There are moments that we all want to pretend.

Pretend that things that happened haven't.

Pretend that we've never hurt people we love.

Pretend that we haven't done something that we have.

--Alyss Munrow

To Die For Her by Alyss Munrow

Chapter One

The Market place was bustling with many of the town's people, who were buying the freshly backed bread and live animals. It was noisy with the sounds of chickens, pigs, goats, and cows. Plain dresses were being sold and the extravagant were being admired. Everyone had a smile stretched across their faces because the bitter and cold winter was finally over and spring was here. The young ladies of the town were all smiles as they emerged in their lighter garments, meant to catch many eyes. Deep brown eyes were scanning the area as their person sat on top of a parked carriage. The boy who was sitting on the carriage watched a girl who was standing near a set of steps surrounded by a group of her friends. His hand ran through his soft shoulder length brown waves as he jumped down from the carriage. Another boy was sitting next to his with ice blue eyes and short brown hair.

"Tristan, where are you going?" the other boy asked, they were both tall and handsome, not to mention nicely built.

"I was only going to have a bit of fun, Bretton." Tristan threw a devious smile to his friend.

"Tristan, one day this will all come back to bite you right in the behind." Bretton warned with a slight smirk playing on his boyish face. He followed Tristan's lead with a stride less cocky so that the arrogant air that drifted around Tristan wouldn't surround him. They walked in front of the girls who were all silent now that they had company. Tristan sat on the steps between the girls with Bretton who did the same. Tristan's smile had a certain element to it that made all the girls blush and the deep brown eyes held mischief in their depths. Bretton couldn't tell how Tristan did it, but he knew that whatever it was Tristan did it well. The girls were all staring a the devilishly good looking boys waiting for one of them to speak.

"Enjoying the weather, Ladies?" Bretton asked ready to spark the conversation up.

"They must be, they are getting to where those lovely gowns," Tristan complimented. "I know I'm enjoying it." Tristan added with a smile.

"Tristan Blackwell, If your father could hear you!" one of the girls said with a smile, she had light brown eyes and brown hair that flowed down the length of her back, out of the girls here she was the prettiest.

"But dear, Molly Winston, my father can't hear me." Tristan smirked lowering his gaze to her small lips.

"Tristan, you are foul." she said playfully.

"Yes, his breath is rather foul." Bretton chuckled lightheartedly. Tristan feigned offense.

"Molly, Molly, it seems to me you like the very fact that I'm foul. Not only are you blushing, but you're smiling at me as well." he said lightly biting his lip.

"You are entertaining, you know." Molly smiled her small and perky nose raising as she did so.

"It's a pleasure to be the one to entertain such enchanting ladies" Tristan said, Bretton was paying more attention one of the other girls as he watched Tristan from a few feet away.

" Tristan, my father was surprised when he didn't see you in church." Molly mentioned.

"Well I'll have you know, that on Sunday I was having a dream to good to wake from." he said to her.

"I missed you in church too. It would have been nice to have something to laugh at." she said moving a step closer to him.

"Well, I'll make up for it sooner or later." Molly smiled at his words.

"Come on, Bretton, we have to go." Tristan grabbed Bretton's arm and pulled him along side him. Bretton looked behind him at the pretty brunette who stared after Tristan's retreating back. 'He probably doesn't even realize that he's making her fall for him.' Bretton thought looking at his friend, whom he knew had too much charm for his own good. Tristan walked with his shoulders rolled back and with a strong stride. Bretton followed Tristan in to a tavern that they usually went to when Tristan was bored. Tristan brushed the dust off of his loose trousers before throwing his overcoat around the chair. The room was lit by the windows and some fire light. The sweet aroma of stew and chicken filled their noses and they instantly could feel how hungry they were. Tristan looked at Bretton and smiled like he was stifling a laugh, Bretton quirked his head with a smile cracking at his lips too.

"What is it Tristan?" Bretton asked curiously.

"I thought you heard my stomach growling." he laughed out loud now.

"What do you think of Molly?" Bretton asked his friend.

"I'll tell you, but you can't bother me about it alright." Tristan said seriously.

"I'll try not to." Bretton replied a little bit nervous as to what Tristan would say.

"I see her as a good friend, with good humor." Tristan told his best friend.

"And nothing more?" Bretton looked down as his question left his lips.

"Bretton, she's pretty, but I don't see her that way. She is the pastor's daughter and I would never get into that sort of trouble. You know how I like to be free I wouldn't be able to do that if I were in a relationship with her. So, no, nothing more." Tristan told his friend with great emphasis on the words.

