Dream of Me

"You marry, then claim your father's throne. How many times must

I tell you!" shouted the slightly flushed, brunette Queen of Brugelle, addressing her handsome, 20 year old son.

In an angry rant, a less charming Prince Aden ruffled his black hair and rolled his green eyes, "What is marriage without love? It is like bread without butter, dinner without dessert, and even roasted pheasant without Christmas dinner! I have been born to privilege you say, so why am I deprived the ability of making decisions for myself?"

Queen Chastity hasn't been companionate and understanding towards her son's lack of marriage pursuit, ever since her husband died. Continuing to be a stubborn son, the Prince refuses to act as heir to the kingdom and marry into financial security. He believes that he is destined to have a life mate and only one true love. His sorcerer friend, Gladmere has promised to help the Prince find this woman and his destiny.

His mother's words startled Aden out of his thoughts, "How do you know this woman even exists?"

"I've had dreams about her ever since I can remember… she's all I think about and my growing desire to meet her burns inside of me," Aden mumbled his last words, because he was already trapped within his thoughts.

There she was again… the girl in his dreams. Every night since he was young, he would dream of her. He had watched her grow, almost like he was apart of her life. Her honey-brown hair, no longer conformed to the shape of her fair skinned face, dances in the wind. She has this unmistakable aura about her, like a golden glow. An aroma of peaches surrounds her; they are her favourite fruit and smell. Tears, from her brown eyes, flow down her cheeks; he sensed her loneliness and longing to be with him.

"Aden, there you go again! The only thing this… woman, is good for, is distracting you! Find her already and fulfill your duties as Prince of Brugelle!"

"Mo Mo, time to get up!" Utada called, stirring Hope out of her sleep.

Utada and Hiroshi, a regular black haired, brown eyed, Japanese couple, had adopted Hope, when she was five. Hope loves peaches, so they call her Mo Mo, which means peach or peaches in their language. Even though she never really considered them family, she calls them Okaasan and Otousan, meaning mother and father. In the mountainous countryside of Brugelle, Hope had grown up in a small cottage built by Hiroshi. Utada taught her how to sew, cook, clean, and even bargain with stubborn merchants. Hiroshi taught her how to saddle, groom, and ride all the horses in their stable. Hope had attended the top school, aside from the Royal School of Education and Etiquette, and graduated, last year, with the highest honours. Now, she is a horseback riding instructor for Hiroshi and an Arithmetic teacher at her old school.

"I guess they never taught you about punctuality at that school! Come on Mo Mo, they're expecting you," Utada reminded and pointed in the stables direction, "Otousan has already prepared Jade for you." Hope nodded in acceptance of Hiroshi's kind gesture, while stuffing her mouth full of steamed rice.

Hope's only friend, Jade is a gorgeous Shire, white mare. They also share a special bond, because the day after Hope was adopted, Jade was born. Almost like an angel, sent from the heavens to watch over her as she goes through life, Hope thought.

"Mo Mo, Jade is ready! You must go! The children are waiting," Hiroshi said and practically pushed Hope out the door.

"Hai, Hai; yes, yes, I'm going!" Hope said, bounding into the stables, throwing herself on Jade, and rushing to the orphanage.

"Sire?" a young blond questioned, "I am here, just as you commanded."

Aden looked up to see his magical friend's curious stare, "Ah yes, Gladmere, I need you to perform a searching spell for me. My mother grows restless."

"Even more so than always, your highness?" Gladmere smirked.

Aden laughed, "I'm afraid so, my friend. About this spell, do you need any equipment or special ingredients?"

"No…" she paused, "What makes you think that I will be casting the spell? The one who wishes to search with the spell is the only one who can perform it."

He caught her smile and thoughtful eyes, "You think I can do this? Won't you help me? You know I have no knowledge of magic at all, right?" So many questions filled his head, like how did she expect him to do this? He did want to find this woman and live happily ever after, of course. Yet, he was afraid: all this time he had wanted to find her, he never thought of her feelings. What if she won't know him, or worse, love him? Or what if she is diseased or dead? What if his mother was right, and she didn't exist? Surely she must dream of him, too?

Gladmere caught his worried expression, "Do not worry, Prince, have faith, just as I do. It is a simple enough procedure. Even one with no magical experience should easily complete the enchantment. And it's not like you can't ask for help."

