Chapter 1

Chapter 1

I don't know how to begin, there is so much that has happened- so much to tell. I guess I should start at the beginning, but what is really the beginning? What really started everything? I suppose it was my great, great, great, great grandfather; His name was Labe'l, Grand Prince Labe'l Falmond. Labe'l was the grand prince of the kingdom of Quasire. He married Sariala, my great, great, great, great grandmother. Sariala and Labe'l inherited the Florisan throne fifteen years after they were married. Instead of going through all of the specifics of who married who and who was crowned next I'll just say that my family has been ruling Florisa and Quasire ever since then, for at least a century.

In that century the world has changed dramatically. In Labe'l's time most other countries were democracies but the world has reversed and not most countries are monarchies. There are only two democracies left and there's Aflodin which is in the middle of a revolution and is in complete anarchy. It seems so strange to me that the world can change so quickly sometimes, when other times it takes so long.

I'm the heir of the Florisan and Quasire throne, Crown Princess Sariala Gada Falmond. I was named after my beloved grandmother, who was name after her grandmother, the first Sariala, wife of Labe'l. When I was born I was given a body guard, one of the best in the world. His name was Willan, well that was what I was told to call him, and it means "fierce protector" and is the one of the names given to the royal family's body guards. I don't know why we don't just call them by their real name but it's a tradition and in my family traditions are not broken easily.

Willan was the one who taught me to walk, read, ride a horse, fight, and to be patient and restrained even if I was so angry I wanted to scream. He was always so kind; I don't know why he chose a career of fighting. I never knew that much about Willan's family, he wasn't supposed to talk to me about them. In fact he really wasn't supposed to talk to me unless it was to warn or advise me, they said if we became emotionally attached it would cloud his judgment. I did get him to tell me a little bit about them though. Willan was like a father to me, more of a father than my real father. My father was hardly ever around; he was the king so he was always busy and didn't have much time for me and to be truthful I don't think my father really cared about me much. I think my father was upset that I wasn't a boy because even though females could inherit the kingdom, males were still preferred.

I've always loved Willan, he was my role model and I worshipped him. I had nurses, governesses, servants, and playmates but they meant nothing to me compared to Willan. He has saved my life at least five times that I know about. Spies tried to poison me twice as a baby. I have been shot at, attacked with a knife, and almost run over with a huge truck. If not for Willan I would definitely by dead. He was always there when I needed someone to talk to and he treated me as if I was him own child. He was of the only people I knew who treated me like a normal child, not like royalty. Because of that I respected him and did my best to please him and make him proud f me like a normal child would do with their father.

Willan wasn't the only person I loved as a child; there was my mother who taught me everything she knew: how to write, how to be a good hostess, a just queen, and how to behave myself in the presence of the opposite sex, or in other words- how to flirt in a "lady-like" manner. But I still didn't care for her as much as I did for Willan, I loved my mother but it some how different. I also had numerous teachers for dancing, self-defense, hunting, horseback riding, court etiquette, math, English, history, excreta. I like most of them but there have been so many of them I can't remember them all. Since I was to be queen, I had to be very, very well-educated. I even had a class on what to wear and how to do my makeup and hair, even though I had servants to do that for me.

My life was like a fairy tale, except for the fact that I was never completely happy. Everything in life was given to me, I had to work on my studies but other than that there was nothing for me to do. I was always looking for new ways to challenge myself, I tried learning new languages or learning new games but it never kept me occupied for long. Of course there were parties, banquets, and balls but they all got boring after a while; mostly because I was usually the center of attention, not because I was just that well-like, but because I was the princess. I never had to try to get a guy to like me, they all followed me around like puppy dogs which was mostly because that's what their parents told them to do. I was stuck in the middle of all the noble families who were trying to get to the throne and marrying me was one of the easiest ways to get there.

Then one day I met Farris. Maybe that was when it really started, I'm really not sure. Suddenly after I met him started my mother saying that I was acting rebellious, restless, and aloof; she thought it was just because I was a teenager. I first met Farris when I was fourteen. I was walking out to the stable with my nose in a book, another bad habit I had picked up, and I ran into him. He was a least six inches taller than me and when I hit him I fell right over, right into a big pile of horse manure. He picked me up, like I was just a child, and when he put me down he hurriedly asked if I was alright. He was so scared he kept on asking me if I was sure; I think he was afraid I would have him beaten or something. Right then, standing there all dirty holding my ruined book I thought that he was the most perfect, wonderful person I had ever seen. I fell in love with him right there.

I told Baina about it and she arranged an "accidental" meeting. It was in the gardens, next to the kitchens. We talked and talked for hours about nothing really important, just life, sports, weapons, and food. But unfortunately our conversation was ended when Baina ran up to tell me that I was an hour late to a dance lesson and my teacher was coming to look for me.

After knowing Farris for a year, we were best friends; except that I liked him much more than that. I know he like me too, but he knew that it was impossible for us to be together so he didn't see the point to get closer only to be torn apart later. We weren't even supposed to be seeing each other, but I didn't care. I was ready to risk anything just to be able to see him and hear his voice.

When I was fifteen, Willan decided to retire and his son was going to take his place. When I first met my new bodyguard I almost fainted, it was Farris! I was so happy but at the same time I was really angry because he had never told me about Willan being his father. Sometimes I wonder if Willan knew about me and Farris, I don't think so because if he did I don't think he would have let Farris take his place as my body guard. It would only be asking for trouble.

