Disclaimer: This story is completely mine.
My inspiration was the song Memories from the band Within Temptation. I adore their music.
I hope that you like this fic :) Thank you for reading it, and PLEASE REVIEW!
Past: (exactly one year ago)
I walked through the back alleys, my hands shaking, afraid that someone would recognize me. The cloak covered me from head to toe, but I was still afraid but I had no idea of what. I heard footsteps and I quickly moved to the side, my heart hammering so loud, that I was afraid that they would hear it. The footsteps came near, even as I huddled close to the ground, behind a barrel.
"That is an awful place to hide." He said softly to me, and his clamped on my mouth before I could let out a startled squeak. I held still, terrified, as the footsteps came closer and closer, and then they were past us, going ahead. I calmed to a degree, now my only opponent was the man, who even now had his hand clamped to my mouth. As if reading my thoughts, he removed his hand.
He stood up, and I realized just how tall he really was, and extended his hand to me. Hesitantly I took it, and he pulled me to my feet.
"Come with me." he said and started walking. My hand in his, I had no choice but to follow, yet I knew this was my choice. He would not have stopped me if I had left. But he had known that I would follow him anywhere.
I stared around at all the people around me. Women in their glittering clothes and jewelery, men strutting around like peacocks, and I wanted to run. I picked the hem of my ball gown and turned, and came face to face with a man I had been craving to see since I had last parted from him. I reached forward to touch him, but there was nothing there. A single tear slipped from my eye, but thankfully my mask absorbed it. A princess could not be seen crying at her own ball.
He led me down alleyways, around corners, through houses, until I had no idea where we were. He picked me up and jumped effortlessly over walls, over fences, and even over ditches. No one could have followed us. No one would know where I was. No one would know who I was, and a fierce joy took hold of me until I wanted to laugh from it. He seemed to sense it, and he smiled down at me, before leading me by my hand again.
I turned on my heel, wanting to leave this cursed ball, but my brother blocked my way. His look said it all. I was to be the good hostess, not the runaway fool.. I turned back, swallowed my pain, and moved through the crowd. I smiled, I talked, and all the while, I unconsciously looked for laughing blue eyes, for an amused smirk.
Someone touched my shoulder, and I whirled around, sure that it was him, but there was no one here.
My name was whispered somewhere, and I started but there was no one there. No one with that height, with that strong frame, with that stubborn chin. With those caressing eyes.
I was led into what had to be a party.
There were people everywhere, and they were talking, eating, laughing, drinking, and being themselves without fear of what anyone would think.
He led me to the center, and whistled loudly to get everyone's attention. The hair on my neck prickled as everyone stared at us, but he did not seem to mind. He just undid my cloak and tossed it to someone, before taking me in his arms for a dance.
The music started, and a cheer went up. I blushed even as he twirled me around. We were not alone on the floor for long, for soon there were couples dancing all around us. I laughed as he picked me up and whirled me around, before putting me down on his other side.
I felt nothing as the dance progressed and I switched from one partner to another. The dance went on, and suddenly I felt the brush of warm fingers on my back. I stopped and looked, but no one was there, and my partner twirled me around quickly into the arms of my next partner.
I felt nothing even as I rotated on the spot holding someone's hand. I thought I heard him chuckle, and I looked, but again, he was not there.
Once the dance was over, I wanted to rush away, but my path was blocked again, and I looked up to see my uncle. I turned back, and went again to the dance floor. I motioned for the music to switch to my favorite piece.
I started dancing. It was the 'fandango' and I was supposed to have a partner, but my partner was not here, and so I danced, for both of us. When he was to hold me as I leaned back, I leaned back on my own, imagining his arms around me. I could almost see him when I did that. I could almost feel his breath on my face, almost feel his beating heart under my palms.
Suddenly the music changed, and our innocent waltz became the sensual 'fandango'. His arms were around me, and I knew that we would dance, and that I would love it. We moved together, in a rhythm that was our own, as if we had always danced together. As if we were parts of one whole that had finally come together.
We moved, and slowly everyone just watched, yet I could hardly care, all I could see was the man in my arms. All I could feel was his breath and his heartbeat.
I knew he would hold me. I knew when he spun me, that I was safe, and yet I was flush with the excitement of it all.
I laughed out loud when it ended, my leg in his hand, my head thrown back, black curls falling loose. Applause rang around us, but I could only see the rare smile that graced his lips.
I whispered his name, and his smile widened, and he took me away from there, with the same speed with which he had brought me, grabbing my cloak on the way. We ran through the streets again, but it was so different now. We were not being chased, rather we were racing the wind.
I finished the dance, and again applause rang out, but I could not hear it. I was looking for him. His shadow had been with me, I had felt it, then why could he not be here as well? Warm arms wrapped around me from behind, and I turned with a happy cry, for it had to be him.
