A/N: Hello, everyone! Here is the first chapter of Sin & Temptation. I apologize for the long wait, with school now another factor; it is very hard to make time. So, I again apologize for this inconvenience, and I hope you all enjoy this newest chapter. Please R&R! We love you all!
Episode 1: Two Hearts
King Axis Christopher Whittenberg of the large and quiet kingdom of Ceilya peered out of his castle's tallest tower. His chocolaty brown hair that only reached just slightly passed his neck shimmered in the sunlight that managed to peer through the tall window and light up the room. He had been thinking about this day for quite some time now. This would be the day that his younger son, Prince Yale Axis Whittenberg would first start the plans to marry his long time friend Princess Mariah Eligia Danuta. Their marriage would unite both of their kingdoms and bring peace amongst the commoners. 'This is it. Everything has to be perfect, the arrangements have been made and from this day, we will plan Prince Yale and Princess Mariah's future as king and queen of this kingdom…' The solemn king gazed down onto the cobblestone way with his pale blue orbs and spotted his ally's car coming to a slow stop.
"They have arrived…" He noted the obvious as he made his way out of the tower to meet his wife. "Hepesta darling, they're here."
The queen was a very beautiful woman whom possessed the skin of a golden tan and her hair was the color of the purest snow that one could lay their eyes on. Her complexion and hair only made her crystalline blue eyes sparkle even more, adding to the beauty of her cat like features. "Yes, well this is an important event for our dear son, Prince Yale." Queen Hepesta noted as she greeted her husband with a calm smile.
"Of course, today he will see Princess Mariah in a completely different light, and perhaps she will rule beside him over the whole kingdom. Where is he anyway?"
The young prince had arrived behind his parents a few moments into their conversation and decided to make himself known. "I'm right behind you, father." Somehow, he was used to having to do that, especially since he was taught that is was rude to interrupt those who were in mid conversation. Yale's long silky strands of hair mirrored his mother's in coloration and his eyes were no different. There was indeed a strong resemblance between the prince and his mother, the only difference being that his skin was almost pale and he was shorter than the typical princely types.
"Oh! Of course…" King Axis turned and placed a firm hand on his son's shoulder. "Are you ready? You have been waiting on this for quite some time."
Prince Yale nodded. "I'm ready, father." He gave his father his desired answer, but his mind was singing a whole different tone. 'Though I admit, I'm a little nervous. I know that I'm doing this for the sake of the kingdoms, but what if she doesn't feel the same. We've been friends for so long…oh, Princess Mariah…'
"Great." The king replied as he looked to the entrance hall of the castle and saw his neighboring royal family, the Danutas, walking up to them. "Ah, there they are now!" He generously extended a hand to his equal with a welcoming smile plastered on his face. "Welcome, King Danuta and family!"
King Onigeishima took his hand in his with a gentle smile. His long and wavy evergreen locks shifted with this movement and his amber eyes reflected a kind soul deep within. "The pleasure is all mine. So, that strapping young man must be Prince Yale? My daughter and he have become good friends over the years, but she mostly goes to visit him, and I am usually gone when he comes to the castle." He explained as he looked the prince over, still holding that signature smile.
"Prince Yale Axis Whittenberg at your service." He greeted the green haired king in front of him with a bow. He had never met Mariah's father before now, and he was taught that is was proper to bow upon the first meeting. First impressions could either be simple or dire. Though he was greeting King Danuta, his eyes still found their way back to Princess Mariah.
"Yes, your daughter is a lovely girl." Axis replied before taking the princess's hand in his and bowing slightly.
This triggered a blush from the princess. The fact that a king was showing her such respect as to bow before her made her feel extra special. "Why, thank you, King Whittenberg." She evenhanded his gesture with a curtsey before catching the glance of her fiancée. "H-how are you, Prince Yale?" Like Prince Yale's resemblance to his mother, Mariah also inherited most of her traits of the silent woman beside her father. Both had the same lilac locks and the bright blue eyes that were very gentle.
Kneeling before her, Prince Yale brought his lips to her hand and kissed it softly. "Princess Mariah, it's good to see you again. I've been well since our last meeting." He felt happy to finally be able to see her again. She was his dear friend and he always felt overjoyed whenever he had the chance to see her again.
The princess once again felt her cheeks burn with flattery. "I-it is nice to see you again, too. I am so glad that you have been well, so have I."