Farris and I tried to pretend we didn't know each other but it was hard. Imagine trying to pretend you had never met your best friend in front of a group of people who watched you constantly. It was hard to try to conceal my love from every one, sometimes I would stop daydreaming to realize I was staring into Farris' beautiful grey-green eyes. I surprised that no one suspected how much we cared for each other, we were lucky.

My sixteenth birthday came and my mother started to look for a husband for me, actually that's lie; she had been looking for a husband for me since I was born; now she was just making it official. I don't mean to sound proud or vain, but it really wasn't hard to find men who were willing to marry me because I was the crown princess and I was also considered the court beauty. I had less and less time for myself; my mother made me spend hours and hours with the suitors who came. It was horrible, I had to sit with my mother or aunt and listen to their arrogant tales. Not all of them were bad, but none of them came close to Farris. I also had to deal with all my stupid, pretty, rich friends that all hung out with me just because I was the princess and the closer they were to me, the better their chances of finding a rich, powerful husband. I only had a few real friends and most was men, but what can I say, I'm a tomboy even though I have to act like a lady. I hated going to state affairs because I had to put up with the endless chatter and flattery. And none of them called me by name, unless it was the whole thing, Crown Princess Sariala Gada Falmond, usually they just called me "princess", this might sound like a big deal but it really mattered to me. Although I was the center of attention I felt like an outcast.

After a while I got so fed up with life that I planned to run away, of course the ultimate plan was to run away with Farris and get married, but he was too good to allow

that. I tried to run away a lot of times but only once did I get farther than the palace gates. I got all the way to the sea, which is a long way to go at night on foot, but Farris found me and brought me back before my family found out. But a few months after my sixteenth birthday I began to think of escape again. Now I had my own car and escape would be a lot easier. So one day I decided to take my car out and look for places to hide, I took some clothes, money, and a small pistol that Willan had given me on my birthday. Farris came, of course, but he didn't know about my plans. I was thinking of some how losing him and driving off. First, I wanted to show Farris a beautiful waterfall that Willan and I had discovered when I was little. I drove to the huge forest where it was located near the border with Aflodin. Farris was nervous but I thought he was just being foolish.

"You should turn around, you know it's not safe for anyone this near Aflodin, Sari, let's just go back." Farris repeated. He was the only one who called me Sari, except for my mother and Willan

"Farris please, I want to show you something." I pleaded.

"Fine, but we really should stay long." He sighed.

"It will only take a few minutes; it's a place I found with Willan when I was seven years old."

"Did you ever tell my father about me?" Farris asked quietly. I just stared a him for a few seconds, that was a really random question! I thought.

"I never told anyone except Baina, I don't know how any one else would know. Why do you ask?"

"Just curious."

"Oh," I had been thinking a lot about Farriss and I lately, it wasn't like we were doing anything wrong, but I still felt kind of guilty not telling anyone.

"Did you know that your mother has found another suitor for you? She swears he's the one." Farris said after a while.

"She finds a new one every week!" I replied with disgust; this was the one thing I hated about my mother, she was always trying to set me up with the "perfect" man.

"I think this is different."

"Why would this one be different?"

"I think your father is determined to have him as a son-in-law."

"I'm not going to anything I don't want to; especially not marry some stupid jerk!" I replied angrily.

"I just wanted to warn you."

"Why? It's not like I'm in real danger, He wouldn't dare hurt me."

"I was talking to my father and some of his friends; they all believe he is trouble."

"Why would he be dangerous? He's probably just another self-obsessed noble."

"He's from Aflodin."

"What? Aflodin is our enemy!"

"They think a marriage will make peace. My father and I think that they might be planning something, something that has nothing to do with peace."

"Are they going to kidnap me?" I asked quietly.

"I don't think they would be that stupid, but you never know. My father thinks they might, and he knows more than anyone else I know." I nodded and stared at the road. "Sari, will you promise me something?"

"Of course," I said turning to look at him. This sounded like something from a romance novel, maybe he was going to ask me to tell him the truth about how I feel about him or to promise not to marry….

"If something happens…." Farris seemed to be looking for the right words, "If you get captured, promise me you'll be careful. Don't try to escape, I'll come and get you. Just make sure you are safe and do anything to stay safe."

"What? If I get captured I'm not going to sit there live a beaten dog and let people trample all over me! I know how to fight and defend myself; I'm not some little girl who needs anyone to rescue me! You of all people should know that." We had gotten to the place I wanted to pull off at, I slammed the brakes on and pulled over.

"Sari, that's not what I meant! But if you are captured you are going to be surrounded by men who are stronger, better trained, and merciless! You won't be able to escape; you are just going to get yourself killed! This is a serious matter; you need to think about it, you are not invincible! You're being stupid!" I looked off into the forest and tried to force back my tears, Farris had never talked to me like that before and it hurt. I wasn't a little child anymore, I could defend myself! I didn't need rescuing!

"Farris, I can't just sit there!" I protested quietly.

"Yes, you can! If you sit there and are quiet and don't talk then people will begin to ignore you and soon they will forget you are there; then it will be easier for me to rescue you."

"Come on let's go." I said and got out of the car. Farris sighed and got out and quickly looked around for any sign of danger. I glanced back at him and grabbed his hand,

"Come on!" I said trying to just enjoy being here with him and act like I wasn't upset.

"How far is it?"

"Not far, only a few minutes."

"Good, something doesn't seem right." He looked around suspiciously. Then I saw the waterfall,

"Look, there it is!" I said happily and pulled Farris towards it.

"It's beautiful!" He whispered then turned to face me; I looked up into his eyes and wrapped my arms around his neck. He leaned down; he's going to kiss me! I thought happily. Then there was a deafening noise…