Jeesh this is a long one! Lots of stuff goin down!

If you love Maria then your gonna be sad when a

certain part upsets her :( And also, those of you who

can't pernounce Titania its Ti-ta-nia :3

Shardes( sounds like Char-de the s is silent)and Xander's back stories shall be revealed in the next chapter :D On last thing! As you might know my idiotic

brother broke our laptop which deleted ALL of my stories. Sorry for the wait!

Please don't come and destroy me :((

Yours for Eternity,

~~DarknessesDownfall~~

O
o

O

Chapter 6: Heartbreak in the Beyond?

Maria stared at the gigantic castle that hovered before her. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen, with its white walls and class turrents. It was the Summer Fey Palace, and belonged to King Oberon and Queen Titania. The Summer Fey Palace's garden had the most mystifying, unbeknownst plants and flowers that Maria had ever heard before. It was such a warm and open place that she wondered what it would be like to live here. She sighed and shook her head. 'Its no time to think of such things,' she thought. 'Two days have already passed, and we are running out of time.' When they reached the tall, white oak doors, Xander announced, "Be careful her Maria, and don't believe anything you are told unless its from me or my brother, the kings, and Puck. King Oberon has asked to speak to us. It would be rude to decline. I want your room linked with mine so that if anything happens I'm in the room joined with yours. Is that all right, my soul?" He smiled at her so passionately that for a moment she thought he loved her, but she pushed the thought aside thinking it was too impossible.

"That's fine. How long will we be staying here? If we stay here for more than a day I won't be able to get back to Jade and Nate before its too late. That can not happen!" Maria was tired of being a tornado of emotions, but they were too conflicted for her to try to untangle them.

"We are leaving tomorrow morning and heading towards the cottage. You shall be reunited with your friends, young Spirit Mistress, and I shall have a talk with Lady Luna." Mashie gave Xander a warning look, as if Xander had been going to say something that didn't need to be said. Maria nodded her head in sharp, uneasy movements. She ran a hand through her hair as the King of the Animal Skins knocked his hand on the oak doors. Immediately the heavy doors swung open with a loud creaking noise. People crowded the corridor and cheered when they saw Xander, calling out things such as 'Xander the great' and 'Master Zero Xander you are my hero.' Maria was tempted to roll her eyes but resisted, for she knew it would aggitate people.

The corridor was huge! The walls were long and narrow, but the area was wide enough to have more than 200 people in it at a time. Rows upon rows of windows were along the wall, and the pictures on them seemed to be moving! Maria was so astounished that she didn't realize she had walked over to one and reached out a hand to touch it. She felt a wave of disappointment as Xander grabbed her arm and pulled her away. She frowned and tried to clear her head.

Xander shook her shoulders, looking worried, "Are you okay Maria?" She nodded and they resumed walking to the staircase. It was long and winding with red carpets, and like everything seemed to be in the castle, it was also beautiful. The staircase led to a large area with a door on each wall. Each door was different from the next. One was green with a number 23 on it, and looked like a door that would be in a hotel. The next was white and blended into the wall that, except for the doorknob, you couldn't see. The third was a door that looked to be made out of the sky, blue with patches of clouds occasionally moving onto it. The last door was black. Maria stared at it trying to see what was special about it, but what she didn't expect a face to push against it and open its mouth. She so scared and astounded that she felt faint.

"Wow! Xander what is this? Oh what wonders this world has! Which door do we take?" She looked at him with eyes similar to a four year old's who was at an amusement park. He smiled ruefully and lifted a hand to caress her cheek.

"This is the first time I have seen your face alight with such joy. It warms my heart...You should feel this way more often. This is tthe majick of the Fey, and each door opens up to a different place. The green goes to the human world, while the black and sky one go to different places in this world. The white one is a normal door for this castle and leads to King Oberon," He nodded to the white door. "The white door is the one we take."

She smiled and walked towards the door, but when she noticed a frown on Mashie's face she slowed to match his pace. "What is it Mashie? Is there something wrong?"

"Wh-What? Oh no, my little Spirit Mistress. Nothing is out of sorts, so just carry on." He fidgeted and his smile seemed a little force. Maria instantly knew he was lying to her, but didn't know why. She looked at him once more and quickened her pace to now match Samson's.

"Samson, why is Mashie lying to me? What is wrong?" She thought since Mashie wouldn't tell her then perhaps the talker would.

"Like King Zernoamash said, there is nothing wrong. You worry too much Maria." He smiled at her, but it didn't reach his eyes. Now Maria was starting to get angry. She thought what it could be and suddenly it dawned on her.