This pleased King Whittenberg. It seemed like Yale and Mariah got along well enough and they would make great successors to the kingdom. Everything was going according to plan, and that's exactly how Axis liked things to go. He let a delighted smile cross across his masculine lips.
"Aren't they cute?" He heard his wife ask before she continued with her apparent approval of the relationship of her son and his dear friend. "I'm sure they'll make fine joint rulers." She looked up to her husband for his judgment. "Wouldn't you agree?"
"Yes, I am positive they will. No worries at this end." He assured.
"Of course, but how does our princess feel?" Hepesta's calm blue eyes looked to the blushing princess standing with her family.
Mariah cleared her throat in order to clearly answer the queen's question. She didn't want to make a fool of herself now that she was being addressed by not only a ruler of this kingdom, but her future mother-in-law. The young princess held her head high before she answered. "There is no one else I'd rather give my hand to. I like Prince Yale very much." That was the easiest part of this whole thing, she lived word by word what she had just told everyone and would stand by this.
The prince stood from his kneeling position in front of the princess. "I like you very much as well, Mariah…my dear princess." He was so relieved that she felt the same way. His nervousness was starting to subside and he was feeling a little more like himself, he always did around Princess Mariah.
"Thank you, Prince Yale…" There was no way she would be able to suppress the blush that was destined to rise once he replied to her as his dear princess. He was always so mature for a man of twenty three.
King Axis's voice broke the calm after awhile reminding everyone that their tea was getting cold. "Shall we?" He asked pointing the way to the dining area with a masculine finger.
Yale picked up on his father's assertiveness and once again turned toward Princess Mariah. He bowed in front of his devotee with an arm over his chest in a chivalric manner. "After you, Princess…"
"Why, thank you, Prince…" Came the reply as Mariah smiled and walked ahead of everyone with Yale following close behind.
In the dining hall, the King Whittenberg and King Danuta were engaged in a deep discussion about when and how they were to pull off the perfect wedding for their two younger offspring. The other members of both families were sitting quietly listening intently and trying not to disrupt the Kings' conversation.
Axis was the next to speak. "I'll say we have everything in order, right King Danuta? Anything else we have not covered?"
"Well, we have all of the generic plans down, but in which kingdom will the wedding be held?" Onigeishima asked, noting that they had never even discussed this minor detail.
"Hmm, I cannot believe we have not discussed this issue." How can they have forgotten that? "Well, I assume the turn out for the wedding will be rather large, yes? So, in whichever kingdom is the largest?" The brown haired king stated the obvious.
The evergreen haired one agreed. "Of course, I was just wondering if your palace was larger than mine. I mean, you do have more people in your home than we do."
"True, then we would be more than happy to have it here that is if you and your family don't mind." He replied looking over his equal and his family for an objection for whatever reason in the slightest.
All of them seemed to agree, as Onigeishima spoke up for everyone in his family to reassure the Whittenbergs with a verbal agreement. "Not at all, it will be a splendid opportunity for you all to bless us with your presence. We will soon be family after all. We should get used to each other's company."
"Indeed we shall." His wife, Queen Levenea spoke lightly, but in a quick manner in order to agree with her husband. She would be delighted to get to know the Whittenbergs as family, and not just as in laws.
"Excellent." Axis replied joyful before turning to his son. "Yale, why don't you show Mariah around the courtyard, maybe the two of you can come up with some ideas of your own in regards to the ceremony."
"I'd be delighted." Prince Yale stood, his blue glance once again found the princess as he outstretched his hand to help her up. "Shall we?"
Feminine chuckles filled the room and Mariah took his hand and stood with grace. "We shall."
Queen Levenea spoke up. "Have fun, you two." She said wishing the two good luck in her usual motherly tone.
"Treat her gently, dear." Queen Hepesta warned in her equal maternal nature.
"Of course mother…" The prince held Mariah a little closer and smiled. "You can trust her in my hands."
The familiar sensation rushed over the princess's cheeks as the strong scent of rose filled her senses. Whenever he held her this way, she blocked out all of her surroundings and just melted in his strong arms. She felt so safe with him. "P-Prince…Yale…"
"Of course, run along now…" King Axis replied. He was a little taken aback by his son's actions; he didn't think that the dining hall was the proper place to show such admiration.
"Come, princess." Yale urged as he started walking arm and arm with his fiancée, out to the courtyard, and away from the critical eyes and ears of their parents. "We'll start down here."
