her horse's leg, and Crown snorted in response. Kate laughed, then stood and swung herself into the saddle. They rode casually into town, the sun setting behind them.



^ _ ^



Alex sat on his horse watching the sun set, waiting for Chris to finish packing up. Finally the man got up on his horse and moved next to the prince. They both stared at the beautiful sight for a minute, before Chris broke the silence.


"Are we headed that way?" he asked. Alex nodded. Chris nodded as well, and they sat again, neither of them speaking.


"So," he began again. "What are we going to do?" Alex sighed and squinted at the fading light.


"I have no idea Chris, we're just going. We'll get there when we get there," he said loudly, beginning to worry about it himself. Chris shut up finally, and Alex spurred his horse and they left the grove.



^ _ ^



"Hey there Katie! No entourage today?" the lady behind the counter asked. A few heads turned her way, and some waved. She smiled and waved back, then made her way to the bar. She grinned at the woman.


"Not today, Marie." She leaned across the bar, her legs dangling. Marie leaned across as well, her two long, thick braids smacking the surface of the counter. "I'm free now!" she whispered.


Marie fell back with a great laugh, her great bosom heaving. She was a large, cheerful woman, always sneaking little tidbits of food into Kate's bag whenever she came in. She always disapproved of Kate's small, lithe frame, begging her to "put more meat on her bones". Kate just laughed it off, green eyes twinkling.


The bartender made a face of shock, lifting Kate's hair off her shoulders. Unbound, her fiery locks ran down the length of her back They were also very, very knotted.


Marie tsked, yanking on the girl's arm and dragging her to the back room. She shoved her onto the bed there, then proceeded to brush Kate's hair and pleat it into braids, then pulled it into a sophisticated bun.


"It's no good down, lassie. Ye need it up at all times, lest your man see ye with it so." She sat back once she was done, pleased with her work. Kate rolled her eyes.


"I have no man, Marie. And not for a while, I don't think." She sat back uncomfortably.


Growing up, she hadn't had the best of luck with boys. It might have been her lack of propriety, her tomboyish ways, and her hair was always a large concern. At the age of 16, girls were to wear their hair up at all times. Even at 17, she disregarded this way of life, never caring. Her parents' equally uncaring attitude didn't help things at all.


Marie pounded Kate on the back. "Well, what can I do for ye, child?" Once she'd begun to breathe easily again, she smiled.


"I just need to lie low, get a few supplies, and then I'll be on my way." Marie pouted.


"And then ye'll have no more to do with us? Ye must come back o' course, or I'll never forgive ye." She smiled sweetly, and Kate laughed.


"Of course I'll come back, once I'm settled and truly on my own. When they can't do anything else." Her face went dark, and she frowned. A finger lifted her face, and Marie's normally bouncy disposition left for an instant, replaced by the mother-hen complex she had for the girl.


"Do ye know what you're getting yourself into, child, before ye go running off hither-tither." Her eyes softened. "I don' wanna see anything happen to ye." Marie chucked her chin and let her go, walking over to the cupboard and opening it. She shoved a few things into a satchel, and Kate's stomach rumbled when she saw the delicious foods being packed into the large bag.


Marie chuckled, then finally stopped and handed Kate the bag. She took it with gratitude, and when she stuck her hand in it for a bite to eat, Marie slapped her hand away with a laugh.



"Come to the front with me, Kate, and I'll feed ye to your heart's content."


"Thank you,: she murmured, and stepped out into the room of brawling men alongside the woman.



^ _ ^



"I can see it, so why isn't it moving any damn closer!" Alex whispered harshly. They been riding for hours now, and it was dark around them, except for the lights of the city beyond the trees.


There was no answer, or witty retort, and Alex turned around. Chris was nowhere to be seen.


"Chris?" he turned his horse around, dodging through the trees to search for his friend. After 15 minutes, he came upon a piece of parchment stuck to the tree with one of Chris's knives. It read,


"Dear Prince,

If you'd like to see your friend again, come to Wyse Castle and we'll have a chat. Don't bring anyone, or alert the King, or it will be on this man's neck. Ta ta."


Alex had the urge to crumple the note up in his palm, but resisted. Thoughts ran through his head, the name Wyse repeating in his mind, but ringing no bells. He looked up, but through the trees he couldn't see much of anything, and it was too dark to find prints anyway.


He sighed, controlling his rage, then turned to go back. He headed towards the lights, eager to find help.


A crash sounded nearby, and a splash accompanied it. Then what sounded like the whinny of a horse could be heard, and Alex immediately rushed to the scene.


He entered upon a figure trudging out of the river, attempting to pull a rather large horse out of the river. He held back a laugh, then made himself known.


"Do you need any help, stranger? I'd be happy to assist." And with that, he swung out of his saddle. The cloaked head turned toward him and nodded, and then they continued pulling on the horse's reins. The horse screamed, and the stranger jumped back reflexively, the action flinging the cloak off her head.


Alex stared, seeing a small young woman with hair so red it could be seen even in the dark. She stiffened, then turned and looked his way. He smiled calmly, disturbed by the fire in her bright green eyes. He then bent to the rear of the horse and pushed up. The girl stood a moment longer, then pulled again on the reins of her horse.


Finally, they got her up out of the water and onto land, but she favored her left front leg a little too much for comfort. The girl sighed and plopped onto the ground like the horse, wrapping her arms around her knees. Frowning, Alex walked over to her.


"If I felt so inclined, I could have robbed you and/or raped you quite a few times in the last few minutes," he said softly. She looked up, fear all over her face. Alex laughed, then stopped as it seemed to scare her more.


"No," he said, holding out a hand," I don't mean to hurt you. I need help too." She peered at his hand, and her eyes widened when she saw the bejeweled rings there.


"Ah... my father's a very.... good merchant," he explained lamely. She nodded slowly, then took his hand. He pulled her up, and saw her looking him over carefully. He stuck his hand out again.


"Alex," he said simply, and she smiled when she took his hand in a firm grip.


"Kate," she answered, and then she cocked her head. "What did you need help with?"


"My... friend was just kidnapped, and I need help looking for him." He looked at her horse, then smiled at her. "I'll let you ride on my horse and take you and yours into town if you'll help me."


Kate immediately bit her lip and frowned. "I'm afraid I'd need more of your help if I were to go back. I was running, you see, when we fell in the river. There was a man... and he.... well I had to leave sooner than I'd expected and -"


"That's all right, I'll help you there too, but the sooner we get there the better, yes?" Kate's flush was visible then, and she nodded quietly. Alex helped her onto his horse, then urged Crown up and took her reins.


"Hold these," he told Kate, then swung himself up behind her. She squeaked when he casually put one arm around her waist when they began to ride, but she didn't say anything. Alex just smiled and tried not to chuckle as they made their way back into town.


Hey people, I hope you're happy, because that was 5 pages on Word, no joke. Cya later! Please review! -Ariana