"Alright, when should we get started?"

The sun shone bright in the cloudless, midday sky as Hope captured the sight of the orphanage. She wouldn't have recognized the old building if she hadn't volunteered to help paint it a month ago. With its white stucco walls and multi-coloured windowsills and shutters, the building created a warm and friendly atmosphere. Everyone was already anxiously waiting for Hope outside.

"Hope! Thank goodness you're here. The children were getting impatient," rejoiced Rika, the humble old woman, who's face had wrinkled and hair whitened with age.

"I'm so sorry for being late," Hope apologized.

"That's alright my dear. Now, what did you have in mind for today?" Rika asked.

The potion, Gladmere had primed, was beginning to bubble and the Prince's stomach fluttered with eagerness. He craved to see this woman in person; taste her, smell her, touch her, all of his senses enveloped in her perfection. It was almost time for him to perform the spell. Yet with Gladmere's guidance, he still felt very nervous and unprepared.

"Smile," the sorceress commanded, "you are going to find your life mate. Isn't this what you have been wanting for an eternity?"

Aden thought about her question carefully. He did want to find her more than anything! But, what if she wasn't at all what he expected? Wouldn't that be a cruel irony?

"I know all your doubts," he looked puzzled, "Mind reading, your grace," she answered knowingly. At length she spoke, "Do not worry about it, how many times must I tell you?"

'How many times must I tell you?' Aden knew these words all too well; they were his mother's favourite. Maybe he should listen to them, Gladmere and his mother were smart people, (even though his mother is very unintelligible sometimes!). "Alright," he sighed, "Let's get started, I'm ready."

It was now late in the evening, when Hope arrived at home. Teaching the orphans arithmetic was harder than she thought! Even the older kids hardly understood. Unfortunately, these poor children have hardly any education or love in their lives.

After putting Jade back into the stables, Hope saw light from candles inside the cottage, spilling onto the grass outside.

"Ah, Mo Mo, you're home," whispered Utada, "Otousan was really tired and has gone to bed early tonight. How were the children, today?"

"They are well and cheerful, but I am worried. Many of the children look incredibly skinny, and Rika was talking to me about the decrease in rations. It seems too much money was spent on fixing up and painting the building. Adoptions are less and less as each child's hope diminishes. This is becoming a problem for me, because they give up on learning and forget their potential. They are amazing kids and I love each and every one. I just wish they could see their own individual talents," she frowned.

Utada took her hand upon Hope's cheek, and brushed through the girl's hair with her fingers. "Sometimes I think, you are too compassionate and caring, for your own good. You care so much for everyone, especially those in need of friendship," Utada beamed.

Hope's eyes brightened at Utada's kind comment and she said, "Thank you, Okaasan. I am dreadfully tired, so I am going to retire. Good night."

"Good night," Utada said, blowing out the candles, except for the one Hope would use to see upstairs.

Gladmere had only just left for a moment to distract a messenger looking for the Prince, when she noticed strange lights coming from the Prince's chambers. Nervous and shaking, she fumbled with the doorknob, afraid for the Prince and what he might have done. Inside, the room was dark, except for the slight glow around the shape of a window. She pulled the curtains open and called, "Aden! Aden, where are you and what did you do?"

Suddenly, a skinny black, furry leg appeared on the table, and then another, and another, until a large eight legged creature mounted itself atop the wooden support.

"AHHHHHHH!!!" Gladmere screamed running about the room looking for something to whack the monster with.

"What is it with women?" questioned the spider.

Gladmere stopped cold in her tracks and stared hard at the arachnid. "Prince?" she asked with her lips trembling and heart pounding.

"Finally… I was beginning to think you see super-sized spiders everyday!" he laughed at his sarcastic statement.

"How did you…" she looked so confused, the spell was so simple, she could probably do it in her sleep.

"Never mind about that. I don't even know myself. The important thing is to reverse this mishap- which you can do …right?" he gulped.

Gladmere looked very pale, almost like she was going to faint from shock. At length, she managed to murmur, "I… I doubt it."