"Right." The princess agreed. Then a question started to brew within her mind, and she just had to ask her fiancé before something interrupted her. "Prince Yale? May I ask you a question?"
"Yes, what is it?" Whatever was on her mind, he knew it must have been important by the intensity of her questioning gaze that was watching his every step.
"Are you truly content with the wedding? I mean, spending the rest of your life, w-with me?"
"I don't think that matters much, do you? Our parents arranged it and I'm not going to stand in their way. Ultimately, the decision isn't mine. It doesn't matter what I think" After answering the princess's question as honestly as he could, he thought over the arrangement, and it was in fact true that there was nothing the two of them could say about it. It was decided that they were to wed soon for the sake of the kingdoms, whether they objected or not.
"Oh. I guess not…" His answer was not quite what she'd hoped for, but considering the situation, she had decided that it was as close as she was going to get. "Well…" She reached out with a feminine hand and enveloped his with it before continuing. "I'm content…"
Yale smiled as his attention was averted back to Mariah. "I'm glad. You're my dear friend…so I already love you." The prince spoke the words that came straight from his heart, honest and very true.
Princess Mariah mirrored the last words of the prince as they turn the corner that lead to the large courtyard. There were a variety of potted flowers and a large swing that hung from an old cherry blossom tree as it shivered in the fresh air. It was so beautiful here, and this was where they would soon recite their deepest vows to each other as not only husband and wife, but more importantly, king and queen this kingdom.
As the two walked arm and arm chatting amongst themselves about the wedding plans, a man with shoulder length evergreen hair that was tied back into a low ponytail and blue eyes that were drenched with a playful blue dashed out from the large white pillar in front of the couple and screamed.
From the shock and fright that the being had caused them, Yale and Mariah's instinct was to scream and to reach for each other at the same time, causing the two to collide into one another. Prince Yale had landed atop of Princess Mariah in a very compromising position after their impact.
The source of their fright began to let out a maniacal laugh at their misfortune. "Yes! I totally got you! Owned!" He acted as if it were his greatest task yet- scaring the living daylights out of the prince and princess.
"What?" Pale blue eyes of the prince looked down at the princess. His cheeks flamed with the thought of being so close to Mariah, and on top of her for that matter. "So sorry…" He managed to get up on his feet, but not before extending a hand to his devotee in an attempt to help her up as well. "Are you alright?"
Mariah accepted his help and stood with a blushing gaze. "Um, yes… thank you." Her eyes made their way to the laughing male. "I'm so sorry about my ANNOYING brother…" Her eyes raged with an anger that looked as if she would attack the man any second. He was always pulling stunts like this and he just had to right now.
"Whatever! That was classic!" He seemed to not have noticed his apparent sister's death glare and continued to comment on how great that was. "You know that was funny!"
An aggravated sigh made its way out of the white haired man's lips. "How undignified…I hope I didn't hurt you."
"No, you didn't. I'm alright."
"You know that was funny!" The man interrupted as if he couldn't understand why they were annoyed with his actions. "Come on, lighten up."
"It was not. It was much undignified and not to mention rude." Prince Yale advised the other evergreen haired prince that his actions were uncalled for. How dare he scare the living daylights out of them and then pass it off as a joke.
"Ah, rude-schmude! Don't you have a sense of humor?"
The young princess spoke up."Not of your kind of humor, dear brother, Ace." She proceeded her comment with a look the resembled the face of someone who smelled something awful.
"Yeah, sure, whatever… Sheez…" The man identified as Prince Ace shrugged off his sister's snobby comment and walked off to try the same joke on a couple of maids and butlers. His sister was acting snobbish again and he hated when she did. He'd rather regret having her as a sister whenever she did. They were two different people raised under the same castle roof, and he didn't understand how they couldn't be any more different.
"Still I apologize, dear Yale…" Mariah once again apologized for her brother's succeeded prank. It was always an embarrassment to apologize for her brother's improper behavior, but it had to be done.
"It's alright. I'm just glad that you weren't hurt. Your safety is my primary concern."
Knowing this made the princess smile. "You're so sweet to me…" The girl reached across and rested a small doll like hand on the side of Yale's face. She loved when he told her things like that.
Mirroring her movement, the prince found her hand that was on his face and cupped it lightly. "Anything for you, princess…" He hoped that she knew how exactly much he meant that.