"You think I'd leave through the door to the human realm? If you haven't noticed my brother and best friend are still here! I am not going to be so irresponsible as to walk away when their lives depend on me! I thought you guys knew me better. It hurts that you guys beleive I would ever even consider that..." She wiped the tears away furiously, not wanting to show any weakness. She looked into each of their eyes, one after the other, and shook her head. She walked to the white door and opened it.

"Maria! Maria wait!" Xander called after her. She didn't turn around as she closed the door behind her.

"Oh, hello there. You must be Miss Maria, Mistress of Spirit. I am King Oberon, where are your companions?"Maria looked up startled at the sound of another's voice. In front of her stood a very strange man. He has hair the color of captured sunlight and his eyes, his eyes had no pupils or white. They were a liquid gold color, so utterly stricking that all Maria could do was stare at him. She wouldn't describe his as handsome exactly since his features were too beautiful. He was dressed in silken clothes, but they weren't too flashy.

"W-What? Sorry, you startled me. I am Maria, and it is nice to meet you King Oberon. Xander, Samson, King Zernoamash, and Robbin Goodfellow are currently doubting my integrity to return my family and myself back home. They believe I will leave without them, and which caused me to become angered and came without them. They should be here shortly." Maria stated matter-of-factly, and as if on cue the guys burst into the room.

"Maria! That is not what we-" Xander's stopped midsentece as he saw who Maria was standing next to. He dropped down to one knee and bowed his head. "King Oberon, I appolagize for my rudeness. Please forgive Maria for barging into your quarters also."

"Excuse me! Zero Xander you shall not ask forgiveness for my rudeness, when you were questioning my resolve! I will not be submitted to such treatment from a friend! I am my own master damnit!" Maria was seething, and she didn't care if it offended King Oberon. She was tired of being treated like a child.

"My, my Xander. Why is it you always seem to offend a lady and her honor. You are forgiven by me, but it seems you should worry about Miss Maria's forgiveness." King Oberon raised a blond eyebrow.

Maria sucked in a sharp breath as she felt a felt a sick, crawling feeling across her body. She gasped and clutched her chest. It felt like a hand was closing around her heart trying to tear it out of her chest. Her knees felt weak and her eyesight blurry. Tear streamed down her face and she collasped.

O

o

O

"Jeesh how many times can one girl faint in two days. What was it this time?" Samson voice was like nails on a chalk board to her sensative eyes. She groaned and rolled over. The next moment she screamed. Her shirt was missing, but that wasn't what had made her scream. On the spot over her heart long bloody scratches had formed.

"Wht happened?" Maria's voice was a hoarse whisper.

"Well you also seem to have a habbit of not remembering what happened after you pass out. You started to clutch your chest and looked like you were in terrible pain, and then you collapsed on the floor. Are you alright my beauty?" Samson stared into her eyes, face content. She backed up a little bit and sighed.

"Why is it always me that ends up maimed..." Maria grumbled. Nervous laughter followed her comment. "Where is King Oberon?"

The laughter instantly stopped. They all glanced at each other, and Maria thought if the tension got any thicker they'd need an ax to cut it. Xander sighed, knowing he would have to tell her. "Umm..Well you see...King Oberon has...invited us to a dinner, and you have to dress up and act snobbish."

"Why is this such a bad thing?" Maria's eyes narrowed. She could sense there was more, but Xander shook his head. She guessed she would have to wait and see. She was escorted to a bed chamber that was a too bright shade of yellow. Such an ugly color, Maria thought. Of course they'd give me a hideous room since I'm only a human. A dress sat on the bed, and it, on the other hand, was not something you could describe as hideous. It was a beautiful blue, and was made of a smooth, flowing fabric that was too delicate to be silk. The dress also had glimmering jewels attached to it that must cost a small fortune, and It was strappless and had a full, floorlength skirt. She saw the other accessories for the faery dress, and was speechless as how to repay the fey people. Gloves, long, elbow-length gloves the same color and material as the dress with the same sparkling jewles encrusted on them in eccentric designs. She looked down to see black high-heals, but without any extravagant details. Along with the dress, gloves, and shoes was jewelary made of the glimmering jewels on the dress and gloves, but the necklace had a medium sized saphire surrounded by the other jewels.

She turned around at the sound of a knock on the door, and heard a female voice say, "Miss, I must help you get ready for dinner."

"Alright you may come in." Maria answered and saw about five women come into her room. They all looked alike, with the same wild brown curls and same petite faces that belonged on dolls. They also had animal ears and tails, but she shrugged that off. Not like she hadn't seen things far weirder here.