Hope flew upright into a sitting position upon her cot. She had the strangest dream. There was a handsome man with black hair and green eyes, who seemed rather familiar. He was extending a hand out to her and saying, 'At long last, I find you, my true love. An image of you has been embedded in my heart from the first time I dreamt of you. Will you have me?' No one had ever spoken passionately to her before, and she didn't know what else to do, except take his hand. She was looking up into his adoring eyes. She knew he loved her, yet she didn't know why. He pulled her nearer to him and wrapped his arms around her. She accepted the gesture by closing her eyes. Just as she felt his warm exhale, he was pulled away from her. She bounded after him. Alas, all she found was the endless darkness surrounding her. Tears exploded from her eyes, for she was confused and wanted answers. Who was this man, what was he doing in her dream, and why did she feel the same way for him as he did for her?

Outside the sun was already awake. The sky is unmasked by the cloak of night. The rolling, grass-covered hills of the countryside are splashed with warm light, rustling in the sweet song of the wind. Today, Hope is to help Utada make and tailor a customer's wedding dress. But she isn't nearly as good a sewer as Utada.

There was a knock at the door, signaling Ayaka's arrival and that she and Utada must get to work taking measurements.

"You idiot!!!" the Queen shouted at the spider, "How could you do this? How could you let him do this?" she glared at Gladmere, who half cowered, and half bowed.

"Mother, calm down. There's a solution to this. All we have to do is-"

"I do not care!" interrupted the Queen, "There are plenty of eligible young women in this kingdom, but you have to turn yourself into a spider. Now, none of them will have you!"

Aden rolled his eyes in mere rebellion as Chastity continued yelling and rambling on about how he is stupid and how Gladmere is a bad magical influence. When she finally paused for a breath, Aden muttered, with sarcasm oozing off his words, "I saw her, mother, my non-existent dream girl."

Gladmere looked up from the ground and into the spider's eyes, "So you did find her. If your majesty permits it, I would like to know all that happened with the Prince."

The Queen saw the determination in Gladmere's eyes, "Do not fail him again."

The spider told of how he preformed the searching spell, "It was easy, just as you said. But then I looked through Gladmere's spell book, and found a true love spell. Naturally, I got curious, and then, well, this happened."

"So… it can only be broken, when you meet this woman in person and you share true love?" questioned Chastity, looking incredibly unsure.

"No," said Gladmere, "It has to be more than just that. Of all creatures, why is it a spider?"

A small creature scurried across a kitchen counter top, "SPIDER!!!"

"Hope, honey, it's okay," Utada attempted to persuade her to calm down.

"Get it away, get it away!"

Under command, Utada cupped the spider in her hands and placed it outside. She looked up to see Ayaka's shocked expression, and smiled, "Don't worry it's only a slight case of Arachnophobia."

"Slight?" Ayaka smirked, watching Hope panting in the corner.

During the course of the day, Aden the spider and Gladmere searched for the location of the unknown woman. They assumed that she was in Brugelle, because of how fast the spell had found her. Later, they would search through Brugelle tonight, and every night until she was revealed. One day, in the dim of the afternoon, Gladmere saw a cluster of cottages in the Brugelle Hills, otherwise known as the countryside.

As they neared the grouping, a stubby, black haired, young woman exited the far cottage, and praised, "Utada, thank-you and Hope so very much for finishing my dress! At the wedding, I will be a beauty never seen by the likes of Brugelle!"

"Oh, Ayaka," the older woman giggled, "Just seeing you happy, and the invitations to your wedding, are money enough! See you at the wedding, ja, bye!"

"Hope… That name…" wondered the spider, "Gladmere, it's her! I can feel her, in my heart, in my soul! What other name is more perfect, than Hope, for a beautiful creature, such as this? She is a gift from the heavens, wrapped in mysterious adventure. Only to be opened after a test of lifelong dedication and love in the search of this precious parcel! And now, that I found her, do I pass the test?"

"My Prince," frowned Gladmere, "I fear it is her turn to pass a test."

In the back yard, helping Hiroshi with the horses, Hope felt a familiar presence moving closer to her. She didn't know what it was; all she knew was that it was coming.

"Are you sure you are ready, highness?" worried Gladmere.

"Yes, yes! It is now or never!" announced the spider.

She faintly heard a knock at the front door, and jumped 10 feet into the air with freight.

When she went inside the cottage, through the back door and into the kitchen, she could hear a greeting between the unknown visitors and Utada.

Gladmere said, "We would like to see a young woman, named Hope, if you please."

"We?" questioned Utada, with a confused tone.

"Uh, no! It's only me," came a hasty reply, "Sorry, I have gotten used to traveling with a partner!"