"I don't and won't ask for much, just that you'll have me and no one else, protecting me…" Princess Mariah assured her dear friend of her part of the arrangement.
"I would have it no other way. If you love me, then I shall give you the world…"
"I do…very much." Mariah let her words softly roll of her tongue as her arms firmly wrapped around Yale's waist in an endearing embrace.
"I do as well." The white haired price replied before returning her hug before continuing. "I'm sure I could love you even more over time." He let his fingers bend a little on the small of her back, savoring the moment that they were sharing.
"Same here and I'd like that…" Feeling the burning sensation upon her cheeks at the contact, the girl also had another question to ask her beloved. "Well, would you want to be i-intimate? Well, when we are ready…I have never…sorry, I'm rambling on about nothing…" 'Darn, get a hold of yourself, Mariah...you just made a total ninny of yourself…'
Yale quickly intervened. "I haven't either, and I would say that when the time was right, we'd know, but the circumstances won't allow that to happen. We will have a honeymoon and they will expect something out of us."
The lavender haired girl thought a moment about what was said before speaking. "You're right. So it will happen whether we are ready or not?" A shaky feminine hand was placed on her chest. "My heart…it is racing…I…I trust you, Yale, no matter what…"
"At least we will be each other's first. That's a comforting thought…" The prince found comfort in that thought. He would have wanted it that way in the first place, and he knew Mariah felt the same.
"O-of course…" Her blush grew redder as she spoke. "It's also very special when you think about it." 'I feel…lightheaded…"
"Oh? Is it?" Prince Yale questioned.
"Yes, we would be experiencing i-intimacy with no one else before each other, which means it is extra special. That's what I was told…"
"It will…for the both of us."
"Yes, I just know you will be gentle…" To assure him, she leaned up and kissed the pale skin that covered his cheek.
The white haired man nodded in response. "Yes, I just hope it won't be too embarrassing…" being forced to marry his dear friend was one thing, but having to lay with her was another. He hoped that they could get passed their discomfiture when it came time for the honeymoon.
"Yes, me too. Anything for the safety and peace of our kingdoms…." Bright blue eyes of the princess plunged towards the ground in remorse. Something the word 'princess' in front of her name made her want to hurl.
"It's…always been like that, hasn't it?" Her companion asked in the same tone as she had used.
"Yes, too many sacrifices on our part, and yet, we get nothing in return."
"We're just tools in the political system, I'm afraid…"
"It scares me, my dear Yale…" As she finished her sentence, she looked up to her devotee with tears brimming her blue irises.
"It's normal for me. As a political figure, there are many risks to our lives. I have been taught to accept that I might even be assassinated some day. I suppose I'm numb to it all, but I can see why you'd worry. You're so innocent…and you're kingdom is so peaceful." Yale explained.
"Yes…all I want is to be with you, but at my own pace. Prince Yale…" Her hand found its way back to the side of his face before she carried on with her point. "I can make you feel again…just leave all your burdens in my hands from now on. It will not only be my job to carry them, but it'd be my pleasure. I don't like seeing you like this…" As her emotions about the situation grew, a single tear still threatened to fall.
"I'm fine really. You shouldn't worry yourself." The prince insisted, not wanting to worry the princess with his own fears and pain. He respected her way too much to burden her like that; his problems were his to take care of.
"I love you, Yale…" Princess Mariah told him as the suicidal tear finally plummeted to its fate upon her lips, where it disappeared as she pressed her lips together, filling with emotion.
"I love you too, my dear Princess Mariah." The man replied parroting her words with the same emotion that she held.
"I don't care what happens to me. I was trained to please my king, and I will do that until I die."
The prince's mind lingered on the word 'trained' before he spoke. "Trained…? Is that all it is? Nothing is real; it's all just a job…"
"What I feel for you is real, with or without the training. You have always outwardly cared for me, always treated me like someone special. I want to return everything that you have given me. You are special to me…I too, wish things were a different, if we didn't have to sacrifice so much for our kingdom. Especially since the kingdom could turn on us at the slightest inquiry that there may be a problem. It is a very unstable agreement, sometimes I wish I were not born royal…" Mariah exclaimed in subtle regret.
Prince Yale fell silent. This subject was never really a good one for him to discuss and with every word that his lover said, his agreeing thoughts began to submerge his mind, and so he said nothing.
"I am sorry, love…are you hurting as much as I? Forgive me, I didn't mean to bring this up."