I knew my face fell when I saw my friend, and I saw understanding in his eyes. I hated that understanding. I pushed him and walked away.
I only wanted his arms around me, and if he was not here, then I would be alone.
I could almost see him roll his eyes at the proclamation.
Again I heard the whisper of my name, and I tried to run to him, but I was stopped again. I cried out in anger. I wanted to go to him. He was waiting for me, I could feel it.
I splashed water over him from the river, and he started a war, which ended with both of us drenched. We trudged back to a nearby cottage, and the old crone clucked her tongue at us, even as she allowed us in.
I huddled in the blanket, as my clothes dried, and he did the same. The old woman gave us both food, all the while reprimanding us for our foolishness. We exchanged glances like guilty children, and again we were off as soon we were dry again.
It was dusk, and we were running back the way I had come. Back home, even though we knew we would be scolded.
I pushed my brother away. I wanted him. If I could not have him, then I did not want to be near anyone else. He needed to be here, or I needed to be where he was.
My brother stopped me again. Infuriated, I ran out to the garden. I heard him murmur my name again, and I ran towards his voice, but he was again gone. Why would he not stay with me? I felt his fingers brush my hand, and I whirled, but it was just petals dancing on the wind. His breath caressed my hair, and he pulled the pins lose, tumbling my hair, and yet I could not see him.
I heard his laugh as he placed flowers in my hair. I heard the music that was him, as he pulled the ribbon from my throat.
I turned and I turned but I could not see him. Oh why was he taunting me so?
"Adrian!" I called, my voice cracking, and he brushed a kiss on the back of my neck.
"shh.." he murmured, but when I turned he had left me again.
"Maia." Someone said and I turned to see them standing together. My brother, my uncle, and my friend. Why could he not be standing there with them?
"He's gone. He died in the war a year ago." My Uncle said softly, and I laughed. He must have gone senile in his old age. What war?
"You know he is gone. He won the war, but he is gone. You were there at his funeral a year ago." My brother said softly.
"No! I was away a year ago. He took me all over the city. He showed me the party out where you would never let me go. He danced with me, and we played in the river. He brought me home, and he would not even let you scold me." I said angrily before turning away to leave.
"Maia!" My brother called but I did not listen to them. He was here. I was sure of it.
Then I saw her. The old woman from the riverside. She was looking at me sadly, and then she smiled at me and gave me a small bottle.
"Drink this, and then you'll be able to sleep until he comes to wake you up." the woman said.
I took the bottle from her and drank it in one gulp.
"Thank you." I whispered, and behind me, he said the same. I turned, and in my dimming eyesight, I could finally see him. I smiled as the world went blissfully black.
Twenty Years Later:
"That tower is off limits." one of his men told the young Prince, even as the Prince watched it fascinated.
He had come here, as part of a political delegation with his father, but all he had done was stare at that tower since his arrival.
Now he looked at the man and smirked.
"Nothing is off limits." he said as he jumped down from his horse and started towards it.
"Stop!" Someone called from behind him, and he was startled by the familiar voice that he had never heard before.
He turned and the blonde, blue eyed man gasped. "Adrian.." he whispered.
The Prince scowled but he started again on his way to the tower. He had to go to it. He had to see it. He had to be there. She needed him there.
He did not even truly understand that thought, or where it had come from, as he ran for the tower. The guards at the bottom tried to block his way, but he defeated them and he ran; ran all the way up the twisting stairs.
He could hear yelling behind him, but he did not care as he ran and ran, knowing that she was at the end of this staircase, and yet he did not know who this 'she' was.
He kicked in the door at the end of the stairs and entered a beautiful room. But he could see nothing but the woman sleeping on the bed. Her face was pale, her black curls spread around her like a midnight curtain. He saw a shadow of her laughter as they danced together, saw the light dancing in her sea green eyes, caught her fragrance as she brushed against him, felt the softness of her skin as she touched his face, and yet there she was, sleeping in front of him, and he knew he had never seen her before, and yet he knew he had known her all his life.
He went to her, and touched her face with trembling fingers. Water drops fell on her cheeks, and then he realized that they were his tears. He moved closer, kissed her forehead, and she blinked up at him, woken up by his intrusion.
"Adrian?" she asked, her eyes wide, and he smiled.
"The one and only." he replied and she threw herself into his arms, laughing and crying at the same time, even as he whirled her around in joy.
She leaned back in his arms and smiled, "I told them you were just hiding to annoy me. You were always close to me."
"I promise never to annoy you like that, ever again." he said softly and she smiled again. He never broke his promises. He had promised to return, and here he was, now she knew he would never leave her side, ever again.
Author Note: In case the end confused anyone, think Sleeping Beauty.