"Then why are you leading her on?" Bretton asked his friend.

"You're full of questions today." Tristan said wanting the subject to change.

"Sorry it was because she seems to like you." Bretton commented.

"It's fine, but she doesn't like me. I've never given any of the girls reason to believe that I was interested in them." Tristan said raising his hand to call a bar maid.

"He wants some of the stew. I'll have some pork." Bretton said looking at the middle aged woman.

"I promise you, that I have no intention of being with Molly Winston, ever in my life." Tristan assured with a serious look. Tristan looked at the steaming stew that had generous amounts of meat, he noticed, then smiled at the barmaid who sent him a flirty grin. Tristan turned around in his chair with a smirk.

"That barmaid is missing her two front teeth." he whispered quietly to Bretton, who shook his head and laughed. Bretton looked over his shoulder to see the barmaid; when he turned back he could see Tristan start to scarf down his food. Bretton watched his friend it with a little bit of shock in his eyes, but he was after all used to Tristan's behavior. As the afternoon came to a close, they left the tavern with satisfied faces. Tristan yawned stretching his arms over his head while they walked the road that was now rather empty. The town was now winding down for rest, but the youth of it was not ready to sleep. Tristan walked into the church with a small bow of his head as he strode through the door way. She was kneeling there with a light blue scarf draped over her shoulders. Bretton sat in the pew behind her.

"Molly, what are you doing?" Tristan asked in his deep velvet voice.

"I was in the middle of my evening prayer." she looked up at him with a slight smile forcing passed her surprise.

"Well, it has been heard. We are taking a group to the woods to play hide and seek, or tell ghost stories." Tristan told her with a charming tone.

"It would not be as entertaining without you there." Tristan added.

"Tristan, it's nearly dark out." she said.

"I promise to protect you tonight, then, if you fear the dark." Tristan said to her not realizing what a promise like this could entail coming from a man.

"Well, I guess I can't refuse then." she smiled at him as she stood and looked toward Bretton who smiled at her.

"It's good of you to come." Bretton said as he opened the door for her. Bretton had always had the courteous nature raised by a merchant. His piercing eyes were filled with happiness, he had a life that he wouldn't change. Sure, his best friend was mischievous, often hurt people unintentionally, but he had a good heart. However, Bretton knew the Tristan that everyone else only dreamed of knowing. He could read everything under Tristan's strong façade and that's why they were best friends.

"So, Tristan, which part of the forest are we going to?" Molly asked, not even paying Bretton's words notice. How could she when she was so mesmerized by Tristan?

"To the one nearest the ocean, just outside the outskirts of town." Tristan said he pulled on Bretton's arm so they walking side by side.

"Why there?" Bretton asked.

"I like the sounds of the ocean." he replied with a certain look in his eyes. Bretton knew that he was thinking about something that he wasn't particularly fond of. There was now a slightly far off look about his eyes. A light sorrow swimming in his brown irises. Tristan stopped walking and looked at the ground for a second before looking up to his companions.

"We are going to need more people you know." Tristan said, his small moment of silence was now over.

"I'll get some of the other girls from town, and you can get the boys." Molly suggested.

"Well, I'll send Bretton with you. Can't have pretty girls walking the streets alone, can we?" Tristan said. Molly blushed and nodded and started to walk in the other direction with Bretton. Tristan sat down on a cart with an almost blank face as he stared off into space for the next five minutes. The sound of a coughing old man brought him back to full attention. He shook his hair and ran a hand through the silky locks, starting off towards the houses of the rest of his friends. Tristan led them all to the forest where Molly and Bretton stood waiting for him.

"I'll trust you did not miss me too much, my friends." Tristan said lightly stressing on the word friends. Molly looked at him with a certain smile and pulled her hair from a tight bun letting it fall all around her.

"Well, then, who will be hiding for the first round?" Molly asked with happiness in her voice.

"I believe that we should all be courteous men and say, ladies first." Tristan smiled looking behind him where a group of boys stood.

"Turn around and count to a hundred." Molly said turning and running in another direction as Tristan and the others turned. The footsteps of the girls were loud and rushed, but as the boys got to the mark of a hundred all was silent. Bretton looked towards a smiling Tristan who gave the signal for everyone to split up and search for the well hidden girls. Tristan heard the rustling of skirts moving around, the gentle breathing was getting closer. Tristan headed towards a small cavern, where he saw Molly sitting with a smile on her face.