"I'm just thinking about something. Sorry, I was lost in thought." He apologized for his lack of a response. 'You have no idea what the extent of my pain is…dear princess…'
"That's alright." The girl assured as she brushed a stray hair out of his face. "If it bothers you that much, we won't speak of it any longer, chin up, love?" She shot him her cutest innocent smile in an attempt to get him to laugh a little.
Her attempt wasn't in vain as it triggered a small smile to creep upon his lips. "Of course. We should be happy for this beautiful day. Besides, if we were in a glum mood, mother and father will kill us."
"Yes, we should be happy. Today starts as soon to be husband and wife, I am so excited!" Princess Mariah beamed at the thought of being with Yale for the rest of her life.
With that same smile getting bigger, Yale responded before wrapping his arms around her in a tight embrace. "Of course, I know that surely we can lean on each other."
Returning the hug, Mariah placed her head on the broad chest of her own prince charming. "Ultimately, for sure! Uhm….hehe…this corset is killing me…"
"These shoes make my feet hurt as well…" Prince Yale replied letting his love know that he shared her pain in some way.
"Isn't it horrible, dressing up that is…?" The girl asked looking back up at the prince in question, searching for his opinion on their clothing.
"Sometimes, it depends on the outfit, really…"
"I can't wait to be able to breathe again…" Mariah joked pulling at the bottom of her corset a little.
"It must be fun to be a commoner. You can dress however you wish and you're not tied down to any specific style." The man thought aloud.
"Showing individuality must be nice." He heard his beloved agree with his outer thoughts on their obligated attire. 'Dare I say, I wonder what it is like to wear blue jeans…?' She thought.
"Not keeping an image might be nice as well." The prince noted.
"Imagery can be both a blessing and a curse." Mariah said as if she were reading that quote directly from a book.
"True. I'm used to it. Even if I lived amongst the common people, I don't think I could go a day without dressing fancy. My lifestyle has bound me to it." Prince Yale replied with a half smirk.
"I love how you dress, it's…attractive." The lavender haired girl replied looking him over and then catching his glance again, smiling.
"The same goes for you. You are well bred and classy, just my type."
His words triggered another blush that quickly rushed across her cheeks. "You're too kind, love. It's a wonder my parents stopped having children after me, they had my brother and were obviously disappointed." Mariah poked fun at her brother with an evil smile protruding across her lips.
"The prince is very rebellious, isn't he? I hope that isn't in your genes." Yale noted, thinking about what that particular DNA would do to their future children and getting chills just pondering over it.
"Well, I hope so, too. Though I may be wrong, my family isn't as nearly as refined as yours seem to be." Princess Mariah noted, measuring both families in the aspect of being refined in her head, it was true that the Whittenbergs were the winners no doubt. It wasn't that her family wasn't refined, but they could never measure up to his family in that department.
"Yes, we are strictly taught to be refined. You can't do anything in public without the eyes watching." Yale observed dejectedly.
Soft and devious giggles filled the air. "Well…what about this?" Rising up onto her toes a little, Mariah planted a quick kiss upon Yale's cheek again. "Is that acceptable?"
"Well, hopefully." He replied with his charming smile.
"Sorry, I just can't help my excitement, forgive me, my prince. I mean, I have honestly liked you for a long time, and to think that I am promised to be your wife and rule beside you, I can't help it. I know it may be improper or whatnot but believe it or not, this is my dream come true." She confessed, latching onto his arm.
"It is for me too. To have somebody who truly loves me to rule alongside me, is something I have dreamed of but also something I have feared. I have heard all of the horror stories about arranged marriages and I didn't want to be set up with somebody that I didn't love or that didn't love me. I didn't want to lead a life of misery, so I am glad they picked you to be my queen." Prince Yale replied in a somewhat relieved tone as he looked back at Mariah.
"I'm glad they chose you as my king. I just know we will be very happy together, so you don't have to fear what we have love." The girl answered, resting her head on his shoulder as they began to walk onward more into the courtyard.
"Sometimes, I just wonder how deep love does run…" Prince Yale replied, even though he and Princess Mariah loved each other very much, he still couldn't help but question love's bond and how strong it really was. There always was something that held lovers back from one another, and he hoped that their love was deep enough.
A/N: There you have it, loves! The first chapter of Sin &Temptation! I hope you all enjoyed this and will stick with this story! Please R&R and we love you all!!!