"Miss is the dress to your liking? I am sorry about the room, I had not thought they would stick you in the prinicess heir's old chamber." One of them spoke, but all of their mouths moved. Now Maria was starting to get a little creeped out.

"I love it, thank you. Who is the princess heir? I have not met her yet." Her couriousity had gotten the better of her.

The maids looked at her and giggled, "Oh my! What a wonderous night! You'll get to meet her and her fiance! They sure are a wonderful match! I can't wait! Oh I'm getting ahead of myself. The Princess Heir, Kiara, the only child of King Oberon. She will be the queen of all the Summer Fey, and she will be the best ruler since Lady Shara. Now, we got a little carried away, but we need to finish getting you ready!"

Maria's eyes grew about three times bigger as the women fluttered around her, clothing her and beautifying her. For once in her life Maria felt like a princess, majestic and mysterious. She blushed wondering what effect she would have on a certain sorcerer. She spun in a circle and felt her skirt twirl around her. Her eyes were lit with joy.

"Oh my lady! You yourself look like a princess! So exsquisite and extravicant! It hugs your waste and hips perfectly, and don't forget your accessories and hair! Ladies our work is done! His Majesty Oberon wanted her to look lovely and we have accomplished that, but with her beauty, it wasn't very difficult!" The maids cheered and gushed some more. Maria blushed even more at the complaments.

The maids hushed when a knock sounded on the door. Maria swallowed. Could it be him? No no no! He's too busy to visit me...Right? The grin on her face could have lit thousands of cities and still be able to light more, until a vioce sounded from the door.

"Hey! Maria open the door! Let me in! Haha! I wonder if you'd been told yet that you are my date? Let's get to dinner!" The vioce, undenyably belonged to a certain Robbin Goodfellow.

"Do not open that door if you wish to live through this party Goodfellow! We did not give you permission to enter Miss Maria's chambers! Wait outside!" The maids were glowering at the door. Murderous intent being shown to him Goodfellow didn't open the door. She took a deep breath and walked to the door. Hand turning the knob, Maria opened the door. In front of her, Goodfellow's eyes widened. He was dressed handsomely, and his normally wild flame hair was combed back.

"M-Ma-Maria?" Goodfellow mummbled out. Maria smiled.

"Hey Puck. You seem to be drooling a little...Please wipe the corner of your mouth. Now, what do you mean by I'm your date. Where's Xander?" Maria stared at him a frown replacing her small smile. The maids gasped, and Goodfellow blinked. Blinked again. Once more. Then he grabbed her hand and pulled her close.

"He has his hands full at the moment. He will be busy until the dinner starts, so you will see him then. It starts in five minutes so I advise you to hurry." He pulled on her arm, but she just stood there.

"W-Why aren't you busy? If he's busy shouldn't you be too? I guess it doesn't matter. Let's go." Maria swallowed and started to walk down the hallway. Goodfellow sighed and went to catch up.

O

o

O

Maria looked around. The first thing she noticed about the Main Dinning Hall was the hundreds of people. They were all different sizes, colors, orientations, and species. She saw talking animals, wood trolls, tiny pixies and fairies, animalskins, and many other creatures. The next thing she noticed was the colors. It was disorienting. Blues, greens, purples, reds, yellows, pinks, browns, and oranges. The only colors Maria didn't see were black, grey, and white. Then she remembered that this was a Summer Fey gathering, and the colors of darkness were of the Winter court.

She felt Goodfellow pulling at her arm, and when she looked up, she notice he was motioning for her to take a seat. She looked around for Xander, but couldn't find him.

"Puck...Where is Xander?" Maria whispered.

"He should be arriving shortly. He's sort of a guest of honor," Goodfellow whispered back. Maria's eyebrows came together in confusion, but she kept quiet. She heard the doors to the far corridors open. The loud scrapping of the wooden doors on the tile flooring echoed through the hall.

"His Majesty, King Oberon!" A voice announced.

Oberon walked into the hall and the guests erupted into cheers and clapping. Maria was stunned. How could these people be so happy just to see him? She was astounded as the clapping and cheers continued. Oberon bowed and Maria had to admit he looked absolutely stunning. His blond hair was slicked back and he was dressed in Victorian style clothing. He looked like a god, and she felt the need to praise him. She also started to clap and cheer, and as he made his way to his table, the clapping and cheering died down.

When all was quiet the same voice announced, "Princess Heir, Kiara and her Royal Courter, Zero Xander!"

