Soul Searching

Chapter One

Author's Notes: I am going to try my hardest to devote myself to this story. Meaning, I shall try my hardest to write for it and keep it going and eventually end it. Also, my goal is also to please you, the readers. I'm not sure if anyone has written a story like this, but if they have written a similar one, then I apologize. Now, on with the story.

She spun 'round and 'round, gentle green eyes closed in bliss as a serene smile lay perched on her supple lips. Every now and then, a giggle would emerge and then she would fall silent. She began to hum at last, throwing her hands up into the air. She was beginning to grow a little dizzy, but she firmly ignored it, too caught up in her peacefulness and the joy of spinning around and around and feeling the wind in her hair and the way the skirts of her dress swirled around her.

Behind her lay a scaled creature, but she paid no mind to him. He was a majestic blue dragon with keen golden eyes. Currently, he lay on the ground with his head resting on his front legs and his half lidded golden orbs watching as the princess spun in circles. He posed no threat to her just as she posed none to him. They were the closest of friends; their bond was strong.

With a giggle, she came falling and she squirmed a little on the ground to get into a better position as she lay there in all her dazed glory. She closed her eyes with a small sigh of bliss, resting her hands on her stomach as she lay there. The dragon snorted and she opened her green eyes, pushing herself up into a sitting position. She then twisted her upper torso, tilting her head as she cocked an eyebrow at the dragon.

"Yes, Le'neh?" The princess asked with a small, curious smile perched on her lips. She peered at him curiously, wondering why he had snorted.

"Should a princess be acting as you? Sneaking away to come visit a dragon such as myself and then merely acting like a child? Spinning around and around in circles, humming and acting silly?" The dragon murmured, peering at her in obvious amusement. He was merely teasing and she knew it too well. She laughed softly and hopped up and onto her slipper clad feet.

"Probably not, but do you think I really care what my mother and father think?" The girl said, making her way to the dragon who still peered at her in mirth. She paused before him, bending down and causing her hair to sweep over her shoulders. She smiled gently and placed a hand on his head, fondly patting him gently.

Le'neh snorted again , peering up at her with his wise amber orbs. If dragons could smile, he would be doing so now. "Of course not. This dragon is not stupid," He laughed a deep throaty laugh, rubbing his head gently against her hand. He was carefully not to roughen up her dainty, smooth hands somehow with his scales. He would never wish to harm her.

"I never said you were! Now did I?" She said with a giggle and bounced away again, spinning briefly before ceasing as she threw her head back up to stare up at the sky. "It's so peaceful out here. I love it."

"Is that why you always come here?" The blue dragon asked curiously, lifting his head some. He knew her parents would be questioning her absence soon if she didn't get back, but he'd remind her in a few moments. He wanted to know her answer. She turned to look at him, raising a hand to brush her wind swept hair from her face. "Of course, Le'neh."

"I should have known," Le'neh said with another laugh. He then sobered, focusing his serious eyes upon her petite form. "Valerie, you should head back now. You don't want your father growing angry at you for disappearing again, do you?" Valerie sighed.

"No, I don't. I guess you're right. I'd better head home. I'll see you tomorrow, Le'neh." Valerie brightened, smiling sweetly at him before she ran off to head back home.

"Princess Valerie! There you are! The King has been wondering where you've been. He wants you to meet him in your parent's bedroom. It's… important," A maid said, running up to the young princess who had paused at hearing her name being called. Valerie blinked, eyebrows knitting together in confusion. What could be so serious that her own father would call her to his bedroom? She shook her head and gathered her skirts together. The maid was one of her mother's.

"All right, I'm not going to waste time and ask questions. I'd hate to disappoint my father. Thank you for telling me, Marie." The maid curtsied and Valerie set off to her parents' bedroom. After several minutes, she arrived there and knocked on the door. "Father? You sent for me?"

"Come inside, Valerie," Droned her father's voice, commanding her to enter the room. She did as told and closed the door behind her, blinking at the sight before her. Her brother was standing near the bedside, her mother in bed, and her father standing next to the window next to the bed. She stared between them in confusion, opening her mouth to question what was going on, but her mother beckoned to her.

Valerie approached the bed, nodding in thanks as her saddened brother stepped aside to let her get to her mother. She sat on the bed next to her mother, taking her hand. "Mother? What's going on? Why are you in bed?"

The queen smiled weakly at her daughter and gave her hand a small squeeze. "Please, dear, don't grow upset. It's nothing you can help, but I'm dying."

"What? You're… dying? I don't understand, mother," The princess said, confusion showing on her fair features. The queen smiled weakly again, tears gathering in her eyes.

"My dearest Valerie, don't fret. I've lived a lovely life. Marrying your father and having you and your brother. Then watching you two grow up into lovely young adults. Please, don't be sad when I die. I'll always be with you." The queen frowned, seeing the agony and sorrow flutter unto her daughter's features. "Oh sweet heart, please don't cry. It's going to be okay." Valerie glanced at her brother, who merely smiled sadly, tears in his eyes. She then glanced at her father and was appalled. He was staring out of the window and he seemed emotionless. Did he not care that his wife was dying? Or was he just numb with the pain of the soon to be loss of his wife?

She felt her mother's grip weaken and she immediately focused her attention on her mother. Her green eyes widened and she placed her other hand over her mother's. "Mother, no! Please, don't leave me… I need you!"

The queen smiled weakly, lifting Valerie's hands to her lips to gently kiss the smooth knuckles of her hand. "My dearest daughter, I love you. I'm so proud… My son… I love you too. My dearest husband, I love you also….. I love you… all… Goodbye."

"No! Mother, please don't!" Valerie was crying now and she threw herself upon her mother. She began to sob when she felt her mother's breathing cease. The queen was dead.

Author's Notes: I figured I would end it here and then start the new chapter. This is only the beginning of the story and in the next chapter, a few weeks will have passed since the Queen's death and the funeral will occur. See you in the next chapter and I hope you enjoyed this chapter and will want to read more. Let me know what you think in a review!