Utada asked, "Okay… so are you from the orphanage?"

"No, we- I am from the palace, under the Prince's orders to see Hope," she paused, "A… About… the orphanage! Ha ha ha, yes, about the orphanage."

"Nice one," thought Aden, "This woman could only be an idiot to believe Gladmere!"

"Alright," Utada smiled, "She is in the backyard, please follow me."

Hope's stomach fluttered at this dilemma; in about three seconds that woman would be in here with Utada, and Hope didn't know if she should stay or run out the door and into the backyard. She turned to the door, and imagined the sky outside, now filled of night and twinkling stars. She could feel the cold metal of the doorknob, but never turned it. Something was holding her back; it was that presence again.

"Ah, Mo Mo, there you are! A woman is here to see you. She is a little strange," she paused, and then called to Gladmere, "She is in here, Ma'am."

Hope stared wide-eyed at the blond, probably no older than her, wearing rich, tapered robes, covered in an intricate design, like magic. Over her shoulder, the woman had a large sack, and Hope wondered what was inside.

"Oh dear, look at the time, I should help my husband!" Utada winked at Hope, and went outside.

"Hello, my name is Gladmere, and I am here on behalf of Prince Aden," Gladmere said, while opening up the sack.

Hope shrieked, when she saw the cat-sized 8-legged creature emerge from the sack, and ran around her kitchen like a fool with a wooden spoon in her hand as protection.

"My Lady, please calm down," the spider pleaded.

Hope remembered that voice, from the dream she'd had. "What!" she said, and collapsed onto the floor. "You, you're from…" she paused as the spider nodded and crawled upon her lap, "But how?" Hope, though still afraid, reached over and petted the spider. After awhile, she wasn't afraid at all, because he felt so familiar, like she had known him all her life.

Suddenly, a puff of magical smoke engulfed the spider. Gladmere threw a cloak over top of the smoke, just before it all disappeared. Once again, Hope was staring into familiar green eyes.

"Aden!" Gladmere exclaimed happily and clapped her hands, "Thank the heavens!"

"But what broke the spell?" asked Aden, looking at his original fingers and form clad in Gladmere's cloak.

"Spell? Oh! You mean my arachnophobia?" questioned Hope.

Gladmere and the Prince exchanged knowing glances, and then replied, "Yes, yes!"

"I don't know," Hope paused, "I have so many questions! Why were you in my dream?"

Aden silenced her by putting a finger upon her lips, and smiled, "I have had dreams about you ever since I was younger, and now after all my dedication, I find you. But, you shouldn't be too hasty, after all, we are going to live happily ever after together, are we not?"

"But wait!" Hope frowned, "You're a prince and future ruler of Brugelle, and I am a nobody! I don't know who I am or what my past is!"

"Then," Aden smiled, "I will give up my thrown, and make my future with you, that is, if you will have me?"

"No! Don't do that!" exclaimed Hope.

"Why don't you two actually attempt to get to know one another in person - fully clothed, I might add - before running off and getting married?" suggested Gladmere.

"Oh... good point," said Aden. "I suppose since it's the end of the story, I feel like doing something dramatic."

Hope giggled and said, "Why don't we try a kiss? That's usually dramatic."

Aden smiled, "I knew I would love this woman."

As Aden was leaning forward to show Hope just how much he loved her, Gladmere whispered into her hidden earpiece, "Alright boys, bring on the fireworks. This one is gonna be big!"

Just as Aden and Hope's lips connected, explosions of colour from the backyard leaked into the house from the kitchen window. When they separated, Hope smiled, looked deeply into Aden's eyes and said, "Now, my love, let's go get you some clothes."

"I suppose that would be an excellent plan," stated Aden.

"What is your family like, Aden? I want to meet your mother, the Queen!" exclaimed Hope.

Aden went white as a ghost and looked pleadingly to Gladmere, "Are you sure we can't run off into the sunset?"

Gladmere just smiled and shook her head knowingly. They all shared a laugh as the trio set off to the palace, with Aden and Hope walking hand-in-hand, to get Aden some clothes and begin their happily-ever after.

A/N: Okay folks! That's a wrap! I decided to change the ending to the story because the original one I wrote was horrendous. I hope you enjoyed that... I was incredibly corny when I was in high school, oh my. Anyways, thanks so much for reading.