In that moment Maria's heart stopped. No, no no! It can't be! He would have told me if he was going to be married to a princess, right? She turned to look and see. There, with the beautiful, blond, blue eyed,Princess Kiara on his arm, was Xander. Sorrow crushed Maria. What had she done to make the Fates hate her so? Would she ever find love, or would it, everytime, be ripped away? This time the cheering was so loud Maria could no longer hear her own thoughts. She went to stand up to leave, but Xander's eyes found hers. They were filled with appology, sorrow, and something else that Maria could not place. Her own eyes showed pain, betrayal, and hatred. She had been played. She turned away from the table to run, but arms gripped her side. She had forgotten Goodfellow was there.

He stared into her eyes. Right then she knew he felt the exact same way she did. Goodfellow was in love with the Princess Heir, and Maria was in love with Xander. What a group they made! Maria sat back down, knowing she needed to be strong for Jade and Nate. Even if she had to stay behind she would get them home, no matter what! Her family mattered most, and she should never lose sight of that. She then sat up straight with dignity and power.

O

o

O

Xander stared at Maria's pain filled eyes. He had hurt her so much that she now most likely would never trust him. He hadn't meant to keep it from her; he just never knew how to tell her. When she stood up to leave he got panicked. He didn't want her to leave, not until he had a chance to explain. Puck wraped his arms around her and in watching this Xander saw the same look that was in her eyes in Puck's also. Puck and Maria stared at each other for a long moment of time until Maria calmly sat down. She looked determined and dignified, like she had just made a promise to herslef. Xander felt his heart skip a beat. How much pain am I causing this wonderful woman to endure? Will she even listen to me if I try to explain?

Kiara cleared her throat to get his attention. She smiled, "Come on dear. We have to start the party!"

He didn't know why she even mattered right now, but he nodded and followed her. He felt empty as if his inside had been scraped out. Kiara hurried him to the head table at which Oberon sat. When they were seated, Oberon quieted everyne and raised his glass.

"Tonight we have a special guest. She is from the world of the Natives. Maria Jamestones you are welcome by my people and myself. May your stay here be one of joy. If you wish you may make a speech."

Xander stared at Oberon abashed. No! Maria cannot make a speech in her current condition!

Maria eyes found Oberon's and nodded. She gathered her skirts and stood looking as regal as someone could.

"I am here because I decided not to believe. But-" she paused looking at all the diverse faces. "I now know that I was blind and could not even begin to tell you all how much you have taught me! I was once a fool! Blinded by what the rest of the world wished me to see! I will never go back to living that way, but I know I must rescue my brother, Nate, and his wife, Jade, from this world. I need to do this because they do not belong here. They have so much to live for! I, on the other hand, have nothing! I have a request of you. With this request, if it is fulfilled, my family might be saved. I need you to train me. Show me the ways of the Beyond! I am strong and I will never give up! Help me and I will be in your debt."

Xander could not believe his ears. Maria had just made a contract with the Fey. He messed her up.

"No! You will not pledge to them like this Maria! Your brother and best friend would not want this!" He didn't even remember saying anything.

"Zero Xander! You lost every right to tell me what to do when you lied to me! I was the last to find out, and I will save my brother and Jade! I will not be made a fool of! I do not care what happens to me, but my family comes first!" Maria's anger was reaching its peak and he was terrified what would happen. People were starting to get uneasy at their fight, and that was the last thing he needed.

"Fine! If that is how it will be, then let me train you! I am the best in the Beyond along with Samson! No other shall have this job. I will train you or no one else!" His voice grew three times its normal volume and side chatter everywhere ceased. Kiara blinked, and her face grew the brightest color of red.

"So Xander, I take it she loves you and you love her? I knew you didn't have feelings for me, but I kind of hoped you'd do better than this pathetic peice of trash before me!" Kiara threw the insult towards Maria, all poisonious blows to her all ready broken heart.

"And you call yourself a princess! Where is the regalness in what you just stated? If you wish to rule, then act like you can! I am sure that your citizens would rather have a ruler who considers what they say and how it will affect someone. King Oberon I mean no disrespect by my words." Maria curtsied and left the Main Dinning Hall. Xander got up and followed her.

"Well...I hereby declare the engagement between Zero Xander and my daughter canceled. My daughter should be able to choose who she marries. I appoligize for what happened here today. Please finish your dinner! I value your time here." Oberon shouted to his guests.

He raised an eyebrow at Goodfellow, "I'd say that went well!"

O

o

O

Well there we have it! The end of Chapter 6! I hope you enjoyed it!

Happy readings

~~DarknessesDownfall~~