"I've found you." he smiled reaching to grab her.

"you haven't caught me." she said running deeper into the cavern. Tristan followed the sounds of her footsteps until he saw her, trapped in what seemed like a dead end.

"I'll catch you yet." he laughed looking at her, he watched as she ran down a hidden turn in the cavern.

"I don't think you can!" she challenged, her voice echoing through the cavern. She had finally lost her breath and stood quietly, she could hear his calm footsteps approaching her. They were still quiet and Tristan was distracted by the strong sounds of the ocean and a light humming. Tristan walked towards the pleasant sound thinking it was Molly. But as he neared he saw the moon's light shining down on a small cottage surround by flowers and the sweet smell of growing herbs. He was walking out of the cavern through a small entrance way. He looked around trying to find the source of the gentle humming.

Tristan breathed in the inviting scent deeply and turned around to see a girl with waving auburn waves sitting in the brush of tall grass and wildflowers. She was humming a sweet melody, in her small pale hands was a rose. It's petals were a healthy crimson and seemed to stand out against the fair skin. He walked closer seeing to get a better view of her face. Her eyes were clouded like sea foam and the color of the lightest ocean water, her lips were full and seemed to blossom just like the flower in her hands. He looked at her in awe of her beauty and wanted to talk to her, but when he opened his eyes again she was gone. Tristan looked around before heading back into the cavern, to continue look for Molly who was now alert.

"Molly, I've found you" he said trying to get her to come out.

"You haven't, Tristan." she answered moving her spot again, not realizing she crashed right into his chest.

" I think I have" he smiled, but he was being observed.

"Well then, catch this as well." Molly said, and boldly pressed her lips to his. Tristan drew back and wiped his mouth, with shock painted on his face.

"Molly, I can't do this." he said pulling away from her grasp.

"Why…Tristan?" she asked.

"Molly, I just can't…" he said as he began to walk away from her. Molly could hear Tristan's heavy breathing as he strode away from her at a brisk pace. Molly heard his footsteps falling heavier with each one. The sounds of his steps stopped at the mouth of the cavern where Molly could see his silhouette. Both his hands were pressed against the stone. Molly touched his cheek with the back of her hand, it was then that she noticed he was burning with fever. Tristan felt his world becoming more and more hazy as the moments went on. Molly looked at him.

"Tristan your burning up" she grabbed his arms and put one around her shoulder.

"Molly, I need to get home." Tristan mumbled the sudden fever was making his head spin. As they walked to where the others should have been they saw Tristan and Molly's fathers standing there. Both of their faces were stern as the watched their disheveled children walk out of the woods. Tristan's shirt was undone hanging off him loosely.

"Tristan! What is this?" shouted Eugene Blackwell his voice filled with anger.

"Molly, do you understand the danger you have put your name in?" he yelled.

"Father, this isn't a matter of my reputation. Tristan is burning with fever." Molly said. Eugene grabbed hold of his son's arms and Bretton followed shortly behind. Father Winston grabbed Molly by the hand.

"Thank you, Molly. It was good of you to look after my son." Judge Blackwell said to her.

"I noticed it earlier in the day. So when I saw him heading to the forest I decided to make sure he was alright. It turns out that he wasn't." she lied to both adults. Bretton's face was that of shock but he had to play along for both Tristan's sake and her own. Tristan should never have been alone with Molly in that cave. Tristan could barely understand the words that were coming out of everyone's mouths. It all sounded like the mumbling of an infant. It was making him dizzy.

"Molly, we should get you both home." Father Winston said she followed behind him. Bretton watched her with those piercing eyes if he hadn't known the truth he wouldn't have known she was lying. 'How could a daughter of the church lie so well?' he thought. Up ahead he saw Tristan's body go limp against his father's old frame. Lucky for Tristan Bretton was strong enough to carry him. Eugene helped pull his son's body onto Bretton's back. Tristan was sweating Bretton knew because he could feel the dampness of his shirt.

"Tristan, you are so troublesome." Bretton mumbled under the weight of his friend.

"…isn't that why you are my best friend…" he heard Tristan groan.

"You are burning up and you still have strength to make jokes?" he breathed out in disbelief.

"…I'm sorry…Bretton." Tristan apologized seriously.

"For what? This is nothing you're my best friend." Bretton said walking to Tristan's door.

"Molly…kissed me." Bretton stopped in his tracks as Tristan slid off of his back.